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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.
laura.jane86

Jurrasic Park Hatchery

18 posts in this topic

So September last year on our first visit to Universal we visited the Discovery Centre at Jurrasic Park.  Whlist we were there we were lucky enough to see an egg hatch in the hatchery.  We hadn't read anything about this before hand so we really didn't know what was happening.  When the baby was born they asked us to name the dinosaur!  We called her Boris (didn't realise it was a she till after!) We were given a birth certificate with mine and Boris's name and DOB.  The scientist who gave us the birth certificate told us we could bring it back any time to see how baby Boris was doing.

Skip to this May on our return to the park, I faithfully bring Boris's birth certificate with me from the UK, safely packing it in my passport cover (it is an official document after all!).  We visited the Discovery Centre and presented the birth certificate, saying we'd like to check on how Boris is doing.  The scientist looked super confused at the request, asked us to wait while he checked on Boris.  About 5 minutes later he returned with another document.  It was handwritten but on an official form, telling us all about how Boris was a lazy dinosaur and liked her food a lot.  The scientist told us all about what Boris had been up to and that if we went on the ride we might be able to spot her as she was now in the "big dinosaur" enclosure.  We left taking both the birth certificate and the status report with us.

 

Absolute credit to the guys in the Discovery Centre for playing along with two very childish grown ups!

 

I wondered, as the guy seemed so surpirsed that we'd asked about geting the update and actually bringing the birth certificate back, is this something that anyone else has ever done?  Or is it pretty rare?

 

huh that is really awesome. 

Narcissa likes this

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Fab story!

 

One of my favourite park moments happened when we were watching an egg hatch.  The wee guy beside me was absolutely enraptured and turned to his mum and said "I didn't think they still existed!"  

TheHollows, marty2010, HPTR and 4 others like this

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Everytime I have been, the JP Visitors Center has been less dinosaur and more broken.  Well, the last time I went I just skipped the building due to previous experiences.  

 

But I distinctly remember the first time I ever visited IOA (it was the first time I had been to a themepark, with all my prior experience being at amusement parks, like Six Flags). The Port of Entry seemed so awesome, but then i looked up and saw the iconic visitors center from across the water. It was simply awesome seeing that for the first time.

Being a big fan of Dr. Suess we took our time exploring that island (at the time they sold more souvenirs than just Thing 1 and Thing 2) and then moved into what used to be the full lost Continent experience. In the back of my head though, I knew what I was waiting for - the visitor's center.  So when we came across the JP gate with the torches blazing and the music blaring... that was the moment I felt like a little kid again. I don't know what I expected at this point, but I guess I thought the large building probably houses a ride.  At the very least I expected maybe a giant T-rex skeelton with the iconic banner above it.

So I was a bit disappointed when I found dinosaurs for kids to climb on with broken periscopes that were supposed to mimic what it was like to see out of their eyes.

I just watched a youtube video of the visitors center and didn't recognize *anything* I saw. Have they refurbed that building or is my memory actually that bad?

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I agree about the visitor center. So much potential but a little lame. I've been MANY times and have yet to see a hatching and I too skipped it on my last visit. However the Boris story is so adorable I will probably pop in next time and check it out again.

hpotter29 likes this

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I adopted as well. I was told it was a "she" and I named her Suzzy. Because 2 z's is an individual's name and she ain't no sheep::snap-snap::

 

 

I didn't know they actually had something for that lol If it was an improv, it was a great improv. I might go and see myself. Maybe Suzzy won't be so lazy. She does have 2 z's after all.

laura.jane86 likes this

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I happened to be in that area when a baby was being hatched.  Quite a little crowd grew and the hatchery assistant was terrific:  slightly nerdy/slightly trained by a corporate entitiy to edutain.  As the dino hatched she got more and more scientific in her explanations in an excited kind of way which pulled everybody (even the adults) into her little world.  The newborn raptor was a little fearsome looking, but she was named "Rosemary" by a shy little boy.  It was a truly cool moment that hadn't been on the schedule or anything.  I momentarily got that sense of wonder I might've had at a REAL Dinosaur hatchery.

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Just been rummaging through some souvenirs of our last trip and stumbled across Boris's Birth Certificate and the update we got on our 2nd visit.  We'll definitely be taking both back with us again in a couple of weeks, see how much Boris has grown :D

JlUEifU.jpg?1

dCUaiSv.jpg?1

 

I just looked up the address and it's a real place in Palo Alto, but it's just a gas station :( Really wish I could try the phone number but I can't call the states (not without spending a fortune anyway!)

Edited by laura.jane86

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Well, I'd call for you BUT the prefix 555 is used in the movies and TV programs - it's not a real prefix! Sorry....

laura.jane86 likes this

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3 hours ago, debi said:

Well, I'd call for you BUT the prefix 555 is used in the movies and TV programs - it's not a real prefix! Sorry....

Thanks Debi, at least I know I'm not missing some sort of cool easter egg :D

debi likes this

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I didn't know we could get updates! I just wish the Centre was open earlier than 10 or 11 whatever it was when we were there in Sept...we were in with early admission and finished Hogsmeade early enough, being the 2nd day there, that we moved on to Jurassic Park but the dino centre (& Suessville) was still closed so we took the train to London instead of waiting...:(

laura.jane86 and debi like this

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5 minutes ago, debi said:

Wouldn't this be great someplace in Jurassic Park???

 

That would be great all over JP. Have free roaming scare zone type entertainment. Would be excellent. They could run in packs!

debi likes this

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