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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.

Mr Hack

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About Mr Hack

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  • Birthday November 13

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  1. Best way to book on site hotels

    Thank you so much! This is super helpful.
  2. Introducing our new Crowd Calendar

    So awesome! Well done by all!
  3. Good morning! I am doing some honeymoon planning for the future Mrs. Hack and myself. After getting engaged at Universal we decided we had to start our married life there as well! We are going to be buying APs (which we are beyond excited about) and staying on-site this July. I was wondering where the best place to book onsite hotels is; Lowes.com, hotels.com, calling the hotel itself, etc... We are hoping to stay at RPR. Any advice would be great! Thanks!
  4. What are your "Can't Miss" restaurants?

    Cowfish is a cool experience with pretty good food. As far as individual food items I have weekly dreams about the chicken and waffle sandwich at Fast Food boulevard. One of the most delicious things I have ever had. I also recommend the Cornish pasties at the Three Broomsticks if you want something a little lighter.
  5. Planning our Honeymoon to Universal!

  6. Very possible as long as you can get in early and stay late! The best part of the Wizarding World are the moments when you stop with a Butterbeer in your hand and look around at the amazing detail in every single inch. While the rides and shops are great there is nothing like sitting on the top of the steps next to Gringotts and observing the Alley or walking slowly down Hogsmeade till the castle comes into view. I know there is a touring plan to do the Wizarding World all in one day, but make sure you give yourself the time to enjoy the magic!
  7. Good Morning everyone! I have been trying to find time to write a full report since we got back from our trip and finally found time today. First I want to say thank you to everyone on this site for their advice and encouragement as I planned the proposal. I also want to give a big shout to the Podcast as their updates on construction, park hours, and general advice helped me plan an awesome vacation as we celebrated our engagement. Let me tell "the story" really quick. We arrived at the parking lot at 7:00 for an 8:00 park opening on 10/12/15. We stopped at Starbucks-Citywalk and everyone got something but me (I was too nervous!). My then-just-girlfriend, her family, and I walked towards the gate and they opened the fence inside the park right as we walked up. By this point I was texting with Emily the AMAZING photographer I hired to capture the moment and the moments after. She was going to meet us in Diagon Alley around 8:30. Well my soon to be fiance was too excited to take the nice slow walk I had planned back to London so we got into Diagon Alley really fast and Emily was only just parking. The wait for EFG was only 25 minutes so we decided to ride. Right before we got on our mine cart I got a text from Emily letting me know she was waiting for us. I do not remember the ride on EFG at all! It was a blur. As we walked out I quickly grabbed the custom made ring box from her sister and then we started walking towards the stage at Carkitt Market. This spot is special to us because it is where we went after we got picked to get our wands together during out first visit together last year. We stopped just short of the stage and I made my almost fiance take off her purse and have her sister hold her wand. I then took her hand and began a speech. I have no idea what I ended up saying and she does not remember either, but it must have been good because she said yes! Everyone around us clapped and cheered two Universal employees ran out with frozen Butterbeers (our favorite) and "I'm Celebrating" buttons. Emily then took us around Diagon Alley and London and we took engagement photos! It was an amazing morning and kicked off the most perfect week of our lives! A quick note if you are thinking about getting engaged at Universal: DO IT! Wearing our buttons we had everyone wishing us congratulations, wanting to see the ring, and hear the story. We got to skip lines at a few rides and got taken through the exit of King's Cross to catch the train faster. We visited Disney for two days of our trip and wore "Celebration" buttons there and had nowhere near the amazing customer service experience and fun that we did at Universal. Overall it was the best week of our lives! Pictures on Imgur were taken by my future father-in-law and ourselves. Emily whose website is http://blog.emilyrgilbert.com/ is finishing up editing our photos and I'll share those when we get them for now here is the picture she took of the ring inside the custom ring box. If anyone has any questions about planning an engagement at Universal Orlando I would love to answer! Thank you all very much! Photos!
  8. Hello All! Just got home from the most amazing day ever! She said yes and it could not have happened at a better place than Universal! It was not 10 seconds after I got done asking than cast members were over with two free butterbeers and buttons for us to wear. The whole day was great from people wishing us congratulations to getting to go express on a few rides thanks to some awesome people. It is a day we will remember forever! I would love to write a more formal trip report soon! Thank you all for your help and well wishes!
  9. Two weeks from today! I will make sure to post an update when I can during that day. Have a great week everyone everyone!
  10. Check out www.mearstransportation.com they have some great rates and I had an awesome experience with them when I took them too and from the airport last October. It will be cheaper than a cab. If money is a big factor I would schedule the car for a time you know you both will have landed. Hope that helps!
  11. I highly recommend buying your tickets and rooms separate. Undercover tourist is a great way to get tickets at a discounted price.
  12. Just a little update! I picked up the ring two days ago and it is now hiding in the back of my closet. I have booked the photographer that took those amazing that were posted before. Now just have to talk to her parents and we are set! I will make sure to keep everyone updated! Have a great Thursday!
  13. Plan as of right now is to pop the question early in the morning. On the Warbeck stage. This is where we went after we got our wands during our first visit for pictures/a moment of freaking out. Something simple, but very meaningful for us. Hopefully I'm going to have other surprises for her as the day goes on in the park!
  14. We will not be on site for this trip. We are going to be staying at a house with her whole family. Should be super fun! I am thinking about booking a room at the portofino bay hotel or the Royal Pacific the night of the day I pop the question. We will see though!
  15. Finally heard back from guest services. They basically said "that is super awesome, but we cannot really do anything" they said it was ok to bring in a photographer. (which I am going to do), beyond that they said the only really special thing that happens for proposals is when you are staying at an on-site hotel they can do something for your room. I am not too bummed out as I figured this was going to be the case. I am now talking with two photographers trying to pick the perfect day and place for the proposal! It's very exciting and I will make sure to keep everyone here posted!