Monday, June 27, 2011

There's an App for That

This summer I intend to go through a lot of my stuff and get rid of things I no longer use or need. I promised myself to dispose of at least one bag a week, but as of 6 PM this evening with a scheduled vacation departure of early morning the day after tomorrow, all my junk was securely gathering dust in its usual place.

On Wednesday, we are going to Universal Studios in Orlando to meet family. Before agreeing to this trip, I had no idea how complicated such a "classic" American vacation could be. Take for instance ticket levels and pricing. There are two separate parks, and a visitor has the choice of single park or multi-park access for one, two, three, or four days. Then there is the express pass; that will provide access to a separate, faster line for most rides (except the most popular). There are two types of those-- one will let you in the express line once per ride, but the other gives you unlimited times through. There are also meal plans and discounts on other area attractions that come with some tickets, but not others. Then, there's lodging...

It's hardly surprising that there are numerous websites devoted to how best to spend your time and money while visiting this particular part of Orlando, and what I also discovered tonight is that, yeah, there's an app for that. I have one that will give me a description and directions to any attraction in the park as well as the wait-time for the line there.

I think that will definitely come in handy, even beyond eliminating the need to refold those troublesome maps they always give you at the entrance of the park. In fact, it's mere existence has already helped me meet my summer cleaning goal. After downloading the "Universal Orlando" app, I turned to the bookshelf in our spare room and summarily tossed most of the travel guides and maps that I've been hanging on to for when we go back to Paris, the Badlands, San Diego, etc., because I realized I don't need them anymore... the most up-to-date info on my future destinations will be available on my phone.

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