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Old 03-31-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
tampabrat22
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Talking Spring Break 2009 @ Universal, IoA & T-Rex Cafe **LOTS OF PICTURES**

Hi everyone! Like many others here on these boards, I love reading trip reports! I've been wanting to write our frist report....so with a little less than a week till we head to Orlando, I thought I would get it started!First I guess I should introduce our group:


Me- Jessica (32) Mom, overworked, travel & cruise lover, obsessive planner, photographer

Linda (58) Grandma, coffee lover, scared of roller coasters, over packer, wrapped around Jaden's little finger

Tristan (11) Son, super smart, gamer, reptile lover, black belt karate kid, mama's boy

Jaden (6) Daughter, shy, family princess, sweetheart, girly girl, Disney lover, Birthday girl

Ashley (16) Niece, typical teen, loves Roller Coasters, cell/text addict, boy crazy, my other "baby"

A few pictures of us;
My kids (my daughter was really tired, long day on a cruise)


Me, my Mom, and DD


My niece



About 6 months ago we started tossing around idea's for my DD's 7th bday! Last year she had a princess tea party and I really don't want to do all that work again. I asked my DD where she wanted to go for her b-day and she decided she really wants to see Spongebob & The Cat in the Hat so...US and IoA here we come!!

I've been to both of these parks many times, and took my niece to IoA when she was about 10 yrs old but my mom and my kids have never been to either park. I'm excited to take them for their first time!

So, as I started planning out this years trips, we thought we would do a few days in Orlando for her b-day, and our usual cruise in the Fall. I booked a cruise for Dec. 2009 (minus the kids) and then in late January I was lucky to snag a really good deal on 4 day Disney cruise, so now with 3 trips in the works I knew we would have to budget carefully. My kids don't know about the Disney cruise yet (it will be an Easter surprise), I figure this trip was enough excitement for now, lol! And as luck would have it, my DD's b-day fell right in the middle of Spring Break! So thats great, EXCEPT that we hate crowds and the parks will probably be packed, but I really don't want the kids to miss too much school. So it looks like we will be going 4/6/09-4/9/09.

And, like I was saying, budget, we need to make this trip affordable, and by that I mean like less than $1000 and I'm really aiming to keep it below $600! Sounds crazy right? No not really, this is do-able, since we have lucked out in a few areas! I'll explain more in detail later...

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US/IOA Apr. 2009 TR

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Old 03-31-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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More please.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
tampabrat22
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Ok, lets talk about details...

The official "plan" (but subject to chage) is:

Monday Apr. 6- Quick 45 minute drive to Orlando, where will we head straight to IoA. Spend the day here and have dinner @ ____?____

Tuesday Apr. 7- Everyone can sleep in, we have late ressies @ Ohanas for breakfast then we can spend the afternoon in the pool & gameroom. Late afternoon/early eve we will head to Down Town Disney to look around, hopefully ride the Characters In Flight ride and have dinner @ T Rex Cafe to celebrate DD's b-day!!!

Wed. Apr 8- We will go to Universal Studios this day and probably have dinner @ the new Burger King Whopper Bar, just to check it out!

Thur. Apr. 9- We have a ressie @ cape May Cafe for breakfast. We will possibly make a quick visit to IKEA, because I love that place, then head back to Tampa!



Tickets- (5) 2 day /2 park passes and they were FREE!!
I was lucky to be included in a market research study done in 2006 at the (then) newly opened Nick Hotel. All we had to do was stay one night at the hotel at a cost of $125, tell them about our experience and we received 8 free tickets! I've been holding on to them for years, waiting until my kids were bigger so they could ride all the rides!!


Hotel- (3) nights Howard Johnson Enchanted Land approx. $165
We normally stay at Pop Century while in Orlando, we love that place, but since we'll do all things Disney on the cruise I thought about the fact that we are rarely at the hotel anyways and since this will be a short trip I figured we might as well save money in this area.

Here is the hotel, nothing spectacular but the "treehouse rooms" look fun, I'm sure my kids will like it!


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US/IOA Apr. 2009 TR

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Old 04-01-2009, 07:27 AM   #4
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Pretty good so far.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
tampabrat22
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Only 3 more days....

Well, it looks like I need to re-arrange some of our plans. Had to have some repairs done to my car and now I'm not to thrilled about over spending on all the character meals. So I think I will cancel the Breakfast's @ Cape May & Ohana's! The kids will get enough Disney on the cruise in Oct. so that is just fluff we can do without.

I'm still undecided if we will get the Meal deal and Refillable cups, I'm leaning toward yes on the cups, but not sure if the Meal Deal would be worth it.

Now I just have to figure out what to pack and get busy doing it!!
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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Guess this will be my last post before we leave!

I just finished comfirming our ressies, just to make sure everything is good to go. I'm a bit worried about the weather, it looks like we have a few small storms and a cold-front headed our way. Hope it doesnt ruin too many of our plans! I have to finish packing, and load the car since we will leave early in the morning at 6:30am to make sure we are there at opening!

I'll be sure to take tons of pics to share when we get back! Peace out...
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:53 AM   #7
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hope you are enjoying your vacation!!
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:01 PM   #8
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:53 PM   #9
tampabrat22
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Please forgive me:)

I never got around to finishing this trip report, we had two vacations in the Fall during holiday season and then life just got in the way the last few months, but I have wanted to finish this so I am back to do that now! I know it's late, but I hope it may help some vacationers out there!

I left off right after we just seen the Suess show "Oh, the Stories You'll Hear" and my daughter took pictures with a few Suess characters. From there we hopped on the Caro-Suess-el where there were no lines.





me & my silly mom


the gang under the Truffala trees, lol




After a few spins on the Caro-Suess-el and exploring Suess landing we made our way to The High In The Sky Trolley Train Ride! We all wanted to ride this, it looked so neat! But I think everyone else in the park thought so too, because the line was huge! When we entered there was a 45 min wait but we ended up waiting about an hour, but it was starting to get pretty crowded by this point (around 12:30) so it was to be expected. But you can see some neat views from here, so it was worth the wait for us!







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Old 05-11-2010, 01:20 PM   #10
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After Suess Land we made our way over to The Lost Continent...



I really wanted everyone to see Poseidon's Fury but it was closed that day. It's one of my favorite attractions and I wished we could have seen it.



Mythos Restaurant




The Wizarding World of Harry Poter Construction...


The older kids rode Dueling Dragons twice, then we moved on to the Jurassic Park area...



Basically we didnt do much here, everyone wanted to ride the River Adventure ride so I stayed back with the bags and drinks. I found a shady spot to rest right next to a stand that was selling those delicious turkey legs! I really wanted to get one, but I didnt want to eat without everyone so I passed. They were in line for about an hour, and they all loved the ride! When they came back they wanted to move along to the Toon area. So they got in line for Ripsaw Falls, this ride had about a 90 minute wait but they realy wanted to do it, so once again I found a shady spot with tables outside of the Comic Strip Cafe (which is right next to the ride).



I tried to get the kids to eat while we were here at the Comic Strip Cafe but they werent in the mood to slow down yet! Plus we had a bag full of snacks they were munching on all day anyways.

We browsed around Toon Lagoon for a bit...






And then we went over to Popeye & Blutos barges...by this time the sun was setting and it was starting to get cool again so the lines were pretty quick. The kids & my mom rode this about 6 times!! They loved it!



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Old 05-11-2010, 01:46 PM   #11
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Last installment of this TR...

After the Barge ride my son & niece wanted to go do some of the bigger rides so we gave them some money for food/drinks and made arrangements to meet up later and they went on their way. We made our way back to Suess Land after a few stops at shops and games around Marvel Super Hero Island. My daughter won a little stuffed Dalmation toy so she was thrilled, lol!

We decided to go eat since we were all hungry, I really wanted to get something good but my daughter won the debate and she choose Circus McGurkus Cafe (I was not happy with my food on my first visit years ago) and the 2nd would be the same. Me and my daughter had the pizza and my mom had the chicken, I am not a picky but that food was worse than the cheapest buffet food around. But I doubt they are trying to win any awards with what they're serving so no biggie. It would have been really fun to eat here, everyone was very disappointed when I told them it had closed...




After we ate Jaden played in the interactive Suess area "If I Ran the Zoo" for a while.





After her playtime, we met back up with the older kids and did some shopping at the shops near then entrance. We were some of the last ones out of the park and although we wanted to try the new Burger King Whopper Bar (we never made it the first night of our trip) everyone was too tired so we headed back to our hotel.

All in all it was a good trip, I wish the kids could have done a few more rides but with the crowds it was just not easy! I stayed within my budget, even though I splurged a bit the day we went to Downtown Disney, but learned a few things I will do or not do next time.

Buying the refillable mugs was great, worth every penny.

I wish I had purchased the all you can eat meal deal for at least the older kids...they wanted to eat everything in site and it wasnt cheap even just letting them get a few things. So next time we will get them the meal deal!

All though the hotel was very simple (nothing like the on site hotels/resorts we are used to) it was all we needed since we were gone from morning til night anyways. But I love the amenities of the bigger hotels so when we go for extended stays I will still stay there.

Wish I had spent more time planning our meals, I tried the go with the flow approach and it reminded me why I like having every detail planned. There was too much back and forth over where we were eating and we wasted time debating when we could have been doing other things.

Thats all I can really think of at the moment, it was great trip and we all had lots of fun! So until next time, peace!
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US/IOA Apr. 2009 TR

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Old 05-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #12
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Thanks for finishing! I enjoyed all of your TR, and seeing those photos was just the lift I needed this afternoon!

I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip when you go again -- I always learn something which makes my next trip even more full of Mummy dust!

Maria
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