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Old 09-03-2010, 02:13 PM   #76
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Love your TR!
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:54 PM   #77
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Day Four- Universal Studios

Welcome back to my trip report, and sorry for the lack of updates recently, but holidays and life have generally got in the way! Many, many apologies and a smack on the wrist!

Anyway onto day four!

We woke up at a reasonable time and decided to head off to the studios that day, as IOA had a media day for Harry Potter that we wanted to avoid. I also did the cardinal sin of Disney vacaions- wore new shoes! My converse were still wet from the day before, so I decided to wear my new trainers. Luckily these were very comfy, but it was sheer luck! We left the room for around 8.30 and arrived just before opening at 9am. Our original plan was to head to Rip Ride Rocket first (Murray only), as it was the newest ride, then ride Revenge of the Mummy. However after we arrived at the park we ended up being told to wait where we were, half way up the main pathway with no rope or anything to stop people moving forward. This was all very confusing, as they weren’t stopping people going down other paths, just the main one. We guessed it was the queue for RRR or Mummy, but there weren’t many people to ask. It all seemed pretty disorganised! Rather than stand in the meaningless queue, I went to refill the mug, and planned to meet Murray after he had single-rider-ed (new verb there) Rip Ride Rocket, as I am a bit of a wimp for outdoor coasters. However whilst purchasing the drink, the crowd seemed to have been allowed to move, so I scuttled to my pre-determined meeting place, only to find that there was now a big crowd outside RRR just staring at the ride. I found Murray, who informed me that they weren’t allowed in a the moment, but would wait a while longer before making a judgement. A couple of minutes later (very much like Harry Potter the day before) we were told to leave as the ride was broken down. As this was the second time in two days we had been left standing outside a ride with little communication, we were a bit annoyed to say the least, especially since we couldn’t use our express passes for this one.



So we headed over to the Mummy and literally walked on with our Express Line pass (oh how I loved that pass!). Both Murray and I loved this ride, fast enough to take your breath away, but not so bad that it cause me to want to hurl- the perfect balance! We then headed over to my ex-favourite shooting ride (recently usurped by Toy Story Mania)- Men in Black. This had to be Murray and I’s favourite ride for sheer fun and competitiveness! I pretty much failed on the first time, since I was in the middle row, but the other times we were pretty much even until Murray hit the button to kill the bug at the end. We even had a couple of goes in sunglasses, because we are simply that cool! Weirdly we didn’t take any photos of the ride photo... We also found out that if you have express pass, you can cut out the whole spiel at the beginning about being diverted from the official tour. This meant we could maximise our locker time, and it made it a walk on!



We then headed over to Jaws, which was Murray’s first every ‘skippered’ ride where you have a person doing the narration and taking you through the ride. Our skipper was fantastic, and really got into it! Universal obviously hires it’s best actors on Jaws! However the poor little boy behind me really freaked out! I can completely understand this as I did when I was a child, and it still makes me jump to this day! I did feel sorry for the little guy though.

We also had to stop for the obligatory stupid photo with the beast himself...





Murray acting the fool as usual!

We then headed over to Disaster, which is pretty much just a revamped Earthquake. The queue line was stupidly hot, especially as we were in Express Pass line, which was the surface of the sun! However the air con when we got inside has never felt so good! The ride was generally ok; Murray quite liked the movie at the end and the amazing holograms. I liked that they had made it more explicitly into a movie set- therefore less scary for small children. No crying 6 year olds on this ride!

I then also got my way in buying a healthy snack. I am so glad they have started selling more healthy snacks in the parks nowadays, plus this fruit looked delicious all surrounded by ice!



Yum!

At this point we decided to go ride ET (for nostalgias’ sake), again using the express line pass, which was a real benefit, mainly because I used to always get freaked out in the queue line of this ride, and we got to almost completely skip it. Hurray! Murray thought the bike ride vehicles were cute, and that the theming was great, but we both wondered how many young children have seen ET nowadays. We then popped back to the Mummy again before heading off to lunch.

We decided to try Louie's Italian Restaurant, as just before I went on holiday I kinda got addicted to spaghetti out of a can. Anyway some real spaghetti and meatballs sounded right up my street and Murray agreed. Plus the air conditioning was fabulous!



Now I don’t know if this was just because I really craved some spaghetti, or because I was preparing myself for theme park mush I am so usually used to. However this was really nice! The spaghetti wasn’t overdone- which is really surprising since it was serving at such high volume! The meatballs were moist and flavourful , and the sauce was good and tomatoey. Plus it was served with some lovely soft and warm doughy breadsticks. Yes this isn’t anywhere near gourmet, but pretty darn good! In fact I would pretty much like some now!

We then decided to head out of the park, since RRR had only just re-opened and Murray couldn’t be bothered to wait. We did detour via the globe for some photos.



Then took the water-taxi back to the Royal Pacific, which is great because it was so hot!! Even the queue is air conditioned





We then stayed around the resort for a relax, nap and a bit of tv watching! We also sorted out our free Seaworld bus for the next morning- with slightly dismissive member of staff- I found the system pretty confusing!

We next went to City Walk for dinner. I was still pretty full from lunch, so I didn’t really want have a sit down meal. We decided to try Panda Express- a Chinese fast food place. Murray had fried rice, orange chicken, Bejing beef and spring rolls, as well as some orange juice.



He said it was very tasty, but nothing really special. I had chow mein, pepper chicken and broccoli beef. I had mine in a takeaway box, because I knew I couldn’t eat it all in one go! I thought it was nice but pretty greasy!



We then went back to the room and watched Goldmember on TV- which was groovy baby! A nice relaxing way of end a pretty relaxing day!

Next: Seaworld!
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:54 AM   #78
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Yay great update!
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:41 AM   #79
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Great day.
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:25 AM   #80
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yay been waiting for this one to update, thanks for getting back to it.

Shame about RRR .. i've thought the same about ET .. i love it as it was one of the iconic movies when i was growing up (anyway remember the massive deal it was when it was first shown on TV) .. but i cant see too many kids knowing what/who ET is these days.

Look forward to your Seaworld chapter... probably my fav park
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:52 AM   #81
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great trip report, cant wait to hear more.x
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:35 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marks281172 View Post
i've thought the same about ET .. i love it as it was one of the iconic movies when i was growing up (anyway remember the massive deal it was when it was first shown on TV) .. but i cant see too many kids knowing what/who ET is these days.
Oh you never know there may be other parents like myself who get all the old favourite films on DVD for their children to watch...my 7 year old DS absolutely loves ET and has done for a couple of years now

Luv Suzy
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:15 PM   #83
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What an awful thought - there are kids out there who don't know what E.T. is, those poor deprived children
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:08 AM   #84
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More please!
I have a question too - who did you book this trip through and how far in advance? My dbf and I were looking into a trip without it being too expensive - would you mind sharing the cost? Don't worry if you do mind, it was only a question! You don't ask, you don't get
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:43 AM   #85
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Hi Kate, just found your report and I must say it make very enjoyable reading. So, time to post the next instalment.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:11 PM   #86
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Just read your whole TR and really enjoyed it
Looking forward to hearing more
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:37 PM   #87
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More please?
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:35 PM   #88
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Day Five- Seaworld Part One!

Again, sorry for my lateness in posting! I have just completed my first few weeks of work, Murray has moved away, redecorated my room as well as 101 other little jobs I have been meaning to get around to! More smacks on the wrist for me! I have also been told that my last post wasnít as entertaining as my previous ones (from Murray by the way, the boy who isnít writing the trip report!!) *cough* Anyway, I will endeavour to be more amusing, but just be lucky I post anything at all!

Disclaimer: This trip of Seaworld forever changed my perceptions of marine animals in tanks, after being a fan for many years. I will try not to be too down about it, and I appreciate if you still like Seaworld, but this is my opinion of my experience and how it changed my mind. Please no flaming, I just want to be honest about my experience, I am sorry if you disagree. Also this visit was a birthday and Christmas present from my lovely sister! So to her, thank you so much!

Well, we both woke up stupidly early (after passing out around 9.30 the evening before!), so we mucked around and read until 8.30, since the earlier bus from Royal Pacific wasnít set to depart until 9.50. However by 9.15 we were bored of the room and headed downstairs to wander, and so Murray could call his parents to find out his university results! He was very nervous especially as this was a masters course- but ended up getting a 2:1, so everyone was pleased! (for some reason we didnít take a picture of the event! Terrible of us! )

We waited for the bus, which arrived promptly, however since there were almost no seats in the waiting area and no fans, the heat was horrid! The bus, however, was comfortable and fast, but we still got there quite a bit after opening. So we scanned our printouts, grabbed a map and we were on our way!

We headed first to Journey to Atlantis, as Manta had a big queue and I wasnít sure if I was feeling up to go on it. I have done similar rides, such as Air at Alton Towers, but I wasnít feeling my best. Sorry for the lack of photos since we had to be charged to lock our stuff in lockers to go on a ride!! I personally hate this ride. The concept is good, and the changing from log ride to rollercoaster is a great idea, and totally shocked Murray. However the theming is terrible, the audio quality was poor so we couldnít understand the storyline, and the water smelled really funky! Most rides I donít want to get wet for the sake of getting wet- here I didnít want to smell like what I am guessing is Shamu-poo for the rest of the day!

After the Journey to the Bog of Eternal Stench (little Labyrinth nod to those in the know!), Murray decided to hit Kracken, which I declined due to my delicate sensibilities... and the fact my knees were knocking just looking at it!!! I instead got out my park map and numbered all the attractions we were going to hit in number order by showtime and location. Geeky or what!?! Anyway it saved us a lot of time and effort deciding where to go, and in theory would stop us from missing shows or spending too long getting from one place to the other, but that didnít always work.

We decided to go visit the penguins before heading to our first show of the day (Blue Horizons). Murray couldnít remember this bit at all that evening when I wrote my diary, so I am guessing it didnít make a huge impression. It was pretty dark and seemed pretty small for that many penguins, but the walkway did stop people from overcrowding, which is a plus! We did take some photos, but I doubt youíd be able to tell what they were!

We then headed over to Blue Horizons, which is a mix of cirque du soleil and performing animals such as dolphins and birds. The show was pretty much packed out, but we got there early and got really good seats



Here are some of the best photos (credit to Murray here, he had just about figured out how to used the camera by now!)















Murray enjoyed it, he thought it was really well performed and choreographed, obviously very well rehearsed. I, on the other hand, had some fundamental problems with it. Firstly I understand the want of people to show off what these animals can do, however I felt I learnt nothing about the animals themselves at all. I didnít even know the types of animals being used, and what they are like. I felt like they wasted a prime opportunity to educate, but instead made their animals dance to a crowd which ultimately made me feel uncomfortable. Plus the tanks looked pretty small for all those animals to be jumping at once. However I did like the birds, they were a nice touch.
We then headed over to the dolphin cove to see some of the animals up close. From my youth I remember being able to go right up to the side of the enclosure and sometimes being able to feel the dolphins as they came over from time to time. I also remembering them having two feeding times, first come first served for a certain fee. However this time those who were not feeding were placed at the very end of the enclosure, in the shallows where the dolphins didnít go, the feeding was almost continuous and sectioned off. I understand Seaworld is a business, but I felt sad that the experience of seeing a dolphin up close and even touching one like I had done as a child was no reserved for those who wanted to pay to feed them. However afterwards we wandered down to the underwater viewing area, which was much nicer and less crowded, plus you got a much better view!





We then decided it was about time to head over to my favourite childhood show- Clyde and Seamore! But not before we take the standard Seaworld photos:





Clyde and Seamore take pirate island was one of the best shows of the day, both Murray and I really enjoyed it. The mine at the beginning was hilarious, and the trainers in the shows were such pros! They covered so well when the animals didnít do quite the right thing, and it didnít seem to bother them at all.



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Old 10-17-2010, 05:41 PM   #89
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Seaworld- Part Two!

The hilarity of the sea lion show left both Murray and I on the peckish side, so although my plan said to go see AíLure we decided skip it out to see what food we could find. During my geekish planning earlier on I had flagged up two potential places- Antarctic Market and Mango Joes. Since Antarctic Market was closer, we headed over. Now I donít know if this was because it was around 1.30pm, or because a show had just got out, but the food there was expensive and looked kind of... well... the polite way to put it would be Ďunappetisingí. So we decided to head over to Mango Joes instead, which was further away, but closer to Shamu Stadium for the next show. However by the time we got to the waterfront bridge the rain started to absolutely pour down, I mean torrential thunderstorms with lightning really close by! By the time we legged it to the gift stand half way through the bridge, we were pretty much soaked. We didnít know how long it would last so we decided to shove on the waterproofs and make a final dash for lunch.
After a LONG, slow queue, where I changed my mind many times, Murray chose the chicken wrap and I chose the steak fajita roll and chips.





After claiming our food, we realised that the rain had driven everyone inside, meaning there were no free tables left. Luckily we found two free seats with a very nice family, who we chatted to until the thunderstorm passed. However pleasurable the company, the food was dull to say the least! Murray really disliked his wrap, so much he didnít eat that much of it. My roll was decent in portion size but chewy, flavourless and overall pretty gross. Definitely the worst counter service meal we had all holiday!

The rain died down just before 2.30pm, ready for us to see ĎBelieveí with the orcas. Here are some of our best photos:













The good parts of the show:
ē The orcas are spectacular, beautiful creatures
ē The standing ovation given to US and UK armed forces.
However, to me these were the only good parts. The show, in my opinion, was corny and tacky- all about sentimentality rather than telling us anything about the animals themselves. I thought there were a lot of orcas in one pool at a time- especially for such powerful creatures. Even Murray agreed it was overly sentimental, but was glad that the trainers werenít in the water any more. Sorry for the very negative review, but this show really disappointed me.

Afterwards we decided to run down the time until our bus came at 6pm- as we are not usually all day at a park people! By now we were flagging for our afternoon nap! We decided to walk through Wild Arctic as the last time I went on the ride I felt stupidly nauseated! We saw some polar bears and some whales.



Murray found the walk through to be pretty dull, especially as the polar bear was asleep and the whales were hiding. I however really liked it, as it was much more informative than the rest of the park thus far, and there were lots of interesting interactive areas. I did wonder how big the enclosures were for such large animals- the poor polar bear looked like it didnít have much room to move!

We then decided that we might as well go to the Shark Encounter, as I remembered it was pretty cool. My recollections were pretty accurate, which were that the fish and frog areas were really nice and full of information. I also liked the use of moving walkways to keep the pace up. Murray was also very impressed and well thought out, but wondered what impact the walk through tunnel has on the fish living there.





We then wandered over to the Manatee Rescue area, as they are so dang cute!



They were cute, but this was a pretty quick walk through, which could do with a refurbishment to tell us more about them, but then again we didnít stay to watch the presentation, as we were too darn pooped to stay!
To be honest we kind of wandered around, trying to keep ourselves motivated to wait for the bus. We stopped by the Dolphin Nursery to see if there were any new babies. When we got there I spoke to a member of (slightly disinterested) staff, who told me there were 12 dolphins in the pool, some adults, some babies. This really upset me, the pool looked really small, with very little to do for the highly intelligent creatures. Maybe I got it all wrong, but watching them all swim round in circles made me feel terrible that there were kept like that.

Anyway, Murray and I decided to leave and wait for Pets Ahoy show to start. I was so glad we ended up seeing this show. It was a show of tricks done by cats, dogs, birds, rats and pigs all gained from the Humane Society. Both Murray and I thought this was a really cute show- very cute and well prepared without being overly showy. Plus the animals seemed well maintained and happy to perform.

Afterwards we decided that it was time to get ready to wait for the bus, as we were both shattered! Met some really friendly people at the bus stop- my Harry Potter book ended up as a great ice breaker! The bus arrived right on time, ready to head back to the Royal Pacific for our last night. However when we arrived back to our room, we found an unexpected package!



After a quick call to the front desk and we found that Murrayís parents had sent it to us to celebrate Murrayís results! It was so sweet of them, especially for Murray since I donít really drink!





Our day overall was mixed, if I had the guts to go on Manta or Kracken maybe my day would of been better! It completely changed how I see marine animals in captivity, as seeing the dolphin nursery really upset me. I was also really disappointed in how little information they gave about their animals especially the orcas and dolphins. I also disliked Journey to Atlantis- eww! However I really enjoyed Pets Ahoy and Clyde and Seamore. I just wish with the other shows that they had given more information, which is an area which I feel Seaworld really lets itself down. So no, I wouldnít return again as it changed my principles, but it wasnít 100% bad. I also thought the food was pretty sub par!

Next: Day Six Ė the move to Disney!
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:02 PM   #90
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Yay, another update!

This is really interesting to read, because I've only been to SeaWorld once, when I was 7 or 8, and we've never had any desire to return. Your trip report pretty much just reinforced that (although I have to be honest, I really want to go on the rollercoasters there, but I'm not sure I'm willing to pay just for a couple of rides!).

SO excited to read about WDW. Pleeease get it up quickly!
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