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Old 06-02-2012, 11:46 PM   #1
bstarprincess37
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Smile Practice Makes Perfect, Right?: Our first trip to Disney (and Universal)

Hello! and welcome to my first trip report!

To start I guess I should re-introduce the cast.

This is me and my DH.



I'm Brittany, 26, stay at home wife and currently looking to return to preschool teaching after a very tough year. I love everything to do with travel and theme parks. I also love all the performing arts, theatre and a great show.

and here is a pic of my wonderful DH, Israel, 27.



He currently works as a consultant for new businesses and start-ups and is into everything having to do with entrepreneurship and new tech gadgets. He too has a great appreciation for awesome customer service and quality businesses - which is of course the reason I knew I could convince him to give Disney a try.

The idea for this trip was born out of my very tough year of teaching as a special education teacher. Exhausted and disheartened at the public school district I worked within, I decided that it was time for a little magic. After finding the DIS and reading about other trips, and finding some pretty cheap air tickets online, I was ready to pop the topic to my DH. DH agreed and on I went with the planning.


If you read my pre-trip report (here), then you will know that this trip was sort of a short sampler trip to Disney and to the “Other Orlando” parks. We only had 4 days to spend in Orlando (DH has a busy job!) and both budget and time were an issue. Although, I tried to convince my DH to have a full on Disney Vaca as we only had 4 days, he really wanted to see Universal after hearing so much about it from my solo trip there back in March. Plus, he was concerned that the costs of four Disney days would add up quickly.

So I, like a good DW, went ahead with the plan to do two days at Universal and two Days at Disney. But no biggie, I love Universal too so I was excited for DH to see it too.



Practice Makes Perfect, Right?: Our First Trip to Disney and Universal

Table of Contents
Mistake #2: Lock It NOT Pocket!
__________________


Me DH

*May 2012 - Coronado Springs* *July 2012 - Pop Century* *December 2012 - All Star Sports* *March 2013 - Pop Century* *July 2013 - AKV, OKW, and BLT* *September 2013 - OKW and SSR* *December 2013 - Pop Century, Old Key West and WLV* *March 2014 - Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo and Kidani*

Last edited by bstarprincess37; 06-04-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:52 PM   #2
bstarprincess37
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Unhappy Mistake # 1: Too Little Time, Too Little Sleep

In searching for our flights for our memorial weekend trip, I ended up finding some great deals on one way flights. In the end it came out to $300 total for both of us!

I was thrilled and knew that this would be one way of convincing my DH that we should definitely head to Disney for Memorial Weekend. However, taking the oh so cheap flights meant we would need to fly into Tampa and drive a rental to Orlando. But these were minor hurdles given that we would want to rent a car anyway so we could drive between Universal and Disney at our leisure. However, it did mean that with a flight arriving in Tampa at 11:30pm, we would not make it to our hotel in Orlando until 1:30am. But, at such a great deal, I couldn’t pass it up.

Fastforward to our actual departure day, the late arrival time was making me pretty nervous. --Not to mention there was a lovely tropical storm scheduled to be moving through the Florida area that weekend. I was really nervous we would end up getting delayed and have to fly in the morning taking away from our precious vaca time so I convinced my DH to try for an early standby flight. After trying to confirm an earlier flight over the phone to no avail, we decided to try our luck by going earlier to the airport that day to see if we could leave a bit earlier in the day.

This ended up being the first of many mistakes we were to make on our first Disney trip.


Once at the airport, we were informed that all the flights through to Tampa were booked and not available for standby. Strange, seeing as how I checked online just before leaving the house and there was definite availability on at least three of the flights. We tried calling the booking number to see if anyone there would be more helpful but the only offer we were given was to pay $150 each to go on the earlier flight. Although this, to me, sounded like a small price to pay, my DH was not so convinced so we let the agent check us in. After a coffee in the starbucks downstairs, we were a bit more level headed and decided to head home to rest up (and so my hubs could do some work).

A very tired DH on the way to the airport...


Even though we had alot of time to rest up, we were both tired when we finally headed back to the airport that afternoon around 2pm. We had to take the metro so it meant taking a bit of a walk to and from the station to the gate at the airport. Once we made our way through security, and grabbed some coffees, (my DH loves his coffee!) we were finally on our way to Orlando! (Well sort of...we were on our way to tampa, where we would pick up a rental car which we would finally drive to Orlando!)

We made it into Tampa around 11:15pm. This was good news seeing as every minute early meant another minute to sleep before our first day at Universal the following day. In the end, I think that it would have paid off to just book an earlier albeit more expensive flight to Orlando. The process of trying for something else was costly both in time and rest. However, at this point, I was over it, and happy to be at the airport just a bit early, or so I thought.

This leads me to part 3 and mistake #2 of our trip.


Up Next: Mistake #2: Lock It NOT Pocket!
__________________


Me DH

*May 2012 - Coronado Springs* *July 2012 - Pop Century* *December 2012 - All Star Sports* *March 2013 - Pop Century* *July 2013 - AKV, OKW, and BLT* *September 2013 - OKW and SSR* *December 2013 - Pop Century, Old Key West and WLV* *March 2014 - Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo and Kidani*

Last edited by bstarprincess37; 06-03-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
bstarprincess37
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Mistake #2: Lock it NOT Pocket!

Now, I am somewhat of a newbie to the DIS and Disney vacations, but I am not new to flying, but for some reason this trip I just had to make a rookie mistake...Instead of putting away my license in my wallet as I usually do, I decided to place it inside my back pocket. I did at the time, think twice about this, but seeing as I was wearing some nicely tight jean shorts, I did not think it would be a problem.

Just after making our way off the plane, I decided to get my information together for our car rental. When I reached in my pocket, for my license...it was gone. Not wanting to look too frantic yet, I carefully searched each and every pocket and wallet and case I had, but alas. I had lost it, I was sure of it, and I was certain it was not on the plane as I always check and double check under and around my seat before getting off. Needless to say, this whole process took away about 45 minutes from our trip as I looked and double checked with the flight attendants. It was nearing midnight, and I didn’t think I’d find it so we made our way to pick up the car.

I was nervous that there might be an issue with me picking up the car and getting the price I had reserved the car for, but in the end, it wasn’t a big deal, but the thing that got me when I started to let it all settle in was the thought that I might not be able to drink my way around the world at Epcot.

We made it to the hotel around, 2am. Originally, we were going to stay at Loews Royal Pacific for two nights, but after reading that we could check in as early as 7am the following day on the Dis, we decided to opt for a cheaper hotel on I-drive for the night and make our way bright and early to RPR to check in and enjoy the parks. After checking in, we made our way to our room and plopped into bed. It had been a long day of travel and we would need our rest as we would be waking up bright and early at 6:00am to get ready for a forbidden journey!


Up Next: Butterbeer, Margaritas and Blue Men
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Me DH

*May 2012 - Coronado Springs* *July 2012 - Pop Century* *December 2012 - All Star Sports* *March 2013 - Pop Century* *July 2013 - AKV, OKW, and BLT* *September 2013 - OKW and SSR* *December 2013 - Pop Century, Old Key West and WLV* *March 2014 - Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo and Kidani*

Last edited by bstarprincess37; 06-03-2012 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
bstarprincess37
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Talking Butterbeer, Margaritas, and Blue Men

The next, morning, we woke early. I dragged my DH out of bed at 6:30, we checked out and grabbed some pastries downstairs, and we were headed to Loews Royal Pacific by 7:00. We arrived at RPR a bit later than planned, but with just enough time to spare so we could park the car and put our bags in our room, which to our surprise, was ready for us when we arrived. My DH headed to put away the bags, while I parked the car. We met up at the walkway to RPR and headed straight for the gate of Islands of Adventure.

We were in quite a hurry to make our way to the park so I didn't take many pics but the resort area was beautiful and really made me feel like I was on a tropical island, well, with the exception of the occasional roar of the rollercoasters nearby

IoA in the Distance


When we made it to the gate, they had already started letting people in the park. As a resort guest, we had early park access and front of the line access in both parks so we could enter as early as 8am.

After making our way through the gates, we took the shortcut, just before Seuss Land and headed back to WWOH and seeing this:



Without any kids of our own, we weren’t really intrested in seeing Ollivanders, so we stopped at a butterbeer cart and grabbed two frozen BB (it was getting hot!) and headed to the line for Forbidden Journey.

We were glad to have grabbed the BB’s as the line was 25 minutes long and although that is pretty short for FJ standards, it did help pass the time along within the greenhouse. Once inside the castle I didn't get to take too many pics, the line was moving quickly but I would return again before the end of the day to take my time and enjoy. I did snap this one of Dumbledore's office.


Sorry pic is not too clear as I was using my iphone.

This was my second time to Universal, so the ride was not new to me, but I have to say that sometimes sharing a first ride with another is just as good as riding the ride yourself the first time. It was great hearing my DH react to all of the scenes and parts of the ride.

After FJ, I wanted to check out moaning myrtle in the bathroom so I headed it to look around. I was expecting a projection of her but it was just a recording you could hear. Nonetheless, a nice touch to add to the experience in the land.

We headed to flight of the hyppogriff next, as I never did ride it during my solo trip back in March. It was lots of fun, with a bit more zip that I expected from a “kiddie” type coaster.

After seeing that the Dueling dragons, had only a 5 minute wait, we headed to ride choosing the blue or Hungarian Horntail. Again, I was a bit surprised by how fast and intense it was. I didn’t get many pics here but was able to get some later (stay tuned!) of my time in Harry Potter Land.

Surprisingly, it was only 9:30 when we finished in WWOHP. We were ahead of schedule, but decided to head out of the park to check out Universal Studios .

Up Next: Butterbeer, Margaritas, and Blue Men, Take 2!
__________________


Me DH

*May 2012 - Coronado Springs* *July 2012 - Pop Century* *December 2012 - All Star Sports* *March 2013 - Pop Century* *July 2013 - AKV, OKW, and BLT* *September 2013 - OKW and SSR* *December 2013 - Pop Century, Old Key West and WLV* *March 2014 - Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo and Kidani*

Last edited by bstarprincess37; 06-04-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
bstarprincess37
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Smile Butterbeer, Margaritas, and Blue Men, Take 2

Once at US, We headed to mummy first, it being decently popular and one of my favorites at the park. The ride was a lot of fun, kind of like a space mountain with the scenery and effects of great movie ride, but there was another surprise and just as we pulled up to the end, we got stuck.

We knew it was stuck once the whole track area was flooded with bright fluorescent emergency lighting. One of the team members came out to inform us that the ride had broken down and that they would need to manually move our ride vehicle to get us all off safely. Since we were the ones on the ride stuck in a relatively safe position, we would be last to get off. My DH and I did not mind too much, we kind of found the whole process entertaining. Knowing that we had express passes and had already seen WWOHP we weren’t in much of a hurry.

Once we got off, we were told we would be given express passes as an apology for our delay. When we told the team member we already had express passes, we were given special express passes to ride either Forbidden Journey or Rip Ride Rockit. Hmmm...maybe not the most spectacular gift for an apology - but it would save us about an hour at the one ride we could use our express on . Since we had ridden FJ already and knew we could return to the single rider line.

But first, we checked out MIB. My DH really liked this ride because of the theming and design of the line queue.




Not to mention I am sure he enjoyed beating me with a score thousands higher.

After MIB, we tried Disaster, and Simpsons, both of which my DH loved (he is a big Simpsons fan) and decided we would catch RockIt on the way out to lunch on Citywalk.

RockIt (Climb & First Drop)


DH said he he liked it but maybe not as much as me I love rollercoasters and music so this is one of my favs. I chose to ride to the sounds of “Glamorous” by Fergie .

After RockIt, we headed out of the park as planned to eat at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Since we were somewhat on a budget we decided to have margaritas and share their infamous nachos. Sorry no pic of the nachos (I could have sworn I took one...) but here is a pic of the hubs enjoying his Strawberry Margarita (my suggestion since I couldn’t order without an ID).


After lunch we decided to head back to the resort. It was getting pretty hot and since we had only gotten 4 hours of sleep we were pretty sleepy. But there was still much more to come that day and we wanted to be rested up for a date with some Blue Men!
__________________


Me DH

*May 2012 - Coronado Springs* *July 2012 - Pop Century* *December 2012 - All Star Sports* *March 2013 - Pop Century* *July 2013 - AKV, OKW, and BLT* *September 2013 - OKW and SSR* *December 2013 - Pop Century, Old Key West and WLV* *March 2014 - Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo and Kidani*

Last edited by bstarprincess37; 06-04-2012 at 12:15 PM.
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