We're Back! Our Trip Report for Oct 9-14 RPR, HHN and our Engagement! *Updated 2/11*
Hello fellow Disers! :wave2: I am writing my first ever Trip Report so please be patient with me! I took notes every night and I've read so many reports here that Im sure I can figure it out!
First off, let me introduce us. Im Lauren; Im 23, and a huge Harry Potter fan! This was my 2nd trip to Universal in Florida and I have been to the Universal in Hollywood as well. Then there is Bryan, my wonderful boyfriend of 5 years who is a major X-Men and Spiderman fan. We have no children, only our very sweet and precious cat who is basically my child. :laughing:
We recently got back from a trip in May and had so much fun we had to go again for my birthday! I want to say we got back the 20th and had this whole trip booked by mid-June! We flew in October 9th and stayed through the 14th. No way were we going to make that drive! We attended our first ever HHN Thursday and Friday, 10/11 & 10/12. We were so glad we planned it on those dates since we avoided hell week and because Bryan is a HUGE Silent Hill fanatic! I however am a big wimp and was so scared that I would be the one that wets her pants and gets her picture taken, but I survived! :thumbsup2
We stayed onsite at RPR so we could get the express pass and early entry to WWoHP, but rather than just book a room and purchase our annual passes seperately we were talked into booking a package. It was nice since we got the free Three Broomsticks breakfast but when we noticed the room rates went down we weren't able to get it adjusted without canceling everything and we would have lost the king bed room. Oh well, lesson learned for next time! :rolleyes1
Anyway, this was my first time onsite and Bryans second. Back in May, we did a split between IOA & Disney and stayed offsite. It was okay and very cost effective, but the shuttle to Disney and Universal was so long. Especially since we were the 6th and final stop after a very exhausting day, so we decided to nix Disney this trip and do both Universal and IOA parks! As much as we enjoyed Disney, we both felt it was just too big and more suited for families with children. We have officially been turned to the darkside! :cool1: That being said, we are already starting to plan another trip to Universal hopefully in May and again in October! Might as well get as much use out of those annual passes that we can, right?! :rotfl2:
Day 1, part 1 to be up soon! Thanks for reading!:cool1:
I forgot to reserve a chapters spot for easier reading, I hope this is okay! :)
Day 1, 10/9/12-Tuesday
Part 1, Departure & Arrival
Part 2, Check in & IOA
Part 3, Proposal at Hogwarts
Part 4, Margaritaville and The Perfect Ending for a Perfect Day
Day 2, 10/10/12- Wednesday
Part 1, First Early Entry Day
Part 2, Marvel & More Harry!
Day 3, 10/11/12- Thursday
Part 1, Ollivanders Show & Breakfast at Three Broomsticks
Part 2, Finnegan's!
Part 3, HHN!
Day 4, 10/12/12- Friday
Part 1, Wet Day!
Part 2, USO
Part 3, HHN Round 2! <--- New! 2/11!!
Im joining in! Cant wait to hear about it..Good for you for going to the HHN...Im way to much of a chicken, thank goodness I had my DD as an excuse not to go :goodvibes
Haha, the only reason I went is so I wouldn't be in the hotel alone! :rotfl2: I had to tell myself over and over again "They're not real, they are actors, they can't touch me..." And I might have closed my eyes through some of more scary parts... :rolleyes1
Day 1, Part 1
I intend on adding pictures, so check back soon! I have 1,100 to go through! :scared1:
We decided since we were buying annual passes that we should just make our flight out as early as we could! This way we could go to the parks that day and still have time to get everything situated! So we loaded up the car around 4:15 am and set off for the airport. Its so nice getting to the airport that early! Security was a breeze and no crowds! We went to our gate and waited about an hour before we boarded the plane.
We normally fly Jetblue, but since they didn't fly out until 2:30 pm we went with Delta. Huge mistake. We had a 40 min layover in Memphis which we were fine with since it was still the earliest we were going to land in Orlando. The problem was the plane was so small and uncomfortable! Maybe smaller planes are more common on earlier flights?:confused3 I don't know, but any move the guy behind me made it would feel like he was kicking my seat and our carry on luggage wouldn't fit in the compartments. On top of that I felt the staff was kind of rude... maybe it was just too early and they hadn't had their coffee yet!:rotfl: So upon boarding we had to hand off our luggage to someone to stow them away. It really wouldn't have been that big of a deal if we already didn't have to run to our next flight. Or they could just be nice and let us check luggage for free& :rolleyes1 haha.
We noticed that it was 7:50 when we started to collect our things and that was the exact time our next flight was to start boarding. :eek: We were able to get off fairly quickly and made it to the gate just in time! The next Delta plane was bigger but not much better. Uncomfortable seats and an extremely loud cracking noise coming from our speaker. I think it was only ours. Luckily I had my iPod and was so exhausted that I fell asleep.
We landed in Orlando on time and got off quickly. We grabbed our luggage and headed for baggage claim to meet our town car driver we booked through fl tours. He was very nice and helpful. Im so glad we went with a town car rather than a taxi or Mears. He took us to Publix where we grabbed some groceries including 2 gallons of water, bag of mixed chips, crackers, granola bars, uncrustables, bananas, and applesauce. Oh and sunscreen! We get burned so easily! I had brought a couple coupons with me and checked the ads prior to coming which was an awesome tip I learned on here! We ended spending about $30 and saved $17! :cool1: Glad we did that!
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We arrived at RPR around noon and it is absolutely gorgeous! I loved the walk over the bridge to the lobby. So pretty! I feel like I didnt get enough pictures but I guess that means well have to go back soon! ;) The check in process was very easy. Once we got our room information, room 1721, we headed over to get our tickets and our express passes! The kiosks were very easy to use. We typed in our reservation info and it gave us our annual passes, three broomsticks tickets, and city walk tickets. Next we swiped our room keys and took our pictures for the EPs and luckily the pictures for EPs were black and white because I sure looked like a hot mess after that crazy morning! :rotfl:
Part 2 and pictures up hopefully very soon! :thumbsup2
Looking forward to reading about your trip.
Apart from your journey sounds like a good start. It`s such a beautiful hotel and we love HHN......glad you enjoyed it :thumbsup2
Waiting for more with pics ::yes::
So quick update on the lack of pictures here... it appears I am not allowed to post attachments! :confused3
On the bottom left hand corner this is what I see:
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may edit your posts
Any that I attach it shows up as a tiny square. Does anyone know what I can do to be able to post pictures? :sad2:
You need 20 posts under your belt to add pictures or links. It loos like you are at 14 right now.
Day 1, Part 2
So while getting our express passes, we started talking to an employee who was a ticket salesman there. He offered us some awesome coupons for a couple Citywalk restaurants! Margaritaville, NBA city, Bubba Gumps, Hard Rock Café and I think one more. They were $5 off $25, free souvenir, $10 off $50, and free app coupons. :cool1: We then started talking about HHN with him and since we didn't get our actual APs at the kiosks, just a voucher for them, we couldn't get the tickets yet. He took out a map and gave us some awesome info on them. A lot of the same stuff I had already learned on the dis though! :thumbsup2 I told him our plan of eating at Finnegans around 4 or 4:30 and that I had already made reservations and he gave us a high five and said we seemed very prepared! That made me feel great about all the time I had put into the research! :bitelip: He then pulled out a map of HHN and told us the order that worked the best for him by numbering the houses and drawing arrows! He drew where we should stand at Finnegans too! Such a great help!
After talking to him for about 20 minutes we finally got into our room, 1721. We got a king room with an awesome view of the park! We couldnt believe how lucky we got! :cool1:
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The room was very pretty. We unloaded our groceries and got ready to go down to the parks. We could not find the boats so we just walked. Turns out on the way back we did take the boats and we had walked right past the sign with the arrow! :rotfl2: Oh well! It was a gorgeous walk!
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We were really glad that we went to the parks that day since we had to activate our APs. It would have really slowed us down for our early entry in HP the next morning! Once we went through the turnstiles we couldnt stop smiling. It was great and it really felt as though we hadnt left since May. We were so happy!
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We went over to Marvel first since its Bs favorite and saw that Hulk would be closed for the rest of the day but would reopen in the morning. We then headed straight for Spiderman and got to use our shiny new EPs! :woohoo: We absolutely loved passing all the other guests and walking right on to the ride! We looked at each other and said well never stay offsite again! I wish we had bough one of those lanyards with the protective sleeve though. We kept telling ourselves we didn't need it but it would have been faster and we wouldn't have been so worried about tearing them or getting them wet. Next time! :thumbsup2
After we got off the ride we saw Dr. Doom and the Green Goblin and got our pictures with them. They really got into character! They were hilarious! We heard that the superhero parade was coming up in about 10 minutes and stuck around for it since we missed it our last trip. We were able to get our picture with Captain America who went to UT! He thought it was awesome we were from Austin and that B had gone there too! After Cap, we got our picture with Cyclops who is one of Bs favorites. The lines for the other superheroes were long and we knew they dont stick around very long so we headed to Toon Lagoon so we could ride Ripsaw Falls, another one of Bs favorites! I had left my poncho in the room so instead of riding I ate a snack and looked at some shops. Our next stop was Harry Potter! :jumping1:
Looking forward to hearing about HHN! :)
Awesome job so far! Thanks for spending the time to share.
I've never done HHN. Looking forward to your level of detail in you TR so far.
Love your trip report! I love all the details. We're leaving in a few days for HHN so I'm really looking forward to hear about your experience.
I have a couple questions...Where did you get the sale flyers for the grocery stop? Did you just collect coupons from your local paper?
And, Where was the best place to stand at Finnegians. (We have reservations for around 4:00 there too).
Can't wait to hear more! popcorn::
Thank you everyone! I can remember reading tons of TRs that really helped me out so I hope I can do the same for everyone else! HHN is coming up very soon! I'm going to try to knock out a lot today! :thumbsup2
Thank you! I found them online at Publix.com and just entered the zip code 32819 to get ad for that area. Most of the coupons I used were from coupons.com and a few from the paper. On Publix's website they have a link to coupons you can print. I started collecting them around one more before we left. When you get in the store make sure you grab a flyer because ours had additional coupons in them and a separate coupon sheet next to it!
The best place to stand is right in front of the door at Finnegan's across from The Mummy! There is a big metal gate which makes an L shape that blocks off the area. Most people stood along the longer part of the gate thinking they would open it that way, but since they have to control the crowds they open the smaller part of the gate right next to the door. :goodvibes
Great description so far. I'm tuned in.
Day 1, Part 3- The Big Surprise!
We went through JP which I always forget is such a huge island! I think they made it too big! ;) I guess in its day it was more of a big deal and a favorite. Anyway, we finally made it across the bridge into beautiful, wonderful Hogsmeade! It was so nice to see the castle and hear the music playing! :woohoo:
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We immediately went on Forbidden Journey and probably waited around 20-25 minutes. I didn't mind waiting so I could look at all the neat stuff in the queue line.
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After we rode it, Bryan wanted to do a castle tour to see if it had anything different than going through the queue line and so we could take pictures without being rude and holding up the line. The castle tour didn’t have anything exclusive, just a staircase you go up, or elevator, into a small room with some talking portraits which leads you to Dumbledore’s office. It cuts out the whole beginning where you see the house cup counter, statues, entrance to Dumblore’s office and other fun stuff. It also ends before you can see the sorting hat. Our next ride was Flight of the Hippogriff which is really jerky but fun! I can ride Hulk but it’s something about those little coasters that make my stomach flip. I love that feeling! With our EP’s we walked right on to that ride every time we did it. While walking through the line, we got some great pictures of Hagrid's Hut and Buckbeak!
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On our way to Dragon Challenge we saw that the Hogwarts student was taking pictures with the Durmstrang students and Beauxbatons girls so we got in line. This was something I missed last time so I was super excited I got to do it! Goblet of Fire is one of my favorite books and movies!
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The Hogwarts student was giving Bryan a hard time about wearing Slytherin colors, haha! :rotfl:
Next we went onto Dragon Challenge and took tons of pictures. This goes for any of the HP rides, even if you don’t want to ride it, go through the queue line and then leave through a chicken exit! The amount of detail put into every little thing is amazing and there are soo many cool things to take see and take pictures of! But please let people go in front of you if you intend on doing this! :)
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Anyway, they were only running the blue coaster, Hungarian Horntail, since the wait was only about 25 minutes. I remember that queue line was very cramped, dark and I felt so claustrophobic. The EP’s line cut all that out which was very nice.
We stopped into Honeydukes and set off to find some water.
So we headed out to The Lost Continent to fill up our souvenir bottle since they have that awesome coke machine there with over 100+ choices and for some water. I loved just walking up to the counter and asking for a cup of iced tap water! Saved us tons of money to not have to buy a $2 bottle of water! So were sitting at a table in The Lost Continent and Bryan asks if we could go back to HP and do the castle tour again. He said he wanted to take a picture of something but wouldn’t tell me of what. I was pretty confused considering we had just done it and I took pictures of pretty much everything but I wasn’t going to argue with him about it. I love HP! :wizard:
We make our way back to Forbidden Journey and ask to do the castle tour again. We end up back in the little room with the portraits before Dumbledore's office. I’m looking around wondering what the heck he wants a picture of and all of a sudden I notice Bryan has bent over and is on the ground, probably tying his shoe. Bryan is on his knee and pulls out a ring! He asks if I would marry him and all I can say is “Really!!?!" B asks if that is a yes. Haha! OF COURSE! He starts putting the ring on my finger but it gets stuck over my fat knuckle, so I grab the ring and put it on myself! I guess I was a little excited, haha! We finished the castle tour with me still teary eyed and made our way to Suess Landing. :love::love::love:
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