Sunday, March 20, 2005

A weekend at Universal - The Insider's Guide to completing 3 parks in 1.5 days

In case you meet the following, you can "while" away time at Universal (like I did)

1. Have some dough to spare
2. Have two complete days on the weekend

The guide to any theme park visit is strategic web research and some innovative scheduling once you reach the park. The most important thing at Universal is to reduce your group size. The ideal group size is 1, but it can get pretty lonely standing in the lines. Get someone along but in no circumstance increase the group size and include children, spouses, girlfriends, etc. etc. etc. In short if you have to be with people be with people who can move as fast as you can and don't need to stop at all rides to get a souvenir picture. I "completed" 3 parks - Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and SeaWorld.

First steps first.
1. Get an AAA advantage card - beg, borrow or steal (This gives you 10-15% off regular prices)

2. Do some web research on 2 day flex tickets before you land at the park.
3. The park opens sharp at 9 AM (although some attractions have a 11 AM start time). Load up on a heavy breakfast before you land at the park. Food lines are the longest and it would burn a hole in your pocket to have three meals at the park.
4. Travel light. You wont need a camera at the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure because you wont have time to click pictures. Lockers are expensive, $8/day, so take along a light-weight shoulder bag if you need to carry stuff
5. Dress comfortably. Shorts and flowing tees with sandals rock. The temperature hovers in the high 60s or 70s' and only a duffer would pick up a cold day to go to a theme park.
6. Pick up the Express Line Plus tickets for Universal + Adventure Parks.
7. Make a reservation for one of the restaurants (Jimmy's Margartiville Heaven highly recommended) right away in the morning.
8. Take a pen/pencil and note down your parking lot number and mark out the rides already covered.

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