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Old 01-19-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
redoschi
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A Disney addict's journey to show the magic to the in-laws!

Hi!

This isn't a Trip Report yet! We're actually boarding our flight in about 20 hours and I don't know how often I'll be able to update this thread during our 16-days trip! But after a long PTR (Introducing WDW to my Fiancee's family - A January 2013 Pre-Trip Report) we'll finally be going!

Here's the roll-call for this trip!

Eduardo - Me - 28
Bruna - DFiancee (DFi) - 28 (we should have a true Daisy Duck Smilie!)
Carla - Bruna's DMom (DMIL) - 53
Dante - Bruna's DBro (DBIL) - 16

This is my 6th trip to WDW (my first was when I was 5 in 1989!) and Bruna's 2nd, but both Carla and Dante have never been to Orlando! They have visited Disneyland Paris but never a Disney park in the US!

As I'm a Disney Commando Planner we have it all planned out, but not down to times for attractions as I think that may cause more stress than be effective!

Well, hope you enjoy this trip report where I get to introduce WDW to my future in-laws and maybe get them bitten by the Disney bug!




List of Day-to-Day posts

01/20 - Flight Day
01/21 - Outlet Day
01/22 - SeaWorld
01/23 - Islands of Adventure
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


WDW Commando Member #215

Last edited by redoschi; 03-13-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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I think I'm the first of many fellow commando's who will be making it over hereHave fun, looking forward to all the magic you guys encounter on your special trip
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:05 PM   #3
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Have to see if you do any updates while there -- I sure didn't, but of course I'm more laid back to start with.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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After a week without updates (the wifi at the Clarion Inn was inconsistent to say the least!) I decided to at least log in to give you all a small update!

We have had a great week in Orlando! No Disney parks yet,as you can see on our plans on the PTR. We've been to downtown Disney a couple times for the last couple nights though!

We're a bit late now to grab breakfast and head to Tampa for Busch gardens, so I'll update again later.
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My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 02-07-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
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With most disney parks staying open later at night than off-site parks (and sometimes opening earlier on EMH mornings) it became increasingly more difficult to stop at night to check the DIS.

The trip was awesome and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Its really late here in Brazil and I have to return to work tomorrow morning, but soon I'll start posting about the trip!
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My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 02-09-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Sounds great and I'm here Glad you had such a good time and looking forward to hearing about everything!!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #7
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Ok, let's get this TR officially started!

Well, where to start?

Well, I won't post (yet) what changed from what we originally planned. I had some pretty mutinous companions! Let's get to those days and I'll tell you all about it.

I haven't gone through all our pictures yet (they are on a couple memory cards of my new Rebel T4i camera and 3 iPhones so we have to put them all together and that is taking some time! ) so later I'll see if I have pictures of these first couple days that will be told in this post and edit them in!

January 20th - Flight Day
Well, our first day of the trip was pretty uneventful, we took a plane from So Paulo to Miami, passed through immigration and spent about 4 hours in the airport before taking another flight to Orlando.
We had some hot dogs at Nathan's at the airport while waiting and they were pretty good, specially after an in-flight lunch !

When we arrived at Orlando International Airport around 11pm we retrived our checked luggage and went to rent a car from Alamo. I had reserved a standard car and even asked about upgrading to an SUV, but we decided we didn't need the extra size and that the upgrade money would be best spent on souvenirs and meals! The guy did give us an upgrade to a Full Size car for free though so it was nice to ask about the upgrade instead of just getting the booked car!

We finally left the airport and went to the Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista and arrived there at about 1am (which was 4am back in Brazil!) We were all exhausted and just needed a good sleep!


January 21st - Outlet Day
I got up early and went to retrieve our Amazon packages from the front desk (the storage department was closed when we checked in). I had ordered my new Rebel T4i camera (my late Xmas gift to myself) and a luggage set from Samsonite (we traveled with very little luggage as my parents gave me and Bruna a hardside luggage set for Xmas so that we can have a set of our own when we get married in September!).

After that we went out for breakfast and stopped at the first place we found, an IHOP at the Crossroads, and then we went directly to the Premium Outlets at the International Drive (old Belz/Prime outlets).

Even though the outlet would open at 10am, a couple stores would open early with special sales because of MLK weekend so we arrived around 9am.

After some shopping in the morning we decided to take a break (crowds were beginning to form at the outlets) and grab lunch elsewhere.

KFC had a brief time here in Brazil in the 90s and has left some nice childhood memories for us , so we decided to give it a try.
All I can say is that when, back then, they said it would be 8 pieces of chicken there would be 8 pieces a little larger than regular chicken nuggets. Certainly not what we found there: it was a bucket with almost 8 whole chickens!
We ordered one of these for DBIL and DMIL while me and DFi got chicken sandwiches! After a hearty meal which we surely couldn't finish, we decided to give up and continue our shopping journey.

We continued the journey to the Premium Outlets at Vineland Avenue (near the Crossroads and our hotel)! Some more shopping and I went to look for my wedding suit. Not as hard to find as a wedding gown, but still pretty hard! I tried some suits until I finally found one that looked good on me (Reminder to myself: It will certainly look even better if I lose a few pounds, so its time to work out hard at the gym until then! )

We were tired because of the jet lag so we left the outlet, stopped at Walgreens and grabbed some sandwiches and drinks to eat at the hotel (the Clarion had an in-room microwave!)

----------------

I promise that from now on days will have more interesting stuff as we'll finally go to the parks!

Next - Sea World
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My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 02-11-2013, 03:21 AM   #8
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Sounds great so far How were the deals while shopping? That was funny about KFC, yes there chicken size has been the topic of much discussion here in the states for the past decade now. It's gotten a little crazy to say the least. I'm looking forward to everything else, especially some of the non-Disney places. I just can't spend more than 1 day away from WDW while in the vicinity and I usually go to Universal. Your TR just may sway me
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xclusive2WDW View Post
Sounds great so far How were the deals while shopping? That was funny about KFC, yes there chicken size has been the topic of much discussion here in the states for the past decade now. It's gotten a little crazy to say the least. I'm looking forward to everything else, especially some of the non-Disney places. I just can't spend more than 1 day away from WDW while in the vicinity and I usually go to Universal. Your TR just may sway me
Nice to know KFC has generated discussion as it sure felt crazy!

About the deals, DFi managed to find some great prices at the Lancome Factory Store, we all got new sneakers at Nike (we're already planning on those for the trip!) at nice prices (there weren't huge discounts there, but at least prices were lower than in regular stores and a LOT lower than in Brazil!), and we also found some nice deals in stores such as Tommy, Gap, Izod and Levi's.
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January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 02-12-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
Nice to know KFC has generated discussion as it sure felt crazy!

About the deals, DFi managed to find some great prices at the Lancome Factory Store, we all got new sneakers at Nike (we're already planning on those for the trip!) at nice prices (there weren't huge discounts there, but at least prices were lower than in regular stores and a LOT lower than in Brazil!), and we also found some nice deals in stores such as Tommy, Gap, Izod and Levi's.
I know what you mean about Nike and their pricesTommy and Levi's I am interested in, along with Coach, The Disney store and a few others. My BFF loves the Gap so I can probably rack up on stuff for her kids in there. Good for you guy's
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xclusive2WDW View Post
I know what you mean about Nike and their pricesTommy and Levi's I am interested in, along with Coach, The Disney store and a few others. My BFF loves the Gap so I can probably rack up on stuff for her kids in there. Good for you guy's
The Disney Character Warehouse also had some nice items on sale, but since we hadn't been to any disney store yet during this vacation we didn't take advantage of it as much as we could.

I did manage to grab a couple of Mickey iPhone 4/4S cases for under $20 (both!) while we later noticed that similar cases were $32 each or 2 for $50 in regular stores!
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January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 02-13-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redoschi View Post
The Disney Character Warehouse also had some nice items on sale, but since we hadn't been to any disney store yet during this vacation we didn't take advantage of it as much as we could.

I did manage to grab a couple of Mickey iPhone 4/4S cases for under $20 (both!) while we later noticed that similar cases were $32 each or 2 for $50 in regular stores!
Now that's what I'm talking about, over 75%off
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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January 22nd - Sea World (1st day)

After a much better (and longer considering the night before was about 4 hours of sleep) night's sleep, we decided to try another breakfast venue: First Watch.

I heard about First Watch on one of the many WDW podcasts I've listened to in the past few months. There are some locations and we tried the one on Sand Lake Rd west of I-4.
It was very good. Great atmosphere, great prices and great food!

After that we headed out to Sea World, got a great parking spot as we arrived about 30 minutes before park opening and with free parking (loved to get the Annual Pass!). I then retrieved my Annual Pass at the machines and we got into the park!

We went near Manta and waited there for ropedrop!

Let me make a stop here for an intro on my companions! Both me and DFi are roller coaster and thrill ride freaks (I love them all and the only one DFi doesn't like is Mission Space: Orange), while DMIL and DBIL had done very few thrill rides in their lives! We first thought that DBIL would accompany us in all such rides while DMIL would join in the milder ones.

We were mistaken as she decided to give it a try on Manta as her first ride in Orlando!

We had with us 2 bags on most days: my camera bag and a small rucksack DFi was using to carry her and DMIL's wallets and phones, a water bottle and occasionally a sweatshirt/sweater. So before entering Manta we had to store those at the lockers, which SeaWorld charges 50 cents unlike similar lockers in Universal parks or like Disney who lets you take your bags on all rides with you. Of course Disney rides are much tamer than Manta, but I'll get to that later.

As I was saying, all four of us got into Manta as at that time, just after rope drop, wait was minimal! Me and DFi, as expected, loved it! The others also liked it a lot, but they were still getting used to roller coasters. As this was our very first ride of the trip, we decided to purchase the ride photo which I'll post here later!



{Edit!} Finally I managed to add some pictures! This is also a good picture to introduce the cast of this trip report!
I'm (Eduardo) on the far left of the picture, DFi (Bruna) by my side, DMIL (Carla) to her right and on the far right is DBIL (Dante)!

As we already had our bags in the locker, we decided to give it another go! That was a mistake! DMIL had mentioned that she felt it was too shaky and after two consecutive runs she felt a bit sick! DBIL also felt a bit dizzier on the second time.

Thankfully this didn't stop them from doing the other coasters and rides, but DMIL avoided rides with lots of loops after that.

We visited the amazing Manta aquarium which we had a glimpse while in line for the ride, one of the best lines ever! We then headed to Kraken, which has been one of my favorites for a long time! DMIL waited outside and we went through it!

After Kraken it was getting close to the Clyde & Seamore showtime. So we grabbed a couple of Dippin Dotz and got ourselves some nice seats, higher up, but in the mid section. They haven't changed this show in a long time, but it is always very funny!

We then took a ride on the Skytower! Thankfully SeaWorld has stopped charging for this ride, as everyone should have a chance to see the park from above! Here is a pic from the beginning of our way up where you can see the Waterfront, Manta and Journey to Atlantis in the background!



Next was our reservation for Sharks Underwater Grill. On my last trip, this was probably the best restaurant we had tried (and we had tried Jiko).

For those who have never seen it, it is similar to the Coral Reef in setting, with one distinct change, the surrounding tank is filled with sharks as the restaurant shares its aquarium with the classic Shark Encounter! It has several tables that are made in a way so all your party can be always facing the sharks, which is very cool!

Unfortunately I had already noticed that the Ahi Tuna dish that I had loved last trip was no longer on the menu, but we tried both the tempura shrimp and a scallops dish as well as an appetizer and a banana creme brle! Everything was great! The service was also incredible! It has surely solidified its place in our "must-do each trip" restaurant list!



After lunch we saw the sharks from the Shark Encounter tunnel (managing even to get a blurry glimpse of the restaurant) and walked to the Pacific Point Preserve to see the seals and sea lions. As always there is one particular sea lion that manages to take center stage and grab most of the fishes in a section! This guy's only competition was the seagulls!



From there we crossed the park to the area of Shamu Stadium (we knew that midweek Shamu only had 2 daily shows and therefore only one more show for that day at 5h30, so we left it for our 2nd Sea World day on Saturday) and entered Wild Arctic.

Last time we had been there, it was Christmas time and the simulator was transformed into the Polar Express. It is much better as a train than as an helicopter! It was way too bumpy! If you have any motion sickness or dizziness problems, go with the walking way! Because the rest of the attraction is sure worth it! A polar bear, belugas and walruses are great to watch and we even manage to see the belugas being fed!

It was getting closer to the time for Blue Horizons! We crossed the park again and decided to give it another go on Manta (just me and Bruna) and on Kraken (the four of us as Carla decided to give it a try!) and got some nice seats for the show!

This show is very beautiful, but it gives too much time and attention to the acrobats! We want more of the dolphins!!!

As planned we then left the park early to go to a bridal shop, Minnie's Outlet near Florida Mall. Well, that was the plan, but we just couldn't find the store! I had the address, had a GPS app on my iPhone and it just wasn't there! We tried several shopping areas nearby, but without success.

We stopped by the Toys R Us and continued to the Florida Mall. After some more walking around and a little shopping we stopped at their food court for some pretty good sandwiches at Charley's! Then it was back to the hotel!

Next - Islands of Adventure
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


WDW Commando Member #215

Last edited by redoschi; 03-16-2013 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Including pictures
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #14
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Sorry for taking so long between updates , I'll try to speed them up!

Am I being too descriptive of the days? Should I make these daily reports shorter?

This past month was extremely hurried, lots of things to decide and do! We're less than 6 months from the wedding now! With still a lot to do!

Well, yesterday I finally claimed my PhotoCD from Disney's Photopass!
The photos would expire TODAY! That alone is an indication of how hurried things are around here! I had never imagined I'd leave for the last possible day to claim the pictures, though of course I had logged in there several times to add a new border to a pic, etc.

I haven't uploaded any pictures (Photopass or otherwise!) to photobucket or other photo services, but will try to upload some soon so that I can decorate these posts!

I promise that the Islands of Adventure day is coming really soon!
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


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Old 03-13-2013, 10:55 PM   #15
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Finally another true update!

January 23rd - Islands of Adventure

We woke up earlier as I knew that we needed to be at rope drop to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with minimal wait.

We stopped for breakfast at Ponderosa Steakhouse at International Drive (I remember it being a bit cheaper, but it was nice to have a hearty breakfast!) and continued on our way to Universal Orlando!

Why do they insist on leading you to the top level (5th) of the parking lot and having you park in the sun instead of letting those who arrived early to park on 3rd level which is shaded and doesn't require elevators or escalators to get to the walkway?

We passed directly through CityWalk and headed to the Will-Call machines to get our tickets. DMIL had paid for these so I asked for her credit card to confirm her identity on the machine. She left that card in Brazil and was travelling with another one! I almost freaked out, but we managed to get our tickets from the regular booth with her passport as confirmation! After this we joined DFi and DBIL in line for the park.

When the park opened we rushed through Port of Entry, turned right and then took the shorter path through Seuss Landing (turn left just after you enter the Island) into The Lost Continent and then continued into Hogsmeade!

We did Ollivander's first (I believe we were in the first or second group of the day! ) and it was amazing! That guy was totally in character as was the room! Really cool and it was good that we did that first as lines did grow up fast!

We then headed to the castle and HP & the Forbidden Journey! What a great queue! On our first time we passed it rather quickly as there was still minimal wait, but on the second time (just me and DFi as the others thought it made them a little too dizzy to go a second time back-to-back!) we managed to enjoy it a bit more (enjoy a queue! That is something you don't see everyday! ).



In addition to the queue, this ride is incredible, mixing animatronics with projected screens (the parts that made them dizzier!) and lots of special effects in an adventure through Hogwarts grounds meeting some of its most famous inhabitants as well as some of the villains (not he-who-must-not-be-named though). The attraction as well as the whole of the WWoHP is focused on the first 4 movies/books and set during the TriWizard tournament of the Goblet of Fire (4th book/movie).

You can see construction on the side of Dragon Challenge where it is rumored to be built a train ride to connect to Universal Studios and the former Jaws site where a new part of WWoHP is supposedly being built (there is a huge construction site on that area as well). These new areas/rides will most likely bring to life the last 3 books / 4 movies!

After this we continued into Jurassic Park as Hogsmeade was getting crowded already!

We did the River adventure first (I love this ride! But again, I'm in love with Dinosaurs since I was a little kid, so what's not to like! )



We then walked around the island for a bit and tried out the exhibits in the Discovery Center. Too bad that Triceratops Encounter was closed! I heard it opened for the holidays, but it always closes soon after to reopen only in the summer! I've seen it in 2000 and it was pretty cool!



We then decided to have an early lunch and I had read a lot about Thunder Falls Terrace, but it didn't appeal to us, it was dark and closed, while the Discovery Center's Burger Digs had some tables on the balcony overlooking the center lagoon! What a great choice! The view was great and the burgers were pretty good, specially with the big toppings table!



After lunch it was time to do something mild, so we chose the Eighth voyage of Sinbad! This is a funny show and in its entrance there is the always great Mystic Fountain!

We walked a bit through the smaller Lost Continent compared to what it was before WWoHP (the armory store is still open though!) and tried to go to Poseidon's Fury, but there was a wait time of about 40 minutes (a show must have just begun, because this attraction isn't usually crowded enough to have people waiting in line for more than 1the current presentation).

So we continued to Seuss Landing, an island where I previously had only walked through quickly, but we decided to try on The Cat in the Hat. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it was just like the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride, with one important difference: with Seuss characters that us in Brazil have little to no contact during childhood! Apparently nowadays it is at least available, but not really a part of our culture, while 20 years ago when we were kids there was nothing! So it was interesting but we left with the impression that these stories are WAY too scary for children!

I stopped by Guest Relations near the park's entrance to try to get our Blue Man Group tickets, but since it was already the day of the show, we would have to get them from the theater's box office.

Finally we headed into Marvel Super Hero Island! The Hulk coaster had a short line so we hopped in, twice! DMIL decided to try to get a picture of us on the ride, so in the about 20 minutes it took us to go on the ride twice, she managed to take almost 300 pictures of pretty much all roller coaster cars! Heavy duty, but she managed to get us!

We're the ones in the last viewable row. From top to bottom is a random guy, DBIL, DFi and me.




We then went into Spiderman, which was a great attraction in the past, and now it is even more Amazing! The 4K resolution really makes a difference and we were really enjoying it, when suddenly everything stopped! The movie shut down, the car stopped and a little later lights turned on throughout the attraction! We stayed stopped there for about 10 minutes before they managed to turn it back on. When we reached the exit point, team members already told us that who wanted to get on it again for a full ride as they had solved the problem, so they transported us to the front of the line and we got on again!


Here is a pic of an Iron Man poster inside the attraction where we stopped!

We got ourselves some Dippin Dotz, made a quick stop to browse the comics shop and continued into Toon Lagoon! This island has a great theming, but I'm not much into getting wet (anything more than Splash or Jurassic Park already bothers me, except in hot days, which this was not!) so we looked around, took some pictures and continued through JP back to Hogsmeade!

Time for some butterbeer! I had heard a lot about it so I wanted to try, originally I thought of getting both a regular and a frozen one, but DFI and DMIL weren't at all interested in trying the famous wizards drink, so I shared a regular one with DBIL! It is good, but super sweet! We sat down for a while and continued to walk around Hogsmeade and browse all the cool shops!

On this day Dragon Challenge was still in rehab, so we would have to return to IoA on another day to do it!

We decided to try Poseidon's Fury again and on our way there we stopped at the magic shop in The Lost Continent where a short magic show was about to start! It is a cool show, the magician was funny and knew how to entertain his audience, but all tricks are there to sell their kits, of course!

We finally did Poseidon's Fury (this is a strange show, but I always enjoy it!) and decided to do a few more runs on Hulk (including one on front row! ) before leaving the park.

With out BMG show at 8pm we decided to stay in this part of the Citywalk lake (my original idea was to have dinner at Pastamore or Bubba Gump) and grab a pizza at NBA City. It was actually pretty good as it was not crowded and our waitress was super helpful!)

The last part of our day was the Blue Man Group show. Me and DFi had seen the previous installment in 2007 as well as their "How to be a Megastar 2.0" tour. This new show was funny and still had the best musical numbers and sketches, but we felt that they made more scenes with participation of "volunteers" and reduced the number of musical numbers. For us those were the best parts, so this new version is still good and a lot of fun (specially the ending which I won't describe for those who haven't seen it), but not as good as the other shows we had seen of them!

A strange thing was that in the row in front of us (we sat in the second row of the non-poncho zone) there was a couple with 2 dogs! And they weren't guide dogs! They were even being transported in pet transportation duffel bags! This was the first time we saw such a thing in a major theater!

Next - Universal Studios
__________________

My PTR for Jan-Feb 2013
My ongoing TR for our Jan-Feb 2013 trip
January/February 2013 - Pop CenturyDecember 2007 - All Star Sports October 2000 - All Star Movies
October 1998 - Off-site December 1994 - Off-site December 1989 - Off-site


WDW Commando Member #215

Last edited by redoschi; 03-16-2013 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Including pictures
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