Monday, February 05, 2007

Universal Studios

Today started with an early rise - we were going to a time-share presentation. So we headed out to Westgate near the Disney parks. Westgate is a huge complex that sells time-share property in Orlando and the deal was that we had to sit through a time-share presentation to get discounted tickets for the parks.

We arrived at 8am and were met with our very own personal salesperson who proceeded to give us two solid hours of the hard sell. There were around 20 other couples going through the same thing at adjacent tables. Her pitch included giving us a tour of the resort and then sitting us down to do a deal there and then. My line was simple: it's very nice (it was) but we would have to think about it before making a decision. She had obviously heard this a million times before and hotly pursued an immediate sale by continually offering us new deals. I held my line. She eventually gave in - only to be replaced by another women who made a last-gasp attempt to sell us a holiday. We said "No"... and were unceremoniously dumped out of the resort with a voucher for our discounted tickets and a five year ban from setting foot on Westgate property!

Were the cheap tickets worth going through this experience? That depends on how much you value your time. We saved a small fortune on tickets (I'm talking $200) - and that's good value for two hours of your time. But if money is no object or you have children, I wouldn't recommend it. But for grown-ups capable of saying "No", it a good way of avoiding the very high prices of tickets for the attractions.

By 11am we were inside Universal Studios. The weather was overcast, quite cold (low 60's) and windy. The park was as quiet as it ever will be and there were virtually no queues for the rides.

We had a great time! We got around just about every ride in the park including Twister (so-so), Men in Black (not bad), Shrek 4D (good), Revenge of the Mummy (scarey!) and Terminator 3D (brilliant).

We stayed until the park closed at 6pm.

America is freezing. Chicago was -20C today. And Florida doesn't feel much warmer!

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