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Old 01-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
EPRV We love Disney
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Two 40-somethings. No Castle Tour?? And the B52’s!!!

I know. I know. I did this before. I started off with a pre-trip report.
Full of good intentions.
And then I didn’t come back and write the report.
Bad Dobby. Bad.

Second time’s the charm, right?
Well… we’ll see..
I’m not making any promises this time around.
‘Cause you just never know. Ya know?

So, here’s the scoop. I’m a 40-something, married mother of 2. My college roommate, also 40-something, single. And, we’re going to Universal. Together. Without my family.
(most of the time…. )

I thought of this trip over a year ago. … After driving three 11-year old girls to the mall. To shop. While I tried to not to poke my own eyes out with a stick while following them around the mall. So, yanked out the phone and called up “C” as I’ll name her here. I had been thinking of some way to get us together. Cause she lives in Denver and I’m in NJ. And we never see each other anymore. And she’s a big Potter fan. And I love Universal. And RPR. And caramel apples. But let’s not get into that yet….

I convinced her to think it over. We had a whole year to work out the details…. And save the money.. and look for airfare… and book RPR…. And get park tickets…..

And now…now we have 3.5 weeks till we arrive. How in the love of Pete did it arrive so fast?

First was airfare.
Let me tell you now. I’m a major nag. Like a pitbull on crack. Last summer I wanted to book my tickets. Cause I was using points to purchase and those tickets go as fast as lightning. So I call up C. Who doesn’t know exactly when she can go cause she has to figure it out with work and since she can’t take off more than 3 work days (she accumulates vacation), we want to arrive crack of dawn in Orlando on the first day. So we get the whole day there. So, I oh so patiently wait 24 hours to call her again. At which point she probably begins to get an inkling of how it will be with me planning this trip. So…I wait… until she knows… and check my airfare… and she checks hers. Cause we need to arrive into the airport close to the same time or else it kind of defeats the purpose of going on vacation together. And being that she’s coming from Denver, and there is a 2 hour time difference, in order to arrive bright and early in Orlando, she needs a red-eye. And there aren’t any listed. Yet. Did I mention I’m impatient?

Then, finally, she knows. She books a red-eye. I grab my flight from Newark and we’re arriving in Orlando on Feb. 8th. C arrives at 7 am. After leaving Denver at 10pm. The day before. And changing planes apparently in Abu Dhabi. I’m arriving in the Orlando airport at 9 am. I don’t change planes but will have to arrive in Newark at 4:30 am. Which is a disgusting hour. But it’s for a good cause.

We leave Orlando (sob) on the 12th. Both our flights leave around 6pm.

About this time I have to inform the company I work for that I’m taking vacation. This I do in writing… cause they like to forget these little things…Like vacations. And paying me. But that’s another story…

So, airfare booked, I give C a couple of weeks breather. Cause although now she’s stuck with me, I don’t want to scare her too much.

While I’m waiting I book RPR, standard 2 queens. At rack rate cause that’s all there was. And although I know the room rate will go down, I start to ponder how to tell C that the room will cost close to $200 per night. Cause it’s worth it. Which I know. But I also know money is tight. Both for C and for me. So, I book it anyway. Cause in the end we only live once.. and we can’t take it with us… and really, do the kids need to go to college anyway…..

And then…park tickets.
Around this time I hear that Universal might be raising prices. So I go on Undercover Tourist, copy the pricing page and e-mail to C. I want to get the 4-day tickets. Which I suggest to her. Gently.

She’s up for it, so we order them and they arrive 4 days later. Locked safely in the fire box, they await the trip. The other day C mentions how she’s had nightmares that she forgets to pack the tickets. Which I hadn’t been worrying about. Yet. But now I am. Love that girl.

I keep calling RPR to see if room rates have gone down. They must have my reservation taped to a wall. Where they throw darts at it. No really, they are very kind and don’t seem to mind me calling them every third day to ask the same exact question.

And then… eureka! SMSM rates! They switch my rates and then I start to ponder APH rates. Greedy… I know…

Finally, on my 900th call, APH rates are out. They are lower, which is good. But the AP purchase rate has gone up. Which is bad. But I book the APH rate anyway. I just can’t help myself. And I figure… maybe I’ll come back this year…..or maybe I’ll never go back home and will live in Universal forever… and that annual pass will come in very handy…

Around Christmas time I think to myself “how in the heck are we getting to the hotel?”. Which I had forgotten about. So I booked Murray Transportation. Which we’ve used and liked previously. Which you’d know all about. If I wrote my last trip report. (See first paragraph). I’m very happy with the grocery stop with this service. Even though in 2009 it was a 30 minute stop. And now it’s 20 minutes. That’s inflation for ya.

At the beginning of February I begin e-mailing a Universal Photo of the Day to C. To whet her appetite. And to get me ready to broach the subject of the room cost. Cause it’s still a bit pricey. But I really want to do it.. I send her images of the RPR pools (look! Close to the parks!). The RPR fountain (look, pretty flowers!), the RPR bedrooms (look! Beds!). I finally screw up my courage… and tell her the price… and she’s totally fine with it. Whew.

So, now all the pieces are in place. Airfare, Tickets, Hotel, Transpo to Hotel.

And then I read about Mardi Gras….

Free concerts


I wait and wait and wait for the concert line up… we’ll be there on the 11th….. (impatient, remember…)

And it’s the B-52’s! Awesome!! Rock Lobster! Love Shack! Cosmic Thing! And C is super excited too. Yes, you can tell we graduated college in the late 80’s…..

More to follow… I hope…
February 2012 - RPR
November 2009 - RPR
November 2007 - POP
December 1990 - offsite
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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Looking forward to reading more!
December 2007- Wilderness Lodge
January 2009-Birthday Trip-Animal Kingdom Lodge
April 2009-Yacht Club
Yacht Club Trip Report 2009
January 2010-Birthday Trip-The Boardwalk Inn
Boardwalk Inn January 2010 Trip Report:
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by EPRV We love Disney View Post
And it’s the B-52’s! Awesome!! Rock Lobster! Love Shack! Cosmic Thing! And C is super excited too. Yes, you can tell we graduated college in the late 80’s…..

More to follow… I hope…
I saw them last year and they were fantastic! They sounded great and the audience was really getting into the show. I will be one of the masses at the Studios that night...can't wait!
**** Universal Orlando annual passholder since 2004! ****
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:56 AM   #5
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GREAT PTR! Love your writing style! Also love the B52s. Haven't seen them since college in the 80s, but they are super-high-energy!

Hope to see more of your report!
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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
It`s a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
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Great start...........will be looking for updates, look forward to hearing about your trip........
17 Nights At RPR---2013 Trip Report

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Old 01-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #7
EPRV We love Disney
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Thanks for reading!! And here's a little more....

“No Castle Tour???” So, a month ago I signed up for ***************.com. Paid the fee and got the access to the website. The site is interesting and worth a look, in my opinion.

In the midst of my reading came the news that the Forbidden Journey’s castle tour was suspended during the busy holiday season last month. And that others had experienced the tour being closed at other times as well. I cannot explain why this irks me so. I’ve never even been to WWoHP for crying out loud…. But… I want to go on the tour… I want to ride the ride too… but I like the idea of the tour. And dang it, I’ve lost a lot of the things I got to do last time I visited Universal.

…Like Jimmy Neutron… (ok, ok, so I didn’t really like it that much)

….And Jaws (this one I liked more and I never did get a picture of my kids with their heads jammed into the shark’s maw…. Dang it again)

…..And the whole Amity area!

….And the Dueling Dragons don’t freaking duel. I didn’t ride this previously. My entire family vetoed roller coasters on the last trip… So, I had my chance… and now I can’t ride it while its dueling…. Grrrr

So, No Castle Tour you say? I certainly hope not! We’ll see.. we’ll see… and if there’s no tour, fun will be had anyway for sure! But there will also be grumbling…

And now that I’m thinking about my 2009 trip, I’m going to re-post the anecdote that I put up a while ago… just to give you’all a feeling of how things can go down in my family…

“”Myyyyy Fliiiiipfloooooppppp! A Universal Studios anecdote.

Let me start by saying that my daughter would just die if she knew I was posting this. She’s 11, which is apparently the age where I have become totally not cool, while she is apparently always right…. Always. No worries, cause someday she’ll want the car keys… and then I’ll be all cool again….

But this story starts 18 months ago, when our family of four spent a week at the darkside. And loved every minute…. Well… almost every minute….

We stayed at RPR, club level during Jersey week of 2009. Right at the height of the swine flu mania… Loved RPR. My kids looooved the club level!

Since this isn’t a trip report, but an anecdote, I’m going to jump right to the story. About the 3rd day in, we head to Universal Studios for a dose of Shrek and the Simpsons (loooved them), I steer the family to MIB. We wave our Express Passes at the TM and flounce through the express line. We had it down by then, the stroll past the lines, past all the looong faces waiting. We were kind though, we didn’t cackle merrily as we bounded past… OK, maybe a little giggle.

We wait a minute or two to board, my daughter and husband in the rear two seats. Myself and my son in the front two. We’re locked in securely and the ride moves forward a bit annnnd… my daughter drops her flipflop off of her foot, onto the floor of the car. She was just 9 then and her feet didn’t touch the floor. The flip was all the way on the far side of her, my husband couldn’t reach it, the car had moved forward and we couldn’t get anyone’s attention. I tried to reach back but couldn’t get close to it.

And then the ride took off.

Now, my daughter is dramatic in all aspects of her life. The fact that this flip was off her foot and we had taken off had totally derailed her.

She began to screech “Myyyyyyy fliiiiiiipfloooop’’”. Meanwhile I am turned around trying to distract her with “It will be alright… see the flip is right there.. we’ll get it when the ride stops (yes, I know, you can start laughing now). I’m trying to get her to shoot her gun. Anything to stop the unholy screeching…

And then the car begins to spin.

Well, that flip flew like a bullet, smacked an alien right upside the head.

And my daughter screamed like she was being killed.

As we whirled around you could see the stunned look on faces of the people in the opponent car. They surely thought she had an arm ripped off. The girl screamed, and all of us in the car totally lost patience for it. The photo taken of the car shows my husband, my son and myself yelling at her to zip it. A true family memory.

We got off this ride with daughter hobbling on one flip (dramatic, remember). The people in the car next to us were asking for the local equivalent of child services, cause surely we were beating this innocent child….and look, she doesn’t even have two shoes to wear… bad parents.

The kind TM told us to hobble to the front of the park where there were flips in my daughters size. He also told us that we could come to Guest Services the next day where they gather up all of the lost belongings…. Which we did do another day… that’s another story as we try to describe the lost flip flop to the Guest Services. But, it was recovered and reunited with its owner.

Last weekend I chaperoned my son’s band trip to Dorney Park in PA and we rode a roller coaster (Talon) that had a webbing below one of the inversions. On the webbing… one lone flip flop. We looked at each other and laughed hysterically. My fliiiiippfloooopp has become a family joke. Well, for all of us but the girl, she’s too cool for all that……”””
February 2012 - RPR
November 2009 - RPR
November 2007 - POP
December 1990 - offsite
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Oh man, that is hilarious! I can totally picture that scenario too. I love your sense of humor. Looking forward to the the actual trip report!!
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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i'm here and i'm ready for more perv.

hopefully the pressure will be on and you will be here everyday until you leave for the darkside.

you will love doing this trip!
no kids, no spouse, eat when you can, do all the rides, etc.

you can sleep on the plane when you go back home.
life is what happens to you on your way to achieving your dreams...........

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Great start- I can't wait to read more about your plans!
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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OMG, I am LOVING this PTR!!! I too am the mother of an 11 year old daughter and you're right - you are not cool anymore and she is ALWAYS right.

Please come back and post more - your writing style and sense of humor is making me laugh out loud (which is probably not good since I'm reading this at work)

Mom to Savannah, age 11
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #12
EPRV We love Disney
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Calling for room request.

So, I called a couple of weeks ago to make a room request for my RPR reservation. Speaking to a lovely older lady in Reservations who pulls up my information.

Conversation goes something like this…
“Hi I’m E, my reservation number is blah, blah, blah… I’d like to add a room request to my reservation”

Lovely lady “No problem, what would you like to add?”

Me, “Well, please mark down that we’d like a quiet room….
Lady “Oh, OK, sure…
Me “In either tower 3 or 1…
Lady “OK..
Me “On a high floor…
Lady “O…
Me “And with a park view… please
Lady… (dull silence… the thwack of a dart hitting a paper on the far side of the room)… “Well, I can certainly add the request to your reservation….”

Now, I know that this is a bit of a far out request. Since I’m only booked in a standard room… but I’d really love a park view. Really. Really.

Cause this was my view from club level in 2009. So, I’m ruined for anything else.

Look closely, you can see the smudges from our noses on the glass. From where we pressed our faces against it and whooped in glee at our luck…


So, here’s to hoping… lol…..
February 2012 - RPR
November 2009 - RPR
November 2007 - POP
December 1990 - offsite
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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Good luck! Hope you get it!!

Mom to Savannah, age 11
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:09 PM   #14
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Oh, do keep posting!! You're a hoot to read!
me DH DS15:
One day at DW for the 25thOne day at DL for the 40th!
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:15 PM   #15
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The castle tour isn't anything special. It goes through the same line as you will go through when you ride Forbidden Journey. People use the castle tour if they aren't planning on riding and just want to see the inside of the castle. But since you are riding, you will be touring the castle while you are in line. It's not like a guided tour or anything. It's just another line that would nromally be used for express that is side-by-side to the regular line but at the end, you just skip the ride. There is no need for the castle tour unless you are not riding.
This space reserved for something deep and insightful, if I ever think of something like that!
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