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Old 09-13-2003, 07:47 PM   #1
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Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Day 8. Islands of Adventure

Day 8 - Tuesday 26th August 2003

Cast list:

Shaun - 40 something 'If it's not alcoholic I won't drink it'
Alison - 30 something 'If it spins I won't even look at it'
Alexandra - 10 'If it goes upside down I won't ride it'
Laura - 8 'If it's not pizza I won't eat it'

Today turned out to an excellent day with a real defining moment, but more of this later.

During the night the blooming alarm went off for no apparent reason which woke us up with a real jolt! It wasn't a typical house type alarm - but instead a voice recording saying 'Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please. An alarm has been activated....etc etc' Alexandra went into panic mode (remember our alarm problem previously? What is it with hotel alarms and us???)
We had trouble getting to sleep again as we kept thinking that it'd go off again but luckily no. The upshot of all this is that we ended up waking up late - except for Alison who is champing at the bit to get going.

After discussion we decided to go to Sizzlers for breakfast but we just made breakfast closing by about 10 mins - not like us at all! Not a bad meal - but the Sizzlers on I Drive isn't as good as the one in LBV IMHO.

The troops were feeling a bit jaded so we went back to the hotel and let DDs have a swim - once again the beauty of the FOTL access meant that we weren't under pressure to hit USF / IOA early to get on the big rides - I'm really enjoying this "perk".

As we were having a bit of a dithery start, Alison went off to get some washing going and then subsequent drying, in between swims in the pool. The main reason for doing this is that we travelled really light this year so bag space was at a premium. The upshot of all this dithering about meant that we didn't hit the parks until 2pm - poor Alison must have been seething inside! (Note from Alison - yes I was!!!)

After a quick snack in the room while we were getting dressed again, off we went to IOA. We tried putting those boring blankish white cards (from the kiosk thingies) into the entrance kiosks but they were rejected. The CM advised us that we had to go and get our permanent passes done - pics and all! Ah ha! Now that makes sense - why didn't they tell us about this yesterday?
Anyway, some grim photos put onto nice new annual passes and we were off!

First stop Seuss Landing for the girls - Cat in the Hat (Note from Alison - the girls always make me do this ride and I really hate it! It spins so fast!! The only worse one than this is Storm Force Acceletron - that one I don't even watch! )

After CITH, the girls do Carroseusel and then we walk round to the Lost Continent to do Flying Unicorn. The girls had never done this before as they were too nervous last time - LOL! They said it was a bit pathetic!

Oh forgot to mention that although there were only short queues - about 10 minutes or so - we had great pleasure in waving our hotel room keys and using the Express Pass entrance! Woo hoo! Straight to the front!

After Flying Unicorn we walked on to Jurassic Park, but as we passed Duelling Dragons Alison said to Alexandra that if she ever wanted to do a looping roller coaster she needed to do one when there was no queue so she didn't have a chance to duck out. We assumed that her first one may be at Busch Gardens as Scorpion there has only one loop and is pretty tame. But we weren't holding our breath as she's a bit paranoid about looping coasters/shoulder restraints/loud noises etc etc.

At that point Alexandra said "I might do one of those big rides", which takes us aback. We have a bit of a discussion about them as we walked through .
Alexandra suddenly announced that she'd do Duelling Dragons! Shock horror! Alison quickly grabbed her and ran off before she could change her mind.......(strange girl - her first ever big coaster, and she chooses Fire on DD!! )

Laura and I waited outside as she's too short (much to her disgust) and I buy her some Dippin Dots as we assumed that they'd soon be out via the chicken exit.

But NO! - she came back through the normal exit and says with a big grin on her face "Will you come and do ICE with me Daddy?" - you could have knocked me down with a feather! WOW! - I'm really impressed with this change of heart. So off we went - and she screamed with pleasure all the way round!

After that Alison and I went on Jurassic Park River Adventure (Alexandra's bravery didn't extend to riding this - so she and Laura waited in the splash zone by the drop for us).

We wandered on around the park and the girls decided that they'd like to try Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls. They'd never done that before either! We all got soaked - but the girls loved it thank goodness! We carried on to Superhero Island and grabbed some popcorn and soda and sat down for a rest. Alexandra's eyes kept being drawn to the Hulk - none of us said anything to her at all. After a couple of minutes of watching it she said, 'Daddy, can we go on it?'
Well, it's my favourite ride - so the answer was a resounding yes! We headed off down the Express Pass lane. Once on the ride I kept looking at her to make sure that she was ok but luckily there was nothing to worry about - she loved every minute of it and claimed it as one of her most favourite rides.

I think that we have unleashed a monster here.

I took Laura round to Seuss Landing while Alison took Alexandra back on the Hulk again.

(Note here: I really really hope Laura's grown by next year - she's gutted that she can't do these big rides - she loves looping roller coasters! )

We stopped briefly in the shops after we met up again - for the girls to buy pins/magnets etc, and then we made our way back to the Hard Rock.

Quick change and into the pool to cool down - it'd been hot again!

Tonight we decided to go back to the Golden Coral for the evening buffet and the kind waitress on the till even let us through as 2 adults and 2 children even though we did say that Alexandra was 10. The buffet was excellent - steak, shrimp, pasta, pizza, loads of salads, cakes, pies, ice cream and fruit. Phew! Something for everyone and a definite cut above Ponderosa and Sizzler. Excellent value too at $34 with drinks all round.

Filled up with petrol and popped back to Goodings for some emergency supplies of booze, snakes and cold remedy and back to hotel.

Brits Count - Few families in Universal - totally British in Sizzlers!
Weather - hot and sunny all day!
Rain impact - none

Tomorrow's plan - Epcot - but Alison said we have to get up early - she just can't bear this laid back approach anymore!

1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 09-14-2003, 04:59 AM   #2
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We loved Dueling Dragons too
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Old 09-14-2003, 06:36 AM   #3
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Way to go Alexandra I rode Duelling Dragons for the first time in July and didn't go back on. I did like Hulk.
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:54 AM   #4

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Wonderful trip report ~ Thanx for sharing!!!
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Old 09-23-2003, 04:55 AM   #5
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I'm with you, Alison - it's so frustrating having to wait for everyone else when you're raring to go

Alexandra - brave indeed (I'm being embarrassed by a 10 year old not doing Hulk now ).
Annie O
Oct/Nov 83 - tour of Florida; June 99 - Orlando/Sand Key; May 00 - Orlando/St Pete Beach; May 01 - St Pete Beach; Sept/Oct 01 - (Hong Kong & Philippines); Oct 02 - Orlando/Marco Island/Keys; May 03 - (St Lucia); Oct 03 - Orlando/Marco Island; Dec 04 - Xmas skiing in a winter wonderland; Aug 05 - Ft Myers Beach/Orlando; Easter 06 - Skiing Lake Tahoe/San Fransisco; Easter 07 - Boston/Killington for another American ski adventure Oct 07 - Orlando; Aug 08 - Florida for three weeks; Apr 09 - Katie's 16th birthday treat with mum to NewYorkOct 09 - Miami & Marco Island; June 12 - Celebrate Divorce in Barbados June 13 - Orlando & Barbados with my lovely DD
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Old 09-24-2003, 02:50 PM   #6
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What brave girls! Carys would go on them all too but she's got a chicken for a Mother!!

I always thought it was age 12 and over that counted as an adult at all the restaurants? Have I got that wrong?

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Old 09-25-2003, 04:12 AM   #7
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According to the sign it was 10 in the Golden Corral - not sure if this applies everywhere.

1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:46 PM   #8
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Woohoo Alexandra....you go girl!!! You're braver than me - I won't do DD or Hulk

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