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Old 04-13-2010, 01:16 AM   #76
burly
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Just read it all! I'm in! Awesome report, beautiful family.
Good times.....
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #77
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Amber,

I was blinking back tears reading about your family at the Christmas party (I think I'm getting very emotional the closer we get to our trip -- leaving this Saturday!). What a beautiful write-up, and beautiful family (and I'm not just talking about outward looks). I'm so glad you all got to have Christmas together!
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #78
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Great day! Great report! You are getting me excited!!!
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:51 AM   #79
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Amber,

I am sitting here in tears reading this!! What a magical day for your entire family!!! I am so happy that you were all able to celebrate Christmas together. Simply Beautiful!!!

Can't wait to read the next installment! The village is closed???
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #80
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YOu have me in tears also...happy tears of course! What a great report. I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:25 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burly View Post
Just read it all! I'm in! Awesome report, beautiful family.
Good times.....
Aww thanks, I'll keep them. The funny thing about this trip, I forgot my make-up bag in the car, and didn't realise until we had already left...so the whole trip I'm make-upless, so of course I hate any picture with me in it!

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Originally Posted by Wee Annie View Post
Amber,

I was blinking back tears reading about your family at the Christmas party (I think I'm getting very emotional the closer we get to our trip -- leaving this Saturday!). What a beautiful write-up, and beautiful family (and I'm not just talking about outward looks). I'm so glad you all got to have Christmas together!
I'm so glad we got to have Christmas together. This trip really brought home how holiday's are so special, not becuase of the day on the calander, but because of the family you have around you. My kids are all so amazing, and I'm just delighted you can see that spirit in them.

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Great day! Great report! You are getting me excited!!!
Oh get excited! I can't believe how fast it came and went, so hold on to the excitement of the before...soon it will be after!

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Originally Posted by pnutallergymom View Post
Amber,

I am sitting here in tears reading this!! What a magical day for your entire family!!! I am so happy that you were all able to celebrate Christmas together. Simply Beautiful!!!

Can't wait to read the next installment! The village is closed???
Now I totally get why they do Christmas every week. This was the best gift anyone could have given us, bigger than the parks, or the trip, it was magic. And as a teaser YES, the village gets closed you'll find out why soon

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YOu have me in tears also...happy tears of course! What a great report. I can't wait to hear more!
wait until the last night....that one gonna really get ya
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:15 PM   #82
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Hi Amber, great update and I agree Christmas is the best. Cant wait to hear why the village is closed!
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:37 AM   #83
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oh my gosh!!! I am just in tears.

What a WONDERFUL day!

I do hope that you will send a copy of your report (especially that day) to GKTW. That is the kind of thing that they LOVE to hear - best day ever!!

Thank you so very much for sharing your trip with us!!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:07 PM   #84
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Day 4- CLOSED?!

DAY 4-
We had gone to bed pretty late Christmas night, and by the time the 7am alarm sounded it felt as though we had only just gone to sleep. I was so tired I kept convincing hubby to sleep a few more minutes, but my darling husband is the early bird, worm and all, and finally got me up with the promise of coffee and sunshine. Our rhythm of getting up early, and enjoying the day before waking the kids was proving to be one of the best parts of our trip for us. This morning we ordered the coffee cart to come around, because I was hoping they had flavored creamer, which they did not. I am a little bit addicted to Coffee Mate, and hadn’t had any since we started the trip. I realized on day 4 I actually only marginally enjoy coffee, it’s the creamer that I LOVE. The excitement of today was enough to get me motivated, and enough to get the kids out of their warm beds, even though they were just as exhausted as I was.
A tangle of children. Even though everyone had their own bed, four ended up in one.

Today was Universal Studio’s day! We were hopeful that we could do both US and IOA all in one day. Our plan was US today, then Animal Kingdom day 5, and Epcot Day 6. If we had time to come back to IOA after we had done Epcot, we would. The day started as all the other days had, breakfast at the Gingerbread House, a little moseying around the village, then off to the park. We parked at the US parking lot, in the handicap parking and started walking. We had been getting a free stroller at each park, and at all the Disney parks and Sea World the handicap parking had us less than 5 minutes from the main gate, with very little walking. Not US! Mackenzie is 5, and yes, probably spoiled, but overall completely capable of a good walk. In my opinion this was a little father than just a “good walk”. It took us about 15 minutes of hard walking to get to the gate, and another 5-10 before we had a stroller. They only reason this was a chore is because we didn’t have a stroller of our own. This is merely a heads up to anyone who is using the stroller rental option; know that the walk to US and IOA is a pretty good trek, even from the handicap parking.
Walking in US…we did more walking than riding


Macylea Walking

Macylea and Elijah in the kiddy zone


We finally got under way and started going on rides. The first ride we wanted to do was Jimmy Neutron. This was our first taste of waiting in line. Apparently at US/IOA a family can pay about $100 per person and have a private escort who travels the park with them and gets them to the front of every line. These groups get top priority. Ok, no big deal, we waited….then we finally got into the building and waited a little more. While waiting for the doors to open so we could board an announcement came over the speakers and informed us that the ride had broke, and everyone would have to come back later. Minor set back. We took off for the rest of the park. Overall the rides at US were pretty boring compared to Disney. This was unanimous from all of us. Jaws was ok, Twister was a waste of time, none of them were so good that you walked out and thought, wow, lets do that again! The best ride we found at US was the Simpson ride, but it is a simulator ride, and by now we’ve figured out that our family doesn’t do simulator rides well. We rode it and all got so sick we had to break for lunch. We ate at the diner right out of the Simpson ride. Mike and I went in and ordered the meals and when we paid the cashier noticed our pins and asked if we were a wish family. We told her yes and she gave us 20% off of our meal! She said it’s not policy, but that she does it for wish families.
Mike and Mackenzie eating at US

The rest of the gang getting fed, we hardly ever found one table big enough for us all



After we ate we went to the kiddy area, and played a few minutes, but it was a little too wet and too young for our family. We tried Jimmy Neutron again, but it was still closed. At this point everyone wanted to go to IOA, since that’s where the best rides seem to be.
At IOA we enjoyed the rides more. Everyone that is, except Mackenzie who was so affronted at the Popeye ride, she cried the entire time and screamed when she was hit with water. After that I learned she doesn’t do any water rides…so I missed out on a few rides to wait with her. There were two rides my family really wanted to go. The Jurassic Park ride, and the Dueling Dragons. We went to the JP ride, got up to the front and guess what? The ride was broken and had to be closed, for the day! My kids were pretty disappointed, but they still had DD, and so we went there. We walked past the new Harry Potter area, which looked amazing and we all thought it would be great to come back when it’s finished. Mackenzie and I waited at the exit, while everyone else went to the front of the line for DD. After about 15 minutes, people started to come out the exit, LOTS of people, then people started saying that the ride was broke….and that there were people stuck on it! I started getting pretty scared for James, since it would have been very bad for him to be stuck, when finally my family emerged. It had just taken so long for the line of people to exit. DD was closed down, you guessed, for the day. At this point we had two options, go to Seusville, or just go back to GKTW and go swimming. It was a glorious day, and the decision was easy, we all wanted to head back to the village. We planned on trying to come back our last day to ride the broken down rides, and go to Seusville. The walk back to the car was even worse for Mackenzie; she was tired, getting hungry and just pissy. Dakota carried her all the way back to the van.
We were all so happy to be spending some time at GKTW. It would be early when we got back, before 6pm, so we were also going to finally do James’ star, and play at Amberville, and do the Pirate and Princess Party the kids had all wanted to do.
We got back to the villa, and there was a note on the table. The Gingerbread house was closed due to an illness in the village. Not only was the Gingerbread House closed, but so was everything else…the castle of Miracles, the swimming pool, Amberville. And that night’s activity, the Pirate and Princess Party was canceled! Our kids were all pretty sad little guys. They couldn’t even get ice cream  . Of Corse we couldn’t help but wonder “did we bring in this bug”? With Mike being sick on the airplane down, we not only were sad about the village being closed, we were mortified that we may have caused this! After we ordered dinner from Katie’s Kitchen, we got the kids all cozy and glued to ICarly. Mike and I went to Wal-Mart and bought tons of fresh fruit, including a whole pineapple. We do not get fresh produce often in Alaska, and never of this caliber. We also bought two kinds of ice cream treats and some popcorn. Even though we were sad about the night being a bust, we ended up having a nice “family night” watching ICarly (we love that show!) and eating fruit and ice cream. Had we known what would happen next though, we would have done some things different!

Day 5- Can it get any worse?
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:33 PM   #85
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Oh no!

That is the first really bad review I have ever read from a Wish Family at Universal?!?

Did they not acknowledge the magic button? Or the Universal GAC?

How disappointing!

And what is up with an illness at the village? That sounds very odd indeed! Did you ever find out what was wrong?

I am truly sorry you guys had a rough day! We had a couple of those on our trip and it is no fun at all!
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:53 PM   #86
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You sure know how to build the suspense!!! Sorry your day at US/IOA was kind of a bust, but you guys seem to roll with the punches pretty well. I'm curious to know what happens next!! I'm loving your TR!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:04 PM   #87
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Quote:
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Oh no!

That is the first really bad review I have ever read from a Wish Family at Universal?!?

Did they not acknowledge the magic button? Or the Universal GAC?

How disappointing!

And what is up with an illness at the village? That sounds very odd indeed! Did you ever find out what was wrong?

I am truly sorry you guys had a rough day! We had a couple of those on our trip and it is no fun at all!
I think US was just a little boring for us. As far as the button, they did acknowledge it, but we were always after the groups that had paid, even if the group came in after we did, they were brought to the front. It wasn't that big of a deal, since US doesn't have a "fast pass" but instead sells the right to get to the front of the line for about $20, there was never too much of a line for anything. It was just interesting that we would get bumped back for the high spenders who choose to pay for an escort. Does that make sense?

Our wish granter said after we got back that the illness was the Norovirus, like what you hear about on cruises...as for whether we caused it, all I can say is I really really hope not



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You sure know how to build the suspense!!! Sorry your day at US/IOA was kind of a bust, but you guys seem to roll with the punches pretty well. I'm curious to know what happens next!! I'm loving your TR!!
We definitely enjoyed IOA more than US, and given an opportunity, we'd do IOA, but not US. The TR gets crazier...but we are are kind of the Murphy's Law family
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:24 PM   #88
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Enjoying your trip report so far can not wait for the next installment. I too on previous trips have experienced US and IOA rides that have broken down then been closed for the day, they also appear to be the same rides, it's such a big disappointment.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:41 PM   #89
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Oh, Amber,
What a bummer about the village being closed -- esp after you guys were so looking forward to the night there!

Funny now, but we went a couple of weeks after you and I would laugh when everytime we went into the Gingerbread house, somebody would say, feel free to use our "Purell"! It makes a lot of sense, now!!

And not to spoil any suprises in our TR, but we were on several rides when they broke down, but none at US/IOA, fortunately. Both parks were really dead the day we went there --- thankfully!

I hope it gets better -- but from your next title, I'm guessing it doesn't?? Hopefully you can laugh about it now -- which is what we had to do with many of our "MISTAKES" on our trip!!!

Can't wait for more!!!!

Blessings,

PS -- Can soooo relate to the "pissy" factor....we had our share of that too!!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:17 PM   #90
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Oh geez what a day you all had. I'm glad you were all able to have a good family night.
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