I should know by now, after having been an adult for most of my life, that when something is FREE it is either a gimmick, already included in the price of whatever you are thinking about buying or there is some kind of a catch.
The shuttle ride to Universal was free. All we had to do was be in the lobby by 7:25 a.m.
And an old purple bus picked us up. All that was missing from this bus was a roof rack, a couple of crates of chickens on the roof and some Mexican music.
Not only did it pick up the Econolodge guests, but it picked up every guest of almost every motel between there and the park! It was standing room only and I felt sorry for the people who did end up being towards the last to get on. There was an overhead bar to hold onto, but the driver drove like a cross between an elephant driving a VW bug and some deranged race car driver. I didn't realize my first ride of the day would last for 2 damn hours!!!
Our tickets allowed us early entrance to Harry Potter, which obviously did not happen. Had we realized this was how things ran, we would have driven ourselves.
We finally arrived and were told the bus would "be here at this spot #71" at 7:15 that evening. My first thought was 'THAT ISN'T ENOUGH TIME FOR US!!!'. But we sure didn't want to try to find our way back on foot!
Even with the pre-purchased tickets there were many long lines of "us types" to finally get where we were going. And they take one finger print as they examine and bar code your ticket.
Do you remember the problem I have getting finger prints? That I basically don't have a print? I was amazed when this digital reader said I was good to go! Just like that!!
We hoofed it back to Harry Potters place and you couldn't even make your way thru' the whole "town" without walking sideways! It was awful. The first ride we came to was over a 90 minute wait! And the bus would be back in less than 9 hours! And there was still so much to see and do!
We left that area and ended up in Jurassic Park where we went on the water ride. I was hoping Dan wouldn't realize it was a water ride, but the people in plastic raincoats kind of gave it away. He went with me anyway. That was only a 10 minute wait.
Long story short about how our day went was that it really didn't. The lines were SOOOOO long and I heard many people say that even though the sign outside of the ride said "90 minute wait" that they actually stood in line for over 2 hours!
When I was much younger, I didn't think anything of standing in line for 3 hours (which I did ONCE) to get on a very good roller coaster. But now, it is hard enough for both of us just to be on a hard surface all day and have to walk so slow due to bumper to bumper people.
So, NOPE, I did not get on the Hulk. The only roller coaster I got on was The Mummy (it is totally in the dark). Dan did not go. We took in only a couple of shows and didn't get into others due to the wait. If there had been benches to sit on and wait, we would have, but by 2 p.m. we were both so sore we could hardly move. We each took a couple of pain pills and started counting the hours till the bus would arrive.
We had the park to park passes so at least we could venture between the two of them.
We waddled over to Universal Studios only to have to have our finger print taken so they could compare it to the one they took in the morning. GUESS WHAT??!!!! MINE WOULD NOT COMPARE!!! It took about 6 minutes of me putting my finger on that digital reader before I was finally allowed to pass!
We wanted to eat lunch at Mel's Diner, but even by 2 p.m. people were still standing in line to get inside to order their food!
I wished we had tried to go mid week instead of on a Monday. Maybe we would have had more fun because it might not have been so crowded.
At 6 p.m. we decided we might as well start heading back to where the bus was going to pick us up. He arrived at 7:25 and everyone boarded. It was still standing room only but there weren't near as many people on board this time...makes me wonder where all those other people went!
We finally got back to our motel (dropped us off on the road instead of at the door like the other guy did) at 9:45 p.m.! Do you realize that we spent most of our day on that purple bus??!!!
At least we were sitting down!
- Cathy Clementz
- A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!