The Travel Thread

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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby shoeshine boy on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:35 am

visiting Cleveland for a hockey tourney in early November. any recommendations for restaurants? we like all kinds of food and appreciate a good hole in the wall as much as the fancy places.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby count2infinity on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:37 am

shoeshine boy wrote:visiting Cleveland for a hockey tourney in early November. any recommendations for restaurants? we like all kinds of food and appreciate a good hole in the wall as much as the fancy places.


what part of Cleveland? Downtown?
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:56 am

Has anyone been to Universal Orlando in the recent past? I was last there in 2002 (studio side only) so everything I know about the park is out of date.

Is it possible to see both parks in one day? Two adults going, so no shows or kids rides. She wants to see the Harry Potter stuff (I suppose I should try the movies again) and all I care to do is ride the Transformers ride and drink a Duff and a Flaming Moe. So I figure the Harry Potter rides, Hulk coaster, Spiderman, and Transformers are the must do rides. Any others? This will be in September, so I believe that to be the slowest time of the year for the parks.

We are flying into Orlando, driving up to Jacksonville to see friends for a few days, then heading back across the state to Siesta Key before flying home from Orlando. I'm debating the following:
-do both parks the day we get there
-do one of the parks the day we get there, and the 2nd either on a rainy beach day or the day we leave
-do one park on a rainy day, and the second the day we leave

I was originally planning to use an offsite car rental company called Fox which lists really low rates. I'm fine with a "get what you pay for" thing, but the reviews on them are REALLY bad. I don't mind a small car with minimal features, a long wait time for a shuttle, or other "discount" stuff, but all the false charge stories are a bit scary. So if I'm going to use an on site company that gives me more time on flying days.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:19 am

I may be mistaken but all the rides you mentioned are in the same park. I think it would be hard/impossible to have a fruitful visit in both parks the same day
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:23 am

shoeshine boy wrote:visiting Cleveland for a hockey tourney in early November. any recommendations for restaurants? we like all kinds of food and appreciate a good hole in the wall as much as the fancy places.


Lolita the Michael symon restaurant was very good. I really liked town hall on w 25th for brunch. Good beers on draft.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:23 am

Letang Is The Truth wrote:I may be mistaken but all the rides you mentioned are in the same park. I think it would be hard/impossible to have a fruitful visit in both parks the same day


I take that back. I combined the Orlando and LA universals in my mind. Oops
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:27 am

Studio rides
Transformers
Rock and roll coaster
Mummy coaster
new Harry Potter coaster

Islands of Adventure rides
Harry Potter dragon coaster
Flying Harry Potter dark ride
Jurassic Park river ride
Hulk coaster
Spiderman
drop tower
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:58 am

pittsoccer33 wrote:Studio rides
Transformers
Rock and roll coaster
Mummy coaster
new Harry Potter coaster
Rip Ride Rockit (awesome coaster)
Men in Black Alien Attack (interactive alien shooting ride)
(I still enjoy the Blues Brothers show in the alley across from the Mummy and the Twister attraction)

Islands of Adventure rides
Harry Potter dragon coaster (the old Dueling Dragons)
Flying Harry Potter dark ride
Jurassic Park river ride
Hulk coaster
Spiderman
drop tower (Dr. Doom's Fearfall)


Added a couple of things to the list.

Going in September will make a big difference, but you also will have shorter park hours. (Closing at 6 or 7pm likely.)

I think you would be hard pressed to do it all in one day, especially since they have the new Diagon Alley in Studios. You should be there at rope drop (unless you are staying on-site in which case you get an hour early entrance).

As far as rental cars, I would join Thrifty or Dollar's rewards clubs (no charge) and watch for price drops. I've gotten mid to full-size for a little over $120 for the week.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby obhave on Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:00 am

Letang Is The Truth wrote:
shoeshine boy wrote:visiting Cleveland for a hockey tourney in early November. any recommendations for restaurants? we like all kinds of food and appreciate a good hole in the wall as much as the fancy places.


Lolita the Michael symon restaurant was very good. I really liked town hall on w 25th for brunch. Good beers on draft.


Lolita and Lola are both great. There is also Wonton Gourmet, an authentic Chinese place. It looks run down, but its great. Also, Hot Sauce Williams, if you want BBQ
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Dickie Dunn on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:19 am

I went to Universal Orlando back in April, right before they opened Diagon Alley. Doing both parks in one day will be tough unless you get an Express Pass for both parks.

- The Spider-Man and Transformers simulators are both awesome. The line for Transformers is long and when we were there the ride kept breaking down while we were in line, which from what other people told us is a common occurrence. The wait ended up taking about 30 minutes more than the posted time of 60 minutes.

- Men in Black Alien Attack is older, but was still an enjoyable ride.

- Rip Ride Rockit, Hulk, and The Mummy roller coasters are good rides and worth the wait. We had an Express Pass for Islands of Adventure and rode Hulk multiple times throughout the day. The wait for The Mummy coaster was short early in the day and we got two rides in before the park got packed.

- The main attraction at the park is obviously the Harry Potter area and because of this it was EXTREMELY crowded. Someone with any interest in the Harry Potter books or movies will love the area as they did a fantastic job of recreating the movie scenery. Butter beer is served at two locations in the area and is pretty damn good (tastes like a very sweet cream soda or butterscotch soda depending on who you ask). The Dragon Challenge is a fun roller coaster and can be Express Passed, but the big draw in the area is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride isn't eligible for Express Pass because the line is part of the ride. You start at the very back of Hogwarts in the greenhouse and make your way through the castle, passing through several recognizable rooms and hologram version of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore. And then you get on the ride, which was my favorite simulator in the park.

All in all we had a good time.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:28 am

The Harry potter simulator is incredible. Butter beer tastes like poo. Also very lame they that the new Harry potter coaster is in the other park
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Dickie Dunn on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:41 am

I loved butter beer. My wife hated it, so I drank hers as well. And then I felt sick.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:48 am

Letang Is The Truth wrote:The Harry potter simulator is incredible. Butter beer tastes like poo. Also very lame they that the new Harry potter coaster is in the other park


Marketing genius though.

Just disappointed they closed Jaws to make it though.

EDIT: Though. :face:
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:04 pm

Somehow the two Harry Potter land halves are connected. I'm assuming they have some system of segregating park visitors out of each.

I first went in 1993 and there didn't seem like a lot to do at the park. We did Earthquake, Back to the Future, and King Kong - those three I remember. Jaws was broken (surprise) and I know we didn't go on ET - I cant recall if that was a height restriction, down for maintaince, or just a result of me hating ET.

But thats all I can remember. That was the summer Jurassic Park came out and my fondest memory of the whole day was getting my picture with one of the Ford Explorers.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Dickie Dunn on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:11 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:Somehow the two Harry Potter land halves are connected. I'm assuming they have some system of segregating park visitors out of each.

I first went in 1993 and there didn't seem like a lot to do at the park. We did Earthquake, Back to the Future, and King Kong - those three I remember. Jaws was broken (surprise) and I know we didn't go on ET - I cant recall if that was a height restriction, down for maintaince, or just a result of me hating ET.

But thats all I can remember. That was the summer Jurassic Park came out and my fondest memory of the whole day was getting my picture with one of the Ford Explorers.


Good news. You can relive your childhood and get your picture taken with one of the Ford Explorers again.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:18 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:Somehow the two Harry Potter land halves are connected. I'm assuming they have some system of segregating park visitors out of each.

I first went in 1993 and there didn't seem like a lot to do at the park. We did Earthquake, Back to the Future, and King Kong - those three I remember. Jaws was broken (surprise) and I know we didn't go on ET - I cant recall if that was a height restriction, down for maintaince, or just a result of me hating ET.

But thats all I can remember. That was the summer Jurassic Park came out and my fondest memory of the whole day was getting my picture with one of the Ford Explorers.


thru the one-eyed witch passage duh
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Idoit40fans on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:31 pm

So back to my question from the other day...thoughts on a road trip through Ontario and maybe into Quebec. We are definitely stopping at Toronto first...then we are thinking Montreal, but may try to make the trip shorter. Is Ottawa worth checking out? Kingston? Anywhere else on the way to Montreal that would be worthwhile instead of Montreal?
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:42 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:Somehow the two Harry Potter land halves are connected. I'm assuming they have some system of segregating park visitors out of each.

I first went in 1993 and there didn't seem like a lot to do at the park. We did Earthquake, Back to the Future, and King Kong - those three I remember. Jaws was broken (surprise) and I know we didn't go on ET - I cant recall if that was a height restriction, down for maintaince, or just a result of me hating ET.

But thats all I can remember. That was the summer Jurassic Park came out and my fondest memory of the whole day was getting my picture with one of the Ford Explorers.



Enter London's Kings Cross station, where you'll appear (to others) to pass through a brick wall to Platform 9 3/4 for your ride to Hogsmeade Village in Islands of Adventure.
You will need a Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express. While on board this detailed replica (both inside and out) of the train from the Harry Potter films, you'll encounter Dementors, runaway chocolate frogs, and other surprises. The characters and scenes you encounter are different in each direction.


This site can be very helpful if you navigate around. Today they are featuring a story on the new Diagon Alley.

http://www.themeparkinsider.com/index.cfm


Here's their general review of Diagon Alley from last month.
http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201406/4082/
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby BuckintheLou on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:55 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:So back to my question from the other day...thoughts on a road trip through Ontario and maybe into Quebec. We are definitely stopping at Toronto first...then we are thinking Montreal, but may try to make the trip shorter. Is Ottawa worth checking out? Kingston? Anywhere else on the way to Montreal that would be worthwhile instead of Montreal?


I work with a couple of Canadiens and both say Quebec City is a very nice place to visit.
I'd pimp them for more info but one just left for British Columbia and the other for Toronto on vacation.
Althugh a stop in Quebec City would add considerable distance to your trip.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby llipgh2 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:55 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:So back to my question from the other day...thoughts on a road trip through Ontario and maybe into Quebec. We are definitely stopping at Toronto first...then we are thinking Montreal, but may try to make the trip shorter. Is Ottawa worth checking out? Kingston? Anywhere else on the way to Montreal that would be worthwhile instead of Montreal?


I enjoyed both Montreal and Toronto.

Toronto is just an all around great city. I could easily move there, just loved it.

Montreal, aside from the traffic, is nice as well. I don't love it like Toronto, but it's still wonderful. Especially Old Montreal.

I've heard Ottawa is a very nice city, worth visiting.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby shoeshine boy on Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:21 am

count2infinity wrote:
shoeshine boy wrote:visiting Cleveland for a hockey tourney in early November. any recommendations for restaurants? we like all kinds of food and appreciate a good hole in the wall as much as the fancy places.


what part of Cleveland? Downtown?


I honestly have no idea yet. it's a hockey tourney though so I highly doubt that it will be downtown. we should have all day Friday to do whatever we want though. oh, and I should probably mention that the Friday we'll be there just happens to be our 19th anniversary so having a memorable dinner would definitely be in the cards. :)
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:25 am

BuckintheLou wrote:I work with a couple of Canadiens and both say Quebec City is a very nice place to visit.

I'd pimp them for more info but one just left for British Columbia and the other for Toronto on vacation.

Although a stop in Quebec City would add considerable distance to your trip.


Recommend 100%. We traveled to Montreal in May and made a special day trip out to Quebec City (about 2.5 hours or so). Extremely worth it, it is truly like taking a step into continental Europe. You can tell that the French influence is much stronger in Quebec City than it is in Montreal, and it definitely has less of that touristy feel, which we liked. If you do go, recommend:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... uebec.html

This place is beyond good, and it's the best (and one of the only) crepes I've ever ate.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_R ... uebec.html
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby obhave on Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:26 am

shoeshine boy wrote:
count2infinity wrote:
shoeshine boy wrote:visiting Cleveland for a hockey tourney in early November. any recommendations for restaurants? we like all kinds of food and appreciate a good hole in the wall as much as the fancy places.


what part of Cleveland? Downtown?


I honestly have no idea yet. it's a hockey tourney though so I highly doubt that it will be downtown. we should have all day Friday to do whatever we want though. oh, and I should probably mention that the Friday we'll be there just happens to be our 19th anniversary so having a memorable dinner would definitely be in the cards. :)


If an anniversary dinner is the in cards, then I would suggest Lola. Its Michael Symnon's fancier restaurant, compared to Lolita. Make reservations though, definitely necessary. The food is phenomenal.

There is also Great Lakes Brewery and Fat Heads Brewery (with accompanying restaurants) if you want something tasty with beer for lunch.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:07 am

I think Lolita is better than Lola tbh
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby count2infinity on Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:10 am

I don't really have any suggestions beyond what's been sent out there... Lolita, Lola, Great Lakes Brewery, Fat Heads. Oh, one other thing... Brunch: Joe's in Rocky River. Fantastic brunch and bakery.
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