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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

Do you geek out when it comes to souvenirs?

26 posts in this topic

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. :)

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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

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14 minutes ago, HazelSnitch said:

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

lol. The good news is that there are definitely worse things to collect than souvenir cups! :) They're cute and useful.

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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.  :)

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49 minutes ago, LooksLikeCRicci said:

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.  :)

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. :)

 

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52 minutes ago, Ashley Marie said:

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. :)

 

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!  :)

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5 hours ago, Ashley Marie said:

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. :)

1) EVERYTHING from brochures to cups.... name it. T-shirts... some of which I have never worn. I still have 3 bottles of pumpkin juice in my fridge right now

2) I have never bought any big ticket items but would love some. I am a TOTAL Potterhead though. See pic below

3) Just more shirts :)

I work from home so this is half of my work desk:

 

IMG_8146.JPG

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1 minute ago, MyHeartIsInOrlando said:

1) EVERYTHING from brochures to cups.... name it. T-shirts... some of which I have never worn. I still have 3 bottles of pumpkin juice in my fridge right now

2) I have never bought any big ticket items but would love some. I am a TOTAL Potterhead though. See pic below

3) Just more shirts :)

I work from home so this is half of my work desk:

 

IMG_8146.JPG

I'm not even joking.. your desk is awesome. All I have on mine is a Deathly Hallows coffee cup. lol

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We bring back  a ridiculous amount of stuff.  For some reason I have built up a huge collection of Minnie Mouse souvenirs.

We can hardly shut our cupboards for mugs and cups (especially the blinky variety)

Marty has to buy every single thing that has Jaws on it - even if he already has it. 

I swithered over a Slytherin hoodie which I am now regretting not buying. 

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We started collecting both cups and shirts for EE (and a couple for me) when we first starting going to Universal. Not finding ceramic name cups anymore, just the plastic ones. We have had to return 2 of those. Even though the inside is molded plastic, they have developed little pin holes and began leaking! The one with the pens is the third to do it but I'm not buying another! Nope, they are not washed in the dishwasher! The ceramic ones have been, although I stopped doing that with them several years ago. City of Clearwater put a new chemical in the water which did not agree with all dish washing detergents and it did strange things to certain finishes! I made several complaints when it first happened and it ended up being a major news story here after so many people were reporting similar problems! But, the damage was done. The entire black one was originally a MIB cup which we bought when the ride first opened in 2000! A couple have been broken, as well. I had to remove the last 2 letters in Natallee's cup so I could change the spelling of her name. Oh, geeze. I forgot the plastic Grinch cup in the bathroom that EE uses for drinks of water....

56f2190164e5b_UniversalCupCollection.thu

And here are all the shirts we currently have! The Mardi Gras ones had 2 of each, one for EE and one for me.

56f21aa5384c1_UniversalShirtcollection.t

Other shirts have just been worn completely out as EE loves to wear hers. We did collect charms for bracelets for the girls and key chains for Ian, too. Lily has 3 Potter shirts, Ian and Nat each have one and Lily and I have started a wand collection. Almost forgot about pins - EE has several on her hat and more on her lanyard!

I just wish I had more money to spend because I'd go nuts in some of the shops....

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17 hours ago, Lainie said:

We bring back  a ridiculous amount of stuff.  For some reason I have built up a huge collection of Minnie Mouse souvenirs.

We can hardly shut our cupboards for mugs and cups (especially the blinky variety)

Marty has to buy every single thing that has Jaws on it - even if he already has it. 

I swithered over a Slytherin hoodie which I am now regretting not buying. 

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!!

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8 hours ago, debi said:

We started collecting both cups and shirts for EE (and a couple for me) when we first starting going to Universal. Not finding ceramic name cups anymore, just the plastic ones. We have had to return 2 of those. Even though the inside is molded plastic, they have developed little pin holes and began leaking! The one with the pens is the third to do it but I'm not buying another! Nope, they are not washed in the dishwasher! The ceramic ones have been, although I stopped doing that with them several years ago. City of Clearwater put a new chemical in the water which did not agree with all dish washing detergents and it did strange things to certain finishes! I made several complaints when it first happened and it ended up being a major news story here after so many people were reporting similar problems! But, the damage was done. The entire black one was originally a MIB cup which we bought when the ride first opened in 2000! A couple have been broken, as well. I had to remove the last 2 letters in Natallee's cup so I could change the spelling of her name. Oh, geeze. I forgot the plastic Grinch cup in the bathroom that EE uses for drinks of water....

56f2190164e5b_UniversalCupCollection.thu

And here are all the shirts we currently have! The Mardi Gras ones had 2 of each, one for EE and one for me.

56f21aa5384c1_UniversalShirtcollection.t

Other shirts have just been worn completely out as EE loves to wear hers. We did collect charms for bracelets for the girls and key chains for Ian, too. Lily has 3 Potter shirts, Ian and Nat each have one and Lily and I have started a wand collection. Almost forgot about pins - EE has several on her hat and more on her lanyard!

I just wish I had more money to spend because I'd go nuts in some of the shops....

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.

1 minute ago, MyHeartIsInOrlando said:

I also got some Sharknado stuff cause as bad as it is, I love that cheesy movie

DSCN0822.JPG

Lol. So does my husband. I didn't even know they sold that stuff there. He'll be so excited.

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Just now, MyHeartIsInOrlando said:

It was in the Twister shop so it's either moved or gone now :(

:( 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).

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2 minutes ago, Ashley Marie said:

:( 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).

Agreed on each point! My wife loves Lucy so that was disappointing. Hello Kitty... I just don't get it. I loved Twister even though it was dated. The Hulk is probably my 2nd favorite coaster, just behind Manta

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2 hours ago, Ashley Marie said:

I'll pass on Hello Kitty

 

2 hours ago, MyHeartIsInOrlando said:

Hello Kitty... I just don't get it.

Yeah, same here. My GD Natalee liked HK for a very short time but she's over it already. She's 8. I made her these earrings in several different colors just to appease her at Christmas 2014:

56f2baef8ee78_Hellokittyearrings.thumb.j

About the only thing I would like to have is this shirt:

56f2bb7bb1a72_jawsshirt.thumb.jpg.4f1c46

 

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1 hour ago, debi said:

 

Yeah, same here. My GD Natalee liked HK for a very short time but she's over it already. She's 8. I made her these earrings in several different colors just to appease her at Christmas 2014:

56f2baef8ee78_Hellokittyearrings.thumb.j

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.

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4 minutes ago, MyHeartIsInOrlando said:

I also bought a golden snitch. What's a grown man gonna do with this? LOL, no wonder Universal is making $$$$

IMG_8176.JPG

lol. I was tempted.. but I bought Marauder's Map instead. Because that's more useful. haha

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2 minutes ago, Ashley Marie said:

lol. I was tempted.. but I bought Marauder's Map instead. Because that's more useful. haha

Hilarious

i bought this in 2013 because I thought it was awesome. I still do. 3 years later, still has tags on it and never worn

IMG_8177.JPG

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7 hours ago, Ashley Marie said:

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!!

Blinky cups are fantastic.  Mind you, Im easily amused!

Alas, there will be no hoodie for me in September - we are not going to Orlando this year :(

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18 minutes ago, Lainie said:

Blinky cups are fantastic.  Mind you, Im easily amused!

Alas, there will be no hoodie for me in September - we are not going to Orlando this year :(

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!

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25 minutes ago, Ashley Marie said:

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!

LOL no worries.  HHN27 is when we will be back 

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