the Official Blog of the Unofficial Guides

  • UG_banner_UniversalOrlando-2018

    Loews Royal Pacific Resort—A Review

    A favorite of young families and solo travelers alike, the Royal Pacific is the least expensive and most relaxing of Universal’s Deluxe hotels. You may be tempted, as we were initially, to write off the Royal Pacific, which opened in 2002, as a knockoff of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. There are indeed similarities, but the Royal Pacific is attractive enough, and has enough strengths of

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    Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Review

    Universal Studios Florida’s newest attraction, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, has gotten mixed reviews, so we set out to see for ourselves. The queue-less experience and the pre-show areas get a lot of points. All guests, except those with Express passes, must first be assigned a virtual line reservation time via Universal’s smartphone app or an automated kiosk

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    Las Vegas Gourmet Room Redux

    Before the advent of the celebrity chef, even the largest hotels had small, intimate restaurants. These were the grand gourmet rooms operated for the benefit of the casino’s most prized customers. The rooms were plush with leather upholstered booths, mood lighting, and clubby décor, all of which underscored their exclusivity. The kitchens served the best food available on property, and

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    Advice from a Mall of America Personal Shopper

    Carly Gatzlaf, personal shopper, fashion stylist, and owner of À La Mode Wardrobe Consulting, knows Mall of America, as well as other Twin Cities malls. She explains what she does and offers some of her insider tips for visiting Mall of America. Q: Tell us about your personal shopper business. A: The main services we provide are closet analysis (helping clients work with what they

  • UG_banner_Disneyland-2018

    Meeting Disney Characters at Disneyland Parks

    You can see the Disney characters in live shows and in parades. For times, consult your Times Guide. If you have the time and money, you can share a meal with the characters (see our post on this subject). But if you want to meet the Disney characters in the parks, get autographs, and take photos, it’s helpful to know where the characters