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Old 08-20-2012, 09:42 PM   #1
Akwafunk
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Duelling Live trip Reports! Aug 20 - 24 2012. Lots of tips

DAY 1

we hit the road at 7:15 this morning, and with a few brief stops or two, were in Orlando by 12:45-ish.

we called in a few minutes before we arrived, and learned that the room was moments away from being ready. Booked a standard garden view with APH, and thanks to Blue status with Loews we were upgraded to a Bay view Villa room. It's nice, got that fun window overlooking the bath tub which is a hit with the kids. quiet too.

while it was really hard not to rush into the parks, we thought we would just hit the pool for an hour and let the kids burn off some of the pent up stuck in the car stuff they had going on. a note on the pool... I can't believe I sent the kids up to the slide without testing it first. The four year old came flying down and declared he had not been at all scared. How funny, I thought I went up to join them on the second trip down. Holy cats, man, that thing is WILD!

we also ( spouse, I guess) lost the brand new, purchased Friday waterproof camera in the pool. Really. But luckily, some very kind mother spotted it and handed it to the lifeguard, and once we asked around a bit we were reunited with it. Phew!

we headed off to USO and hit Despicable Me around 4pm. 10 minute wait at most with Express. really great ride. The four year old was JUST tall enough to do it and had a great time. Really well done.

Then Tim and the 7 year old hit MIB, and were out in around 10 minutes, just as we got in line to the Simpsons, the heavens opened ( yay for that stroller cover I bought) and by the time we were out it was done. Next we did Woody Woodpecker's coaster (twice), ET and then hit the water play for a while. everyone was pretty beat so we dreaded out, caught Despicable Me one more time and got some dinner at City Walk. as we were leaving we caught the tail end of the fire works from the new show.

so that's it. we didn't make it to IOA, which was surprising, but when you're moving with the short people it's a much slower, less organized trajectory. ah well, we have tomorrow! And the next day, and maybe even one more after that.

it seems the thing I really ought to have packed was a clothesline! 4 sets of rash guards, trunks and three sets of wet clothes from the park and the bathroom is a SHAMBLES!

Last edited by Akwafunk; 08-24-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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dodgy connection is making this tiresome. let me try that again.

late Afternoon temps are verging on downright pleasant. we did see some very tired, hot folks leaving the parks at 4 when we were going in, so we'll see how the mornings feel out here.

can't believe how many people I saw walking around with iPads in the park, using them to take pictures etc. Man, the stress of that little expensive item around crowds and water and such would do me in.

Good lord the food is expensive!

and the fluffy unicorns are back in stock a the DM gift shop. I think I read somewhere they were not.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:00 AM   #3
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i'm gonna have to read your posts again.
maybe twice more.

i read your first sentence and all i did then was think how kewl it is to be only a 5.5 hour drive to the darkside.

(3 times i drove and it took 20 hours and 45 minutes, that's with 2 food/rr stops. i started to fly only once i got over the 'try to save money and drive' thing)


now i'm thinking of how many trips i could make each year if i only had a 5.5 hour drive.




oh, continue the live posting.

i got past the first sentence in your thread after 30 minutes of mind wandering.

happy you found your camera!
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:56 AM   #4
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Glad you have started your trip report we have been having too much fun so I haven't kept up with ours
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:44 AM   #5
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DAY 2

Dragged a whole lot of tired people out of bed and headed off for IOA. Missed the boat and since all three guys who are all wearing Crocs clogs have blisters, we took a pedicab. Arrived just before 8, but they had been letting people in for 10 minutes or so at that point. I have seen park strategies that leaving Hogwarts to the end of the day, even when staying onsite, and I'm beginning to see the wisdom in this.

Anyway - quick rundown and some thoughts.

Line to olivanders was already long, so we headed up to FJ. One kid could do it, but he finds it a bit scary (very tall for his age) so we did child swap. Today we used child swap quit a bit - the boys are very different heights, which means that for most rides, the little guy can't make it. While in concept it's great, in practice FJ's is the best from HIS perspective, which actually matters since he has to sit there for a while. More on this later.

Next we all hit the Hippogriff which is, frankly, rather a wild little coaster.

Had a quick stroll through Hogwarts admiring the details, many of which I'd missed before, before it got too crowded, and headed off to

JURASSIC PARK
First time for me doing rides here:

Pteranodon Flyers - egads. Avoid at all costs if you have a fear of heights. The warning sign was not kidding. I don't really, not in the formal sense, but was still rather freaked out. Little kid, his first go-round too, loved it.

River Adventure - lots of fun, and yes, no matter where you sit you will get drenched. I was wearing quick dry bermudas and a long sleeved woven cotton blouse - I was dry again in less than 30 minutes. I sat out with the little guy (missed by an inch) and he was VERY bored and grumpy and unimpressed with the annoying singing dinosaur cartoons they had for him to watch. It's a very long wait too, even when the other two board immediately. This is one marathon ride. Spouse took them to the JP play area and I went back to ride later. This really is a strategy that works better for us, even though it means we don't get to "make memories together". I'd rather make happy ones than sit and wait with a cross 4-year-old over and over again.

After I got done, the guys went and stood in the River adventure splash zone and got completely soaked, many times over. Turns out this provided a much needed break from the whole get to the next ride routine, especially for the 7 -year old. They stood there for maybe half an hour, and it was a reminder that kids often need very different things from a ride-oriented adult.

Next up

SUPER HERO ISLAND

Spider Man (which we've not ridden since the upgrade, and the kids not at all) was experiencing technical difficulties. The guys settled down to eat something, and I went and did the Hulk solo. Man. What a great coaster. Just love that thing.

Hmmm. What did we do next. Oh yes, the storm acceletron - first time for all on that - not a bad little spin around.

At this point we were nearing lunch, and despite having good intentions about getting back to the hotel for a nap, it's actually quite difficult to do. There's a vertain amount of pressure to go, go, go. Ride it, do it, get there. Try to resist if you can and set time limits and stick to them. We wiped ourselves out.

Big kid and spouse went off to do the toon lagoon water rides (which they ended up riding again and again until around 4pm) and the little guy and I doubled back to try Spidey again. It was running. That is until we got to the front of the line, and then a projector went down.

*groan*

We waited for a bit and then ducked out and hit

SEUSS

Got onto Cat in the Hat which is one of his favorites and it... Broke down at least six times on the ride.

*groan*

So we hopped onto One Fish Two Fish, and he followed the song instructions to a tee, we got hit with one squirt right at the end.

He and I headed back to the hotel and off to the pool with the water slide of extreme terror. After about 15 minutes we could see HUGE black clouds, so we hopped out and ordered some lunch at the pool side bar. THinking we'd sit the storm out there. Food arrived JUST as the rain came BUCKETING down with loads of lightening, and unfortunately they are required to clear the ENTIRE pool area, so we had to leave too. Oh well. Tables were set up nearby under a covered area and we finished up there.

The other two appeared in the room with really torn up feet much later, and both kids and I passed out.

At 6 we finally dragged everyone out of bed and headed back to IOA. A cold front had come in, and temps were in the 70s. Very pleasant. First up

SPIDERMAN
It was running and the line was NON-EXISTANT and It. Is. Fantastic. Everyone loved it.

We did a quick return trip to Hogsmeade since spouse wanted to do FJ again. I took the boys on flight of the Hippogriff. He did single rider, we did Express line and we exited AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. Yup. Really. better to do FJ in the evening, people.

That done, we went off to Studios to do a couple of things before the evening show.

Started out with DESPICABLE ME again, which really is just very funny. If there was a way to bypass the pre-show now, having seen it several times, I would just to do the ride part over and over. Very clever.

When we got out, it had started raining. I'd had a feeling it might and had put the rain cover on the stroller. Was feeling very much the Weather Whisperer. Next up...

THE MUMMY
At this point it was around 8pm and we were among the last riding it. The big kid could have ridden height wise , but even the walkthrough the beginning of the ride freaked him out. Actually, it freaked them both out. UO might want to rethink the location of the child swap on this one. Both kids were scared and the coaster loading/unloading clanking sounds just frightened the heck out of them. They were convinced something was coming to get us. Spouse rode first and then took the boys outside while I rode. I had forgotten how good this was. The group in front were chanting to stay on and ride again, and I would have if they did, but they booted us out.

Still raining and dark as heck, so the evening show started a little early. Little kid needed the bathroom half way through so we headed back to the hotel.

45 minute wait to get food at Sal's, so I went over to the Bar American and got some stuff with just a 15 minute wait. Something to remember!

Last edited by Akwafunk; 08-22-2012 at 06:36 PM. Reason: typos galore
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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i'm happy you are posting the live report.
i like the details you put into it.

please keep them coming!


JP river adventure last year when i rode it, didn't drench me.
maybe it was because the boat was not full and less weigh in it.

i hate getting drenched.
it takes forever for my hair to dry out.
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Last edited by macraven; 08-22-2012 at 06:09 PM. Reason: speling eirrors
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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Thanks, Mac, I appreciate that.

And you ARE lucky - I think we had five on our boat and I was sitting on the edge in a center row, but eve the kid in the middle of my row got reasonably soaked.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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DAY 3

Well, when you have two small kids and one very short kid it's... Kindof complicated. I see the board ate my first thoughts on Day 3, so here we go again.

The theme for today was... It's not about me.

We decided to sleep in this morning, sacrilege I know, but the other three are not morning people and, well, we're all tired. I was up watching all the people hurrying off to the boat and it kind of killed me, but, ah well.

Today today we essentially split up, I took the short stack, and the spouse took the big kid. They pedi-cabbed in to USO to do MIB a few times, and the little guy and I took a leisurely stroll in along the canal.

We arrived while there were a bunch of character meet ups going on (Simpsons, Mystery Machine and occupants, Woody you name it.) Turns out both kids asked to stop to hug Woody (awwww).

The back end of USO is pretty deserted at this time of the morning, nice not to be dodging the tired, the cranky, the determined and the ill-mannered. We met up at the Simpsons around 9:35 and rode that together, then we walked over to Woody's Nuthouse Coaster and rode that a few times.

At 10 the Curious George splash zone opened up, and I sat down to watch the kids for a couple of hours, while the spouse went and rode what he wanted. The kids would have been happy to play there all day, but they also wanted to hit the pool, and while it's pricier, we wanted to eat something better than park fare, so we came back to the pool and had lunch there.

Florida did its usual "hey, it's Sunny and awesome... no... wait... there's major wind and here. comes. the. rain!!!" Back to the room we went for a break until it stopped.

The boats come in every 20 minutes or so, so when we saw one leave, we shooed everyone into clothes and headed down to the dock. Perfect timing.

IOA this time, and we split up, the big guys went off to do water rides (actually Bluto's over and over and over) and the little guy and I did whatever he wanted which was:

Spidey
The Star Bellied Sneetch ride (for a better view of the restaurant, have the taller person get in first)
Caroseussel (the two person car may LOOK appealing, but it doesn't move or anything - kindof a yawner)
Photos at all the cars/raptors in Jurassic Park (he's a fan. I know, judge not )

It was really threatening rain, but the parks were fairly full for the first off-peak week at the tail-end of Summer. GA schools aren't back yet, and neither are the European schools - we saw/heard LOTS of foreigners, but not a single large tour group. I was very happy to have Express passes, as we pretty much walked on to everything, but the lines for general entry were long.

We met up with the guys at Toon Lagoon, they were soaked and wanted to stay and ride, but the little guy wanted to come back to the hotel, and so we have.

WHAT HAS WORKED AND WHAT DIDN'T

Wickable/quick dry clothing.
Two thumbs way up. I highly recommend as much of this as you can lay your hands on. We saw lots of kids in board shorts and rash guards. perfect attire in the water sections and on the regular rides too. Nothing dries faster.

Two outfits per day
Yeah - this totally seemed like overkill when I was packing, because I like to pack like a minimalist, but since we were driving, I did it, and getting into fresh clothes post swim/nap was great.

Raincoats
Eh. Kindof. I think the problem is that we have an extreme, compact stroller with a TEENY basket. If we had needed them for a full day of rain, they would have been good, but hauling them around in case of a shower was no good.

2 Ponchos, one umbrella and a stroller rain cover
This turned out to be the perfect rain protective measures for 4 of us. If you're bringing a stroller, then drop the $8 for a rain cover. Works so much better than a poncho, and barely costs more.

Brita filter bottles
Eh. We were in and out, and took breaks fairly effectively, so we didn't really use these. I was surprised too. It just wasn't that hot either. Luckily they'll be useful at home for beach trips, after school etc

Personal Fan/Mister
I thought about getting these and didn't and I was glad not to have them to carry around. There are SO many misting stations around both parks.

Drinks/Snacks
We drank almost all the juice boxes and ate about half of the crackers/granola bars etc. Breakfast cereals in cups kinda worked, the quakers oats didn't really cook up with boiled Keurig water.

Will we ever do another August trip? Heck yeah. It's been fun. And it's not quite over yet, because...

Last edited by Akwafunk; 08-22-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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DAY 4

This is the day where the 3-day Park to Park ticket holders (them) get to hang out at the PBH Beach Pool and the annual pass holder (me) gets to get up early, ride a bunch of coasters, scream a lot and probably get a swim in before we check out and head home.

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Old 08-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post


now i'm thinking of how many trips i could make each year if i only had a 5.5 hour drive.

It's a bit of a curse, really, because however you do it, it's an expensive little trip, really.

SO relieved to have the camera back too. Thankfully it's the kindof place where people, I imagine anyway, understand the value of the pics on some random camera they come across at the bottom of the pool.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #11
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thanks for posting

great report! we will be there in two weeks
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:57 PM   #12
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Akwafunk....i want you to stay longer so you can do more reporting.

i like what you are writing.
i enjoy coming here to read up.


i can visualize all that you said you have done.



on a rainy day in the parks is when it is great to do the wet rides.
just sayin.......
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #13
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I promise to report the solo morning coaster sprint in exhaustive detail!


Thanks though. It's been surprisingly fun to do. Might even get around to adding some pictures, but those won't be for a few days yet.


My last trip was solo, and it's been a huge contrast between what one can do in terms of ride volume as a group with littles compared with a solo adult. Mood is all about managing those expectations, and I'll be honest, I did better at some times than at others. Can't wait for the littlest guy to grow an inch or two - will really open up some cool rides for him, and he is a fearless little soul.

One last tip/thing for pass holders. If you want to request a late check out, which are sometimes available, you need to call down to the desk at 7am on the morning you're set to check out.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:47 AM   #14
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Great TR! Really enjoying it. Thanks for doing it live.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:06 AM   #15
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akwafunk, read the post by dvc daisy on the main forum.

she is looking for anyone at rph now as she has a give away.

i gave her your screen name and pixiegrl.

couldn't remember if both or one of youse are at rph now.


if what she is giving away is a kitten, i'll take it if you don't want it..
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