Recently two of our fans took the time to send in lists describing how Orlando Informer helped them plan incredible vacations to Universal Orlando Resort. We want to show our appreciation to those fans by sharing the lists with you — with the hope that, when it comes time for you to plan your trip, you’ll utilize our resources to make it the best adventure your family has ever experienced!
Keep in mind that the OI Universal Center, home to our next-generation ENCYCLOPEDIA of Universal Orlando vacation planning information, is completely free to access for everyone. Comprehensive, obsessively updated, featuring not-to-be-missed expert advice and over 10,000 full-screen photos, the OI Universal Center is where amazing Universal vacations begin.
Now let’s check out these fan-created lists:
Thanks to OI – Best theme park vacation ever!
We’ve been home three weeks now and I keep thinking back to what a great time we had at Universal Orlando thanks to Orlando Informer!
Let me count the ways…
1. OI highlighted the value of staying on site and we loved the Royal Pacific Resort.
2. OI showed me the savings associated with purchasing an annual pass. The hotel savings alone more than paid for the upgraded admission ticket.
3. OI completely demystified the Start Card Package. At the end of our vacation, we had more Universal photos on my star account than I had on my digital camera. It was just so nice not having to lug around a camera and still be able to capture the memories of our vacation. We are usually too “thrifty” to purchase ride photos but now we have all of our Universal ones on my laptop!
4. OI gave me an outlet for my obsessive compulsive vacation planning. ‘Nuff said.
5. OI had clear instructions, with pictures, for obtaining our Express Passes. We checked in at 8:45 am and entered USF at 9 am with EP in hand.
6. OI explained the difference between ride lockers and daily use lockers. We stored the pool bag in a daily locker and skipped the ride lockers by using lanyards for our tickets and Express Passes.
7. OI gave us the down low on resort pool hopping. Our afternoon swims were varied and fantastic!
8. OI encouraged us to take the Garden Walkway as a time saver. Not only was it faster than the boats most of the time, it was a pleasant, beautiful walk.
9. OI answered all of my questions, again with pictures. It was so great having such a terrific resource.
10. OI provided so much information that I sounded like an expert. I kept telling my family that “my guy” says this and “my guy” says that. The information, updates and photos on OI resulted in the most relaxing theme park vacation that my family has ever taken. Thank you!
OI saved our vacation!
Our entire family owes OI a HUGE GINORMOUS thank you! Some of the best parts of our trip were due to things I learned on this site…
1. Stay on site, unless you’re going at a dead time. It is much more awesome than it seems, being able to walk back and forth, and the EXPRESS PASSES!! Ohhhhh how we LOVED those.
2. Get the photo connect card. It’s totally worth it, and the pictures are ones you couldn’t take with a camera, and provide great memories of the awesome rides.
3. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the evening. We talked to a lot of people who did it in the morning, early admission, and we ALWAYS waited less than they did in the evening.
4. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter prices are the EXACT same as the airport, so if you’re going to MCO, and there’s a HP souvenir you forgot, you can likely get it there. We also noticed about 4-5 things there that were NOT at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
5. Three Broomsticks breakfast was worth it. It fills you up, so you can count it as 2 meals, and if also gives you a chance to try Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice for “free” before spending the $ outside.
6. Browse the “closed” shops of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There are some VERY clever and hilarious book references.
7. Eat at Mythos. Not too pricey, free delicious bread, A/C, and good food. I installed the Open Table app, and made reservations while in line for a ride. Never waited more than 7 minutes with the reservation.
8. Above all, READ through OI. I can not tell you how many times I knew something others did not because I learned it here.
This site is TRULY an INVALUABLE resource.
For those of you who have been around awhile, you may know that our site currently have a forum. We want to let you know that the forum as is, which required a subscription purchase to access, will be closing down next week. We are doing this because, in its place, we will be launching a brand new, more robust, and completely free forum with the intention of building it into the number one Universal Orlando vacation planning forum in the world.
If you are a subscriber to our current forum, please see this message for more details.
If you are not a subscriber, just hold on tight — we’ll be launching our new forum very soon!
Finally, I’d like to end with a special “thank you” to everyone who has got to know our site and supported our work throughout this year. While I was looking for a photo of my daughter this morning, I came across a screen cap of our Facebook page from last December:
I took that screen cap because I remember how proud I was that, with the help of our readers, my little site I started in 2011 had reached 7,000 Facebook ‘likes’ by the end of 2012.
In that moment of happiness, I had no idea what was coming…
As of today, just over six months later, we have more than 18,000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page — and we’ll likely pass 19,000 by the end of this weekend. It is just astonishing how our fans have invited us into their vacation planning process and let us help their families make memories that will last forever!
So, from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you to everyone who has connected with us, mentioned us to friends, sent us feedback — and even helped us when I made a few missteps. But most importantly, on behalf of myself and our contributors, I say thank you for letting us help you experience the very best Universal Orlando has to offer.
With much love,
Owner & Editor
PS. This is a special “shout out” to the Universal team members who staff the parks and are the real memory makers. Without your efforts, quite literally none of this would be possible.
BONUS: Wizarding World of Harry Potter scavenger hunt
We already posted this a few places today, but just in case you missed it, we want to remind you that Orlando Informer offers a free Wizarding World of Harry Potter scavenger hunt. What’s more, bragging rights are up for grabs because no one has ever completed both pages correctly…