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Please note that as of March 2016 our forums have been discontinued. Join us in our Universal or Disney Facebook Communities. You can also check out our Universal vacation planning pages or blog for up-to-date information!
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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 LooksLikeCRicci

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  • Birthday 09/30/1979

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

    I think if you budget it into your plans, the price tag isn't nearly as hefty. Because you've already accounted for it in your cash flow. I'm hopeful for F&F! I know there has been concern that it might be a bit of a dud, but I've been very impressed with everything I've seen from Universal in the last eight years, so I'm going to remain optimistic. Although I will admit that the Jimmy Fallon experience has got me raising an eyebrow a bit. But I won't officially judge until I experience it!
  2. The OI Forums at 2

    The "dark" park? I have actually never heard that expression before, nor do I think it applies. Unless you're talking about the Wizarding World with those bothersome Dementors.
  3. Halloween horror nights

    One of the best run-throughs we had on a house (Evil Dead in 2013) was behind a 13 year old. His friend got scared and bailed on him right as we were walking into the house and he didn't want to miss it, but he also didn't want to go through "alone", so he latched onto me and my husband (we're very non-threatening looking) and ended up having a really good time... especially when I got hit with some fake blood (which was pretty unexpected) and had a memorable reaction to it. I think you'll all have a great time.
  4. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    It's hard. I like to geek out and buy stuff, but I'm not a huge fan of clutter. I AM, however, a huge fan of Back to the Future and E.T. memorabilia, both of which are available at the E.T. store at USF. For Christmas, my husband gave me a little E.T. figurine that he found somewhere on property and bought without my knowledge, which made me cry. Very cool gift. I would LOVE an official cape from the Wizarding World. I can't justify the cost, though. But I am totally jealous of everyone who runs by me in one! I have a lot of keychains from the Wizarding World. Depending on what is available when Fast and Furious: Supercharged opens (because how could you not have a gift shop with that), I will probably be adding to my collection from that store, too. Other than BTTF, the Fast and Furious is one of my favorite movie franchises.
  5. The OI Forums at 2

    That was so sweet. It's hard for me to think that the author of this is the same guy who took every advantage of getting a good cleansing at The Purge during the last two HHNs... But seriously-- it HAS been awesome watching this forum become the monster it is. I was here in the opening days (as were a lot of you) and its just been neat to watch this forum get bigger and bigger and even franchise itself over in California!
  6. Seaworld Photography

    OMG. Are you guys all professional photographers? These pictures are insane!
  7. Memory Maker

    Is this still a thing? Is Magic Maker being included on tickets for free, or do I need to book a Disney room in order to get this? Seems like a sweet deal!
  8. Purchasing Tickets and Magic Bands

    For what it's worth, we've been using the cards with the FastPass+ system and we've never had a problem. If you're prone to losing things, however, I can see where a Magic Band could make more sense. I'm debating buying Magic Bands this fall as a special gift to my husband. I know they make lots of fun specialty bracelets, so it'd be a nice added touch to our trip. But certainly not a necessary one.
  9. Worldquest Orlando Resort

    Ooh, that's a pretty property. You didn't happen to grab any pictures in the room, did you?
  10. Love it, Dan! You never disappoint with your pictures. Of food. Oh, yeah. You were at Disney and Uni, too. I forgot about all of that. Because of the food. (Kidding! Although I really want to eat all the food.) I keep kicking myself. I feel like now, I really DO need to do a trip report just to include some of the pictures that my husband and I took while in Madame Tussaud's. The Husband had NO idea that you could be super interactive with the statues. He was shocked when I started jumping all over them, only to have a staff member tell us "No, it's encouraged!" So I continued to jump right in. My husband decided it would be fun to do "creeper" shots of him lurking everywhere. Because of that, we ended up with this little gem: "I see you, Hermoine...." Anyway, this is about you, not me. I'll have to get off my bum and just crank out a trip report if I want to share more, I suppose. In any case, I hope you're feeling much better now. And I'm off to find some cheesecake. I suddenly have a craving.
  11. Security/Metal Detectors

    We're usually in the parks by 9 am, but I certainly understand the point you're making. I guess the lesson to be learned here is "Get there early... stay there late!" ...hmm. Maybe that's been Universal's plan all along?
  12. Update: I have now seen Inside Out. It's one of Little Ricci's favorites, so I've seen it about 10 times in the 14 days we've owned it. I now understand the full meaning behind your tattoo and I freaking LOVE it!
  13. Security/Metal Detectors

    It IS a shame. I agree. But as long as horrible mass shootings are the norm, I think the security/metal detectors are a necessity. I agree that it's a pain, but I also agree that I'd like my time in the park to be as safe and fun for my family as possible. If that means I go through several metal detectors in order to do it, I will.
  14. Del Curto Family Vacation Sep-Oct 2015

    Now that I've educated you on your hot X-Men, I'm ready to comment: I actually can't believe I haven't commented sooner. I remember looking at your pictures as this thread first came up. You have an adorable little family, as I'm sure you're told every day. Little Sophia is so stinkin' cute... and apparently a little narcoleptic? (Nah. She's just two and that's what two year olds do.) I appreciate hearing these trip stories from folks who take the little ones with them. We're taking Mini Ricci in October (she'll be a little over 4) and I'm a little apprehensive about it. The Husband and I are already fighting about whether we should take a stroller. I say yes, he says no. I've been looking into it rather closely and can already tell I'm going to win that fight. But don't tell him that! I just think it's crazy to expect a child to walk as much as expected during one of these trips without assistance or complaint. I'm a grown woman who works out regularly and actively prepares my body for the five-six day excursion... and I STILL get blisters on my feet and I'm STILL sore. So yeah. We'll be packing a stroller for sure. I think your best pictures did come off the Mine Train. The one of Jacob and Nathan could seriously be used as a promotional picture for the Magic Kingdom. Seriously. it's THAT adorable. I can't wait to meet the princesses! That's probably the part I'm looking forward to sharing with my daughter the most. I'm so glad to hear that they are very in character and can banter with you back and forth. I'm a lawyer--we love to banter. I'm so glad you finished your report! Thanks for the fun read.
  15. Del Curto Family Vacation Sep-Oct 2015

    You didn't know who the superhero your children were posing with? LOL, Kris!! It's Cyclops. From the X-Men. Played in the movies by James Marsden. Yum.