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    • Taylor Strickland

      (IMPORTANT) What's next for our community   03/24/2016

      Today we're excited to announce the start of our new Facebook group: Universal Community by Orlando Informer. We're also announcing we're closing our forums. This is probably the hardest decision I've made so far with Orlando Informer. This week marks the 2nd anniversary of our forums. Monday will mark 2 years from when I first applied to work with Orlando Informer. I was entering a pool of over 50 applicants, didn't meet the requirements, and didn't think the odds were very high that I'd get the position of Forum Moderator. It never even crossed my mind that not only would I get the position, but that position and these forums would be the start of being able to do what I love as a fulltime job. At its core, our forums have always had two goals: A ) Help families receive specific answers to specific questions, feedback from folks who have been in their shoes, and help them maximize their investment into their vacation. B ) Build a community of people who love to visit Universal, with a foundation of respect and tolerance. I can speak for our entire team on our forums (both past and present), especially our Community Manager @Chuck Plagmann, when I say that we have devoted hours of time every day of the year working towards these two goals. We feel that we've made major strides towards both of our goals, but see the opportunity to help a significantly greater amount of people plan their vacation and add on to our established (and amazing) community. Unfortunately, as time goes on, forums like ours have a tendency to slow down and be replaced by social media. It's the cycle of life for forums. We believe that this Facebook group is the logical next step for our community. Our forums and the content within will remain browseable for the foreseeable future, however you will not be able to submit new content. Our Facebook group, Universal Community by Orlando Informer, will be curated by our same team that ran the OI Forums. @Chuck Plagmann and I will be on the group daily to provide insight and help families plan their vacation. @debi will be monitoring for any Special Needs questions. Our (very talented) authors, like @Marc N. Kleinhenz, will be on the group to talk about their latest articles and your feedback. Finally, @Park Beast will even be dropping by from time to time to talk about our weekly podcast. You can access our Facebook group by searching "Universal Community by Orlando Informer" or visiting UOR.community from any webbrowser. We know this is a substantial change from our forums, but are hopeful you'll be willing to give it a shot. Additionally, we're launching a Facebook group for Universal Hollywood: "Universal Community by California Informer" or visit USH.community. This is the end of the forums, but it is just the beginning of our community. One thing we consistently hear from members of our forums is how different our community is from some of the others found online. We are committed to maintaining this reputation in our Facebook group. I have met a countless number of people, many I call friends, from our OI Forums. I know real bonds (and even relationships) have resulted from the time spent on these forums. I'm looking forward to seeing these bonds develop and new ones form on our new outlet. Please know that this decision was not made lightly or without considering the amount of time many of you have spent on here. I fully believe this is the next step forward to growing our community and helping as many people as possible have the best trip to Universal. I'm looking forward to interacting with everyone for many years to come. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with feedback -- taylor [at] orlandoinformer.com See you on the Facebook Group, Taylor P.S., Unlimited likes on Facebook, you can thank me in advance.


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About HazelSnitch

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  • Birthday 12/17/1992

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    Orlando, FL

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  1. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    Sharknado stuff is over at Film Vault now!
  2. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    I collect souvenir cups! They're all over my room, it's getting pretty bad lol I keep trying to not buy more but I can't help myself when I see a cute one
  3. They let anyone in through the turnstiles at the EPA time but only people with room keys or the specific vacation packages can actually go on DM and DA. Everyone else just sits around waiting to be let in.
  4. I think it just depends on what your family likes? If you're not big on HP, then maybe just one day early in DA is good for you. Despicable Me is also open for EPA and that ride is always busy at all times so I would suggest going early a day to ride that. If you wanted to have breakfast at Diagon Alley and get on the first train over to Hogsmeade to be over there at opening, you could do that too. It's really up to you!
  5. Cast Member discount for Disney cruises

    Yes, they have to be with you to get the discount.
  6. All in one place

    Did you mean Leaky Cauldron? Hogsmeade is the name of the village where Hogwarts is. The Leaky Cauldron is the restaurant inside Diagon Alley.
  7. All in one place

    -I was also going to mention the Sanford Airport, it's way closer than Tampa or Jacksonville and fares are usually cheaper. Lots more airlines are using it now too. -Also, if Uber's not your thing and taxis are too expensive or you just really like sticking to a schedule, I love SuperShuttle for airport pick up and drop off. You can schedule your ride in advance on their website, you just call when you land at the airport and they'll send a van who will drop you off right in front of your hotel. You pay online so you don't have to worry about them changing the price halfway through or anything like that. Right now, a trip for 2 passengers from OIA to CBBR is $32. -One thing about Express Pass- they aren't always $89. The Express Passes included with the hotels are 2 Park Unlimited, which can range from $60 per person per day during slow season up to $150 during peak times, and they are included from the day you check in until the day you check out. That is definitely something to consider. You might be willing to stay at one of the more expensive hotels if you consider how much UEPs are on the days you are going. For example, a room at Hard Rock for March 20th-21st for 2 people is $474 without any sort of discounts. That includes Express Passes for both days. The 2 Park Unlimited Express Pass for the 20th is selling at $100 per person. So that's $200 per day for those people to have Express Access. If you buy UEPs both days, you're pretty much paying for the room. -Oh and Premier Pass no longer gets the free water bottles. -For the AMEX discount, they don't really give any on food anymore but for merchandise, you need to have the official UO app as it gives you a code that you need to show to receive the discount. You can only get that on purchases over $75. -Forbidden Journey and Gringotts do not have Express Pass. Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge do. -If you don't want to wait until the next day for your merchandise to be delivered to your hotel, you can have it sent to the front of the park you are in. They will hold it there and you can pick it up on your way out. This is also if you're checking out the next day since they won't take it to the hotel at that point.
  8. What is the intensity of Space Mountain?

    Space Mountain is pretty fast and has a lot of sudden drops. Taking a deep breath before a drop on this one would be quite hard because the ride is pitch black and the drops are pretty random. It doesn't go upside down but does have a lot of twists. I don't really know if I can compare to a UO ride as there really isn't one quite like it.
  9. "Secret" Experiences

    Oh yeah, I've done this! You should also go pick up the pay phone by Kwik-E-Mart whenever that rings.
  10. Forum at California Insider?

    Inforumer. Ha.
  11. "Secret" Experiences

    So when my sister and I went, we rode MIB before noon and asked for the tour but they said they don't do them until the afternoon. They told us to come to the front later and tell them we already rode and that we just wanted the tour. We did just that and they brought us our own tour guide that walked us through.
  12. "Secret" Experiences

    You get to go down to the first floor of the building where the big office is with the aliens and take pictures with them! Make sure to sign the guest book so they know you visited!
  13. Baby Merchandise

    Just an FYI for those that aren't familiar with the baby merch, it does start at 6 months!
  14. "Secret" Experiences

    You can also do a tour of the Hard Rock Cafe at City Walk!
  15. Diagon Alley Merchandise

    I believe they are about $18 and it says three phrases said by the Shrunken head in the movie. One is the countdown, I can't remember the other two. Speaking of phone cases...