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Old 11-08-2012, 07:48 PM   #31
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Love the costumes!! You all looked so cute! We were at MNSSHP the same night and it was the highlight of our trip.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:53 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
Great call getting in line early for Captain Jack! I can imagine his line gets HUGE throughout the night!!
It was very long by the time he came out. I can't imagine what it looked like after we left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ash-n-brensmom View Post
Our Jack Sparrow was late as well...we were second in line, and I kept thinking about all the time we were wasting waiting for him!
I was chanting "we have other things to do, we have other things to do" until he finally weaved his way out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madzac View Post
We were at MNSSHP the same night and it was the highlight of our trip.
I would go to MNSSHP every night of our trip I think. I love it!





October 14
MNNSHP
A little more to the left


We made our way to the castle front to watch the fireworks. It was only about 15 minutes before start, so I knew we wouldn't get good "seats". DD noticed a whole section in front of the castle to the left that was completely empty. Not going to the be the best view, too far to the left and too close but if we kept going to the left, there is a fence railing and curb to sit on. Bonus score. We can sit. I'm all for that.





DD had one thing on her to-do list for tonight. She wanted to see if Lotso smelled like strawberries

Well, he didn't, but she got to squeak his tail (or, play with Lotso's butt as we teased her all week......)




We decided to watch Boo to You from Frontierland, so we made our way over there and got a seat right near the country bears right in front. DD and I went to get popcorn and bottled water and we sat and snacked and chatted with a lovely family all the way from, well, Florida, who sat next to us. They had a DD our DS's age and they hit it off. Very well.

And a little side note, is there anything better than Disney popcorn?

While DD and I were on our popcorn search, DS was hula hooping with a CM who caught me after the parade to let me know he was one of the most polite boys she has ever seen.

Yeah, hula hoop with the neck. And notice the pirate boot covers are long gone, as is the bandana, eye patch and earring. He was pretty much naked by the end of the night


Finally, it was time for the parade. I'm a terrible photographer. My headless horseman pictures are ALWAYS either too far away or I miss him. This year, too soon.


But I managed to get a couple of decent pictures of some other people


Dang the stupid rope, but this pirate was yelling "arrggghhh, fellow pirates" at us and when I went to take his picture, he screamed "CHEESE"


Now, a little rant. There was a family behind us, and their precious little mermaid kept smacking DD and I in the head with her very full candy bag when Goofy's workers came by with the candy. First of all, this girl's bag was so full there wasn't any room left for more. Second, it's free freaking candy. To beat someone to death screaming "CANDY" to get another piece of essentially free candy is ridiculous. I tried to move, and the girl just kept inching her way forward, stepping on my hand, our costumes and she knocked our leftover popcorn over. Poor DD was so upset because she just doesn't deal with confrontation well. She kept ranting about it asking me to do something after the parade. We kept joking that it was funny she wanted me to track this girl down and the beat down a 9 year old, and that became the running joke of the week. "What do you want me to do? Open a can of whoop butt on a little kid?"


Next up:
What can we do in an hour?
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:09 AM   #33
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Love the costumes! Too adorable!

How was The Little Mermaid?!
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:30 AM   #34
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LHow was The Little Mermaid?!
It's not a popular opinion, but I wasn't impressed. It was fun to be able to say we got to ride it before it officially opened though.




Oct 14
MNSSHP
What can you do in an hour?



So parade over, this leaves just about an hour to finish up before the party ends. I had 2 things I wanted to do: ride Dumbo at night and see Rapunzel and Flynn. I'm a youth small group leader and one of my girls is IN LOVE with Flynn. Crazily She was actually on her way to Disney for the first time this very minute (at age almost 18), but they didn't have plans to go to MNSSHP and was heartbroken when I had to tell her Flynn was only around for the party. My mission was to meet Flynn and text her the picture, maybe even call her so he could say a brief "Hi" if they'd let me.

Everyone was excited about Dumbo (except my mom - fear of heights) but I encountered resistance from the troupes regarding Flynn. Now, we can meet Rapunzel anytime, but not with Flynn. We didn't have plans for a second MNSSHP this trip, so this was it.

We left Frontierland heading to Fantasyland, and of course, we had to do the trick or treat trail near the riverboat on the way





Finally, the new Dumbo. We skipped the circus tent for another day and walked directly on the ride


The kids got a glimpse of the new improved "Barnstormer" and insisted.



We walked the trick or treat trail from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland to finish filling up those bags (my dentist will love me)


And this is where it starts....... the meltdown

"But we don't care about Flynn. We want to ride Buzz"




We can ride Buzz anyday. We had 2 full MK days left. Flynn is only here for the party. We only have 15 minutes left. And this is when someone walks by, hears the tirade and says "We just left the line for Flynn. It's REALLY long. Everyone leaving is stopping there on their way out."

So nice for someone to intervene and save us the trouble of waiting in a really long line. I was bummed for my youth girl. Instead, I herded the kids to a brief stop at the dance party with Goofy for a song, then over to Buzz.

This is typical tired kiddos: Wild DS and Grumpy DD


As we walked out of Buzz, the castle chimed midnight. I wish we would have been able to talk the kids into more characters, but the lines were pretty long and they know from experience that even though the character lines are long, the ride lines are non-existent and they are all about the rides.

When we got home, the kids were hungry, so we all sat down at 1am in pajamas to eat a sandwich on the balcony and plan the next day.

Next up:

We're headed to the darkside.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:20 PM   #35
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Sounds like you guys killed MNSSHP! Way to go!!

And guess what? I agree with you about Little Mermaid. Yup. For sure.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:22 AM   #36
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And guess what? I agree with you about Little Mermaid. Yup. For sure.

Oh good. I know some people thought it was great, but we got off and went "that's it?"

October 15
Universal
Home away from home away from home


Having not gone to bed until 1:30 I was pretty sure everyone would sleep in, but we were up and moving by 8:30. DS decided to do some chores first (seriously, he was addicted to the Bissell and used it every day)


DD is not a morning person. At all. Ever


I went back and forth on my next decision, but knowing we had only 1 1//2 days for Universal and IOA, I wanted to maximize our time. I looked into buying Express Pass and realized with our AAA discount, it would be cheaper to get an onsite room. This also would give us early entry into WWOHP. I booked the cheapest room at Royal Pacific Hotel and decided it would be a little "mini-vacation" and we could spend one night there, swim in a different pool etc.

Only no one wanted to pack an overnight bag to share beds and one bathroom. I felt a little guilty spending money on the room until I reminded myself it was still cheaper than buying Express Pass (that's not unlimited), the hour early entry and paying for parking at the parks 2 days. We got to RPH around 10am. The resort is very pretty.


We checked in, got our express pass and decided we should at least check out the room that was going to sit empty all night. When we got off the elevator we headed down the hallway and realized there was a urine smell all the way down the hall. It was pretty strong and I was beginning to congratulate myself on not packing bags to stay there. Until, we saw the view




and to the right


The second the kids saw the pool, they were upset with "me" that we weren't staying there. I **briefly** flirted with going back to the condo to pack overnight bags after we left Universal for the day, but the decision had been made and I wasn't budging. Besides, having my own bed vs sharing with DD was much more enticing.

I finally managed to convince everyone there was more to see than the RPH pool, and we headed out to find the water taxi to Universal.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #37
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Hey everyone. I will be back to finish my trip report but for right now we are internetless at home. Our current carrier couldn't fix it so we are switching to cable Internet and have to wait for the install.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:21 PM   #38
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Finally! Internet! We were internetless at home for 10 days, and actually lost our internet at work for 2 of those 10 days. Thank goodness for an Iphone so I could check email at least!


October 15
Universal Studios
Granny - the MIB Junkie



We headed out of RPH, past the pool and followed the sign for the water taxi.....only we never found the water taxi. It's pretty easy to miss the actual taxi stop......especially if your kids are fighting and you're threatening your DS7 that you will leave right that very second and drive him to the airport and put him on a plane back home to daddy........


So, we ended up walking to Universal.



It's not a bad walk, really, but it was getting warm and muggy and the kids were not being nice.

And neither was the lady at the bag check kiosk thingie. Now, I know it's hot, and she probably didn't see too many people that day walking past her, but she was just plain snotty. I stuck my tongue out at her when we went past her later, just for giggles.

The first thing on our list was Despicable Me. Thank goodness for express pass. The wait was 50 minutes, but we breezed right in. However, the pre-show stuff is SO long, so it still seemed like a 50 minute wait. The que is so cute and set up just like Gru's house.









We loved the ride. My mom was a little overwhelmed. It made her a tad motion sick being her first ever "really good" simulator ride. I love Disney, but Universal BLOWS them away on simulator rides. She was fine, but it's probably a good thing it wasn't any longer than it was.

I let the kids pick right or left, and they decided on right, probably so DD could avoid me making her ride The Mummy. We decided to hoof it back to let my mom get on Men In Black and then we'll backtrack. This proves to be the biggest mistake of my life.

My mom because a MIB addict. We have to ride it 3 times in a row before we can drag her away.

"well, we have 30 minutes before we have to get our stuff out of the locker, so we might as well keep riding until the time expires".

The funny part of this is that SHE'S TERRIBLE at it. I mean, awful. As in, the kids and I are breaking 200,000 points and she's getting 40,000.

Now, to skip ahead a little, wait until tomorrow. She makes us ride it 3 more times..........
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:27 PM   #39
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October 15
Universal Studios
Opening a can of Whoop A*S in the ET line.



We decide to backtrack back to find some lunch, and ride whatever is in our way. The first thing we get to is Simpsons. I wasn't sure I should take mom on it after her experience on Despicable Me, but she says she's good and she'll just take her glasses off if she needs.

Wait time was 50 minutes (God bless Express Pass - never again to Universal without it) but we zipped right ahead to the holding area. Yet another long preshow, but at least it give the kids something to watch while waiting.



How's this for timing?



After The Simpsons it was time for a quick stop at International Food and Film. Pretty blech, but it was food.


Next stop was ET. This was the most unorganized ride we found all day. The wait time said 70 minutes (about noon)



We went in the express pass line, but they had it all combined until REALLY far inside so the line was really backed up. People kept trying to cut in front of us to find the express pass line, including one very obnoxious buxom lady, who was telling everyone they had to let her through because she was an onsite guest, but when she got to us and I said "Everyone standing here has express pass too", she conveniently decided she didn't speak English anymore and tried to shove her bozongas past me. Now, my mom is 6 foot tall. My mom is a nurse who works in geriatric care and lifts people all day long. She's tough and I'm scared of her, and she was getting angry.

Thankfully there was a really big guy in front of us, and he helped us make a wall to block her. Thank you to whoever you were, because I really didn't want to watch my mother get into a fight in the ET line Once we got to the express pass part, the line disappeared and we walked right on. The people in front of us were talking, so the kids didn't hear their name at the end. I like it, the kids were bored, but we were all grateful for the dark air conditioned line.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #40
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October 15th
Universal Studios
Wait, was that really the parade?




After exiting ET, we made our way to Woody's Coaster and took a quick spin on it. I swear, it takes longer to put your bag in the bins, get in and sit down than the whole ride does



We got off in time to do a quick explore of the Kids Zone and then ran and snagged a quick seat before the Animal Actor show started. The kids LOVED it. They are both huge animal freaks so it made their day to watch the different animals do all their tricks





Definitely a must do again for the kids.

We made our way back towards the entrance to continue our circle back, and missed the Horror Make Up Show. Terminator was down, so scratch that too, and instead we headed back to Shrek 4D. Along the way we ran into Marilyn Monroe, who was very busy with a group of balding, overweight, middle aged men and Lucy


DS was playing with the camera in line. It's an actual picture of me (and the kid behind my mom makes me laugh)



I don't get the preshow of this one. It talks about how we're going to be tortured in the dungeon, but then the actual show has NOTHING to do about torture chambers or dungeons or anything. All their other pre-shows set up the actual ride, but this one doesn't.


My mom was not feeling another simulator, so we sat up front so she could have a stationary seat, which was really nice for her.


After Shrek it was time for the parade. The parades at Universal are, well, lame. It was very very short, (seriously, maybe 5 minutes?) but the kids liked seeing all these different characters out.



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Old 11-24-2012, 09:21 PM   #41
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Great Universal pics!! You just can't beat that onsite Express Pass. We always loved that perk of staying at their resorts. Luckily we were there last in December and weren't staying onsite, but we didn't need it because there were no lines. Looks like you made a good choice on getting the room for the night instead! It has been SO long since we have been to Universal...really hoping we can work it into our next trip! I'm a Harry Potter freak, and it just kills me that I haven't seen Wizarding World yet!
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:18 AM   #42
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I am loving your TR. We stayed onsite at Universal for the first time this past summer. It is awesome to have unlimited express pass. I am looking forward to more of your trip, especially Harry Potter.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:42 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelley00 View Post
I don't get the preshow of this one. It talks about how we're going to be tortured in the dungeon, but then the actual show has NOTHING to do about torture chambers or dungeons or anything. All their other pre-shows set up the actual ride, but this one doesn't.
Get out of my brain cells!! I am preeeeety sure I wrote almost this exact same thing in a TR from a couple years ago. Great minds and all that

Love your Universal updates- I agree, never go without Express Pass!
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
I'm a Harry Potter freak, and it just kills me that I haven't seen Wizarding World yet!
Quote:
Originally Posted by reelmom View Post
I am looking forward to more of your trip, especially Harry Potter.
Harry Potter review coming up soon!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
Get out of my brain cells!! I am preeeeety sure I wrote almost this exact same thing in a TR from a couple years ago. Great minds and all that
No way. Seriously? I kept waiting for the torture, and there was no torture!



October 15th
Universal Studios
"I'm not buying you a puppy"


DS is finally tall enough to ride The Mummy. He's also a chicken and master negotiator.

DD rode The Mummy on our last Universal trip when she barely squeezed under the height. And it traumatized her.

And she passed on that trauma to her brother. Multiple times. So naturally, he was too scared to ride it. So the bargaining began.

"What's it going to take? Candy? Toys? Pool time?"

"A puppy."

Yeah, not happening. I left him in a gift shop with my mom and drug (and yes, drug) DD on The Mummy.

"But, I hate this ride".

"Yeah, well, Miss Thang, I hate Rockin Roller Coaster, but I rode it FOURTEEN times with you on your birthday trip. Seven times in a row one day. PLUS, I gave birth to you. Eleven hours of labor. You OWE me"


I have no shame when it comes to making them do things for me. Especially on a ride as great as The Mummy.



After The Mummy I tried to get her to ride Rip Ride Rockit, but she declined politely. It was time for dinner reservations anyhow, so we headed out to CityWalk.


My mom and stepdad are big Nascar fans (ick) so I thought she'd enjoy Nascar Grille. It was horrible bar food, and they screwed up my order and our waiter was a bomb so it's firmly on our "Skip it" list next time.


I asked if anyone wanted to head back to Universal to reride anything, or to try something we had missed, but I got an all around "no" and "can we swim?" We took the water taxi back to RPH


and then went to the car and drove back to WBC. We took the kids down to the pool for awhile and I spent some time in the hot tub. I kept forgetting to put money in my bag and we didn't put charging privileges on our room keys, so I never got a pool bar drink


We headed back upstairs to get the kids in fast showers and then out on the balcony to watch fireworks. Tonight we were thrilled to see we could see both Illuminations (left) and Wishes (right)





We went to bed directly after the fireworks because we had an early morning ahead of us.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #45
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October 16th
Islands of Adventure
"We're off to see the wizards. And not the ones in Oz."


The alarm went off early. Blech. It's vacation, and I actually am getting up earlier than I do when I'm going to work. Seriously? There aren't many things that will get me up this early, but finally getting to see Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of those things.

Our last trip my Brother and SIL went but we stayed behind to give them a date day and we spent another day at Disney. I didn't want to spend the money on tickets, and DS wasn't tall enough for Forbidden Journey.

Not this time.

We drove back to RPH and parked in the parking lot, then took the water taxi to Citywalk.




We walked over to IOA and were in line at 7:30 for the 8am early entry. I was surprised by the line, but it didn't get much longer behind us which was nice.


They opened the doors at 7:45 and we were off. Well, almost

My mom can't find her ticket.

Are you kidding me? She tried to use her Express pass to get in, and of course that didn't work. I love her, but for this, I'd leave her behind

She finally dug in the bottom of her bag and came up with it. Yay.

And this is when I urge them into a near jog.

"I swear, this is the only time today I will ask you to walk like this. There are only a couple times on vacation you need to hoof it....today and at DHS for Toy Story Mania fastpasses. I promise once we are there we will slow down. If you let anyone pass you, no dessert for a week."

And finally.










It's beautiful. You really feel like you step into the books and movies. It's too small though. The shops and everything should be so much bigger, including the walkways. I just couldn't get over the whole atmosphere and you really just felt there.

I knew we wanted to do Olivander's first. We got right in line and were the second group to go in. The guy standing out talking with us was amazing. He asked DD what had happened to her arm and she automatically quipped "Quidditch injury"


I think DD was pretty disappointed that she didn't get picked. The girl they did pick was totally not into it too, which rubbed salt in the wounds a little.




Once we got out of there (without buying anything, DD and DS have wands that my brother and SIL bought on their trip last time) we headed back for Forbidden Journey.

And DS starts the negotiating...............
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