A theme park gift under $10? Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
These are the three that stand out the most on our last visit to Universal, although there are many more I can talk about..
WWHOHP - We were heading towards the area to see it at night, and we knew it would be mobbed as usual. About half way across the shortcut bridge, it started to down pour. I mean really really, bad.
We headed for the Forbidden Journey as we knew we could stay dry for a while while waiting out the passing rain in the queue. As we entered right past the lockers, an employee (Lashawna) noticed our room keys dangling around our necks in the lanyards and waived (all four of) us over
We were already very wet by this time.... She opened the queue line and told us to head for the stairs. She said when we get to the front of the line to mention her name and she was going to radio ahead to let them know we were coming.
We got see parts of the castle that are accesible only to employees that need to make thier way from the front to the loading queue. It was themed just like everything else with incredible attention to detail. A few people noticed us heading up a stairway that looks like the ones in the movies that lead to the common rooms and were trying to figure out how we got up there.
We ended up coming out a doorway and another Uniersal employee was waiting to greet us and said he knew we were coming. He then took us to the very front of the line and we got right on.
Hard Rock Hotel - This was the same night after we left IOA / WWOHP. It never did stop raining and we were having a blast jumping in puddles, walking at a regular pace through the park while everyone else was looking for a roof to hide under. There comes a point where you can't get any more wet and we were already drenched.
We figured why not have some fun since we had a long walk back to our hotel. We arrived at the path and gate that leads into the Hard Rock pool to cut through and there were four hotel employees waiving us in a side door handing out towels to all the soaked guests coming back from the parks.
One of the female employees helped my nine year old daughter get a little dry and wrapped her up in a towel so we could all walk back to our room a little more comfortably.
Universal / Rip Ride Rockit - The very first night we were there, we rolled in around 5-6PM and got our 14 day tickets that were good from the first time you used them. I talked everyone into visiting Universal as we hadn't been there for a while and we love the place at night. We hit our favorites (Mummy, Jaws and MIB x 3 times) then decided to wait out RRR as it has no Express Pass.
Well, the ride broke down at 5 minutes to close... people started getting impatient and started to head for the exits. I refused to leave unless they announced the ride was closed for the night. As more people left, the line got shorter and shorter. Pretty soon, we were on the loading platform.
Instead of calling it a night, they left the ride open to all who patiently waited, switched out a train and started running it again. It was close to 10PM by this time... By the time they tested it out and we had finally ridden it, we noticed it was 10:30.. I personally thanked the employyes who were still there for staying late to let everone ride.
I know it happens, but I can't ever recall a bad experience with a rude employee, only rude guests.
So with that major disappointment we asked to confirm these crazy times (we weren't used to that kind of wait and thought it was a mistake) with a member of staff. He chortled and confirmed but astonishingly he began chatting to us. He picked up our Scottish accent, and began to recite an amazing vacation he had here. He then went away for a few minutes to return with a complementary FP for a one shot use for any park attraction.
Disney really went above the normal service here but I think the Year of a Million Dreams played a major role.
So, she and my oldest played the game again, joined by another young man and his girlfriend. Of course, my oldest daughter won on her first try. The youngest didn't cry or get upset or anything, but I think the young man could tell she was disappointed.
So...he very kindly offered her the giant Casey Jr. he had won playing another game. So, we had a couple of very happy little girls on our hands...and one tired daddy from hauling that thing around the rest of the day. :-) (Personally...I didn't really want the thing, because we are living in a hotel waiting to get into our new house. But how can you refuse such a kind gesture?)
It is good to hear both major Orlando parks have thier share of employees that go out of thier way to make a visit memorable.
We have only been back 10 days or so and I am already itching to go back.... keep the stories coming....
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort