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Old 06-13-2011, 03:35 PM   #1876
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Originally Posted by mom3sonstt View Post
I guess I always thought of it like Root Beer only more butterscotchy. I think since the kids were my kids' ages and since we arent big drinkers (and beer? ) that is where my mind went.
It is, it's just creamier than rootbeer. Pretty sweet which is why the frozen is better and I can't imagine drinking an entire one by myself.

It will come up later in the report
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #1877
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Thanks for your detailed information about Harry's world It looks like staying on the dark side property is definitely the way to go. Although I do hope it has become a bit less crowded. The theming and the rides look amazing

Love E's wand....I am sure it was a tough decision...I would have been rethinking it for entirely too long

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #1878
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Originally Posted by manntra View Post
Thanks for your detailed information about Harry's world It looks like staying on the dark side property is definitely the way to go. Although I do hope it has become a bit less crowded. The theming and the rides look amazing

Love E's wand....I am sure it was a tough decision...I would have been rethinking it for entirely too long

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Staying there really saved that day for us. Sunday wasn't as bad crowd wise but the front of the line pass made a huge difference even that day.

The wands were cool! I would have had a hard time too.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:48 AM   #1879
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post

There is butterbeer in the movies and in the books. You can only get it at The Three Broomsticks and Hogs Head in the books and movies (the restaurant and pub in Hogsmeade).



I can't say for sure if there is in the books, it's a bit deliberately silent on the topic. There isn't any alchohol in the park version. It comes in 2 versions at the park, frozen or regular. It is basically a butterscotch cream soda. And frozen...it's delicious! The regular is ok.

There is regular beer at the Hogs Head as well but none at the carts.
okay i gotcha, the name i just assumed that it was made with some booze in it, not as exciting now.



just kidding, iguess it is best that it doesnt have booze in it, as kids would probably throw a fit when they cant have any, since it looks like it is advertised pretty good there.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:57 AM   #1880
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okay i gotcha, the name i just assumed that it was made with some booze in it, not as exciting now.



just kidding, iguess it is best that it doesnt have booze in it, as kids would probably throw a fit when they cant have any, since it looks like it is advertised pretty good there.


It's a really big part of the books, a treat they get any time they go into Hogsmeade. I actually think they did a great job of creating a real drink to match the imaginary one. They don't have frozen in the books so that's completely made up and I think the regular should be frothier like a root beer but all things considered, it's pretty fun! I'll have more to say about butterbeer in later updates.

My kids spent months before the trips (as they'd read all the books so knew about it) wondering what real butterbeer would taste like.

Heck, so did my dad!
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:11 PM   #1881
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Cynthia, I am not sure whether I have already commented or not... But in case I have already, this will be just an additional comment... (Too lazy to check...)

I really loved your write up about WWOHP. I really hope that midweek in October crowds will be very different from what you experienced. From everything I have read, that should be the case. And btw in my research I also found that during busy times Sunday is considered the very best day to visit WWOHP.

I did not read the parts about Forbidden Journey, I try to avoid possible spoilers as much as I can. I think I ruined the first time experience on a number of attractions before. However, I read your comment about the lockers. I am really not looking forward to that part of Universal. I understand why they do it, makes it much easier when less things fall out from their guests. I have read that small fanny packs are allowed and are seriously considering investing in one. Do you think that would be worth it? Or were the lockers no big deal? It seems like the Forbidden Journey ones are really the worst ones.

How scary of a coaster is Duelling Dragons? I went on an inverted coaster here in Germany once and loved it. But I am not sure whether my sister would be up for it. And how smooth is it, does it throw your head around a lot?

I am really happy that it worked out for your family to get everyone to the park so early. Finally something that really went like you planned it!
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:11 PM   #1882
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Whew caught up again!
I about your Beverly Hillbillie references when leaving WDW and going to the dark side.

The pool looks big but the shallow part would be a bummer. Easy to see how E could not rehydrate while in the pool all day. If he had to get sick from dehydration, this was probably the best day to do so. Margaritaville was probably fun but somehow I bet the evening relaxing with a sleeping boy was the refreshment you needed to tackle WWOHP.

and wow! GREAT pics of WWOHP....the snow on the rooftop kept throwing me off. what fun. I hope that you did manage to get back to the shops later. The theming looks so awesome I am hoping you have some shots from inside some of the store.

Wow---IoA seem so much more crowded than the WDW parks earlier in the week - is that right? or was it just for the Harry Potter portion?

waitin for more!
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #1883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Cynthia, I am not sure whether I have already commented or not... But in case I have already, this will be just an additional comment... (Too lazy to check...)
I don't think so

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
I really loved your write up about WWOHP. I really hope that midweek in October crowds will be very different from what you experienced. From everything I have read, that should be the case. And btw in my research I also found that during busy times Sunday is considered the very best day to visit WWOHP.
Sunday was a ton better and I would think that your timing will have relatively low crowds unless they come up with some kind of Halloween function that drives attendance.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
I did not read the parts about Forbidden Journey, I try to avoid possible spoilers as much as I can. I think I ruined the first time experience on a number of attractions before. However, I read your comment about the lockers. I am really not looking forward to that part of Universal. I understand why they do it, makes it much easier when less things fall out from their guests. I have read that small fanny packs are allowed and are seriously considering investing in one. Do you think that would be worth it? Or were the lockers no big deal? It seems like the Forbidden Journey ones are really the worst ones.
Those are the worst in terms of the locker area itself. Super crowded and busy where some of the others (Hulk, Dueling Dragons etc) were more open and easier to get in and out of. We had issues with one of the lockers once and had to get someone to open, though I can't remember where it was (FJ) or elsewhere.

I'm not sure about the fanny pack. I probably wouldn't risk it and would try, if possible, to go bag free instead. I did that on the return trip (Sunday) and wore capri's with cargo pockets to hold cards, lip gloss and my small point and shoot. It made life MUCH easier. You can send any purchases to the front of the park for pick up so even if you shop, you don't have to carry a thing. I didn't bother on the first day as there was no way Sandie was going bag free and Jeff had the daypack so it was kind of like why bother.

That said, without the crowds, while it's a little bit of a PITA they really aren't that big of a deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
How scary of a coaster is Duelling Dragons? I went on an inverted coaster here in Germany once and loved it. But I am not sure whether my sister would be up for it. And how smooth is it, does it throw your head around a lot?

I am really happy that it worked out for your family to get everyone to the park so early. Finally something that really went like you planned it!
Honestly, to me, Space Mountain is far jerkier than either the Dragon Challenge or Hulk. But we did wait for the front and I'm not sure if that would impact the jerkiness, for us it was more about what you could see by being in the front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moira222 View Post
Whew caught up again!
I about your Beverly Hillbillie references when leaving WDW and going to the dark side.
The amount of bags was ridiculous! We had leftover chips, soda, booze, it was nuts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Moira222 View Post
The pool looks big but the shallow part would be a bummer. Easy to see how E could not rehydrate while in the pool all day. If he had to get sick from dehydration, this was probably the best day to do so. Margaritaville was probably fun but somehow I bet the evening relaxing with a sleeping boy was the refreshment you needed to tackle WWOHP.
We were lucky he didn't get ill till being inside, in the room and we could easily just send him to bed. Very very lucky all around. It is a cool pool, even if it is shallow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moira222 View Post
and wow! GREAT pics of WWOHP....the snow on the rooftop kept throwing me off. what fun. I hope that you did manage to get back to the shops later. The theming looks so awesome I am hoping you have some shots from inside some of the store.

Wow---IoA seem so much more crowded than the WDW parks earlier in the week - is that right? or was it just for the Harry Potter portion?

waitin for more!
I have lots more IOA and WWOHP to come never fear. I wouldn't say that IOA was necessarily more crowded but WWOHP definitely was, with the exception of MK on our last day there, that place was PACKED by noon...which matched the crowd calendar so I wasn't surprised.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:53 PM   #1884
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Whack a mole!

It was time to leave Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and Harry. For now. The reported crowds were in fact no exaggeration and feeling that at least a big part of our mission had been accomplished (seeing Hogsmeade, getting everyone on FJ, not once but twice!) we were ok leaving.

But where to? We had 1pm reservations but that was still a couple of hours away. I know some of you have never been to the dark side and since you might be a bit disoriented by now, I thought I’d give you this for reference. The dark side is really 2 parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. We were at IOA.



WWOHP is sort of in between the Lost Continent and Jurassic Park. In fact, the area it’s in used to be part of the Lost Continent. We’d come in through the Lost Continent and decided to walk out that way. We first came upon this guy, the Mystic Fountain. Back in 2004 this fountain had entertained 7 little kids and a lot of adults for a very very long time. The E’s didn’t remember it but Jeff and I did.





He tried to tell Evan something, or get Evan to do something but Evan wasn’t buying it



The fountain is a LOT funnier if you hang around a bit but the gang wasn’t engaged at the moment and so we moved on. We'd be back.

Some pictures of the walk. I am fairly sure, with most of this, I have more pictures later on as well that may very well be better but I haven't compared.





Where we’d be heading for lunch. It was nice to see exactly where it was, we hadn’t been there before.



This looked interesting













Poseidon’s Fury.

The boys were a bit obsessed with Poseidon at that moment in time, thanks to Percy Jackson so were rather insistent upon checking it out.

Apparently we were in the remains of Poseidon’s ancient temple. What temple doesn’t have a treasure chest? You know, the kind that you shouldn't touch or open or be in the temple or bad things might happen?



Medusa had been there. She doesn't look so good.



And…that’s it on the pictures! LOL! It is an indoor special effect show. Overall, kind of meh if you ask me but we didn’t really have to wait, didn’t take that much time and involved flames and water which is always a hit with the kids. In fact it was a preview on the flame side. There are a LOT of things on the dark side that involve flames. I can’t say I hated it but I wouldn’t rush back to it either. There was one very cool water thing that happened. I'll leave it at that.

I did like the theming quite a bit!



There are a ton of cute shops in this area, we didn’t do much browsing though. Snake charmers and the like!





We kept heading toward the front, to the Port of Entry. The port I didn't take pictures of on the way in, thanks to the wizardly dash.



And stopped to get everyone a drink of some sort just to the right of the trading company which, if memory serves is where you pick up any packages that you’ve had sent to the front of the park. They also have a very good selection of HP merchandise. There are a few things exclusively available in the WWOHP only (wands, Evan’s dobby shirt, some other things) but a lot of the more mainstream items are in the trading company as well. If memory serves they had a quaffle (I know they had the golden snitch) which surprised me as we’d been told you could only get them at Dervish and Banges and so had bought one there for my nephew’s birthday. Note to anyone wanting a quaffle. They are not small.




I enjoy the overall theming and details.



We thought about going here



But were on a mission…Marvel Super Hero Island!

Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 06-25-2011 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #1885
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I admit, I love this place. Then again, I grew up with the Justice League.









First stop, Spiderman!



I love love love this ride. So did everyone. If you go to IOA, this is a must must do. By far the best 3D ride out there I think, just a thrill from the get-go. This is where we first experienced the beauty of the Front of the Line pass. We walked right on!

Next stop

NOT here



But here! The Hulk! One of the best coasters out there, bar none.



I’m fairly sure this one was just Jeff, Eric and I.

Wimps. Oh I love this ride! And I love love love the front of the line pass!

Coming out we heard sirens. It appeared the justice league was being called. Apparently they all travel by motorcycle these days





Captain America



Ok, my kids, with the exception of Spiderman, really don’t know who these guys are. And it was totally cheesy. But Jeff and I loved it. Dating ourselves to be sure but we were grinning like idiots.

Exiting super hero island to make our way to lunch we stumbled across one of the sure fire carnival games doomed to suck my family in.

Whack a mole. Located appropriately enough in the Toon Lagoon area.



Jeff looks focused doesn’t he?



Taylor and Evan look confused



The face of victory, and defeat



Try again!



Getting serious now



But did anyone win?

Moving along we passed by here



The question was, did we have enough time to ride, and make it to lunch on time?

Thanks to the front of the line pass, we did!

However we did neglect to tell everyone that they might get a little wet. No one remembered except for Jeff and I and neither of us recalled the fact that you might actually get SOAKED on it.

Which we did.

It is a fun fun ride but you can get wet. Poor Sandie was drenched. But we all laughed and you know what, in that heat it felt pretty darn good. Except soggy was not exactly how we'd wanted to go to an indoor table seating "fine dining" restaurant.

Mythos bills itself as being voted “Best Theme Park Restaurant by ThemeParkInsider.com 6 years in a row”. Would it live up to the hype? Would we dry off in time or would I maintain my drowned rat status from the tea? If possible I was MORE wet this time.

But at least I wasn't alone.

Up next

Holy Moley!


Last edited by eandesmom; 06-25-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #1886
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Great set of updates! Loved all the details and the info from WWOHP as well as the rest of the Adventure Island stuff... and of course Wack O Mole! We have that game on our phones!!! Helped us through TSM line last summer I think the photos really capture the fun easygoing day you seem to have had despite the crowds. When you get up early you get that extra time to spare!!! Is this the first whole group "rope drop" you've been to??!! LOL!!! I love all the Marvel comics, and Spiderman is a cool ride I agree, I vaguely remember it myself... I think it will be interesting to see what happens with Disney owning the rights.

Great trip updates for sure!
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:09 PM   #1887
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Loving this report Cynthia it is gonna help sooooo much for next year and my FREE Trip!!! I have been eying Mythos for a meal while there !!So can;t wait to read all about it !!! Also if the prices and the menu on AllEars are any where near close !!!
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:22 PM   #1888
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This is great info. Cynthia! I don't know about any of this 'dark side' stuff. Well, I've heard of the Spiderman ride and of course The Wizarding World, but that's about it.

It seems like you're getting a lot of rides in with the help of that Front of the Line Pass. I think you've mentioned it, but I forget -- do you get that by virtue of staying at one of their hotels, or is it extra in addition to that?
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:51 PM   #1890
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Looooove Whack - a - mole!!! It's the one game I can beat my kids at.
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