The Travel Thread

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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby llipgh2 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:23 am

mac5155 wrote:
llipgh2 wrote:
Dickie Dunn wrote:
I'd get there earlier just because I like to be early, but I think 5:45 should be good enough. The main security line can get backed up, but that's usually because people are too stupid to go to the alternative checkpoint upstairs. About a month ago my wife was taking a trip home to visit family. The security line downstairs was about 30-40 minutes. She went upstairs instead and was the only person in line.


I didn't know about this additional line. I guess I don't fly enough. Where is it?


You walk down what seems to be a plywood hallway, it goes across the main thruway and basically you end up on the opposite side of the terminal. You go right downstairs then and catch the tram.


Got it. Thanks.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby mac5155 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:08 pm

It was pretty busy the one Monday morning that we flew out to Punta Cana. Still took about a half hour.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby llipgh2 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:17 pm

mac5155 wrote:It was pretty busy the one Monday morning that we flew out to Punta Cana. Still took about a half hour.


The last 2 times I've flown out of Pitt I was picked for pre screening. That is the best. I was through the special gate in less than 3 minutes. I hope I get picked again.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:43 pm

anyone stay at a universal Orlando hotel before? Im thinking of booking the new cabana bay resort for a night but I just curious if its worth it over something else on international drive. universal citywalk looks like a lot of chains you can find on McKnight road or willian penn highway. anywhere def worth eating there?

flying in Wednesday early am and heading straight to islands of adventure (open til 8:30pm). the next day we are going to the studios till about 5pm or so (its only open til 5:30)

cabana bay doesn't include fast passes. they let you into harry potter land early, but only one of the two parks each day. so if theyre letting people into the islands side on Thursday the whole package is basically worthless.
Last edited by pittsoccer33 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:46 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:anyone stay at a universal Orlando hotel before? Im thinking of booking the new cabana bay resort for a night but I just curious if its worth it over something else on international drive. universal citywalk looks like a lot of chains you can find on McKnight road or willian penn highway. anywhere def worth eating there?

flying in Wednesday early am and heading straight to islands of adventure (open til 8:30pm). the next day we are going to the studios till about 5pm or so (its only open til 5:30)

cabana bay doesn't include fast passes. they let you into harry potter land early, but only one of the two parks each day. so if theyre letting people into the studio side on Thursday the whole package is basically worthless.

You're going to studios on Thursday, so how is that worthless?

And yes, Royal Pacific twice and Hard Rock once. But as mentioned, they have the fast passes and it's awesome.
Last edited by blackjack68 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:47 pm

got it backwards. good eye sniper.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:48 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:got it backwards. good eye sniper.


Ok, then yes it would be worthless. Can you check their website and look for the early park hours.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:50 pm

hard rock is my next choice - it would be about $100 more. are the fast passes worth it? I cant imagine doing cedar point without them.

we wont be in our room more than 6 hours or so. I just liked the cabana bay aesthetic really well.

the general idea is to go to islands on day one since its open later. then go to the studios day 2. we would need to leave earlier and it closes earlier, so we wont miss out on as much
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:58 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:hard rock is my next choice - it would be about $100 more. are the fast passes worth it? I cant imagine doing cedar point without them.

we wont be in our room more than 6 hours or so. I just liked the cabana bay aesthetic really well.


Just two of you? Rooms are a little small, but the passes really help. Except...they don't work on the big Harry Potter rides and one or two others.

Emeril has two restaurants. One at City Walk, one at the Royal Pacific Resort.

The dueling pianos at Pat O'Brien's can be entertaining depending on the crowd. Margaritaville has a friend that plays on the deck at happy hour. Then usually has good bands inside after 9pm or so.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:03 pm

Also, when are you looking at going?

That would factor into the need for the fast passes.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby ulf on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:05 pm

Can we please not tell anymore people about the alternative security
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:09 pm

gonna head to islands of adventure around 10 or 11am on Wednesday sept 10th. going to the studios the next day. leaving for Jacksonville about 5pm that night.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:28 pm

Looks like islands is only open until 7pm that day and Studios until 6:30 on Thursday.

https://www.universalorlando.com/Resort ... Hours.aspx

It's pretty slow time of year, so you may not need the Express Pass with your room key from one of the other onsite resorts.


Good news is Cabana Bay is showing for $119 per night for the basic room. $134 for poolside. (Too bad your not an annual pass holder, only $69 per night.)

Hard Rock is $249 for a basic room, although if it's slow they may upgrade you.

Royal Pacific is $229 for a basic room.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:19 am

emerils restaurant at the city walk was solid
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:33 am

I swear they've changed the open until times at least twice since I started planning the trip.

Thanks for the live music recommendations. Thats definitely our style.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:20 am

Haven't been there in two years. We've seen the HP ride at IOA, but not the new ones at Studios.

Also, check this site for tickets now before you go. Keep in mind that tax and shipping is included in their pricing (not included on Universal's site). A 2-day Park-to Park pass will allow you to ride the Harry Potter train ride between parks vs. just getting two 1-day, 1-park passes. I have used them and they are legit. But look now since it takes a couple of days to ship.


https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/


Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:59 pm

Rental car help please!!!!

I've used Priceline before and I've been very happy with it. I just got a convertible for $15 a day out of Orlando via Hertz. The problem is that I put in 9pm as the time I'd be picking it up, not 9am. Same with returning.

Now, the returning I'm not as afraid of because I can return it 12 hours earlier and they won't complain. I'm just not sure how to handle the picking it up part. I know you can't change a reservation made on Priceline. I called Hertz corporate and asked if it was possible to rent an extra day, and the lady didn't seem to understand what I was asking and told me I'd have to call the Orlando counter. I got an answering machine there, so I'm not hopeful about getting called back.

It's really not the worst thing in the world. I'm going to Universal the day I am supposed to pick it up, so I could either rent something for a few hours or take a cab or something. Then after I leave the park that night head back and get my car.

What I'm hoping is that I can get someone from Hertz who understands the computer systems that can either a) be a pal and just change the pick up time, or b) start a new reservation confirm and merge the two together. that way I could pick it up early that day without really changing my original rental.

Moral of the story - pay attention to times kids! Not everyone uses a 24 hour clock like they should!
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:42 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:Rental car help please!!!!

I've used Priceline before and I've been very happy with it. I just got a convertible for $15 a day out of Orlando via Hertz. The problem is that I put in 9pm as the time I'd be picking it up, not 9am. Same with returning.

Now, the returning I'm not as afraid of because I can return it 12 hours earlier and they won't complain. I'm just not sure how to handle the picking it up part. I know you can't change a reservation made on Priceline. I called Hertz corporate and asked if it was possible to rent an extra day, and the lady didn't seem to understand what I was asking and told me I'd have to call the Orlando counter. I got an answering machine there, so I'm not hopeful about getting called back.

It's really not the worst thing in the world. I'm going to Universal the day I am supposed to pick it up, so I could either rent something for a few hours or take a cab or something. Then after I leave the park that night head back and get my car.

What I'm hoping is that I can get someone from Hertz who understands the computer systems that can either a) be a pal and just change the pick up time, or b) start a new reservation confirm and merge the two together. that way I could pick it up early that day without really changing my original rental.

Moral of the story - pay attention to times kids! Not everyone uses a 24 hour clock like they should!



Keep trying the rental counter at Orlando.
How long do you have the car rented for?

And what times are are you actually renting it and returning it?

They'll have plenty of cars there at that time of year, so it really shouldn't be too much of an issue.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:10 pm

Update:

I was going to take a lunchtime walk over to the North Shore to try calling their corporate office again and then to try the Orlando counter. Then I realized theres a Hertz location near the arena.

I walked in and nobody was in line. The manager said he is 100% unable to change anything or even see what I paid given that it was prepaid. But he created a second reservation for me with the correct times to guarantee a car would be there that morning. He coded it no cancellation fee and said when I got there just to use my paid for one.

Super customer service from JD at Hertz Pittsburgh.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby blackjack68 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:16 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:Update:

I was going to take a lunchtime walk over to the North Shore to try calling their corporate office again and then to try the Orlando counter. Then I realized theres a Hertz location near the arena.

I walked in and nobody was in line. The manager said he is 100% unable to change anything or even see what I paid given that it was prepaid. But he created a second reservation for me with the correct times to guarantee a car would be there that morning. He coded it no cancellation fee and said when I got there just to use my paid for one.

Super customer service from JD at Hertz Pittsburgh.


Something so simple makes for a great experience. More service folks should try it.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Orlando Penguin on Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:38 pm

Pittsoccer, I would hope for your sake that you are picking the perfect time to come to the Parks. All the little brats are back in school everywhere and it SHOULD be pretty slow given that it's the 2nd week of September. Hopefully, we've turned down the steambath a couple of notches by the time you get here (but don't count on it).
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby llipgh2 on Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:56 am

Just got back from Las Vegas.

Stayed at New York New York this time. Ok hotel for the price, nothing special. But the Broadway Burger Bar in NY NY was fantastic. Excellent burger and onion rings. Nine Fine Irishmen bar was great, live Irish music every night.

Went to the Neon Museum. If you are interested in the history of Vegas it's worth a visit. An hour long tour of examples of Vegas signage, all with interesting backstories. I really enjoyed it.

Given how hot it was (Close to or over 100 every day) I made good use of the free trams. Even when we did the Neon Museum tour at 8:30PM, it was still 96 degrees out.

Still didn't make it to old Vegas or the Fairmont experience. Maybe next time, when it's a little cooler out.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby viva la ben on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:41 pm

We did our first trip to the Jersey Shore since we moved to Pittsburgh in 2002. It was a Sunday day trip to Ocean City, NJ. I was surprised at how much less seedy and clean it was compared to how I remember. Thank goodness for EZ-Pass, the ac expressway from Philly, and the garden state parkway always had huge backups at the booths on the weekends.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:43 pm

did a mini cross midwestern drive this weekend. stumbled upon the bluegrass junction station on xm. drove through corn fields for a few hours listening to bluegrass. just felt right.
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Re: The Travel Thread

Postby yubb on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:52 pm

Listening to Bluegrass always feels right.
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