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BB1's Most Excellent 2022 Trip Reports


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Welcome to my 2022 trip report thread! I should start by mentioning that this has been a long time coming and there will be several posts throughout the week and throughout the end of the year cataloging my trips and excursions in 2022. Please feel free to comment and leave your takes in this thread as participation makes this a lot more fun than me just blabbing for a few paragraphs about my trips this year :lol:

Part 1: Before Darkness Falls (A USO/IOA Review)

If you have been in the Haunt circles, you probably have heard of the legend that is Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando. Arguably the best Haunt event and it still kicks everything else out of the water. I flew down late on Friday evening and got to Dockside Inn and Suites for my stay. I should mention, if you want an affordable and decently accommodating hotel, Dockside is my go to. Easy access via bussing to IOA and USO, Starbucks, a very nice but quaint bar, two wonderful pools (one with my favorite poolside bar) and to top it all off the rooms are incredible. I have yet to have a bad experience at the hotel (I have stayed there 4 times now) and I have always raved about the experience. Got checked in, put my luggage in the room and I headed back to City Walk to pick up some Voodoo Donuts for a late night snack and for breakfast the following morning. City Walk was insanely packed, and the line for Voodoo was 20 minutes out the door just to get to order. If you don't know Voodoo Donuts, they are a craft donut chain from Portland OR, I got the Voodoo doll, a doll shaped berry filled donut with a pretzel spike, a few glazed old fashioned donuts, and a raspberry romeo, which is effectively a raspberry filled donut. Once again, these are some of my favorite doughnuts and they were well worth the wait. Finally got back to my hotel, got some pizza from the quick service (which again was amazing considering it's a hotel pizza). 

The following morning I took advantage of the Premier Pass ERT and got a few rides in on Velocicoaster. Back seat on every run, was "loose" and it still reigns as my #1 steel coaster. After ERT was done I was able to round out IOA in about an hour 30 before walking to USO to ride some coasters. Note the train was down this weekend unfortunately. When I arrived at USO I made a very quick run to Mummy as it just reopened to the public. The queue definitely felt like it got some love and TLC, however the ride itself didn't really feel better in any respects to the original. In fact, the new CGI made the mummy look more like a wooden façade than a decaying corpse. The new beetle animatic was amazing but otherwise I can't really say it felt better in any respects. I rounded out the major attractions in a few hours as it was now getting pretty busy in the park. I wound up at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade for lunch and once again got the Shepherds Pie with a side salad and a Dragonscale Beer. The meal was amazing as always, the beer was actually pretty good, I would describe it as a lighter lager. As the day prolonged I spent some time going around Jurassic Park riding River Adventure and checking out some of the shops I never really spent time to look at before heading back to Dockside for the afternoon. 

As mentioned before, Dockside has a really nice pool with a very nice bar. I was able to snag a skittles mixed drink (the name honestly alludes me), and it was actually pretty good and reasonably priced. The pool has a lot of decent places to relax and enjoy the water, however like other hotels on property, it also has underwater speakers that was a VERY nice plus. Eventually we were told to vacate due to impending storms coming in but that gave me enough time to change out and to get out for HHN.

Part 2 will be coming tomorrow evening so stay tuned! What's your take on Velocicoaster?

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