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The Miscellaneous Thought Thread

Ne'er-Do-Well Cad

Well-Known Member
Really hoping they conscientiously refurbed Pirates during its 3.5 months closure. It's usually among the best-maintained attractions in the park, so I was saddened to see several broken effects back in December.

One of my favorite characters in all of Disneyland is the little dog who sings along with the pirate trio. Warms my heart to hear "Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho... Arf Arf!" It's less heartwarming when the little guy's mouth isn't even opening, and he's just sadly shaking his head back and forth in a robotic, glitchy motion.

image.jpeg
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Really hoping they conscientiously refurbed Pirates during its 3.5 months closure. It's usually among the best-maintained attractions in the park, so I was saddened to see several broken effects back in December.

One of my favorite characters in all of Disneyland is the little dog who sings along with the pirate trio. Warms my heart to hear "Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho... Arf Arf!" It's less heartwarming when the little guy's mouth isn't even opening, and he's just sadly shaking his head back and forth in a robotic, glitchy motion.

View attachment 649081

I’m just over here hoping they added the tile back to the courtyard.
 
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waltography

Well-Known Member
Got my tickets for Oogie Boogie! I had a blast last year, can't wait to go again. Hopefully the Villainous WoC show will happen this year.
Just got my tickets too! (after hemming and hawing for a while about if I really wanted to; figured since I wasn't going to be renewing my Magic Key it worked out 😂)

Bought tickets for the last weekend after I missed the surprise of Zombie Cap last year. Hoping they bring him back out and introduce new villains like they did last year (even reintroducing Scarlet Witch again would be great).
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
The other day I had the urge to do a day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. As a teen, I enjoyed that the park was a less crowded alternative to Disney. It had less rides, sure, but we were able to ride them over and over again with little to no wait so it was always a fun day out. The park still has relatively few attractions but nowadays more and more people are going, which means those lines can get unbearably long so the only option I've got to re-create my previous trips is to spring for the Express Pass.

That said, my urge to visit was quickly dashed when I did a price check. Universal CA has some balls to be charging what they do these days, relative to what is available in the park.

A California Resident Express Pass Ticket (one time line skip per attraction) is $259 each. Plus parking @ $30 brings the total of a day trip to $548, plus tax. ($648 if you spring for the unlimited express option).

Now, let's look at Disney. The peak season 1-day Park Hopper ticket is $209 each. Add parking for another $30 and toss Disney's equivalent of a one-time line skip per attraction service (Genie+) onto each ticket for another $20, each. $488, plus tax.

So for $60 less, you get access to more rides, more shows, more dining options and even a second park. -and for many folks, Disney is even closer than Universal so that means more money saved on gas getting there. It just seems insane to me when you think about it. For years Universal had always been the more accessible alternative I kept tucked away in the back of my mind as an option for a quick day outing when we were feeling it. But now? I dunno, it's just crazy for me to say out loud but somehow, Disney is actually the cheaper alternative, all things considered and offers way more to do. Heck, Genie+ even gives you the unlimited Photopass downloads which Universal would still charge for coming off Mummy or Jurassic World.

Sorry for sharing my random thoughts. It is the miscellaneous thread, after all.
 
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Phroobar

Well-Known Member
The other day I had the urge to do a day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. As a teen, I enjoyed that the park was a less crowded alternative to Disney. It had less rides, sure, but we were able to ride them over and over again with little to no wait so it was always a fun day out. The park still has relatively few attractions but nowadays more and more people are going, which means those lines can get unbearably long so the only option I've got to re-create my previous trips is to spring for the Express Pass.

That said, my urge to visit was quickly dashed when I did a price check. Universal CA has some balls to be charging what they do these days, relative to what is available in the park.

A California Resident Express Pass Ticket (one time line skip per attraction) is $259 each. Plus parking @ $30 brings the total of a day trip to $548, plus tax. ($648 if you spring for the unlimited express option).

Now, let's look at Disney. The peak season 1-day Park Hopper ticket is $209 each. Add parking for another $30 and toss Disney's equivalent of a one-time line skip per attraction service (Genie+) onto each ticket for another $20, each. $488, plus tax.

So for $60 less, you get access to more rides, more shows, more dining options and even a second park. -and for many folks, Disney is even closer than Universal so that means more money saved on gas getting there. It just seems insane to me when you think about it. For years Universal had always been the more accessible alternative I kept tucked away in the back of my mind as an option for a quick day outing when we were feeling it. But now? I dunno, it's just crazy for me to say out loud but somehow, Disney is actually the cheaper alternative, all things considered and offers way more to do. Heck, Genie+ even gives you the unlimited Photopass downloads which Universal would still charge for coming off Mummy or Jurassic World.

Sorry for sharing my random thoughts. It is the miscellaneous thread, after all.
That is because Genie+ is underpriced considering the rest of the industry. It should be $90. At that price, Disneyland doesn't look as nice but I bet Lightning Lane would function better and stand by wouldn't be a joke.
 

Californian Elitist

Well-Known Member
The other day I had the urge to do a day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. As a teen, I enjoyed that the park was a less crowded alternative to Disney. It had less rides, sure, but we were able to ride them over and over again with little to no wait so it was always a fun day out. The park still has relatively few attractions but nowadays more and more people are going, which means those lines can get unbearably long so the only option I've got to re-create my previous trips is to spring for the Express Pass.

That said, my urge to visit was quickly dashed when I did a price check. Universal CA has some balls to be charging what they do these days, relative to what is available in the park.

A California Resident Express Pass Ticket (one time line skip per attraction) is $259 each. Plus parking @ $30 brings the total of a day trip to $548, plus tax. ($648 if you spring for the unlimited express option).

Now, let's look at Disney. The peak season 1-day Park Hopper ticket is $209 each. Add parking for another $30 and toss Disney's equivalent of a one-time line skip per attraction service (Genie+) onto each ticket for another $20, each. $488, plus tax.

So for $60 less, you get access to more rides, more shows, more dining options and even a second park. -and for many folks, Disney is even closer than Universal so that means more money saved on gas getting there. It just seems insane to me when you think about it. For years Universal had always been the more accessible alternative I kept tucked away in the back of my mind as an option for a quick day outing when we were feeling it. But now? I dunno, it's just crazy for me to say out loud but somehow, Disney is actually the cheaper alternative, all things considered and offers way more to do. Heck, Genie+ even gives you the unlimited Photopass downloads which Universal would still charge for coming off Mummy or Jurassic World.

Sorry for sharing my random thoughts. It is the miscellaneous thread, after all.
At Universal, you can actually do everything that’s offered in the park, whether one pays for an Express pass or not. That’s impossible at the DLR because there’s so much more to do. If one wants to do everything offered, that’s at least a 2-day visit. So you can get a park-hopper, spend $200+ and get some things done in a day, or spend $200+ and guarantee do every single thing one can possibly do.

You don’t have to get an Express Pass. A regular peak ticket costs $139+ and you can do everything. Or you can pay an extra $20, become an annual passholder for the cheapest price, and go on weekdays and even some weekends, if you want to.

I’d say Universal, overall, is more than likely always going to be the cheaper option. Of course, that depends on many things, but in general, it’s cheaper than a visit to Disneyland.
 
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DavidDL

Well-Known Member
At Universal, you can actually do everything that’s offered in the park, whether one pays for an Express pass or not. That’s impossible at the DLR because there’s so much more to do. If one wants to do everything offered, that’s at least a 2-day visit. So you can get a park-hopper, spend $200+ and get some things done in a day, or spend $200+ and guarantee do every single thing one can possibly do.

You don’t have to get an Express Pass. A regular peak ticket costs $139+ and you can do everything. Or you can pay an extra $20, become an annual passholder for the cheapest price, and go on weekdays and even some weekends, if you want to.

I’d say Universal, overall, is more than likely always going to be the cheaper option. Of course, that depends on many things, but in general, it’s cheaper than a visit to Disneyland.

Right, of course there are variables and your mileage will vary. For example, I like Revenge of the Mummy and want to ride it multiple times because it’s a relatively short, albeit thrilling experience. That said, I’m not willing to wait 60 to 90 minutes for it on a busy day and don’t know many people who would.

-and while yes, it’s absolutely possible to do everything one wants to do at least once without an Express Pass at Universal, said “everything” still amounts to far less experiences from a quantity perspective (again, imo). I for one will hit Hogwarts, Jurassic, Mummy, Pets and Transformers and be good with it. Using my knowledge of how to best move about the parks, being there at a decent time, etc. still amounts to just those experiences and just once through each before lines get bad.

Meanwhile at Disneyland, using the same set of skills and start times (and referencing one of my most recent one day park trips), I’m able to do Space, Buzz, Indy, Pirates, Mansion, Thunder, Falcon, Rise, Matterhorn, Roger, Toad, Pooh, Star Tours, Splash, Dumbo, Casey, Storybook, Teacups, Snow White and Tom Sawyers Island all in one go, without so much as even trying. Additionally, under normal circumstances, Disney opens their parks sooner and keeps them open later to allow Guests more time to get things done, while Universal tends to close sooner.

I mean, you’re right, if you wanted to do EVERYTHING at Disney, you’d need more than one day. But my point is that you’re still able to do more with a single day at Disney than with a day at Universal and with a better variety of attractions to choose from and more time to do ‘em. While over at Universal you’re going to start scraping the bottom of the barrel much sooner if your goal is to just “checkmark” everything. It won’t take long before you’re left with Minion Mayhem and the Super Silly Spinner.

It’s also worth noting that an inexperienced Guest probably wouldn’t even get everything done at Universal in a day too, when one considers that some of their attractions have specific show times and if they happen to find yourself in a 90 minute wait for the Mummy at the wrong time, they could miss ‘em. The Studio Tour will also eat a huge chunk of one’s day up too (both the line and the attraction), if one is unprepared.

Again, your mileage will vary. I love the attractions at Universal and definitely don’t have an issue forking over that kind of money when visiting their Orlando parks every few years. But I love the attractions at Disney too and there’s just more to do overall for me there and more time to do it, for less money, too.
 
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Californian Elitist

Well-Known Member
Right, of course there are variables and your mileage will vary. For example, I like Revenge of the Mummy and want to ride it multiple times because it’s a relatively short, albeit thrilling experience. That said, I’m not willing to wait 60 to 90 minutes for it on a busy day and don’t know many people who would.

-and while yes, it’s absolutely possible to do everything one wants to do at least once without an Express Pass at Universal, said “everything” still amounts to far less experiences from a quantity perspective (again, imo). I for one will hit Hogwarts, Jurassic, Mummy, Pets and Transformers and be good with it. Using my knowledge of how to best move about the parks, being there at a decent time, etc. still amounts to just those experiences and just once through each before lines get bad.

Meanwhile at Disneyland, using the same set of skills and start times (and referencing one of my most recent one day park trips), I’m able to do Space, Buzz, Indy, Pirates, Mansion, Thunder, Falcon, Rise, Matterhorn, Roger, Toad, Pooh, Star Tours, Splash, Dumbo, Casey, Storybook, Teacups, Snow White and Tom Sawyers Island all in one go, without so much as even trying. Additionally, under normal circumstances, Disney opens their parks sooner and keeps them open later to allow Guests more time to get things done, while Universal tends to close sooner.

I mean, you’re right, if you wanted to do EVERYTHING at Disney, you’d need more than one day. But my point is that you’re still able to do more with a single day at Disney than with a day at Universal and with a better variety of attractions to choose from and more time to do ‘em. While over at Universal you’re going to start scraping the bottom of the barrel much sooner if your goal is to just “checkmark” everything. It won’t take long before you’re left with Minion Mayhem and the Super Silly Spinner.

It’s also worth noting that an inexperienced Guest probably wouldn’t even get everything done at Universal in a day too, when one considers that some of their attractions have specific show times and if they happen to find yourself in a 90 minute wait for the Mummy at the wrong time, they could miss ‘em. The Studio Tour will also eat a huge chunk of one’s day up too (both the line and the attraction), if one is unprepared.

Again, your mileage will vary. I love the attractions at Universal and definitely don’t have an issue forking over that kind of money when visiting their Orlando parks every few years. But I love the attractions at Disney too and there’s just more to do overall for me there and more time to do it, for less money, too.
Regarding inexperienced guests not being able to do everything in one day, that’s not necessarily always true. I met many first-timers who were able to get everything done in one day because they planned and paid attention to showtimes.

You’re right, you will finish earlier at Universal, thus spending less money because you’ll be in the park for a lesser amount of time.😉 Then you can just go home lol. Or do something else nearby. Guests can make their trips as expensive or less expensive as they want.

You were initially talking about the price for the Express pass and said you’re aware there are fewer attractions, but it’s still a nice alternative to Disneyland. Now you’re talking about how there isn’t enough to do at Universal. Just trying to understand where you’re coming from… Are you “complaining” (I don’t want to use that word, but I can’t think of another one at the moment) about Universal’s price increase for the Express pass or the fact that there are few attractions?
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
Regarding inexperienced guests not being able to do everything in one day, that’s not necessarily always true. I met many first-timers who were able to get everything done in one day because they planned and paid attention to showtimes.

You’re right, you will finish earlier at Universal, thus spending less money because you’ll be in the park for a lesser amount of time.😉 Then you can just go home lol. Or do something else nearby. Guests can make their trips as expensive or less expensive as they want.

You were initially talking about the price for the Express pass and said you’re aware there are fewer attractions, but it’s still a nice alternative to Disneyland. Now you’re talking about how there isn’t enough to do at Universal. Just trying to understand where you’re coming from… Are you “complaining” (I don’t want to use that word, but I can’t think of another one at the moment) about Universal’s price increase for the Express pass or the fact that there are few attractions?

I was initially discussing what I believe to a fair, 1 to 1 comparison between what was being offered and the prices of both parks and came away with the impression that you get more bang for your buck at Disney than you do at Univeral.

In the interest of fairness, I'll point out that if you strip away all the add-ons from both; a one day, one park experience at Disneyland does cost $25 more.

Disneyland Park Ticket: $149, offers 49 attractions for the Guest to choose from, 8am to midnight operating hours (the map lists 65 but I removed duplicate entries like the Railroad and things like the Star Wars Launch Bay, Main Street Cinema, Shootin' Exposition, etc.).

Universal Park Ticket: $124, offers 14 attractions for the Guest to choose from, 9am to 10pm operating hours.

At this point in the comparison, there's no denying that Disney is charging you more. Universal wins right now if all we're talking is one-day prices.

But when I consider that Disney has more choices in terms of attractions and dining (I'm going to be paying to eat and shop at both), even at this juncture, the $25 difference doesn't feel so bad because of those 14 attractions at Universal, some are Minions, Hippogriff, Animal Actors, or other things that I have no interest in. For me, finishing sooner in the park is not a plus. Both parks are expensive and I want to be there as long as possible and do as many things that I'll enjoy as I can to get my moneys worth on my trip.

Enter the next level, of what I believe to be fair, 1 to 1 comparisons. Genie+ and Universal Express both offer one time line skips to whatever attractions you want to ride while visiting the parks. Being the kind of Guest that I am, this interests me. Whether it's Revenge of the Mummy or Space Mountain, I think most Guests would prefer a way to circumvent a possible hour and a half wait for both experiences, if one is available to them. So let's add Genie+ and Universal Express to my park visit:

Disney: $169, Universal: $259.

Here's where I start to have a problem with my day trip to Universal. Especially since Disney's service includes unlimited ride photos and Universal's doesn't. Yet Universal's costs me $90 more when I'm only going to be using it on half a dozen rides? That seems a bit brazen to me. Especially since I could now add DCA (+$60) and parking (+$30) to my Disney trip and arrive at that $259 total. At this point, I haven't even added parking to the Universal trip and I'm arguably getting more placed in front of me if I choose Disney instead. That's where my head space is at and hopefully that explains things a bit more.

If you're the kind of person whose more interested in spending less and spending less time in the parks while visiting then heck, more power to you. But I'm the kind of Guest who likes to dine at the park, do some shopping and spend as much time as I can while I'm there riding as many attractions as possible. Why not, right? I don't go as often as I used to so these trips are special to me and I just dropped $30 on parking, why would I want to leave after a couple of hours?

All things considered, Disney just offers me more to do at, a comparable (or in some cases, cheaper) price.
 
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DavidDL

Well-Known Member
@Californian Elitist ; Despite it all, where you are coming from with what you're saying you like about Universal isn't fully lost on me. I get the appeal of being able to "pop in" for a few hours and ride a handful of rides then leave. As a teen, I used to do this with Universal, too. The problem with Universal now, is that days one can do this are few and far between. The park has seen considerable Guest growth over the years, as evidenced here:

growth.png


However, despite more than doubling the amount of visitors, the parks footprint and attraction count has not expanded to match. Which means there's less places for those millions of Guests to go at Universal. Which leads to some pretty ridiculous wait times some days if you're not willing to splurge on an Express Pass. -and I'm speaking from experience as someone who once waited 3 hours in line for Jurassic World.
 
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PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
There's definitely a casualness to USH that's nice in comparison to DL, and I've really enjoyed the park during each of my visits, but I can't disagree that despite DLR's well-publicized price increases and cuts, and the enhanced scrutiny that Disney parks get over those run by other companies, USH is the actual most overpriced park in the industry.

Sure, you can't do everything at Disneyland in one day, but you have many more attraction, entertainment, and food options at your disposal, not to mention significantly longer hours vs. USH. Everyone can certainly fill a day at DL even if they don't get to do everything, but if you start cutting attractions at Universal than suddenly you'll run out of things to do pretty quickly.

DL additionally has a much better variety of things to do and a more balanced ride lineup, whereas USH has a lot of thrill rides, some shows, and very little else. I grant that the Studio Tour is special; however, without the tour there's little that's truly necessary or compelling. Even HP, the current meal ticket, is done better in Florida. Hopefully Nintendo will finally give USH some much-needed hype without too much of an increase to the admission price tag.

USH has about the same number of attractions that any of the WDW second gates have, which Disney is routinely (and justifiably) slammed for, but since Disney doesn't run USH this seems to fly under the radar in California more than it really should. Admittedly it's easier to do all of those attractions at USH in one day in general than those at, say, DHS, but even Californinflation doesn't really justify the prices and lack of value of USH compared to, honestly, ANY of its competitors, locally or otherwise.

So for me, even if USH technically is a bit cheaper and more relaxing, and I still enjoy the park when I visit, it is still a worse value than Disneyland even with slipping DLR standards. For my needs, in Florida Universal is destroying Disney and it isn't even close; In California it remains the opposite, and USH isn't really anywhere close to DL in my estimation under any circumstances.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
See for me, Universal CA isn't even all that relaxing of a visit anymore unless I go for the Express Pass. Years ago, you'd walk in and everything would be a walk on pretty much all day long. Things were so "chill" around the park they even offered an all-you-can-eat dining pass and didn't even seem to really care if you shared it with other people, haha.

But since Potter came out in Orlando and their park's steady attendance growth worldwide combined with their lack of attraction space in CA, nearly everything that isn't Dreamworks Theatre is a 40 to 70 minute wait at minimum, even on a "normal" day here. -and standing in a Mummy switchback queue for that long, out in Studio City where it can get freakishly hot.. well, my idea of relaxing, it is not. I don't blame them for their growth. They're a business and need to compete. But it's a unique situation out here because of just how land-locked they are. More people are coming to visit one or two newly added awesome attractions every couple years and that keeps folks coming in more than before but even Nintendo World they had to squeeze in there. Here, something's got to go in order for something new to get built each and every time. I hope they find a way to expand their theme park operations further, even if it means demolishing and relocating some of the back lot.

I agree that their parks in Orlando are absolutely wonderful, though. Well worth the price of admission every time I visit and whatever they want to charge me for an Express Pass. There's just so much to see and do. Heck, I love the park out here too. Very much. It just sort of feels like I'm being charged Universal Orlando prices for a park that has less.

Heck, a day at Islands of Adventure is $134, just $10 more than out here. -and out there, they have the Incredible Hulk, Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Rip-Saw Falls, Blige Rat Barges, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Jurassic Park, Velocicoaster, Forbidden Journey, Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure, Poseidon's Fury, Cat in the Hat, along with a wealth of other smaller attractions, dining and shopping choices.
 
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Californian Elitist

Well-Known Member
I was initially discussing what I believe to a fair, 1 to 1 comparison between what was being offered and the prices of both parks and came away with the impression that you get more bang for your buck at Disney than you do at Univeral.

In the interest of fairness, I'll point out that if you strip away all the add-ons from both; a one day, one park experience at Disneyland does cost $25 more.

Disneyland Park Ticket: $149, offers 49 attractions for the Guest to choose from, 8am to midnight operating hours (the map lists 65 but I removed duplicate entries like the Railroad and things like the Star Wars Launch Bay, Main Street Cinema, Shootin' Exposition, etc.).

Universal Park Ticket: $124, offers 14 attractions for the Guest to choose from, 9am to 10pm operating hours.

At this point in the comparison, there's no denying that Disney is charging you more. Universal wins right now if all we're talking is one-day prices.

But when I consider that Disney has more choices in terms of attractions and dining (I'm going to be paying to eat and shop at both), even at this juncture, the $25 difference doesn't feel so bad because of those 14 attractions at Universal, some are Minions, Hippogriff, Animal Actors, or other things that I have no interest in. For me, finishing sooner in the park is not a plus. Both parks are expensive and I want to be there as long as possible and do as many things that I'll enjoy as I can to get my moneys worth on my trip.

Enter the next level, of what I believe to be fair, 1 to 1 comparisons. Genie+ and Universal Express both offer one time line skips to whatever attractions you want to ride while visiting the parks. Being the kind of Guest that I am, this interests me. Whether it's Revenge of the Mummy or Space Mountain, I think most Guests would prefer a way to circumvent a possible hour and a half wait for both experiences, if one is available to them. So let's add Genie+ and Universal Express to my park visit:

Disney: $169, Universal: $259.

Here's where I start to have a problem with my day trip to Universal. Especially since Disney's service includes unlimited ride photos and Universal's doesn't. Yet Universal's costs me $90 more when I'm only going to be using it on half a dozen rides? That seems a bit brazen to me. Especially since I could now add DCA (+$60) and parking (+$30) to my Disney trip and arrive at that $259 total. At this point, I haven't even added parking to the Universal trip and I'm arguably getting more placed in front of me if I choose Disney instead. That's where my head space is at and hopefully that explains things a bit more.

If you're the kind of person whose more interested in spending less and spending less time in the parks while visiting then heck, more power to you. But I'm the kind of Guest who likes to dine at the park, do some shopping and spend as much time as I can while I'm there riding as many attractions as possible. Why not, right? I don't go as often as I used to so these trips are special to me and I just dropped $30 on parking, why would I want to leave after a couple of hours?

All things considered, Disney just offers me more to do at, a comparable (or in some cases, cheaper) price.
Trust me, I get where you’re coming from. I understand that Disneyland has more things to do and people find value in different things.

My experience as a previous theme park employee at two different theme parks, both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, has definitely permanently altered my views on many things that guests tend to talk about. Long lines is a big one. I got so tired of people complaining about wait times, only to walk into the line anyway after complaining. I used to tell guests that they’re not the only ones at the park and, if they wanted to, they could leave the park and free up space for the other guests. The stares I used to get… Or I would suggest they pick a ride with a shorter wait time, and they’d so no.😑 The list goes on in terms of the amount of things I heard from guests. At Universal, I did hear the “there’s not much to do here” complaint. Okay, but if you did your research, you would have known that before purchasing your ticket. And then there were those who knew, yet chose to come anyway. So why are you complaining? Okay, so you’ve done everything and want to leave, but you don’t want to go home. No problem, let me give you some suggestions on things to do in the area to max out your day. There’s so much to do nearby, let me help you out and give you a list! Some guests would take the help and others didn’t. No problem, it’s your trip, not mine.

Scenarios:

Guest: I don’t want to wait in these long lines.

Me: Cool, you can make a purchase for a pass that will reduce your wait times.

Guest: I don’t want to spend the money.
Me: 😐🤷🏾‍♀️ *in my head* Then stop complaining.


Other guest: “I spent extra money to ride the rides quicker. It was a lot of money.”

Me: *in my head* You saw the price before you hit ‘submit payment.’ 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ Hopefully you made the best of your purchase.

I always think it’s good to make the most of your trip, if you decide to go. I’ve gotten used to trying to make the best of things because of my previous experiences. A trip to Disneyland can be great. So can a trip to Universal. This of course can depend on people’s tastes. I’m saying all of this because you yourself admitted that you’ve enjoyed Universal in the past and it had even fewer things to do some years ago haha. I believe that one can find a way to make the most of their visits to Universal, but only if they want to. Of course, it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay, too.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
I always think it’s good to make the most of your trip, if you decide to go. I’ve gotten used to trying to make the best of things because of my previous experiences. A trip to Disneyland can be great. So can a trip to Universal. This of course can depend on people’s tastes. I’m saying all of this because you yourself admitted that you’ve enjoyed Universal in the past and it had even fewer things to do some years ago haha. I believe that one can find a way to make the most of their visits to Universal, but only if they want to. Of course, it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay, too.

It's not just the past, I enjoy Universal right now, too, haha. It's just that I am historically conditioned via my past visits that Universal = lower cost and less lines because of less people. I can't control the people who come in, especially when they keep building awesome things, I know those people want to see those things too but it's difficult to break free from what my idea of a day at Universal has been for me, historically and what I expect it to be.

I understand that, in order for me to access the type of experience I used to at Universal, or that I was accustomed to in years past, I will need to buy an Express Pass. That's just reality and why every ticket I buy there going forward will include that option. But I'm still convinced it costs too much when compared to Disney's service (it's $90 more, basically $110 for one line skip per ride) and I think that's a valid criticism to bring up when you consider that there's far less to use it on at a park like Universal.

The reality I end up at is that I simply can't afford the types of trips to Universal that I used to be able to afford and receive in years past, at least not as often. A visit there where I don't spend as much time in line will cost me far more than it used to and I realize that. I just also realize that means I don't get to go as often as I'd like to and I'm justifiably bummed about it.

It's weird because I'm mentally conditioned to expect crowds at a place like Disneyland or Disney World. Growing up, it's always been that way. It's nothing new to me and I wholly accept it. But at Universal, my early visits and spontaneous trips there would amount to days where it felt like my buddies and I were the only ones in the park. What made it so memorable and different from a trip to Disneyland was that we could hop in line for the Mummy, talk about how awesome it was, then hop right back in line and do it again, immediately. Not so much anymore, so now it just feels like I'm at a park with Disney levels of waits, with less attractions to choose from.

I absolutely still want to visit and will, it will just be far less often (-and hopefully more meaningful when it happens) because I need to save more money to visit Universal than I need to save to visit Disneyland to get the experience that I want from them. It's harder to bite the bullet and like you say, hit the "submit payment" option for two to Universal @ $648 when I compare how few attractions/options they have compared to their competition. Because as I grow older and need to be more selective about where my money goes, I'm more likely to pick who will give me more for it. -and if you or anyone else thinks Universal offers more for the prices they currently charge, then that's just gotta be chopped up to a difference in opinion. I can respect it, as much as I disagree. Yes Universal had even less to do in the past when I visited but a trip there with hardly anyone around also costed next to nothing to experience. Now, it costs nearly as much as Disneyland without any add-ons and they’ve hardly added to their total attraction count.
 
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Californian Elitist

Well-Known Member
It's not just the past, I enjoy Universal right now, too, haha. It's just that I am historically conditioned via my past visits that Universal = lower cost and less lines because of less people. I can't control the people who come in, especially when they keep building awesome things, I know those people want to see those things too but it's difficult to break free from what my idea of a day at Universal has been for me, historically and what I expect it to be.

I understand that, in order for me to access the type of experience I used to at Universal, or that I was accustomed to in years past, I will need to buy an Express Pass. That's just reality and why every ticket I buy there going forward will include that option. But I'm still convinced it costs too much when compared to Disney's service (it's $90 more, basically $110 for one line skip per ride) and I think that's a valid criticism to bring up when you consider that there's far less to use it on at a park like Universal.

The reality I end up at is that I simply can't afford the types of trips to Universal that I used to be able to afford and receive in years past, at least not as often. A visit there where I don't spend as much time in line will cost me far more than it used to and I realize that. I just also realize that means I don't get to go as often as I'd like to and I'm justifiably bummed about it.

It's weird because I'm mentally conditioned to expect crowds at a place like Disneyland or Disney World. Growing up, it's always been that way. It's nothing new to me and I wholly accept it. But at Universal, my early visits and spontaneous trips there would amount to days where it felt like my buddies and I were the only ones in the park. What made it so memorable and different from a trip to Disneyland was that we could hop in line for the Mummy, talk about how awesome it was, then hop right back in line and do it again, immediately. Not so much anymore, so now it just feels like I'm at a park with Disney levels of waits, with less attractions to choose from.

I absolutely still want to visit and will, it will just be far less often (-and hopefully more meaningful when it happens) because I need to save more money to visit Universal than I need to save to visit Disneyland to get the experience that I want from them. It's harder to bite the bullet and like you say, hit the "submit payment" option for two to Universal @ $648 when I compare how few attractions/options they have compared to their competition. Because as I grow older and need to be more selective about where my money goes, I'm more likely to pick who will give me more for it. -and if you or anyone else thinks Universal offers more for the prices they currently charge, then that's just gotta be chopped up to a difference in opinion. I can respect it, as much as I disagree. Yes Universal had even less to do in the past when I visited but a trip there with hardly anyone around also costed next to nothing to experience. Now, it costs nearly as much as Disneyland without any add-ons and they’ve hardly added to their total attraction count.
Sounds like you’re unwilling to change your way of visiting the park and adjust, and that’s totally your choice. You could adjust your expectations, spend way less money, and wait in the general lines. You don’t have to get an Express pass. You don’t have to spend $650 for a one day visit to Universal. Again, you could purchase an entire pass for $150 and spread out your visits throughout the year, if you really wanted to. You won’t get the Express part, but that would just be an adjustment you’d have to accept. It’s all about choice and what you want. :) But that’s not what you want and that’s 100% okay. You are entitled to the experience you want. :)

I wasn’t arguing that USH offers more than the DLR. What I did argue is Universal being the overall cheaper option than the DLR, which I will stand by, and you are free to disagree, of course. My visits to each theme park look completely different from each other. When I go to Disneyland, I usually arrive in the afternoon and will spend the rest of the day traveling between both parks, do the attractions, and eat somewhere in one of the parks. When I go to USH, I usually arrive in the morning and couple my visits with other activities, usually after leaving the park. I’ll see a movie at CityWalk, have dinner at Bob’s Big Boy (or CityWalk), which is not far away, maybe head to the Grove afterwards, etc. What I would love to do is go to USH, then see a show at the Hollywood Bowl later in the evening. I think it would be exhausting to do, but I want to try it at some point.

Bottom line, they are two different experiences and I personally don’t compare them because they’re nowhere near the same. I also accept that I’m not a theme park fan and have no problem including activities before or after visiting a theme park. I don’t even necessarily look at USH as a theme park. I see it as a movie studio with rides attached. I know it’s a theme park, but i definitely prioritize the studio part first.

Everyone is entitled to their own style of visiting and can adjust any way they see fit. 😁
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
@Californian Elitist ; a trip to Universal in the morning and then a night at the Hollywood Bowl is actually something I’ve done before many years ago, I think it’s manageable since they’re so close! We saw John Williams perform and it was great.

If you ever do plan that though, the only advice I could give would be to plan your transportation on the way out. Getting to and from Uni, then finding some public parking near the Bowl wasn’t the hard part, it was getting out and onto the freeway once it was all said and done. Doesn’t matter what time, even if your performance finishes at 3am, the roads and freeway surrounding that area will be absolutely deadlocked. I mean, I know LA and I’ve experienced bad but this was.. something else entirely. Find some kind of alternate route in advance or take some kind of public transportation or something. Apologies if you knew this already, just figured it was worth the share.
 

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