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Old 01-01-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 20

this trip is a pain in my feet or a disney virgin & a disney veteran visit the world

Hey All!

I'm finally writing my trip report...only a few months late. Oops.

Anyway, I've been here on the boards for a while now, but mostly lurk. This is my first TR, hopefully some of you may find it enjoyable!

Alright, I'll start by introducing the cast of this TR!


ME!!

I'm Amanda and I am a Disneyholic. This was my first time at WDW since 2005 and it was my first trip of my own (no parents doing the planning and paying). As a kid we vacationed at the world a lot, I'm not actually sure how many times I've been, but at least 9, I would guess. I loooove Disney and was so pumped to finally be going back!

My favorite Disney characters is Donald Duck. Fave movie is The Little Mermaid. Favorite rides are ToT and CoP. But, I refer to a lot of them as favorites. Haha. My favorite park is probably EPCOT, but MK is very close second because I love how it makes me feel like a kid again!

Other than being Disney-obsessed, I am also Harry Potter-obsessed. DF and I actually met at a Harry Potter Conference back in 2008. We were long distance for 2 years after that until he moved to Massachusetts from Michigan in 2010.



DF John!!! (DBF at the time of the trip)

Like me, John's a Harry Potter nerd. Unlike me, he is not a Disney veteran. This was his first trip to the world!!! I was super nervous that he would hate it or something...and was praying that he would fall in love with it. I won't tell you any of his favorites or anything now, because he didn't really have any at the beginning of the trip...



Our cat Spike!!

Spike didn't actually come to Disney World with us...but, he sat home pining away for us for 10 days so I figured the least I could do is post pictures of Sir Cuteness on the interwebs? I'm sure he will appreciated the 15 minutes of fame?

Trip details:

September 24, 2011 to October 3, 2011 at Pop Century with free QSDP. Park hoppers with Water parks and more and MNSSHP. Plans to spend one day at Universal and one day with family who lives near by.

Up next: Day One: Travel, Check In, and DTD!
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:13 AM   #2
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 20

Day One: Travel and DTD

Day One:

Our flight was leaving from Boston at 11:28 AM. We're only about 45 minutes from Boston, so it made for a pretty relaxed morning. Definitely the most laid back travel morning I've ever had. We gathered out luggage- which was just two carry-on bags and our personal items (I was so proud of myself for the amount of stuff I fit in my small wheeled suitcase. Plenty of things for our ten day trip!), and headed to my dad's. We left my car at his place and my friend Lauren met us there and drove us to the airport).

The flight was pretty uneventful I think, I can't actually remember too much about it, so it must not have been bad?

We landed at MCO around 2:30 and headed over to Hertz for our rental car. Originally, I wasn't going to rent a car, but we were planning to leave property at least twice, and I got such a great deal via hotwire (200.00 with taxes and fees for the ten days!), so we figured 'why not?'. We ended up with a free upgrade because they didn't have any economy cars on site. It was a white Nissan Altima, not too shabby. I didn't take a picture though.

Anyway, we were on the road pretty quickly and it wasn't too long before we were passing under this sign:



And soon after that we were here:



By this point I'm pretty sure I was driving John nuts, I was bouncing up and down in my seat and kept asking him if he was excited.

I had done online check in and the line was pretty short. The cast member who checked us in was super friendly and had me feeling the Disney magic! We had our room request of king bed, upper level, and John got his 1st Visit pin!



Our room was in the 50's building on the 4th floor, poolside. It was a pretty good location for us. Not too bad of a walk to the main building and buses, and even closer to the parking lot.





At this point it was probably around 4:00. We unpacked and settled into the room and then we headed back to the car and went to DTD in search of food.
Our first Disney meal of the trip was WGPE. This was a first for me. We both really enjoyed it! I started a pattern of forgetting to take food pics that followed me throughout the week. I apologize in advance, my food pics are few and far between!

John had the bacon wrapped meatloaf (very yummy) and I had the curried chicken salad. The salad was tasty, but the curried chicken was more of a chicken salad with curry seasoning. Not quite what I was expecting. It was good, but I couldn't eat too much of it. For dessert we both had the cheesecake. Pictures of my salad (after I had eaten some of it) and my cheesecake are below. He was more than half done with his meatloaf before I remembered. Oops.





After our dinner we wandered around the stores. John collected his first two pressed pennies and I got a Disney Nerd lanyard for our trading pins. We took pictures of a lot of merch we thought we might want to buy later in the week.



Here I am modeling a hat I was tempted to buy for MNSSHP. I never did buy it. But, I still think it's adorable. :

After a while the sky started getting very dark and we were pretty tired. We had one more stop to make, so we headed back to the car and head over to Walmart! At Walmart we bought a stuffed Eeyore for John's sister, we also bought toiletries, some wine coolers, and so nutrigrain bars for the mornings.

It down poured while we were in Walmart and during our ride back to Pop. It let up when we got back and it was pretty hot out so we decided to take a late night swim!

I love late night swimming on hot nights. It was so nice and relaxing and we ended up with our first new joke of the vacation. As we headed back up to the room I was complaining about the “Puddles in my Crocs” and my lovely DF who has his mind in the gutter half of the time heard something else. LOL. Please don't judge him too harshly on that.

Anyway, that was it for our first day. Best part of the day was checking in and swimming. Worst part was the fact that after the minimal amount of walking we had done my feet were already in agony. I have flat feet and plantar fascitis, but I didn't want to wear sneakers in the hot weather, so I had been trying various summery footwear out over the summer....but, it didn't work out so well. One of the running themes of the week quickly became “I wish my body would start agreeing with my mind that this much fun is a good thing”

Up Next: 1st park day- MK!
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 20

Day Two: Magic Kingdom!!! Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day Two: Magic Kingdom!!! Sunday, September 25, 2011

I had a hard time planning this particular day. It was an evening EMH day, and I knew it would be more crowded than other days. Initially, I was planning to do the early part of the day elsewhere, and after a break hop over to take advantage of EMH (I love late park nights), but then John said he wanted MK to be his first park. So, I said, well it's September- how bad could the crowds be??

The original plan was to do rope drop and stay until around one and then head back to the hotel for an afternoon siesta. I figured we'd get back to the park around 7, with enough time to snag a spot for MSEP and then Wishes. After that, we'd stay til the end of EMH. Well, we are NOT morning people. And, all of my plans for rope drops quickly went out the window. I really should have known better!

We finally made it to the MK gates just before 11 AM. It was much more crowded than I expected. Ah well, we were at MK, nothing was going to bring us down!!!

We stopped for a couple of Photopass pictures.







And we took some pictures of the fun Halloween decorations!








After that we went looking for The Chapeau because I wanted Minnie Ears and John needed to get his first ever pair of Mickey Ears!


We got a little lost and I ended up buying my Minnie ears headband at that big store that takes up the left hand side of main street. While I was asking one of the cast members where I could find the Minnie ears John spotted a pin he wanted and ended up dragging me over to a female cast member so we could trade for a Roo pin!! She rang us up for my Minnie ears and directed us over to The Chapeau.


John picked out traditional ears and had his name embroidered on the back. We were told to come back and pick them up aft 12:30, if memory serves me... As we left The Chapeau we grabbed FPs to meet Mickey!


I asked John what he wanted his first Disney ride to be. He wanted Dumbo, but we both new the line would be crazy right then, so his second choice was the tea cups!. So, that's the way we headed!


On our way over to Fantasy Land, we stopped to watch a little bit of the show.





And I took a shot of the castle:





John's first ride at WDW:






Wandering through fantasyland:




John takes a go at the sword:




Fantasyland was pretty crowded and we were hot and hungry, so we were starting to get a bit cranky. Philharmagic was just seating it's next show, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity for an AC and laugh break!

I'm happy to report that John loved Philharmagic! I was very conscious of his reactions throughout the show. He really enjoyed it, and it was just as awesome as I remembered it being.

After our AC break we headed back down Main Street to pick up Johns ears and visit the big cheese himself.

John's first ears!





After picking up John's ears, I got a bit confused and we went to Mickey's old spot, and found Snow White instead!



She asked if I found John while singing into a well. I told her we met at a Harry Potter convention. I wish I could remember her response, because it was funny. Something about that being magical too... I'll have to see if John remembers.

We finally found our way to the right place, and John got to meet Mickey and Minnie for his first time!





Next we took the train to Frontierland.



[


We grabbed a FP for Splash Mountain and headed over to Pecos Bill for some food. We were really hungry, but afraid to eat too much and feel sick (so easy to do in the heat). We split a burger and fries, a water, and chocolate cake. I have no pics of this meal. Sorry! This is one of my fave WDW quick service places because I love the toppings bar.

Next, we used our Pooh FP. The FP line was pretty long, we waited 15-20 minutes. I found myself wishing we had just waited in the regular line so we could play in the new interactive queue. Ah well. I also had a drastic mood shift while waiting in this line. My mom was a huge Pooh fan. She loved Disney World. But, for numerous reasons she hadn't been back since 98. She passed away in 2009 at 47 from cancer. I started thinking about how she would have loved this ride and it wasn't fair she'd never get to go on it. This happened a few times throughout the week, but luckily not as much as I worried it would. Anyway, the ride itself helped chair me up. I miss Mr. Toad, but I do love the Pooh ride.

We walked through Fantasyland toward Liberty Square. We thought about going on Small World, but the line was at 25 minutes, and it was another of my mom's favorites, so I figured we'd save it for later or the MNSSHP.

Next, we tried to go to HM but the line was super long. So, we hopped on the Liberty Belle. I hadn't rode that in years. It was nice and relaxing.

Here's a pic of the HM line from the Belle.




After our cruise, we headed to Splash to use our FP, but it was closed down. We went to see Jack Sparrow instead. This was my first time on the ride since the change. It wasn't too bad....


After Pirates, we tried for Splash again, but it was still down so we hopped on the train and took it back to Main Street. It was time to head back to Pop for our break! I think it was around 3:30 at that point. We hadn't been there too long, but we had done a lot of standing and zig-zagging, and my feet were already killing me. (like I said- theme of the week!)


Up next: Day 2 Part 2- MK EMH!
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 20

Day 2 Part 2- MK EMH! September 25, 2011

Day 2 Part 2- MK EMH! September 25, 2011


The plan had been to get back to MK in time to grab spots for MSEP. We went back to POP and took a short nap and had dinner at the Pop food court. I had a greek salad and John had shrimp low mein. We both had watermelon for dessert, and power aide to drink. We had lots of water in our refillable cups- we were both feeling a bit dehydrated, I think.


Our food was really good. I really enjoy the Pop food court. My salad was made fresh and everything was chopped and mixed really well. The only problem (and this is just a matter of personal taste) was that I don't like olives, and because everything was so finely chopped and mixed so well, there were olives in every bite and I had to keep picking the out. This was my own fault. I should have asked for no olives, but I'm used to just picking them off the top of the salad. It was delicious otherwise. I planned to get another one (with out olives) another day, but ran out of time.


Anyway, we got on the bus for MK much later than I planned and we entered the park while the parade was going on. It was a nightmare, the crowd was so thick! I started beating myself up for my bad timing. For one thing, getting caught in that wasn't smart, the other thing was I didn't know if there was any other time we could see the parade. Anyway, I could have let myself get into a really bad mood over it, but that was when I decided I just had to forget all my plans for the week and go with the flow. It was only our first park day and I was already getting tired, and I just needed to do what we could do and not worry about the rest.


So, we made our way through the crowd slowly watching the bits of the parade that we could see. Finally we made our way into Adventureland! In Adventureland we rode the carpets and Jungle Cruise. We had a great tour guide on the cruise, she was really funny. I love this ride and I know a lot of times Disney newbies don't “get” it- but John did. He enjoyed it and I decided that I loved him a bit more than I did the day before.


After our cruise we stopped for this picture:






After that we headed to Splash Mountain and finally used our fast passes from earlier. I LOVE this ride and was super excited to finally be back on it. John isn't a fan of rides with drops though, so I was a bit nervous about him, but he really like it. Neither of us has ever seen Song of the South, and we want to some time soon...


Our next three stops were Haunted Mansion, Its a Small World and Snow White. Haunted Mansion was awesome as always. We took some time in the interactive queue playing- fun. I'm happy to say that I didn't get all depressed on IASW like I thought I might. It was a fun ride and John didn't hate it like I worried he would. We had fun talking about all the coins in the bottom of that ride- lots of wishes there! I made one and I'm happy to say it came true . More on that later!


I was really happy to go on Snow White again, I was afraid it would be closed before our visit, and I'm glad I got to ride it one more time.


We made our way into Tomorrowland. John wanted to ride Speedway, which is never on my list. But, I wasn't about to deny him anything. We rode it and had fun, although I sucked at steering my car! :rofl:



I was hungry and wanted a sweet cream cheese pretzel but Lunching Pad was closed. :/ I didn't like the look of anything at Cosmic Rays so we headed out of Tomorrowland and went to Casey's. We split a meal there- corn dogs bites, fries, and a coke. YUM. I love those corn dog bites. Sorry, no pics!


Before heading back into Tomorrowland we stopped for a picture in front of the castle.



It was getting close to the end of EMH at this point. I believe the park was closing at 1AM, and it must have been around midnight. We headed back into Tomorrowland to see what we could ride. We managed to make it onto Buzz, TTA, Space Mountain, and CoP. We had fun on all of them. I did a lot better on Buzz than I expected. I think I was beating John at one point but then he ended up kicking my butt in the end. I didn't record our scores and I didn't take a picture. Oh well. TTA is always one of my favorites- so relaxing and I love going through Space Mountain. Space Mountain was a lot of fun, but jerkier than I remembered it being. John enjoyed it, but we both felt a little off after. We decided to catch the last showing of CoP.


We got out of CoP pretty much right t 1 AM. We meandered our way out of Tomorrowland and down Main Street, we stopped to watch the Kiss good night, and then head back home for sleep.


Over all, it was a great first park day. We saw a lot and had a blast, but it was also EXHAUSTING. My feet were hurting and I was ready for zzzzzs.



Up next: Day 3- Epcot!
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 20

Day 3: Epcot, September 26, 2011

Day 3: Epcot, September 26, 2011



We slept very late this day. The plan was to get to Epcot as soon as we felt ready and just stay through park close. After we closed down the park, we would hit up DHS EMH....


We didnt't leave Pop until around 11:30, but first we stopped at the concierge and bought our MNSSHP tickets! I didn't buy them in advance because I couldn't decide what day we would go. We ended up deciding on our last night- Sunday, October 2nd.


We made it to the Soarin' FP machines at 1:00PM. Very late start. We grabbed our FP- I think it was for around 5? Then we headed down to Sunshine Seasons (one of my faves) for sustenance. John has a turkey monteray jack sandwich, coke, and a cinnamon roll. I had the ginger mongolian beef, coke, and key lime pie. It was delicious. I have pics of John's, but not mine. It was sweet of him to remember. Mine was half gone by then.








Next we rode living with the Land. I love this one, John enjoyed it too. We plan to start a veggie garden on our deck this coming spring. We're very interested in growing and eating a lot of our own food and can't wait to have a proper yard and garden one day. I think we both agree that we would love to do the Behind The Seeds tour next time we are in WDW.


After the Land we visited the Seas. This was my first time on this ride since it's Nemo makeover. It was really cute. We had fun walking around the tanks. Back when I was a teenager my dad and I were supposed to get scuba certified specifically to do one of the dive tours, but it never happened. Maybe one day we actually will. Anyway, John needed to use the rest room, so I sat watching one of the dolphins. I <3 dolphins. When he came back we realized we had JUST missed the start of Turtle Talk and decided to move on. It was something we wanted to do, but we thought we'd have time to make it back later...


It was really dreary out on this day, and this was around the time that it started to rain a bit. We headed over to Imagination to see two of my faves- figment and EO. I remember loving EO when I was little. When Michael Jackson died I said to my mom “I wonder if Disney will bring back Captain EO?” We found videos of it on YouTube and had fun being nostalgic. So, I was really looking forward to seeing it again! It lived up to my expectations- it's just so much fun. John loved it too. Afterward, we poked around the gift shop. I think John got more souvenir pennies (he collected a lot over the trip), we finally bought one of the penny books in here, I also scored an awesome EO poster for 50% off. We had the stuff sent back to the resort.


Next up was Figment!!!! I still miss the original figment, but I think this version is pretty good too. I love figment. I have figment earrings that were my mom's from probably the eighties. I was supposed to wear them this day, but I forgot. Ah well. After our journey into the imagination we played around in Imageworks for a while. We designed our own Figment and tried to email it to ourselves, but it didn't work for some reason. I think John made more pennies. I looked for a Figment snow globe for my friend Lauren, but there wasn't one.


After we left Imagination it started raining pretty bad. We went to Innoventions and poked around. At this point my feet were hurting. John wanted to do a Kim Possible mission, but I wanted to do more of Futureworld before heading into the World Showcase. I was trying to minimize crisscrossing, especially in Epcot because it's so huge and my feet were so bad. We grabbed FPs for Test Track and then rode Mission Space Green. It was a lot of fun. I thought about trying orange. I had ridden it before when it was only Orange, but I've been having more motion sickness as I get older and was worried, so we just went for the tame side. It was still a lot of fun. I really enjoy that attraction.


We got this fun picture in the gift shop:






Next I wanted to do Universe of Energy. I have a soft spot for that attraction and worry that it will be changed eventually. I still miss a lot of the old Epcot stuff, so really wanted to ride it just in case. I felt bad because I could tell John was reluctant- he wanted to do character meet and greets and Kim Possible. But, I also really needed a break for my feet. So I managed to talk him into it by reminding him that if I got more rest I might be better for KP and such. Also, I thought maybe the rain would let up by the time we were out.... He didn't hate it, but it is very long and I'm not sure he'd choose to sit through it again...


Next up we headed over to Club Cool! I finally tried Beverly. Yuck. John sort of liked it. Me? Not so much. I wish we had done reaction shots. We tried some of the other sodas, I really enjoyed the Mexican one. Another couple tried to trade us a Donald pin for our Roo pin! I was looking for Ducks, so it was tempting for me. BUT, Roo is John's fave and it was the first pin we traded for, so we had to say no. The ducks are easier to come by, anyway.


After our soda break it was finally time for Soarin'! We had a bit of a wait, even with our FPs- I think like 20 minutes or so. It was a lot of fun, we got the front row, so no shoe birds!


Finally it was time to head over to World Showcase. It was getting pretty late, the rain wasn't letting up, and it was just yucky out. We were both hungry. We entered on the Canada side, and kept walking until we got to Morrocco. It just wasn't a good time to tour the world. We didn't feel like going in shops in our ponchos (hate taking those off and on, but hate being indoors with them on), and it was just too yucky out to enjoy the scenery.


We stopped at Tangierine Cafe- one of my all-time favorites- for dinner. We both had the chicken and lamb platter. They came with baklava for dessert. John had a coke and I had a bottle of water and a glass of Sangria. The food was delicious as usual. I wasn't a fan of the Sangria though. It was a bottled kind, and just not to my taste, not sweet enough.


I remembered to take a picture this time!






We decided to head out at this point. We were so tired and sick of the rain. It wasn't just that quick hot summer two hour rain....it was constant drizzle, interrupted with down pours. Also, we had plans to be at Universal for park opening the next morning and figured we could use as much sleep as we could get. I stopped at Karmel Kuche and spent our first snack credit, though- chocolate caramel fudge. Yum.


On our way out of the park John stopped to trade some pins at the pin traders- he came out with some of the ducks for me! I'll make a list of all the pins we left the world with at the end of the report.


It was a pretty good Epcot day. We saw a lot and had some good laughs. I wrote in my passporter that the funniest thing that day was a “crazy squirrel” but neither of us can really remember what that was about?



Worst parts of the day were the rain and lack of photopass photographers, but that might also have just been because we kept trying to get under cover as quick as we could. We might have just missed them?


What was crazy was how worn out we already were. This trip was so much fun, but it would have been more fun if our bodies could keep up with our “kid-at-heart” attitudes. This trip really drove home the fact that we desperately need to lose some weight and get in shape. We're hoping to have much better stamina for our next trip!


I think we went in the pool this night, but I didn't write it in my passporter. I know one of the nights we put wine coolers in our cups and had a drink and a swim. I think this was that night?
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:49 PM   #6
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 20

Day 4: Typhoon Lagoon and DHS September 27, 2011

Day 4: Typhoon Lagoon and DHS September 27, 2011


The plan for today was to get up early and go to Universal Studios in time for park opening. I woke feeling super worn out though. I looked at the weather and saw that it was supposed to be nicer than the previous day and decided we would switch the days around and do the Water Park day instead. This in turn messed up our plans for Epcot EMH the next night. But, at this point I was more concerned with how we were feeling in the moment, and I think that was a good choice.


We slept in a bit longer and then headed over to the food court for breakfast! I had a sausage croissant with hashbrowns and chocolate milk. I also grabbed a bottle of water with a snack credit. John had waffles with sausage and bacon and a powerade. It was a pretty tasty breakfast! No pics though.


We made it to TL around 10:45AM and snagged a lounge chair by the wave pool. We headed straight for the lazy river because I had been dreaming about it! I think we spent at least an hour and a half in there. SO nice. After that we decided it was time for some slides. We did Mayday Falls and Gankplank Falls. One of them had the wrong time posted and ended up being like a 50 minute wait (it was posted as 10). I forget which one.


After that it was back to the river for more floating. After another half hour or so of relaxation we headed of to Crush-n-Gusher. This was a first for both of us! It was SO much fun. The one we were going to go down broke while we were in our raft ready to go, so we ended up going down Pineapple Plunge. It was a blast. The line was pretty long, otherwise we might have gone again. After that we spent some time in the Wave Pool. I LOVE the TL wave pool. John loved it too. Tons of fun! But, at one point I got pulled under and inhaled too much water. So, I was done after that.


I think it was around 2 at this time, we decided to head back to the hotel. On our way out we stopped in the gift shop to poke around and for John to get his pennies. We also decided to spend two snack credits on ice cream snacks. But, the machine was broken so the cast member just gave them to us!


It was a fantastic water park morning. We love water parks. I hadn't been to TL in years. The last two times at the world we did BB. I would definitely go back to TL. It was very relaxing. Love the river and wave pool and the slides we went on were a blast too.



We went back to Pop and rested for a while. I think we ate dinner at the food court. But, for some reason I didn't log those meals in my passporter. I'm a little bummed about that. We decided to head over to DHS and do an attraction or two and snag some seats for Fantasmic.


When we arrived at DHS we got this Photopass pic:




Then we went on the GMR. There was practically no one in line. I had fun telling John about how we used to wait in that line and the whole pre-show room would be full! I love this ride. Our guide and villain were great! We had the gangster one. In the Indiana Jones room, when he was walking along side our car I was watching him and he slammed his hand against the ride vehicle and said “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN AT”. I jumped about a mile. It was pretty funny.


After we rode the movies we headed over to Muppets! John was REALLY looking forward to that. He LOVES the Muppets. He really enjoyed the preshow video- especially the part with Rizzo “Helllloooo, I am Mickey Mouse, welcome to my park”. The show didn't disappoint him at all. He loved it. That made me happy.

We were supposed to head right over to Fantasmic at this point but had fun in the gift shop. I was being silly and trying to pose for this pic- but the camera was acting up, so he had to take it over and over again. The one that finally came our clear, I wasn't really making the right face because I noticed some guys looking at us and got self conscious.















We headed over to Fantasmic then, but I think we stopped once or twice. By the time we made our way into the stadium it was standing room only. We were at the front of the white line, and my feet were killing, so I sat and had a limited view in between people. It was fine though, I've seen it before, and could see enough of it. I think John enjoyed it. We were supposed to try and make it to another showing, but it never happened.


After Fantasmic we headed back to Pop. We might have swam again, not positive.


Up next: Day 5: Will we actually make it to Universal Studios?
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
manda622
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Posts: 20

Day 5: Universal Orlando

Day 5: Universal Orlando


The plan for today was to go to Universal Orlando in time for park opening. We were planning to visit both parks in the same day and they closed at 6PM that day, so we needed to maximize our time. Unfortunately, we both woke up a little bit sick- sore throats, cough, etc. We were just run down. And we were also a bit sun burnt- we never reapplied sunblock at TL. Big oops.


Anyway, our plan was to start in Universal Studios, do the few attractions we wanted to there and then go over to IOA. I told John I wanted to start in Seuss Landing and the go into WWOHP. He asked why we couldn't go around the other way? He wanted to get our pictures done again on the bridge in front of Hogwarts. We had our picture done there before and had it blown up. I said (like it was the most obvious thing in the world) “We should hit the water rides on the way out of the park. That way we don't have to walk around in soaked clothes. Plus, why would we want our pictures taken in dripping wet clothing?”. Also, I wanted to do lunch at The Three Broomsticks and all we had had for breakfast were nutrigrain bars.


We made it through the gates of the Universal Studios at 10:00AM. An hour of schedule, but not too bad at all. John surprised me by saying we should go on the Hollywood Rip Rocket Ride. Remember he doesn't like big drops? I said sure! Well, it probably wasn't the smartest choice. I don't know if any of you have been on that....but during the initial ascent, you are flat on your back. I have bad acid reflux and that got it brewing in my throat. UGH. When we got off that ride we both felt a little nauseous.


After that we headed over to ET. We had missed it the last time we were there, and I had only been on it once when I was at Universal back when it first opened (this was only my third trip to Universal). I love the ride. I have very vivid memories of standing in the queue and having my grandmother behind me playing with my hair. My grandmother and my mom both died young and recently, so I really cherish all of these memories. I felt close to her there.


After ET we waited in line for the Simpsons. That's another great ride, although John is really bummed he never got to go on it when it was still Back to the Future. Next we stopped at MIB. I think I beat John which was weird. Turns out he didn't try very hard because he started feeling really dizzy and nauseous. I decided we needed to try and eat something and threw out the plan to wait for Three Broomsticks. We asked a Team Member where the closest indoor eatery was and were directed to Richters. It was a bit of a walk from where we were. It was shaping up to be a VERY hot and sunny day. One of my least favorite things about that particular park is the lack of shade. It wasn't helping us feel better!


Anyway, we made it to Richters and had some fries and fruit salad and cherry vanilla coke. Eating helped, but I think we both still felt pretty lousy. I know I did, and I was getting very cranky...Poor John!


He said he wanted to go on Jaws. That surprised me because last time we were there he didn't seem interested, and we skipped it. So, we back tracked to Jaws. He joked that we wanted to propose when Jaws popped up. I laughed and hoped he was really kidding. He was- thank god. Haha. And, in retrospect, I'm glad we rode it because they are closing it down now.


After that we went in the single rider line for The Mummy. I LOVE that ride. Last time we were there John opted not to go because he wasn't feeling well and didn't know what to expect. This time he came with me. Well, we walked all the way through the queue and up to the lines and it looked like we would be on the same ride with him behind me. I was psyched about that and turned around to look at him and say “yay!”. Well, he tried to warn me, but it was too late- I turned back around to find one of the creepy guys who run the ride with his face right next to me staring. I jumped so far! I laughed so hard though and I thanked him for the laugh and he kissed my hand. It was a fantastic interaction. I love moments like that! John enjoyed the laugh and the ride.


After that we headed over to IOA. We were behind schedule due to the late start, extra rides, and our lunch stop. I want to say it was around 1:30. I was hot and cranky and already had throbbing feet. I was grumbling a bit and telling John all I wanted was a frozen butterbeer. He mentioned something about how were were going to have a magical afternoon. I might have snorted at him because I was crankypants. LOL. I think he also tried to push for going to the bridge right away. But, I was trying very hard to eliminate unnecessary steps, so vetoed that plan once again.


We went into Seuss Landing and rode Cat in the Hat- I think this is where we recognized someone we knew from the Harry Potter fan community. Also sometime around then we had a cast member notice my HP-themed shirt (it said My Muggle Friends Just Don't Understand). That was fun! We also went on the Trolley. I love this area, I think the theming is so well done! John collected some pennies. He had collected a ton of pennies last time we were there and lost them, so he was trying to get everything again.


We finally made it into WWOHP and John wanted to get a picture with the conductor at the train, but no conductor and no photographer. This annoyed me too because I realized we hadn't seen any photographers around. We got some frozen butterbeer and sat for a little bit in the owlry. At this point I wanted to get in line for The Forbidden Journey because I was getting really nervous about the time. Also, I theorized that sitting on the ground in line in the AC for a while might revitalize me a bit.


Well, we went up to find out the ride was down and decided to ride Hipogriff in the meantime. That didn't take long at all, and FJ was still down. So, we had to decide what to do. They said it should be back up soon, and no matter what we were going to have to wait about an hour for the ride. I was wilting in the heat and in intense pain. I was so cranky. I told John we should just wait it out. Again, I was dreaming of being stuck inside in the AC and sitting down.


Well, that was wishful thinking. We got stuck outside in the greenhouse area. Still, it wouldn't have been bad if I could sit. But, the line kept moving because a cast member was walking around telling people they didn't know how long it would be and that she would let them out an exit if they wanted. So, the line kept moving too fast for me to sit, but not so fast that we were getting to the front of it or anything.


I got a picture of John in front of this:





We continued moving along, and they continued announcing that the ride would be up soon. I think about an an hour to an hour and a half had gone by. We were in Gryffindor Common Room, it was slightly past 4:00 and they announced the ride would not be up for at least two hours- after park closing! Grrrr Argh. I was soooo bummed. We had originally planned to go to Universal two days and had another day on our ticket, but we really couldn't fit it in. I mean, I was happy to have seen the castle again. But, I was really cursing the logic that had made me decide to wait out the ride. All we had managed to do was keep me on my feet that much longer while not seeing any of the other attractions we wanted to see.


I was done at that point. I just wanted to go on Spiderman and call it a day. John decided we should browse the stores? I didn't get it because he had been trying to get us on the bridge all day and I finally was ready...and instead he wanted me to backtrack and walk around more??? I was in uber witch mode at this point. He promised he'd make me feel better and I asked how. He said he'd buy me ice cream. I told him ice cream wouldn't help.


Anyway, we finally make it to the bridge and there wasn't a photographer. It was the icing on the cake. I was just soooo cranky. I believe I was ranting and raving like a crazy person about Universal's crappy service during value season when John cut me off by pulling a ring shaped box out of his pocket and asking me to marry him!!!!!!!!!!!!


He was right- he DID cheer me up! I was so happy. It was perfect, even though it did not go the way he planned at all. His plan had been to let the photographer know what he was going to do and have them take a picture of the proposal. He wanted us to go to the bridge first and then celebrate the engagement together in WWOHP. I thwarted that plan. LOL. Oh well. It was so sweet, and the spot was the perfect place for us. The ring is beautiful. Sadly there was no one to take our picture and commemorate the moment so all we have is this lame myspace style photo.





The ring: White gold and sapphire (my favorite, and my mom's favorite.):






After that we headed into the Superhero area. John collected pennies and took pictures with Cyclops and Captain America. He talked to Cyclopse about sports. Lol. I used the last of my phone battery to change my facebook relationship status and text my sister and bestie. Finally, we rode Spiderman (such a great ride) and headed back to Pop.







I decided we should go to a sit down restaurant to celebrate and called and got a ressie for Kona at 8PM. I was thinking it would be perfect timing to watch Wishes from the beach, but forgot that MK closed at 9 that night. Oh well. While I was doing that John went to the front desk and came back with "Just Engaged" buttons!!! I was so psyched.


Our meal was delicious. We had the crab cake to start. I had the teriyaki new york strip as my entree and John had the coffee rubbed pork chops. I also had a Sand-in-my-pants mixed drink. Our waitress recommended it and it was delicious.


It truly was a magical day....even though I was a miserable B-word! HAHAHA. I definitely think he may have decided to do it another time if we had planned to go to Universal again. But, he really wanted to do it there, because we met because of Harry Potter. And he was right, it was the perfect place. It might not have been the perfect day, but it was definitely magical. Plus, it makes for a funny story!


Up next: Day 6: DHS
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January '13 Disneyland or WDW honeymoon....still deciding...

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