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Old 02-24-2013, 12:36 PM   #1
Nancy for Disney
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Universal Movie Marathon PTR ...IS NOW A TRIP REPORT

Go to page 3 if you want to start at the trip.


We are planning our first trip to Universal. I have wanted to do this ever since I heard about the opening of WWoHP. Disney is normally my cup of tea. While we aren’t the kind of family to go every year or even every other year , I love it. I wish we could go more often but let’s face it the USA has a lot of traveling opportunities and there is only so much time and $$$. See my signature to for a list of years for past visits. I had hoped to do a US and WDW combined trip but after working out the finances I realized that a trip to both parks would not be possible for several years. My kids are getting older so I felt we should seize the opportunity now and make it a Universal trip only.

On the trip we will have me, who loves all theme parks and refuses to grow up……ever. My DH of 22 years who is a bit too serious but we tend to balance each other. In 2009 we took a trip for two to WDW. It was wonderful. I decided that while I love my children doing WDW without them is the way to go. No arguments, no picky eaters… well you get the picture. The next is DD19 who LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES Harry Potter. She has read the novels so many times that we have had to replace some of her books. Last summer she participated in a HP Trivia contest. Her team came in first of 25. Her team appropriately won a ride on a dinner train. One of the team members didn’t care to go so I got his ticket. Here is a picture of us on the trip:



And the pretty sunset we saw:



Of course she has seen the movies. She is the primary reason I feel the need to take the kids. I really want to see her face as she walks through WWoHP for the first time.

DD19 has a heart issue and can’t do rides that have intense centrifugal force. Tea cup type rides are ok but things like Mission to Mars could be life threatening. We took her on Tom’s Twister when she was young and she did not handle it well. So if anyone can think of any rides she should avoid please let me know.


We have DS16 who has actually already experience WWoHP. He went with the HS orchestra two years ago. Of course this was spring break. They had 8 hours to spend at IOA. He said he spent 6 at WWoHP and 2 at the Seuss area so he still has a lot to see.

Here is a picture of him and DD12 at an orchestra performance last year. DD12 has since decided orchestra is not for her. Boy....did he need a haircut!




The next person on our trip is DD12. While she is the most outgoing of my children she does not care for rides. She especially does not like any rides with dips. It will be interesting to see how she will do at US/IOA. For those of you familiar with Silver Dollar City, she went on Fire in the Hole last spring and that was too much for her. Here is a picture of us on that trip:



After much debate we finally picked our decided on the first week of June. I had originally thought Aug but quickly realized that the rates were somewhat lower which means crowds should be lower. I am still concerned that the trip comes too early in the summer and I will have nothing to look forward to when I return.

The next big decision was where to stay. There were a lot of DIS post to help me in our decision. We knew we needed a condo. We needed a 2-3 bedroom. With a family of 5 getting us all in a 1-2 room unit is just not possible. Since we are not doing Disney I wanted to stay as far away from there as possible. It would just be too depressing to drive by WDW and not be able to go. Ironically I did almost consider Bonnet Creek due to the resort looks wonderful and it is very affordable although practically a WDW resort. After several MapQuest searches I realized that we needed to be close to US. We like to rest in the afternoon. DD19 tires easily so may want to leave the park early. So location location location was the final deciding factor. Vista Cay is about a 10 minute drive per MapQuest. That was the winner. I was hoping for a resort with a waterslide and/or lazy river but it was not to be. I hope to do Wet and Wild so we should be good. My plan is to get 14 day 3 park passes from Undercover Tourist. We can take it easy and relax when we want.

After reviewing the list of attractions I came to the realization that my kids have seen hardly any of the movies associated with the park. Part of our preparation for the trip is to watch movies. I was the original poster on the thread- “List of things to watch before heading to US”.

So far we have watched “Twister”, “Men in Black 1” and “The Mummy”.
Here are the reviews so far:

“Twister”-DH, DD19 and DS16 had already seen it. I never had much of desire to see it. It looked dumb. I was right. How many severe life threatening tornados could there possibly be in that short of time? I live in the Midwest. I have never been in a tornado. Joplin was pretty scary but that is the closest I have come to a bad tornado. And, how did that find them so quickly. Sorry, I just didn’t buy it.
“Men in Black”- I have seen all the movies. The kids have seen 2 and 3 but never the first one. We love Men in Black! I have a feeling this will be one of our favorite attractions.

“The Mummy”- DH had seen it. I think we rented it when it first came out and I fell asleep. I nearly fell asleep this time as well. I give it a Meh. I had DD12 watch a video of the ride on YouTube. She has said she will not go on it because it has a dip.

Tonight we plan to watch “ Despicable Me” This is another move I have not had a desire to see. Will I like it?????
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Last edited by Nancy for Disney; 06-10-2013 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
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Despicable Me

Hmmmmm.....99 views and no one has said..."Happy Planning". Won't take it personally.

Anyway, As promised we watched Despicable Me last night. All except DS16 who had homework. Poor thing has a horrible schedule this semester..AP History, Calc, Chemistry and Orchestra. Normally orchestra is his easy class but he is doing three pieces for the district competition. I am not sure he is going to be able to see any of the movies.

I did like the movie. I didn't love it but I thought it was ok. I didn't quite get the minons. There were some very funny parts. My favorite was in the beginning when the son is falling into the paramids and everything is happing while the dad is standing there reading a book completely clueless. I know people like that. I wish I was one of them but I am not.

Not sure what Netflix is sending next but I will let you know when I do.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Happy Planning! ;-)

Hey, I'm looking forward to following your TR. You will go and return before we do, so you'd better keep this thing up to date, 'kay??

Aww, I love how you want to see your kid's face when she gets there. I felt the same way, but honestly? I was as excited as they were. We have one visit under our belts, and it's the thing that's bringing us back to Orlando. Ds was 10 on our first trip, and got selected for a wand at Ollivander's. I am really hoping dd, who is 10 now, will also get her first wand. That is a really magical little show for HP fans...I think some people just didn't get it, a lot of waiting for a short encounter, but of course if you love the books, the significance is huge. It's just so cool to walk into that world. Of course everyone has the wrong accent and they will insist on wearing shorts and t's instead of robes...

We opted for the flexpasses to get Seaworld and Aquatica, it wasn't a lot more and we really liked Seaworld last time. LOVE the 14 day tickets...I was feeling a little left out as so many on the board seem to stay on site and get the express pass. But with 14 days of admission, you can take your time, come back when it's less crowded...Now if only I could figure a way around paying for parking!!

Keep the movie reviews coming. We may have to take a leaf from your book. We haven't seen a lot of the movies as a family, and there are some we haven't seen, period. Not so into the superhero thing...but last time we had fun with some of the rides outside of the WWoHP. We liked Despicable Me, and the enigmatic Minions. I saw Twister when it came out, and yeah, I don't remember it being...memorable! We should watch MiB again, and maybe line up a few episodes of the Simpsons. Dh and I liked it though we would never bother recording it...not sure why we've never watched it with the kids. The kids loved the Back to the Future series, but all it is is the DeLorean, so not so much of a connection.

Anyway, looking forward to more!

Did you notice we chose the same ticker? :
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1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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That's a great idea to watch movies before your trip! We did the same thing and it really helps. We watched a Harry Potter movie a day 8 days before the trip as a countdown. We too are huge HP fans, so it got us very excited! Some more would be any of the Marvel movies such as XMen, Spiderman and The Avengers. There is also The Lorax, Jurassic Park, Terminator movies, ET, The Simpsons Movie and probably some more I just can't think of.

And don't take it personally. There are a lot of people who just like to read, including me.

Oh, and happy planning!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Happy Planning! ;-)

Hey, I'm looking forward to following your TR. You will go and return before we do, so you'd better keep this thing up to date, 'kay??


We opted for the flexpasses to get Seaworld and Aquatica, it wasn't a lot more and we really liked Seaworld last time. LOVE the 14 day tickets...I was feeling a little left out as so many on the board seem to stay on site and get the express pass. But with 14 days of admission, you can take your time, come back when it's less crowded...Now if only I could figure a way around paying for parking!!


Anyway, looking forward to more!

Did you notice we chose the same ticker? :
I am also trying to figure out a way around the parking. I even looked at the public bus schedules to see if that would work but it is about an hour for what appears to be a ten minute drive per mapquest. I know I have been watching your PTR too. It is nice to know others plan the way I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMichelleee View Post
We watched a Harry Potter movie a day 8 days before the trip as a countdown. We too are huge HP fans, so it got us very excited!

Oh, and happy planning!
I will probably bring the movies to watch in the car. At the very least it is tradition for us to listen to a book on CD while driving. We do this on long drives not just to WWoHP.

Thanks for joining. I just put The Simpsons at the top of my Netflix queue. Tomorrow is a snow day. Too bad it is not already here. I have the kind of job that you have to be there if at all possible but DH and the kids get to stay home. DD19 is scheduled to work in the evening but hopefully they won't make her come in especially since her work is walking distance from my work which is on the otherside of town. She is scheduled to go in a half hour after I am scheduled to leave.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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Argh--posted a reply that got eaten. Long story short...

Buses--ick. Parking fees--ick. What'cha gonna do?

We will have the movies too, for viewing in the evenings at the villa. Maybe with some pumpkin juice and fresh Bertie Bott's or something. I think I may have to re-read books 1 and (is it 4 when they first get to go to Hogsmeade?) to have all those details in my head.

Hope you stay safe and warm today. Hate worrying about getting around in bad weather, especially where my kids are concerned...
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1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
We will have the movies too, for viewing in the evenings at the villa. Maybe with some pumpkin juice and fresh Bertie Bott's or something. I think I may have to re-read books 1 and (is it 4 when they first get to go to Hogsmeade?) to have all those details in my head.

Hope you stay safe and warm today. Hate worrying about getting around in bad weather, especially where my kids are concerned...
My children have told me that it is Book 3 where they first go to Hogsmeade. They nearly followed it up with a "Duh, doesn't everyone know that?"

The weather wasn't as bad as they expected here. The roads were bad but I have driven on worse. DD19 did not have to work by DD12 did have ice show rehearsal.

Our next movie coming from Netflix is Terminator. Not sure what happened to The Simpsons but that is ok. I am not sure if will have time to watch anything as this is ice show weekend. Three performances. It will be a crazy week. I will be glad when it is over.

I like lots of photos in trip reports so here she is skating:




Boy that is big but I am too tired to adjust it. Night All!
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:54 AM   #8
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We are going to Universal in June also. We love it there and I think your family will too. I am trying to think of spinning rides to be aware of for your daughter's heart condition. At IOA:
Cat in the Hat: spins around some with a few back to back in the middle of the ride.

Storm Force Acceleron: it's like the teacups on steroids.

Universal Studios side:
Men In Black: has a few spins back to back.

If I think of more, I will let you know.

We do countdown dinners too. I haven't thought about Terminator. Do you think it will be inappropriate for a soon to be 10 and 11 year old?
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink-erin-belle View Post
What a great idea to listen to an HP book for the ride there! The idea for a mix CD for the trip is cute, too! I love most of the music from the Shrek movies, so that was all I could really think of, but JoAnne’s suggestion of the HP music is a good one, too. I wonder if they have the soundtrack to Goblet of Fire available? I’m glad you guys liked Terminator and T2 – and that you got some songs for it! I also laughed at that when you said you were going to force your daughter to watch Jurassic Park I’ve done that so many times! Hey, we know their tastes, so we know what they’re going to like!
I have done a mix CD for every trip we have taken since 2009 when we went to DC. I don't think I can remember all the songs but since we drove there West Virginia I had John Denver's "Country Roads", music from the John Adam's Mini Series, Baltimore from Hair Spray...well you get the idea. Last year we did Vegas so I had ever Vegas related song I could find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reelmom View Post
We are going to Universal in June also. We love it there and I think your family will too. I am trying to think of spinning rides to be aware of for your daughter's heart condition. At IOA:
Cat in the Hat: spins around some with a few back to back in the middle of the ride.

Storm Force Acceleron: it's like the teacups on steroids.

Universal Studios side:
Men In Black: has a few spins back to back.

If I think of more, I will let you know.

We do countdown dinners too. I haven't thought about Terminator. Do you think it will be inappropriate for a soon to be 10 and 11 year old?
Thanks for the ride suggestions. I think my daughter will be ok on all of those rides. She just can't do intense spinning like Mission to Mars. That is is the only Orlando ride I can think of she would have a problem with. She is fine on Astro Orbiter. I'm not, but she is. That is the only ride in WDW I will never ride again...NEVER!


After a super crazy busy weekend with DD12 skating competition we finally watched Jurassic Park last night. DD12 did like it and got into once it started just like I said she would. I just hope we can get her on the ride. It has a dip you know. Unfortunately no song ideas for my CD.

Thanks for reading and posting.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:29 AM   #10
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Oooh, I have done that too often. Sorry! I hope all is well and your trip is a good thing.
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with dh, ds 12, and dd 10

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #11
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For the theme music how about the themes to Jurassic Park? It would be perfect as you are pulling into Universal.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkny View Post
For the theme music how about the themes to Jurassic Park? It would be perfect as you are pulling into Universal.
That is a good idea but I am guessing it is going to have to be Harry Potter for us. Wait..is Jurassic Park on the IoA side or the Universal side? If is on the Universal side then we can do Jurassic Park on our Universal Days.
I should know this by now shouldn't I?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink2Day View Post
I am SOOOOO subscribing to this thread. I do have to go back and read through all of it though


I don't get much time to read but this one looks right up my alley. I LOVED WWoHP and can't wait to go back. I really hope I'm still healthy and able to go when they finish the Gringott's part. (I'm a 'grandmotherly' age, going on 15)
Glad you are joining the fun! I know what you mean about going on 15. I am 46 but feel like a kid most of the time. I know I start to act like one too the minute I step into an amusment park.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:56 PM   #13
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Boy, I can't believe I have less than 2 weeks. It seems so close and yet so far away. My trip to Vegas took up some of my planning time. My mom lives there and had back surgery. She seems to be improving. My brother flew in after me to take over in taking care of her. She is in a rehab facility now. Hopefully she will make a full recovery and the surgery will help reduce her pain. Long story short she has been in a great deal of pain for the past three years. I say this because I know she will never read this although she would agree with me…... I love my mother dearly but she is very high maintenance. I compared taking care of her after the surgery to caring for Elizabeth Taylor, J Lo, Mariah Carey and Lindsey Lohan all at once and that was with nursing staff to assist!

Anyway back to the trip. I made reservations for our travel night. We will stay just outside of Atlanta. Next I need to reserve the HP books on CD from our local library. DD12 wanted to do book 5 but she was overruled. We are sticking with book 3 & 4. I also need to work on a packing list and shopping list. One thing that I am having a heck of a time finding are the cheapo rain ponchos. I always liked the ones at Wal-Mart. I have been to two different Wal-Marts and the slot that contains them is empty. I also went to Target where they did not have any (slightly more expensive ones) either. Has anyone else in the country been having trouble finding them? I don’t want to spend more than $1.25 for them. I don’t like the 2 for $1 kind you get at the dollar store either. As a matter of fact I was briefly looking for them at the dollar store the other day and did not see any but ran out of time to continue my search.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:39 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=": Has anyone else in the country been having trouble finding them? I don’t want to spend more than $1.25 for them. I don’t like the 2 for $1 kind you get at the dollar store either. As a matter of fact I was briefly looking for them at the dollar store the other day and did not see any but ran out of time to continue my search.[/QUOTE]

Our Wal-Mart stopped carrying them last month. Hubby found them at Dollar Tree yesterday though!
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #15
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Rain ponchos have been located! Thank you Dollar General Store!
Also purchased some beach towels and swim noodles to take to the pool at our resort. Now I am going to check out restaurant.com to see if I can find some deals.

Oh, I had a dream last night that I forgot our park tickets.
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