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ddluvsdisney
09-12-2011, 07:15 AM
For all trying the Butterbeer for the first time, make sure you try both the reg. and frozen versions. I did like the frozen much more... YUM!!!
As a kid cream soda was one of my favorites so when I tried butterbeer I immediately made the connection although I did think the regular was way too sweet. Frozen- not so much. ENJOY! :)

eandesmom
09-12-2011, 04:42 PM
Fun pics of Jurassic park, brave to have the camera out although I guess if you know the ride, you'd know when to protect it. The box definitely does drop a bit.

.
Have you read Jurassic Park???

I am another avid reader who is disappointed that this love was not passed down to my son. :sad1: I certainly know the desperation you feel trying to get Hunter to read! The only book Nate ever picked up without intense badgering is Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Which to me is more of a comic book than a novel.

Nate loves books and enjoyed when I read most of the Harry Potter Series to him when he was younger, but he won't read them on his own. Ben has finally developed an interest in reading and he really loves the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series.

Let me know if you are seriously considering a visit to the "Dark Side". I can't remember if you (and/or the rest of the family) are Potterheads.

Taylor's not much of a reader but the other 3 are book vultures and thankfully they will share series books. However Kendall always seems to get them last, then loses them and so I don't get to read them.:sad2:

Has Ben read the Peter and the Starcatcher series? A new one just came out, kind of an offshoot of the original series and there is a new Rick Riordan coming next month, sequel to the Lost Hero I think.

Hi Amanda! :wave2:

You were posting here just as I was finding your new TR!

We enjoyed the Portofino pool. Ben and I are the swim fanatics in our family. It was nice when Mark joined us.

There were definitely some interesting rides at Universal/IoA. You'll find out!

The movie Jurassic Park is really really good, but I agree. The book is WAY better.

I may have to rethink my reluctance to get a Kindle- after the "incident" on during our travel Mexico. I was all ready to start the Stephen King novel I had for the plane ride and when I opened the book, it started in mid-paragraph on Page 9. :scared1:

I was able to figure out what I needed to, but my DH "helpfully" pointed out that if I had a Kindle, I wouldn't have had that problem or I could just download a different book.

A kindle is GREAT for traveling. Not only do you not lose pages but you can buy a new one on the fly if you finish your book without lugging a bunch of weight. I was anti kindle for a LONG time, I love the feel of a book. But when I had to go to Germany I decided ot break down and am really glad I did. I also love the fact that I can pick up my book on my phone, or my kindle, or my laptop and it's always synched to wherever I stopped last, no matter what platform.

I still like real books too though!

You are all making very convincing aruguments for the purchase of a family e-reader of some sort. I can see the advantage of replacing my current habit of carrying a half-ton of books in my luggage on vacation in fear of running out of reading material. Especially if there is a backlight feature for use in bed or on dark balconies.

But I will still need a book or two for pool or beach side.

I have it on pretty good authority that my not-so-secret-Santa is a frequent visitor to this report, so perhaps a Kindle or a Nook will find its way under the tree this year. :santa:

Unfortunately we have both. Evan really wanted a Nook instead of a Kindle so he can "share" books with his friends that also have Nooks, which made sense. Pro's and cons to both I think.

DrMomof3
09-12-2011, 06:54 PM
I am certain that butterbeer tastes better on a solo trip. And I have yet to try butterbeer or a solo trip! :lmao:

Amanda

Marlton Mom
09-12-2011, 07:07 PM
Dear God woman did ya ever get home?!?! I'm hanging by the edge of my seat waiting to hear!!!!!

Signed,
Waiting for the rest of the trip report in Marlton :scared:
:p

LovintheLodge
09-12-2011, 08:43 PM
We LOVE the Jurassic Park ride too. And the frozen butterbear could be in it's own food group for my family. We never bothered trying the regular, but had the frozen several times!!

Kerry

LovintheLodge
09-12-2011, 08:46 PM
Dear God woman did ya ever get home?!?! I'm hanging by the edge of my seat waiting to hear!!!!!

Signed,
Waiting for the rest of the trip report in Marlton :scared:
:p

Too funny MM!

I think I am all caught up. Yeah, this trip was 4 nights 5 days right?! There's no way I can do a detailed trip report for 8 nights. I'm still debating...but I don't think mine could 'measure up' to yours Dee!

natebenma
09-13-2011, 05:50 AM
Fun pics of Jurassic park, brave to have the camera out although I guess if you know the ride, you'd know when to protect it. The box definitely does drop a bit.

Taylor's not much of a reader but the other 3 are book vultures and thankfully they will share series books. However Kendall always seems to get them last, then loses them and so I don't get to read them.:sad2:

Has Ben read the Peter and the Starcatcher series? A new one just came out, kind of an offshoot of the original series and there is a new Rick Riordan coming next month, sequel to the Lost Hero I think.

A kindle is GREAT for traveling. Not only do you not lose pages but you can buy a new one on the fly if you finish your book without lugging a bunch of weight. I was anti kindle for a LONG time, I love the feel of a book. But when I had to go to Germany I decided ot break down and am really glad I did. I also love the fact that I can pick up my book on my phone, or my kindle, or my laptop and it's always synched to wherever I stopped last, no matter what platform.

I still like real books too though!

Unfortunately we have both. Evan really wanted a Nook instead of a Kindle so he can "share" books with his friends that also have Nooks, which made sense. Pro's and cons to both I think.

Thanks for the compliments about the JP photos. Since my camera is waterproof, the only things I need to protect it from are the Team Members that try to discourage me from snapping an essential photo!!!

I remember the discussion about Peter and the Starcatchers from your trip report. I made a note that I should check into the series. Then forgot! So I appreciate the reminder.

Thanks for your input on the nook and kindle!

natebenma
09-13-2011, 05:53 AM
I am certain that butterbeer tastes better on a solo trip. And I have yet to try butterbeer or a solo trip! :lmao:

Amanda

Thought so!!! You'll have to let us know!

Dear God woman did ya ever get home?!?! I'm hanging by the edge of my seat waiting to hear!!!!!

Signed,
Waiting for the rest of the trip report in Marlton :scared:
:p

Well, I still have lots more to go, so I won't get home in September, it may be October, but most likely November.

But I promise, I'll be home for Christmas!

natebenma
09-13-2011, 06:10 AM
We LOVE the Jurassic Park ride too. And the frozen butterbear could be in it's own food group for my family. We never bothered trying the regular, but had the frozen several times!!

Kerry

Kerry- LOVED your mini-review on the BC thread. So glad to hear you had a great time on your last minute trip.


Too funny MM!

I think I am all caught up. Yeah, this trip was 4 nights 5 days right?! There's no way I can do a detailed trip report for 8 nights. I'm still debating...but I don't think mine could 'measure up' to yours Dee!

Right, 4 nights 5 days! I'm sure my last comment to MM probably scared you off from writing a TR for good. I have outlined the rest of my report in my Table of Contents. I still have at least 14 updates to go!

I love writing trip reports and I am so thankful to my readers! :hug: Writing about the trip and looking at the photos really helps me remember the details of the trip.

One of the biggest cons of writing the trip report is that I have not prepared photo albums yet of my Disney trip last year or this trip. Usually I have my photos organized and placed in an album, one of the ones where you slip the photos into clear pockets. It is not scrapbooking, but I do include some journalling. What I want to do with these last two trips is include the text from the TR, but I haven't had a chunk of time to do that yet.

Feel free to share anything you want to on this report, including pictures, if you don't want to do a full trippie.

natebenma
09-13-2011, 07:20 PM
When we were done with dinos, we decided to crossover to the Wizarding World again.

Here are a couple of shots of the castle from this entryway:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6399.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6398.jpg


As soon as the boys saw the butterbeer cart, they insisted on stopping. Ben asked if he could get a souvenir cup, so we ended up ordering one frozen butterbeer ($4.25), one bb in souvenir cup ($11.50) and one pumpkin juice in a bottle ($6.25). I believe the bottle is supposed to be a souvenir, too, but we ended up recycling that. We did keep the pumpkin top.

The total was $22, and since we made our purchase from a cart, they couldn’t apply the AAA discount.

Has anyone seen a Gringotts’ ATM around here?


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6401.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6405.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6403.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6408.jpg


Once again, the frozen butterbeer was amazing!!!

I thought the pumpkin juice we had on tap at the Three Broomsticks was better than the pumpkin juice in the bottle, though.


The Wizarding World was wicked :crowded:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6400.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6430.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6406.jpg


As we stood off to the side enjoying our drinks, “students” from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang came out for photo ops.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6420.jpg


A few more assorted photos in Harry Potterland:

Snowman

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6416.jpg


Window Shopping:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6414.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6428.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6429.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6431.jpg


Flight of the Hippogriff:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6411.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6412.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6413.jpg


Hogwarts Castle

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6409.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6410.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6421.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6424.jpg


It was around 5 pm and we figured it was probably a good time to have dinner.

One of the restaurants I wanted to try during this trip was Mythos, which has been voted the Number 1 Theme Park restaurant a number of times. Since we didn’t know when we might eat there, I didn’t make a reservation. Coming from a “Disney” mentality, this worried me a lot despite assurances on the Universal forums that reservations to most restaurants would probably not be required.

Would this hold true at 5 PM on a busy Thursday afternoon in July?

Next up: A meal of Mythos-cal (pro) portions

doccoc2002
09-13-2011, 07:40 PM
Butterbeer looks amazing. I want to go to Hogwarts!!!!! Looking at the castle is killing me! I wish my kids would grow up already! OK maybe not :sad2: but man do I really want to spend a day at WWOHP.
Can't wait to hear about dinner...

DrMomof3
09-13-2011, 08:02 PM
As an HP fanatic I can officially not wait to see Hogwarts!!!! :love:

Amanda

jenneth79
09-14-2011, 09:14 AM
They really did the Harry Potter theming right, didn't they? Still kicking myself a little we didn't plan in a day for IoA....but that will have to be next trip. :)

Wait, a restaurant in a theme park that doesn't require reservations? Say it isn't so! Wait, no. Say it is so... drat, Mickey has me drinking the koolaid again.:rotfl2:

ddluvsdisney
09-14-2011, 11:20 AM
I love writing trip reports and I am so thankful to my readers! :hug: Writing about the trip and looking at the photos really helps me remember the details of the trip.

One of the biggest cons of writing the trip report is that I have not prepared photo albums yet of my Disney trip last year or this trip. Usually I have my photos organized and placed in an album, one of the ones where you slip the photos into clear pockets. It is not scrapbooking, but I do include some journalling. What I want to do with these last two trips is include the text from the TR, but I haven't had a chunk of time to do that yet.

Feel free to share anything you want to on this report, including pictures, if you don't want to do a full trippie.[/QUOTE]

When I first started reading trip reports on the Dis, scrapbooking was the first thing that came to my mind. I've scrapbooked every one of our Disney trips. It is a long and laboring process b/c I don't always have the time or energy to do it even though I enjoy it. That probably doesn't make any sense but it's true. My goal every year is to finish the year before trip before the current trip. That didn't happen this year I'm still working on 2010. That is mainly why I will probably never do a trip report b/c I def. can't do both. But that being said- you should def. include your reports in your album it's more journaling than I've ever done lol :). I will try to post some pics. soon.

natebenma
09-14-2011, 07:39 PM
Butterbeer looks amazing. I want to go to Hogwarts!!!!! Looking at the castle is killing me! I wish my kids would grow up already! OK maybe not :sad2: but man do I really want to spend a day at WWOHP.
Can't wait to hear about dinner...

You'll get to Hogwarts! It will be so much fun when the girls are a little older.

What is your family's level of involvement with HP? Movies only? Movies and most books. All 7 books? Went to the bookstore at midnight when Deathly Hallows was released?


As an HP fanatic I can officially not wait to see Hogwarts!!!! :love:

Amanda

What does the ticker say???

They really did the Harry Potter theming right, didn't they? Still kicking myself a little we didn't plan in a day for IoA....but that will have to be next trip. :)

Wait, a restaurant in a theme park that doesn't require reservations? Say it isn't so! Wait, no. Say it is so... drat, Mickey has me drinking the koolaid again.:rotfl2:

Yes, the theming is incredible. I wish they would have added a little magic in the stores like Honeydukes to make them BIGGER. It would also be wonderful if there was a charm that would shield you from the crowds or make the tourons disappear :)

OK, not making advanced reservations for restaurants is really FREAKY!!!

When I first started reading trip reports on the Dis, scrapbooking was the first thing that came to my mind. I've scrapbooked every one of our Disney trips. It is a long and laboring process b/c I don't always have the time or energy to do it even though I enjoy it. That probably doesn't make any sense but it's true. My goal every year is to finish the year before trip before the current trip. That didn't happen this year I'm still working on 2010. That is mainly why I will probably never do a trip report b/c I def. can't do both. But that being said- you should def. include your reports in your album it's more journaling than I've ever done lol :). I will try to post some pics. soon.

I am in awe of people who scrapbook. I have seen some incredibly creative photo albums. I have started to add journaling and stickers to my photo albums, but it is not quite the same. It is also really really hard for me to cut photos, but I am starting to do that too. Baby steps!

bubba's mom
09-15-2011, 07:08 AM
So...your family likes pumpkinjuice, huh?

Not suprised WWoHP is as crowded as it is. It was like that last year (inaugural year) and a lot of people said they were going to wait a year to go...till the crowds died down. umm...yeah :lmao: Methinks it'll be crowded for many a year to come. Then, just when the crowds start to thin out/die down, they'll expand and the crowds will start all over again :rolleyes:

natebenma
09-15-2011, 08:01 AM
So...your family likes pumpkinjuice, huh?

Not suprised WWoHP is as crowded as it is. It was like that last year (inaugural year) and a lot of people said they were going to wait a year to go...till the crowds died down. umm...yeah :lmao: Methinks it'll be crowded for many a year to come. Then, just when the crowds start to thin out/die down, they'll expand and the crowds will start all over again :rolleyes:



It's no butterbeer, but we thought the pj was ok. Although as I mentioned, better (and cheaper) on draft than in the bottle.

As you know, the early entry for onsite guests is really a good way to deal with the crowds. Since we are all early risers, this is not a problem for us. I wonder how the shops are in that first hour. We were busy doing other things on our two early visits.

bubba's mom
09-15-2011, 08:36 AM
We were NOT fans of pumpkinjuice :sick: We stuck to the frozen. :thumbsup2 But...had to try....

The shops during the early entry are just the same...less crowded & more manageable. The only exception would be Owl Post...the store Ollivander's show empties into. I don't think that's EVER NOT crowded :sad2:

bookgirl
09-15-2011, 09:21 AM
Ok I don't like pumpkin or cream soda.....I hope the muggles can sneak in some Coke.:lmao:

natebenma
09-15-2011, 10:07 AM
Ok I don't like pumpkin or cream soda.....I hope the muggles can sneak in some Coke.:lmao:

You can s"muggle" it in, but I don't think soda is sold in the Wizarding World.

bubba's mom
09-15-2011, 12:16 PM
You can buy soda anywhere in the park BUT WWoHP.

Doesn't mean you can't walk around and drink it.

It's just not sold in WWoHP. So you don't have to "smuggle" ;)

DrMomof3
09-15-2011, 08:20 PM
What does the ticker say???

Ticker??? What ticker??? :rolleyes1
First up is the Jewish Holidays. Next, I have a work trip to Boston in October followed shortly by a 40th birthday cruise (my birthday, not Disney World's). Then Halloween and Thanksgiving. And then I get to see Hogwarts! :thumbsup2

Amanda

Marlton Mom
09-15-2011, 11:15 PM
Thought so!!! You'll have to let us know!

Well, I still have lots more to go, so I won't get home in September, it may be October, but most likely November.

But I promise, I'll be home for Christmas!

I'm Dying, DYING I tell you!!!
FasterFaster!

~MM

natebenma
09-18-2011, 04:22 PM
According to the sundial in the Lost Continent it was 5:20 PM.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6434.jpg


One of the restaurants I wanted to try during this trip was Mythos, which has been voted the Number 1 Theme Park restaurant a number of times. Since we we weren't sure when we might eat there, I didn’t make a reservation. Coming from a Disney mentality, this worried me a lot despite assurances on the Universal forums that reservations to most restaurants would probably not be required.

We had been drifting a bit aimlessly for the past hour, and nothing annoys Mark more than not knowing where we are going or what our next move would be, so it was not going to be pretty if we had to come up with a Plan B restaurant.

We were about to check to see if the proclaimed “Best Theme Park Restaurant” was taking walk-ins.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6438.jpg


The boys wait outside while I approach the hostess desk. I must admit that I was more than a little nervous…

“About 10 minutes” they tell me.

PHEW!!!


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6463.jpg

I hope this isn’t a prophecy of bills to come…


While we are waiting for a table, I thought I should get a park map so we could figure out what we were going to do next, after dinner. There was a shop across the street, so I went in and asked the guy at the counter if I could have a park map. He reached into a drawer and joked

“That’ll be a dollar”

“I paid at the entrance”, I replied.

He smiled, gave me the map and I rejoined my family just in time to be seated.

Here is the description of Mythos from the Universal/IoA website:

Lying offshore a craggy grotto on The Lost Continent®, the cavernous interior of the restaurant looks as if it’s been carved from the rock by the very gods whose images are etched into the walls. In addition to the dining room there is also outdoor seating offering a spectacular view of the park’s inland sea and vistas of the park’s colorful islands.

The food itself far exceeds the fare normally enjoyed by mere mortals... let alone theme park visitors. Enjoy such dishes as blueberry and pistachio crusted grilled pork, cedar planked Bay of Fundy salmon, gourmet hamburgers and imported pasta. Mouth-watering desserts and a full wine list are available. There is also a separate children’s menu.

Here are some assorted pictures of the interior of Mythos:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6439.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6441.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6446.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6459.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6461.jpg


Some of the tables have windows with views of the theme park:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6440.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6462.jpg


I asked our waiter to take a picture of us:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6447.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6448.jpg


And now, our meal:

Months before our trip, I knew I was going to order this:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6450.jpg


Tempura Shrimp Sushi - With soy and wasabi drizzle

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6449.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6451.jpg


You may recall that the night before, we had a similar appetizer at Kona Café:


Shrimp Tempura Roll - tempura shrimp, fresh mango served with lilikoi sauce

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Magic%20Kingdom%202011/Kona%20Polynesian%202011/IMG_5938.jpg


So, which restaurant won the Tempura Shrimp Sushi throwdown???

KONA!

The sushi at Kona was lighter and the tempura batter on the outside of the roll at Mythos made it more difficult to eat.


Ben ordered from the children’s menu:

One Fish Two Fish Ravioli
(the filling is cheese, not fish)

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6454.jpg


Nate got:

Mythos Hamburger - Topped with Cheddar Cheese and applewood bacon and served with French fries.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6456.jpg


Mark and I shared these two entrees.

Mythos Pad Thai with rice noodles and mixed vegetable in a sweet and sour peanut sauce with BBQ roasted plum pork

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6453.jpg


Pan Seared Blackened Mahi Mahi with baked plantains, cilantro cream sauce and tomato salsa.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/Mythos/IMG_6458.jpg


Portions were huge, I’m not sure if we finished everything. I don’t see any pictures of desserts, so I don’t think we ordered any.


However, this is the signature dessert at Mythos:

Warm Chocolate Banana Gooey Cake - with foster sauce, plantains and peanut butter ice cream

Next time!

Although everything was excellent, I don’t think it was the best meal that we had during our trip (that was Kona). But it was not the most expensive either (that was Kona, too), and I was really happy we ate there.


Part of our discussion during dinner was about where we were going to go next.

Any guesses?

Next up: Well, that would give it away, wouldn’t it???

DrMomof3
09-18-2011, 04:27 PM
Yum. Your meal at Mythos looks good. Do you think a solo traveler would be able to eat a sit-down meal there? Or am I better off sticking to counter service?

Amanda

natebenma
09-18-2011, 04:46 PM
Yum. Your meal at Mythos looks good. Do you think a solo traveler would be able to eat a sit-down meal there? Or am I better off sticking to counter service?

Amanda

Wow! That was a quicky reply!

I think you would be fine eating solo. The restaurant has lots of nooks and crannies so you could cozy into a booth and be nice and comfy and not in sight of other diners. The restaurant wasn't even half-full when we were there. If that is the case while you were there, you wouldn't be holding up a table from a family.

Prices at Mythos did not seem ridiculous for a theme park. I didn't post the cost of each of the meals because I couldn't find my receipt, but you can find the menu posted on the dining sticky of the Uni/IoA Theme Park forum. (Edit to add: Total check was $65.15 before tip)

On the other hand, there are a few decent counter service places, too.

DrMomof3
09-18-2011, 05:03 PM
Wow! That was a quicky reply!

I think you would be fine eating solo. The restaurant has lots of nooks and crannies so you could cozy into a booth and be nice and comfy and not in sight of other diners. The restaurant wasn't even half-full when we were there. If that is the case while you were there, you wouldn't be holding up a table from a family.

Prices at Mythos did not seem ridiculous for a theme park. I didn't post the cost of each of the meals because I couldn't find my receipt, but you can find the menu posted on the dining sticky of the Uni/IoA Theme Park forum. (Edit to add: Total check was $65.15 before tip)

On the other hand, there are a few decent counter service places, too.

I'm stalking you. :lmao: Actually I just happened to be here updating when I saw you had posted.
I think I would prefer table service to counter service. More relaxing for me! I might try Mythos, especially since reservations don't seem to be important!

Amanda

ddluvsdisney
09-18-2011, 05:42 PM
Mythos does look good!! We were thinking of eating there- now I wish we would have. Vacations are just not long enough lol. I would just say maybe next year but sadly I'm not sure we will make it to Orlando next yr, b/c DH and the boys wanna go on a cruise instead of Disney!!!! It saddens me I don't know what I'll do I think I'll be going through withdrawals. (sp???) lol :)

The portions are kinda like the building- HUGE. Is it that big inside too?

Deb :)

mickeystoontown
09-18-2011, 07:17 PM
I don't do well with just drifting around either so I can feel Mark's pain. Thank goodness you were able to get into Mythos with so little wait. I don't think you'd ever be able to do that with one of the Disney restaurants unless it was super d'dooper slow season.

The inside of the restaurant looks so cool and the food looks excellent. I'm glad you enjoyed your meal there even if it wasn't as good as Kona.

bubba's mom
09-18-2011, 07:51 PM
Part of our discussion during dinner was about where we were going to go next.

Any guesses?

Next up: Well, that would give it away, wouldn’t it???

okay...I'll bite....

either Hulk or Spidey? Last guess is Suess Landing.....

Another recommendation at Mythos is risotto of the day. We haven't been there in yeeeaaarrrssss.... Thanks for bringing back that memory!

natebenma
09-19-2011, 05:46 AM
I'm stalking you. :lmao: Actually I just happened to be here updating when I saw you had posted.
I think I would prefer table service to counter service. More relaxing for me! I might try Mythos, especially since reservations don't seem to be important!

Amanda

I should be stalking YOU!!! You go to Orlando more often than I do!

Mythos at IoA and Lombards in Universal were the only TS restaurants we tried at the theme parks. I have read great things about Finnegan's too, an Irish-pub type place in US. I can't remember if you are just going to IoA or US, too.


Mythos does look good!! We were thinking of eating there- now I wish we would have. Vacations are just not long enough lol. I would just say maybe next year but sadly I'm not sure we will make it to Orlando next yr, b/c DH and the boys wanna go on a cruise instead of Disney!!!! It saddens me I don't know what I'll do I think I'll be going through withdrawals. (sp???) lol :)

The portions are kinda like the building- HUGE. Is it that big inside too?

Deb :)

Oh, believe me, my mantra is so many restaurants, so little time!!!

That's too bad that you may not make it to Orlando next year, but on the bright side, a cruise is a pretty nice consolation prize!!! I'd love to hear the details as your plans materialize.

I didn't do too much exploring inside Mythos. It was difficult to tell how many tables, since a lot of the seating is blocked from view by the rock formations.

I don't do well with just drifting around either so I can feel Mark's pain. Thank goodness you were able to get into Mythos with so little wait. I don't think you'd ever be able to do that with one of the Disney restaurants unless it was super d'dooper slow season.

The inside of the restaurant looks so cool and the food looks excellent. I'm glad you enjoyed your meal there even if it wasn't as good as Kona.

I don't mean to disparage Mythos in any way. The comparison to Kona may be unfair, but was inevitable since we got an almost identical appetizer. I will say that the meal at Kona was almost DOUBLE :scared1: the price at Mythos, since we had 3 appetizers and 4 desserts.
okay...I'll bite....

either Hulk or Spidey? Last guess is Suess Landing.....

Another recommendation at Mythos is risotto of the day. We haven't been there in yeeeaaarrrssss.... Thanks for bringing back that memory!

Not even close! (That is a hint) If you really want to know before my next update, the answer may be found in my Table of Contents in the second post.

There are definitely a lot of things I would love to try at Mythos!

bubba's mom
09-19-2011, 06:49 AM
Not even close! (That is a hint) If you really want to know before my next update, the answer may be found in my Table of Contents in the second post.

There are definitely a lot of things I would love to try at Mythos!


oh..I was thinking what we'd do.... :rolleyes1

didja hit the Studios?

natebenma
09-19-2011, 07:57 AM
oh..I was thinking what we'd do.... :rolleyes1

didja hit the Studios?

:thumbsup2

Ding Ding Ding!

But I like your suggestion! We should have split up and had Nate/Mark ride Hulk and Ben/me Spidey on our way out.

I think I only made it onto Spiderman once!!! :scared1:

Blasphemy- I know that is your favorite!

bubba's mom
09-19-2011, 09:03 AM
We should have split up and had Nate/Mark ride Hulk and Ben/me Spidey on our way out.



^ that is what it always ends up being with us "...on our way out".... :laughing:

Spidey is at least twice a DAY when we go....since it's close to the front of the park and always "on the way out"... :rotfl:

ddluvsdisney
09-19-2011, 11:04 AM
Spidey was ds14 favorite!!! Not many rides really excite him except for Spidey and FJ. He must have gone on that ride 6x almost in a row one day. DH and ds10 went on Hulk again- ONCE was enough for me lol! Well while they were on Hulk, ds went in the single rider line and was done in less than 15 min.! So he kept going until ds10 and DH got back. I have a pic of him in front of the ride with the biggest grin on his face.

I almost forgot- I meant to tell you we did eat at Lombard's too. It was good, but didn't get as good a seat as you. Was hoping to sit next to fish tank.

aprilisis
09-19-2011, 11:30 AM
Mythos looks good! I love the decor. Thanks for the awesome food photos!! :thumbsup2

pixarmom
09-19-2011, 07:52 PM
Yay for sushi! Is there any tuna in there? You know I appreciate these photos - and along with the beet/goat cheese salad on the BC/YC thread - it's too much! Will NYC be able to compete next month? I'm not so sure! :)

And to MM: As always, I'm still laughing . . . :)

eandesmom
09-20-2011, 08:54 AM
Sounds like we had a similar experience at Mythos. Very good but best theme park restaurant? I can't say I'd agree with that. Very cool, I'd eat there again but best?

Not that I know what I'd put there instead...if it had to be IN a theme Park, based on food alone, I'd give it to Brown Derby I think.

saintstickets
09-20-2011, 03:21 PM
Actually, Bistro de Paris was voted the best theme park restaurant and Mythos was runner-up...

July, 2011
Orlando theme parks fared very well in this year’s Theme Park Insider Awards, scoring victories in three of the four categories. For the second consecutive year, Universal’s Islands of Adventure won best theme park, while Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and Disneyland) was named best new attraction. Epcot’s Bistro de Paris earned the best theme park restaurant nod for the second year in a row.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., repeated as best on-site theme park hotel.

The Theme Park Insider Awards are based on average reader ratings on www.themeparkinsider.com over the past 12 months.

The popularity of Wizarding World of Harry Potter contributed to IOA getting top reviews from the website’s readers. Busch Gardens in Tampa and Disney California Adventure were runners-up for best theme park. Cheetah Hunt, the new coaster at Busch Gardens, and Texas Giant, the revamped wooden coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, fell just short of the new attraction prize.

In the restaurant category, multiple winner Mythos at Islands of Adventure, and Epcot’s Via Napoli were runners-up.

Universal’s Portofino Bay and Disney World’s Beach Club Resort were voted runners-up in the hotel division by the website’s readers.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_orlando/2011/07/theme-park-insider-universals-islands-of-adventure-wins-best-theme-park-award.html

natebenma
09-20-2011, 08:28 PM
^ that is what it always ends up being with us "...on our way out".... :laughing:

Spidey is at least twice a DAY when we go....since it's close to the front of the park and always "on the way out"... :rotfl:

Spidey was ds14 favorite!!! Not many rides really excite him except for Spidey and FJ. He must have gone on that ride 6x almost in a row one day. DH and ds10 went on Hulk again- ONCE was enough for me lol! Well while they were on Hulk, ds went in the single rider line and was done in less than 15 min.! So he kept going until ds10 and DH got back. I have a pic of him in front of the ride with the biggest grin on his face.

I almost forgot- I meant to tell you we did eat at Lombard's too. It was good, but didn't get as good a seat as you. Was hoping to sit next to fish tank.

Now I'm totally bummed out that we didn't go on Spiderman a few more times!

Yeah, we really scored on the seat at Lombards. I was having so much fun watching the fish, I forgot I was there with my family!

natebenma
09-20-2011, 08:37 PM
Mythos looks good! I love the decor. Thanks for the awesome food photos!! :thumbsup2

You are welcome! As I have mentioned in previous trip reports, I have been tempted to use the title

"I have more pictures of my food than my kids. Is that wrong?"

Yay for sushi! Is there any tuna in there? You know I appreciate these photos - and along with the beet/goat cheese salad on the BC/YC thread - it's too much! Will NYC be able to compete next month? I'm not so sure! :)

And to MM: As always, I'm still laughing . . . :)

No tuna in that particular sushi order. Kona Island probably has choices that include tuna, but I think that the Tempura Shrimp Sushi at Mythos is the only sushi selection they offer.

Have you had sushi at the World, or is that too tough with the kids? I've had the grab and go from the Japanese takeout and Sunshine Seasons. OK- a nice CS change of pace. And we have ordered from Kona Island when we dine at Kona. I would love to try Teppan Edo sometime. I also hear the sushi at California Grill is excellent and one of the places at the Swalphin (Kimonos?) has a great reputation.


Sounds like we had a similar experience at Mythos. Very good but best theme park restaurant? I can't say I'd agree with that. Very cool, I'd eat there again but best?

Not that I know what I'd put there instead...if it had to be IN a theme Park, based on food alone, I'd give it to Brown Derby I think.

Well, I guess it is not totally just us... read below!

Haven't been to the Brown Derby, or actually any of the Disney signatures.

Actually, Bistro de Paris was voted the best theme park restaurant and Mythos was runner-up...

July, 2011
Orlando theme parks fared very well in this year’s Theme Park Insider Awards, scoring victories in three of the four categories. For the second consecutive year, Universal’s Islands of Adventure won best theme park, while Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and Disneyland) was named best new attraction. Epcot’s Bistro de Paris earned the best theme park restaurant nod for the second year in a row.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., repeated as best on-site theme park hotel.

The Theme Park Insider Awards are based on average reader ratings on www.themeparkinsider.com over the past 12 months.

The popularity of Wizarding World of Harry Potter contributed to IOA getting top reviews from the website’s readers. Busch Gardens in Tampa and Disney California Adventure were runners-up for best theme park. Cheetah Hunt, the new coaster at Busch Gardens, and Texas Giant, the revamped wooden coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, fell just short of the new attraction prize.

In the restaurant category, multiple winner Mythos at Islands of Adventure, and Epcot’s Via Napoli were runners-up.

Universal’s Portofino Bay and Disney World’s Beach Club Resort were voted runners-up in the hotel division by the website’s readers.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_orlando/2011/07/theme-park-insider-universals-islands-of-adventure-wins-best-theme-park-award.html

Thanks so much for this info!!! I love reading about stuff like this!

bubba's mom
09-20-2011, 08:50 PM
Actually, Bistro de Paris was voted the best theme park restaurant and Mythos was runner-up...

July, 2011
Orlando theme parks fared very well in this year’s Theme Park Insider Awards, scoring victories in three of the four categories. For the second consecutive year, Universal’s Islands of Adventure won best theme park, while Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and Disneyland) was named best new attraction. Epcot’s Bistro de Paris earned the best theme park restaurant nod for the second year in a row.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., repeated as best on-site theme park hotel.

The Theme Park Insider Awards are based on average reader ratings on www.themeparkinsider.com over the past 12 months.

The popularity of Wizarding World of Harry Potter contributed to IOA getting top reviews from the website’s readers. Busch Gardens in Tampa and Disney California Adventure were runners-up for best theme park. Cheetah Hunt, the new coaster at Busch Gardens, and Texas Giant, the revamped wooden coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, fell just short of the new attraction prize.

In the restaurant category, multiple winner Mythos at Islands of Adventure, and Epcot’s Via Napoli were runners-up.

Universal’s Portofino Bay and Disney World’s Beach Club Resort were voted runners-up in the hotel division by the website’s readers.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_orlando/2011/07/theme-park-insider-universals-islands-of-adventure-wins-best-theme-park-award.html

Mythos was voted #1...six years in a row...just like the banner over the front door says.

2004-2009 = 6 years in a row. Not necessarily "recent" years. ;)

pixarmom
09-21-2011, 09:19 AM
Have you had sushi at the World, or is that too tough with the kids? I've had the grab and go from the Japanese takeout and Sunshine Seasons. OK- a nice CS change of pace. And we have ordered from Kona Island when we dine at Kona. I would love to try Teppan Edo sometime. I also hear the sushi at California Grill is excellent and one of the places at the Swalphin (Kimonos?) has a great reputation.


Yes!!! That's one of my favorite things about WDW - the variety of choices at the restaurants, including sushi! We used to kind of shy away from signatures because we assumed that they wouldn't be kid-friendly. When we started visiting more frequently, and especially when we had APs, we tried lots of new restaurants. It was easier to try signatures with the TIW card instead of the dining plan. (We had already decided to ditch the dining plan based on the eating habits of our pre-teen "Disney adults," the fact that I don't usually order entrees and because nobody orders dessert with meals.)

So far, we've taken the boys to California Grill multiple times, Brown Derby multiple times, Bluezoo, Le Cellier, Jiko, Yachtsman, Flying Fish and Il Mulino. I've also been to Narcoossees, but that was pre-kids. Still need to try Citricos and Artist Point. And someday, Bistro de Paris - but that's a long way off. California Grill is one of my favorites and I order sushi every time. Anyway, I recommend every single one of them! They are all extremely kid-friendly (more so than Tutto, in our experience), the kids menus have a nice variety, and the younger of our two pre-teens never has difficulty ordering from the kids' menus. He rates the mac and cheese at California Grill as the best not only at Disney, but anywhere. (He's always very sweet to add the "no offense" to that statement, but I know my mac and cheese can't compete!)

I also really like the sushi at the Kona sushi bar. When we stayed at the Poly in January, we had an early ADR at Crystal Palace for dinner - I think it was around 5pm! (This was part of a new strategy experiment - long story.) We usually eat around 7pm, so we were all hungry later that night. I do have to admit the quick service at Poly is great - just ran over to the sushi bar for take-out (others opted for Captain Cook's!) and had a late night picnic in the room. That's when we had that amazing view of the lagoon and the volcano pool from our balcony, so it was a great night!

ddluvsdisney
09-21-2011, 09:57 AM
Yes!!! That's one of my favorite things about WDW - the variety of choices at the restaurants, including sushi! We used to kind of shy away from signatures because we assumed that they wouldn't be kid-friendly. When we started visiting more frequently, and especially when we had APs, we tried lots of new restaurants. It was easier to try signatures with the TIW card instead of the dining plan. (We had already decided to ditch the dining plan based on the eating habits of our pre-teen "Disney adults," the fact that I don't usually order entrees and because nobody orders dessert with meals.)

So far, we've taken the boys to California Grill multiple times, Brown Derby multiple times, Bluezoo, Le Cellier, Jiko, Yachtsman, Flying Fish and Il Mulino. I've also been to Narcoossees, but that was pre-kids. Still need to try Citricos and Artist Point. And someday, Bistro de Paris - but that's a long way off. California Grill is one of my favorites and I order sushi every time. Anyway, I recommend every single one of them! They are all extremely kid-friendly (more so than Tutto, in our experience), the kids menus have a nice variety, and the younger of our two pre-teens never has difficulty ordering from the kids' menus. He rates the mac and cheese at California Grill as the best not only at Disney, but anywhere. (He's always very sweet to add the "no offense" to that statement, but I know my mac and cheese can't compete!)

I also really like the sushi at the Kona sushi bar. When we stayed at the Poly in January, we had an early ADR at Crystal Palace for dinner - I think it was around 5pm! (This was part of a new strategy experiment - long story.) We usually eat around 7pm, so we were all hungry later that night. I do have to admit the quick service at Poly is great - just ran over to the sushi bar for take-out (others opted for Captain Cook's!) and had a late night picnic in the room. That's when we had that amazing view of the lagoon and the volcano pool from our balcony, so it was a great night!

I also agree with Signatures being kid friendly. I look forward to trying a new sig. restaurant each trip or doing a fav. again. Like we did this trip- we celebrated my b-day at Narcoossees. Sometimes this sig. rest. gets a bad rap but you can't go wrong with the surf and turf- LOVE IT!!! (I have a pic of that meal I need to post pics soon!)
We've also eaten at Cali Grill (b-day dinner last year), Artist Point, Le Cellier (before it became sig.), Flying Fish- one of our new favs., & Yachtsman.

Dee- you'll have to try some soon
Deb :)

Marlton Mom
09-22-2011, 11:40 AM
OK! So about that TRIP report.... I mean the food blog is nice but is there still an actual trip attached or have you totally fallen off the Trip report wagon?

If you don't start writing about the trip again I'm going to have to start making it up for you...... and you know what that means! :yo-yo:

~MM

JanetMom
09-22-2011, 06:08 PM
OK! So about that TRIP report.... I mean the food blog is nice but is there still an actual trip attached or have you totally fallen off the Trip report wagon?

If you don't start writing about the trip again I'm going to have to start making it up for you...... and you know what that means! :yo-yo:

~MM

Like :thumbsup2

Marlton Mom
09-22-2011, 07:19 PM
Like :thumbsup2

That's all it took!

On the next day of our never ending trip report I woke up at some ungodly hour in the early morning with a terrible case of bed head. Unfortunately I turned on the lamp and the guys got a peep of my Paris Hilton hair extensions 3 sheets to the wind. All that screaming was awkward to say the least and after hotel security got a gander at my disaster doo they ran screaming down the hallway and jumped in the 'vators. I surreptitiously applied liberal amounts of pilfered BC hair products in a vain attempt to tame my tigress locks and headed off to nibble a muffin from the Club level offerings. (15 pictures of that single muffin to follow)

The boys, having recovered from TMI bed head, were their usual surly selves as we made our way to the park. I knew I needed to lob Coffee at Mark like a hand grenade in order to wake him up. It was either that or go on that Spiderman thingy. The kids were busy playing Goldilocks with their breakfast offerings, complaining about how breakfast was either too this or not enough of that. I gave them my patented "Mama ain't PLAYIN with you!!!" look and the whimpering suddenly ceased.

We were the first ones awake in Orlando that morning having arrived 4 hours before what ever they call rope drop at the NON DISNEY park we were at that day. Within seconds the thundering herds were behind us, pushing and shoving to get to Toy Story Mania. Imagine their shock and surprise when I had to explain to them that they were at the wrong park entirely, and imagine my surprise when they told me the line had reached back that far.

Suddenly it was full steam ahead as we were let into the park. I was easily distracted by food carts and snack shops that didn't open for another hour or 5 as we attempted to make our way yet again to ride that Seuss thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How am I doing so far?
Which trip report is better?
I'd post a poll but you can't post polls on threads.

~MM

natebenma
09-22-2011, 08:13 PM
That's all it took!

On the next day of our never ending trip report I woke up at some ungodly hour in the early morning with a terrible case of bed head. Unfortunately I turned on the lamp and the guys got a peep of my Paris Hilton hair extensions 3 sheets to the wind. All that screaming was awkward to say the least and after hotel security got a gander at my disaster doo they ran screaming down the hallway and jumped in the 'vators. I surreptitiously applied liberal amounts of pilfered BC hair products in a vain attempt to tame my tigress locks and headed off to nibble a muffin from the Club level offerings. (15 pictures of that single muffin to follow)

The boys, having recovered from TMI bed head, were their usual surly selves as we made our way to the park. I knew I needed to lob Coffee at Mark like a hand grenade in order to wake him up. It was either that or go on that Spiderman thingy. The kids were busy playing Goldilocks with their breakfast offerings, complaining about how breakfast was either too this or not enough of that. I gave them my patented "Mama ain't PLAYIN with you!!!" look and the whimpering suddenly ceased.

We were the first ones awake in Orlando that morning having arrived 4 hours before what ever they call rope drop at the NON DISNEY park we were at that day. Within seconds the thundering herds were behind us, pushing and shoving to get to Toy Story Mania. Imagine their shock and surprise when I had to explain to them that they were at the wrong park entirely, and imagine my surprise when they told me the line had reached back that far.

Suddenly it was full steam ahead as we were let into the park. I was easily distracted by food carts and snack shops that didn't open for another hour or 5 as we attempted to make our way yet again to ride that Seuss thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How am I doing so far?
Which trip report is better?
I'd post a poll but you can't post polls on threads.

~MM

Like :thumbsup2

OK, OK!!! Here's an update for you! And by popular demand, it is free of food pictures!

natebenma
09-22-2011, 08:34 PM
After finishing our meal at Mythos, we decided for a change of scenery. We had not been back to the Studios since our first day (Monday), it was now Thursday.

We passed by Rip Ride Rocket:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6473.jpg


We strolled through New York:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6475.jpg
http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6476.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6477.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6478.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6480.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6481.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6483.jpg


Since Disaster was closed down when we went by it a few days ago, we were pleased that it was open now.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6486.jpg

Disaster- A major motion picture ride… starring YOU!
I would say this is most like the Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios. A little of the first part where audience members film the attack of the battleship, with a pinch of Catastrophe Canyon thrown in.

None of my family members were picked to be in the show (could have had something to do with none of us raising our hands). There are no photos allowed in the soundstages (understandable) and Christopher Walken (in hologram form) is in charge of the productions and while I may sneak a photo or two under Dudley Do-Right’s nose, I’m not messing with that dude!

The show is fun, worth doing once during a trip.

We didn’t try a similar near-by attraction: Twister…Ride it Out- Experience what it’s like to be a real storm chaser. I have heard mixed reviews on this one.

After Disaster, we continued our clockwise tip through the Studios until we arrived in Amity for another ride through shark-infested waters.

Here’s a picture OF the obligatory picture spot. Not AT the picture spot- it was just too busy and we didn’t feel like waiting to take a picture. So here is a random family in the Jaws of the beast.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6491.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6493.jpg


We had really decent views on the ride:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6494.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6496.jpg

Fins to the Left!

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6501.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6502.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6503.jpg

Fins to the Right!

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6505.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6506.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6508.jpg


Next it was time to kick some alien butt at Men in Black. But first, we had to battle the legendary locker lineup. You see, we were still carrying around our souvenir butterbeer mug and we couldn’t carry this onto the ride. This was the first and only time during the trip that we had to use the mandatory lockers. We purposefully traveled light and found that everything my family needed could be carried in my fanny pack or Mark’s lanyard pouch- He typically carries all of our park tickets and the room keys that we need to show for the front of the line access.

It actually wasn’t that bad. You scan your finger and put in a code, I believe.

But I'm still not anxious to try the ones at Forbidden Journey.

We had a great ride on Men in Black- we were the only ones in our car/spaceship/whatever the vehicle is. We even have a pretty decent redneck ride photo:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6515.jpg


It was around 8:30 when we finished up here. It had been another long day- we started out at Sea World, came back to our room for a rest and a swim, we had a few hours at Islands of Adventure and a couple more hours at the Studios. Seems like a great time to call it a night!

And two members of our group decided to do that. We split up: Mark and Ben decided to head back to the room, Nate and I wanted to ride Mummy a couple of times before Uni closed at 9. And then head back to the Wizarding World. After all, IoA doesn’t close until 10!!! We have created a commando monster! And we love it!

I lingered a little bit taking some photos along the way.

A couple of pictures of the Simpsons:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6512.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6521.jpg

Lombard’s Restaurant

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6523.jpg


As we proceeded toward the Mummy, I saw Mark and Ben up ahead.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6524.jpg


But they were headed towards the Mummy, not the exit. :confused3 We caught up to them and Mark explained he was coming to find us. He still had Nate’s and my ticket!!!

We thanked them, and parted once again. Tickets and Room Keys (aka Express Passes) in hand, Nate and I rode Mummy. Twice.

When we exited the ride, they were making the closing announcements for US and announcing that Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular would be starting soon. It is kinda hard for me to describe this, mainly because we didn't stay to watch, but I think it involves watching film clips on a giant globe followed by a few fireworks.

So I would venture a guess that this is closest to Illuminations, the EPCOT finale based on the globe, projections, fireworks

We were instead on a magical mission- what would the last hour look like in the Wizarding World?

Next up: Chasing Harry and a Major Muggle Mistake

.

Marlton Mom
09-22-2011, 08:46 PM
[SIZE="3"]After finishing our meal at Mythos, we decided for a change of scenery. We had not been back to the Studios since our first day (Monday), it was now Thursday. SNIP!

Bravo, BRAVO! :worship:

I see with all the heckling the pictures are getting better!

~MM

Queila
09-22-2011, 09:33 PM
Mythos decor looks so cool. I had never even heard of it but now I am certainly intrigued.

Love the picture of you guys at Man in Black. That was Joey's very favorite ride during our visit in 2005. And what a great (and scary) view of the shark on Jaws. I don't know why but I was under the impression they had retired this ride too. Guess not....:confused3

Have a great weekend!
Q

JanetMom
09-22-2011, 09:33 PM
Like :thumbsup2

bubba's mom
09-23-2011, 06:12 AM
NOW you're doing it right :thumbsup2 Park hoppin :cool1:

First...IF you HAVE to choose between Disaster! and Twister, always go with Disaster!. Much better show. We only do Twister cuz Bubba likes it :confused3

and, the lockers at FJ are the same as at MIB. Lockers you use because you HAVE to stow your stuff, operate the same at both parks. You scan your finger and it gives you a locker. When you return, you can either enter your locker number (if you remember it), OR scan your finger again and it'll tell you your locker number. Either way, you still need to scan your finger to 'unlock' it. When you use the ones at FJ, just go IN the exit to Filch's Emporium and you'll miss the crowds entering the locker area from the 'entrance'.

ddluvsdisney
09-23-2011, 07:33 AM
We didn't like Disaster but like Twister. We always said my DS14 was gonna be a meteorologist. He's always been fascinated with tornadoes and extreme weather. MIB is fun like Buzz on steroids. Too much spinning for me though. The boys went on this ride numerous times too.
My daredevil DS10 wanted to go on RRR. They were in line it ended up breaking down before he was able to ride- he was so close. What's up w/ this ride it seemed to happen a lot while we were there. Well the next day he didn't want to do it anymore. So he never did ride it. Kinda glad though with it breaking down all the time kinda made me nervous.

natebenma
09-23-2011, 08:25 AM
Bravo, BRAVO! :worship:

I see with all the heckling the pictures are getting better!

~MM

Thanks. I think.

Mythos decor looks so cool. I had never even heard of it but now I am certainly intrigued.

Love the picture of you guys at Man in Black. That was Joey's very favorite ride during our visit in 2005. And what a great (and scary) view of the shark on Jaws. I don't know why but I was under the impression they had retired this ride too. Guess not....:confused3

Have a great weekend!
Q

MiB IS fun!!!

We enjoyed Mythos. Do you think Beatriz would like the decor or would she find it creepy? Bet she would love the fish tank at Lombards! Ask for "Dee's Table"

Yup, Jaws is still around. One of the originals. Mark and I went to Uni a year or so after it opened and that was one of the few rides (Jaws, ET, King Kong) and they had a breathing Triceratops from Jurassic Park (they have come a long way in celebrating that movie series)! On our very first visit, we were in line for a long time, then the ride shut down before we got on, can't remember if it was a mechanical issue or weather.

Like :thumbsup2

Thanks!

NOW you're doing it right :thumbsup2 Park hoppin :cool1:

First...IF you HAVE to choose between Disaster! and Twister, always go with Disaster!. Much better show. We only do Twister cuz Bubba likes it :confused3

and, the lockers at FJ are the same as at MIB. Lockers you use because you HAVE to stow your stuff, operate the same at both parks. You scan your finger and it gives you a locker. When you return, you can either enter your locker number (if you remember it), OR scan your finger again and it'll tell you your locker number. Either way, you still need to scan your finger to 'unlock' it. When you use the ones at FJ, just go IN the exit to Filch's Emporium and you'll miss the crowds entering the locker area from the 'entrance'.

Thanks for the explanation on how the lockers work. I thought I would remember, but then when I finally got around to writing the update, the details were fuzzy!

I'm not scared about the mechanics of getting the locker opened, but that sure looked like a chaotic line over at FJ.

We didn't like Disaster but like Twister. We always said my DS14 was gonna be a meteorologist. He's always been fascinated with tornadoes and extreme weather. MIB is fun like Buzz on steroids. Too much spinning for me though. The boys went on this ride numerous times too.
My daredevil DS10 wanted to go on RRR. They were in line it ended up breaking down before he was able to ride- he was so close. What's up w/ this ride it seemed to happen a lot while we were there. Well the next day he didn't want to do it anymore. So he never did ride it. Kinda glad though with it breaking down all the time kinda made me nervous.

I would like to try Twister next time. So many shows, so little time!

Friday will be the last chance for a ride on RRR. First day, Nate said "No way". Today, we didn't have time and he said "Maybe tomorrow". There is a similar although much shorter ride, new this year, at a local amusement part (Untamed, at Canobie Lake Park)

eandesmom
09-23-2011, 12:16 PM
How cool that he realized he had your tickets! Major brownie points.

That is a seriously commando day. I'm tired just thinking about it and envious all at the same time. Brings back the memories.

Good call on skipping twister if you ask me.

Missyrose
09-23-2011, 07:02 PM
And two members of our group decided to do that. We split up: Mark and Ben decided to head back to the room, Nate and I wanted to ride Mummy a couple of times before Uni closed at 9. And then head back to the Wizarding World. After all, IoA doesn’t close until 10!!! We have created a commando monster! And we love it!



We were instead on a magical mission- what would the last hour look like in the Wizarding World?

Next up: Chasing Harry and a Major Muggle Mistake

.

You have created a good little commando monster! :thumbsup2 I can't wait to see what you thought of WWoHP at night. That was my favorite part of my IOA visit. The HP park is magical enough during the day, but at night? Wow, it goes to whole new level of magic! :wizard:

natebenma
09-24-2011, 05:55 AM
How cool that he realized he had your tickets! Major brownie points.

That is a seriously commando day. I'm tired just thinking about it and envious all at the same time. Brings back the memories.

Good call on skipping twister if you ask me.

You would think we would learn to take a moment to think about who had which tickets and room keys when we split up, but sadly we didn't! This incident didn't even burn it into our brains!

Until you posted your comment, it had not occured to me that Nate and I did 4 parks that day!!! (SW, IoA, US and back to IoA). Still does not rival my 4 park Disney Day though (AK, BB, Boma, HS, EP for Illuminations)


You have created a good little commando monster! :thumbsup2 I can't wait to see what you thought of WWoHP at night. That was my favorite part of my IOA visit. The HP park is magical enough during the day, but at night? Wow, it goes to whole new level of magic! :wizard:

We will have to see if the creation of the commando monster will come back to bite me in the butt! Nate's 8th grade class goes to Disney in June for their class trip (pretty cool, huh?) and we have been debating about whether I will accompany him or not. He goes back and forth. He doesn't really want me there, but then he remembers "Mom pones at Disney" (I'm good!), so he sways back to wanting me there. But after this last trip, he realizes that he he is pretty good himself.

Hmmm, I wonder how this will turn out???

By the way- anyone want to buy a wreath??? :santa:

ddluvsdisney
09-24-2011, 11:08 AM
We will have to see if the creation of the commando monster will come back to bite me in the butt! Nate's 8th grade class goes to Disney in June for their class trip (pretty cool, huh?) and we have been debating about whether I will accompany him or not. He goes back and forth. He doesn't really want me there, but then he remembers "Mom pones at Disney" (I'm good!), so he sways back to wanting me there. But after this last trip, he realizes that he he is pretty good himself.

Hmmm, I wonder how this will turn out???

By the way- anyone want to buy a wreath???


Disney for 8th gr. class trip!!!! That is way cool.:woohoo: My DS just went to D.C. Don't get me wrong it was fantastic- saw and did so much. But, Disney can't beat that!
Deb :)

natebenma
09-24-2011, 11:46 AM
Disney for 8th gr. class trip!!!! That is way cool.:woohoo: My DS just went to D.C. Don't get me wrong it was fantastic- saw and did so much. But, Disney can't beat that!
Deb :)

The school used to go to Washington for the 8th grade trip, but I think the teachers feel it is easier to chaperone the kids at Disney than in DC. We took our boys to DC last October and it was an incredible trip!

natebenma
09-24-2011, 12:45 PM
That's all it took!

On the next day of our never ending trip report I woke up at some ungodly hour in the early morning with a terrible case of bed head. Unfortunately I turned on the lamp and the guys got a peep of my Paris Hilton hair extensions 3 sheets to the wind. All that screaming was awkward to say the least and after hotel security got a gander at my disaster doo they ran screaming down the hallway and jumped in the 'vators. I surreptitiously applied liberal amounts of pilfered BC hair products in a vain attempt to tame my tigress locks and headed off to nibble a muffin from the Club level offerings. (15 pictures of that single muffin to follow)

The boys, having recovered from TMI bed head, were their usual surly selves as we made our way to the park. I knew I needed to lob Coffee at Mark like a hand grenade in order to wake him up. It was either that or go on that Spiderman thingy. The kids were busy playing Goldilocks with their breakfast offerings, complaining about how breakfast was either too this or not enough of that. I gave them my patented "Mama ain't PLAYIN with you!!!" look and the whimpering suddenly ceased.

We were the first ones awake in Orlando that morning having arrived 4 hours before what ever they call rope drop at the NON DISNEY park we were at that day. Within seconds the thundering herds were behind us, pushing and shoving to get to Toy Story Mania. Imagine their shock and surprise when I had to explain to them that they were at the wrong park entirely, and imagine my surprise when they told me the line had reached back that far.

Suddenly it was full steam ahead as we were let into the park. I was easily distracted by food carts and snack shops that didn't open for another hour or 5 as we attempted to make our way yet again to ride that Seuss thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MM

I realize I never did fully reply (or post a rebuttal) to this semi-ficticious report:

OK, the part about waking up at an ungodly hour and storming the theme park: True!

I have to dispute the whole bed-head thing, though. My hair is more Lady GaGa in the morning than Paris Hilton, but I'm not sure that is better.

The accusation about the pilfered Beach Club beauty supplies- Totally True, however I had an accomplice in this acquistion. You know who you are!

I proudly admit to the 15 pictures of the Club Level muffin. It was white chocolate Macadamia with a coconut creme filling. Truly a thing of beauty. And almost half of the photos were artsy shots of just the white choc chips or the nuts.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20Orlando%202011/Concierge%20Lounge/IMG_5658.jpg

There was some lobbing of coffee between Mark and me, but you need to understand that it is far more important to keep ME caffeinated.

Off to Seussland, I went with a plea
But the boys again would not ride it with me
They claim "It's for babies" as they pooh-pooh it
I don't know what it will take to get them to do it!

.

Marlton Mom
09-25-2011, 11:24 AM
By the way- anyone want to buy a wreath???

:lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao:

Tis the season!

I realize I never did fully reply (or post a rebuttal) to this semi-ficticious report:

OK, the part about waking up at an ungodly hour and storming the theme park: True!

I have to dispute the whole bed-head thing, though. My hair is more Lady GaGa in the morning than Paris Hilton, but I'm not sure that is better.

The accusation about the pilfered Beach Club beauty supplies- Totally True, however I had an accomplice in this acquistion. You know who you are!

I proudly admit to the 15 pictures of the Club Level muffin. It was white chocolate Macadamia with a coconut creme filling. Truly a thing of beauty. And almost half of the photos were artsy shots of just the white choc chips or the nuts.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20Orlando%202011/Concierge%20Lounge/IMG_5658.jpg

There was some lobbing of coffee between Mark and me, but you need to understand that it is far more important to keep ME caffeinated.

Off to Seussland, I went with a plea
But the boys again would not ride it with me
They claim "It's for babies" as they pooh-pooh it
I don't know what it will take to get them to do it!

.

So you are saying I was spot on. OK then >>> :p <<<

~MM

natebenma
09-25-2011, 07:52 PM
It was dark as Nate and I left US to go to IoA. We were really booking it since the park would only be open for one more hour and WW is way at the back of the park! My commando wingman was doing an awesome job keeping up with me. I was ahead, moving at a pretty fast pace, scoping out openings ahead in the crowd. I was making hand-signals so Nate would know which way I was going next. My hands were touching like I was praying and I would point them to the left or right of my body to indicate my direction.

I was hoping we would find low crowds in the Wizarding World. Everything I had read indicated that the last hour before IoA closed tended to be the least crowded time there. However, this was Thursday, July 14, a few hours before Deathly Hallows, Part 2 was premiering. LeakyCon, the Harry Potter fan convention was also taking place.

We saw lots of costumed guests in the parks this week. I really have to give credit to the dedication of the fans who were wearing full black robes, ties and scarves in the July heat! Mark says he saw someone dressed spot-on as Moaning Myrtle, with white makeup and everything. I was impressed that someone would emulate Moaning Myrtle and even more impressed that my husband knew who that was!

At some point in City Walk, I spotted him! Harry Potter himself! This guy was dressed perfectly in his robe, looked to be about the right age and height (Harry, year 6 probably). He was booking it to the Wizarding World at about the same pace as we were. I tried so hard to get ahead of him to take a picture, without appearing like a stalker. Took a couple of photos, but since he was moving, I was moving and it was dark, they all came out blurry.
Here’s the best one I have, you are going to have to trust me on how much this guy looked like Harry!


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6531.jpg


We followed him all the way to Hogsmeade, where he ducked into Honeydukes.

We continued on to the castle to ride Forbidden Journey. Imagine my delight when Nate said “Wait time is 15 minutes!!!” Awesome! Just enough time to enjoy the queue through the castle before the ride.

Then he distracted me by pointing out the magical sign for the attraction which lit up a letter at a time:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6538.jpg

Very cool!

So we were in the castle, moving right along, until… we reached the dreaded greenhouse. The line formed on the very bottom of the greenhouse ramp. No way was the wait going to be 15 minutes! I still don’t know what happened- if the posting was wrong, or if "someone" made a mistake when he read it, but this was the most miserable wait we had on the trip. It is really really hot in the greenhouse and except for a small display case along the wall at the end of the queue, there is not a lot to see. I’ve said it before (earlier in this report, in fact) and I’ll say it again

The greenhouse could use a little less heat and a little more magic!

At this point Nate and I were pretty hot and pretty tired after our long day. Nate did not have his phone with him. I had mine. I pulled it out and looked at it. There were a couple of voice mail messages, so I listened to them.

“Hi, this is Ann (my neighbor who is watching the house and feeding our gerbils). Is there another carbon monoxide detector in your house? The one in the dining room has been going off for a couple of days, so I unplugged it”

:scared1:

Fortunately, since I was still in the greenhouse waiting area, I had plenty of time to text her

“Yes, there is one upstairs and one in the basement”

Neither one of them was going off, and the gerbils were still alive, so we figured it was just the battery that had died.

I think I sent another text or two to other friends, although I had to explain to one of them when we got back what a pocketful of FPs meant.

There is a view up at the castle turrets from one vantage point in the greenhouse:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6541.jpg


Finally, we were out of the greenhouse and in the castle checking out Dumbledore’s office, some classrooms and the Griffindor Common Room:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6554.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6557.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6558.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6559.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6560.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6561.jpg


So, riding Forbidden Journey ended up taking a lot more time than we thought it would! And when we were done, it dawned on me that we had made a Major Muggle Mistake! This would have been the perfect opportunity to use the Single Rider Line. This was a lesson I would not soon forget.

I took a few pictures of Hogsmeade when we were finished, but not many.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6563.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6565.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6566.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6567.jpg


The park was closing in about 15 minutes. I had not been on one of Nate’s favorites, so we quickly made our way to Marvel Superhero Island.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster-Feel the rage on a high-speed roller coaster rampage.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6571.jpg

We showed our room keys and made our way to the loading area. While we were there, we saw a family carrying a couple of backpacks. As they were about to board the ride, they were told they couldn’t bring on the backpacks and they couldn’t leave them there. I think one member of their party took the bags and left. She wouldn’t be riding that night. We heard announcements that Islands of Adventure was closed and there would only be a couple more takeoffs.

We were on one of the last rides.

The Hulk was fun- another very smooth coaster. Fast takeoff like RockNRollercoaster. Lots of loops/inversions.

The line for the boat to the Portofino was pretty crowded. I think one boat just left when we arrived, and we were not able to get onto the next boat that arrived. It was probably pretty close to 11 when we got back to our room. The next day was going to be another early morning. It was the last day of our trip, and we were going to arrive for the 7 am opening of Harry Potter.

As I mentioned earlier, tonight was the night Deathly Hallows Part 2 was opening. Did you hear that the audience at the City Walk movie premiere was surprised with a complimentary visit to WWoHP after the movie from 3 am to 5am! Cool!

Although we were in Orlando, we didn’t have tickets to the movie. But we would be in the Wizarding World just 2 hours after the lucky guests had cleared out.

Next up: Last Day :sad1:

Marlton Mom
09-25-2011, 10:24 PM
AWESOME Report!!

It's hard to think of the simplest things after a long and exhausting day at the parks so don't beat yourself up.

I can't wait to hear how crabby everybody is and what time you got up on the last day... As they say, you can sleep when you are dead!

~Joanie

bubba's mom
09-26-2011, 06:06 AM
That was a great day! So, guess you waited for the boat instead of walked back?

Don't feel bad about not using single rider for FJ at the end of the day. Sometimes the posted wait times ARE off and sometimes you just don't know...kinda sux you didn't know till standing in the middle of the queue tho :headache:

But...don't beat yourself up about it....you couldn't have known. Anyone of us coulda done it the way you did. :)

Our last nite there, Bubba was going to ride single rider. Till he saw the line at the bottom of the single rider steps. :eek: Forget it he said! :laughing:

DrMomof3
09-26-2011, 06:22 AM
How do you have enough energy to keep going after that much time? I think I would have collapsed at this point!!! :rotfl2:
I have to remember Single Rider Line. Must etch that into the brain before my trip. :thumbsup2
An incredible day but I doubt I could have kept up!

Amanda

natebenma
09-26-2011, 06:43 AM
AWESOME Report!!

It's hard to think of the simplest things after a long and exhausting day at the parks so don't beat yourself up.

I can't wait to hear how crabby everybody is and what time you got up on the last day... As they say, you can sleep when you are dead!

~Joanie

Thank you!

We learned that it was really important to to make sure everyone has their own tickets and room keys when splitting up. Or didn't learn. You'll see... :rolleyes1

There is some definite crabbiness coming up, but it is not at the beginning of the day.

That was a great day! So, guess you waited for the boat instead of walked back?

Don't feel bad about not using single rider for FJ at the end of the day. Sometimes the posted wait times ARE off and sometimes you just don't know...kinda sux you didn't know till standing in the middle of the queue tho :headache:

But...don't beat yourself up about it....you couldn't have known. Anyone of us coulda done it the way you did. :)

Our last nite there, Bubba was going to ride single rider. Till he saw the line at the bottom of the single rider steps. :eek: Forget it he said! :laughing:



We had an amazing day!

Yes, we took the boat back. We took your path to the parks a few times, but we never did the reverse trek.

Thanks for the pep talk about missing the SRL. The thing that really bummed me out was that we spent so much time in the greenhouse part of the queue we didn't have time to enjoy other parts of the Wizarding World at night. I wouldn't have minded getting another ride on Hulk, either. That was my first, and only ride.

How do you have enough energy to keep going after that much time? I think I would have collapsed at this point!!! :rotfl2:
I have to remember Single Rider Line. Must etch that into the brain before my trip. :thumbsup2
An incredible day but I doubt I could have kept up!

Amanda

You should go through the regular queue at least once or twice, because even if you go in the castle tour line, you miss a few things. But SRL for Forbidden Journey is the way to go! Especially since you will be solo. :)

As long as I am moving, I am ok. What shocked me was how well Nate did. This was the second long day in a row for him- the 12.5 hour marathon at the MK, followed by a 4 park (SW, IoA, US, IoA) day. He did get in a short mid-day nap while the rest of us were at the pool, though.

ddluvsdisney
09-26-2011, 07:54 AM
Sounded like another great day! The greenhouse area is really kinda boring looking. You'd think they would do something better with this space. And the heat in there!!!
The Hulk had too many inversions for me I think- I felt so old after getting off that ride lol. :)
Deb :)

Marlton Mom
09-26-2011, 11:10 AM
Thank you!
There is some definite crabbiness coming up, but it is not at the beginning of the day.


Darn! I hate that you can't post a poll inside a thread....

I'll play "Joanie the Greek" and discuss the odds of who is going to have a melt down. Let's look at the cast and their attributes shall we?

First we have Dee, the driven trip organizer. Strengths: Been there done that, bought the T-shirt AND a set of pins. Weakness: Is a planner and planners tend to get cranky when the members of the traveling party abandon a carefully (Oh so carefully) crafted plan and start trying to survive the trip any way they can.

Next we have Mark the stoic husband. Strengths: He's been married long enough to this woman to know that she's right and the best thing to do is to listen to her. Weakness: He's a guy and guys just really want to do their own thing, especially after 4 + days of following the wife.

And then there is Nate. Strengths: He is a junior park commando in training who loves running away from the pack and towards his own path. Weakness: He is a Teenager, with hormones and attitude that fluctuate between I am part of the pack or I am the "Lone Wolf".

Finally we have Ben. His strengths are that he is still young and malleable and still appreciates the benefit of working with the family. Weakness: He is the youngest of the group and thinks he is the least heard. His teenage hormones are also rearing their gnarly heads, although not with the turn on a dime variability of his older brother.

So ladies and gentleman WHO SHALL IT BE???

Which one of our 4 intrepid characters is going to lose it and blow a gasket.

Will it be Dee?
or Mark??
or Nate???
or Ben????

Tune in to the next post for my prediction! :p :p :p

Marlton Mom
09-26-2011, 11:25 AM
Ok so I couldn't wait long enough to really torture you.

Here are the odds:

Dee: 2 to 4 odds that she blows it because she has two children on this trip and we all know that children cause a parent to lose it on a regular basis.

Mark: 1 in 4 odds only because he knows Dee will blow first before the aggravation exceeds his levels.

Ben: 3 in 4 odds but not the winner here......

Nate: I'm picking Nate as the winner here. All that running around plus the picky eating and the hormones are bound to take their toll.

So how'd I do???

~MM

mickeystoontown
09-26-2011, 11:32 AM
I am loving that you've raised Nate to be a go-go-go park tourer (is that a word? :laughing:) Hunter is just like that and could keep going until they made us leave. Too bad you got stuck in a long line and in the sweltering greenhouse. Your description of other guests being dressed in HP themed costumes reminds me of the guests who dress up for Star Wars Weekends.

natebenma
09-26-2011, 11:56 AM
Darn! I hate that you can't post a poll inside a thread....

I'll play "Joanie the Greek" and discuss the odds of who is going to have a melt down. Let's look at the cast and their attributes shall we?

First we have Dee, the driven trip organizer. Strengths: Been there done that, bought the T-shirt AND a set of pins. Weakness: Is a planner and planners tend to get cranky when the members of the traveling party abandon a carefully (Oh so carefully) crafted plan and start trying to survive the trip any way they can.

Next we have Mark the stoic husband. Strengths: He's been married long enough to this woman to know that she's right and the best thing to do is to listen to her. Weakness: He's a guy and guys just really want to do their own thing, especially after 4 + days of following the wife.

And then there is Nate. Strengths: He is a junior park commando in training who loves running away from the pack and towards his own path. Weakness: He is a Teenager, with hormones and attitude that fluctuate between I am part of the pack or I am the "Lone Wolf".

Finally we have Ben. His strengths are that he is still young and malleable and still appreciates the benefit of working with the family. Weakness: He is the youngest of the group and thinks he is the least heard. His teenage hormones are also rearing their gnarly heads, although not with the turn on a dime variability of his older brother.

So ladies and gentleman WHO SHALL IT BE???

Which one of our 4 intrepid characters is going to lose it and blow a gasket.

Will it be Dee?
or Mark??
or Nate???
or Ben????

Tune in to the next post for my prediction! :p :p :p

Ok so I couldn't wait long enough to really torture you.

Here are the odds:

Dee: 2 to 4 odds that she blows it because she has two children on this trip and we all know that children cause a parent to lose it on a regular basis.

Mark: 1 in 4 odds only because he knows Dee will blow first before the aggravation exceeds his levels.

Ben: 3 in 4 odds but not the winner here......

Nate: I'm picking Nate as the winner here. All that running around plus the picky eating and the hormones are bound to take their toll.

So how'd I do???

~MM

Ooh, I love this! I hope others play along.

Your analysis of the personalities involved is perfect, but you did not take into account that the answer could be more than 1 person or all of the above! But there is a clear crabby winner!

Unfortunately, the winner will not be revealed until the "Not a Magical Express to the airport" chapter, which is at least 6 updates away! I know you got all excited when you saw Last Day, but there's still a lot more to come, and yes, more food porn!

natebenma
09-26-2011, 12:02 PM
I am loving that you've raised Nate to be a go-go-go park tourer (is that a word? :laughing:) Hunter is just like that and could keep going until they made us leave. Too bad you got stuck in a long line and in the sweltering greenhouse. Your description of other guests being dressed in HP themed costumes reminds me of the guests who dress up for Star Wars Weekends.

Now we just need to get Ben with the program!

He did well on our MK day, though, so there is definitely hope.

Yes, good analogy to Star Wars Weekends. You have to admire the commitment of those willing to go to such lengths to show their devotion, but a t-shirt works just fine for me, thank you!!!

Marlton Mom
09-26-2011, 12:19 PM
Ooh, I love this! I hope others play along.

Your analysis of the personalities involved is perfect, but you did not take into account that the answer could be more than 1 person or all of the above! But there is a clear crabby winner!

Unfortunately, the winner will not be revealed until the "Not a Magical Express to the airport" chapter, which is at least 6 updates away! I know you got all excited when you saw Last Day, but there's still a lot more to come, and yes, more food porn!

So this trip report is basically turning into a Season of that TV show "Lost".
Are we going to be chased by Dinosaurs as we try to read it?

~ MM

natebenma
09-26-2011, 12:36 PM
So this trip report is basically turning into a Season of that TV show "Lost".
Are we going to be chased by Dinosaurs as we try to read it?

~ MM

YES!!! There are dinosaurs!!! Two updates away. ;)

eandesmom
09-26-2011, 06:01 PM
The greenhouse could use a little less heat and a little more magic!

At this point Nate and I were pretty hot and pretty tired after our long day. Nate did not have his phone with him. I had mine. I pulled it out and looked at it. There were a couple of voice mail messages, so I listened to them.

“Hi, this is Ann (my neighbor who is watching the house and feeding our gerbils). Is there another carbon monoxide detector in your house? The one in the dining room has been going off for a couple of days, so I unplugged it”

:scared1:

Fortunately, since I was still in the greenhouse waiting area, I had plenty of time to text her

“Yes, there is one upstairs and one in the basement”

Neither one of them was going off, and the gerbils were still alive, so we figured it was just the battery that had died.


I could not agree more about the greenhouse. When we were there they actually were handing out water to people, it could verge on horrific! Fortunately we were never really stuck there but UGH. I have to admit, it wouldn't have occurred to me to use the single rider line, I didn't even notice if there was one! :rotfl:

Thank goodness you had more than one CM detector.

As I mentioned earlier, tonight was the night Deathly Hallows Part 2 was opening. Did you hear that the audience at the City Walk movie premiere was surprised with a complimentary visit to WWoHP after the movie from 3 am to 5am! Cool!

Although we were in Orlando, we didn’t have tickets to the movie. But we would be in the Wizarding World just 2 hours after the lucky guests had cleared out.



I did not hear that, how cool!!!

natebenma
09-28-2011, 06:51 AM
On the morning of our last day, we were all up early, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed :squirrel:, so we could visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the early opening hour (7 am).

Our plan for the day was to go the Islands of Adventure for a few hours, then return to the Portofino for breakfast in the club lounge. Checkout at the resort is 11 am so we planned to check our bags with bell services and return to Universal to hit some favorite attractions, then come back to the Portofino for lunch. Our flight was at 6 PM, so we had a 3:15 pickup scheduled for the return to the airport.

Once again, we followed Bubbamom’s shortcut through the Hard Rock Parking lot to get to City Walk. I’m not sure if I have described the bag check procedure- when you arrive at City Walk from the resort path, there is one guy who quickly checks the bags you are bringing in. No lines. I’m not sure there is even a table. Very easy.

At 7:05, we were walking through this gate:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6590.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6591.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6592.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6593.jpg


I had a lot of problems with glare from this poster:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6594.jpg


A little better


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6596.jpg


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6597.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6655.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6610.jpg


On our first early opening visit to WWoHP, we skipped the Olivander’s show and went directly to the castle and Forbidden Journey. This time, I wanted to catch the show, so we got in line as soon as we arrived. I think there were about 40-50 people in line ahead of us. The wand shop is really small, only 20-25 people are let in at a time and the show is about 5 minutes long. I believe it took close to 30 minutes to get in (we were the 4th group). I don’t know that I would wait more than 30 minutes for the show, so if there are more than 50 or so people ahead of you, I recommend skipping this. Do it early if it is important to you- the lines will only get much longer during the day!


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6599.jpg


Why does this sign make me think the shop is for men only?


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6656.jpg


A girl who looked to be about 12 named Paige was picked to be chosen by a wand. The guy playing Olivander was really good. Here are a few pictures from the shop/show.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6602.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6603.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6604.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6608.jpg


When we had finished, it was time to go onto Forbidden Journey again. Having learned from our mistake last night, Nate and I suggested using the Single Rider Line. Ben wanted to go in the regular line. So we split up with plans to meet at 8 am.

Nate and I were alone in the SRL. It was not a walk-on, it was a run-on! As we got to the loading area, the TM’s told us to “Hurry” and we were put on seats side by side. Wow, that was fast!

We were able to get on the ride so quickly that we decided to do it again. Until I realized that I had everyone’s room keys. So Mark and Ben would not have them to show for the Front of the Line Access if they wanted to do anything.

I panicked! I decided that instead of a second ride on FJ, we would try to find Mark and Ben in line. So we got into the Castle Tour line, and looked for them in the regular line. We didn’t see them! We ended up seeing them exiting Filch’s Emporium. They had finished their ride.

Of course, it didn’t occur to me that since we were meeting up with them again before the park was open to all guests, that it was probably not necessary to show the room keys anywhere. DOH!!!

Continued in Next Post

natebenma
09-28-2011, 06:54 AM
Continued from previous post


Together again, we all went through the castle for the last time, for a final ride on Forbidden Journey.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6613.jpg


Dang! The greenhouse again. At least the line is moving this time.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6618.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6622.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6630.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6632.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6634.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6635.jpg


When we had finished with FJ, Mark and Ben took one more ride on Flight of the Hippogriff, while Nate and I tackled Dragon Challenge- red this time.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6639.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6647.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6648.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6651.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6645.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6650.jpg


A parting shot of Hogwarts:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Wizarding%20World%20of%20Harry%20Potter/IMG_6659.jpg


Next up: A few last things at Islands of Adventure

bubba's mom
09-28-2011, 07:16 AM
I'm guessing each person in your family doesn't retain possession of their room key? :rolleyes1

re: bag checks. When you enter the parks' property, you are subject to quick search. Whether it's arriving by foot at CW or if you opt for the boat from your resort. If by boat, they check your bag BEFORE you board the boat. If you arrive as day guest (parking garage), they will check your bag as you are exiting the parking garage. It's not thorough and it IS quick.

I love WWoHP during early entry. SO empty and relaxing :goodvibes (& I'm not a HP fan)

and, so your readers know, DD...Dragon Challenge. Red is Chinese Fireball and Blue is Hungarian Horntail. :)

but for some of us, it'll always be "Fire" and "Ice" ;)

Sad this is coming to an end...especially since we didn't go this year...and the next 2 aren't looking promising either. :rolleyes:

natebenma
09-28-2011, 07:39 AM
I'm guessing each person in your family doesn't retain possession of their room key? :rolleyes1

re: bag checks. When you enter the parks' property, you are subject to quick search. Whether it's arriving by foot at CW or if you opt for the boat from your resort. If by boat, they check your bag BEFORE you board the boat. If you arrive as day guest (parking garage), they will check your bag as you are exiting the parking garage. It's not thorough and it IS quick.

I love WWoHP during early entry. SO empty and relaxing :goodvibes (& I'm not a HP fan)

and, so your readers know, DD...Dragon Challenge. Red is Chinese Fireball and Blue is Hungarian Horntail. :)

but for some of us, it'll always be "Fire" and "Ice" ;)

Sad this is coming to an end...especially since we didn't go this year...and the next 2 aren't looking promising either. :rolleyes:

I love having you here!!! I really like my details to be thorough and informative (that's why we have a 40 plus page TR for a 5 day trip), so I appreciate you filling in the descriptions and details.

Don't worry, we still have a couple more park updates to go!

Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge: Do you have a preference between Fire and Ice, or are they both about the same to you? I haven't been on the Uni forums much lately- last I knew they were running the coasters seperately due to a couple of recent issues. Don't think they have them dueling again yet.

Too bad you don't have plans to get back to IoA/US soon, but I will try not to feel too sorry for you. Sailing around the BVI and a trip to Grand Cayman don't sound so bad! ;)

bubba's mom
09-28-2011, 07:48 AM
I love having you here!!! I really like my details to be thorough and informative (that's why we have a 40 plus page TR for a 5 day trip), so I appreciate you filling in the descriptions and details.

Don't worry, we still have a couple more park updates to go!

Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge: Do you have a preference between Fire and Ice, or are they both about the same to you? I haven't been on the Uni forums much lately- last I knew they were running the coasters seperately due to a couple of recent issues. Don't think they have them dueling again yet.

Too bad you don't have plans to get back to IoA/US soon, but I will try not to feel too sorry for you. Sailing around the BVI and a trip to Grand Cayman don't sound so bad! ;)

:laughing: ...no. The alternative trips are much better :teeth: Like DH sez, 'there's a lot more world out there than just UO to vacation at!' The man gots a point. :rolleyes:

We actually prefer Ice (Horntail), but in the front seat. Looks like you are going to run smack into a stone wall...then it lifts you up and away from it. It's SO cool, even at night! I think Fire (Fireball) is faster and an extra roll to it, Ice seems 'boring' compared to Fire? We prefer Fire over Ice, unless we are in the front row of Ice. And of course, we prefer first row in both :thumbsup2

I love being here for this report...givin me a "lil fix" anyway :rolleyes1

ddluvsdisney
09-28-2011, 07:50 AM
What great pics inside the castle!! They are crystal clear. I wish mine came out thet good. SRL are the best according to DS14- you just walk right on. Too bad Ben didn't wanna do that you probably would have sat together (at least 2 of you). But my DS10 probably wouldn't do it either. DH and DSs told me when they were on FJ some little kid that was in SRL rode w/ them and he screamed the whole time ( he was about 7 y.o. they guess). I asked them if he was all right I was saying I couldn't believe parents would let such a little kid go by himself. (the mothering instinct, ya know) They then told me it was screams of joy he didn't look scared when he got off LOL.

Deb :)

Marlton Mom
09-28-2011, 11:35 AM
My DS, soon to be 13, will not set foot on a roller coaster. This was a child that hated the baby swing when he was little. I used to discipline him by saying "if you don't stop that Mommy's gonna put you in that swing and turn it up on HIGH!!!" :eek: Needless to say the misbehavin STOPPED!

~MM

bubba's mom
09-28-2011, 12:56 PM
I am SO sorry.... but....

"if you don't stop that Mommy's gonna put you in that swing and turn it up on HIGH!!!" :eek:


:lmao:

natebenma
09-28-2011, 01:11 PM
"if you don't stop that Mommy's gonna put you in that swing and turn it up on HIGH!!!" :eek: Needless to say the misbehavin STOPPED!

~MM

And the need for therapy started! ;)

natebenma
09-28-2011, 01:18 PM
What great pics inside the castle!! They are crystal clear. I wish mine came out thet good. SRL are the best according to DS14- you just walk right on. Too bad Ben didn't wanna do that you probably would have sat together (at least 2 of you). But my DS10 probably wouldn't do it either. DH and DSs told me when they were on FJ some little kid that was in SRL rode w/ them and he screamed the whole time ( he was about 7 y.o. they guess). I asked them if he was all right I was saying I couldn't believe parents would let such a little kid go by himself. (the mothering instinct, ya know) They then told me it was screams of joy he didn't look scared when he got off LOL.

Deb :)

Thanks! I'm pretty happy with the pictures inside the castle. A little secret, though... I take a LOT of pictures-not all of 'em are good- I try to only post the decent ones.

It worked out fine. We all got quite a few rides on FJ. I'll have to go back and count at some point. But we probably would have tried it on some of our mid-morning or afternoon visits if we had thought of SRL.

Missyrose
09-28-2011, 01:56 PM
I was a few updates behind! :scared1:

You guys sure made nice work of the last hour at IOA, that Forbidden Journey sign is soooo magical!

The Olivanders show looks fun! We only had one day at WWoHP, so we ran straight to FJ. Since there were four adults in our group, we never really felt like waiting in the ever-growing Olivanders line.

Last day coming up! Oh no! At least you still have plenty of chapters planned. :thumbsup2

eandesmom
09-28-2011, 06:35 PM
Great info on Ollivanders, makes me glad I skipped it. The funny thing is I remember the bag check when we'd walk over but not at all for the boat. :rotfl:

It's still fire and ice to me too and front row all the way!

Funny about the room keys.

natebenma
09-29-2011, 06:08 AM
I was a few updates behind! :scared1:

You guys sure made nice work of the last hour at IOA, that Forbidden Journey sign is soooo magical!

The Olivanders show looks fun! We only had one day at WWoHP, so we ran straight to FJ. Since there were four adults in our group, we never really felt like waiting in the ever-growing Olivanders line.

Last day coming up! Oh no! At least you still have plenty of chapters planned. :thumbsup2

We are glad we saw the Olivanders show, but there is no way I would wait more than 30 minutes for it. Whenever we were in the Wizarding World later in the day and I would see the line, I would mentally calculate how long it would be before the people at the end of the line would get in... Not pretty!

Great info on Ollivanders, makes me glad I skipped it. The funny thing is I remember the bag check when we'd walk over but not at all for the boat. :rotfl:

It's still fire and ice to me too and front row all the way!

Funny about the room keys.


I have seen recommendations to go onto youtube to see the Olivanders show- I think that is great advice.

There was never much of a line for Dueling Dragons/Fire&Ice, even without the express pass I think the ride was pretty much a walk-on whenever we tried it.

The key thing really messed us up! Our habit at Disney is to hand all keys to Mark immediately after going through the turnstiles. He is the primary FP runner. So we are in the habit of one person having all of the keys. At Uni/IoA, Mark still kept all of the keys and would show them all at each attraction for front of the line. Works great, until we split up! And we did a lot more splitting up since Ben was not interested in some of the more intense rides.

ddluvsdisney
09-29-2011, 09:15 AM
I forgot to say yesterday that we skipped Ollivanders as well. I was more sad about this than the boys however. They had no interest in waiting in that line for a short show. Although one time the line wasn't that long we probably would have waited 30 min or less. I guess it was more important to them to get on FJ twice in a row with little wait than do Ollivanders. Smart choice I guess :)
Deb :)

natebenma
09-30-2011, 04:46 AM
I forgot to say yesterday that we skipped Ollivanders as well. I was more sad about this than the boys however. They had no interest in waiting in that line for a short show. Although one time the line wasn't that long we probably would have waited 30 min or less. I guess it was more important to them to get on FJ twice in a row with little wait than do Ollivanders. Smart choice I guess :)
Deb :)

I would choose a 2nd ride on FJ over Olivanders. I'm glad we did it, but again, it is not worth hours of waiting time!

bubba's mom
09-30-2011, 06:35 AM
Tossing this out there cuz it'll help someone....

From entrance to Ollivander's, the line 'snakes' between two buildings. When the line reaches the corner of the next building (at the main walkway), it is a 30 min wait from that point.

make sense?

natebenma
09-30-2011, 06:43 AM
Tossing this out there cuz it'll help someone....

From entrance to Ollivander's, the line 'snakes' between two buildings. When the line reaches the corner of the next building (at the main walkway), it is a 30 min wait from that point.

make sense?

Good info to have! I know exactly where you are talking about. If I had known that when I was there, I would have taken a picture!

bubba's mom
09-30-2011, 07:17 AM
Good info to have! I know exactly where you are talking about. If I had known that when I was there, I would have taken a picture!

:teeth:

Bald dude in the white sleeveless shirt in the bottom right of the picture is going into Ollivanders. Line goes to the left. At the next building, the lady in the yellow tank w/ the kid in the light blue shirt and black shorts, they are at the corner of the next building. THAT is the 30 min wait point. You can see they are 'rounding' that building's corner in the line that will now go between the two buildings.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v283/barbpics/Vacation%202010/Thurs%20July%2015%20UO/DSCN4656.jpg

aprilisis
09-30-2011, 07:26 AM
You got some great shots of WWOHP inside the castle!
My goodness...I was so far behind on your TR. How did that happen?

jmskinner
09-30-2011, 07:45 PM
I'm subscribing. I haven't read everything yet, but made it to your wet rides on Rip Saw Falls and the Barges.

Going back to what I have read, I understand what you mean about "fancy" hotels. We are the "wait on ourselves people" and we had so much luggage when we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and were told they didn't allow us to use carts since they were a full service hotel. Neither one of us had money for a tip, so no way were we going to allow them to carry our bags.:lmao:

You mentioned on Rip Saw Falls how you were told to put the camera away. I was totally shocked when I saw your photos from Jaws. We had the camera nazi on our boat when we rode. The boat operator asked that all cameras be put away and when one rider kept filming, he stopped the boat and said we wouldn't move until the camera was put away. It made me nuts how they wouldn't allow camera's.:mad:

I will read some more tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

DrMomof3
09-30-2011, 08:22 PM
Love the castle pics! I'm getting very excited!!!

Amanda

bubba's mom
10-01-2011, 06:39 AM
I was totally shocked when I saw your photos from Jaws. We had the camera nazi on our boat when we rode. The boat operator asked that all cameras be put away and when one rider kept filming, he stopped the boat and said we wouldn't move until the camera was put away. It made me nuts how they wouldn't allow camera's.:mad:


in ALL my rides on Jaws (and it's a lot), I've NEVER heard ANY 'captain' tell someone to put their camera away? :confused3 Not only do I have lots of pix, but I have video somewhere too.

Maybe that captain was having a bad day? :sad2:

natebenma
10-01-2011, 08:21 AM
Bubbasmom- thanks for the Olivander's line photo!

You got some great shots of WWOHP inside the castle!
My goodness...I was so far behind on your TR. How did that happen?

Glad you liked the castle photos.

Life perhaps???

Love the castle pics! I'm getting very excited!!!

Amanda

Thanks Amanda! Hope all is going well!

I'm subscribing. I haven't read everything yet, but made it to your wet rides on Rip Saw Falls and the Barges.

Going back to what I have read, I understand what you mean about "fancy" hotels. We are the "wait on ourselves people" and we had so much luggage when we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and were told they didn't allow us to use carts since they were a full service hotel. Neither one of us had money for a tip, so no way were we going to allow them to carry our bags.:lmao:

You mentioned on Rip Saw Falls how you were told to put the camera away. I was totally shocked when I saw your photos from Jaws. We had the camera nazi on our boat when we rode. The boat operator asked that all cameras be put away and when one rider kept filming, he stopped the boat and said we wouldn't move until the camera was put away. It made me nuts how they wouldn't allow camera's.:mad:

I will read some more tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

:welcome:

So glad to have you here!

We brought our own luggage to our room at the Portofino. Our suitcases are on wheels, and certainly each of us is able to manage one piece of luggage.

in ALL my rides on Jaws (and it's a lot), I've NEVER heard ANY 'captain' tell someone to put their camera away? :confused3 Not only do I have lots of pix, but I have video somewhere too.

Maybe that captain was having a bad day? :sad2:

I rode Jaws twice, and Ben/Mark rode it a couple more times- we weren't told to put away our cameras on this ride, but I have seen the comment on a few TRs lately (mmmrmustard), specifically with Jaws. I don't know if the camera restriction thing is new. I personally experienced it on Jurassic Park and Ripsaw Falls.

ddluvsdisney
10-01-2011, 09:41 AM
in ALL my rides on Jaws (and it's a lot), I've NEVER heard ANY 'captain' tell someone to put their camera away? :confused3 Not only do I have lots of pix, but I have video somewhere too.

Maybe that captain was having a bad day? :sad2:

This also happened to me in August I was sad not to have any pics.

natebenma
10-01-2011, 12:13 PM
You mentioned on Rip Saw Falls how you were told to put the camera away. I was totally shocked when I saw your photos from Jaws. We had the camera nazi on our boat when we rode. The boat operator asked that all cameras be put away and when one rider kept filming, he stopped the boat and said we wouldn't move until the camera was put away. It made me nuts how they wouldn't allow camera's.:mad:



This also happened to me in August I was sad not to have any pics.

Feel free to borrow any of my pics.

I have been know to, ahem, copy off photos from the DIS if I don't have decent ones. A few years back, I actually printed some off and put them in my photo albums (like decent Haunted Mansion or Pirates photos). Really annoyed my friends. They would say "GREAT picture" "Yeah, it's not mine" :rolleyes1

But I never post them here unless I have permission from the photographer.

ddluvsdisney
10-01-2011, 01:05 PM
Feel free to borrow any of my pics.

I have been know to, ahem, copy off photos from the DIS if I don't have decent ones. A few years back, I actually printed some off and put them in my photo albums (like decent Haunted Mansion or Pirates photos). Really annoyed my friends. They would say "GREAT picture" "Yeah, it's not mine" :rolleyes1

But I never post them here unless I have permission from the photographer.

Thanks Dee!! That's a great idea I would never feel comfortable doing that unless you said it was ok. :thumbsup2

jmskinner
10-01-2011, 07:28 PM
Feel free to borrow any of my pics.

I have been know to, ahem, copy off photos from the DIS if I don't have decent ones. A few years back, I actually printed some off and put them in my photo albums (like decent Haunted Mansion or Pirates photos). Really annoyed my friends. They would say "GREAT picture" "Yeah, it's not mine" :rolleyes1

But I never post them here unless I have permission from the photographer.

At least you admit to them not being yours.;)

jmskinner
10-01-2011, 07:34 PM
I rode Jaws twice, and Ben/Mark rode it a couple more times- we weren't told to put away our cameras on this ride, but I have seen the comment on a few TRs lately (mmmrmustard), specifically with Jaws. I don't know if the camera restriction thing is new. I personally experienced it on Jurassic Park and Ripsaw Falls.

We were there two years ago.:confused3

natebenma
10-02-2011, 06:37 AM
We were there two years ago.:confused3

You know, I have never checked out your Universal (and other) park TR- I'll have to go back and take a look.

natebenma
10-02-2011, 06:39 AM
Two opted for adrenaline. Two went for wet.

We split up again, this time carefully making sure everyone had the right tickets and room keys!

Mark and Nate ended their time at Marvel Superhero Island with Spiderman and a couple more rides on Hulk.

Ben and I took a ride on Jurassic Park River Adventure and one more turn on Ripsaw Falls.

I have already used all of my Jurassic Park River Adventure pictures earlier in my report. After our ride, Ben asked if we could go into the standby line. But he didn’t want to ride. He wanted to look at the miniature mock-up of Isla Nublar. Ben loves these little models:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6684.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6685.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6690.jpg


The ride attendant who saw us taking the pictures asked if we wanted a picture of us together:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6681.jpg


There was time for a little splashing here:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6699.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6700.jpg


Then we rode on Ripsaw Falls again.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6701.jpg


My camera was stowed for most of the ride, but of course it had to come out for the final drop!


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6703.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6704.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6705.jpg


As we were leaving, I asked someone to take our picture. I love this one!


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6707.jpg


A couple more pictures in Toon Lagoon:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6708.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6710.jpg


As we were headed out of the park, we made a stop in the large shop near the entrance/exit. We looked at the wands and a few other things, but I was able to convince Ben that we didn’t need to buy anything.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6724.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6725.jpg


One last look at the closed Lone Palm Airport Bar- I guess it is not “Five O’Clock Somewhere” We never did make it there. :sad2:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6728.jpg


I don’t have many pictures of people dressed for the Wizarding World, but here is one:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6729.jpg


A boat to Portofino was just pulling out as we arrived at the City Walk dock (10:06), but we got on the next one (10:10). An exchange of texts revealed that Mark and Nate were on the boat ahead of us.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6731.jpg


We met up again in the concierge lounge for breakfast. When we finished, we returned to our room, checked out at the desk and left our bags with Bell Services.

Next Up: Horror at the Studios! ( or not)

bubba's mom
10-02-2011, 08:10 AM
hhhmmm....so THAT is what the stand-by line looks like in JP? :rolleyes1


:laughing:


I've only ever been in a couple of standby lines...and that wasn't one of them. Thanks for showing them!

and the huge store at the entrance/exit is Traders. Upon the masses entering the park (or leaving the park), we avoid the crowds by cutting thru that store. ;) (insider tip)

Do you know, you coulda probably made it back to PBH at the same time as the guys on the boat ahead of you if you'd walked? :cool2:

natebenma
10-02-2011, 08:18 AM
hhhmmm....so THAT is what the stand-by line looks like in JP? :rolleyes1


:laughing:


I've only ever been in a couple of standby lines...and that wasn't one of them. Thanks for showing them!

and the huge store at the entrance/exit is Traders. Upon the masses entering the park (or leaving the park), we avoid the crowds by cutting thru that store. ;) (insider tip)

Do you know, you coulda probably made it back to PBH at the same time as the guys on the boat ahead of you if you'd walked? :cool2:

We didn't do any standby lines either. Although I understand that the ones for Mummy, Spiderman and Men in Black are really interesting and give some cool backstory to the rides. Still not worth it, though!!!

Ben is the one who spotted the model. We only got into the line long enough to snap 10 or a dozen photos of the island. I only posted a few, though.

Yeah, walking. We'll see how that works out in a little bit.

DrMomof3
10-02-2011, 08:24 AM
Once again, awesome pictures!
You really know how to maximize your fun time on these trips. We're starting to take a more relaxed approach to touring but that will probably change as our kids age a bit.

Amanda

bubba's mom
10-02-2011, 09:21 AM
Although I understand that the ones for Mummy, Spiderman and Men in Black are really interesting and give some cool backstory to the rides. Still not worth it, though!!!



Out of those 3, I've only been thru MIB's regular line (it was an early entry day and that was the only reason we went :laughing: ). Anyhow, the ONLY difference w/ the MIB line is-there is the "worms lunchroom". I have that pic in one of my TR's somewhere, but with that being the ONLY difference, would NOT be worth the wait in standby line.

Marlton Mom
10-02-2011, 02:43 PM
Feel free to borrow any of my pics.

I have been know to, ahem, copy off photos from the DIS if I don't have decent ones. A few years back, I actually printed some off and put them in my photo albums (like decent Haunted Mansion or Pirates photos). Really annoyed my friends. They would say "GREAT picture" "Yeah, it's not mine" :rolleyes1

But I never post them here unless I have permission from the photographer.

My favorite "borrow" of yours was the "TinkerBILL" picture!!!!!:lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c265/RoboWDW/Silly%20Stuff/TinkinWishes.jpg

Scale model loving Ben would love it at my house. For Christmas we do a killer train layout. He sounds like the type of kid who would really enjoy that. Do you guys do one at your house?

~MM

natebenma
10-02-2011, 04:09 PM
My favorite "borrow" of yours was the "TinkerBILL" picture!!!!!:lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c265/RoboWDW/Silly%20Stuff/TinkinWishes.jpg

Scale model loving Ben would love it at my house. For Christmas we do a killer train layout. He sounds like the type of kid who would really enjoy that. Do you guys do one at your house?

~MM

And that pic, one of my favorites also, is "borrowed". Robo posts it whenever a question about Tinkerbell flying comes up.

We don't do an elaborate train set up. We have a bunch of those ceramic villages (Dept 56, Dickens) and lodge scenes.

And Legos. Oh the Legos!!! We literally call our living room "The Lego Room" We have bins and bins and we spent a significant part of our last Christmas school break sorting the pieces by color. Good times!

natebenma
10-02-2011, 04:15 PM
Once again, awesome pictures!
You really know how to maximize your fun time on these trips. We're starting to take a more relaxed approach to touring but that will probably change as our kids age a bit.

Amanda

Thanks, again! The kids have only been exposed to aggressive touring. I don't know if they know there is another way! But I don't think they would like it, even if they knew.

Out of those 3, I've only been thru MIB's regular line (it was an early entry day and that was the only reason we went :laughing: ). Anyhow, the ONLY difference w/ the MIB line is-there is the "worms lunchroom". I have that pic in one of my TR's somewhere, but with that being the ONLY difference, would NOT be worth the wait in standby line.

The worms lunchroom thing sounds interesting. Same deal with Disney. There are some really interesting queues, but if you can FP and avoid the wait, that's the way to do it. Toy Story is worth going through once a trip, though.

Cdn Friends of Pooh
10-02-2011, 05:56 PM
Found your TR from following bubba's mom trippie (yes I know - I'm always late to the party LOL) ... I am thoroughly enjoying reading along and can't wait to read the remaining installments :thumbsup2

B

natebenma
10-02-2011, 06:26 PM
Found your TR from following bubba's mom trippie (yes I know - I'm always late to the party LOL) ... I am thoroughly enjoying reading along and can't wait to read the remaining installments :thumbsup2

B


:welcome:

Glad to have you here!

Bubba'smom is here too, helping to fill in the gaps!

eandesmom
10-04-2011, 12:08 PM
One last look at the closed Lone Palm Airport Bar- I guess it is not “Five O’Clock Somewhere” We never did make it there. :sad2:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6728.jpg


[/B]

You guys did a good job of getting soaked!!!

So weird about the Lone Palm, I never saw it closed when we were there (or at least after 11? I imagine it was at 7am. :rotfl:)

I've never seen the JP stuff either

natebenma
10-05-2011, 10:53 AM
You guys did a good job of getting soaked!!!

So weird about the Lone Palm, I never saw it closed when we were there (or at least after 11? I imagine it was at 7am. :rotfl:)

I've never seen the JP stuff either

We could have gotten even more soaked if we did the Popeye ride again, but that was a bit much, even for me!

It was a little after 10 when we went by the Lone Palm, so I'm sure it was going to open up soon.

I was pretty impressed that Ben had spotted the model of the JP Island. It was worth a closer look and about a dozen photos!

natebenma
10-05-2011, 10:56 AM
It was time to make our final visit to a park. Since it was around 11 am, and very hot, we got in line for the boat. It filled pretty quickly and there was no room for us, so we decided to walk instead. I’m not sure it was the right choice. We were pretty hot and uncomfortable by the time we arrived at the Studios.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6733.jpg


The boys wanted to go to the Simpsons’ attraction and Men in Black. I wanted to see the Hollywood Horror Makeup show at 12:30. The reviews I had heard about this show said that this hilarious show is a must-do.

Unfortunately, shows are pretty low on the priority list for everyone else in my family.

We hoofed it pretty quickly through Hollywood to the Simpsons.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6741.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6742.jpg


We did not have a very long wait for the ride. I think it was around noon when we headed towards MIB, and I knew that riding this would cut it very close for being able to see the show.

We formulated a plan. We would ride Men in Black, then Ben and I would go to the show while Mark and Nate did their own thing, which consisted of riding Men in Black again and a couple more rides on Mummy. We would meet in front of Macy’s in NYC.

After riding Men in Black, I looked at my watch. It was 12:17- Ben and I rushed to our goal- past the Simpsons ride, past the Kwik-E-Mart towards the theater, past the outskirts of Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone

And between us and the theater was this:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6743.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6744.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6745.jpg



We had to wait for the parade to pass us before we could dash to the lobby, where we found a couple of Team Members sweeping the floor. The doors to the theatre were closed and we couldn’t get in. Missed it by that much!

I was, and am disappointed that I didn’t see the show. Especially since getting back and reading a several reviews raving about how good it is!

Our backup plan was to ride ET, which we did.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6746.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6753.jpg


We encountered the Delorean and train from the Back to the Future movie series on our way to meet the other guys.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6757.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6758.jpg


After reuniting, Nate and I took a final ride on the Mummy.

Nate considered riding Rip Ride Rocket, but this attraction does not have an Express Line. Wait time was listed at 40 minutes.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6769.jpg


We decided we were


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6755.jpg


So we made the journey back to the Portofino for some lunch and to wait for our ride to the airport.


Next up: A Not-So-Magical-Express to the Airport

ddluvsdisney
10-05-2011, 11:12 AM
Too bad you didn't get to the show. We didn't see that either probably for the same reason-not high on priority list. My kids loved MIB too went on that quite a few times. I liked E.T. thought it was cute.

hey Dee I have a question you might be able to answer if not I'll post it somewhere- We are renting a car in April b/c we're staying in my parents timeshare. We were going to rent a minivan but have my parents drop us off at the parks a couple of days so they could do their own thing and visit a friend. How can we do this without them having to pay for parking?? Where can we just get dropped off?

bubba's mom
10-05-2011, 11:56 AM
uh-oh...comin to an end :(


Looks like a funfilled, packed morning tho! GOTTA go out with a bang :thumbsup2

I'm sorry you missed the show...it is a decent one to catch. Maybe next time??








oh...and I guess I shouldn't mention the shortcut around the parade? :rolleyes1

:headache:

natebenma
10-05-2011, 12:12 PM
Too bad you didn't get to the show. We didn't see that either probably for the same reason-not high on priority list. My kids loved MIB too went on that quite a few times. I liked E.T. thought it was cute.

hey Dee I have a question you might be able to answer if not I'll post it somewhere- We are renting a car in April b/c we're staying in my parents timeshare. We were going to rent a minivan but have my parents drop us off at the parks a couple of days so they could do their own thing and visit a friend. How can we do this without them having to pay for parking?? Where can we just get dropped off?

Hey Deb- hope it went well for you today!

I hear the show is slightly risque, but that would be fine for my family. I don't mind the 13 year old getting the humor, but I know anything like that would fly right over Ben's head. Missing this show and Cat in the Hat were probably the two biggest disappointments. Whenever next time is, I'll be sure to do these. Hopefully Rip Ride Rocket, too.

If you want to avoid a parking fee, get dropped off at one of the resorts-I think they will let you through the gates if you say you are getting dropped off, not parking.

For MK- go to the Contemporary and walk or take the mono (the walk is really easy and I even have directions if you need it)- our towncar let us off at the CR the day we were visiting MK.

For EPCOT- go to the Beach Club- they should be able to pull into the parking lot and let you off, then you can go through the lobby and out through the international gateway.

Hollywood Studios- Hmmm- Yacht Club or Boardwalk (or Swan/Dolphin) and walk or take the boat. Don't know if there is a better way

Animal Kingdom- Since you have to take a bus from any resort, I would say either Animal Kingdom Lodge or the All Stars but any resort would do.

I assume that you can also drive and get dropped off at the Universal Resorts without paying a parking fee, so for IoA, I would go to RPR or for the Studios, go to the Hard Rock and walk from there.

I don't like to drive when on vacation, but it certainly is very easy to get where you want to go around Orlando with all of the signage.

Hope that helps!

natebenma
10-05-2011, 12:21 PM
uh-oh...comin to an end :(


Looks like a funfilled, packed morning tho! GOTTA go out with a bang :thumbsup2

I'm sorry you missed the show...it is a decent one to catch. Maybe next time??

oh...and I guess I shouldn't mention the shortcut around the parade? :rolleyes1

:headache:




Almost done :(

But first there will be some pyrotechnics!

We usually have a pretty early flight planned on travel days. This trip our flight was scheduled for 6 PM, so we had a lot more time to play around in the parks on our final day.

Yes, I will make a point to catch the show next time. Whenever that will be. The kids are now convinced that it makes sense to combine Disney/Universal vacations. Can you join me in a chorus of "Mom was right!"

OK, spill the shortcut info!!!

bubba's mom
10-05-2011, 02:45 PM
Shortcut is behind Cafe LaBamba...

Go thru garden if going INTO the back of the park.

After Woody's area, on your way out, cut thru on left.

Just don't walk the 'main' walkway...look for alternative route where you don't think there is one.

Hard to explain and believe it or not, I don't have a picture. :sad2:

jenneth79
10-05-2011, 03:03 PM
OMG that penguin is MOCKING YOU!!!:lmao:

In all seriousness, that stinks that you missed the show... that happened to us wtih a showing of One Man's Dream in DHS, and almost kept us from our Casey's hot dogs in MK. I love parades, when they aren't in my way!:goodvibes

So sad the trip is almost over... but it does sound like you packed a ton in. I like the idea of a WDW/Universal trip split, and we will probably try that next time we head down for over a week!

eandesmom
10-05-2011, 03:37 PM
That stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

at times like that, all I can think of is, Parades suck.

LOL!

Sometimes I want to shake my family when it's something like that that you really want to do but try to be nice and accommodating about. I think they should notice when we request to do something specific and make SURE we get to do it, even it if means missing something for them.

I can wish, can't I?

ddluvsdisney
10-05-2011, 05:43 PM
Hey Deb- hope it went well for you today!

I hear the show is slightly risque, but that would be fine for my family. I don't mind the 13 year old getting the humor, but I know anything like that would fly right over Ben's head. Missing this show and Cat in the Hat were probably the two biggest disappointments. Whenever next time is, I'll be sure to do these. Hopefully Rip Ride Rocket, too.

If you want to avoid a parking fee, get dropped off at one of the resorts-I think they will let you through the gates if you say you are getting dropped off, not parking.

For MK- go to the Contemporary and walk or take the mono (the walk is really easy and I even have directions if you need it)- our towncar let us off at the CR the day we were visiting MK.

For EPCOT- go to the Beach Club- they should be able to pull into the parking lot and let you off, then you can go through the lobby and out through the international gateway.

Hollywood Studios- Hmmm- Yacht Club or Boardwalk (or Swan/Dolphin) and walk or take the boat. Don't know if there is a better way

Animal Kingdom- Since you have to take a bus from any resort, I would say either Animal Kingdom Lodge or the All Stars but any resort would do.

I assume that you can also drive and get dropped off at the Universal Resorts without paying a parking fee, so for IoA, I would go to RPR or for the Studios, go to the Hard Rock and walk from there.

I don't like to drive when on vacation, but it certainly is very easy to get where you want to go around Orlando with all of the signage.

Hope that helps!

The interview went ok- it's a math coach job and they are really hope to hire someone math certified which I'm not so not to confident.:confused3 They would hire someone who's not if they were desperate. I thought of having my parents drop us off at CR or Poly but the last time we got dropped off (August) there by a car service, they asked for our reservation # before they let us through. I know that didn't happen to you when they dropped you off but I worried now.
I did post question on transportation board and they said same thing you did.

natebenma
10-06-2011, 07:27 AM
Shortcut is behind Cafe LaBamba...

Go thru garden if going INTO the back of the park.

After Woody's area, on your way out, cut thru on left.

Just don't walk the 'main' walkway...look for alternative route where you don't think there is one.

Hard to explain and believe it or not, I don't have a picture. :sad2:

Thanks!

OMG that penguin is MOCKING YOU!!!:lmao:

In all seriousness, that stinks that you missed the show... that happened to us wtih a showing of One Man's Dream in DHS, and almost kept us from our Casey's hot dogs in MK. I love parades, when they aren't in my way!:goodvibes

So sad the trip is almost over... but it does sound like you packed a ton in. I like the idea of a WDW/Universal trip split, and we will probably try that next time we head down for over a week!

D*MN flightless bird!


That stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

at times like that, all I can think of is, Parades suck.

LOL!

Sometimes I want to shake my family when it's something like that that you really want to do but try to be nice and accommodating about. I think they should notice when we request to do something specific and make SURE we get to do it, even it if means missing something for them.

I can wish, can't I?

Yes, our families should know by now that they should listen to Mom! We know what we are talking about and if we have a suggestion about what we should or shouldn't do, they really should listen.

But I think I lost all of my cred with the trip on the High in the Sky Trolley.

The interview went ok- it's a math coach job and they are really hope to hire someone math certified which I'm not so not to confident.:confused3 They would hire someone who's not if they were desperate. I thought of having my parents drop us off at CR or Poly but the last time we got dropped off (August) there by a car service, they asked for our reservation # before they let us through. I know that didn't happen to you when they dropped you off but I worried now.
I did post question on transportation board and they said same thing you did.

Again, best luck to you on the job search. Fingers and toes are crossed for you!

Even if you don't have a reservation number, I would chance pulling into the parking lot and explaining that your parents are just dropping you off. I can't imagine they would turn you away.

ddluvsdisney
10-06-2011, 07:44 AM
Again, best luck to you on the job search. Fingers and toes are crossed for you!

Even if you don't have a reservation number, I would chance pulling into the parking lot and explaining that your parents are just dropping you off. I can't imagine they would turn you away.

Thanks for the well wishes!! I'll keep you posted.
I guess we will chance it. If that doesn't work they could always drop us off at DTD w/ no problem.
Deb:)

natebenma
10-07-2011, 08:22 AM
When we arrived at the Portofino dock, we proceeded directly to Sal’s Deli for lunch.

My apologies in advance to those of you out there who do not enjoy "Food Porn"

Fried Mozzarella

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6774.jpg


Garlic Bread Sticks

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6775.jpg


Toscana- Turkey, pepper cheese, pesto mayo with Caesar side salad

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6776.jpg


Michelangelo- Meatball sub with marinara, Provolone and Parmesan

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6777.jpg


Oreo Cheesecake

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6781.jpg


Brownie Sundae

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6782.jpg


From Here:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6778.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_6787.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Portofino%20Bay%20Resort%20July%202011/Sals%20Deli/IMG_4882.jpg


It was close to 3 PM when we finished our lunch. Our driver was scheduled to arrive at 3:15. When we were arranging the pickup time for our 6 PM flight, he recommended 3:15, and said the absolute latest he would be comfortable with was 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, especially with the possibility of an afternoon thunderstorm.

We were very pleased with this driver on our trip from the airport to the Portofino and to/from the Magic Kingdom. I told Mark I wouldn’t be surprised if he was early, so I went out to the resort entrance to check. Nope.

Here are the boys waiting in the lobby.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6788.jpg


3:15 came and went. No car.

At 3:20, I called. The driver told me he was stuck in traffic.

“How much longer?”

“10 minutes”

He gave assurances that we would be fine, there would be no problem getting to airport in plenty of time for check in.

I relayed this news to Mark. He was not happy. Travel days are stressful enough when everything is working perfectly. This did not instill confidence in us. Obviously, if our pick up time was 3:15, the driver must have known that he was going to be late by 3 PM.

3:30. No car. No call.

I placed another call, demanding to know where he was.

“I’m at the light at the off-ramp”

“If you are not here in 5 minutes, we are taking a cab”

“Don’t do that! You will be fine.”

3:35. No car. No call.

We headed out to the portico to talk to a valet about calling a cab.

I placed one more call telling him we were hailing a cab. He said that he was right there, but if we took a cab he would meet us at the airport and pay for the taxi.

At that moment, our driver pulled up.

He tried to make excuses. We replied “Just get us there”.

He continued to try to explain what had happened. “Traffic was bad. Life happens”

At this point, we lost it. “You were the one who told us 3:30 was the latest we should leave” “You should have called us as soon as you knew you would be late”

He did not understand the source of our frustration. He once again tried to defend his actions, but I told him it would be a good idea just to stop talking and get us to the airport.

To his credit, he did. It was a very quiet, uncomfortable ride.

Then, 15 minutes after we got into the van, it started raining. Hard! Lightning and thunder. Driving rain that made it difficult to drive. Or see the road. But at this point, there was no way the driver dared stop or slow down.

I think we arrived at the airport a little after 4 PM.

As it turned out, we did indeed arrive in plenty of time to check in for our flight.

But our stress level was definitely in the red zone.

Could our return home get any worse??? (Yes, it could)

Next up: I wish we could use Floo Powder to get home

bubba's mom
10-07-2011, 08:55 AM
When you don't leave first thing in the morning, yes it's stressful. The price we pay for a lil fun in the morning....

I HATE relying on someone I don't know to get me to my plane HOME. :sad2:

ddluvsdisney
10-07-2011, 09:05 AM
OMG Dee!!! I would say I can't believe that but I CAN. We had a similiar situation with our arrival car service. Never showed up called severl times and finally said forget it!!! we're getting a taxi!!!!! I was furious to say the least. I was yelling at them on the phone and told them I would never use them again and would never recommend them to anyone.
We used the same service last yr. w/ no problem.
Whatever. Can you pm me the service you used? Just curious.
Hope the rest of the trip home was better. but I'm thinking not?
I wish this wasn't coming to an end. I'll have to start posting some pics. soon huh???
Can you believe I can make my ADRs next week!!??? It feels like I just got back and I'm planning already. It's so weird!!!!
Deb :)

DrMomof3
10-07-2011, 10:58 AM
As someone who MUST be at the airport AT LEAST 2 hours before any flight, I can tell you that I would have been freaking out!!!
How frustrating that you missed the show because of that parade. :rolleyes:

Amanda

JanetMom
10-07-2011, 06:57 PM
[SIZE="3"]
Could our return home get any worse??? (Yes, it could)



Don't like the sound of that! :sad2:

We know you got home eventually, but not good to hear you had trouble along the way.

natebenma
10-07-2011, 06:59 PM
When you don't leave first thing in the morning, yes it's stressful. The price we pay for a lil fun in the morning....

I HATE relying on someone I don't know to get me to my plane HOME. :sad2:

This is one of the few trips we have taken where we did something on our departure day. We had several hours to tour on the last day when we went to Washington DC last October, but other than that, we have had early morning flights home.

Yes, it is so tough when you you are relying on someone else and let me tell you that it is even tougher being the one who made the arrangements when they don't work out!

OMG Dee!!! I would say I can't believe that but I CAN. We had a similiar situation with our arrival car service. Never showed up called severl times and finally said forget it!!! we're getting a taxi!!!!! I was furious to say the least. I was yelling at them on the phone and told them I would never use them again and would never recommend them to anyone.
We used the same service last yr. w/ no problem.
Whatever. Can you pm me the service you used? Just curious.
Hope the rest of the trip home was better. but I'm thinking not?
I wish this wasn't coming to an end. I'll have to start posting some pics. soon huh???
Can you believe I can make my ADRs next week!!??? It feels like I just got back and I'm planning already. It's so weird!!!!
Deb :)

I'll PM the name to you. I'm curious about who you used, too.

Wow, I LOVE ADR day!!! One of my favorite quotes is "I don't know what I'm having for dinner tonight, but I know what I'm having 6 months from now!"

What are you thinking? Keep us posted, please.

As someone who MUST be at the airport AT LEAST 2 hours before any flight, I can tell you that I would have been freaking out!!!
How frustrating that you missed the show because of that parade. :rolleyes:

Amanda

It was not a pretty scene!

As much as I would like to make the penguin parade the scapegoat for missing the show, I think the blame actually belongs on that last ride on MIB.

You're going to both parks in December, right? Think of me as you are watching the show!

ProudMommyof2
10-08-2011, 11:24 AM
Well who needs that stress?!?!?

I always book a late flight when we go home from WDW so we can squeeze in those last last magical moments. Magical Express is a wonderful thing!

Hope you didn't too many more difficulties getting home!

ddluvsdisney
10-08-2011, 12:39 PM
Wow, I LOVE ADR day!!! One of my favorite quotes is "I don't know what I'm having for dinner tonight, but I know what I'm having 6 months from now!"
What are you thinking? Keep us posted, please.






LOVE THAT!!!:rotfl: Every year we always try a few new restaurants. I think I love eating there more than anything else lol. I look forward to trying something new all the time. But this trip I think we only have one new one we haven't tried yet that we really want to- Via Napoli. The past 2 trips we said we were eating here but something always beat it. All the others are favorites that we just want to eat at. My parents will be with us too and a lot of the places will be new for them so I'm excited.
These are the ones I'm thinking: (not sure of which days yet)
Garden Grill
Rose & Crown- to watch Illuminations
Cali Grill
Sci-Fi (boys' favorite)
Via Napoli
Flying Fish or Kona (new)
Chefs de France

I replied to your PM
Deb :)

natebenma
10-08-2011, 01:42 PM
Don't like the sound of that! :sad2:

We know you got home eventually, but not good to hear you had trouble along the way.

OOPS!!! Missed your response yesterday.

Yes, we did get home, but it wasn't that same day!

Well who needs that stress?!?!?

I always book a late flight when we go home from WDW so we can squeeze in those last last magical moments. Magical Express is a wonderful thing!

Hope you didn't too many more difficulties getting home!

You definitely know where you stand with the Magical Express. 3 hours before your flight!!!

I'm glad we had the extra time that day, but boy was it a long time getting home!

natebenma
10-08-2011, 01:47 PM
LOVE THAT!!!:rotfl: Every year we always try a few new restaurants. I think I love eating there more than anything else lol. I look forward to trying something new all the time. But this trip I think we only have one new one we haven't tried yet that we really want to- Via Napoli. The past 2 trips we said we were eating here but something always beat it. All the others are favorites that we just want to eat at. My parents will be with us too and a lot of the places will be new for them so I'm excited.
These are the ones I'm thinking: (not sure of which days yet)
Garden Grill
Rose & Crown- to watch Illuminations
Cali Grill
Sci-Fi (boys' favorite)
Via Napoli
Flying Fish or Kona (new)
Chefs de France

I replied to your PM
Deb :)

Sounds like a great lineup.

We have not been to Garden Grill (but love Chip and Dale), Rose & Crown, Cali, Napoli, Flying Fish or Chefs.

My boys love Sci-Fi, too.

Obviously, we love Kona as this was the restaurant we chose on our MK day.

Wishing you pixie dust that you get your picks! Do you call or go on-line? For our last Disney trip I did the online reservations on my ADR day and got everything pretty much at the exact times I wanted. I think my Ohana was 6:20 instead of 6 PM.

ddluvsdisney
10-09-2011, 10:13 AM
Sounds like a great lineup.

We have not been to Garden Grill (but love Chip and Dale), Rose & Crown, Cali, Napoli, Flying Fish or Chefs.

My boys love Sci-Fi, too.

Obviously, we love Kona as this was the restaurant we chose on our MK day.

Wishing you pixie dust that you get your picks! Do you call or go on-line? For our last Disney trip I did the online reservations on my ADR day and got everything pretty much at the exact times I wanted. I think my Ohana was 6:20 instead of 6 PM.

I always do online res. and usually get everything I want. :banana:
You'll have to try some of these restaurants soon!!
Now to figure out the days- this is the part I hate DH usually figures it out- it's usually not too hard b/c we get PH tix.
Deb :)

Missyrose
10-09-2011, 09:33 PM
Ugh, what a frustrating way to end your vacation and it doesn't sound like your journey home will get much better! :scared1:

This is our first Disney trip without a rental car and leaving our transportation back to the airport is one of my sore spots. I'm so worried something will go wrong! But everyone raves about DME, so I'm hopeful we'll get there okay. :thumbsup2

mickeystoontown
10-10-2011, 10:20 AM
Oh my goodness what a pain in the you-know-what the driver was. Thank goodness he was smart enough to just hush up and drive. I'm not like the sound of your last comment. :eek:

natebenma
10-13-2011, 03:59 PM
Ugh, what a frustrating way to end your vacation and it doesn't sound like your journey home will get much better! :scared1:

This is our first Disney trip without a rental car and leaving our transportation back to the airport is one of my sore spots. I'm so worried something will go wrong! But everyone raves about DME, so I'm hopeful we'll get there okay. :thumbsup2

Oops, I didn't get a chance to respond to this before you left. Our experience with DME has always been positive. I'm sure it will go fine for you- can't wait to hear your impressions.



Oh my goodness what a pain in the you-know-what the driver was. Thank goodness he was smart enough to just hush up and drive. I'm not like the sound of your last comment. :eek:

We had such a wonderful trip. It is too bad that it spiraled downwards in the last hours! Yes, the driver was smart to hush when I told him "It would be a good idea to stop talking now"

It was a long time getting home! I'll try to get to that in the next day or two.

natebenma
10-13-2011, 04:15 PM
We welcomed two kittens to our family today! It has been over 10 years since we have owned a cat. Raj passed away when Nate was 2 and I was pregnant with Ben.

Ben came home from school a couple of weeks ago showing pictures of two kittens his science teacher was fostering.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Oreo/OreoandToughGuy.jpg

We decided we would adopt Oreo, the female on the right.

Well, over the past week we were encouraged to think about adopting them both and I'm glad we did. They have been playing together all day. I don't think I have the energy to keep up with each of them individually!!!

The other one is the cat formerly known as Ramona who turned out to be a Ramone. Nate, my teenager, has renamed him Monster Energy Cat.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Oreo/IMG_7346.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Oreo/IMG_7347.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Oreo/IMG_7361.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Oreo/IMG_7335.jpg

aprilisis
10-13-2011, 04:47 PM
Congratulations on the new kitties!!! They are SOOO adorable! :love:

Queila
10-13-2011, 05:16 PM
Hey Dee :thumbsup2

Sorry I did not contribute with a lot of comments on your TR. :( Cannot really relate to the Harry Poter and IoA stuff. I can, however, tell you that I loved the picture of you and your son all soaked up after your ride on your last day. And if that salad from your hotel tasted as good as it looked boy you guys were in for a treat.

ET is probably still my favorite ride at Universal. I have a huge emotional connection to that movie and flying on those bikes gets to me every time. I also love the pictures of the pinguins of Madagaskar. Beatriz watches some Pinguins cartoons all the time and they are pretty funny.

Wow... that is such a stressful departure day. :hug: I really hate those. Last May we waited 45 minutes for our Magical Express and I was starting to be concerned also... last thing you want is to miss the dreaded flight back home. I am scared to find out what happened afte that...

Congratulations on adopting the kittens. Every now and then Beatriz asks for a pet but it is just not doable for us. I have really BAD allergies o for now the two birdes will have to do. :rotfl:

Have a great weekend!
Q

ddluvsdisney
10-13-2011, 05:48 PM
Cute kittens Dee!
We are not cat people though, my DH and DSs are allergic to cats. We have always had a dog. He's a black lab named Indiana Jones (Indie for short) yes that's right the boys named him. I wanted Harry :)
Hope there's more good than bad coming up next. I need to make my ADRs on Sat. yay!

natebenma
10-13-2011, 06:06 PM
Congratulations on the new kitties!!! They are SOOO adorable! :love:

Thank you!!! I was going to post pictures over on your PTR because I consider that the "way too cute" animal thread! Already trying to figure out how to dress up the kitties for Christmas.

They haven't met the gerbils yet.

Maybe a picture of all four of them. "Meow-y Kiss-Mouse"

Hey Dee :thumbsup2

Sorry I did not contribute with a lot of comments on your TR. :( Cannot really relate to the Harry Poter and IoA stuff. I can, however, tell you that I loved the picture of you and your son all soaked up after your ride on your last day. And if that salad from your hotel tasted as good as it looked boy you guys were in for a treat.

ET is probably still my favorite ride at Universal. I have a huge emotional connection to that movie and flying on those bikes gets to me every time. I also love the pictures of the pinguins of Madagaskar. Beatriz watches some Pinguins cartoons all the time and they are pretty funny.

Wow... that is such a stressful departure day. :hug: I really hate those. Last May we waited 45 minutes for our Magical Express and I was starting to be concerned also... last thing you want is to miss the dreaded flight back home. I am scared to find out what happened afte that...

Congratulations on adopting the kittens. Every now and then Beatriz asks for a pet but it is just not doable for us. I have really BAD allergies o for now the two birdes will have to do. :rotfl:

Have a great weekend!
Q

No problem on the comments. My report was intentionally, very Potter-focused. When Beatriz is a little older, you definitely have to check it out. The Harry Potter movies are awesome and the books are even better!

I always love the "after" the water rie photos!

We waited a very long time before adding pets to our family. We really wanted the kids to be older before we welcomed something else to take care of.

Cute kittens Dee!
We are not cat people though, my DH and DSs are allergic to cats. We have always had a dog. He's a black lab named Indiana Jones (Indie for short) yes that's right the boys named him. I wanted Harry :)
Hope there's more good than bad coming up next. I need to make my ADRs on Sat. yay!

Cute name for the lab (and the backup name was cute too- how about Hairy Potter?)

Dogs are unbelievably loyal and loving, but I am drawn to the independent nature and aloofness of cats.

I saw a hilarious comic strip last week. It showed a dog on a leash talking to a cat. The dog says "They don't put a leash on you because they WANT you to run away!"

I'll get that ending to my TR up soon!

DrMomof3
10-13-2011, 07:23 PM
Adorable kitties! Nathaniel keeps asking for a kitten so we may join you in kittendom soon!

Amanda

ProudMommyof2
10-13-2011, 07:46 PM
Kittens are so cute!! You made the right decision getting both. Our vet talked us into the same thing years ago saying, "You can be an awesome human companion, but only a cat can be a cat for a cat!"

Enjoy!

natebenma
10-14-2011, 04:40 AM
Adorable kitties! Nathaniel keeps asking for a kitten so we may join you in kittendom soon!

Amanda

Thank you! Cats are a really great pet for families with busy lifestyles!

Kittens are so cute!! You made the right decision getting both. Our vet talked us into the same thing years ago saying, "You can be an awesome human companion, but only a cat can be a cat for a cat!"

Enjoy!

I'm so glad we got both. They were playing together all day yesterday! They have just started to pay a little attention to us.

ddluvsdisney
10-14-2011, 07:45 AM
Cute name for the lab (and the backup name was cute too- how about Hairy Potter?)

Dogs are unbelievably loyal and loving, but I am drawn to the independent nature and aloofness of cats.

I saw a hilarious comic strip last week. It showed a dog on a leash talking to a cat. The dog says "They don't put a leash on you because they WANT you to run away!"I'll get that ending to my TR up soon!

:rotfl: OMG my DH will LOVE that!!!!
Deb :)

natebenma
10-14-2011, 08:08 AM
:rotfl: OMG my DH will LOVE that!!!!
Deb :)

Here you go!!!

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/LeashLaw.jpg


Kitties are napping now, so I have had time to write the final chapter of my TR.

natebenma
10-14-2011, 08:15 AM
When we left off, we had just been left off at the airport after an aggravating wait and silent ride. We found seats in our gate area and watched the storm rage through the windows.

Unfortunately, this was not one of those typical Florida thunderstorms that comes through quickly, dumps a ton of rain, and gives a brief display of lightning and roar of thunder. This one lingered. For more than two hours.

We watched everyone around us as their flights were delayed, tempers started flaring and the gate area got more and more crowded with arriving travelers, but no departures.

We watched the departure board, and saw that our 6:10 flight had been delayed until 7:30.

Since we had a fairly large lunch, I don’t think we had anything to eat at the airport, but we got a couple of sandwiches and some drinks from the grab and go to take onto the plane with us.

As advertised, we did board our plane around 7:30. And we sat. And waited. And waited.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6791.jpg


About every 20 minutes, the pilot’s voice would come over the loud speaker and announce that we were experiencing a fueling delay. Apparently, an outside contractor handles all of the aircraft refueling for the Orlando airport. They won’t gas up any planes while there is lightning within a certain number of miles from the airport (understandable), so consequently, even though the lightning had stopped we were delayed while we waited for countless planes to receive their fuel.

I contacted the livery company that would be picking us up at the airport- they were able to arrange for a later pickup, but there would be an additional late-night surcharge.

Finally, at 9:30 (5 ½ hours after arriving at the airport and 2 hours after boarding our plane) we lifted off.

Our 3 hour flight was uneventful. Ben, fortunately, slept through most of it. Nate slept through some of it. Mark and I both read. Although I had been awake since about 5 that morning, I just can’t sleep on a plane.

We arrived in Boston a little after midnight. We were home sometime around 1:30 in the morning. It goes without saying that it was a looonnnngggg day!

Not the best ending to our trip, but nevertheless, we really had a fantastic time!


Thanks for being here to share our adventures!


Next up: Top Ten “Things”- Tips for Universal Newbies

.

ddluvsdisney
10-14-2011, 11:02 AM
Another OMG!!! How frustrating. I hate sitting and waiting more than anything. Don't understand why they have you all get on the plane when you're gonna just sit and wait anyway. What an awful feeling when you're exhausted (both mentally and physically) and just wanna go home. I'm guessing your p/u car in Boston was there waiting for you and not the other way around. Wouldn't it be awful if he/she wasn't??
Thanks for the comic. I know DH will love it. :)
It's sad it's over. I don't wanna do a full blown TR but I would like to post some of my favorite pics and parts of the trip. My pictures are all on my computer. What do I have to do to be able to post them?
Deb

natebenma
10-14-2011, 12:26 PM
Another OMG!!! How frustrating. I hate sitting and waiting more than anything. Don't understand why they have you all get on the plane when you're gonna just sit and wait anyway. What an awful feeling when you're exhausted (both mentally and physically) and just wanna go home. I'm guessing your p/u car in Boston was there waiting for you and not the other way around. Wouldn't it be awful if he/she wasn't??
Deb

Yes, thankfully our car was there!

I think they loaded us onto the plane for a couple of reasons. The gate area was getting pretty crowded, so if a plane was at the gate, that is one way to get people out of there. Plus, I honestly don't think anyone knew the fueling order.

I'm pretty sure that there are penalties in place if you are kept waiting on a plane for 3 or more hours before taking off. But we didn't wait that long.

AprilRenee
10-14-2011, 12:35 PM
How awful to sit on a plane for 2 hours on the ground!
Another reason to load you on the plane (something we learned on OUR trip home) is that the flight crew can "time out" if they don't get on the plane and away from the gate in a certain amount of time. If they didn't pull you away from the gate then that wasn't the reason...but if they put you on and then pulled away, it might have been that the crew was getting close to timing out and not being allowed to fly.

ddluvsdisney
10-14-2011, 12:42 PM
I just noticed you added the kitties to your sig.- very cute!!

natebenma
10-14-2011, 12:49 PM
I don't wanna do a full blown TR but I would like to post some of my favorite pics and parts of the trip. My pictures are all on my computer. What do I have to do to be able to post them?
Deb

I use Photobucket to post my pictures. You can sign up for a free account.

Once you have the account, you can upload pictures- very easy.

You can load them all into one album, or create different albums/subalbums if you want. (For example- everything could go into Orlando July 2011 or I could make a different album for each park (Universal, Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Sea World)

To upload, you will be directed to browse and select the photos you want from your computer.

You can select multiple photos (I do it using the shift/enter key for a continuous block of pictures or control/enter for individual pictures if I want to skip some)

When you have selected the photos you want, press the upload button.

To post:

You need to get the image code for that picture-

There are several options associated with each picture: Share/Edit/Delete/Move

Click on Share

Click on Get Link Code

There will be a bunch of options for the link codes. You want

IMG for Bulletin Boards and Forums.

Copy the link code in the box, then paste it where you want in a message.

It will look like this:

[ IMG]http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6792.jpg[/IMG]
Note, I put in an extra space after the first bracket so the picture wouldn't print.

Hint- if you have a series of photos from the same album you want to print, all of the above info will be the same except for the picture name or number. So I can just recopy the line above, and change the 6792 to 6793.

One more hint- In my settings, I have changed the default to upload all of my pictures in the 640 x 480 size. To do this, click the Upload button, scroll down where it says customize your upload settings.

Hope this helps!

Feel free to practice posting a photo here.

ddluvsdisney
10-14-2011, 02:02 PM
I use Photobucket to post my pictures. You can sign up for a free account.

Once you have the account, you can upload pictures- very easy.

You can load them all into one album, or create different albums/subalbums if you want. (For example- everything could go into Orlando July 2011 or I could make a different album for each park (Universal, Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Sea World)

To upload, you will be directed to browse and select the photos you want from your computer.

You can select multiple photos (I do it using the shift/enter key for a continuous block of pictures or control/enter for individual pictures if I want to skip some

When you have selected the photos you want, press the upload button.

To post:

You need to get the image code for that picture-

There are several options associated with each picture: Share/Edit/Delete/Move

Click on Share

Click on Get Link Code

There will be a bunch of options for the link codes. You want

IMG for Bulletin Boards and Forums.

Copy the link code in the box, then paste it where you want in a message.

It will look like this:

[ IMG]http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/IMG_6792.jpg[/IMG]
Note, I put in an extra space after the first bracket so the picture wouldn't print.

Hint- if you have a series of photos from the same album you want to print, all of the above info will be the same except for the picture name or number. So I can just recopy the line above, and change the 6792 to 6793.

One more hint- In my settings, I have changed the default to upload all of my pictures in the 640 x 480 size. To do this, click the Upload button, scroll down where it says customize your upload settings.

Hope this helps!

Feel free to practice posting a photo here.

Thanks Dee you're awesome!!
I'll have more time tomorrow to try.
Deb :)

pixarmom
10-15-2011, 11:47 AM
Hi Dee!

Just caught up on your report! First, we're another family with allergies, so our pet options are limited. But I must say that "Monster Energy Cat" is the best cat name EVER - especially when paired with a sweet cat named Oreo. Love it!

Wow - that transportation ordeal made me nervous just reading it. Ugh. And then the time on the plane - another ugh! Whenever we experience transportation difficulties, one of us always says, "Where's the Magical Express?" Now, I know ME has been imperfect for many, but we've always had great experiences with it and we don't like renting cars. So we always miss ME when we travel elsewhere.

Always sad to see a Dee Trip Report come to an end. You're reporting on Nassau in February, right?

pixarmom
10-15-2011, 11:52 AM
LOVE THAT!!!:rotfl: Every year we always try a few new restaurants. I think I love eating there more than anything else lol. I look forward to trying something new all the time. But this trip I think we only have one new one we haven't tried yet that we really want to- Via Napoli. The past 2 trips we said we were eating here but something always beat it. All the others are favorites that we just want to eat at. My parents will be with us too and a lot of the places will be new for them so I'm excited.
These are the ones I'm thinking: (not sure of which days yet)
Garden Grill
Rose & Crown- to watch Illuminations
Cali Grill
Sci-Fi (boys' favorite)
Via Napoli
Flying Fish or Kona (new)
Chefs de France

I replied to your PM
Deb :)

Just wanted to add that I love your line-up! We've been to every one of the restaurants on your list and enjoy each one for different reasons.

Your Via addition is great. We love the light, airy atmosphere (high ceilings, hardwood floors), friendly and efficient service, and the food (pizza, caprese salad and sangria are all quite good!) We have several different tastes and eating styles in our family of five, and everyone enjoys Via. I hope you love it as much as we do!

As for Flying Fish or Kona, they are different but both very good. We prefer Kona for lunch and Flying Fish for dinner, but maybe it just comes down to which location is more convenient that day. Good luck with your decision!

natebenma
10-16-2011, 07:07 AM
Hi Dee!

Just caught up on your report! First, we're another family with allergies, so our pet options are limited. But I must say that "Monster Energy Cat" is the best cat name EVER - especially when paired with a sweet cat named Oreo. Love it!

Wow - that transportation ordeal made me nervous just reading it. Ugh. And then the time on the plane - another ugh! Whenever we experience transportation difficulties, one of us always says, "Where's the Magical Express?" Now, I know ME has been imperfect for many, but we've always had great experiences with it and we don't like renting cars. So we always miss ME when we travel elsewhere.

Always sad to see a Dee Trip Report come to an end. You're reporting on Nassau in February, right?


The funny thing about the cat names is that Monster Energy Cat (male) is a sweet snugglebug who purrs like crazy and will fall asleep on your lap as you pet him. Oreo (female), on the other hand, is full of energy and is going to be trouble. She is beautiful, playful and curious and she is not as interested in us as her brother is.


Thanks for reading along!

You sometimes have to suffer through some travel nightmares and I guess I'm glad it was on the way home instead of on the way to our vacation. We love Magical Express! It certainly is better than our experience this year.

Yes, I'll be reporting on the Nassau/Atlantis trip. Not until April though! We don't have anything booked for February :scared1: (yet?). Let's see if we hold out. We have had January/Feb vacations since 2008 and it really helps us to mentally survive the New England winters knowing we have a tropical getaway.

As some of you (from the BC/YC thread) know, I will also be adding a ticker for June- I WILL be accompanying my teenager and his friends for his 8th grade class graduation trip to Disney. I don't think the trip will merit a Pre-trip report, since I won't be doing much of the planning.

ddluvsdisney
10-16-2011, 12:29 PM
Just wanted to add that I love your line-up! We've been to every one of the restaurants on your list and enjoy each one for different reasons.

Your Via addition is great. We love the light, airy atmosphere (high ceilings, hardwood floors), friendly and efficient service, and the food (pizza, caprese salad and sangria are all quite good!) We have several different tastes and eating styles in our family of five, and everyone enjoys Via. I hope you love it as much as we do!

As for Flying Fish or Kona, they are different but both very good. We prefer Kona for lunch and Flying Fish for dinner, but maybe it just comes down to which location is more convenient that day. Good luck with your decision!

Thanks!! I really do get way too excited about eating there.
We have done FF for dinner in August and it was excellent!! So I think DH will wanna go back. Tues. makes 180 days yay!:cool1:

ddluvsdisney
10-16-2011, 12:59 PM
The funny thing about the cat names is that Monster Energy Cat (male) is a sweet snugglebug who purrs like crazy and will fall asleep on your lap as you pet him. Oreo (female), on the other hand, is full of energy and is going to be trouble. She is beautiful, playful and curious and she is not as interested in us as her brother is.


Thanks for reading along!

You sometimes have to suffer through some travel nightmares and I guess I'm glad it was on the way home instead of on the way to our vacation. We love Magical Express! It certainly is better than our experience this year.

Yes, I'll be reporting on the Nassau/Atlantis trip. Not until April though! We don't have anything booked for February :scared1: (yet?). Let's see if we hold out. We have had January/Feb vacations since 2008 and it really helps us to mentally survive the New England winters knowing we have a tropical getaway.

As some of you (from the BC/YC thread) know, I will also be adding a ticker for June- I WILL be accompanying my teenager and his friends for his 8th grade class graduation trip to Disney. I don't think the trip will merit a Pre-trip report, since I won't be doing much of the planning.

Glad to hear you decided to go. That will be so fun! I would love to hear all about it when you get back. So interested on what they do on a school trip, ya know?
Are you going to Nassau for April vacation?
Deb :)

natebenma
10-16-2011, 02:25 PM
Glad to hear you decided to go. That will be so fun! I would love to hear all about it when you get back. So interested on what they do on a school trip, ya know?
Are you going to Nassau for April vacation?
Deb :)

I was always planning on going. Nate would go back and forth about wanting me there, but finally I said, "I'm going!" I've gone on most of the other field trips, I want to watch him enjoying this one. And I'm good at this! And a lot of his friends' parents are glad that I am going.

I will definitely do a report on the Disney trip!

Yes, we are going to Nassau for April vacation (5 nights). We are staying at the Comfort Suites across from Atlantis and have full privileges for Atlantis. Much cheaper! We stayed at Atlantis (Beach Towers) in February 2009. Great trip, but it was a little cool in February.

ddluvsdisney
10-16-2011, 02:36 PM
I was always planning on going. Nate would go back and forth about wanting me there, but finally I said, "I'm going!" I've gone on most of the other field trips, I want to watch him enjoying this one. And I'm good at this! And a lot of his friends' parents are glad that I am going.

I will definitely do a report on the Disney trip!

Yes, we are going to Nassau for April vacation (5 nights). We are staying at the Comfort Suites across from Atlantis and have full privileges for Atlantis. Much cheaper! We stayed at Atlantis (Beach Towers) in February 2009. Great trip, but it was a little cool in February.

Sounds like you have 2 great trips coming up!! I'm so jealous about Atlantis. Maybe 2013.

aprilisis
10-17-2011, 06:51 AM
Thank you!!! I was going to post pictures over on your PTR because I consider that the "way too cute" animal thread! Already trying to figure out how to dress up the kitties for Christmas.

They haven't met the gerbils yet.

Maybe a picture of all four of them. "Meow-y Kiss-Mouse"



Definitely post them on my PTR!! If you DO make that Christmas card, you HAVE TO post it!!!!

aprilisis
10-17-2011, 07:01 AM
What a wait at the airport!! I know what you mean- I can't usually sleep on the plane, either, no matter how tired I am!
I'm sad your TR is over.

natebenma
10-17-2011, 04:13 PM
Definitely post them on my PTR!! If you DO make that Christmas card, you HAVE TO post it!!!!

The kitties just met the gerbils yesterday. Oreo is fascinated by them and will sit behind the aquarium and pace around it. The gerbils don't seem all that concerned. Yet.

I have a couple of pictures of the encounters.

What a wait at the airport!! I know what you mean- I can't usually sleep on the plane, either, no matter how tired I am!
I'm sad your TR is over.

Never been able to sleep on a plane! One red eye trip to London, I had been up for about 24 straight hours, and still couldn't sleep. I'm glad my boys can sleep on a plane and in moving vehicles, though.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the report!

saintstickets
10-17-2011, 04:22 PM
Next up: Top Ten “Things”- Tips for Universal Newbies

Did I miss this? I am looking forward to your recommendations since I have enjoyed your TR so much.

natebenma
10-17-2011, 06:30 PM
Did I miss this? I am looking forward to your recommendations since I have enjoyed your TR so much.

Nope, you haven't missed it. Coming right up!

I'm so glad you enjoyed the report. Thanks for sticking with it. :goodvibes

natebenma
10-17-2011, 06:36 PM
http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/scan0001.jpg http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/scan0002.jpg



And some assorted additional tidbits for Universal Newbies:

Places to check for discount tickets before you go: AAA, Undercover Tourist (Mousesavers), Costco, Theme park websites online (Sea World)

Bonine- we found this was a good, non drowsy way to combat motion sickness.

Transportation: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2494908

Ollivander's is the show, the Owl Post is the wand shop. You can access the Owl Post via Dervish & Banges, which can have a line to enter but according to posters on the DIS, they have never seen this line longer than a 10-minute wait.

Making the Most of Hogwarts Castle and Forbidden Journey:

Try to use the regular queue for Forbidden Journey at least once- you will see all of the parts of the castle that way. Early in the morning would be best for this.

Then you can use the Single Rider Line to ride Forbidden Journey quickly. If you have children, parents can "sandwich" them. Adult first, then kids, then another Adult, so someone will be waiting for them at the exit. I believe the entrance to the SRL is across from the locker entrance, but just ask a Team Member to direct you.

To explore the castle at your own pace, you can use the Castle Tour line. You see almost everything, but to see the Sorting Hat, you need to go in the regular Forbidden Journey line.

Beverages in Hogsmeade:

You won't find soda in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (per orders of J.K. Rowling)

There are some other interesting beverages though:

Butterbeer, of course. We prefer the frozen.

Pumpkin Juice, on draft or in a souvenir bottle. We prefer the draft.

We didn't try the apple or pear cider.

* Important Note: You can use your AAA card for a discount on drinks in the Hogs Head Inn or The 3 Broomsticks, but not at the carts. You will probably encounter a shorter wait at the Hogs Head than you will at the carts *

ddluvsdisney
10-17-2011, 07:29 PM
http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/scan0001.jpg http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Orlando%20July%202011/scan0002.jpg



And some assorted additional tidbits for Universal Newbies:

Places to check for discount tickets before you go: AAA, Undercover Tourist (Mousesavers), Costco, Theme park websites online (Sea World)

Bonine- we found this was a good, non drowsy way to combat motion sickness.

Transportation: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2494908

Ollivander's is the show, the Owl Post is the wand shop. You can access the Owl Post via Dervish & Banges, which can have a line to enter but according to posters on the DIS, they have never seen this line longer than a 10-minute wait.

Making the Most of Hogwarts Castle and Forbidden Journey:

Try to use the regular queue for Forbidden Journey at least once- you will see all of the parts of the castle that way. Early in the morning would be best for this.

Then you can use the Single Rider Line to ride Forbidden Journey quickly. If you have children, parents can "sandwich" them. Adult first, then kids, then another Adult, so someone will be waiting for them at the exit. I believe the entrance to the SRL is across from the locker entrance, but just ask a Team Member to direct you.

To explore the castle at your own pace, you can use the Castle Tour line. You see almost everything, but to see the Sorting Hat, you need to go in the regular Forbidden Journey line.

Beverages in Hogsmeade:

You won't find soda in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (per orders of J.K. Rowling)

There are some other interesting beverages though:

Butterbeer, of course. We prefer the frozen.

Pumpkin Juice, on draft or in a souvenir bottle. We prefer the draft.

We didn't try the apple or pear cider.

* Important Note: You can use your AAA card for a discount on drinks in the Hogs Head Inn or The 3 Broomsticks, but not at the carts. You will probably encounter a shorter wait at the Hogs Head than you will at the carts *



Great tips Dee!!
Especially the staying on site! Our friends are thinking of doing the Disney/Uni/IOA trip next year and I told them to def. stay on site before transferring to Disney resort WELL WORTH it!!:thumbsup2
SRL are really great too! As DS14 found out when he rode Spidey like 6x in a row!
Did I say how sad I was that your TR was over? :sad1:

Deb :)

natebenma
10-18-2011, 10:18 AM
Can you believe I can make my ADRs next week!!??? It feels like I just got back and I'm planning already. It's so weird!!!!
Deb :)

When is your ADR day??? Have you seen these postings on the Restaurant boards?

If your 180 are today. Call. Don't go online: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2819059

natebenma
10-18-2011, 10:22 AM
Great tips Dee!!
Especially the staying on site! Our friends are thinking of doing the Disney/Uni/IOA trip next year and I told them to def. stay on site before transferring to Disney resort WELL WORTH it!!:thumbsup2
SRL are really great too! As DS14 found out when he rode Spidey like 6x in a row!
Did I say how sad I was that your TR was over? :sad1:

Deb :)

Thank you! The staying on site, if you can manage it, is really great.

We only did the SRL once, when Nate and I rode FJ. With the express pass we didn't really need it, but we probably would have enjoyed FJ a few more times if we had thought to use it.

I think you have mentioned that you will miss this TR. :sad1: That's very sweet! Thanks, again!

Schmoodle
10-22-2011, 11:09 AM
Dee, just wanted to thank you again for emailing me the top tens before our trip this past August. We had a great time, and applied 1 - 4, the most important of the tips! Tip 10 is also excellent and I kept forgetting to do this, and therefore missed out on many discounts. You guys are very impressive in your technique, so I hope you keep the reports coming!

We have 3 day Costco Universal tickets squirreled away and can't wait to go back to Universal in a year or two. And I may be doing an adults-only birthday trip next fall, hopefully staying at the Beach Club, so you may be hearing from me again (fingers crossed).

ddluvsdisney
10-22-2011, 11:35 AM
When is your ADR day??? Have you seen these postings on the Restaurant boards?

If your 180 are today. Call. Don't go online: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2819059

I missed your post the other day.
I have been doing my ADRs w/ no problems :thumbsup2
I did check out that thread and some people were having problems others not I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!;)
I need to do my ADRs one at a time each day a new one b/c I'm staying off property- but even with having to do that I've got all the times I want :banana:
Thanks for giving me the heads up though!!!

natebenma
10-22-2011, 03:55 PM
Dee, just wanted to thank you again for emailing me the top tens before our trip this past August. We had a great time, and applied 1 - 4, the most important of the tips! Tip 10 is also excellent and I kept forgetting to do this, and therefore missed out on many discounts. You guys are very impressive in your technique, so I hope you keep the reports coming!

We have 3 day Costco Universal tickets squirreled away and can't wait to go back to Universal in a year or two. And I may be doing an adults-only birthday trip next fall, hopefully staying at the Beach Club, so you may be hearing from me again (fingers crossed).

You are welcome. Thanks for checking in. Glad to hear that you were able to use the tips and that you had a great trip.

There were a few times we forgot to ask for the AAA discount and it REALLY annoyed me!!! I think once I even went back and had them ring in our order again (much to my husband's embarassment)

I'm not a Costco member, but those tickets sound like a really good deal, especially since they don't expire for a few years.

Oh, I hope you book at the Beach Club- make sure you check out the FAQ thread if you do. A really great, helpful group of posters.

natebenma
10-22-2011, 04:10 PM
I missed your post the other day.
I have been doing my ADRs w/ no problems :thumbsup2
I did check out that thread and some people were having problems others not I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!;)
I need to do my ADRs one at a time each day a new one b/c I'm staying off property- but even with having to do that I've got all the times I want :banana:
Thanks for giving me the heads up though!!!

That's great that you are getting your reservations. I keep forgetting about the one-a-day for offsite guests. Let us know your lineup when you are done.

I'm bummed that I won't be making reservations for the class trip in June- I think we get vouchers for counter service meals. And I will be letting the kids pick where they want to eat. I'm hoping Nate will take the planning lead for our group. I have already quizzed him about where we should eat in each park- and I was pleased with his answers:

MK- Pecos Bill or Columbia Harbor House
EP- Sunshine Seasons (or lunch around the world)
AK- Tamu Tamu
HS- He didn't have an answer for this one.

We haven't really had counterservice meals at this park, but I hear good things about Starring Rolls. I think the giant sandwiches and even gianter cupcakes would please 13-14 year olds!

bubba's mom
10-23-2011, 07:52 AM
Well if that just ain't the crappiest way to end vacation :headache:

But, looking on the bright side (as I usually do), at least that storm was not DURING one of your vacation days. If it's GOTTA rain like that, I guess that was the best time to do it!

Glad you had a good time at Universal. A lot of people compare the two and...well, it can just get ugly :sad2:

Sorry to see your vacation end, but no doubt next one is in the works :teeth:

Thanx for sharing your vacation with us!

ddluvsdisney
10-23-2011, 10:57 AM
That's great that you are getting your reservations. I keep forgetting about the one-a-day for offsite guests. Let us know your lineup when you are done.

I'm bummed that I won't be making reservations for the class trip in June- I think we get vouchers for counter service meals. And I will be letting the kids pick where they want to eat. I'm hoping Nate will take the planning lead for our group. I have already quizzed him about where we should eat in each park- and I was pleased with his answers:

MK- Pecos Bill or Columbia Harbor House
EP- Sunshine Seasons (or lunch around the world)
AK- Tamu Tamu
HS- He didn't have an answer for this one.

We haven't really had counterservice meals at this park, but I hear good things about Starring Rolls. I think the giant sandwiches and even gianter cupcakes would please 13-14 year olds!

Dee-
You have definately taught that boy well! lol
Looks like what I would choose.
Starring Rolls would probably be your best bet!
1 more ADR to make tomorrow- I'll let you know. :)

Deb

natebenma
10-23-2011, 02:20 PM
Well if that just ain't the crappiest way to end vacation :headache:

But, looking on the bright side (as I usually do), at least that storm was not DURING one of your vacation days. If it's GOTTA rain like that, I guess that was the best time to do it!

Glad you had a good time at Universal. A lot of people compare the two and...well, it can just get ugly :sad2:

Sorry to see your vacation end, but no doubt next one is in the works :teeth:

Thanx for sharing your vacation with us!

That really was the bright side- the only rain we had during that week was the evening at Sea World. We have been VERY lucky the past 3 years. We have visited Orlando the 2nd week in July, and only had a few inconvenient thundershowers.

We really did enjoy Universal! We have Atlantis (Comfort Suites) booked for April, but nothing booked for February, when we really like to travel. We came seriously close to booking Universal again for February this afternoon (With one Disney day). Like Mark had filled in our names for the air travel and everything. But we decided it was probably too soon to go back. February 2013 might be nice though for a Disney/US trip.

And Nate and I will be going to Disney in June for his 8th grade class trip.

But other than that, nothing planned. :lmao:

Thanks for coming along for our trip! I have appreciated your input!

Dee-
You have definately taught that boy well! lol
Looks like what I would choose.
Starring Rolls would probably be your best bet!
1 more ADR to make tomorrow- I'll let you know. :)

Deb

Yes, he has certainly learned his Disney lessons well. Wish this would carry over into his schoolwork!!!!!!

ddluvsdisney
10-24-2011, 07:47 AM
OK Done with ADRs yay!!!
Sun.- R&C dinner to watch Illuminations (my mom loves Illum. she is gonna be so surprised!! She's never eaten here)
Mon.- Via Napoli for lunch (never eaten here before- excited)
Tues.- Garden Grill dinner (this is our new fav. character dinner- excellent food)
Wed.- Cali Grill dinner ( we've eaten here a couple of times to watch Wishes- another surprise for my parents)
Thurs.- Sci-Fi lunch (boys' fave my parents will probably love it)
Fri.- Flying Fish dinner (this is DH's new fave- kids love the BW at night)
Sat.- Chefs for lunch (mom loves this restaurant- we do too Remy is so cute!)
Well there they are- we definately chose our favorites this trip with 1 new one to try.
We might throw in a b-fast one day too but haven't decided which one yet.
So excited. I love taking people to places for the first time.

Deb:)

natebenma
10-24-2011, 10:17 AM
OK Done with ADRs yay!!!
Sun.- R&C dinner to watch Illuminations (my mom loves Illum. she is gonna be so surprised!! She's never eaten here)
Mon.- Via Napoli for lunch (never eaten here before- excited)
Tues.- Garden Grill dinner (this is our new fav. character dinner- excellent food)
Wed.- Cali Grill dinner ( we've eaten here a couple of times to watch Wishes- another surprise for my parents)
Thurs.- Sci-Fi lunch (boys' fave my parents will probably love it)
Fri.- Flying Fish dinner (this is DH's new fave- kids love the BW at night)
Sat.- Chefs for lunch (mom loves this restaurant- we do too Remy is so cute!)
Well there they are- we definately chose our favorites this trip with 1 new one to try.
We might throw in a b-fast one day too but haven't decided which one yet.
So excited. I love taking people to places for the first time.

Deb:)

:thumbsup2

Sounds like an excellent line up!!!

The only place we have actually eaten is the Sci Fi, but I hear lots and lots of good things about all of the places you are going! Dining is one of my favorite activities at the Disney parks and I am officially *jealous*!!!

.

ddluvsdisney
10-24-2011, 11:04 AM
:thumbsup2

Sounds like an excellent line up!!!

The only place we have actually eaten is the Sci Fi, but I hear lots and lots of good things about all of the places you are going! Dining is one of my favorite activities at the Disney parks and I am officially *jealous*!!!

.

Thanks Dee!!
You'll have to try some of them next time!

jmskinner
10-28-2011, 07:30 PM
I feel like I have accomplished something...your TR.:cool1: I am in awe of your and your family and how commando you all are. We end up with meltdowns you wouldn't believe and that is the adults.:rotfl2:

Reading your TR has made me want to try to go to Universal next summer if we make it to Orlando for Star Wars Celebrations like we plan.

Sorry you didn't get to see the Horror Makeup Show, I'm one that raves about it.

Really enjoyed your TR and look forward to reading the next one.

DrMomof3
10-29-2011, 09:49 AM
What a nightmare trip home. I think it's always made worse by the fact that you are going home!
Thanks for the Universal tips!

Amanda

natebenma
10-29-2011, 01:34 PM
I feel like I have accomplished something...your TR.:cool1: I am in awe of your and your family and how commando you all are. We end up with meltdowns you wouldn't believe and that is the adults.:rotfl2:

Reading your TR has made me want to try to go to Universal next summer if we make it to Orlando for Star Wars Celebrations like we plan.

Sorry you didn't get to see the Horror Makeup Show, I'm one that raves about it.

Really enjoyed your TR and look forward to reading the next one.

Hi Melissa! I'm so glad you made it over here! Thanks for reading my report :) You were the very first reader on my first report and I am thankful to have you around. I have enjoyed following your adventures too!

I'm glad you are planning on heading to the Star Wars Celebration. Have you been to IoA since the Wizarding World opened? If you are Harry Potter fans at all, you must go!

I'll be over to check out your reports tomorrow (if we are not piled under a foot of snow with no electricity). Trying to catch my breath a bit- in between Ben's theatre rehearsal and the boys' football games today. I ran two events last night- a movie night for the middle school 5th graders and a Halloween dance for the 7th and 8th graders .

What a nightmare trip home. I think it's always made worse by the fact that you are going home!
Thanks for the Universal tips!

Amanda

Once we have started the journey home, all we want is to be there as soon as possible. We did not enjoy our delayed return!

I hope you find some of the Universal tips to be useful! I'm sure we will be chatting a bunch of times before December.

Queila
11-07-2011, 11:53 AM
Great top 10 things!! ;)

Q

natebenma
11-08-2011, 06:17 AM
Great top 10 things!! ;)

Q

Thank you!!!

dtr_angel
01-06-2012, 01:53 PM
Well I am really late to the party, but after a DIS boards hiatus I finally came back and finished reading your TR! It always amazes me how much you are able to fit into a day. We are definitely going to have to get better about getting up early on vacation and getting to places early. I'm sorry about the ending to your trip, what a bummer. I had to laugh when you said you were quizzing your son about what CS to eat in the park, lol. For HS, my DH & I like Pizza Planet but Starring Rolls is good too - ummm, butterfinger cupcake! I hope you have a good trip and I'm hoping for a trip report when you return!!! Our May vacation is probably not going to be to Disney much to my dismay so I'll need a Dee Disney fix :thumbsup2

natebenma
01-06-2012, 03:16 PM
Well I am really late to the party, but after a DIS boards hiatus I finally came back and finished reading your TR! It always amazes me how much you are able to fit into a day. We are definitely going to have to get better about getting up early on vacation and getting to places early. I'm sorry about the ending to your trip, what a bummer. I had to laugh when you said you were quizzing your son about what CS to eat in the park, lol. For HS, my DH & I like Pizza Planet but Starring Rolls is good too - ummm, butterfinger cupcake! I hope you have a good trip and I'm hoping for a trip report when you return!!! Our May vacation is probably not going to be to Disney much to my dismay so I'll need a Dee Disney fix :thumbsup2

Hey! Welcome Back!

AND CONGRATULATIONS!!! I noticed your ticker and I know how much you wanted this. So happy for you! I hope you have been feeling well. Have you announced your news on your last TR? I haven't seen it yet!

Are you still going on the cruise this year?

So there has been a little drama regarding the class trip. The same day I made my ticker, Nate got his report card. His grades were great- all As and Bs. He had all 1's and one 2 in effort and conduct in all of his classes. EXCEPT Life Skills (Home Ec). He had a 4 (lowest grade) in effort. Well, the 4 put him on probation for the trip. If he gets another 4 or two or more 3's in effort or conduct in any classes on the same report card, his trip is off!

I have been on pins and needles. But I have been following up with his teachers and he is doing better in Life Skills this term and I think the other classes are ok. I paid the final balance for the two of us, and the next report card comes out at the end of the month.

So IF we go on the class trip, I will most definitely be writing a trip report. I'll probably do a mini-report after our trip to Atlantis in April, too.

dtr_angel
01-07-2012, 12:15 PM
Hey! Welcome Back!

AND CONGRATULATIONS!!! I noticed your ticker and I know how much you wanted this. So happy for you! I hope you have been feeling well. Have you announced your news on your last TR? I haven't seen it yet!

Are you still going on the cruise this year?

So there has been a little drama regarding the class trip. The same day I made my ticker, Nate got his report card. His grades were great- all As and Bs. He had all 1's and one 2 in effort and conduct in all of his classes. EXCEPT Life Skills (Home Ec). He had a 4 (lowest grade) in effort. Well, the 4 put him on probation for the trip. If he gets another 4 or two or more 3's in effort or conduct in any classes on the same report card, his trip is off!

I have been on pins and needles. But I have been following up with his teachers and he is doing better in Life Skills this term and I think the other classes are ok. I paid the final balance for the two of us, and the next report card comes out at the end of the month.

So IF we go on the class trip, I will most definitely be writing a trip report. I'll probably do a mini-report after our trip to Atlantis in April, too.

Thank you!!! We are SO excited! I definitely feel less than stellar right now but it's all worth it. Unfortunately since I marked my TR as complete it got moved to the completed trip reports forum and it's locked. I can't reply or update! So I PMd the mod for the forum yesterday hoping it can be unlocked, but I haven't heard anything back yet. We aren't going on our cruise because I was supposed to start my new job 1/9 (we were planning for the last week in January to cruise). After we found that out my husband put his vacation bids in for May and October of this year. Of course, 2 days before Christmas we find out that I'm not starting until 2/13 but it was too late for my husband to change his vacation bids. So unfortunately it doesn't look like we'll get to Disney this year :( In May/June during my husband's first vacation I'll be too pregnant (at least 32 weeks) to fly and waddle around Disney World, plus it will be too hot and crowded. On his second vacation, the baby will be much too young to go to Disney for the first time. Right now the plan is to in April/early May of 2013 (when baby will be about 9 months old) but that seems too far away. We'll see - I'm going to start a PTR here soon even though it's all so up in the air LOL.

Oh no, that is terrible! I really hope Nate is able to pull it off. I would be on pins and needles too! Definitely looking forward to reading the TR (since it will be so different than your others!) and about your Atlantis trip too!

natebenma
01-07-2012, 04:45 PM
Thank you!!! We are SO excited! I definitely feel less than stellar right now but it's all worth it. Unfortunately since I marked my TR as complete it got moved to the completed trip reports forum and it's locked. I can't reply or update! So I PMd the mod for the forum yesterday hoping it can be unlocked, but I haven't heard anything back yet. We aren't going on our cruise because I was supposed to start my new job 1/9 (we were planning for the last week in January to cruise). After we found that out my husband put his vacation bids in for May and October of this year. Of course, 2 days before Christmas we find out that I'm not starting until 2/13 but it was too late for my husband to change his vacation bids. So unfortunately it doesn't look like we'll get to Disney this year :( In May/June during my husband's first vacation I'll be too pregnant (at least 32 weeks) to fly and waddle around Disney World, plus it will be too hot and crowded. On his second vacation, the baby will be much too young to go to Disney for the first time. Right now the plan is to in April/early May of 2013 (when baby will be about 9 months old) but that seems too far away. We'll see - I'm going to start a PTR here soon even though it's all so up in the air LOL.

Oh no, that is terrible! I really hope Nate is able to pull it off. I would be on pins and needles too! Definitely looking forward to reading the TR (since it will be so different than your others!) and about your Atlantis trip too!

I just saw that you got your TR unlocked and I commented over there. Hooray!

I did the same exact thing with my "Never" going in the summer again report. I thought marking the report "Complete" would just move it to the Completed TR forum. I didn't know it would lock it from editing or additional postings!

eandesmom
01-07-2012, 05:06 PM
Yikes for Nate! That would totally stress me out, fingers crossed he pulls it off.

-Hope-
03-07-2012, 08:19 AM
I followed you over from momabaarjo's TR and I'm so glad I did! Your TR was great and full of good information and tips for our first trip to the dark side. :wizard:

I hope you don't mind but I pinned your top ten post to my Orlando board on Pinterest so I wouldn't lose it! :worship:

mnmrmustard
03-08-2012, 12:29 PM
I started this TR, got tangled up in RL, and finally made it back for the finish. I can't fathom taking on all that you did in that heat, but you all got in a super-sized load of fun!

Since your TR is still open i wanted to let you know that your first page post with all of the links is missing one, the Shamu show. Here is the link if you want to add it in for future readers:

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42064030&postcount=235

I can say for sure that I basically want to steal your route/methodology for getting FPs at MK, that was just staggering! One question I have is how did your hubby swing the extra FPs for Mickey's Philharmagic? Did they come out of the machine he was at (I think he was at Peter Pan)?

We are doing a combo Universal/WDW trip in late November/early December and I know you've inspired me in my planning. You had some great ideas for breaking up the trip to keep the kids/teens from getting too burnt out. Our girls will be 13 and 16 when we go and I know how the attitude/cranky thing can come out if we push it too hard.

I know we'll be doing the single rider bit FJ quite a bit to get in as many rides as possible. And I'm glad that there are no sodas at WWoHP, that was a good call by J.K.

I too am a camera nut and sneak pics whenever I can. That was a great shot you captured of the big T-Rex on the Jurrassic ride. I was able to take pics through the building up until the turn that lead to the big guy. But a lady came over the loudspeaker and called me out specifically ..."you in the second row, put the camera down or we stop the ride!" :lmao:

Thank you again for taking us along on your adventure!

natebenma
03-08-2012, 07:47 PM
I followed you over from momabaarjo's TR and I'm so glad I did! Your TR was great and full of good information and tips for our first trip to the dark side. :wizard:

I hope you don't mind but I pinned your top ten post to my Orlando board on Pinterest so I wouldn't lose it! :worship:

Thanks for your kind comments! I'm glad you found some helpful information.

I started this TR, got tangled up in RL, and finally made it back for the finish. I can't fathom taking on all that you did in that heat, but you all got in a super-sized load of fun!

Since your TR is still open i wanted to let you know that your first page post with all of the links is missing one, the Shamu show. Here is the link if you want to add it in for future readers:

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42064030&postcount=235

I can say for sure that I basically want to steal your route/methodology for getting FPs at MK, that was just staggering! One question I have is how did your hubby swing the extra FPs for Mickey's Philharmagic? Did they come out of the machine he was at (I think he was at Peter Pan)?

We are doing a combo Universal/WDW trip in late November/early December and I know you've inspired me in my planning. You had some great ideas for breaking up the trip to keep the kids/teens from getting too burnt out. Our girls will be 13 and 16 when we go and I know how the attitude/cranky thing can come out if we push it too hard.

I know we'll be doing the single rider bit FJ quite a bit to get in as many rides as possible. And I'm glad that there are no sodas at WWoHP, that was a good call by J.K.

I too am a camera nut and sneak pics whenever I can. That was a great shot you captured of the big T-Rex on the Jurrassic ride. I was able to take pics through the building up until the turn that lead to the big guy. But a lady came over the loudspeaker and called me out specifically ..."you in the second row, put the camera down or we stop the ride!" :lmao:

Thank you again for taking us along on your adventure!

Welcome back!!!

Thanks for the heads up on the missing link! I'll add that back in.

Yes the Philharmagic FP came out automatically at the Peter Pan FP machine. You sometimes get it with Winnie the Pooh, too. The only problem now is that Disney is changing their policy about accepting FP after the time window expires. We are going to have to figure out a whole new way of touring now!

We rode JP a couple of times in a row. The first time, they made the announcement to put away cameras because some people pulled them out, but then the second time there was no announcement, so... :rolleyes1

Sounds like a great trip this winter! I look forward to reading about it and seeing some amazing pictures.

mnmrmustard
03-08-2012, 09:54 PM
Welcome back!!!

Thanks for the heads up on the missing link! I'll add that back in.

Yes the Philharmagic FP came out automatically at the Peter Pan FP machine. You sometimes get it with Winnie the Pooh, too. The only problem now is that Disney is changing their policy about accepting FP after the time window expires. We are going to have to figure out a whole new way of touring now!

We rode JP a couple of times in a row. The first time, they made the announcement to put away cameras because some people pulled them out, but then the second time there was no announcement, so... :rolleyes1

Sounds like a great trip this winter! I look forward to reading about it and seeing some amazing pictures.

No problem on the link, I had to track it down to see the new show. We last saw it in 2008 when they were still doing the Belive show.

That is too bad that Disney is changing their policy on the use of their FPs. Hopefully the ride CMs will still have some flexibility if you're only a few minutes late. And there's the ride breakdowns - they'll have to have a contingency for that.

This will be our first "holiday" trip and will probably be our last one to WDW before the girls are all grown so I want to make sure it is a special one. I'll be taking LOADS of pics for sure. I'm having to use self control to not start my PTR 10 months before the trip :laughing:

Good luck with that 8th grade trip, can't wait to see how it comes together!

natebenma
03-12-2012, 08:34 AM
Listen, my children, and you will see
The midnight flight of Mark and Dee
To Puerto Rico we did flee
For our 25th Anniversary


:bride:July 19, 1986:teacher:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/Scan-071123-0067.jpg


Mark and I met in Junior High. Can you believe that? From 8th grade on, we were in all of the same classes at school. We didn’t really start connecting until our Sophomore year, in Biology class, when Mr. Dailey decided to alphabetize the seating in class because we were all so chatty. Mark and I were both “C”s, so we were placed at the same table. Throughout the year, we discovered our Chemistry was really compatible, and we started dating at the end of 10th grade.

We finished High School together, worked together at a local seafood restaurant and attended the University of NH together. We actually got married in between our junior and senior years of college.

Fast forward 13 years, and our son Nate was born. Three years later, Ben joined our family.

And although it seems like just yesterday when we were married (or maybe the day before yesterday…), 25 years have gone by. And I am blessed to still be spending every day with my best friend!

But there was a problem. Since Nate was born, we have not spent any time away, together, alone. Not one night! We have had a couple of nights at home here and there when the boys have had sleepovers with friends, but I can count those on one hand and still have my thumb left over.

Well I am happy to say that Mark and I were able to plan a quick getaway to Puerto Rico from March 4/5 (We had a midnight flight, Sunday night) to Thursday March 8. We stayed at Las Casitas Villas in Fajardo, which is on the east coast, about an hour from San Juan. We had such a relaxing, amazing time! Hope you will join us as we enjoy some sun, some sand and some other stuff that begins with “s” (Snorkeling, people, this is a family discussion board). Although I can't guarantee that you won't be exposed to a little (food) porn along the way.

:love:March 5, 2012:love:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050025.jpg

HockeyMomR
03-12-2012, 09:49 AM
Dee,
A beautiful picture to start! So glad you had the opportunity to get away just the two of you. We will have our 25th in 2014 and hoping to do the same. Of course I would love a vow renewal at the YC!!! :wizard:

Look forward to reading.

Rebecca

mickeystoontown
03-12-2012, 10:13 AM
Happy 25 years together! You two look so adorable in both your wedding and your anniversay pictures.

natebenma
03-13-2012, 06:44 AM
:welcome:

Dee,
A beautiful picture to start! So glad you had the opportunity to get away just the two of you. We will have our 25th in 2014 and hoping to do the same. Of course I would love a vow renewal at the YC!!! :wizard:

Look forward to reading.

Rebecca

:wave2: Hi Rebecca-

Thanks for coming over to read!

A vow renewal at the YC gazebo sounds wonderful! Any other contenders for location for a a getaway for the two of you?

We actually considered a trip to BC for our anniversary get away, but we didn't for a couple of reasons. First, Ben would be mad, and rightfully so. Nate and I have the class trip to Disney in June, and if we had a Disney anniversary trip, Ben would be the only one in the family without a trip scheduled there this year. Also, a trip to Disney would not be relaxing for Mark and me. It COULD be, but the way the two of us tour, it WOULDN'T be.

Puerto Rico was just the right pace.


Happy 25 years together! You two look so adorable in both your wedding and your anniversay pictures.

Thank you so much, Lisa!!!

Guess what? The backsack I got from you made it to the rainforest! :) The pattern fit right in!

I made Mark take a picture of me with it. It didn't come out great, but I'll post it anyway.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3070177.jpg


This picture was taken at night at the resort.

Grumpy's Wife
03-13-2012, 06:52 AM
Happy Anniversary! I'm looking forward to reading all about your getaway.

ddluvsdisney
03-13-2012, 08:31 AM
Looks like a great start to well deserved kidless vacation!!
My Marc and I did go to Disney for our anniversary getaway. I could have gone anywhere I wanted and chose to stay at the GF- is there something wrong with me? :laughing: (this was before I ever stayed at BC and it was my dream resort- especially w/ out kids)

Deb :)

mickeystoontown
03-13-2012, 09:06 AM
I'm glad to hear that the backsack is getting some use. :thumbsup2 I made myself several and take them all over the place. They're great 'cause you can cram so much stuff in them.

natebenma
03-13-2012, 09:19 AM
Happy Anniversary! I'm looking forward to reading all about your getaway.

:welcome:

Thanks for reading!

Looks like a great start to well deserved kidless vacation!!
My Marc and I did go to Disney for our anniversary getaway. I could have gone anywhere I wanted and chose to stay at the GF- is there something wrong with me? :laughing: (this was before I ever stayed at BC and it was my dream resort- especially w/ out kids)

Deb :)

Hi Deb! Wouldn't be the same without you here!

I'm glad to hear that the backsack is getting some use. :thumbsup2 I made myself several and take them all over the place. They're great 'cause you can cram so much stuff in them.

* This trip report brought to you by Lisa's backsacks.

Seriously if any of you need a really cute backsack, contact mickeystoontown. She has the cutest fabrics, a lot of it Disney and she can customize a really great sack for you.

And if you have read some of my past tips, using a backsack is my favorite way to avoid the Disney bag check lines. I travel light, fold the backsack to put in my pocket, carry everything else in (camera, travel mug, whatever) and once through the gates, I put it in the sack. *

Commercial over! :)

mickeystoontown
03-13-2012, 09:21 AM
Just a word here from your official sponsor: Thanks for the plug! :rotfl2:

natebenma
03-13-2012, 09:40 AM
Why Puerto Rico? Why midnight?


Since this was the first time we were leaving the boys, we wanted this to be quick trip. We preferred to keep travel time to 3-4 hours so that we could enjoy as much time as possible AT the destination, not getting there. The number of tropical locales offering direct flights has really decreased since those carefree days when Mark and I traveled solo. St. John, or any of the Virgin Islands, would have been our first choice, but most flights went to PR first. Bermuda- close, and we understand it’s beautiful, but would probably be too cool for our taste.

We had looked at El Conquistador resort for a family trip because of their water park. When we priced out trips, there was a really great deal through Travelocity to Las Casitas, the sister resort right next to El Con. The rooms are (mostly) villa style, with kitchenettes AND BUTLERS and although the resort was not right on the beach, it has private island, Palomino, accessible by ferry.

The resort is about 40 minutes from the rainforest and very close to some of the bio bays where you can kayak with bioluminescent critters. Reports on Trip Advisor were very complimentary of the resort and the private island. We thought this would be a good chance to scope out the resort for a future family stay.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050057.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080206.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3070040.jpg


Originally, we were going to drop off the kids Sunday night, fly out Monday morning, arriving at the resort sometime in the afternoon, then return on Thursday. We priced it out and were just about to book it when Mark said

“Since we are dropping off the kids Sunday night anyway, what if we flew overnight?”

I am an early riser. Getting up at 4 am- no problem. I am awake by 5:30 every morning. Weekends, Holidays, Vacations, whatever. But by 10 pm most nights I am toast. I have never been able to sleep on a plane. Took one red-eye to London after being awake for 20 hours- no sleep. So I didn’t have much hope I would get any rest on the overnight trip.

But the idea of getting to the resort first thing in the morning and having that whole day ahead of us to enjoy was just too tempting. Of course, we realized that we might not be able to check in at 7 am or get a room until later in the day, but if that was the case and we had to drop off our luggage and sleep on the beach, so be it!

Book it!

Sunday March 4 Boston to San Juan 11:55 pm to 5 am (time change) to Thursday March 8, 2 PM


Next up:
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
THAT’S our transport?!? and
Check out the Check in annoyance (and rapture)

.

ddluvsdisney
03-13-2012, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the warm welcome- you're the best!
Looks beautiful!!
I can't sleep on planes either.

Deb :)

HockeyMomR
03-13-2012, 07:29 PM
Dee - Sounds relaxing and your are so right about trying to relax at Disney. But maybe we could.....maybe Puerto Rico will be the place for us.....

More beautiful pictures please :)

natebenma
03-14-2012, 06:09 AM
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
THAT’S our transport?!? and
Check out the Check in annoyance (and rapture)

We arrived to a very empty airport around 9 PM. I have never seen Logan look so dead, even in the wee hours of the morning when we usually fly. We had dinner at Legal Seafoods- crab roll for me, seafood trio roll for Mark- delicious rolls and rolls, the fries were amazingly good- no food porn.

We checked in through security and the TSA agents were almost jovial. One spotted my Jimmy Buffett shirt and asked me if I go to the concerts and where. Gate area was crowded but we found seats. We saw a couple carrying pillows. We laughed a little, but not for long.

As suspected, sleep proved to be elusive. I just couldn’t get comfortable. We had our raincoats in the carryon and tried to use them as pillows, but it didn’t help. Very quiet flight- I read, listened to music, tried to rest.

We landed in Puerto Rico, waited for our baggage. Momentary panic when one person immediately grabbed a bag that looked like our bright pink suitcase, I was going to follow her but she disappeared. But our suitcase and our dive bag of snorkel gear arrived and I went off to find the transportation we had arranged with Las Casitas.

When I came back to find Mark and showed him our ride, he said

“That’s our transport?”

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8056.jpg

We had a bus. For 2.

Ride was mostly uneventful. It was dark. We sat across the aisle from one another and tried to stretch out and sleep.

“Slam” “Slam” “Slam”

The shocks on the bus were Bad, Bad, Bad. Bad, Bad, Bad. Bad, Bad, Bad!

The door to the stall went Slam, Slam, Slam. Slam, Slam, Slam. Slam, Slam, Slam!

All through the town.

I tried to get the bathroom door to stay closed, but I had no luck.

No sleep on the bus.

We arrived at the Manor House (lobby of the resort) around 7 AM. I joked, like I always do on ME, I’ll race ahead to get to the front of the check-in line.

A few minutes later, we stopped laughing.

There were 3 women seated talking to the woman behind the desk. Looked like they had been there awhile. Looked like they would continue to be there awhile. We plopped into a couple of comfy chairs and listened…

Seems like it was a group of 5 couples sharing a reservation or two. These 3 were trying to check out, just paying the resort expenses they had detailed out to the penny. The other 2 were checking out later, so they would come by and pay what they owe.

Some of the actual resort stay had already been paid. There was something about time share credits. There were charges between midnight and 2 am that weren’t showing up on the folio yet, but they had accounted for that. The one lady doing most of the talking must have said she owed $545.89 about 10 times and “Do you see what I’m saying” about 20 times.

After about 20 minutes, the woman peeked around back and asked Eddie to come and help us check in.

Would we have a room, or do we have to wait?

We requested a room with a king bed. Unfortunately, our room would not be ready until this afternoon when the guests occupying it checked out.

But they would give us another room for now, with 2 doubles (no queens available) to use, then transfer our luggage to the new room when it was ready.

That will work!

:banana::banana::banana:


We left with Eddie and our luggage.

The women were still there.

natebenma
03-14-2012, 06:32 AM
http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8067.jpg


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8173.jpg


The room:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8068.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8069.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8074.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8075.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8091.jpg


There were two balconies- one with a view and a balcony out back that was private. I think that is the second balcony behind Mark.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8070.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8078.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8080.jpg

0http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8082.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8085.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8176.jpg



http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050013.jpg


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050016.jpg



I should probably mention at this point that we booked the lowest category of room at this resort.

This was a great room! The view was amazing! Should we just keep this room or take what is behind door number 2???
Actually Door 5075.

Eddie says the view here is better, but the other room is a "penthouse suite" overlooking the water, top floor and has a king bed.


Next up: Let's Take a Walk

ddluvsdisney
03-14-2012, 11:31 AM
There's nothing worse than being tired and having to WAIT!!!
How long was your flight?
Too funny- a bus for 2.
The view from that room was Gorgeous!!! I would be afraid to move too. How could that view be better than a "penthouse suite"??? Sounds fishy.:laughing:

I posted on BC/YC thread yesterday or day before I think you missed it b/c you ALWAYS reply. Check on that will you :laughing: (just kidding)

Deb:)

natebenma
03-14-2012, 03:57 PM
Sorry for missing the replies! I read them, then moved on to my updates.

Thanks for the warm welcome- you're the best!
Looks beautiful!!
I can't sleep on planes either.

Deb :)

I'm pretty jealous of people who can sleep on moving vehicles. My son Ben is one of them. He once fell asleep on the Kindergarten bus ride home. And the trip is less than a mile!

The resort and Puerto Rico were beautiful.

Dee - Sounds relaxing and your are so right about trying to relax at Disney. But maybe we could.....maybe Puerto Rico will be the place for us.....

More beautiful pictures please :)

I'll have a photo-palooza post of the resort coming tomorrow!

There's nothing worse than being tired and having to WAIT!!!
How long was your flight?
Too funny- a bus for 2.
The view from that room was Gorgeous!!! I would be afraid to move too. How could that view be better than a "penthouse suite"??? Sounds fishy.:laughing:

I posted on BC/YC thread yesterday or day before I think you missed it b/c you ALWAYS reply. Check on that will you :laughing: (just kidding)

Deb:)

Flight was around 4 hours. Will the time change it was midnight to 5 am between Boston and San Juan, and 2 pm to 5 pm on the way home.

I find it hard to believe that they didn't have a smaller vehicle they could send for us! A van or something. We had to signup and give our times, so they knew it was just us. Probably cost more than we paid for the transport ($74 per person, round trip)

Mark and I debated about making the room switch. Did we make the right choice? I'm not sure even now.

Missyrose
03-14-2012, 04:46 PM
Yay! Puerto Rico TR! :woohoo: The photos of the resort are beautiful. I used to be terrible at sleeping on planes, now I can't ever seem to keep my eyes open. :lmao:

I loved your own personal DME from the airport.

The view from the first room is incredible, but I don't know if I could pass up a room that is described as a penthouse suite.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip. I'm so glad you and Mark got to celebrated 25 wonderful years in such a beautiful locale.

natebenma
03-14-2012, 07:40 PM
Yay! Puerto Rico TR! :woohoo: The photos of the resort are beautiful. I used to be terrible at sleeping on planes, now I can't ever seem to keep my eyes open. :lmao:

I loved your own personal DME from the airport.

The view from the first room is incredible, but I don't know if I could pass up a room that is described as a penthouse suite.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip. I'm so glad you and Mark got to celebrated 25 wonderful years in such a beautiful locale.

:welcome:

I'm so glad you are here!

Not exactly DME- no video, no luggage delivery, no other people...

That was exactly our thought. Penthouse suite???

A couple of times during our trip it occured to me that you were enjoying Disney with your gathering! I look forward to hearing about that trip.

ProudMommyof2
03-14-2012, 09:34 PM
Congrats Dee!! What a wonderful way to celebrate. My DH and I started dating my last year in H.S. The prom picture is next to a wedding picture on our piano:lovestruc

I hope you went for the penthouse!
Pam

natebenma
03-15-2012, 05:19 AM
Congrats Dee!! What a wonderful way to celebrate. My DH and I started dating my last year in H.S. The prom picture is next to a wedding picture on our piano:lovestruc

I hope you went for the penthouse!
Pam

Thanks, Pam and :welcome:

Mark and I helped plan the Junior prom at our school and we attended the Senior prom together too. I should dig out those pictures and post them.

Maybe not! :rotfl2:

luvpoohandcompany
03-15-2012, 05:52 AM
Listen, my children, and you will see
The midnight flight of Mark and Dee
To Puerto Rico we did flee
For our 25th Anniversary


:bride:July 19, 1986:teacher:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/Scan-071123-0067.jpg


Mark and I met in Junior High. Can you believe that? From 8th grade on, we were in all of the same classes at school. We didn’t really start connecting until our Sophomore year, in Biology class, when Mr. Dailey decided to alphabetize the seating in class because we were all so chatty. Mark and I were both “C”s, so we were placed at the same table. Throughout the year, we discovered our Chemistry was really compatible, and we started dating at the end of 10th grade.

We finished High School together, worked together at a local seafood restaurant and attended the University of NH together. We actually got married in between our junior and senior years of college.

Fast forward 13 years, and our son Nate was born. Three years later, Ben joined our family.

And although it seems like just yesterday when we were married (or maybe the day before yesterday…), 25 years have gone by. And I am blessed to still be spending every day with my best friend!

But there was a problem. Since Nate was born, we have not spent any time away, together, alone. Not one night! We have had a couple of nights at home here and there when the boys have had sleepovers with friends, but I can count those on one hand and still have my thumb left over.

Well I am happy to say that Mark and I were able to plan a quick getaway to Puerto Rico from March 4/5 (We had a midnight flight, Sunday night) to Thursday March 8. We stayed at Las Casitas Villas in Fajardo, which is on the east coast, about an hour from San Juan. We had such a relaxing, amazing time! Hope you will join us as we enjoy some sun, some sand and some other stuff that begins with “s” (Snorkeling, people, this is a family discussion board). Although I can't guarantee that you won't be exposed to a little (food) porn along the way.

:love:March 5, 2012:love:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050025.jpg

Hi Dee
Just popped in to see how you got on on your anniversary trip (we are 25years next year but no trip planned-yet:rolleyes1). Love your opening photos. Very cute on the beach:)
Room views are amazing but I'm kinda hoping you choose the penthouse so that I get to see what 1 looks like:rotfl: Might be my only chance:rotfl2:

Hope you're still on track for your summer school trip (fingers crossed for good grades for Nate):)

natebenma
03-15-2012, 09:19 AM
Hi Dee
Just popped in to see how you got on on your anniversary trip (we are 25years next year but no trip planned-yet:rolleyes1). Love your opening photos. Very cute on the beach:)
Room views are amazing but I'm kinda hoping you choose the penthouse so that I get to see what 1 looks like:rotfl: Might be my only chance:rotfl2:

Hope you're still on track for your summer school trip (fingers crossed for good grades for Nate):)

:welcome:

Thanks so much for checking out my report!

You should definitely plan a getaway to celebrate your special milestone. We are SO glad we did!

So far, so good on the June school trip. Nate's grades still stink, but his effort grades have improved, and that was the issue with his probation. We have one more report card (in April I think), so keep those fingers crossed for a little while longer!

natebenma
03-15-2012, 09:24 AM
Let’s take a walk!


As I mentioned, this property consists of 2 resorts- El Conquistador, which is a convention hotel and family property and Las Casitas, which has villa style accommodations and is more upscale. Both resorts are perched on cliffs that overlook the ocean or in some cases, have breathtaking views of the golf course or the peaks of El Yunke rainforest.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8153.jpg


The two resorts are separated by the Golden Door Spa (didn’t try it)


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080230.jpg


As you enter El Con property, you come to a terraced area and the activities pool.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8100.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8103.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8104.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8110.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8111.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3060129.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080204.jpg


Swim up bar


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050061.jpg


To the lobby of El Con- there was a small casino, arcades, several shops with gifts, clothing, art, etc. some restaurants, checkin desk, tour desk (where we signed up for the Rainforest Tour we will take on Tuesday)

Guess I mostly took pictures of the birds…


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8119.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050069.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050067.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050071.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080257.jpg


Continued in next post

natebenma
03-15-2012, 09:32 AM
Let's take a walk! (continued)

To the scenic glass-front elevators which take you down from the lobby level to the outdoor shops and the funiculars:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8115.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8178.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8123.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080261.jpg


The walkway between the elevators and the funiculars had shops on your left and beautiful vistas on your right:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080225.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080226.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050048.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050051.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080208.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080209.jpg


Here are the funiculars you had to ride to get to the Marina level. I don’t know if there were any other options.

Once, we saw one of the other cars stop about 10 feet from the top. With the door open! It started moving in a few minutes, but I’m so glad we weren’t on that car. People in our car commented that it was good there were no kids on that one. I said “THAT’S how we got rid of OUR kids!”

:scared1:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3070037.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080211.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8182.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8179.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080213.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8134.jpg


This is the ferry to Palomino Island (see you soon). Also on the marina level is the Coqui Waterpark, but we have to wait until Wednesday for that.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8135.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/IMG_8140.jpg


After getting the lay of the land/our bearings at the resort, we sat down for some breakfast, returned to our room and got ready to head out to the beach. It is around 9:30 AM.

Next up: Palomino Island- A near miss and a casualty!

HockeyMomR
03-15-2012, 10:06 AM
Dee - thanks for taking us on the lay of the land tour - beautiful pictures!!

ddluvsdisney
03-15-2012, 12:18 PM
OMG those pictures are beautiful!!!
My kids would love those giant games.
Why doesn't Disney have a swim up bar!!??? That would be awesome!!

Deb :)

mickeystoontown
03-15-2012, 01:58 PM
Oh my word! Everything is absolutely beautiful! If that was the lower quality room, then I can't wait to see what the higher priced one looks like.

jenneth79
03-15-2012, 01:59 PM
You sneaky one, you! I just realized you added your TR in your old TR. I assure you I have now caught up and I'm looking forward to reading more. :goodvibes

I adore the wedding picture at the beginning!

We need to go on a tropical cruise or vacation or something soon. Those blue waters and skies....:cloud9:

Looks like a rather nice (and quiet) resort. Was this considered off season or do you think it's always like that?

Looking forward to more!:goodvibes

natebenma
03-15-2012, 02:48 PM
Dee - thanks for taking us on the lay of the land tour - beautiful pictures!!

My pleasure! The grounds of the resort were absolutely gorgeous. We loved just walking around.

OMG those pictures are beautiful!!!
My kids would love those giant games.
Why doesn't Disney have a swim up bar!!??? That would be awesome!!

Deb :)

Thank you!

I have never seen a huge Connect 4 game before. Looked like fun!

I think Disney is not necessarily promoting the whole "bar scene" thing. :rotfl:

Oh my word! Everything is absolutely beautiful! If that was the lower quality room, then I can't wait to see what the higher priced one looks like.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what category the rooms we had were, I just know we booked the cheapest category available. To answer a question coming up, the resort was not busy at all, so I think they were pretty generous in where we were placed. Might as well make guests happy.

You sneaky one, you! I just realized you added your TR in your old TR. I assure you I have now caught up and I'm looking forward to reading more. :goodvibes

I adore the wedding picture at the beginning!

We need to go on a tropical cruise or vacation or something soon. Those blue waters and skies....:cloud9:

Looks like a rather nice (and quiet) resort. Was this considered off season or do you think it's always like that?

Looking forward to more!:goodvibes

:welcome:

I'm really glad you're here! I'm gonna be stealing a couple of things from your reports in my next update...

I decided that since this is not really a "Disney" TR, I would sneak it in here.

Mark and I love the tropics! We did a lot of traveling together before the kids were born, and have taken the boys on a couple of cruises, to Mexico, Jamaica and the Bahamas so I would be glad to give recommendations if anyone wants them. Have you and Mike visited any place in the Caribbean?

Definitely not busy at the resort during out stay. I think we were traveling in between the New England vacation weeks and Spring Break week for a lot of the country. Since this was not an all-inclusive resort, I don't necessarily think it is a place that would attract Spring Breakers anyway. Plus, as part of the US, I'm guessing drinking age is 21, not 18 like it is on some of the islands.

It was a little busier at El Con- there was a Firestone convention and maybe another one going on while we were there, but there were no waits for anything and restaurants were really not busy.

mnmrmustard
03-15-2012, 07:29 PM
Hey Dee,

I too was caught off guard that you had added a mini-TR to your finished one, very sneaky :thumbsup2

Congrats on 25 years in, that's fantastic! :yay:

Oh, and seeing your wedding photo I had to post one of ours (Roxy and I are coming up on our 18th anniversary) since it seemed we had similar styles both in yours/Roxy's dresses and Mark/My tuxes:

http://ronin.roguecc.edu/images/Wedding20.jpg

I can't believe the two of you didn't just collapse in those beds after being up all night. It looked like a beautiful pair of resorts. Was there a good sea breeze to keep the humidity down? I thought it was funny that the place looked deserted in all of the pics until you got to the one of the swim-up bar :rotfl2:

Can't wait to see/hear about more of your adventures down there :goodvibes

natebenma
03-15-2012, 08:59 PM
Hey Dee,

I too was caught off guard that you had added a mini-TR to your finished one, very sneaky :thumbsup2

Congrats on 25 years in, that's fantastic! :yay:

Oh, and seeing your wedding photo I had to post one of ours (Roxy and I are coming up on our 18th anniversary) since it seemed we had similar styles both in yours/Roxy's dresses and Mark/My tuxes:

http://ronin.roguecc.edu/images/Wedding20.jpg

I can't believe the two of you didn't just collapse in those beds after being up all night. It looked like a beautiful pair of resorts. Was there a good sea breeze to keep the humidity down? I thought it was funny that the place looked deserted in all of the pics until you got to the one of the swim-up bar :rotfl2:

Can't wait to see/hear about more of your adventures down there :goodvibes

:welcome: So glad you found the report and are reading along. I didn't think I could do a stand-alone TR seeing this is a Disney board and all that.

Oh, wow, the styles are similar! The hat, the dress style, the tux color and the color of the dress :rotfl:

Surprisingly, we still have quite a bit of life in us and we won't be resting up for many more hours. Breakfast and coffee really helped!

It was very very comfortable. Yes, there was definitely a sea breeze, sometimes a little stronger than I cared for, but temps were in the upper seventies to mid-80s for most of the trip. However a little rain may fall...

natebenma
03-16-2012, 09:31 AM
Palomino Island: A casualty and a near miss

I have saltwater in my veins. I love everything about the beach- the beautiful colors in the water, the sounds, the sand, the salt. When I am on vacation, I like to be able to just take a walk on the beach whenever I want to.

The main drawback to this resort is that it is not directly on the beach. But we knew going in that access to the beach on Palomino Island would be by ferry. And the clifftop setting of the resort gave spectacular views of the ocean, so that was great. Reviews of the island on sites like Trip Advisor described the beach on Palomino Island as a “Slice of Paradise”. More important to us, there were very favorable reviews of the snorkeling on the island.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3070127.jpg
Picture taken from Coqui Water Park

Ferry Service to the Island runs from 9 am to 3 pm, on the half-hour (ALLEGEDLY).

We arrived at the dock very close to 10, but there was no boat. And we could tell one had not left recently, because you can see the route out to the island. We were told the next boat would be around 10:30. It seems like boats weren’t running quite as frequently as promised, probably due to the low occupancy at the resort.

While we waited, we checked at the on-resort dive shop about an excursion we wanted to take: All day snorkeling and beach tour to Cuelebra and Cuelebrita island, with lunch on the beach. We learned this tour was only running on Saturday and Sunday this week, so we wouldn’t be able to do this. Instead we decided we would try a Rainforest Tour for Tuesday (tomorrow).

It started sprinkling as we waited for the boat and the clouds looked pretty dark over Palomino Island. We considered bailing on heading over to the island, but I thought we should go and check it out.

The ferry boat arrived and we took the 15-20 minute journey. The water was a little choppy, but the ride was comfortable enough for us. By the time we arrived at the island it had stopped raining and the sun was playing peek-a-boo.


You get really nice views of the resort from the ferry:


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3070040.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050043.jpg



http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050035.jpg


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8186.jpg


Views to the Left

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8185.jpg

Views to the Right

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8184.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050028.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050030.jpg


My review of the island:

Pros:

Beautiful- the quiet bay, looking out onto Palominto Island, looking back at the resort/mountains

Lots of chairs and shade available (maybe due to the low crowd levels)

Towel pickup and drop off at the dock

Lots of activities: horseshoes, soccer, basketball, a walking trail (I think), mini golf holes
iguana watching, horseback riding (for a fee, I don’t know how much)

Watersports available- kayaking, jetskis, sailboats (for a fee, I don’t know how much)

Iguanas restaurant and bar- we had read a lot of negative reviews of the food here, but you will have to wait until our last day to see what we thought

Decent bathroom facilities

Cons:

The water had a lot of rocks and sea grass, so there were not many places to just wade and swim. The water was not really crowded when we went in, but I can’t imagine what it would be like at busy times of the year.

The snorkeling was not very good. We went out every day- the first day it was a little rough. The second afternoon was sunnier, calmer and better. The third afternoon we tried a different spot- some things to look at, but nothing very big.


Palominto island:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8187.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8193.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8190.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8196.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050017.jpg


A casualty:

We found a place to sit, and it was not long before we headed into the water to snorkel. The water was a little rough, so it was difficult to get to a place deep enough. I snapped a couple of pictures


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8197.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/IMG_8199.jpg


and then my camera went dark.

If you have read my past trip reports, you know how much I love to take pictures. Nothing fancy, but it is what I enjoy. And I am a big fan of waterproof cameras- I can take them into pools, on water rides at theme parks, snorkeling. But these cameras are prone to failure- if an itty bitty amount of water breaches the waterproof seal, the camera is toast. Deep-sixed, if you will. In the past few years, I have had two Olympus Stylus Tough cameras (one died in Mexico after a couple of years and a lot of abuse, the replacement died much sooner, it was never quite right). "You're not even tough"

I had this Canon Powershot D10 for about 18 months and I love love loved it. But it looks like she has taken her last photograph.

:sad1:

A moment of silence, please…

OK- having had past issues with waterproof cameras, about a week before our trip, I ordered a backup camera. I went back to Olympus, because I love the Panoramic stitch in camera feature. It is one of the low to mid-range underwater cameras, but I figured it was good enough for the purpose for which it was intended. Back up.

Well, you're going to the Big Dance now, Baby!

I am so grateful I had the second camera with me. Of course, I was scared because I didn't have a backup for the back up. Anxious about taking it into the water for the first time, I decided I would wait until the last day of the trip to test its waterproof capabilities.

The biggest thing I missed in this new camera was the zoom capabilities of my Canon- especially in the rainforest. There were some really nice shots I missed with the crappy little zoom. But I am not complaining. The situation could have been so much worse!


A near miss:

We continued to snorkel, just looking- not snapping. Mark noticed there was a family out on one of the Hobie-cat sailboats, so he told me to keep my eye on it. It was really windy and they seemed to have trouble controlling it.

I looked up, and the boat came within 5 feet of Mark. I yelled for him to “Look out!” He swam one way, the boat veered the other way, but it was WAY too close for comfort. We headed out of the water soon after that.

We decided we would try to take it easy for a little while. Read or sleep on a lounger in the shade. But with the wind, the sand was blowing in our faces and it wasn’t all that comfortable.

I think we took a walk and then decided we would head back to the mainland.


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050026.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050023.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/P3050021.jpg


Next up: Is Our New Home Ready Yet and Lunch/Dinner

mickeystoontown
03-16-2012, 09:52 AM
Sorry to hear that you had to wait on the ferry boat for longer than expected. I'm like you and guessing that it wasn't running as often because of low occupancy.

The pictures of the island are beautiful. Is that the sea grass you were referring to in the first picture? It looks a bit green.

So, your backup camera was an Olympus Tough? I won one last night on the Sam's Club auctions and paid a little over $100 for it. The reviews I read ranged from semi-good to great.

Oh wow! The near miss scared me! I sure hope that those people in the sailboat learned how to better control their boat.

ddluvsdisney
03-16-2012, 01:36 PM
There never seems to be an uneventful moment!
Wow lots going on!!
Glad nobody got hurt with the boat. Even though it was quite windy it does look beautiful! Nice with hardly anybody there. :thumbsup2
I want to go there right NOW!!!:rotfl:
They were talking about cheap spring break travel on the TODAY show this morning and mentioned a resort in Puerto Rico (only $123/night)- can't remember which one:confused3

DrMomof3
03-16-2012, 03:36 PM
I'm sorry about your dead camera. So sad!
The resort looks beautiful! I can't wait to hear/see more about your trip.

Amanda

natebenma
03-17-2012, 06:47 AM
Sorry to hear that you had to wait on the ferry boat for longer than expected. I'm like you and guessing that it wasn't running as often because of low occupancy.

The pictures of the island are beautiful. Is that the sea grass you were referring to in the first picture? It looks a bit green.

So, your backup camera was an Olympus Tough? I won one last night on the Sam's Club auctions and paid a little over $100 for it. The reviews I read ranged from semi-good to great.

Oh wow! The near miss scared me! I sure hope that those people in the sailboat learned how to better control their boat.

The island was beautiful, but yes, I think all of the dark spots you see in the water are either rocks or seaweed, so the swimming area was very limited.

Yes, the Olympus Tough, 310. I really like Olympus, especially the outdoor shots. I love how easy it is to take Panoramic pictures- make sure you practice with this feature (the only problem is if something in the picture is moving, like waves, the pictures can misalign). We tried to use the 3D feature but I'm not sure I understand it yet.

Let me know how you like the camera. It will be great to have at the beach. DO NOT OPEN THE BATTERY CASE/REPLACE THE SD card when the camera is wet. Also, purchase a floating strap for it (you can see what it looks like in the fun house elevator/mirror photo). They are around $6-7 on Amazon.

Funny when we were at El Con- I saw a bunch of people with the same camera. Turns out, it was a giveaway to the people attending the Firestone convention!

It is scary when you are snorkeling near sailboats and jet skis. They are going so fast and it is tough to see people who are mostly submerged and just have a snorkel showing.

There never seems to be an uneventful moment!
Wow lots going on!!
Glad nobody got hurt with the boat. Even though it was quite windy it does look beautiful! Nice with hardly anybody there. :thumbsup2
I want to go there right NOW!!!:rotfl:
They were talking about cheap spring break travel on the TODAY show this morning and mentioned a resort in Puerto Rico (only $123/night)- can't remember which one:confused3

Funny you should comment about uneventful moments. When I told Mark I had started a TR, he said- did we really do that much???

That's what I love about trip-reporting. It makes me think about the details of the trip and really helps me remember what we did.

I missed the Today show this morning! :( I have to say we really happy with the deal we got through Travelocity. It was the Las Casitas Winter Bed and Breakfast offer. The total with air and lodging was around $1,800 for the two of us and included breakfast every morning and $100 per night (so $300) in resort credits for food/waterpark/spa service.

I'm sorry about your dead camera. So sad!
The resort looks beautiful! I can't wait to hear/see more about your trip.

Amanda

Thank you for your sympathy!

Now I am in total camera research mode, again. I need to get another camera for the Atlantis trip with the family in April. I think I will just replace the Canon Powershot because I love the pictures. But one of my camera geek buddies, the Technology teacher at the elementary school likes his Sony.

I'll let ya know what I do.

pixarmom
03-17-2012, 06:39 PM
Dee, I found your TR update! First, your wedding photo and your story are absolutely heartwarming. :hug::hug::hug: My parents met as teenagers (yes, on that beach I love), lived hundreds of miles away from each other, and then got married immediately after my mom graduated from high school. So a history like yours makes me smile. I just have to give you one more hug: :hug:

OK, so on to the trip report - fabulous, once again! Love the photos - beautiful! Love the details - so helpful! And of course, I love that when I have a vacation idea, you've either been there or you go there and provide the most useful report that I'll be able to find anywhere. Hmmm - it's so beautiful there and the rooms look so nice. But the deal with the ferry and the beach conditions on the island are factors to consider. My aunt and uncle mentioned that beach access is not easy in PR, and it looks like that's the case at Las Casitas/El Con, too.

And sorry about your camera - ugh. I had a Canon, but it met the same fate as yours, and now I love my Nikon. It's just a point and shoot, but it does the job. (And I guess the job isn't tough when it's pretty much taking family photos and pictures of the BC Marketplace!) Our waterproof camera is a very inexpensive Kodak Sport, but it also does the job. Now that I think of it, I took that photo of the boys at SAB that was on last year's Christmas card with the Kodak Sport, so I think it's not so bad.

What are your Atlantis dates? I know that's coming up and I fear your report because: 1) the boys are lobbying for it; 2) Mike is opposed; and 3) it's crazy expensive for a family of 5. So if you persuade me to try it, we're in trouble!

natebenma
03-17-2012, 06:55 PM
What are your Atlantis dates? I know that's coming up and I fear your report because: 1) the boys are lobbying for it; 2) Mike is opposed; and 3) it's crazy expensive for a family of 5. So if you persuade me to try it, we're in trouble!

Two words for you: Comfort Suites!

Atlantis on a budget. But you are right about the family of 5 thing. It may mean two rooms. I'll check into that when I am there.

Our dates are April 15 to April 20.

natebenma
03-17-2012, 07:15 PM
Dee, I found your TR update! First, your wedding photo and your story are absolutely heartwarming. :hug::hug::hug: My parents met as teenagers (yes, on that beach I love), lived hundreds of miles away from each other, and then got married immediately after my mom graduated from high school. So a history like yours makes me smile. I just have to give you one more hug: :hug:

OK, so on to the trip report - fabulous, once again! Love the photos - beautiful! Love the details - so helpful! And of course, I love that when I have a vacation idea, you've either been there or you go there and provide the most useful report that I'll be able to find anywhere. Hmmm - it's so beautiful there and the rooms look so nice. But the deal with the ferry and the beach conditions on the island are factors to consider. My aunt and uncle mentioned that beach access is not easy in PR, and it looks like that's the case at Las Casitas/El Con, too.

And sorry about your camera - ugh. I had a Canon, but it met the same fate as yours, and now I love my Nikon. It's just a point and shoot, but it does the job. (And I guess the job isn't tough when it's pretty much taking family photos and pictures of the BC Marketplace!) Our waterproof camera is a very inexpensive Kodak Sport, but it also does the job. Now that I think of it, I took that photo of the boys at SAB that was on last year's Christmas card with the Kodak Sport, so I think it's not so bad.



:welcome:

I am so glad you are here! :hug:

Thanks for your very nice comments! I am so blessed to have found my best friend at such an early age and that we have had the opportunity to be together for so long. And we still really love being together, which was totally reinforced on this trip.

The resort was wonderful! The views around the place and from our room(s) were fantastic. We were blown away by the friendliness of everyone we encountered. I'm not sure I expressed strongly enough how THANKFUL we were that we were given a room at 7 am, when checkin was technically in the afternoon.

The location of the resort was terrific- just an hour plus from San Juan, 45 minutes to the rain forest, close to the bio bays, not too far from the Spanish Virgins (Cuelebra and Vieques).

But the beach *sigh*

I had a Minolta (underwater, APS film camera) bite the dust in Jamaica, my two Olympus cameras both died in Mexico, and Puerto Rican waters claimed the Canon. I'm not one of those women who have a closet full of shoes or purses. But cameras are another story. :rolleyes1 I seem to be spending a fortune on these things!

Missyrose
03-17-2012, 07:17 PM
I'm sorry about your camera! I know how much you like to take pictures, so I'm so glad you brought a backup. That island looks so peaceful and beautiful. :goodvibes Franklin and I went to a resort like that when we went to Sandals in the Bahamas. They had an offshore island complete with a pool, restaurant and gorgeous ocean vistas.

http://fdk.smugmug.com/photos/290109612_TZFAf-L.jpg

http://fdk.smugmug.com/photos/290109925_Lv8Em-L.jpg

http://fdk.smugmug.com/photos/290111732_LBvjh-L.jpg

Looking at all your beach pictures makes me miss Aruba. As much as I love Disney World, Aruba truly is my happy place. I've been there 11 times in the last 10 years. :love:

DrMomof3
03-17-2012, 07:37 PM
Atlantis is on my to-do list, too. Comfort Suites is definitely only 4 to a room. I've looked into it (some cruisers rent a room at CS to get access to the Atlantis pool for the day because it's cheaper than the shore excursion to Atlantis). I'll look forward to hearing about that trip!

I really want a new point and shoot camera. I'm not 100% sold on needing waterproof. Our current P&S camera isn't that old (maybe 3 years?) but the kids play with it and smudge the lens. Tom isn't that sympathetic bc he uses the DSLR but I only use the one with fingerprints on it! :lmao:

Amanda

MHTeacher
03-17-2012, 09:17 PM
Hope it's not too bad that I'm joining in on page 50!

You know we've never been to Universal during any of our trips to Orlando. I keep thinking we will, but then I think....Uh, I don't think I could be in Orlando, and not go to Disney!

Congratulations on your 25th! :) My DH and I will celebrate our 22nd right before our Disney trip in May. Your trip looks fabulous--But, I can't wait to see the "real" room. The temporary room looks pretty sweet itself!

natebenma
03-18-2012, 06:32 AM
I'm sorry about your camera! I know how much you like to take pictures, so I'm so glad you brought a backup. That island looks so peaceful and beautiful. :goodvibes Franklin and I went to a resort like that when we went to Sandals in the Bahamas. They had an offshore island complete with a pool, restaurant and gorgeous ocean vistas.

Looking at all your beach pictures makes me miss Aruba. As much as I love Disney World, Aruba truly is my happy place. I've been there 11 times in the last 10 years. :love:

Thanks for the sympathy.

The island was nice, it just wasn't great for swimming or snorkeling.

Thanks for sharing your Bahamas pictures! Do you snorkel at all?

Do you have a favorite place to stay in Aruba? Mark won a trip from work there many years ago (BK) and we stayed at La Cabana, but there was a place downtown that had a canal through the hotel and a boat that would take you to a private island. That always intrigued me.

My happy place is definitely in the Caribbean, but I'm not exactly sure where. There's one particular harbor in St. Lucia and probably the whole island of St. John.


Atlantis is on my to-do list, too. Comfort Suites is definitely only 4 to a room. I've looked into it (some cruisers rent a room at CS to get access to the Atlantis pool for the day because it's cheaper than the shore excursion to Atlantis). I'll look forward to hearing about that trip!

I really want a new point and shoot camera. I'm not 100% sold on needing waterproof. Our current P&S camera isn't that old (maybe 3 years?) but the kids play with it and smudge the lens. Tom isn't that sympathetic bc he uses the DSLR but I only use the one with fingerprints on it! :lmao:

Amanda

We stayed at Atlantis in Feb 2009. The boys were 10 and 7- good ages for the waterpark, but they still didn't try everything that was there. Ben was the only one who tried "Leap of Faith", the steep body slide that takes you through the shark tunnel.

The aquarium and marine habitats are amazing. It is so cool to walk around the resort- Look, there's a shark and ray pool. Come over here and feed the turtles!

We signed up to snorkel the Ruins, the huge aquarium for 30 minutes while we are there in April.

I don't really have much advice about cameras, except that I really like the quality of the pictures from my (deceased) Canon.


Hope it's not too bad that I'm joining in on page 50!

You know we've never been to Universal during any of our trips to Orlando. I keep thinking we will, but then I think....Uh, I don't think I could be in Orlando, and not go to Disney!

Congratulations on your 25th! :) My DH and I will celebrate our 22nd right before our Disney trip in May. Your trip looks fabulous--But, I can't wait to see the "real" room. The temporary room looks pretty sweet itself!

:welcome:

You are welcome to join in this report wherever you care to.

We felt the same way about Universal- we had to tack on one MK day to our trip (NOT the cheapest way to visit Disney). Now I think we would try to do a split on future trips. My teenager loved the thrill rides, we all loved the Wizarding World, but we are Disney people at heart.

Stay tuned for the rest of our arrival day, including the room reveal...

.

natebenma
03-18-2012, 07:42 AM
The rest of our first day: Is Our New Home Ready Yet, Lunch/Dinner and an Unexpected Visitor

When we returned from the island, we decided to head back to our room to dump our beach stuff and check to see if the other room was ready. When we gave our name, they knew exactly who we were and why we were there. Unfortunately, the guests who were in the other room hadn’t left yet, so they told us to check back at 6. They also offered to put the two double beds in the first room together if we wanted to stay in that room.

We said we would wait.

It was probably around 3:30 so we headed for a late lunch/early dinner at Bella Vista, a casual open-air restaurant with a stone pizza oven in view. The tables overlooked the pool with the swim-up bar and also looked out over the water to Palomino Island.

We ordered a special Limonata Mojito, a Caesar salad and a BBQ chicken flatbread with mango drizzle to share. The setting was spectacular and everything was delicious.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050061.jpg
This picture of the swim bar I posted earlier was our view from the table

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050062.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050063.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050065.jpg

After dinner we went in search of something sweet for dessert. And we found… COCONUT ICE CREAM. It was amazing! Lusciously creamy with a few shreds of coconut. OMG. YUM!

As we enjoyed our ice cream, we headed to the lobby to check on a rainforest tour. There was one scheduled for tomorrow at 9 am to 1 pm, light to moderate walking. Sign us up!

Once more we returned to our room. The sun was starting to set.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050083.jpg

Back to the Manor House, where they told us we were all set for the new room. Back to the room, we met our butler who helped us with our luggage and gave us a ride on a golf cart to our new digs and delivered about 15 bottles of water to the room.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3070153.jpg

Room 5075 was ours. 5074 was accessed from the same hallway.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050084.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050085.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050086.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050087.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050093.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3050094.jpg


Breakfast balcony:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3070154.jpg


Balcony:

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3070023.jpg


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3060133.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3060136.jpg


http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3060138.jpg


View to the right, Fajardo harbor

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3060135.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080200.jpg

Look out below- the marina and part of the waterpark

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080198.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080197.jpg


Center view- Palomino Island- very weird, I don’t think I have a single picture of this view that is not a sunrise.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080184.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080185.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3080187.jpg


A quick comparison of the rooms:

The views were definitely better in the first room- you could see the mountains of the rainforest AND water views. But the views of Palomino Island and the sunrises were really pretty from the second room. The balcony on our second room was breezy at times, the first one was probably protected from the wind, somewhat.

I thought the decor and furnishings in the first room were prettier and more tropical.

The second room had a king bed, but was not villa style. I didn't care about the cooktop, but I would have liked a refrigerator to keep the water cool.

The second room was a lot closer to El Con, where all of the restaurants and activities were.

I'm not sure which was the better room. But I was happy to be in either one.


It was 8:30 on Monday night. I've been awake since around 5:30 Sunday morning. 39 hours. We put up the Do Not Disturb Sign and called it a night.

Goodnight everyone!

9:00 PM. Knock, Knock!

Who’s There?

Room Service.

Room Service Who?

Room Service with a Bottle of Champagene and Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu294/natebenma/Puerto%20Rico/P3060233.jpg

Really thoughtful treats. Really poor timing!

Next up: Tour guide, will it rain in the rain forest today?

.

natebenma
03-18-2012, 08:46 AM
Two words for you: Comfort Suites!

Atlantis on a budget. But you are right about the family of 5 thing. It may mean two rooms. I'll check into that when I am there.

Our dates are April 15 to April 20.

Atlantis is on my to-do list, too. Comfort Suites is definitely only 4 to a room. I've looked into it (some cruisers rent a room at CS to get access to the Atlantis pool for the day because it's cheaper than the shore excursion to Atlantis). I'll look forward to hearing about that trip!

Amanda

That's what I thought.

Here's my suggestion if you are on a cruise that stops in Nassau long enough for a visit to Atlantis:

Check out the roll call boards on the Dis Cruise forum or on Cruise Critic for your sail dates. Find a family of 3. Hook up with them, reserve 2 rooms and go together to Atlantis. You can offer to pay 1/4 of the second room, to get the day pass for your 5th family member.

Unfortunately, I think the choices at the Atlantis resort itself are fairly limited for families of 5, but there are a few options available.

HockeyMomR
03-18-2012, 01:43 PM
Ahhhh more pretty pictures and food porn. The flatbread looks yummy.

Wow that was a long time to be awake!

natebenma
03-18-2012, 03:49 PM
Ahhhh more pretty pictures and food porn. The flatbread looks yummy.

Wow that was a long time to be awake!

Thanks! More food porn coming up. The flatbread was really good. I wish I had taken a picture of menu with the description. I thought I did, but looks like not.

I was pretty sure I wouldn't sleep on the plane, but as long as we kept going, we were fine. I figured when we were tired on that first night, we would go to bed, but I thought it would probably be a little earlier than that, like 7. Fortunately, the tiredness did not affect us over the next few days. And flying over night truly gained us a full day in Puerto Rico. Without having to pay for an extra night!

jenseib
03-19-2012, 09:44 AM
Thanks for such a great Universal TR. We booked a trip to there last Sunday and we leave a week from today, so I have been scrambling around getting things ready and trying to get as much info as I can.
Unfortunately, we are not staying onsite, but maybe after this trip my husband will see the importance of it.

natebenma
03-19-2012, 01:52 PM
Thanks for such a great Universal TR. We booked a trip to there last Sunday and we leave a week from today, so I have been scrambling around getting things ready and trying to get as much info as I can.
Unfortunately, we are not staying onsite, but maybe after this trip my husband will see the importance of it.

Thank you so much for the kind words about my report. Universal was new to me, so I did some research before, and I wanted to be sure I shared what I learned.

If you are not onsite, then my best pieces of advice for you are to use Singe Rider Line when you can to avoid a long wait for attractions and don't forget to show your AAA card EVERYWHERE for a discount on food and merchandise.

If you have any questions before you go- fire away

And have a FANTASTIC, MAGICAL :wizard: trip!!!

MHTeacher
03-19-2012, 09:58 PM
I think I would take either room! ;) The views are spectacular!

Those chocolate covered strawberries look delicious!

natebenma
03-20-2012, 06:13 AM
I think I would take either room! ;) The views are spectacular!

Those chocolate covered strawberries look delicious!

We were happy with both rooms, especially since we reserved the lowest category at the resort. Both had pros and cons.

Yes, the strawberries WERE delicious. Just not that night.