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Old 10-25-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 21

Total Trip report 10/16 - 10/23 (includes other FL stuff too)

Returned on Tuesday from US. First time there and first family vacation with my 9 year old son, and really my own as well as my parents never took me on vacation.

Stayed at the new Drury Inn - LOVED it - highly recommend it
Purchased 3 day Park to Park tickets with unlimited express pass for just under $700.

10/16/12 - Arrived.
10/17/12 - Went to IOA only from 10am - 7pm. Was SOOO impressed with the Forbidden Journey and Spiderman. Wait times varied anywhere from 5 - 40minutes for all rides. OMG hogwarts is amazing. LOVED the ability to use the express pass. You feel like a VIP, and had no challenges with anybody getting crabby from waiting in lines. We drank our first butterbeer and ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks.
10/18/12 - Went to Universal Studios really loved the Mummy and some other attractions like twister, posiedons fury, etc. I can't remember all of the names. I remembered I had to eat at Mythos and it was around 2:30pm, so I used my phone to make reservations at opentable for 3:45 that day. I had the blackened Mahi Mahi with plantains.....oh my gosh, I can't wait to have that meal again some day. It was so delightful. Please don't judge me...but my son wanted to give HHH a shot, so I agreed. We have a simliar event back home in MN, and he enjoys that so I thought he might be cool with this event as well. The first attraction we tried to go to was a 45 minute wait, so I spent $140 to buy us express passes for HHH too. We visited all 7 attractions, whose wait times rose to 120 minutes each. I was definitely disappointed. My son wasn't scared at all (which was a good thing) and was also kind of disappointed. The crowd is definitely a much different group at that hour. I have no desire to ever go back. This day we were at the park from 10am until 12pm.
10/19/12 - We needed a break form walking so we went to Wet n Wild. This place was likely amazing at one point, but I was totally disappointed. It's actually kind of gross and does not appear to be maintained well at all. I was actually kind of scared about the safety of the facilities and rides. We will not go back here agian. After going home and changing we then went to the Wonderworks Museum and did the dinner magic show package as well.
10/20/12 - We were originally planning on going to Legoland, but I read more recent bad reviews so we decided to play the day by ear. We started the morning by going to iFLY indoor skydiving which was super cool. We went to the biggest McDonalds ever (literally, I guess?) for lunch, and played arcade games. We finished up the night by playing 36 rounds of miniature golf at Pirates Adventure Cove.
10/21/12 - Ahh...our last day at the Parks. We arrived at 9:30am and stayed at IOA until close. My son decided he had no interest in seeing the rides at US again. So, we went back to the magical Harry Potter right away like our very first day. We rode Spiderman several times. He rode the Hulk ride several times (We believe 25 in total across all three days). We drank more butterbeer and again ate at the Three Broomsticks. We finished up the evening with dinner at the Hard Rock in Citywalk.
10/22/12 - Spent the day at Discovery Cove and did the dolphin swim package.

In a nutshell, the ride waits really weren't that bad. However, the unlimited express passes I purchased were worth every solitary cent I spent. It allowed us to enjoy our time at the parks even more. I was so in awe of the rides I experienced at this park. They were unlike nothing I've ever experienced before. Hogwarts was magical, and undescribable (and I'm not even really a HP fan). My son grew so fond of not only the parks, but Orlando, he definitely cried when we had to leave. I feel like a part of me is still there as well, and I simply can not wait to go back again. This was a vacation that I will remember forever, and I know he will as well. The facility was sooo clean, the bathrooms were kept immaculate. The people in attendance all seemed polite. The culture you experience from people all over the world, different languages, different accents...it's so cool. The people working are awesome. The people working the HP area stay in character, and it's soooo cool for the kids.

I'm already trying to figure out how we can go back as early as August.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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Yay!!!! So glad you had such a great time. We fine the Wizarding World to be really special as well. There really is nothing like it.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
Metro West
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Moving to the Trip Reports board.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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I am curious what you thought of the wonderworks museum and magic show package. I have never been to a wonderworks museum and it looks really cool on the website. How about the IFly? Do you have any pics you would like to share from any of those activities? Thank you... We are trying to plan an off day to do some non-park activities and some of the ones you went to is on our list. Oh yeah, and the Pirates Cove minigolf... Your trip sounded like so much fun!!!
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