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Old 07-14-2012, 01:30 PM   #136
stephielela
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Universal part 1

The next morning we were up bright and early. Jack wasnít too sleepy, but he wasnít thrilled at first about getting up. My dad had picked up my sister at the airport late the night before, AFTER Jack and I went to bed, so Jack was happy to see she had made it.
We actually made it out the door at 6:40 am. My mom got us to the guest drop off area by 7:10 am and then headed on to her work meeting. We headed toward Universal Studios to pick up our tickets from the kiosk.
Sister, Jack and Dad on our first of many moving walkways!



Just a side note, there were about a thousand people wearing minion t-shirts like Jackís and they obviously sold them in parks as well. I got Jackís on clearance at Target for $2.40, and he really got a kick out of seeing so many other people wearing shirts like his!

We wandered over through City WalkÖ










This was REALLY handy as we werenít sure how Jack would measure up with shoes on



We made our way to the kiosks and got our tickets. Then I decided to check with the guy at the gate to verify what time the park opened. He asked to see my tickets and then said that the park opened at 9 but we could get in at 8!! He said the only things that would be open were Despicable Me and Shrek! We were pretty thrilled with this info. We were also hungry so we headed over to Burger King to see about getting some breakfast, but they didnít open till 8. We went back and got in line at Universal at 7:45 and there were maybe 30 people in line already. They opened the gate and we walked right in and right onto Despicable Me!

I was really excited about this ride. Jack LOVED the movie, and I knew there was a possibility we wouldnít be able to ride this since it was still in ďtechnical rehearsalĒ so the fact that we got to ride AND didnít have to wait to do so was AWESOME!











The preshow is very cute and soon we were being whisked inside! I really enjoyed the ride, it was very entertaining and cute, but Jack was not a fan. Afterwards we asked him if he wanted to ride again and he said no. He said it was too loud. I was bummed he didnít like it, but he goes through weird phases sometimes like this so we moved on. We were all hungry so we headed to the Boulangerie that was right nearby for some breakfast. We also went ahead and bought the refillable mugs which were buy 2 get 1 free. They were $7.99 each and then $.95 for refills, except water which you can get for free. The woman made sure to tell us they were good for both parks and for as long as we had them, not just that day. My dad and sister got breakfast sandwiches and I got a cheese Danish. That and the 3 mugs came to about $30.

When we were done with breakfast we headed over to see Shrek. We had just recently watched Shrek at home so Jack would be familiar with the characters. At first he was scared and didnít want to do it, but then he said he would go. He ended up liking it a lot!

Once we were done it was 9 am so we headed to RRR. We decided my dad and sister would ride first while I held the bags rather than get a locker.

For anyone not familiar with the system, basically Universal doesnít let you take bags/purses on their big attractions. They provide lockers for free for the duration of the ride. You go to the screen, scan your finger and they assign you a locker. You can only get into it once, and if you go over the time limit (which is automatically determined using the current wait time) you get charged.



And FYI, the refillable mugs WILL fit in the lockers.

Jack had to go potty so we walked across to the restrooms by Twister. When we came back my dad called saying the ride was down, did I want to wait or did I want them to come down. I told them to wait a bit longer. Jack was getting bored so I decided to head over to the Fievel playground with him. Of course I couldnít put the stuff in the locker because then they wouldnít be able to get it out before meeting me since they would need my fingerprint. So now I was wearing my purse, my sisterís purse and carrying 3 refillable mugs. On our way to Fievelís we saw a face painting spot. Jack really wanted to get his face painted like Spiderman so I figured why not! It was $12 but it didnít take long and she was very patient with Jackís twitching!






Once Jack was done getting painted we headed to Fievelís but it wasnít quite open yet so we went on ET. With my arms full of refillable mugs it was quite a trick but we managed. Man that queue is long! It was mildly entertaining but Jack didnít love it.

Finally Fievelís was open so I let Jack go play.







After a little while I FINALLY heard from my dad close to 10:30. They had just gotten off the ride and were headed my way. Once they met up with us we each took a turn riding the Woody Woodpecker coaster with Jack.


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Old 07-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #137
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Universal day part 2

Just as my sister was coming back my mom called to say she had parked and was on her way in. Jack and I went to meet her up front (we had her tickets) while my dad and sister rode ET.

We all met at Men In Black and put our stuff in a locker. The posted wait was 15 minutes. Jack had a lot of fun with this, but still didnít want to ride again. I tried to take a picture of our scores, but I couldnítí get it to come out right. I know I won though!

After we retrieved our items we went over to ride the Simpsons. The wait was 10 minutes.



Time for a disclaimer! I didnít watch the Simpsonís growing up. I watched it as an adult when I was living with my ex, but not very often. So while the ride was pretty technologically amazing and fun, I wasnít familiar with most people so I didnít connect with it. Definitely worth doing, but it might be helpful to watch a few episodes first! My mom and sister were NOT feeling well after this ride. They said it was too hot, not enough air circulating. Both occasionally get motion sick and the next day they took meclizine just in case.

By now it was time for lunch. As you may have noticed Jackís makeup was starting to wipe off. It was also itching him and I think he was pretty much over it. I wasnít surprised, but I wasnít ready to try and get it all off yet. Then tragedy struck! As we were walking towards the bathrooms, Jack walked full on INTO A CHAIR. It was hard to tell if he was bleeding since he had paint all over his face. We went into the bathroom and wiped off what we could, and he was fine. It wasnít until later that I remembered I had wet wipes in my purse.

We headed to the International Film and Food Festival for lunch. I had the orange chicken, Jack and my parents all had pizza and my sister had penne. We got 2 water refills and 1 diet coke and the total came to about $43. Really not bad for 5 people.

My parents and sister decided to head to Disaster. It was almost 1 pm and Jack wanted to see the Despicable Me street party so we chilled out for a while and watched that. The person working at the souvenir stand near us let Jack play with the bubble gun she had.




The Disaster wait ended up being really long so they headed to Twister instead and Jack and I did some window shopping and made some more pressed pennies.





When they were done with Twister we headed over to the Mummy and did the child swap. The wait was about 30 minutes. My dad and sister rode first, then my mom and I rode. It was pretty fun.

Next it was our turn to ride RRR. We waited for probably 20 minutes in the single rider line. It was a pretty intense coaster and lots of fun!

Jack and headed back to Fievelís while the others tried to ride Disaster again. It was a 30 minute posted wait, plus the ride/show itself is pretty long. This time I let Jack ride on the water slide in Fievelís.



Then I decided to go ahead and let him play in the Curious George water play area. He loved every second of it. Naturally I hadnít brought swim trunks. I thought about buying some but they were over $20. I decided I would let him have fun and deal with it later, after all, this was his vacation too!





We had a dinner reservation at 5 so about 10 till 4 when the others were done at Disaster I popped Jack into the people dryerÖ which worked, but not well enough. It was $5



I started looking for a pair of shorts to buy for Jack but only found one option. I ended up taking him into the bathroom and using the Dyson hand dryer to dry his shorts some more.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:57 PM   #138
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First off...I see a dis meet happening at MNNSHP!

Fun day at Universal. it's bring back good memories for me to. I can't believe you rode RRR. Scary looking stuff there.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:27 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib
First off...I see a dis meet happening at MNNSHP!

Fun day at Universal. it's bring back good memories for me to. I can't believe you rode RRR. Scary looking stuff there.
Definitely!!!! I can't wait! I feel like I already "know" you so well!

RRR is pretty intense! I had trouble picking my song because you have to do it so fast, that was my biggest complaint!
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #140
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Once I had gotten Jackís shorts reasonably dry using the Dyson Air Blade in the restroom, we headed over to Margaritaville for dinner!



We were all pretty hungry, and very thirstyÖ so naturally we did exactly what we had said we wouldnít do and ordered drinks in souvenir cupsÖ or should I say souvenir blenders!



I canít remember how much they were but I know it was cheaper than ordering two smaller drinks. Once we were done eating our waitress poured the rest in a to go cup so she could rinse out the ďblendersĒ for us.

We love the food here. We ate at the Margaritaville in Grand Turk on our cruise last May, and my mom has been buying their salsa at home ever since. We got chips and salsa and nachos for appetizers. Sorry the pictures arenít great, I almost forgot to take any!



Jack and I split the Cheeseburger in Paradise and friesÖ



My dad got shrimp



My sister got the pulled pork sandwich



My mom shared with my dad and sister. We were all stuffed when we were done.

Jack wanted to get up and steer the table!



After we were done with our drinks and lounging in the chairs outside the restaurant, we headed into Islands!!!



Aha! So here were the crowds we were missing at Universal!



We made a beeline for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and made it there about five minutes after 6.



We headed onto Dragon Challenge first which only had a 10 minute wait! My sister and dad and I rode first, and then my dad rode again with my mom after we swapped. We headed to Flight of the Hippogriff next so Jack could ride something. The wait was 30 minutes, and Jack and I got to ride in the front!









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Old 07-19-2012, 11:54 AM   #141
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Then we headed over to the main attraction, Forbidden Journey! The posted wait was 60 minutes and between the wait and the ride, we were out in exactly 60. Please pardon my crappy pics of the queue!































This was my best attempt at getting a picture of the ride vehicles from the baby swap room



Again my dad and sister and I rode and then my dad rode with my mom. This ride made me a bit nauseous. I am not prone to motion sickness, but I wasnít feeling fantastic after. The queue was amazing though, and the loading area especially, and of course the technology was awesome. I was freaking out about my flip flops falling off though, so that was distracting! My mom felt really sick after this ride. We decided to call it a day after that since we had gotten far more accomplished than we had hoped!



We began the looooooong hike back to the car and headed home. When we got home I let Jack swim for a bit while we all soaked our poor tired feet in the pool and then we headed to bed!
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:57 PM   #142
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We had those nachoes too...MMMMMM good!
Those queue pictures look so much like the ones I took. It is really hard to get anything in there because it's so dark and then the flash seems extra bright. It is such a cool queue though.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
We had those nachoes too...MMMMMM good!
Those queue pictures look so much like the ones I took. It is really hard to get anything in there because it's so dark and then the flash seems extra bright. It is such a cool queue though.

We had those nachos in Grand Turk too, they really are awesome!

I felt nervous taking pictures in there and most didn't turn out well. The part where Harry, Ron and Hermione talk to the crowd I actually recorded because I could NOT get a picture that worked. If I figure out how to post videos I will try it!
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:04 PM   #144
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Islands of ADventure! Part 1

Despite getting to bed at a decent hour the night before, our early morning was still difficult. In fact, this is where I found Jack when I woke upÖ



He had somehow moved to the floor during the night!

We timed our arrival at the park for opening and got there a bit early. We did go ahead and pay for the preferred parking which is $5 more. I donít know how much closer it is, but no matter what you do, itís a loooooong walk in!
As we got into the park, my parents and sister headed directly to the Hulk and Jack and I headed to Spiderman. We walked right onto the ride at exactly 8 am.



Jack LOVES Spiderman. He has Spiderman sunglasses, PJís AND underpants! I knew this ride was kind of intense, and so I wasnít surprised when he didnít want to ride again. He didnít cry or anything, but it was a little scary for him. Once we were done we shopped around in the gift store while my parents rode. Jack decided to buy a keychain for himself and one for my mom. I was very proud of Jack because he had been telling me all day the day before that he wanted a ďBig MinionĒ from Despicable Me. I had told him that if he didnít find anything else he wanted I would give him the extra money for it, since he only had $25. He wanted to buy it right away but I told him to wait. So when he decided to buy the keychains I told him he wouldnít be able to get his big minion since he wouldnít have enough money. He said he would rather get the keychain for grandmommy (my mom) and just get a small minion. (He still didnít have enough money for both keychains and the small minion, but I made up the difference since I was proud of him for thinking of someone else).

Once my parents were done my mom and I went on the Hulk. Afterwards we all went to the Crescent Moon bakery to get breakfast. We got an assortment of croissants and sandwiches etc and used our AAA discount for 10% off. Then my parents took Jack to Seuss Landing while my sister and I went to soak up the atmosphere in WWoHP!

We did Forbidden Journey through the single rider line first. The stand by wait was at least 75 minutes at this point, and several of the locker banks were at capacity. We were in line less than 5 minutes! The tricky part is that you need to go in through Filchís (gift shop at the end of the ride) then through to the lockers rather than trying to come in the main entrance. Then you cut across the stand by line and up some steps and voila! You are there! Once again I forgot to take off my flip flops so I spent the ride stressing about losing one. Also I had taken a meclizine this morning in hopes of not getting any motion sickness, but this ride was still a bit much. Of course, we had just had breakfast.

Next it was time for some browsing!

























We went to the Hogs Head to get out Butterbeers and wait for my parents and Jack. The line was much more manageable, but you arenít allowed to sit inside unless you are ordering food next door. We went out to the back patio which was very nice and shady. We got one frozen and one regular cold Butterbeer. They had quite an array of beers on tap here as well.

/





I liked the frozen MUCH better.
View of Hogwarts from the patio



How long do you think it will be before Potter fans start trying to book weddings in the WWoHP?


After we were done I took Jack into Honeydukes to get some candy. He got a little bag of random stuff and I got the jar of lemon drops, which I had sent to the front of the park so I wouldnít have to haul it around. By the way those lemon drops were quite popular at work. Iím glad I got the jar because now I can refill it with other candy.

My dad really wanted to ride Forbidden Journey again so I went with him, and this time I did NOT forget to take off my flip flops! Of course it was a race against time to get them off and sit on them before the ride got going.



Right after I took that picture the steam started coming out and surprised Jack.
By this point the crowds were huge, so we headed to lunch. Our original aim was the Captain America Diner, but we only made it as far as the Comic Strip Cafť. We had pre-purchased the meal deal for this day, which we wouldnít do again. The options are relatively limited and we had enough free time we could have eaten off property all for one of the meals. I had chicken strips and my dad had a burger and everyone else had pizza again. Dessert options were pretty bleak, but luckily my sister had bought a Cauldron Cake at Honeydukes!
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #145
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Islands day part 2

After lunch my dad went back to the locker to get the changes of clothes because we were going to do water rides next. Long story short there was horrendous locker trouble which resulted in him being gone almost an hour. He made it back to us just as we were getting on Blutoís Barges. The wait was 20 minutes and we were all ready for a little cool water action. Once we were done with that, my sister decided to stay for the rest of the day and the rest of us went back to the house. We were home by 1:30 pm.
I let Jack swim a bitÖ



And then we took a 2 hour nap. I had set the alarm for 4:30 and it was ROUGH waking up. My mom decided to stay at the house for the evening, and for a minute there I was sure Jack would want to stay too but he eventually got moving. We didnít end up getting back to the park until 6:15. My sister met us at the entrance to Islands and then we all headed in to have dinner at the Captain America Diner. I had the grilled chicken sandwich, Jack had chicken strips and my dad and sister had burgers.



After dinner we decided it was time to meet Spiderman. Unfortunately the line was closed so we had to do some thinking. Spiderman was getting ready to go on break, but I figured if we went ahead and got in line then we would be first to see him when he came back out and we knew he was due back around 7. After he was done with the last kid before his break, he stopped by and told Jack that he had to go catch a bad guy real quick, but heíd be right back. The wait wasnít too bad and when he came back he talked to Jack about how Jack had helped him scare away the bad guys when they saw him guarding the building. Jack got a kick out of it and I thought it was pretty cute.





We declined to buy the picture (one was $24) and went on to meet my dad and sister at Seuss Landing.

These were the waits at around 7:30. To me this indicates that unless you want to do the single rider line, or get early entry to the park, doing WWoHP is better in the evening since this was the shortest wait, and it was shorter the evening before too.




















I just thought these recycling bins were perfect!



Jack wanted me to ride the Cat in the Hat ride with him so we waited 5 minutes for that. Then we did some shopping because a very good friend of mine is expecting and is doing her nursery in Dr. Seuss themes! By the time we were done it was about 8:30 and we were ready to head over to Universal Studios for their night show.







So long Islands! Itís been real!

Once we got in, my dad decided he wanted to try RRR again, so my sister and Jack and I stopped to get some treats to snack on. Then we got a decent viewing spot across from Melís Diner near the smoking section for the show and settled in to wait!


I didnít take pictures of the show. It was decent, but I am a Disney girl at heart and it just didnít compare. Jack liked it ok. Once it was over we hauled it back to the car and were on our way back to the house by 10:15! Once we got home we packed up a bit and got ready for bed. We had one last early morning!
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #146
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Fun day. I asume since Spidey is in front of a green screen that the picture they take has something added into it?
Good to know about the meal plan. I heard mixed views on it too. Mostly that it was limited to just a few places and that was a major downside to it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:14 AM   #147
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Fun day. I asume since Spidey is in front of a green screen that the picture they take has something added into it?
Good to know about the meal plan. I heard mixed views on it too. Mostly that it was limited to just a few places and that was a major downside to it.

Yep they make a Newspaper cover or something witht he picture. It's pretty cool, but not cook enough for the $$

I was definitely NOT a fan of the dining plan. I am PMing you...
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:38 AM   #148
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Breakfast and exploring...

The next morning we were up at 7. We finished packing and started a load of towel s as requested by the house company. I took some pictures just in case…
Sister’s room, downstairs with adjoining bathroom:






Living room out to pool...





Parents room, also had adjoining bathroom



Our room, also had a bathroom



Overall the house was nice. It wasn’t perfect, but for the price, I have no complaints. We never were able to get on the wireless internet, but we also didn’t try that hard.

So by 8 am we were on our way to breakfast at... Wilderness Lodge!
We got there about 8:25 and got seated immediately. This was the first time we had eaten hear though of course I have heard many stories. We looked over the menus and ordered. Jack had the Mickey Waffles, my dad, sister and I all had the skillet, and my mom had French toast.
The skillet comes with Mickey waffles (yum!), biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage and potatoes.



And naturally we needed ketchup…



For anyone who doesn’t know, if you as for ketchup, they yell out loud to the whole place asking if anyone has any ketchup and then everyone is supposed to get up and bring you their ketchup. Jack kept telling people we had enough!
Jack participated in the pony race as well, but only for one lap because he was hungry!

After a delicious and fun and DISNEY breakfast, we toured the resort a bit and then headed on to check out another one…

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Old 08-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #149
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More exploring...

I really want to stay here sometime. It just looks like so much fun! We walked around for a while but the only area we really looked at was naturally












































I really liked the idea of these little cone huts. It would make spending a hot afternoon at the pool that much more enjoyable!
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:42 AM   #150
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Art of Animation continued







/












The door to one of the buildings was open so we peeked inside…










It’s the little details that are the best!!












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