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Old 03-11-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
jenseib
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Universal Adventures of Dreams AND Magic, and an expanding World!

Hi, I am Jennifer.



For those who don't know me, I am a mother of 3, Michael (23), Paige (19) and Claire (7). Claire is my traveling buddy. My older 2 no longer go with us.
To make a long story short, My son doesn't get along well with my husband and Paige won't go anywhere without her boyfriend these days....
Niether are huge Disney fans either...which is a huge dissappointment.

Here is Claire. She loves everything Disney and she makes me very proud.



I am married to Skip...and I hate to say it, but I don't really have a good recent picture of him. He was unable to come on our trip last year, and that is when I am usually able to get a picture of him. The last trip we went on as family was in 2009, so it's been awhile. We did do a 1 day trip to Cedar Point last year though.



Skip is what some call a resister...he seems to not want to go on vacations at all anymore.....while I want to do them more often. I do a lot of complaining about him, but he is a good guy...just doesn't see why anyone would ever "need" to vacation once a year, let alone a couple of times.

We have 2 very exciting trips planned this year....When I say we, I mean Claire and I....Skip will be coming on 1 of them, but the other he has chosen not to join, for 2 reasons. 1, he is a dairy farmer and that time of year can be busy, and 2, my family is going on that trip and he doesn't want to spend a week completely with them......though I have told him over and over that we can separate as often as we like. I think he may still be considering it, but it is booked without him at this point in time.

Edit to add. a 3rd trip has been thrown in now!

So what are these 3 exciting trips you may ask?
I'll start with trip number 2.
That is the family trip. We booked this back in Oct. and won't be going till Nov3rd of this year. My husband did give me hassle about this, but end the end he reasoned...happy wife, happy life... oh so true!
We will be cruising on the Disney Dream for 4 nights (nov. 4 ~ 8) and then heading off to Disney World for a few more nights. I know I will be staying 3 nights for sure, but I am thinking of extending it a few days more (again that has been met with grumbles).
Claire and I will have one cabin, My parents will be in an adjoining cabin. My one sister and her DH and 2 girls will have a cabin. My Aunt and Uncle will have an adjoining room to my sisters. Then we have 2 families of cousins along as well.

I have NEVER booked a trip that far in advance for myself.....EVER!
I still have a ton of planning to do for it, but I am not looking too much into it yet, since I haven't made my final decision on how many days we will stay afterwards. I have LOTS of time to plan.

More extensive planning for this trip starts on page 16, post #231.

Trip Number 3! This one was just booked a few days ago...at almost 6 weeks prior to leaving. I am currently playing a game to have you all guess what this trip is. Makes for some interesting fun to pass the time away.

The fun for this trip starts on page 51, post #759

Now for trip number 1.
This year we will be married 10 years, and I wanted to do something special, but the resister was fighting me on it. I had traveled twice last year, once with Claire and my Mom, who took Skip's place when he had to cancel last minute, and once by myself to go to a Disney education program. (both of those TR's are listed in my signature)
I finally just kind of gave up hope of doing anything and waiting till next year.
Skip then mentioned that we could go to Asheville NC to visit the Biltmore Mansion. This was something I had wanted to do for years. We had it planned that we would drive to a buddy's house and deliver a part, spend a day or 2 there and then drive to NC for a day or 2 and then stopping off at Gatlinburg on the way home. When we actually looked at a map and googled it, the drives were much longer than we thought...or hoped. At least 8 hours for each segment. This wasn't sounding too fantastic to me, but I didn't complain. Skip then came right out and said no way does he want to drive that long.
After looking at a few options over this past week, he came in Thursday night and told me that we might as well go to that "other" Disneyland park....Ok, he gets park names confused all the time, so I asked, "You mean in CA?" and he said, "No, the other one in FL". So I knew he meant Universal.
So I started looking up prices of flights. Skip wanted to leave Monday, March 12...Yes that is tomorrow...But the flights were sky high and hotel availability was next to none. I told him we should try for the week Claire was off on Spring break. The flights were less, but still high and I could find several hotels to choose from. The main key being he wanted it cheap.
After doing research and some hem-hawing around (with things like should we stay onsite and pay 1000 more, or just go cheap and get a free breakfast buffet. )...the trip was booked today!
We will be flying into Sanford Airport late March 26th and staying at the Quality Inn and Suites (formerly a Fairfield Inn). We have 3 day park to park tickets and will fly home Friday. March 30th. It's a short trip, but I'm sure we will be busy and have a good time.
I haven't been to Universal since 1999, and both Claire and Skip never have been.

After booking it, Skip almost regretted it and said maybe we should've stuck with Disney after all... ...go figure. But he just doesn't like to try new things, so I'm sure he'll be OK after we get there.
I am very excited to start planning. I leave in 15 days!!! I have so much research to do. I am super excited about going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Also it will be fun to be offsite and maybe get a look at other places in Orlando.

I am looking for any tips and suggestions that any of you may have.

That trip report has been started...

You can take the girl out of Disney, BUT.....

Thanks for joining me on my wild and crazy planning adventures!

Last edited by jenseib; 08-11-2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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SO excited for you Jen!!! Skip makes me laugh, he likes to keep you on your toes! I can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
missj1975
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Universal trip sounds like fun. We went to Universal for one day a couple of years ago. I loved the Mummy ride. I really don't remember much about Universal besides they are pretty strict about taking bags on the rides, which was a problem for me cause I always have a big sized purse with me. I'm thinking there were lockers outside of each ride that I had to stow my stuff in...can't remember if they were free or not.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
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I am so definitely in here, Jen!

Best thing to wake up to ..... a Jen pre trip report!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:57 AM   #5
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I am looking forward to hearing all about Universal - my daughter was there with the high school band and loved it. Every year we say we will do Universal instead of or in addition to Disney, but the last few years I have been able to get a better deal at Disney and the cost of doing both is just too much (DH only wants to do Universal if we stay onsite). So, someday!

Skip reminds me of my DH.......
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:35 AM   #6
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How exciting planning two trips. I love doing research on new places and things to do. We went to Universal two years ago. We really had a good time but my downfall was I kept comparing it to Disney. I need to work on that. My kids would really love to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter so who knows, we may be back someday.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about your trip.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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Well, it's about stinkin time!

In the future you need to start a pre-pre-trip-report. You know.... Cuz it takes so much longer to figure out where you're going than it does to plan the dang thing!

But you have a getaway planned. YEAH!
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Can't wait to hear about it. I still need to use my free 1 day ticket from work....gotta go see Harry Potter before the end of the year.

Jill in CO
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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Can I assume you've checked out the Universal forum here on the DIS? I started nosing around over there when I thought we might do WWoHP on our last trip. If you have specific questins, Mesaboy2 is pretty up to date on all the Universal stuff.

I think you'll be fine with 3 days there. I don't think it will be hard to do it all in that time.

I can believe that in just 3 weeks, you can start your trip report!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:08 AM   #11
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I am here! I have only been to Universal once (similar to Skip I am a if it's not broke don't fix it person) back in 1995. Although as of late I keep saying I want to go to the WWOHP but for right now the crowds are too big for me lol. Maybe when the Fantasy Land expansion is complete I will venture over there! Can't wait to hear the plans!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:12 AM   #12
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Subbing! I'm just finishing up your other TR (finally!) and have several fun suggestions for IOA! Back soon!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #13
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GET OUTTA TOWN! You're going that close to WDW and not going? Seriously, it sounds like a great trip and I can't wait to hear all of the details.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
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Forgot to give you a link to a great Universal Studios trip report. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2760721
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #15
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Voted!
Jen, we've been to Universal quite often (just not to Harry Potter), so if you have any questions, I'd love to help!
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