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Old 04-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #61
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Going through a guidebook this morning trying to expand our ride repetoire--we are chickens pretty much, so I think we were a little blind to the possibilities.

So, Universal veterans, what would you recommend for a family for whom Atlantis is the pinnacle of fun?
I am a huge ride chicken and enjoyed all of the following on our Universal trip:

- High in the Sky Trolley Train Ride
- One Fish Two Fish
- Cat In The Hat
- Car-o-Seuss-el
- ET Adventure
- Shrek 3D

Storm Force Acceleration is a teacup-style spinny ride, and due to my past head issues I personally avoid the really spinny stuff, but it looked tame enough otherwise.

Ditto for Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges (DH and DS rode it.....I skipped it because I didn't want to get soaked and ruin the hairstyle ).

Pteranadon Flyers looked like it was right up my alley, but I didn't have a small child to ride with so I was out of luck. Waaahhhh!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 05-11-2013, 07:21 PM   #62
coastgirl
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Gina, I missed your post somehow--thanks for the ideas. I loved Cinderella's carousel at MK, so maybe I can talk one of my kids into doing the Car-o-suess-el.

Well, not much new except that we are in double digits!!



Can't believe we're half way there. (We booked at about six mos.) I have t-shirts purchased but haven't made any designs for them. I am also about 2 sizes smaller, and still heading in the right direction, so I may actually allow pics of myself this trip.

I also bought a year's sub from Orlando Informer, which has some decent resources. I need to get serious about planning the park days. We are all really excited to get back to WWoHP. Thinking a lot about SeaWorld and LEGOLAND too.

I finally got a smart phone (I know ) and have had fun downloading apps. I have a disboards app of course, the undercover tourist line app, LEGOLAND app, and TripAdvisor Orlando City Guide. I use TA reviews a lot, in this case it's the restaurant reviews--it'll be great to be able to check them "on the fly" when we're driving around. Any other apps? We're not going to Disney at all, so not interested in the purely Disney apps. But what do you like for apps when you travel?
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:51 PM   #63
Nancy for Disney
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Sounds like your plans are coming right along. I have the TA Orlando App too. I am very excited although I think that I pretty much have all the restaurants I want to eat. I "liked" Cafe Tu Tu the other day. The other day they did a post on Mother's Day and if you made a comment you got a free appetizer for Mother's Day. I sent them a message saying I was going to be there for a visit and asked if could use the code for the freebie on my visit. They said Yes!

I was going to downlowd the Undercover Tourist app but I read somewhere that the wait times are posted all over the park and they rarely used it.

Any way enjoy the planning!
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:25 PM   #64
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So we are about 70 days out. This weekend I have been playing with tshirt ideas again. Dh suggested a bunch of images rather than one, so I am going to do a vacation checklist I think, personalized for each of us with maybe 6 images each. So for instance I think mine will have something for WWoHP, Dine with Shamu, a shopping icon dd and I made up, something for the Ohana character breakfast, a "pool time" icon and something (TBA) to signify some nature excursions--we are thinking Wikiva State park at least. I'd like to find something to signify "waterpark' besides just the park logo, but I am having a hard time finding an image.

For the back of the shirts, I have this:



Because of our vacation rule, "you must have ice cream at least once a day, every day". I plan to bring sharpies so we can tick off things as we go. If I am organized enough I may bring the shirts with us and get them signed where appropriate--eg, Stitch or maybe the conductor of the Hogwart's Express. (He signs things, yes?)

Fun fun.
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:41 AM   #65
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Just a note, I was poking around this morning and found the partial TR from our first trip in 2011. I finished it and posted it here, and linked it in my sig: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2655822
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #66
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All caught up! I loved reading about your plans. Your family seems very similar to mine- we are also very thrifty, love Harry Potter and don't do a lot of thrill rides (at least not coasters).

The ice cream ticker shirt is ADORABLE! And I love that you have a rule about ice cream.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:52 AM   #67
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Thanks Hope. Dd, 10, came up with the idea of "there's no such thing..." for the shirt. I have to make those puppies! Still dithering with the "main" design, and I wanted something for SeaWorld but haven't decided anything yet. (I don't like name fills because I'm paranoid about strangers being able to call my kids by name, though they're big enough not to fall for that now.) I bought t shirts months ago, and I have a fresh pack of transfers waiting. Long weekend here (Canada Day, we get our holiday a few days before you guys) and it's going to RAIN all weekend, so maybe it'll get done!
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:07 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Thanks Hope. Dd, 10, came up with the idea of "there's no such thing..." for the shirt. I have to make those puppies! Still dithering with the "main" design, and I wanted something for SeaWorld but haven't decided anything yet. (I don't like name fills because I'm paranoid about strangers being able to call my kids by name, though they're big enough not to fall for that now.) I bought t shirts months ago, and I have a fresh pack of transfers waiting. Long weekend here (Canada Day, we get our holiday a few days before you guys) and it's going to RAIN all weekend, so maybe it'll get done!
Somehow coming up with designs is so much more fun than actually making the shirts.

Another draw back of the name fills is that then you have to figure out what to do with them... no one else wants a shirt with my kids name on it, no matter how great the shirt is. And since I've made multiple shirts for multiple trips we now have a pile. And I don't sew so they aren't getting one of those cool quilts. I have seen them wrapped around a canvas frame and displayed for wall art. DS says he'd like that in his new room and DD wants some for her "dressing room". (DS14 moved to the basement and DD13 took over his room with her clothes/make-up/etc. and this is what she calls it.)

I'm sorry it's going to rain you out on your holiday weekend, that's a bummer! But hopefully you'll get the shirts finished and can post pics.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:39 PM   #69
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I love that idea. My kids also have some great signed shirts that they have since outgrown, and what do you do with them?? Of course we have enough I could paper dd's whole room with them, but we could pick a judicious few...
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #70
coastgirl
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Just a quick update because I was posting some stuff for the creative disigns to get help. More tshirt! Technical issue with the transfers had to be fixed by adding colour to the disigns to match the shirts. Here's a couple of samples--ds' shirt (pre-added-colour) and mine (with the fix). I will take a pic of all the actual clothing when it's done. I did LEGOLAND shirts for my kids the other night, and they are really pleased with them too.

My to-do's include lots of cold drinks by the pool, and shopping!



Ds' :



Gotta turn the rest of the disigns into shirts this weekend--we are sooo close, two weeks from tomorrow!
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:30 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Just a quick update because I was posting some stuff for the creative disigns to get help. More tshirt! Technical issue with the transfers had to be fixed by adding colour to the disigns to match the shirts. Here's a couple of samples--ds' shirt (pre-added-colour) and mine (with the fix). I will take a pic of all the actual clothing when it's done. I did LEGOLAND shirts for my kids the other night, and they are really pleased with them too.

My to-do's include lots of cold drinks by the pool, and shopping!



Ds' :



Gotta turn the rest of the disigns into shirts this weekend--we are sooo close, two weeks from tomorrow!
Love 'em!

Ah, I miss the days of being able to dress the fam in co-ordinating clothing.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 07-28-2013, 12:22 AM   #72
coastgirl
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So, some actual plans!

I have been watching a couple of line apps, and the lines at IoA are brutal early in the day. So many onsite guests are using their early admission perks, and it seems others are still making a beeline for WWoHP early. After several “commando” trips with the rope drop goal most mornings, I am becoming convinced that we are best aiming for afternoon/evening for most of our park time. Additionally, the second week of our trip is much slower than the first, according to predictions. (More kids going back to school that second week.) So, we are going to try to contain ourselves and do most of our park time in the second week. We don’t have onsite early admission or express passes, but we have the luxury of time, and that great 14 day unlimited pass.

We also plan to do some serious shopping. I hope to do the kids’ back to school clothes, as well as shoes and such for them. We always enjoy shopping for gadgets and housewares when we are in the US. I’ve lost 30 lbs since Feb (and counting) and have bought next to nothing for myself, so I am going to get some work clothes I think. Ds and dd have been saving their allowances for months, and they want to splurge on Lego and, for dd, on her doll, as well as souvies from the Wizarding World. So, we will probably go heavy on shopping the first week. Then if there is stuff we can’t find, we have time to mail-order from LLBean and Land’s End and Amazon and ThinkGeek, and save the shipping and duty charges that add as much as 50% when we have stuff shipped to Canada. So, feeling more organized with those things in mind—relax on the park thing, wait until our second week for lots of it, and get our shopping out of the way early on. And enjoy the luxury of a nice big house with a pool and hot tub. 

Day 1: Our travel day is Saturday. We will be up around 4:00 am (3:00 Orlando time), with a car picking us up for the airport at 5 (it’s about 30m from home). Groan. We have about 90 minutes to change planes and clear customs in Montreal, then we get in Orlando at noon.

Right now our car rental is a standard with Alamo, but we are still checking. Pick up the rental car, clear the airport hopefully by 1. Pick up drive through for lunch. (Because we have the dog we can’t really go into a restaurant.) We have decided to look for a Sonic, it’s not something we can get here, and we enjoyed it the one time we tried it. Something different.

Our rental home isn’t officially available until 4, but we know it’s got a couple of days empty, so we may sneak over and see if it’s clean and empty. Either way, we have to do some shopping. Better if we can unload, take the dog out, and then go, but if we have to shop and kill time til 4, so be it.

We have decided to try to get to Seaworld on Saturday evening. Their “Summer Nights” schedule ends the next day, so we have to go either Sat or Sun if we want to see it. I have heard great things about the “Sealions Tonight” show, and there is a fireworks show too. Hoping we will have enough energy to enjoy a few hours. Atlantis at Seaworld was our favourite ride last time, and we’d like to start the trip out with that if we can. I think we will be over-tired, and still pumping adrenaline, so it’s nice to have something to do.

Day 2: I KNOW we will want to sleep late to make up for that ridiculous start on Saturday. I am looking forward to getting up first and taking the dog for a walk. Our villa backs onto the nature trail at the resort, which is supposed to be a great place to take your dog. Dh loves Waffle House, so we may start the day there. I expect some retail puttering and pool time to fill the first part of the day.

We have scoured four different “crowd calendars” and Sunday looks like a good day to go to IoA. Really, this is what we are all most looking forward to, being huge Potterheads. The kids can’t wait for their first butterbeer. So, the objective is late afternoon arrival at IoA, and soak up the atmosphere at the Wizarding World. Of course Forbidden Journey is on our list, and I’m happy enough if there’s a line, it’s so neat to soak up Hogwart’s in the queue. Ollivander’s also. Dd is dying to be picked, so we will probably go into Ollivander’s multiple times…might as well start early. We didn’t do Dragon Challenge last time, but we are all willing to be a bit more adventurous this time. Flight of the Hippogriff to say hi to Buckbeak and see Hagrid’s hut. No real plans for supper, I’m thinking it’ll probably be something quick or else the Three Broomsticks. I think the park closes at 9, so we should get to see Hogsmeade by night.

Day 3: Monday seems like a good day to get serious about shopping. We’ll probably start with outlets.

…And that’s all I’ve got for now! I hope to get more time tomorrow evening to lay out some more days.
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:55 AM   #73
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This looks like a great start to your trip! Can't wait to read more.

I love that you have so much time and can be laid back. One day I'll manage that.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:01 AM   #74
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OMG! Single digit dance!

Hedwig is almost there. It crept up on me, it seems like we’ve been waiting forever, and it wasn’t that long ago I was excited about the double digit dance. I looked at the countdown on my phone, it says “9 days”. I thought it said “93”, which seems more likely!

Lists, lists and lists. I don’t even have my lists ready!! How did that happen? Our lives have been way too hectic lately, and I have lost valuable planning time, which is too bad, because I enjoy it. Ds turns 13 on Saturday and I have a minecraft cake to decorate, among other things. I haven’t even finished the t-shirts, I got halfway through and haven’t had time to finish. Yesterday I left work at 3:45 and other than driving, didn’t sit down til 11:00. (Mom’s taxi…meeting…hamburger on the go for supper...vet…b’day present and grocery shopping…dishes…cake making...more dishes. Where’s the time for planning and packing??)

But, OMG OMG, NEXT WEEK we’ll be there. On the other hand, we are going to be loving all that relaxed, fun family time—we need it! Hey, I can start looking at “10 day forecasts” now!!
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JoAnne in NS
with dh, ds 14, and dd 11

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa
PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:43 AM   #75
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WOO HOO! Hurray for single digits!


ETA: Can't wait for your TR!!
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