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Universal greedy or what?

frenchieinme

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As everyone knows the major theme parks raised their rates at the beginning of the year. Universal's 1 day pass is now over $60. When we went to the park we went to procure fast passes only to find out the fast pass machines had green covers over them. When I asked a CSR why, I was told Universal had abandoned that procedure and now sold fast passes at $25 each. Humm, let's see, $60+ to get in, $25 more to get in a fast pass line + $8 0r $10 for parking = nearly $100 for the day for 1 person. Not cheap :mad:

JMHO of course :D

frenchieinme ;)
 

spiceycat

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if you have AAA you might be able to get an annual pass for around $100 that is if you want one.

you would need to get it there in Orlando at a local AAA. I think they still have this special - call before - to make sure that special is still good.
 

gjw007

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spiceycat said:
if you have AAA you might be able to get an annual pass for around $100 that is if you want one.

you would need to get it there in Orlando at a local AAA. I think they still have this special - call before - to make sure that special is still good.
I have an annual pass and it works out okay for me. The purchasing of the daily ticket plus parking gets expensive very fast. I've skipped on purchasing the fast pass ticket although I thought it had been $14.95. I get to the park early, do the rides that are going to busy early, spend some time in the rest of the park, and then head over to the second park. I also don't go when the park is max'd as I've found those times to be unenjoyable and you really do need the fast pass then. It does get expensive in a hurry.
 

Vodo

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I was very frustrated by the "fast-passers" when we last visited Universal/IoA. While we stood in line at a short kiddie roller coaster for about 15 minutes, a group of young teens kept cycling over and over through the fast pass entrance. They went about a half dozen times each while we waited to go once. While they should certainly have the benefit that they've paid for, there really ought to be some sort of controls in place to prevent that kind of overutilization. At a minimum, the folks manning the ride should have made them wait a reasonable amount of time and allow a decent number of non-fast-pass folks to go between cycles. We encountered this same situation on other rides too, so it's a pretty prevalent problem.

Cindy
 

spatenfloot

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Universal is very inexpensive! I have an annual pass for $100 per year which includes free parking, unlimited admission, and nice discounts. You could also use the current deal which gives you a free child's ticket and 5 days admission for about $100.
 

shoney

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We also found Universal/IOA to be very reasonable, both in ticket prices and everything contained inside the park. We also found the quality of food to be superior to Disney (in park..including Epcot), of course my opinion.
We went last summer and bought the two week pass option (included wet n wild and sea world) for about $180 each (little bit less for the kids).

You also must remember that the hotel guests are allowed to use that line over and over. My husband and I stayed at the Portofino several years ago and used this option all the time. It was great, especially over Memorial Day weekend, which is when we went. We literally walked on everything. The Hulk line was over an hour and we could have just kept on going on. I hope they don't get rid of that policy because we plan on staying on site again because of that!

We were shocked last summer at the amount of people who opt not to use fast pass... my husband had us fast passing all over and it really saved time on the lines. The ticket had limits..only a certain amount of fast passes at a time and within a time limit. Does the $25 pass not have restrictions? Is it like staying on site? If so, it is worth it if going during a peak time.
 

timetraveler

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We too go early....(opening), and have no trouble with lines. So no need to purchase passes. And since we go every trip....we know exactly where the rides are we want to ride and hit those quickly, while alot of others are meandering around.

By that time it's lunch time....food places are quite good at City Walk, and then over to Universal to catch some of the shows.
 

rickandcindy23

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We go to Orlando 3-4 times per year

So Rick bought the preferred annual pass--$179-- for the free parking and food discounts (save $9 X 6 minimum days entering the park per year, what a bargain), I get the regular annual pass for $100. The annual passes are a bargain when you compare them to Disney's.

There is also a huge discount to renew the passes, I think it is only $100 for Rick to renew his, but we have not done that yet. We just bought them last trip.

The top rides are at Universal. MIB: Alien Attack and Spiderman are two rides that surpass anything Disney has done so far. The contest is on! Soarin' is pretty good, but I think it is nothing compared to my Universal favorites.
 

homer timpson

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We experienced the 'new fast pass' scam last October.
Been to U/IOA numerous times so thought we'd just have a quick day and spend 1/2 a day at each :)

Got to IOA quite early and it was very busy - soon found out the FP was $25 - but, wanting to get on as much as we could in the limited time, went for it.

Every ride we went to we were told - "only one ride per attraction" and they wrote the ride name on our park tickets :eek:

When we eventually got to Universal we headed straight for The Mummy only to be told - " that is an IOA fast pass, if you want to FP here you have to buy another one" :mad:

Rip off

Will not be back to either park this October.

Homer
 

rickandcindy23

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That's terrible, Homer!

What a rotten thing for Universal to do. I would write them a letter and see if they will reimburse for some part of your expenses. They can be very apologetic if their policies keep people from wanting to return. You should definitely let them know where you are from and how far you traveled to get to Orlando. :eek:

I noticed that during our January trip, no one except hotel guests were getting to ride ahead of the rest of us. They must not have many people staying at their hotels because the wait to ride was just a few minutes, if any at all. That was the last week of January.

It's usually very slow at the parks in October, so I am surprised that you were not able to just walk onto the rides. We visited one year ago in October, about the 8th, and didn't have to wait in line more than ten minutes for anything.

Do not underestimate the power of a good letter. Most people do not take the time to write companies, but I have found so many times that a letter will get me free stuff. You might be surprised at Universal's response. They struggle to keep their numbers up because Disney is so prominent. Write a letter. :D
 
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homer timpson

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Thanks for that Cindy.

Wish now I'd posted this a bit sooner after our return - the heat was still smouldering at that point ;) .

You're right though, too many people moan/complain about things without ever putting pen to paper - there's no chance of recompense or acknowledgement of a gripe if you don't contact the appropriate people concerned :(

[Homer holds hands up and says "Guilty as charged yer Honor"]

Next time ..................... honest!!

Regards

Homer
 

rickandcindy23

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It's not too late to write that letter.

I would start it out like this:

We have been planning another trip to Orlando and have been considering our activities for our upcoming stay. We are likely not going to make Universal part of our visit because during our last trip.....

I had a terrible experience at Universal Studios, before Islands of Adventure, with a security guard named Paul who was so rude to me when I was standing under some shade at the Twister attraction. My family went ahead of me into the long line that was mostly out in the sun. You see, I am allergic to the sun and I break out into hives within ten minutes of standing in one place, so my family was going to walk the line, then I would join them when they were under the cover, just before the entrance. "Paul" said that if I butted in line, he would arrest me and throw me out of the park. He was completely rude, though I explained my allergy and was polite to him. I joined my family in the sun because Paul was such a bully and I was by myself, so I felt helpless. He ruined our only day in Universal, 1/7 of our vacation days which are such precious times as a family (they are all grown now and were in their late teens to early twenties in 1998, when this happened). To make a long story short, my husband insisted on stopping at Guest Relations on the way out. They called Paul into the office, he was forced to apologize for belittling me, then they gave us all two-day passes that would be good forever and reimbursed us for that day's passes.

What really hits the ball out of the park is when you tell them that you have never had anything like this happen to you at Disneyworld. They just hate to be compared to anything Disney. They strive to be as good as Disney but always come up short, in my opinion. Their numbers do not lie, and their numbers are always less than Disney. We visit Disney three to four weeks a year, just the two of us, and we spend one or two days a week at Universal and the rest at Disney. It's the Disney attitude that keeps us coming back. Universal has great rides, two of their rides are our absolute favorites, but they lack that special something that will always keep them second. The company wants that loyalty from its customers, but issues like you had will never get them where they want to be.
 

spiceycat

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do you realize that you are the first person besides me that I have heard of who is allergic to the sun....

it is a pain and I live in Ala....

I get a rash, then I pass out...

so I try to avoid the sun - from 10:30 to 4 pm - we go back to the resorts and shopping (in malls)... yes a big pain on vacation.

a 50 sun screen is not strong enough for me. and yes I renew it every hour....

of course without the 50 sun screen Florida would be impossible.

I try to remember to take a umbrella with me. (don't always do it) :rolleyes:

US/IOA when it was new did not have the big trees that WDW always has. It was hot and horrible - we visited once. then I went back in the early 00's big change...
 

rickandcindy23

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My mother had the same allergy

It is such a pain going on vacation with me. :( I have the whitest skin.

I take an umbrella when I know I will forced to be in the sun for long periods of time, but I usually don't think that going to the parks will be a problem. One year ago in October, we were in a small group for the MGM backlot tour and were allowed to get on an empty tram. We were sitting on the front car for a while, in the sun. They put down the side so I couldn't get out. We kept thinking we would get moving soon, but I was trapped. I told Rick I was definitely going to get a rash. Sure enough, after sitting there for ten minutes or so, my legs had huge welts that looked like bee stings.

People say, "wear sunscreen." I do wear sunscreen, but it does not help at all. I don't know why people think an allergy can be erased by sunscreen. If a person is allergic to peanuts, we accept that without telling them to try it anyway. :confused:

You're right about Universal. In 1991, when we first started visiting Disneyworld, Universal was a miserable place. Now that the trees have grown, it is much better. We are becoming Universal fans and have never purchased an annual pass before, so this is a first for us.

I really want to encourage Homer to write a letter to Universal. I know they will do something for him because their policies on that $25 fast pass have changed, probably due to these complaints. A letter is so effective. :D
 
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