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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.

Ashley Marie

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About Ashley Marie

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    Park Visitor
  • Birthday 05/30/1987

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    * Maryland

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

    Oh, no! I'm sorry. I only read the September 14! Sorry to bring it up. But at least all of the new rides will be up when you go!! And I looked up a blinky cup and it does look kind of fantastic. But I only saw them listed as Mardi Gras and HHN, which I haven't been to either. I'm going to try to get to HHN in 2017 though so maybe I'll be able to see one then!
  2. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    lol. I was tempted.. but I bought Marauder's Map instead. Because that's more useful. haha
  3. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    I can't believe you made those earrings?! Theyr'e cute. I wish I could do that. I tried making jewelry before... and failed... hard.
  4. The "Good Morning" Project

    Good morning OI, I'm so sorry to hear what happened in Belgium. Prayers going out to them. Not a whole lot happening today. I'm in training with a woman who I can't hear for the life of me, so I'll probably be online a lot. These are the types of exciting things that happen in my life... My husband is off of work tomorrow which means I can sleep in again. Twice in one week! I hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday! And have fun to everyone beginning their long weekends!!
  5. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    Maybe that's why we didn't see it last time. Twister was closed. I was a little disappointed because I didn't even think to look up what was closed last time we went. It was Twister (which is not the best actual ride but it was a nostalgia thing for me), the Hulk (which my husband loves) and the I Love Lucy store (which I understand why it closed, but I loved that store and I'll pass on Hello Kitty).
  6. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    That's so disappointing about the cups!! I hate when they start fading but that poor MIB one is completely gone. And as for the plastic ones, what good are cups that leak? lol But the cups still look great. And your t-shirt collection is great! For some reason, I always order t-shirts on the internet, but I never end up buying one when I'm there. Probably because by the time I've even looked at them, I've already spent way too much money. I have a hard time reigning myself in at the shops. Thank God my husband is more practical than me. Lol. So does my husband. I didn't even know they sold that stuff there. He'll be so excited.
  7. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    lol. Everyone keeps mentioning the blinky cups. I don't think I've ever paid attention to them before. Plus, I think souvenirs/merchandise are part of what make the trip so I also buy way too much stuff. Maybe you'll find the hoodie again in September!!
  8. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    I'm not even joking.. your desk is awesome. All I have on mine is a Deathly Hallows coffee cup. lol
  9. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    I'm not huge on clutter either. That's why I'm trying to find a way to keep my things available but organized in the basement. I haven't quite gotten there yet. I miss BTTF. That was a great ride. Also, that it super sweet of your husband! So thoughtful! I totally understand not being able to justify the cost! The first time I went with family and my mother (the voice of reason and also financially way more frugal than I) convinced me that it wasn't necessary. The second time, my husband and I were in the middle of buying a house so I couldn't justify spending any more money than necessary. But this time I'm just going to plan ahead to buy one so that I account for it in my budget. My husband loves F&F, too. I'm sure that is going to have an awesome gift shop because it has such a large fan base that are really excited for the ride. And I think regardless of whether you're a fan or not of the movies, the ride is going to be great.
  10. Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

    lol. The good news is that there are definitely worse things to collect than souvenir cups! They're cute and useful.
  11. So, I had a few questions that I was curious about. Please feel free to answer any, all, or none. But I was wondering: 1) What everyone's souvenir collection looks like? Like do you have a few wands, or just some things from the Simpson, or like an entire dedicated area in your house? 2) Has anyone actually bought any of the big ticket items? (Mind you.. I'm obsessed with Harry Potter which is why I can only remember Harry Potter items, but I'm sure there are others and I'd love to hear about those, too!) But has anyone bought some of the really expensive items Dumbledore's outfit or the wizards chess set? 3) Is there any kind of item that you didn't buy that you wish you did/plan to? I think that next time I'm definitely going to get another wand (I already have Hermione's, Sirius', and Snape's), the Gryffindor robe (which I've avoided buying twice), and some of the posters that I thought were really expensive (I think they were like over $200.00 for like 3 or 5 of them). Can't wait to hear.
  12. The "Good Morning" Project

    Good morning! I'm a little jealous to see everyone's short week! I hope you guys enjoy the extra time off! My pup lost his first tooth yesterday, which came as a bit of a scare because it happened when he decided to literally jump in the air, do a flip, and land on his side/back. Our carpet isn't super thick downstairs and feels like it's directly over cement so when I saw the blood start gushing, I got a little hysterical. Luckily, his tooth must have just been loose. Now, just 27 or so more to go. lol I hope everyone has a great day!!
  13. That's what I figured. Thank you!!!
  14. This may seem like a silly question, but we're not taking our trip until December. I was hoping to just buy the annual passes now because I want to pay for whatever I can now (esp. knowing I end up spending WAY too much money in the stores.) I know they don't activate until you use them. I just want to be sure there's no weird stipulation that they have to be activated 6 months from purchase or anything. Does anyone know the answer to this? Thanks for any help!
  15. Sapphire Falls Resort: Rooms - photos, details, & more

    I'll definitely make sure to get pictures and post.