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Old 08-19-2012, 07:03 AM   #1
pixeegrl
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Live trip report August 18-25

Sorry, no exciting or quirky title but I will try and update daily!
Time for vacation!!! Myself, DH and DS1-17, DS2-14, and DS3-10. Last time we visited Universal was in 2008 and our youngest was not able to ride everything and he is a coaster fanatic. We promised him we wouldnít come back until he was tall enough to ride it all! Heís right at the 54Ē mark and our oldest is now a senior so itís time to give it a go!
Saturday August 18th-Even though our flight isnít until 1pm we have a 2 hour drive to the airport as well as a stop to drop off our pup to stay with his best bud while we are away. We breeze through the airport in Norfolk, no problems. Catch our (full) plane and head to Orlando!


We land at MCO via Southwest. As we are leaving we see the security check point and WOW! Itís definitely bigger than Norfolk and so are the lines! Now we normally get to the airport 2 hours before our flight and after seeing the lines here in Orlando ....you definitely want to be there early!
I check my email to find out where our Hertz rental is and head to itís location. Now thereís a note in my email that says Gold Choice is available and that we can drive something different at no extra cost but Iím pretty sure they didnít mean the Ďvette parked next to us. Besides, no one wanted to ride in the trunk since there werenít enough seats. We decided to stay offsite our first night because of our later arrival. When we first planned our trip we were going to drive but later we had enough points left to fly for only $300 more than the cost to drive 15 hours so it was a no brainer for us. However, when I decided to add a day on to our reservation there were no 6 night SMSM rates left so I was going to have to pay a $100 more for that first night at club. Um, no....so we booked a room at Holiday Inn Maingate on points. The drive was pretty quick and painless....except for the 4 tolls we had to pay! Crazy, wonder if thereís a way to get here without stopping so many times?
The Holiday Inn Maingate really is right across the street! You can see the parking garage from our suite window. You can even see RRR all lit up at night. We had a 2 bed single room reserved with points but since hubby is Platinum they upgraded us to a 2 bedroom 4 bed suite for the night! Woot! The hotel is nice, maybe needs a little updating but the air sure works great in the room. BRRRR! I would never dream of staying offsite during peaktimes but if you are able to visit Universal during slow times and want to save money this is a great location in my opinion. After dropping off our stuff in the room we decide to head downstairs to the TGIFridays for some grub. Itís 5:00 and we havenít eaten since 8 that morning so we are all starting to get grumbly from starvation. The hotel will give you a voucher for kids 12 and under to eat free which itís nice to at least have one person off our bill The waitress we had was great! Very attentive but not too the point of being annoying.
Now this is the part where Iím supposed to add food pics but we were all so starving I forgot. Sorry. The food was great....everything but DHís burger. He did say though that the fries and cheese dip were good and the salted caramel cake with ice cream was amazing. He must have meant it because my DH does not rave about restaurant food EVER! Trust me but apparently this cake was the greatest thing ever lol. DS1 got some kind of club sandwich which he inhaled because by the time I asked him how his sandwich was.....it was gone! DS2 got his usual-chicken fingers. DS3 got his free kids meal of spaghetti and a salad. The salad was good but the spaghetti was rather blah. He wound up sharing mine which was fine because I had plenty. I picked Grilled Chicken and Cheese which was garlic and herb marinated chicken breast over sauteed onions and melted cheese with mashed potatoes. There was plenty and the chicken breast was so tender I could cut it with my fork.
We had thrown around the idea of going over to the parks and guest services since I needed to pick up our 7 day tickets still (bought in 2009 for only $99 just before they quit selling them) but we were all too full and tired so we headed back up to the room. DS2 and DS3 decided to hit the pool so I took them downstairs for a while. The pool is pretty nice and itís deep end is 8ft...which they loved! I think we were down there for about 30 minutes. I called my friend who we are meeting up with this week to see what they were up to. They had gone straight to IOA when they arrived in Orlando this morning. They LOVED it but said WWoHP was crowded and the other wait times around the park were about an hour. They are not staying onsite since there are 6 of them. I believe they are staying at a Marriott resort near Sea World. We made plans to meet up tomorrow (which is today now since I am typing this up Sunday morning).
We headed back to the room and just sat around watching tv for awhile before we all decided to hit the hay. Now itís Sunday and nearly 8am so I need to pack up what little stuff we got out and get ready to grab some breakfast and head to HRH to drop off the rental and check in. Canít wait!!!!! I will try and report back daily but no promises! Thank you if youíve made it this far with me.
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Last edited by pixeegrl; 08-19-2012 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
macraven
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i'm in.

can't believe i really am first in line on this thread.
that never happens........




WOOT......loving your live report
thrill you have pics..



i'll wait here for your return .....
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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Oh good one. I'm in. maybe we'll even have duelling live reports going, but I doubt it.

Hope you're having a good - some thunder storms here in Savannah this afternoon.

Trying to get motivated to get the packing finished. so close. So close.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Day Two
Well day two started off nice. Checked out of Holiday Inn around 9:30 and headed over to the HRH. Check in the first time went fairly smooth. FYI if you are dropping off a car rental, once you give your keys to valet thatís all you need to do. We however didnít know that so DH stood around the Hertz desk waiting for someone to return (as the sign stated) but when no one did he called the number and was told he didnít need to do anything else. Would have been nice to know before hand.
Went upstairs to grab some breakfast about 10:15 since we were told breakfast was till 10:30 at the check in desk. This is not the case apparently 10 is the cut off. Oh well, we pick up our EP (making silly faces in them of course) and decide to head to the Studios since itís supposed to be a scorcher outside.
We went to the Mummy first, there was hardly any line for the regular line but we still took the EP line. Next we decided to hit Disaster since we skipped it on our last go trip. Timing was perfect. They were just letting in the EP line. Woohoo! Once they had everyone in ďLonnyĒ started his comedic routine (he was great) and started picking the actors. DS1 was chosen as the Hunky guy lol. The show was really fun and I wish we they had the option of purchasing the video. I donít know if itís something we would do again though. After Disaster it was time for some MIB action. Again, not much of a wait but we chose EP anyways. Went through a couple of times and then waited while our friends made their way to us. They got a later start than us and it was close to lunch.
Went to Burger place for lunch...forget the name but apparently it's on the Meal Deal for lunch with everyone. Burgers were pretty good and the place was packed but we finally found two tables big enough for us in the back. FYI it was freezing in there!
After lunch we split up and 6 of us went to RRR with only a 10 minute wait. It was fun but a little nausea inducing for my BFF so this kids rode again while she and I headed over to the Kid Zone to meet up with our DHís and the little munchkins.
Hung out there for awhile and started watching the storm clouds roll in. UH OH! Here it comes, the first giant strike of lightning. They closed down the kids zone and as we were leaving the older kids showed up. Good thing too Ďcause not soon after the sky fell out big time!!!! Luckily we were able to make it under a pavillion area by the Animal Actors Live show. The storm lasted about 20 minutes I guess, we really werenít paying much attention as we were having too much fun chatting it up. When the rain stopped everyone decided to do MIB again. I had recieved my text message at 12:30 that our room was ready so our group decided to go back to the HRH after that and get into our room. Still hoping that we got one of those precious Deluxe rooms on club. No go but I did let them know we would be willing to move tomorrow if one comes up. Got our keys-keyed and headed upstairs with the luggage.....hereís where I get a little annoyed. We get up there and none of our keys worked. UGH!!! The lady forgot to key in our room. A nice guy let DH and the boys into the lounge to wait while I went back downstairs to sort it out. Of course now there is a REALLY long line at the check in counter. Everything gets straight and I head BACK upstairs. We get in the room and itís nice but I think the extra square footage that makes it bigger than our room at the RPR is the bathroom area. I would have prefered more ďlivingĒ space.
Itís almost time for dinner and we decide to get over to the lounge early! Dinner was frien mac-n-cheese and wings along with cheese, crackers, veggies, and bean salad. It was tasty but since the room was already packed we asked for a tray ( a tip I got on here) and took it back to the room.
Once the monsters...er kids....were fed it was of course pool time. I relaxed, they swam and DH and DS1 played ping pong. I think they have found a new hobby lol. About 7:30 I let them know that if they wanted dessert we better get out and get changed. Not soon after we made it inside, BOOM!!! The sky fell out again and everyone who was still at the pool took off running....I was giggling silently. Sorry, I have bad humor sometimes! DH and I grabbed two beers from Club and dropped a $5 in the tip jar. Apparently this made us the new favorites the guy said Now itís 8:00 and we are sitting here in Club waiting for dessert at 8:30...I will upload some pictures when we get back to the room. Thanks if youíve made it this far AGAIN! Pics to come once I get them uploaded!
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Oh man. Big rain there too, huh? Oh well. I have packed the raincoats.

And on the bigger rooms - at PBH I feel like it's all in the bathroom too, just acres of tiled space with no real benefit to the living area. Ah well.

Looking forward to seeing the pics.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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i'm waiting on the pictures...........


sweet hour is usually great. loved it at rph last year.
hope they had good stuff at hrh tonight for it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:35 AM   #7
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Oh I'm in too! Love a TR - great start. Sorry you didn't get a dlx - maybe you did the next day? Can't wait to hear and see more!
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Sorry guys, been too caught up in our AMAZING trip. Will update when we get home this weekend if not before
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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homie, read the thread that dvc daisy posted in the main forum.

she is looking to give stuff away and wants to find a diser at the hotels now.

based on your report, you'll be there 2 more days.

















sometimes i feel like a match maker.......

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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Where'd you go? I was curious to compare trips as we were at HRH around the same time.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
JessicaR
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Yeah, come do your report, was looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:51 PM   #12
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I'll be back soon, been crazy around here after we got back and school starts tomorrow so I will be able to update soon, I promise. DH has uploaded 672 pictures from our trip onto picasa....I need to go through them and put a FEW up lol!!!
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #13
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i'll be here waiting for them!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macraven View Post
i'll be here waiting for them!
Me too!

Good luck to the kids going back to school - we started today also!
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