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How to get to the Front of the Line!

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando' started by Disney4648, Jun 29, 2002.

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  1. Disney4648

    Disney4648 New Member

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    Here is a very user friendly guide that helps you save time waiting in line for a popular attraction at either Universal Studios or Islands Of Adventure.

    Of course, staying at either Disney's or Universal's hotels has its perks. Disney has great transportation but Universal offers something a lot more useful. It's a new program and what it does is get you to the Front of the line at any ride or attraction at either park, as much as you want all day with little or no wait! How does it work, well its similar to the new Universal Express pass. What you do is show your room key card from your Universal Resort to a Cast member that is near the ride, and they will show you to the front of the line.

    You may also trying the new Universal Express Pass. This new program, which is very similar to Disney's Fastpass, offers the same benefits to park guests. Here's how it works. You go to a Universal Express Pass Distributation booth near a popular attraction, and you can either swipe or scan your card, depending on the condition of the card, if it rains ect..... You get to choose between 2 or 3 different times. When you choose that time, you get a small card with the times printed on it. You come back to that ride during those times and you enter the Express Line and you go the the font of the line and save a lot of time by not waiting in line. You may only get a new pass every two hours per park ticket.

    Thats not it! There is another way to get on a popular ride with shorter waits in line. It's caled Single Rider Line. If you dont want to wait in line and dont mind if you don't ride this attraction with your friends or family, then this is the way to go. You enter the Single rider line and sometime you get a card, and this feature saves about 50% of the time you would wait in line.

    ~How to get to the front of the line at Universal Orlando!

    -Disney4648
  2. Talsonic

    Talsonic Account Suspended

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    I'm sold!

    Sounds to me like another reason not to visit Universal.
  3. pheneix

    pheneix Well-Known Member

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    >>>You may also trying the new Universal Express Pass.<<<

    Not to cause a thread drift here, but I should add that Universal's Express system is so much more efficient than Fastpass it is not even funny. At Universal, you can still get FOTL access, and the stand-by line doesn't take a hit from it at all. Disney should learn something from them (after taking painting and management lessons, however).

    >>>Sounds to me like another reason not to visit Universal.<<<

    Don't form a prejudiced opinion of a place you haven't even been to.
  4. Disney4648

    Disney4648 New Member

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    >>>Sounds to me like another reason not to visit Universal.<<<

    Don't form a prejudiced opinion of a place you haven't even been to. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Pheneix, your 100% correct!:)
  5. TURKEY

    TURKEY New Member

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    Universal can offer Front of the Line because it has 3 HOTELS (I believe only 3 BUILDINGS) compared to the near 20 RESORTS with MULTIPLE BUILDINGS that Disney has.

    There is no way that Universal could do FOTL if they were the size of Disney.


    Universal Express Pass is newer than FastPass. FastPass is/has been changing to make improvements. I do agree that Express Pass is a better system than FastPass.


    Single Riders -- Some/Most/All Disney thrill rides have a single riders line if you ask. It just isn't advertised too much.
  6. Disney4648

    Disney4648 New Member

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    Um, its a lot more than just 3 buildings, they are big resorts. And the same with disney's resorts.:)
  7. pheneix

    pheneix Well-Known Member

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    >>>Universal can offer Front of the Line because it has 3 HOTELS (I believe only 3 BUILDINGS)<<<

    A more accurate estimate would be close to 3,000 rooms, instead of counting buildings. That still isn't much compared to WDW though (but it does sound better when you take the value resorts out of the picture).
  8. WDWFREAK53

    WDWFREAK53 Well-Known Member

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    I do agree that the Universal Express Pass is SOOO much better than FastPass... (although I haven't used it all that much because there are usually NO lines) I like to have the opportunity to control the way my day flows...With FastPass, they are pretty much TELLING you where you are going to be at a certain time...It's vacation...I would like to have the choice.
  9. MrPromey

    MrPromey Well-Known Member

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    Of course, on a typical day, Universal's system handles a much smaller number of people than the Fast Pass system does... People keep talking about how long you wait without FastPass these days... Do any of these people remember what the lines were like before FastPass? An hour or more wait for a ride like splash mountain or Thunder Mountain was not any more uncommon than it is now... You have to put it all in perspective. In MGM for instance, it seems to have actually reduced the overall wait for everyone concerned. Both RnR and ToT seem to have faster loading times in the standby line than they did when that was the only line... In contrast, a few months back I saw a 35 minute wait posted outside Ripsaw falls in IOA for the front of the line access with the regular line holding a 90 minute wait... No system that deals with the variables of the human mind are ever going to be perfect but to Disney's credit, as someone who has had an AP for over a decade, I can say that FastPass has not on a whole, increased the wait times for their rides. Again, they have to move a lot more people than the two Universal parks deal with. You can say you like Universal more or that it's better or whatever but Disney still tops the list with all four of it's parks in attendance and that is a major factor in line waits... And for whoever said that getting rid of the value resorts would put Universal close to Disney in terms of rooms needs to refigure their math. Even without the Value Resorts that still leaves: The Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Swan, Dolphin, Port Orleans Riverside (Formerly Dixie Landings), Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado SPrings Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Beach Club Villas, Villas At Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Villas, and Old Key West. I also left the Campgrounds out of that list even though it includes the high priced treehouses that would put some of it's rooms near the highest on Disney Property. I also didn't mention the rooms at the former Disney Institute that are still in use but offered mainly as part of corporate packages at the moment. I also didn't mention Shades of Green which, while like Swan & Dolphin is not owned by disney, still shares in most of the resort perks that the actual Disney resorts offers... Not to mention that WDW has the highest average occupancy rates of any hotels/resorts in the Orlando area*. Anyone who says that Universal deals with anywhere near the number of on-site guest that WDW does (even without the value resorts) has no idea at all what they are talking about. If Universal were ever to grow to Disney's current size in therms of parks and resorts, they would not be able to handle front of the line access for all resort guests either. It's a luxury they can offer because of more limited rooms and more limited attendance and at times of the year when attendance goes up, it's much less efficient.

    One last thing: Disney4648, I'm sure your information will be helpful to anyone who hasn't been to Universal for a few years but the front of the line thing isn't exactly new. :)






    *Occupancy rate is based on approximate industry figures tallied and tabulated for release in spring of 2001. Rates will not be available for this year until around spring of next year.
  10. pheneix

    pheneix Well-Known Member

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    >>>Of course, on a typical day, Universal's system handles a much smaller number of people than the Fast Pass system does<<<

    Not as small as you might think.

    >>>In contrast, a few months back I saw a 35 minute wait posted outside Ripsaw falls in IOA for the front of the line access with the regular line holding a 90 minute wait...<<<

    That's interesting, because over Memorial Day (which as I understand wasn't much different from Spring Break in terms of crowds) wait times had climbed to over 90 minutes at the Studios, and Universal Express kept on chugging right along with a wait of less than 15 minutes. I should also note that Test Track also has cases of long waits for the Fastpass line regularly. It could have just been "one of those days" at Ripsaw Falls.

    >>>Disney still tops the list with all four of it's parks in attendance<<<

    That is fixing to change. Universal, given the circumstances with the economy, has had an excellent year (with NO loss of attendance for the year, we could debate whether or not they have gained any till we turn blue). Disney's problems have already been discussed, though the losses have narrowed with the Summer season kicking in.

    >>>And for whoever said that getting rid of the value resorts would put Universal close to Disney in terms of rooms needs to refigure their math.<<<

    I never said it would put them close to Disney, I said it would make the comparison between Disney/Universal narrower. Disney right now has nearly 25,000 hotel rooms. I am pretty certain this figure includes the 6,000 or so rooms that are under construction for Pop Century. If you take those out, the campgrounds, and the All-Stars, then (and I am merely estimating here, someone else can go back and double check the math) that total is down to around 17,000 rooms. Like I said, it is narrower.
  11. TURKEY

    TURKEY New Member

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    So you still have around 10,000 more rooms at Disney than Universal does.
  12. pheneix

    pheneix Well-Known Member

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    Disney has a twenty year head start on Universal.
  13. TURKEY

    TURKEY New Member

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    Take note of Disney's rooms now and in 20 years we will all come back here and compare to see how Universal has done. :lol:
  14. MrPromey

    MrPromey Well-Known Member

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    Not as small as I might think? Even including post 9/11,Disney still had as many people enter the Magic Kingdom as went into both of Universals florida parks. Epcot still saw nearly two million more guests and MGM was over a million ahead of Universals busiest park. The only one that was even close was animal kingdom with a 500,000 lead. That was on a bad year - considered by Disney to be a worse year than this year. Interestingly enough, the better preforming Universal park was Universal Studios at 7.3 million. IOA dragged nearly two million behind that at around 5.5 million. Even if Universal manages to break into the top five parks this year, AK will still most likely be over a million ahead of IOA which didn't do all that much better than Seaworld last year... That makes it more of a problem with Disney than a success with Universal meaning that any gain Universal might have percentage wise, is likely to be temporary.

    We can debate weather Universal actually not lost any till we turn blue as well since unless you are a Universal Executive (which would make your opinions too biased to even be relevant in this discussion) you don't know how well Universal has done this year so far since they don't release anything close to solid figures and their general approximations require no substantiation till the annual report is due. So that leaves you to base it on own guess of how busy the parks look which is absolutely no indication at all.

    As for "I never said it would put them close to Disney, I said it would make the comparison between Disney/Universal narrower.", I don't mean to be mean but DUH!!! Removing a single resort from Disney's stable (regardless of which one) makes the comparison between the two narrower. Closing one room that would otherwise be used makes the comparison between the two narrower (even if by less than one millionth of a percent). I thought you were actually trying to make a real point rather than trying to word the obvious as something relevant.

    Yes, I'm sure it was just "one of those days" at Ripsaw Falls but I was citing an example of a simple example of a time when an attraction that does not have a problem with capacity got backed up... With Test Track, you bring up the worst case example for Disney since it is is quite possible the most inefficient ride in terms of reliability and capacity in all of WDW and also caters to some of the highest numbers of guests (which explains why it routinely stays open for an hour after the rest of the park closes) I could point out that in most cases, the wait with FastPass is less than five minutes (Before where the two groups merge such as before the soundstage in RnR) and that similar problems to Test Track arise on Spiderman during busy hours at IOA in terms of Universal Express use even though it sees a smaller number of guests than Test Track does. You can argue that it's a better ride and I'm not going to argue because I'm not a huge fan of Test Track but the two are the most popular in their respective parks and last year IOA saw 5.5 million guests where as Epcot saw 9 million and in Epcot, Test Track has no competition whatsoever for thrill rides where as Spiderman does.

    I would like to take this moment to apologize if I have offended you in any way with my "attitude"... I know that I tend to come off as more than a little aggressive when I get into debates but I want to assure you that none of what I have said is directed towards you as a person in any way shape or form. On the discussion of attendance and traffic flow, I feel that your argument is weak because you have provided little in the way of hard information to prove your view on things. If you can produces such accurate information to back up your beliefs this could continue into a very interesting discussion in another thread (since we are now WAY off the original topic :) )
  15. orlandoparks

    orlandoparks New Member

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    Here are the 2001 Theme Park Attendence figures:

    "Amusement Business has released attendance figures for 2001. They are:

    1 - The Magic Kingdom - 14.7 million - down 700K
    2 - Disneyland - 12.3 million - down 1.6 million
    3 - Epcot - 9 million - down 1.6 million
    4 - Disney-MGM Studios - 8.3 million - down 600K
    5 - Disney's Animal Kingdom - 7.7 million - down 600K
    6 - Universal Studios Florida - 7.2 million - down 900K
    7 - Islands of Adventure - 5.5 million - down 500K
    8 - SeaWorld Orlando - 5.1 million - down 100K
    9 - Disney's California Adventure - 5 million - opened in 2001
    10 - Universal Studios Hollywood - 4.7 million - down 500K"

    Each park is on there own with fastpasses. In other words, it does not matter how many people are in other parks such as EPCOT when we are talking about the Magic Kingdom. Now you say IOA has an easier time with express passes because of attendence. Notice MK has the hiest park attendence. Universal is about half of that. Now, if Disney tried like universal, and had a well laid out plan, I'm sure they could do the same as Universal. MK only has about twice the people. Remember, MK is the highest, so what about the other Disney parks with lower attendance?
  16. pheneix

    pheneix Well-Known Member

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    >>>That was on a bad year - considered by Disney to be a worse year than this year.<<<

    If they are considering last year to be worse than this year, then I would immediately begin to question other business practices at Disney. At the start of the year, attendance was down over 10%. At Spring Break, it narrowed to a little less than 8% (with couple of weird record days thrown into the mix), then it dropped back off again. Now that Summer has started, that loss has narrowed to 6%. There is certainly a pattern forming here, and it wouldn't surprise me if attendance drops back off percentage wise after mid-August (however, with Disney's shortened hours after July 4th, they may think it will happen sooner).

    >>>Even if Universal manages to break into the top five parks this year, AK will still most likely be over a million ahead of IOA which didn't do all that much better than Seaworld last year...<<<

    IOA's attendance is on the rise, but it is still much lower than it should be. However, with HHN on the move to IOA, this could be a blowout year for the park... at the expense of the Studios.

    >>>I thought you were actually trying to make a real point rather than trying to word the obvious as something relevant.<<<

    I am. Universal is not going to enter the value resort market. They have even publicly stated that. It is only fair that the resorts that are in that market are not counted in a comparison between Disney and Universal.

    >>>I would like to take this moment to apologize if I have offended you in any way with my "attitude"...<<<

    Don't worry about it, I think I am one of the most hardcore debaters here, so I tend to come off the same way.
  17. MrPromey

    MrPromey Well-Known Member

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    Well, as far as for front of the line access for resort guests, you have to figure that a MUCH higher percentage of the guests in WDW parks are staying on WDW property than are the percentage of Universal guests staying on Universal property. Even with the figures you noted (which have US and AK both at 100,000 than the numbers I quoted) the next park up that list from AK (MGM) still on average, sees over 3,000 more people a day than Universals busiest park. Go to the next WDW park and that number jumps to nearly 5,000 more a day on average. If you go to MK, that number jumps to an astounding figure of over 20,500 people more a day (over double what Universal sees)... I don't see your point with each park being on their own with Fast Pass though... True, Animal Kingdom should be able to accept the same system that Universal uses with little trouble but how is it that they would implement such a program with each park having its own rules and policies in regards to how FastPass works? Guests have a hard enough time understanding the concept when all four parks use the same methods. How could anyone expect them to understand and remember a different set of rules for each park and even more important, how could anyone expect them not to receive a steady stream of complaints at MK for having a FastPass policy that is much more strict than a park like AK? Let's say they had the same policy for all four parks and adopted Universals approach. You say that MK "only" has about twice (actually more than twice) the people. "About" twice the people is a lot. We are talking about over 40,000 people a day on average as apposed to less than 20,000 between both companies highest preforming Florida park. There is a big difference in those two figures and since on it's busiest days, Disney could be dealing with as many as 76,000 resort guests (not including the new Pop Century resort which would allow for about 24,000 more) a system like Universal's would not work since we already know that those guest would not be distributed evenly among the four parks. The Magic Kingdom makes up close to 40% of all business in WDW on a daily basis. On their busiest day with around 100,000 on property guests you are looking at around 40,000 people in the MK with front of the line access to any attraction as many times as they want to use it. Since that is roughly the number of guests in that park on an average day. During holidays, parts of spring break and some days in the summer, the fastpass system would totally melt down with front of the line access wait times exceeding what the standby times would normally be on an average day in the park, the general FastPass system would not even be available and I wouldn't even want to guess what standby times would look like....

    Because Universal deals with a smaller number of people in their parks and an even smaller average of on-property guests (at the moment) they have more flexibility than Disney does over these kinds of things but it's not feasible that things will be able to stay that way as they grow. They just opened up a third resort and two more are planned before any expansion in the number of parks. If they are able to fill even 75% of all of those rooms, don't you think the current system would take a hit if they continue to run it they way that they do?.. They've already had to adjust it, making it less flexible since they first started offering it. If I recall, you were able to get passes for multiple attractions with single day admission tickets at the same time and that has not been the case for about a year now because they found that they were unable to handle the volume of use on the system as a result...
  18. Jekyll

    Jekyll New Member

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    Park attendance doesn't lie. Universal as a long long way to go before it even dreams of being the resort that disney is.

    -J

  19. pheneix

    pheneix Well-Known Member

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    >>>Universal as a long long way to go before it even dreams of being the resort that disney is.<<<

    Universal isn't the resort reporting a loss of attendance either. Disney is heading down, just read their financial reports (and what they are admitting too is not even adding up either. The foreign market is vertually non-existent now, and that is a large percentage of Disney's attendance, much more than what they are reporting as a loss). Some of that is because of the economy, and some of it because of other various reasons. At the same time, Universal is bringing their numbers up. Don't you think there is a middle there somewhere?
  20. Jekyll

    Jekyll New Member

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    As a Disney share holder I know what my stock rating is and what it has been in the past. I have seen it go up and go down...In two years it will be booming again and I am sure it will split again. Disney goes up and down but we took a hit after 9/11 but I am sure it will bounce back.



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