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Old 03-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #91
momabaarjo
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Originally Posted by Momw/aplan View Post
Wow. Yikes! So sorry you had such a horrible experience.

That is unacceptable. And you know, a lot of times, for me anyway, all I really need is for someone to acknowledge that they screwed up and that they're sorry things didn't go the way they should have, and then I can get over it all really fast. But when they act like they don't even care... I'm unwilling to forget that.

Margaritaville was one of our favorite experiences on our last trip (and we didn't even drink any Margaritas). We had great food, great service, and a fantastic atmosphere, and I was SO looking forward to going there again on our upcoming trip, but now... I'm a little nervous.

I had visited here on my prior trip...and the service was great...of course I was only in the bar area! I left my review on Open Table, but it seemed like we were the only ones during that time that had the asful service!

My DH has access to Open Table on his phone, but we will also be staying onsite. Last time we didn't make any ressies and just showed them our room keys when we walked up and never had to wait too terribly long. Now that they have Open Table though I'm wondering, would we be better off making reservations or not? And even if we make them, I suppose we should still show them our key when we check in? Not really sure what the acceptable protocol would be there.
I also showed them the hotel card, so I am not sure why we waited so long, except for it was a busy night! Open Table and the Room key should have given us the next table... I just wanted to make sure that we had a reservation since I knew it would be busy and I read that sometimes during peak season they do not always honor the room key.


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oh WOW!! That is SO AWEFUL!!! I would have been totally livid if i were you yes, it's busy but to see people come and go while you sit there with TERRIBLE service is NOT acceptable and if you explained that to the manager he should have been COMPLETELY apologetic even to the point of comping something on your bill.

I'm thinking I'll steer clear of that place on our trip. Well, mind you - we eat at quiet times - lunch can be at 11am and we are ready for supper by 4:30 so we probably wouldn't have the same problems but still


I had the reservations at 5:00 pm but a couple days prior I thought I we would see the last performance of Grinchmas this night so moved the reservation back to 6:00...thats what I get for planning!
and this....

Wastin away in margaritaville
Searching for my lost shaker of salt

I guess it must have been referring to the staff???? LOL
Yep...should have said, searching for my lost waitress

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Some people claim, that a wo-man's to blame
But I know
It's my servers fault!!!



That just totally S*CKS!

You should send an email to the Margaritaville headquarters. Not only was the service bad, but you got absolutely no satisfaction when you called attention to your situation to management. That is not ok!

Copy your post and send it. Now!

Good idea...

We did TRY to eat at Margaritaville. The wait was going to be 45 minutes. We were soaked from a storm at Sea World. We were starving. One of the members of my travelling party was extremely cranky (not me and not the kids). There was no wait at Bubba Gumps. We had a fabulous meal there. It saved our night!

I love Bubba Gump...and ate there on my prior trip...but I was wanting that dang margarita!

I have eaten at the Key West restaurant. May I have my parrothead status back?
Yep...mine will probably be revoked because I doubt I will eat there if we go back...just get a margarita from the walk up window and call it good!
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:25 PM   #92
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Momabaarjo, Thanky you for sharing your adventure. I am realy enjoying it!
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #93
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oh no, I'm sorry about the puking that's an icky thing to have to deal with anytime and especially on holidays.

I had to about the kids jumping out and scaring the wrong family. I would imagine in the dark it would have given them quite the scare.

Glad your evening ended ok after the bad restaraunt experience I am SOOO excited about being onsite so i can enjoy as much of the parks as possible at all different times of the day.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:12 AM   #94
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Your nighttime pictures at IoA are spectacular!

The story about the kids jumping out of the bushes is hilarious! Glad the people in the other family were good sports.

So sorry to hear about Goo's goo. No fun getting sick on vacation. For him or the family.

Great picture of the T-Rex, which reminds me- Did you encounter the camera Nazis? On lots of attractions this summer (Jurassic Park, Rip Saw Falls, Jaws), I was told to put my camera away. They even came on on loudspeaker in the JP building to tell everyone no pictures. Others have reported similar experiences.

I have some great contraband photos taken from the top of the drop at Rip Saw.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #95
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Sunrise Over Hogsmeade

Sunrise Over Hogsmeade


It seemed like only minutes from the time I went to bed until I was awoken by my alarm telling me it was time to get up and get around for early entry. I roll over and ask Ab if she still wants to go, and of course the answer is yes by both her and Boo…although the yes is not nearly as excited as they were yesterday morning. I get in the shower and get around while the two of them get up and get dressed (Jeff and I already had agreed that he and Goo would be sleeping in and would meet us later).

What a difference a day makes...here is Goo the first morning and now here is how we left him the second morning.


We are out the door close to 6 am, still dark but this time the air is a little cooler and no foggy mist as the previous morning. The walk to IOA of adventure was a quiet one and we arrived along with another family. We should have brought our jackets as Ab huddles up in a little ball. She asks if she could go get hers, but I am really leery about letting her walk back in the dark alone and ask her just to stick it out...which resulted in a teen pout fest.


We strike up a great conversation with the family behind us and they begin asking for pointers on what to do with their early entry time as the crowds behind us start to grow. About 6:30 a ticket/gate agent appears to get the computers up and running. She begins talking to the kids and we start asking her about crowds. She tells us that they are really expecting crowds to be extremely heavy again today...apparently after we left yesterday afternoon not only did WWofHP go to stand by line, but the entire IOA went to a standby entry just to get into the park itself (I guess it was a good thing we left we when did because the crowds never seemed to be an issue for us yesterday). Yikes! There are 2 bowl games in the area this weekend and Universal is expecting that crowd on top of the already large holiday crowd. The next 1/2 hour passes by quickly and before we know it, it is time to scan tickets and head through the gates with the rest of the masses for early entry. Wouldn't you know it, Boo's ticket scans but the turn-stall will not turn.


I could see Ab get really frustrated because once again we were letting people ahead of us after getting her so early. Finally they have Boo slip under and we talk off for WWofHP, this time remembering to take the short cut around/behind Seuss Landing, where we are able to get back ahead of most the people and enter Hogwarts ahead of the rush. We had already decided that once again we would go to Olivander's


first in hopes that Boo will get picked by a wand. When we get there we end up in about the same position as we did the day before, so our chances look good. As we wait, I take a few pictures of the sunrise appearing over the chimney's of the buildings in Hogsmeade.




Someone asked me a few pages back about why Hogsmeade was covered in snow at Universal...well, I think the answer lays in the first time JK introduces us to Hogsmeade in the books...

"Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were all covered in a layer of crisp snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of enchanted candles hanging in the trees."


The door opens to Olivander's and we end up in the first group for the first show...near the last ones to enter. This is not good place to be picked from according to everything I have read. I still silently say a prayer that still maybe Boo will get picked, but of course true to rumor, another child is picked in our group...and he was standing in the rumored secret spot. I did manage to get a few nice pictures of the wand ceremony that I had not gotten the day before since Ab was picked, and I was videoing.






Disappointed Boo watches the show, and I remind him that we have 2 more early entry days to try for. After the show, we exit through the Owl Post and Boo asks if we could try one more time this morning. We look at the line, which is not much larger than it was when we went in, so I agree that the Forbidden Journey can wait and we line up again for Olivander's and make our way towards the entrance, will the 2nd time be the charm?

Last edited by momabaarjo; 03-14-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by mercydisney View Post
Momabaarjo, Thanky you for sharing your adventure. I am realy enjoying it!
So glad you are enjoying my ramblings...

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Originally Posted by wakica View Post
oh no, I'm sorry about the puking that's an icky thing to have to deal with anytime and especially on holidays.

One of those things that you deal with and get over...although it took me a few days...okay really still not over it messing up my touring plans!

I had to about the kids jumping out and scaring the wrong family. I would imagine in the dark it would have given them quite the scare.

It was funny...thank goodness the other family found it funny too!

Glad your evening ended ok after the bad restaraunt experience I am SOOO excited about being onsite so i can enjoy as much of the parks as possible at all different times of the day.
Staying on site and so close does have its perks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
Your nighttime pictures at IoA are spectacular!

Thanks...I wonder how they did Hogswarts so no matter what time of day, you get a great picture!

The story about the kids jumping out of the bushes is hilarious! Glad the people in the other family were good sports.

We still laugh about it today...

So sorry to hear about Goo's goo. No fun getting sick on vacation. For him or the family.

Great picture of the T-Rex, which reminds me- Did you encounter the camera Nazis? On lots of attractions this summer (Jurassic Park, Rip Saw Falls, Jaws), I was told to put my camera away. They even came on on loudspeaker in the JP building to tell everyone no pictures. Others have reported similar experiences.

I have some great contraband photos taken from the top of the drop at Rip Saw.

Never encountered any photo nazis...but then again most of the time I was to afraid to whip out my camera...as long as there is not a flast I wonder what the big deal is...
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:19 PM   #97
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Sounds like it was a good idea to leave a couple members of your troop behind.

Can't think of a prettier place to see a sunrise! I hope Boo gets a chace at the Olivander's show.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:41 AM   #98
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Sounds like it was a good idea to leave a couple members of your troop behind.

Can't think of a prettier place to see a sunrise! I hope Boo gets a chace at the Olivander's show.
The sunrise was so pretty that morning over the chimney's. I can't wait to show the pictures of what the sunrise did to Hogswarts. Whoever designed Hogswarts did an incredible job, because every different time of day the castle really takes in the lighting and takes on a new look!
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:47 AM   #99
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2nd Time is the Charm


After leaving Olivander's disappointed, Boo wants to try one more time this morning to get picked by a wand. So we head back into the line (after waiting a about 5 minutes trying to position ourselves for being in the right place). As we make our way to the entrance I think we are all silently praying that this will be the last time that we stand in this line, because as we watch the crowds keep building. I can see over to the Forbidden Journey that the wait time is now posted at around 30 minutes and by my calculation by the time we finish at Olivanders non resort guests will now be allowed entrance into WWofHP. The line begins to move again and we turn the corner to the entrance and are stopped 1 family short of being at the front of the line for the next show, yes there is one family with 4 children standing between us and the "wand picking spot." I sigh knowing that Boo will probably not get picked this time either, but Boo is pulling out all the stops and starts up a conversation with the CMs outside the door, hoping this will up his chances. As the door opens and we are ushered in for our show the family in front of us heads to the corner of the shop behind the staircase and the CM ushers us in front of them. I feel pretty bad, that we are told to stand in front of them...but on the other hand we are right in position to be picked. The room quickly fills and the lights dim as the show begins.

"Welcome to Olivander's, makers of fine wands since 382 BC....There is very powerful magic in this room." The lights flicker and dim as Olivander's assistant walks over to Boo and asks the famous question "Which is your wand hand?" and motions him to come forward.



Link to YouTube Video of Boo Being Picked
Mind you that this is very dark and hard to see, but it fairness I had to post his video too!

Just as much as I was beaming for Ab the morning before, I beamed for Boo getting chosen by a wand. After the show we head into the Owl Post where Boo, who had already decided he was going to buy a wand, goes about picking a wand. He did not like the wand that picked him in the show, I don't really blame him either. Ab goes into Dervish and Banges, while I wait for both of them between the shops. Goo brings over a wand with a big ugly skull and tells me this is what the CM says is his wand (according to his birthday, and being male)...my reaction was not pretty...it was uglier than the one that had chosen him.


I think he too senses, this is not the wand for him and he goes back to opening all the cases and looking at each wand there is. He finally decides on the Ash Wand for February, but the female one...which I think is a lot better looking!


I am not sure how long we were in Olivander's, but I know it was quite awhile because by the time we emerged back onto the streets of Hogsmeade and made our way to Hogswarts we encounter...
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #100
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Update Alert...
This will be my last update until probably earlier next week. It is our spring break and I am headed to Colorado with the kids to spend time with my family...so needless to say I will not be available to update for a few days.


I really would much rather stay home, but since I dodged my family at Christmas for our trip, I guess it is time I deal with family drama....
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:19 AM   #101
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So glad he finally got picked

Enjoy your spring break. We Will be here waiting when you return
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:55 PM   #102
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Yeah!!! I am so happy for Boo (and you) that he was picked in the wand shop.

We didn't buy wands for the kids when we were at IoA, but shortly after we returned, Ben started asking for one. It was near the top of his Christmas list, so a Dumbledore was beneath our tree this year.

I hope you have an enjoyable break and trip! Safe travels to you and your family.

Look forward to reading more when you return.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:54 AM   #103
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awe!!! I'm so glad it worked out and he got picked!!!!! Made it all worth the wait right??? I hope! lol. but maybe I'll learn differently after your next installment.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:32 PM   #104
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Decisions of a Teenage Tightwad

Decisions of a Teenage Tightwad


As we make our way to Hogwarts we encounter a new crazy queue that was not their yesterday at this time, apparently IOA is REALLY expecting huge crowds later in the day. At 7:45 am the wait time for Forbidden Journey is at 30 minutes, and happily we decide that it is time to ride so we get in this weird line that makes you walk snake twice across the bridge going into Jurassic Park in the roped line until you finally make it to the front gates of Hogwarts. This crazy line gives us some great shots of Hogwarts this morning.


1st Time in Line for Olivanders


2nd Time in Line for Olivanders


Queuing Up for Forbidden Journey




As we enter into Hogwarts today we have to use those EVIL lockers provided for by IOA (actually I think the lockers must be close relatives to the dementors). This is first experience with the lockers for this trip, and sadly it will not be the last either. We push our way into the already filled room (okay, yes pushing because there is so many people that there is no way around not pushing) and make our way over to one of the computers, but of course there is someone in front of us who has no clue how to work the machine, so I go about explaining and helping him through the process.

[IMG]http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p125/momabaarjo/**-universal-orlando-trip-report-august-2011-223.jpg[/IMG]
TIP: If you are carrying your phone with you or camera take a picture of your locker (or have something to write your number one), trust me you may think you can remember a simple 3 digit number but with the crowds and excitement of the upcoming ride, chances are you will forget it. I have seen it happen, and come close myself of forgetting.

With our bags safely stowed we head back to the line area with my intention for us to use the single rider line, but Ab and Boo want to go through the castle again (thank goodness the wait time is only 30 minutes). As we emerge from the tunnel area, I see that the queuing system outside is again different the day before

[IMG]http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p125/momabaarjo/forbidden-journey-queue-expansion-harry-potter-world-917-**.jpg[/IMG]

with more twists and turns made by more chains and ropes and like yesterday the next 30 minutes is filled with snaking our way through the line with barely any standing time and before we know it time to ride. After the ride we decide to spend some time looking around Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.








Ab can’t find Spectrespecs and she has her heart set on buying a pair so we decide to track down a CM to help us locate a pair. Guess what, they are back in Dervish and Banges (yes, we were just there). So like a good mother we go back to Dervish and Banges where search once again unsuccessfully till we flag down a CM who points us to the display…of paper ones.


YUCK, Ab decides that she is not wasting her money on those and decides she wants a scarf and looks through the display. She can’t decide which house, because she loves both Slytherin and Gryffindor.


After many minutes (and my toe tapping) ahe decides she wants to go back to Filch's and get a Hogwarts scarf,




so back we go to Filch's. While at Filch’s I spot the Christmas ornaments and have Ab and Boo pick out an ornament for themselves and Goo,






after which Ab decides to stand and stare at the scarves trying to make up her mind what she wants to do after she realizes the Hogwarts scarves are not very long. Frustrated I get in line and by the ornaments thinking she will quickly get in line with me.


But no, we are dealing with a teenage tightwad. She is still standing staring at the scarves when I make my way back to her when she decides she is getting neither! UGH, so we have the talk…okay, the frustrated mom talking to the not listening teenage daughter talk. Not getting anywhere I decide to look around some more and find picture frames


and pick out one for myself and get back in line where Ab finally joins me with a Hogwarts scarf. While in line we now notice that the once partially filled gift shop is now overflowing with people. After our purchase the two decide it is time for butter beer and we make our way back down into Hogsmeade feeling like fish swimming upstream, but before we do I take a moment to get a picture of the two of them in front of Hogswarts.




As we are about to get in line for butter beer, my teenage daughter decides that she wants to get a Gryffindor scarf inside Dervish and Banges…UGH! She slips into the gift shop to and somehow during this time I manage to lose Boo.



Last edited by momabaarjo; 03-20-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:59 PM   #105
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So glad he finally got picked

Me too, I was really not wanting to spend 2 more mornings trying!

Enjoy your spring break. We Will be here waiting when you return

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Yeah!!! I am so happy for Boo (and you) that he was picked in the wand shop.

We didn't buy wands for the kids when we were at IoA, but shortly after we returned, Ben started asking for one. It was near the top of his Christmas list, so a Dumbledore was beneath our tree this year.

Goo keeps telling me that we need to go back to USO everytime he sees the commericals so that he can get picked by a wand!

I hope you have an enjoyable break and trip! Safe travels to you and your family.

Look forward to reading more when you return.
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awe!!! I'm so glad it worked out and he got picked!!!!! Made it all worth the wait right??? I hope! lol. but maybe I'll learn differently after your next installment.
Oh it was well worth the wait and effort for him to get picked too...
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