As much as I'm pulling and wishing for a third gate, I am almost as excited for the new hotels, as Loew's (I always want to write Lowe's) and Universal have really done an excellent job with all of their resorts thus far. I don't see them letting us down any time soon, as they're fully aware they've raised the bar.
I commented on Ben's Ratatouille articles because that is likely to be the first Disney park outside the U.S I'll go to, and it has the best looking castle of any of them. Thanks to TPI, I know what to expect too, and can prepare accordingly. :)
The fifth hotel appears to have interior hallways, which I do consider a step up from the Cabana Bay's motel-like exterior doors. But there's no Universal Express, so it will need to be a step down in price from the Royal Pacific.
Whatever happens, I have faith in the people at Universal Creative that they know what they're doing. And when it comes down to it, I wouldn't think they'll add any additional luxury level hotels, as three is likely sufficient at that price point. And nothing short of a luxury hotel should expect water taxi service. Just another reason to keep the guests dropping the big bucks at Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, and Portofino.
I'd also be surprised if there were any Harry Potter-themed hotels. It would probably be gangbusters if they could build it behind the Hogwarts Express, or elsewhere connected to one of the HP lands, providing a second entrance to one of the parks, similar to EPCOT's World Showcase. But my guess is that they need to keep any available land in that part of their property free for any possible park expansions or a third gate. Putting a hotel there would almost guarantee they won't open a third gate.
I think Universal does a great job of theming, and I can't wait to see the plans and renderings for anything they do, hotel-wise or inside the park.
Diagon Alley seems to be an "inside the park" home run. Lmao.
Being able to walk back to your resort beats a Disney bus any day of the week though.
BTW, I'm not saying that there won't ultimately be an expansion of the resort waterway. It's just that I'm not seeing it included in the document drawings in the filing I linked. And that's definitely the sort of thing that would need to be permitted before it happens.
I think Universal knows if you keep people on property, they have less tendency to visit other parks. When my wife wants to visit Sea World (skipping it this year), we pack up the rental, drive to that god awful parking lot, walk 3 blocks to the main gate and are exhausted by 4-5 PM.
Yes, the tickets are free with our vacation package, but it seems like a road trip to me. We always grab some dinner on the way back, go back to our room and freshen up, then hit IOA or the Studios that same night.
Portofino and Cabana are just far away enough to make walking a bit of a chore, but the new bridge should make things very easy.
This is just the next level in the evolution of UOR. My fear is DA and all these new additions will make the parks swell in attendance. The one thing I really despise about the Disney parks. 300 minute waits for meet & greets... ugh.
I spoke with someone who looked into staying at the cheaper CB and buying tickets with the universal pass added. It was more expensive than staying at RP (obviously by design). But it would be nice to be able to stay in a bigger space (CB suites) and still have the Uni Pass.
Anyway, I wondered if there were any stats on the impact of CB on the purchases on the add-on Uni Pass.
What does this mean? Does this mean Disney or other theme park operators cannot sell vacation packages with this Loews hotel. Its strange stipulation since Universal does offer ticket packages that include SeaWorld and other theme parks and attractions.