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Old 06-09-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
Karpkg
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A Fantasy/Sci Fi Family of 4 Memorial Trip! 2010

Family of 4 Sci Fi/Fantasy Trip June 2010


We did a combination Star Wars Weekend 2 and 3 with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in between. Fantastic yet exhausting trip. I need a vacation to get over my vacation!

Index

Introduction

Preplanning

Saturday, May 29
-Magic Kingdom Day

Sunday, May 30
-SWW Wknd 2 Day 1
-Jedi Training Academy (JTA)
-Staying at the Royal Pacific Resort

Monday, May 31 Memorial Day
-Universal

Tuesday, June 1
-Harry Potter
-Islands of Adventure
-Luau Night at the Royal Pacific Resort

Wednesday June 3
-Harry Potter
-Pics and Detailed Descriptions of Hogsmeade Village
-Scooby Doo Character Dinner at Aloha's

Thursday, June 4
-Harry Potter
-IOA
-Character Breakfast at Confisco Grills
-Universal

-Back at Disney World
-Boardwalk Villas
-Animal Kingdom


Friday SWW Wknd 3 Day 2

Saturday SWW Wknd 3 Last Day

Introduction
Hello Everybody!

We are a family of 4 hailing from Atlanta, Ga. (Actually Woodstock, 1 hr north of Atlanta) Me and DH have been married for 12.5 yrs, knew each other for 5 earlier, and have 1 DD, age 7 and 1 DS, almost 6. Our 2nd trip as a family but have never been to Star Wars Weekend or Universal/Islands of Adventure.



After this photo all pics of me and family will be sweaty and hot so I had to post one good pic!


Preplanning

I started planning for this trip Jan/Feb 2010. We combined a timeshare promo(3 night free hotel in exchange for timeshare meeting), and the use of the volunteer program this year at Disney (GAD-Give A Day Get A Day) to maximize an impromptu vacation. Our plan was to do this over Memorial Day week. So we did Star Wars Wknd 2, Harry Potter in between and finished with Star Wars Wknd 3.

The GAD vouchers we'll exchange to annual passholders since we already have a bounceback planned in September 2010. Doing this really helped out our Disney portion of the trip! Through the Disboards Universal forums I bought the Universal/IOA tickets thru Viator.com; their 14 day 2 park pass was pricewise equivalent to a 3 day pass for the 4 of us. A few weeks later, they changed their requirement for non-US citizens only. They're based out of Switzerland, and I believe it was common type ticket for non-US visitors.

We planned the first 3 nights to be at the freebie hotel nights(turned out to be Comfort Inn), we wouldn't know until we got to their tourist bureau(BlueGreen resort check in). The next 3 nights I booked at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universals on March 23. Little did I know that 2 days later I would find out that the opening for Harry Potter, tentatively scheduled for May 28 would be moved to June 18 and now only onsite guests booking before March 25 would get to see the soft opening. Hurray for us! The last 2 nights I booked at the Boardwalk Villas at Disney specifically so I could walk to Hollywood Studios. More on that later.

For the trip I had planned on matching t shirts that I would make, a different design/day. I also made autographs specifically for Universal, Islands of Adventure and Star Wars Weekend. Some of the Star Wars I downloaded from Creative Disigns, courtesy of Disboards, the Universal/IOA ones I exclusively made. I started working on the designs February until the week we left, always tweaking them. Let me tell you, we got a HUGE response, especially the Harry Potter t shirt designs.



I chose the three freebie nights starting Friday night last day of school. We left by 12:30 pm, I pulled the kids out at noon. We drove from Woodstock, GA taking a few breaks and arrived at Bluegreen Fountains Resort where the timeshare meeting was going to be. We found the hotel we would be staying at, Comfort Inn, checked in and promptly were in bed by 11:30 pm.

I had tentatively scheduled Magic Kingdom that Saturday. I made no ADR's that day because I didn't know when the Bluegreens people would schedule their meeting(9:30AM). We did their meeting, they tried their best to sell us their vacation-share and we refused. Took 3 hrs, we were out of there and at MK by 1 pm.





Saturday, MK Day

We didn't have a touring plan this day, again I didn't even know what time we'd arrive and what we'd accomplish. This was a go with the flow day. First thing I did was exchange the GAD vouchers for AP's. Then once inside we went to Guest Relations where I bought a Tables In Wonderland (TIW) card. This is a dining card that AP'ers can get a discount on TS meals. Then I tried for any ADR's in MK. Nope, nada, not a thing. So we left.

The kids wanted to go on Aladdin's Ride so that's where we went. We first tried to go on the train to get to Frontierland but because of the rain it wasn't running. Got great pic of the castle though.





Along the way we saw mama duck with her ducklings that we promptly named Donald and Daisy.



We hadn't seen the Hall of Presidents last Sept. since they installed the new Obama figure. That was quick, it was fairly empty considering MK was packed outside. We were starving by now so I suggested Columbia House since I heard we could eat upstairs and the food was good. Turned out my fish sticks were so so and DH's tuna sandwich actually was a tuna salad sandwich and he wouldn't eat that. Kids had PB&J and Mac & Cheese w/grapes. Line was too long to go back so DH ate his vegetarian chili instead.



We did the Aladdin ride and the kids loved that.






On our way to Big Thunder it started to rain. We grabbed Fast Passes and left. Splash Mountain was closed. We ducked into the Pirates of the Carribean and rode it, stayed in the store and played around while I got the ponchos out.



We headed back out to use our FP's and ride Big Thunder. Splash Mountain was closed. In the rain. Can you believe that?

It was a deluge! Since we had our ponchos we headed out and walked on to Toontown. All rides were closed along the way. Socks and shoes were drenched.

Here we are at the Fairy's tent.







My pictures of the fairies didn't turn out. I'll have to wait until the photopass CD comes out, thank goodness for those. But while we were there we saw Tinkerbell, Irridessa and Terence, the newest fairy.



Still raining but we ducked into Mickey's tent. I was hoping to see more but only saw Mickey and Minnie.



By now it's 6:30 pm. I remembered Disney's reservation number (407 WDW DINE) and tried calling for a reservation anywhere. No dice. I decided to try for a walk in at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Success!

Hot food, plenty of food, DH was starving. The meal was already set- I remember mashed potatoes, ham, turkey, dressing, salad, rolls- reminded me of Thanksgiving. Ice cream and apple cobbler for dessert. I had hot tea, the kids wanted hot chocolate and the waitress went to hunt some hot cocoa down because it's only served seasonally. But the kids were wet and cold and they lucked out. We had a fantastic waitress. Used the TIW card here.

Just as we went outside SpectroMagic Parade was starting. So we stayed where we were, on the steps of the Liberty Tree Tavern and watched the parade.






It's 9 PM but I was determined to get on another ride. We hadn't gone on Space Mtn last sept. because of the refurbishment so we headed there, crossing our fingers that the fireworks were going to make the lines low. 30 min. wait! Better than nothing so we went in.




After that we headed for Buzz Lightyear.






We hadn't tried Stitch Escape before so we went into that. It was an okay attraction. I can say I've done it but may not repeat it. It's almost 11pm and we prepare to leave. MK isn't closing yet but we've got to get ready for Star Wars. We head out and in bed by midnight.



Bye MK!


Next day, Star Wars!
__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

Last edited by Karpkg; 07-06-2010 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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Love your TR so far!! A co-worker came back in early May and said his little girls got to meet Terence (they didn't know there was a male fairy). Your kids are so adorable - you are a beautiful family!!

Can't wait to read all about Star Wars too!
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:06 PM   #3
Karpkg
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Sunday- Star Wars Weekend Day 1


Here was my Star Wars Plan of Attack:

1) Character Autographs

2) Jedi Training Academy

3) Rides

I researched extensively for what Star Wars Weekend would be like. Based on Berlioz character website and past reports, I made character autograph cards for just about everybody I thought would be there. I had a few I downloaded from the Disboard's Creative Disigns section, so I'll go ahead and thank Chaoscent and Donatalie for theirs. Thanks Gals!



We got there in time to see the Stormtroopers and Bobba Fett up on the roof of the gates. They were pointing their guns at us and waving us thru.




I've been reading up how they've been tweaking the Jedi Training Academy(JTA) sign ups. The latest info I got was that they were doing fastpasses(FP) for them at the Sounds Dangerous stage, next to the American Idol. So, I told DH to go and get FP's for Toy Story Mania(TSM) and then meet us at the Backlot Tour where Darth Vader was going to be.

At 9:00 we were at the Echo Lake rope drop area. At 9:04 we were in line for JTA, and me and the kids were in the middle.

The funniest thing was how many husbands were in line, frantically calling their wives to "hurry up" and get the kids to them before they get to the front of the line! Continuous announcements were being made that the children must be present in order to receive the fastpasses. That line was long and it was already so hot and humid. Tip: get a fan/water spritzer from Walmart off season, $1-3 bucks. Disney's were I think $7-9 bucks. It really helped a lot.



In front of me:


Behind me:



We ended up in the 4:15 time slot!





We met up with DH at the Darth Vader line. His line was already long but DH had been in line for us for 10-15 min. before we showed up. Total wait, 30 min. I heard he averages an hour.
It was fun watching him pose with the public. We definitely made use of the photopass photographers for him and all the characters. Highly recommend getting the photo CD for this event.


We already planned on coming for wknd 3 for the 2nd day and so we mostly stayed on the "dark force" side. We learned to time trying to get in line for the character we wanted by asking the CM's what time they were due and jumping into the line 10 minutes before it would show up and the other switch off. Plan on spending 20-30 minutes in line per character.

Fantastic area for roaming characters. Now as you can see the kids were dressed as Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. They got a lot of reaction from roaming characters and I think because the kids were dressed up the characters were more willing to stop and "play" with the kids.
We got Zam Wessell who circled DS a lot this way.





It allowed me to get them to stop and be willing to pose and get autographs. Usually they would rather move into the crowds than to pose and let a crowd gather.

By now it's 11AM and we've got to hunt for a spot for the Motorcade Parade. We squeezed a place at the American Idol area.


We ended up seeing the parade 3 times during our SWW stay so I'll post pics of the 501st Legion characters that were different each day.





I thought the most different characters we saw was during that Sunday parade.

Fans that were dressed up that DS got to take a pic with. I believe that group was from Australia just guessing from their accents.



It was sooo hot and humid! Plan for lots of free cups of water. Lines for lunch were long even at 2:00 at the Pizza Planet, seats upstairs were full so we sat on the ledges outside.

Couple more character shots, then it was time for the Jedi Training Academy.

__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

Last edited by Karpkg; 06-15-2010 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
Karpkg
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Jedi Training Academy (JTA)

On a regular, Hollywood Studios Day if you wanted your kids in the JTA you would show up prior to the show and they would pick kids from the audience. We expectant parents would have our kids yell, scream, jump whatever to catch their attention and hopefully have our darlings picked. That's what we did last September, 2009. We visited HS 3 separate days and it was the last day where our son was finally picked. When your child is not picked, it's quite a letdown, let me tell you.

Since then they started picking kids after a show for the next show. I guess it was easier for the family to leave if not picked than to be "tortured" if your family wasn't picked and then stand through the show or to fight the crowds to leave everyone knowing you weren't picked. Well, because this was Star Wars Weekend, the selection process changes again.

I like this idea; fast passes. Open to anyone who manages to get in line early enough for their child to be in the show. No selection process, it's unbiased. And you know when to show up.

We got our fastpasses and were told to show up at the Sounds Dangerous Stage at 4:10. We show up; DH is directed to find a place near the stage and I stay with the kids. They receive a card, a Padawan In Training Card. Single file line we head back to JTA where the Padawan helpers collect them, get the kids dressed and ready.




In a regular event I'm going to guess 10-15 kids per show. It's double the kids for SWW. 1st set of kids are on stage fighting Darth Vader. Second set of kids are on the floor in front of the stage fighting Ventress. The host helps out with Darth Vader, Asoka Tano helps the Padawan against Ventress. Our kids were fighting Ventress.




DH and I were in separate parent areas. I'm on the far right with a video camera in one hand and camera in the other. DS being shown a move by Asoka. Yep, things you do for the kids!



Kids received their Certificate, but in addition they also received a Star Wars Figure Toy! DH took a look at the packaging when we got home and he noticed something different. The toys were imported; the packaging were from the UK and Australia, not US. Pretty Cool!



We had early dinner at the Brown Derby at 5:30 pm and used the TIW card. Food was very good; I had the Loch Daurt Salmon and DH had the Spiced Rubbed Grouper. Because it was so hot outside light seafood seemed to be the answer.

I had wanted to see the Hyperspace Hoopla at 7 pm but we were cutting it close and people say you should already be at the stage during the last JTA to have a good spot. I read too many complaints that the area was too small to see everything so we nixed the idea and instead used our FP's for TSM. Then we checked out the Dark Bounty limited edition SW store.



The kids played with the CM and a $200 lightsaber. Incandescent, LED from base to tip. Pretty cool, but nope, stick with the plastic lightsaber, kids.



Not many people in the store, I heard lines are incredible at times. I guess it's best to be in there after 7pm.

We did the Star Tours ride, said good-bye to it because it'll be under renovation and closed to us come September. It really needed to be updated, though.

Bye Hollywood Studios! See you next week! Tomorrow it's Universal!





  1. Autographs collected this day:
  2. Darth Vader
  3. Zam Wessell
  4. Bobba Fett
  5. Queen Amidala
  6. Kit Fisto
  7. Asajj Ventress
  8. Clone Trooper
  9. Anakin Skywalker
  10. Asoka Tano
  11. Mace Windu
  12. Jawas
  13. Captain Rex
__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

Last edited by Karpkg; 06-15-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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Memorial Day- Universal Day

June 1, 2010 Staying at Royal Pacific Resort

We wake up, pack and check out of Comfort Inn. We're excited again, it's a new park to try. We program our route on the GPS (thank goodness for that, we'd be lost without it) and away we go. We're heading to Loew's Pacific Royal Resort for 3 fabulous nights, yeah!

It's a very lush setting. You encounter a covered bridge, crossing it to get into the hotel.



View on your right from the bridge.


View on your left.


You encounter a pair of these that beckon you in.


Lobby



Absolutely loved the decor.



Courtyard

Opposite End


Off the lobby



Our room! We were placed on the ground floor. (Lobby was on third floor). Easy access to outside, just a few doors down to the pool and walkway to the parks. Very convenient!




There is an area for the young at heart at one side of the pool where there's water cannons, squirt machines, the boat that kids and adults go to and spray cold water to unsuspecting swimmers. Lots of fun!


Stock photo of the waterway where you'd dock a water taxi to the parks. Beautiful!




__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
Karpkg
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June 1 Memorial Day at Universal Studios

We checked in our hotel around 11AM. Dropped off our bags, asked directions to the water taxi and away we go. We get to the walkway overlooking the water taxi and see it take off. Oh well, we'll go on the walkway I've heard about to Universal.



We encounter a bicycle taxi and DH impulsively gets in. No pic, but it's a little bicycle cart that the 4 of us squeeze in and away we go, the poor guy bicycling us in the heat. He tells us a little about IOA and US and we tip him generously when we get to the CityWalk.

On the map, we're coming from the right side. The first park we encounter as we walk is Islands of Adventure. If you go on the water taxi, they let you off opposite of Universal Studios which is further down to the left.


Heading toward Universal Studios


Nascar Grill on the right. Water Taxi Landing area.


As we walk along we spy Hard Rock Cafe and veer off for lunch.




Gorgeous place, looks brand new, good food, expensive in my opinion. But, we're on vacation. I'll wince at the credit card when we get home. I knew I should have grabbed the HRC gift cards at BJ's where it was discounted!

Now, I chose the 1st day at Universals because it opened later than IOA and after reading the forums people say you can get through it fairly quickly. Since a lot of the rides we couldn't go on due to the kids, here's a map of what we did. We got there by 1pm, we left by 6pm.



We started at the Jimmy Neutron ride. We had front of the line passes(FOTL) using our hotel card and that onsite guest perk is unbelievable, especially in the heat and humidity. Pic of example:



DD is walking backwards. No one in front of us. Looong line to the right of us. Average wait time for us? 5 minutes.

Jimmy Neutron ride; it was unlike any ride I'd been on in Disney. You enter a holding room where the storyline lasts 10-15 min. From there you enter a theatre where there are "cars" you get into. The screen in front of you becomes the 3D and the simulator you're in is pretty realistic. I felt like we were flying through the cartoon. Pretty awesome!

The ride empties into their store and that's where SpongeBob hangs out for pics and autographs. Currently not there but I'll get an autograph next time.

Right across the street was the Shrek 3D show, and that was a similar experience except you enter a theatre and the seats have minor special effects, kind of like the Disney's AK It's Tough to Be A Bug attraction. Again, you end up in a store and I find Princess Fiona and Shrek characters outside the attraction to the right across the street. Pics and autographs again another day.

We go on the Twister and it's more like a tour than a ride. You walk through twister "debris", then you see an example of a twister simulator. Wind blowing through your hair, the heat from a blast was actually uncomfortably close. Reminds me a little of the backlot tour at Universal Studios in California.

We cross in front of Revenge of the Mummy but that's too intense and not for the kids so we pass on. But not before pics.



We duck into their store and play a bit to escape from the heat.


Boy, it's hot!


For a Memorial Day, not many people around.



Jaws- DS favorite attraction. He kept asking questions about the shark- does it really like to eat people, are they really in lakes, can we do it again? DD was really afraid, she was caught unprepared when it popped out of the lagoon in front of her. Of course, DS blinked but wanted to see more.

Again, no photography beyond this point. Quite a bummer, actually.



Next on our map was #6, or The Simpson Ride.



View from top of the building still walking in line.


Those squirt fans were actually necessary in this heat!


Holding room waiting to get into our ride room. See a pattern?




Bart was hanging around outside so DS got a pic and autograph.


MIB was next.

Again, I can only compare to Disney rides. This one reminds me a little like Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios and Buzz Lightyear at the Magic Kingdom. Darker theme but humorous, you're basically taking potshots at the bad monsters. I think if you tell your kids they'll be given the opportunity to shoot at the bad monsters that were hiding in the closets and under the bed, they'd go for that.

Shots of US across the water at Hollywood's Rip Roaring Rockit (I think)




__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

Last edited by Karpkg; 06-11-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
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We encounter Alex the Lion and the Madagascar Penguins just as they were leaving. Darn! Next time.



We're heading now into the kids section when we spy Scooby Doo and Friends about to do their show.

So we wait and watch.



Afterwards they have autographs and pic taking ops.
Loved Scooby Doo and Shaggy. Voices, actions all mimic like the cartoon characters and the kids were enthralled. We even had a Scooby Doo fruit snack that I quickly gave to the kids to give to Scooby and Shaggy. They were surprised and loved it.



The Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George were sooo interactive and a riot. Curious George tried to stick my head in his mouth to the kids' delight and the man in the yellow hat would tickle DD for the picture taking. She and DS couldn't stop laughing.





Woody and Winnie Woodpecker were next, and Winnie was soo pleased that I knew her name and had her autograph page made for her.(Again, researching the Universal forums!)




Clowning around in Fieval Land. Reminds me of Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground in Disney's HS.








The Woody Rollercoaster ride, shorter than Disney's Toontown Barnstormer.





It starts to rain and we throw on our ponchos. I already made reservations at Bice's at the Portofino Hotel at 7:30 PM so we decide to leave. We catch the water taxi at 5:45 and get back to our hotel to change out of wet socks and shoes.

Just a few hours ago this place is now rainy and cloudy.




Bye Universal!

I wish I knew how formal Bice (pronounced Bee-chay) was going to be. We're walking in with our Marvel park t shirts and I felt very self-conscious but the maitre de was a nice young guy who chatted with us for a while. The waiter felt like a former butler so try nodding regally at him when giving your food requests, haha! I chose the place because I had a gift certificate from restaurant.com I wanted to use. Made reservations 30 days in advance (ha, no one was there) and the food was good. Different from Disney where their restaurants are always full 180 days out. Well, food was good.

Headed back to our hotel (we used our car, too far to walk and too late for a water taxi) and off to bed. Harry Potter in the morning!

__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
Karpkg
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Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I was told to bring this paper in because the hotel didn't know exactly how they would screen us when we entered Harry Potter.



Actually, we only needed our hotel key card because it had the dates of our stay on it. I don't know how they were screening for those who got in before March 25 but hey, we're going to see Harry Potter and that's all that matters!

The line at 7:15 AM.



They had COWS(computers on wheels) situated outside the entrance for extra finger scanning. I wish I went through those at first as they were faster and worked quickly. The regular gate took too long as some people's fingerprints didn't scan and that was frustrating watching the other people go by quickly.



Marching quickly to the once blocked off area.



Map to give you an idea of Harry Potter's World. We start off in the village, go through it. Two of the rides will then be on the left outside of the village (Dragon's Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff), and in front of you is the 3rd and grandest ride of them all, the Forbidden Journey.




Yes! We're inside Hogsmeade Village!







These guys were excited to see us. Butter Beer, anyone?


Going through the town. We'll check it out later. Heading straight for the castle!


The Owlery to the right.


Town views on the left


Ollivander's Wand Shop, more on that later


Out of the Village and looking straight ahead.


Flight of the Hippogriff on your right.


As you enter the castle door, a student greets you and directs you to the lockers.



At this point I'm going to post threads I did as soon as I got back from HP.

Check out post #345 and #350.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....475970&page=23

Then I did a Ride Report.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2483779


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* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

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Old 06-11-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
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We would go through Harry Potter in 3 1/2 hrs before they kicked us out. There's a lot to see and do. The first thing that everyone does is head straight for the castle. With a soft opening, on average a person can get through in 30-40 minutes. Once it is completely opened to the public, I'm going to guess adding an hour to that time. But what's nice is that there is so much in that line to look and see that it's completely awesome.

After getting out of the castle and Forbidden Journey we headed to the ride that everyone could ride, Flight of the Hippogriff. Again, I posted a bunch of pics and more detailed report in this thread.

Harry Potter Rides Report W/Pics

We went on that ride literally back to back several times in a row. For the kids' sake.

Loved the Hippogriff!







We saw the Olivander's Wand Shop demonstration. Because only a limited amount of people are allowed in the shop per show, we chose to head there first thing in the mornings. Otherwise, like that first day, the wait line can be very long.






When the show finishes you're directed into the Owl Post.

You come out of this green door. (Harry Potter's, Hermione's, Ron Weasley wands are in that corner)


And you're facing this side. The shop is very small. I took pics when the place was closing down.


Looking up.




To your left the owl post opens up to Dervish and Banges, the merchandise store.





Looking up.


What's cute is the Monster book in a cage that draws your attention in the middle of the store. He growls at you and shows his teeth. When you least expect it he moves forward as if to attack you but is still hampered by the cage. DS was fascinated by it.




__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

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Old 06-11-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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Wow... fantastic pictures. The Harry Potter stuff looks so cool. Great job taking so many pictures.

We were in Universal a few days before you and Fievel area was closed. Too bad, DD would have had a blast there.

Looking foward to more.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkxray View Post
Wow... fantastic pictures. The Harry Potter stuff looks so cool. Great job taking so many pictures.

We were in Universal a few days before you and Fievel area was closed. Too bad, DD would have had a blast there.

Looking foward to more.
Thanks! More to come. I'm a camera happy person. Love the digital camera age, I would rather take pics of too much of everything and anything. I could always delete later.

Outside shots of the Owl Post.





On the right side of the Owl Post is this window display, and you'll hear voices of people (Ron Weasley's mom?) as if coming from inside the store arguing about the mail.




Behind the Owl Post is the Dervish And Banges store. I thought the name meant food, (I was getting hungry) but no, it's the merchandise store's main entrance.








I read in one of the news articles that the store actually sells replicas of broomsticks around $1-3000? In one of my previous ceiling store shots you'll see 3 broomsticks as if they're hovering.



__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:04 AM   #12
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3 Broomsticks

3 Broomsticks

It's 10:30 AM. We walk in just to take pics and we're surrounded. "Are you hungry? We're serving breakfast. Would you like to eat? Please come in!"

"Of course we will!"





The place was deserted. Literally. I thought it would be closed to only those who had the Harry Potter Hotel Package(They get the 3 Broomstick breakfast package, we only paid for onsite stay, nothing else) Apparently they open it up to general public after 10:30A. (We tried the next day at 9:30AM but we're told to come back after 10:30A)

You come in and see a nicely lit up menu.



Actual food on display in the window to your left in line. It's dark in here and I didn't change camera settings, so sorry for blurriness.



You order here.


and here at the right. You pick up food in front of you.



Another shot of where you pick up food. See what I mean by nobody around?


I had the smoked salmon and pumpkin juice. Sorry for the blurriness!



DH had the continental breakfast.




Kids split an adult pancake breakfast. No pics, they were already scarfing it down. It was not a pretty shot!

Pics around me.





I was told that "magical" things happen on the walls around me. Well, DD would shout out loud "Look!" I'd turn my head and see nothing. "An owl went by!" Well, sweetie, finish your breakfast. But mommy, look! Well, didn't catch any shots, you'll just have to see the place for yourself!



The lunch menu as we were leaving. At the time, they weren't serving lunch during our vacation stay.



Hogshead Brew is at the far end of the restaurant. I run ahead and grab quick pics.



Right side



Left side



Far left side is an inn door for "the inn guests upstairs". It's roped off. Listen closely and you'll hear the inn guests conversing as if from upstairs.


It's now 11:30 and the security guards are lined up at the far end of the village and as they work their way down are shooing us toward the exit. DH and DS go use the bathroom and DD and I wait in The Owlery.

Here's an earlier shot in the morning.


When it was emptied out and just DD and I.



We're at one end of the The Owlery and facing the front of The Owl Post, behind you can see Dervish and Banges.


As we're heading out, DH mentions to me to use the bathroom here the next day. ???? Moaning Myrtle's giggling in the stalls!
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Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *

Last edited by Karpkg; 06-12-2010 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:46 PM   #13
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Islands of Adventure (IOA)

Islands of Adventure

It's now noon. We've been kicked out of Harry Potter so we're going through IOA for the first time. From one end to the other we'll get done by 4:30 pm for reservations to a Luau at 5:30 pm back at the Royal Pacific Hotel. Now, this only works if you have the FOTL passes.

Leaving Harry Potter we're now in the Lost Continent. We didn't stay and watch any shows in here but a few pics along the way.




As we leave we see the TM's in yellow shirts creating a line and blocking people from entering the Harry Potter area. There's a sign that says Private Event Only. Boy we felt special!







We enter Dr. Seuss Land.



The first ride we get on is The High in the Sky Seuss Trolly Train Ride.

I highly suggest this even if you don't have kids to do the ride. It's a really nice version of Disney's People Mover through a colorful story as Dr. Seuss' book is being told to you. You also have great shots of the park and a brief respite. The kids especially enjoyed it.






We see the Cat in the Hat and other characters do a quick skit nearby.



They announce there's a show near the One Fish, Two Fish, Blue Fish Red Fish in about half an hour. More pics and autographs, so we make a point to head in that direction.

We ride the One Fish, Two Fish ride.




Again, to compare to a Disney ride it would either be the Aladdin's or Dumbo Ride. In Aladdin's ride you're squirted water by camels, here you're squirted by multiple fish. More wet but refreshing in this heat and humidity.

We then hurry to the stage nearby and they're just finishing. Wow, that's quick! Each character has a line for pics and autographs but it lasts literally 15 min. total so we only get one pic and autograph. The characters were the Grinch, the Cat In The Hat, Sam I Am, Thing 1 and Thing 2.




We then went into The Cat In The Hat ride.



A cute light-hearted ride similar in process to Magic Kingdom's Winnie the Pooh's Ride.





We walked a minute stroll through the If I Ran the Zoo.




Up next,



Loved, loved the characters, colors, and the wackiness makes you happy. See for yourself.






__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #14
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Great Trip Report and I loved the shirts. DH would gladly strangle me if I tried that but I really think you did an excellent job on those.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:20 PM   #15
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Nearby is this restaurant that serves real green eggs.



We Leave Seuss Landing and head over to Marvel Super Hero Island.



Marvel Superheroes Rogue (in green) and Storm are there and we catch their autographs and pics.




Suddenly a horn blares and it's Superman, calling for all the Marvel Heroes. They leave with a roar.


We ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Cool ride, can't take pics though. 3-D screen, simulator ride, like you're in the cartoon city following Spider-man and you're going to go up against the bad guys. You wear 3D glasses. I'm pretty impressed, the technology of the ride blows Disney away, I have to admit.

Marvel Super Hero Island- extremely hot, a lot of concrete.

Tip: If you love soft drinks highly recommend the refillable mug. We really took advantage of this over several days. $.85 to refill. And the kids begged for ice cream. Continuously. Dippin' Dots, soft cones, etc. Carry cash, some of the vendors don't accept credit cards.

We skip The Incredible Hulk Coaster (only I ride it and on another day), Doctor Doom's Fearfall(again, not for the kids yet) and we missed the Storm Force Accelatron, we'll catch that one later.

We're heading into Toon Lagoon.

Betty Boop popped her head out briefly. She's in the store for pics and autographs, but we don't have one of her so we keep going. I'm looking for Popeye and Olive Oil.





We go on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. We. Get. Sooo. Wet. Comparison- Disney's Animal Kingdom's Kali-rapids, cartoon style. So much wetter. Why, oh why didn't we use our poncho's? No pics, didn't want the camera wet.

Dudley's Do-Right Ripsaw Falls is next. It's another wet log ride, similar to Splash Mountain. This one is not quite so tame, it's higher and drops from several hundred feet. You have to use lockers, and what we can see you have to pay for them. So, we swap; I stay with the gear and DH takes the kids and go. Then I go and the kids again enjoy another ride. Sorry, no pics. I will on another day.

Wet, refreshed and happy, we head into Jurassic Park.



We come across this and we couldn't resist playing around. DH is lifting DS up to the dinosaur to be eaten.


We go into Camp Jurassic and get on the Pteranodon Flyers. No FOTL pass and we wait an hour! The ride is only restricted to a pair of 1 adult and child under 46'. Perfect for us this once!

It's like a zip line through the jungle. Awesome!



No photography again but I sneak 1 pic before putting the camera away.


One last ride before we have to go. Jurassic Park River Adventure. Again, we swap, I stay behind and the kids ride. Then we switch off and the kids ride again.



That's our last ride for the day, and we leave IOA. Bye Islands of Adventure!


__________________
Me DH Kaitlyn- 10(NY's Day baby) Sean- 8.5
* SWW May 24-June 2, 2013 * Disneyland January 2-3, 2013
* SWW & Girl Scouts 100th Bridging Ceremony May 24-June 3, 2012* WWoHP & Disney March 14-18, 2012
* MNSSHP Sept 23 2011 * SWW & WWoHP May 26-June 4, 2011 * Spring Break and F&G, April 2-9, 2011* Winter Break in Disneyland! February 19-26, 2011
* New Year's/DD's B-Day Trip! Dec. 29-Jan. 2 2011 * MVMCP Nov 2010 * FD & MNSSHP! Sept 2010* SWW & WWoHP May-June 2010
* 1st WDW trip w/my own family! Sept 2009* WDW while dating my now hubby, 1996 * 1st time WDW 1990 w/parents * Many times to Disneyland, last time Grad Nite, 1988 *
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