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Old 06-11-2011, 07:41 PM   #1
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It's a Whole New World...trip report

This was our very first trip to Universal Studios Orlando. We have been to WDW the past 4 summers and wanted to try something new.

Along for the ride are: Me (Stacey)aka tink20, DH (Mike), DD (Kayla 17 yrs old), her boyfriend (Jeff) and DS (Colby 9yrs old)

I am going to try to crop out the little girl in the background, just haven't figured out how to do it yet

Kayla and Jeff

Our trip started at 5am Saturday June 4th from Alabama, the drive took about 8 hours, we arrived at the Hyatt Place, which is right across the street from Universal (I think damo suggested it) anyway it was a nice place to stay, the room was a nice size for the 5 of us. The room had 2 double beds and a sleeper sofa, also a cont. breakfast, and no charge for parking.

We walked across the street to City Walk, so I could get and activate my AP that I purchased online from home, we also went ahead and bought our 4 day park to park tickets (which I am glad we did, because the next morning the ticket line was very busy. We caught the Hyatt bus back to our hotel around 5:15. Hyatt has two drop offs in the am and two pickups in the pm. The room with tax was $123. I would stay here again.

Next we went to have dinner at Bubbalous BBque, another suggestion from here on the DIS, (I think from MetroWest) The food here was wonderful, everyone liked what they ordered, and the price was great. I think we spent like $53 here for all 5 of us. This place is about 5 min down the road on Conroy Rd. Lots of food, we were all stuffed. Will definitely eat here on our next trip to Orlando.

Next morning is Sunday June 5th and we are off to check in at the Portifino Bay Hotel and get our Express passes for the day. We arrived around 9am, went to checkin. I told the young man at the check in desk, that I knew our room probably wasn't ready but, I wanted to get our passes and go to the park, he said he would check, I had requested a room in the west wing, (our ressie was for a standard queen room) He said no room in the west wing was available and ask if the villa wing was ok, he showed me on the map where it was, and I liked it, then he said my room type was not available, but he had a deluxe queen room w/pool view, I was worried I would be charged so I ask if the rate is the same, and he said yes, WOW, a comp upgrade.....AWESOME. I have never received any upgrade from WDW. Thank you Christapher, you made our trip start out in a great way. So we went ahead and took our luggage up to our spectacular room. Oh and with my AP discount, I got this room for $179 a night ( the reg. price is like $354) So, I saved $700 on this room. If I would have gotten my original room (which was $289) I would have saved $440. We stayed 4 nights. Ok, this AP has already done wonders.
Me DH DD:20 DS:12
"All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust."

Last edited by tink20; 06-11-2011 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
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So, we chose to go to USF first, it was about 10am. Our first ride was ET (I wanted to start Colby off with an easy ride, he doesn't do thrill rides, well Mike and I really don't either) We like ET, next was MIB, this is a cool ride, but I wish it didn't spin as much as it does. Mike some how scored 999,999. Cruisin on along with our ExPass, (but this early in the am the standby times were still short)Kayla and Jeff did the Simpsons, they like it. (Mike,Colby and I didn't do it, we sometimes get dizzy or motion sickness on simulators) So we waited, Colby discovered the payphone.

Next was Jaws, we all liked it and noone really got wet. Disaster was next, and I think we had a really good TM, she did a great job, very entertaining, I think this was one of my favorite "show" attractions.
The Mummy was next, and I didn't know what to expect, we rode, everyone liked it, but it was a little too much for Colby and he said he didn't want to ride it again. We all ate lunch at Louies, had pizza, spaghetti and chicken alfredo, food was good and the wait was short.
Kayla and Jeff rode HRRR with a 15 min wait, they loved it. I took Colby to see SpongBob.

We split up with the older two and the 3 of us went to check out IOA. Colby said he was dizzy from the Mummy, so we walked around for awhile, and looked around in the shops. Then we rode Jurassic Park ride. The 3 of us really liked it. The man sitting next to us was trying to film with his camera, and at the end when it got wet and quit working, he got mad, and we over heard him telling his wife, he was going to go complain, oh well.

Colby, discovered the splash zone by JPR ride. He loved this, he had fun with all the other kids. He is the one in the white shirt, blue swim shorts.

Played in the JP play area, Colby liked this too and we were trying to dry out some.

Later we had dinner at Nascar Sports Grille, the food and service were good. Total for all 5 w/tax, tip and AP discount was $80. Colby even had dessert.

I had the nachos, which were delicious. I couldn't finish it though. Mike had a burger, I can't remember what the older two had, and Colby had the kids chicken and fries. Walked around City Walk and back to the room to swim. The beach pool was super close to our room, we were near the boat launch and an elevator....so convenient, everything at Universal is so convenient.

Mon June 6, Slept well, and in no rush, took our time getting ready. The 3 of us headed to IOA, thing 1 and 2 (the teenagers) were off to a slower start.

First we stopped at Cinnabon for breakfast (in City Walk) to let the crowds get better. Yummy, breakfast. Got to IOA, it did seem more crowded than Sunday, but got into the park pretty quick.

This morning was our water ride morning, we wore swim suits (mine under my clothes) and water shoes (crocs) I highly recommend doing this. Kayla and Jeff joined up with us and we all rode the water rides together. We rode all three rides over and over and over....love them, Colby was loving it. We were DRENCHED. Had lunch at Thunder Falls Terrace, for the 3 of us it was $40 (I forgot to give Mike my AP for the discount) we sat outside by the splash zone, Colby ate, and then played there while we finished. The food was great, Mike and I both had the ribs, they were wonderful, lots of food again, we probably could have split. Kayla and Jeff went and ate at Green Eggs and Ham.
Tip: I had put my phone and camera in a plastic ziploc, in my fanny pack, but everything else got soaked, my money and our park tickets. So the next time, I put my whole fanny pack in a merchandise bag I got from one of the stores.
Just a hop, skip and a jump and we are back to the resort. Oh, I almost forgot. We used the shortcut that I read on here from Bubbasmom, where you cut through HRH, so easy and much shorter, thanks! Since we were already soaked, we went swimming, Colby is loving this pool and I can't tell you how many times he went down the slide.

Went back to IOA for our dinner at Mythos. Will continue later, its starting to storm and I need to go cook dinner. tata for now!
Me DH DD:20 DS:12
"All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust."

Last edited by tink20; 06-13-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #3
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Great trippie so far, thanks for sharing. It helps me get by till my next trip.
Vicki CBR May 07-POFQ & DTU Dec 07-POFQ Sept 08-CSR & HRH Sept 09-AKV & RPR May 10-DTU & RPR Sept 10-HIU & RPR Dec 11-RPR & POFQ Oct 12-HIU & Pop Sept 13-RPR & Pop Sept 14
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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Great trip report so far. It has to be nice to get a upgrade to start it off.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:27 AM   #5
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Great report and I'm glad you enjoyed Bubbalou's.
**** Universal Orlando annual passholder since 2004! ****
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:44 AM   #6
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Great report...keep it coming!
All Star Movies 2006, All Star Music (Family Suite) 2009, All Star Sports 1997-2002, Animal Kingdom Lodge 2004, 2005 & CL 2007,Animal Kingdom Jambo House DVC 2013, Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas 2011, Art of Animation 2012, Bay Lake Tower 2012, Beach Club (CL) 1989 - 2013, Beach Club Villas 2009, Boardwalk Inn (CL) 2003 - 2008, Boardwalk Villas 2000 & 2008 - 2014, Carribean Beach 2001, Contemporary(CL) 2001, 2005 & 2007, Dolphin 2010, Grand Floridian 2005 & RPC 2010, OKW 2008-2013, Polynesian(CL) 1972-2001, 2005, & 2006, Port Orleans French Quarter 2004, Port Orleans Riverside 2004, Portifino Bay Resort 2012-2014*not WDW*, Royal Pacific Resort 2011*not WDW*, Saratoga Springs Resort 2014, Swan(CL) 2000 - 2014, Villas at Wilderness Lodge 2007, Wilderness Lodge(CL) 2000 & 2005, & Yacht Club(CL) 1995 - 2008...and NOW(drum roll, please)...SSR & BWV DVC, baby!
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
I`ve bought one of those for this year....it`s in fuscia pink though......You`ll be able to see me from the air
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Loving it so far........ can`t wait to read the rest

Oh and we love Bubbalou`s as well......thanks to Metro as well A definite for every trip.
17 Nights At RPR---2013 Trip Report

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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I'm in.
Royal Pacific is our second home. Portofino Bay is a close second now.
We stopped counting, too many trips. *
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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Alrighty, Mon. June 6 (a week ago today...) we went back to IOA for dinner at Mythos, we arrived early to the park so we could watch the Sinbad show, it was funny and had a lot of action, we all liked it. I know I sound like a broken record, with "we all liked it" but we are easy to please, and are just happy to be on vacation, spending time together. Mike and Jeff are just glad to not be at work.

Next, we arrived at Mythos, had no problem getting in, we had made a ressie with opentable. Mike and Jeff loved their dinner, they ordered the burgers, Kayla order pad thai noodles (ok, I'm not sure exactly what she ordered, but she didn't really like it, it had a peanut sauce) but at least she was trying something new. I had crab cake sliders, they were ok, the potato salad that came with it was very good though. We tried the dessert shots, yummy. With my AP, I got a $7 discount, yay!

After dinner we went to see Poseidon's Fury...pretty cool!
Here is a famly pic

Oh I almost forgot.... my first butterbeer, I got the frozen one, (CAUTION: drink slowly or you will get a brain freeze) It was quite tasty.

We shopped until the park closed, we bought Whitley (our dog) a Thing one bandana, its cute, I'll have to take a picture of her wearing it. Back to the resort, usually in the evening we took the boat, because we were pooped, and always had a seat (so nice, sure beats standing up in a bus). I did catch myself trying to hurry to the boat launch, and I just would remind myself, no, we are not running around like crazy fools on this trip

Next morning, we are going to do early entry to WWOHP (when I say we its: Mike, Colby and myself, the other two are not early risers) So, we try to get to bed a little earlier than previous nights

Tues. June 7, So we got up at 630, and are ready and walking to the park by 730, get there about 745, the line wasn't too bad, we got in and headed back to WWHOP (which we had already been to, but now it wasn't crazy crowded.) We did Olivanders first, about a 10min wait, Colby said he wanted to get picked, but a girl was picked, and he was okay with this, he did want to buy a wand, but I wanted him to wait until later, to make sure there wasn't something else that he wanted more, (plus, I'm sorry, I just can't get over paying $30 for the wands)

I mailed my nieces and nephews postcards from the Owl Post,one of my nephews is a huge HP fan, so I knew he would like this. We rode the FOTH, we had already did the castle tour earlier in the week. We got to really enjoy all the shops, we did check out the bathroom,(very cute), but we didn't do FJ. I was just so worried that Colby was going to get motion sickness, and I didn't want to ruin his whole day.

So, we went to JP land and he got to ride the PT flyers, no wait, so did them again. We headed to USF, wanted to do all the shows. We managed to do all the shows except Beetlejuice (Kayla and Jeff did all the shows) Our favorite was probalby the Horror Makeup show, but we really enjoyed them all, we rode ET and MIB again, wanted to do Jaws, but just never got back to it.

On the way out, we checked to see if we could get in at Bubba Gumps, and we did, no wait at all. This was everyone's favorite meal, everyone liked what they ordered, again I saved about $7 with my AP dis. Jeff, who doesn't eat seafood, loved his fried chicken that he ordered. So there is something here for everyone even if you don't like seafood. I am coming under budget on all my TS meals. Here is a picture of Colby's meal, it came in a boat.

We are having such a great time. Jeff really liked the Fear Factor show, and said he wants to try out for it, the next day. We shopped in City Walk and went back to resort.

Well our last day is tomorrow....Wed. June 8.

Oh and sorry these pictures are so big, I tried to make em' smaller, but I don't know what I'm doing, maybe oneday I'll figure all this computer stuff out. LOL
Me DH DD:20 DS:12
"All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust."

Last edited by tink20; 06-13-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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I'm still with ya'! Enjoyed the update!! Can't wait to be there myself!
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #11
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Awesome trip report!
- Anthony
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:23 PM   #12
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Well, our last day is upon us. We slept in (a little). Mike, Colby and I loved the water rides so much, we did another early day of water rides at IOA. The Express pass is so wonderful, the Ripsaw ride had a 90min wait, and we were on it in 10min. The FOTH had a 35min wait we were walk on, same with One fish Two fish. I would definitely stay onsite again.

Kayla and Jeff went back to USF so Jeff could try out for Fear Factor.

Mike and I tried a regular butterbeer, and I think I like the regular one better than the frozen. We finished all our shopping and after lunch at Burger King in City Walk we went back to the resort to swim (Colby just had to swim one last time) Then we got dressed to go back to IOA.

Kayla and Jeff ate lunch at Richter Burger and said it was very good. Jeff couldn't do Fear Factor......he is too tall, you had to be under 6'2", he was disappointed.

We went to JP Discovery center and we got to see a baby dino hatch, Colby really enjoyed this, I am glad we got to see it.

I didn't really know where we were going to eat dinner, so just decided on a whim to try Confisco's. It was probably the least favorite of all the places we ate, but it was still okay.

Well, back to WWOHP, Jeff and Kayla rode FJ earlier in the week, so after dinner they went to do some of their other favorites. Well I had not rode FJ, and I was determined to ride at least once, I was so worried I was going to get sick, Colby wanted to go too. The wait had been at 75 min. everytime we checked but now it was 630 and the wait dropped to 45min. Mike had no desire to ride it (he has vertigo and didn't want to chance it) Colby and I were going to get in line, and he ask me to ride first to see how it was. So, I did the single rider line (which I would never have known about if not for other advice on here, thanks again) Well I got in SR line, got on, rode it and was finished in less than 20 min. I did okay, but did have to look at my hands during the simulator parts, I started to close my eyes, but that seemed worse, so I would just focus on my hands. I didn't want to get dizzy. I felt fine afterwards (I had taken a Bonine with dinner) I decided that Colby shouldn't ride it, so I just told him about it and he found a video on youtube, maybe next time he can ride it. Jeff said he didn't like the spiders and he wouldn't ride it again (which is funny, because he will ride any and all thrill rides)

Well, we left the park and everyone had a great time.
Jeff likes Universal better than WDW, Kayla had fun, but misses WDW, Colby had fun, and said he wants to live at Portifino Bay Hotel, Mike likes both USF and WDW, but thinks USF is more affordable and convenient, I feel the same as Mike. I wish USF had just a few more family friendly rides for us chickens and those who have motion sickness issues.

Colby kept his money (and didn't buy a wand) he bought the new Lego Pirates Wii game when we got home.

We had a wondeful trip, no complaints. The TMs were all very friendly and helpful, the park never seem crazy crowded (except for WWOHP). The Express pass was wonderful (felt like VIPs), our resort was beautiful, the food was great. I think the attractions are very well themed and are great rides(like I said, just wish MIB and CIH, didn't spin so much, and maybe a few more family friendly rides) The worst ride was: the ride home.

We will definitely go back to Universal.

Me DH DD:20 DS:12
"All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust."

Last edited by tink20; 06-14-2011 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:33 PM   #13
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Great TR tink.Enjoyed reading it all ang so glad ya'll had a great vacation.What a great upgrade that PBR gave to ya!!!
Humour is to be brave enough to laugh at ones self-boy do I laugh alot
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:42 AM   #14
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Thanks for the trip report. We were at Uni the same time as you were, but stayed at the RPR! We loved it. We also came home with 6 wands (there are 3 of us). We are such huge HP fans, though!
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:20 AM   #15
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really enjoyed reading your report.
the pics are very good!!

you have a sweet looking family.
life is what happens to you on your way to achieving your dreams...........

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