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Old 06-16-2008, 07:22 AM   #1
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Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney - Day 10

Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney Day 10 – Universal Love

Sunday 20th April

Today, it was off to Universal. I went into ‘commando mode’ and insisted that everyone be ready to leave by 8:15 as I was determined to get to the park for opening. Up until now, we hadn’t made it to the parks that early and I’m convinced that we weren’t getting as much done because of it. Chuck was feeling much better and, despite being told they could stay behind and rest, insisted on coming with us. We were on the road by 8:30 (a vast improvement) and arrived at the parking lot about 20 minutes later.

When we arrived at City Walk, I was pleased to see that the majority of people seemed to be heading straight on towards Islands of Adventure. We went right and passed through the gates dead on 9. Gary, Sian and I went on ahead of the others, to ride Revenge of the Mummy. It was great as usual, and we decided to take advantage of the lack of people and go straight on again.

Next, it was over to Amity to ride Jaws. We took some pictures outside first – Daniel wasn’t really sure about the shark and didn’t want to go on the ride particularly but we managed to persuade him it wasn’t that bad.





It was nice that we could all go on this together as Chuck and Reeny didn’t do many rides. They both were very impressed by it and even Daniel seemed to enjoy it.

We wandered over to Men in Black and, again, we all went on. Me and the kids went in one car and the others went in the next one. They only had one side operating as it was still early, which was a shame as we were hoping we could shoot at Gary, Chuck and Reeny’s car and make them spin

After Men in Black, we walked past the new Simpsons ride, which wasn’t open yet. I had really hoped we would get to go on it but, sadly, it wasn’t to be.







We took some pictures, though, and checked out the Kwik E Mart where Reeny bought a t-shirt for Adam (her other Grandson). A quick aside here:- for several reasons, we don’t get on very well with Gary’s brother and sister-in-law and haven’t seen them in years. Reeny hadn’t told them her and Chuck were coming on holiday with us but didn’t seem to realize that buying Adam a t-shirt from Universal Studios in Florida would give the game away somewhat. When I pointed it out, she briefly considered taking the t-shirt back and then decided against it, hoping they wouldn’t notice. It made me chuckle that she thought she would get away with them not knowing (and, to be honest, I don’t know why she wouldn’t just tell them). Just another thing which peeved me a bit about the whole situation.

Anyway, on with the show. Daniel really wanted to go on ET but Gary, Chuck and Reeny were keen to head over to Disaster, as we have experienced really long waits in previous years, when we’ve done it later in the day. So I decided I would take the kids to ET and the others would go and do Disaster. We went our separate ways and me, Daniel, Sian and Rea walked on over. Unfortunately, that whole area didn’t open until 11 am. It was about 10:45 so we waited. And waited! And waited! Eventually, they dropped the rope to let everyone in and chose that moment to tell us that ET was experiencing technical difficulties and wouldn’t be open until later in the day. Almost everyone who was waiting walked off – it was really funny.



After having pictures taken with the penguins from Madagascar, we took a slow stroll over to Disaster to wait for the others. We must have waited at least 45 minutes and Daniel was beginning to get rather bored.



By the time they came out, we were all getting hungry so, for convenience, we decided to have lunch at Lombards.

We would have liked to sit outside as it was such a pleasant day but there were no tables for 7 so we made do with a table in the corner of the restaurant, overlooking the lake. The food was absolutely delicious – me, Daniel, Chuck and Reeny had fish and fries. Gary had some kind of asian chicken salad and the girls had a chicken sandwich each. We declined dessert and paid the check. Again, we got a 15% Annual Pass discount, meaning my pass had almost paid for itself by now.







Gary, Chuck and Reeny really wanted to see Terminator and the Horror Make-Up show but I decided neither were suitable for Daniel so, again, we went our separate ways. Me and the kids went to see Shrek, which was better than I remembered. We saw Donkey and Shrek afterwards and got some great pictures.



Next, we all went on Jimmy Neutron – this ride is the only one that makes me feel slightly queasy and I find myself spending a lot of the time looking away from the screen. The kids loved it though and Daniel wanted to go on again but there was a 40-minute wait and we weren’t sure how long the others would be. Instead, we had a picture with Spongebob and headed outside to meet Gary and co.

On the way, we saw Dora. I didn’t think Daniel would be that bothered as he outgrew Dora a little while ago but he insisted he really wanted to see her so we joined the line. It was well worth the wait – he gave her a massive hug and chattered away to her. It was really touching and brought a little tear to my eye – I still think of him as my ‘baby’ a lot of the time and here was my proof that he wasn’t quite as grown up as he thinks.





Gary, Chuck and Reeny came over just as we were finishing taking pictures and we decided to get a drink and go over to see if ET was open yet. It was and we all went on it. There was quite a long wait but it was nice to be out of the heat – it was another really sweltering day. ET was great but Daniel cried because he didn’t want ET to go home – he was pretty inconsolable for a little while, until we went into the shop and he bought his very own ET to bring home with him.

We had done pretty much everything we wanted and we had reservations for dinner at Wolfgang Puck Café so we decided to leave the park. We bought a frozen lemonade, which the kids devoured, and walked back to the car. Gary and Daniel posed for a picture in front of the Universal globe on the way out.



I had hoped we might have time to pop back to Old Key West and freshen up but the traffic was quite heavy so we decided to go straight to Downtown Disney. We parked up and went to check in for our 6:15 reservation. We were seated straight away at a lovely table overlooking the lake, straight out towards Saratoga Springs. The resort looked beautiful and I commented to Gary that we ought to try and stay there again next time. The trouble is, there are so many of the resorts that we love for different reasons, we will be hard pushed to decide where to stay on our next visit.



Our server was really nice and brought us some yummy bread to munch on while we waited for our meals. I already knew what I was having – I was so pleased that the Veal Schnitzel was back on the menu that I had to have that. Rea and Chuck ordered some kind of chicken pasta Bolognese, Reeny opted for salmon, Sian had pepperoni pizza and Gary chose the ribs with fries, instead of coleslaw.

I also risked being labeled an alcoholic again and ordered a Cosmopolitan, which was yummy. Even ET wanted to taste it.











The food was lovely. Rea refused point blank, for reasons of morality, to try my schnitzel – I swear that girl should be a vegetarian!

We all wanted dessert and I was determined to eat more than one mouthful of mine this time (back in August, I was so full I could barely eat a tiny bit).

Me and Reeny got key lime pie.



Sian and Chuck chose white chocolate cheesecake.



Gary had Crème Brulee.



Daniel had ice-cream (surprise, surprise) and Rea got smores.



Our server brought the check and Reeny asked what their share was, to which Gary told her not to worry, it was our treat. At this point, I am ashamed to say that I acted in a very un-Disney-like manner and got rather sulky. We had paid for pretty much every meal for the last week and this was, by far and away, the most expensive at well over $250. I just hadn’t budgeted for that amount and was slightly worried we would end up running out of money – so, yes, I sulked. And, yes, I think Chuck and Reeny picked up on it. And, yes, Gary got a monk on with me. And, yes, it was a pretty poor ending to a rather nice day. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and kept my mouth shut in future – and Chuck and Reeny coughed up for a couple of meals later in the week. So it was all good in the end!

Back at Old Key West, Sian, Rea and I got Gary to drop us off at Hospitality House so we could rent a DVD. We ended up choosing Snow Dogs after I had vetoed pretty much every other choice the girls made. We walked back down to the villa, enjoying the peace and quiet and the girls told me they were starting to get a bit fed up of the in-laws. I must admit, I hadn’t thought about how it might be impacting them but, it turns out, they felt much the same as me. Sian, in particular, felt that ‘Grandma’ kept picking on her so I told them just to try and do what I was doing and bite their tongue. I have to say, though, I think the pressure of a holiday with extended family was definitely getting to us all.

After getting back and putting Daniel to bed, we watched the film before heading off to bed ourselves. Tomorrow we’re off to Aquatica – can’t wait to see what it’s like!
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:31 AM   #2
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Some great photos of Daniel esp the one with Bruce the shark.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:47 AM   #3
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I love that photo of Daniel hugging Dora, Joh! It's gorgeous and so natural - brings a tear to my eye...

It's interesting what you say about holidaying with the in-laws - we only took DH's niece to WDW with us back in August 2006 (no MIL or SIL to really drive me insane) and that was enough hard work for us...
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:13 AM   #4
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Joh, I take my hat off to you for going away with your in-laws, I can honestly say I would never want to go away with my family

Lovely photos - especially Daniel and Dora - so cute
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:55 AM   #5
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Joh, I take my hat off to you for going away with your in-laws, I can honestly say I would never want to go away with my family
not only did she holiday with the in-laws now she has to contend with the longstaffs !!

i am taking notes on how to behave though

Joh im so jealous of the dora pics we missed her last year and i wanted a pic for the girls i look after
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:58 AM   #6
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Joh

All your food pics have made me very hungry. I love the picture of ET drinking your drink.

Honestly I do think you may have a problem with alcohol as this must be about the third alcoholic drink of this holiday and you have been there 10 days - steady on girl. I think your MIL has a point

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Old 06-16-2008, 10:05 AM   #7
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Joh

All your food pics have made me very hungry. I love the picture of ET drinking your drink.

Honestly I do think you may have a problem with alcohol as this must be about the third alcoholic drink of this holiday and you have been there 10 days - steady on girl. I think your MIL has a point

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I definitely did have an alcohol problem - not enough of it
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:34 AM   #8
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Another wonderful trip report and photos.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:54 AM   #9
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Excellent day Joh,but a shame about the in-laws and it all seemed to go downhill after that.I think you deserve a pat on the back,for the amount of times you have bitten your tongue.I love the pictures of Daniel+Dora-they are really great.The fish at Lombards looks really tasty,crispy.we have never eaten there but believe it could now be on our to do list next year-was it pricy Joh?We can't wait to ride The Simpsons either.The desserts+the ribs look great from Wolfgang Puck Cafe.x.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:55 AM   #10
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I definitely did have an alcohol problem - not enough of it
.

By Natalie's comment i now know it's Natalie+her family you are going away with,as i asked you a question on another thread you started.Hope you all have a blast.x.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:07 PM   #11
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i am taking notes on how to behave though
Natalie,you will be fine as long as you go where she want's,do what she say's+pay your way for all the food ,and act blind to her alcoholism+sulks .x.







Only kidding Joh.x.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #12
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Great report, Joh.
I have to agree with Rea about the veal though. I still remember when Gary told me about veal production and I haven't touched it since!
Love the pics of Daniel and Dora.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:48 PM   #13
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excellent piccies. I do sympathise with the in-laws - you are a brave woman venturing on holiday with them in tow.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:17 AM   #14
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Great photos sounds like a lovely day.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:50 AM   #15
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Lovely day, the food looks great.
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