To sum up briefly: I went down to Orlando over MLK Jr. weekend this year for 4 days. Cheated on my beloved Polynesian and stayed at AKL. Missed the Poly dreadfully. Had. some. amazing. meals. And, new information: knew I wanted to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter despite not having gone to Universal in probably 20 years.
My feelings on Universal are thusly: I'm not into super-scary roller-coasters or other thrill rides. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster is about as intense as I'll go. Universal is not as well-themed as Disney nor does it contain the important childhood memories that WDW contains for me. As a result of these factors, Universal is not compelling enough for me to a) pay for a cab, b) drag my butt over there, c) navigate an unfamiliar park, d) pay for the extra ticket.
HOWEVER, WWHP WAS compelling enough for me to want to go try it once and this trip was the perfect time.
The AKL cast members assured me that a cab would be available early in the morning when I wanted to leave, and it was so I cabbed it over there (having previously purchased the $90 ticket to get into Islands of Adventure). The cab dropped me off and I had a long slog through City Walk (this is what Downtown Disney would look like minus the Disney - meh) and finally got to the park.
I was EARLY. But I was aware of the potential of long lines and didn't want to risk it. I grabbed a map to study and waited. The Universal employees at the gates were nice enough but didn't seem nearly as bright or put together as a Disney CM. Some were missing teeth, some looked like they were possibly missing some chromosomes. But nice people nonetheless.
At last the gates opened. I briskly walked through the entrance, past Seuss land, past the myth-ish land, and into WWHOP. And so it began . . . .