Published: January 16, 2014 at 5:28 PMIt would be great if they added a better way for handicapped people to get from the upper portion of the park to the lower portion.
Also. The restaurants I ate at were both awful on my trip there. They had a new desert and not one of the five people working knew what it was when asked.
Published: January 16, 2014 at 5:28 PMI have been to Uni recently, and the park feels like DCA, with bottlenecks. The park isn't very picture-esque right now. The Simpsons isn't a good place to take a picture now, since its littered with construction walls, the only place in the upper lot where you can take a decent photos is at Universal Plaza. But the lower lot is still the same, but has received minor retouched on paint. The park looks very different now, 2012 was the last year the park was going to remain the usual. Now it's stepping it up. With additional parking structures, it's going to be great.
Published: January 16, 2014 at 8:48 PMI don't understand why Universal didn't design the Potter attraction to be built with a hotel and restaurant component. It could have been incredible...and would have made Universal THE PLACE to be for the forseeable future.
My idea would have been to build Hogwarts castle as a hotel where guests could actually stay. Locate it on Universal property similar to how Disney has the Grand Californian right there as part of the scenery for that redwoods area of DCA. Guests staying at Hogwarts would have a private entrance into the park, right by where the Harry Potter attractions would be.
In addition to guest rooms in the castle, there would be a signature restaurant designed like the massive dining hall at Hogwarts, with all the tables for the houses. I would even theme the four wings of the hotel to be the colors of the four houses (leaving the most rooms for Griffindor, since that's where most people would want to stay).
I'd build the Forbidden Journey ride close by...and then the village of Hogsmeade and the rest of the Potter area and then from there it would lead into the rest of the park through the Forbidden Forest.
I'm 39 (soon to turn 40) and I can tell you that I would pay just about any price to stay in a Harry Potter themed hotel. My husband would lose his mind. My kids would go NUTS. I bet we would not even think of Disney at all in California if we could stay in a Potter hotel, eat in Hogwarts, and then have VIP access into Hogsmeade like that. It would be amazing and I guarantee you we'd be back as many times a year as we could afford.
Why Universal didn't do this just flabbergasts me.
Published: January 16, 2014 at 11:08 PMYou do know anything Harry Potter needs to be approved by Mrs. J.K. Rowling herself they can't just up and do that without her permission she owns ALL rights to H.P. Just like Matt Groening and Fox owns all rights to the Simpsons, add anything without their approval is a breach of contract.
Published: January 16, 2014 at 11:08 PMI most recently visited the park last year in March. Several things are evident as its weaknesses. No place to hang out. No shade. Just a movie studio (could be a bonus, but not really.) Rides are not repeatable. Sameness of rides. It doesn't appeal to any specific demographic.
The park lacked a grandeur that Disney has nailed. Disney also has characters and classic rides that require no improvement to remain attractive to guests. Universal seems to require constant change. To be fair, EPCOT and DHS have the same problem.
My hope is Universal has a plan to fix it's weaknesses to ensure it is more competitive with Disney, but mostly to be a better park.
Published: January 17, 2014 at 6:30 AMI don't understand the hate on spinners and carousels. Often they are great just for what the give an an environment, whether it's characters like the Carou-Seuss-el or aesthetics and kinectic energy like the Orbiter in Tomorrowland. Dumbo is a classic at Disney. I'm not saying theme parks don't take it too far (A Bugs Land is the epitome of filler off-the-shelf rides) but I wouldn't dismiss them all as filler
Published: January 17, 2014 at 5:30 PMOff the shelf carnival rides at those prices? HELL NO!