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Old 02-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #1
Nancy for Disney
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Universal Movie Marathon PTR ...IS NOW A TRIP REPORT

Go to page 3 if you want to start at the trip.


We are planning our first trip to Universal. I have wanted to do this ever since I heard about the opening of WWoHP. Disney is normally my cup of tea. While we aren’t the kind of family to go every year or even every other year , I love it. I wish we could go more often but let’s face it the USA has a lot of traveling opportunities and there is only so much time and $$$. See my signature to for a list of years for past visits. I had hoped to do a US and WDW combined trip but after working out the finances I realized that a trip to both parks would not be possible for several years. My kids are getting older so I felt we should seize the opportunity now and make it a Universal trip only.

On the trip we will have me, who loves all theme parks and refuses to grow up……ever. My DH of 22 years who is a bit too serious but we tend to balance each other. In 2009 we took a trip for two to WDW. It was wonderful. I decided that while I love my children doing WDW without them is the way to go. No arguments, no picky eaters… well you get the picture. The next is DD19 who LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES Harry Potter. She has read the novels so many times that we have had to replace some of her books. Last summer she participated in a HP Trivia contest. Her team came in first of 25. Her team appropriately won a ride on a dinner train. One of the team members didn’t care to go so I got his ticket. Here is a picture of us on the trip:



And the pretty sunset we saw:



Of course she has seen the movies. She is the primary reason I feel the need to take the kids. I really want to see her face as she walks through WWoHP for the first time.

DD19 has a heart issue and can’t do rides that have intense centrifugal force. Tea cup type rides are ok but things like Mission to Mars could be life threatening. We took her on Tom’s Twister when she was young and she did not handle it well. So if anyone can think of any rides she should avoid please let me know.


We have DS16 who has actually already experience WWoHP. He went with the HS orchestra two years ago. Of course this was spring break. They had 8 hours to spend at IOA. He said he spent 6 at WWoHP and 2 at the Seuss area so he still has a lot to see.

Here is a picture of him and DD12 at an orchestra performance last year. DD12 has since decided orchestra is not for her. Boy....did he need a haircut!




The next person on our trip is DD12. While she is the most outgoing of my children she does not care for rides. She especially does not like any rides with dips. It will be interesting to see how she will do at US/IOA. For those of you familiar with Silver Dollar City, she went on Fire in the Hole last spring and that was too much for her. Here is a picture of us on that trip:



After much debate we finally picked our decided on the first week of June. I had originally thought Aug but quickly realized that the rates were somewhat lower which means crowds should be lower. I am still concerned that the trip comes too early in the summer and I will have nothing to look forward to when I return.

The next big decision was where to stay. There were a lot of DIS post to help me in our decision. We knew we needed a condo. We needed a 2-3 bedroom. With a family of 5 getting us all in a 1-2 room unit is just not possible. Since we are not doing Disney I wanted to stay as far away from there as possible. It would just be too depressing to drive by WDW and not be able to go. Ironically I did almost consider Bonnet Creek due to the resort looks wonderful and it is very affordable although practically a WDW resort. After several MapQuest searches I realized that we needed to be close to US. We like to rest in the afternoon. DD19 tires easily so may want to leave the park early. So location location location was the final deciding factor. Vista Cay is about a 10 minute drive per MapQuest. That was the winner. I was hoping for a resort with a waterslide and/or lazy river but it was not to be. I hope to do Wet and Wild so we should be good. My plan is to get 14 day 3 park passes from Undercover Tourist. We can take it easy and relax when we want.

After reviewing the list of attractions I came to the realization that my kids have seen hardly any of the movies associated with the park. Part of our preparation for the trip is to watch movies. I was the original poster on the thread- “List of things to watch before heading to US”.

So far we have watched “Twister”, “Men in Black 1” and “The Mummy”.
Here are the reviews so far:

“Twister”-DH, DD19 and DS16 had already seen it. I never had much of desire to see it. It looked dumb. I was right. How many severe life threatening tornados could there possibly be in that short of time? I live in the Midwest. I have never been in a tornado. Joplin was pretty scary but that is the closest I have come to a bad tornado. And, how did that find them so quickly. Sorry, I just didn’t buy it.
“Men in Black”- I have seen all the movies. The kids have seen 2 and 3 but never the first one. We love Men in Black! I have a feeling this will be one of our favorite attractions.

“The Mummy”- DH had seen it. I think we rented it when it first came out and I fell asleep. I nearly fell asleep this time as well. I give it a Meh. I had DD12 watch a video of the ride on YouTube. She has said she will not go on it because it has a dip.

Tonight we plan to watch “ Despicable Me” This is another move I have not had a desire to see. Will I like it?????
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2009 (Dec) No Kids Trip to Disney: TR LINK http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2330724


Last edited by Nancy for Disney; 06-10-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #2
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Despicable Me

Hmmmmm.....99 views and no one has said..."Happy Planning". Won't take it personally.

Anyway, As promised we watched Despicable Me last night. All except DS16 who had homework. Poor thing has a horrible schedule this semester..AP History, Calc, Chemistry and Orchestra. Normally orchestra is his easy class but he is doing three pieces for the district competition. I am not sure he is going to be able to see any of the movies.

I did like the movie. I didn't love it but I thought it was ok. I didn't quite get the minons. There were some very funny parts. My favorite was in the beginning when the son is falling into the paramids and everything is happing while the dad is standing there reading a book completely clueless. I know people like that. I wish I was one of them but I am not.

Not sure what Netflix is sending next but I will let you know when I do.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Happy Planning! ;-)

Hey, I'm looking forward to following your TR. You will go and return before we do, so you'd better keep this thing up to date, 'kay??

Aww, I love how you want to see your kid's face when she gets there. I felt the same way, but honestly? I was as excited as they were. We have one visit under our belts, and it's the thing that's bringing us back to Orlando. Ds was 10 on our first trip, and got selected for a wand at Ollivander's. I am really hoping dd, who is 10 now, will also get her first wand. That is a really magical little show for HP fans...I think some people just didn't get it, a lot of waiting for a short encounter, but of course if you love the books, the significance is huge. It's just so cool to walk into that world. Of course everyone has the wrong accent and they will insist on wearing shorts and t's instead of robes...

We opted for the flexpasses to get Seaworld and Aquatica, it wasn't a lot more and we really liked Seaworld last time. LOVE the 14 day tickets...I was feeling a little left out as so many on the board seem to stay on site and get the express pass. But with 14 days of admission, you can take your time, come back when it's less crowded...Now if only I could figure a way around paying for parking!!

Keep the movie reviews coming. We may have to take a leaf from your book. We haven't seen a lot of the movies as a family, and there are some we haven't seen, period. Not so into the superhero thing...but last time we had fun with some of the rides outside of the WWoHP. We liked Despicable Me, and the enigmatic Minions. I saw Twister when it came out, and yeah, I don't remember it being...memorable! We should watch MiB again, and maybe line up a few episodes of the Simpsons. Dh and I liked it though we would never bother recording it...not sure why we've never watched it with the kids. The kids loved the Back to the Future series, but all it is is the DeLorean, so not so much of a connection.

Anyway, looking forward to more!

Did you notice we chose the same ticker? :
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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 02-25-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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That's a great idea to watch movies before your trip! We did the same thing and it really helps. We watched a Harry Potter movie a day 8 days before the trip as a countdown. We too are huge HP fans, so it got us very excited! Some more would be any of the Marvel movies such as XMen, Spiderman and The Avengers. There is also The Lorax, Jurassic Park, Terminator movies, ET, The Simpsons Movie and probably some more I just can't think of.

And don't take it personally. There are a lot of people who just like to read, including me.

Oh, and happy planning!
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Happy Planning! ;-)

Hey, I'm looking forward to following your TR. You will go and return before we do, so you'd better keep this thing up to date, 'kay??


We opted for the flexpasses to get Seaworld and Aquatica, it wasn't a lot more and we really liked Seaworld last time. LOVE the 14 day tickets...I was feeling a little left out as so many on the board seem to stay on site and get the express pass. But with 14 days of admission, you can take your time, come back when it's less crowded...Now if only I could figure a way around paying for parking!!


Anyway, looking forward to more!

Did you notice we chose the same ticker? :
I am also trying to figure out a way around the parking. I even looked at the public bus schedules to see if that would work but it is about an hour for what appears to be a ten minute drive per mapquest. I know I have been watching your PTR too. It is nice to know others plan the way I do.

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Originally Posted by LMichelleee View Post
We watched a Harry Potter movie a day 8 days before the trip as a countdown. We too are huge HP fans, so it got us very excited!

Oh, and happy planning!
I will probably bring the movies to watch in the car. At the very least it is tradition for us to listen to a book on CD while driving. We do this on long drives not just to WWoHP.

Thanks for joining. I just put The Simpsons at the top of my Netflix queue. Tomorrow is a snow day. Too bad it is not already here. I have the kind of job that you have to be there if at all possible but DH and the kids get to stay home. DD19 is scheduled to work in the evening but hopefully they won't make her come in especially since her work is walking distance from my work which is on the otherside of town. She is scheduled to go in a half hour after I am scheduled to leave.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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Argh--posted a reply that got eaten. Long story short...

Buses--ick. Parking fees--ick. What'cha gonna do?

We will have the movies too, for viewing in the evenings at the villa. Maybe with some pumpkin juice and fresh Bertie Bott's or something. I think I may have to re-read books 1 and (is it 4 when they first get to go to Hogsmeade?) to have all those details in my head.

Hope you stay safe and warm today. Hate worrying about getting around in bad weather, especially where my kids are concerned...
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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 02-26-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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We will have the movies too, for viewing in the evenings at the villa. Maybe with some pumpkin juice and fresh Bertie Bott's or something. I think I may have to re-read books 1 and (is it 4 when they first get to go to Hogsmeade?) to have all those details in my head.

Hope you stay safe and warm today. Hate worrying about getting around in bad weather, especially where my kids are concerned...
My children have told me that it is Book 3 where they first go to Hogsmeade. They nearly followed it up with a "Duh, doesn't everyone know that?"

The weather wasn't as bad as they expected here. The roads were bad but I have driven on worse. DD19 did not have to work by DD12 did have ice show rehearsal.

Our next movie coming from Netflix is Terminator. Not sure what happened to The Simpsons but that is ok. I am not sure if will have time to watch anything as this is ice show weekend. Three performances. It will be a crazy week. I will be glad when it is over.

I like lots of photos in trip reports so here she is skating:




Boy that is big but I am too tired to adjust it. Night All!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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Hi, Nancy! Happy planning! I’ve had the same thing happen with my Darkside PTR – tons of views but only you and a handful of people have actually commented! That’s OK, though. It seems like people lurk here a bit more than they do on the WDW side. I figure, as long as they are reading it, they must be enjoying it You have a beautiful family!

I don’t blame you for choosing a resort that was far from WDW! I would have a hard time, too, seeing it and not going. With your 14 day tickets, you should have a lot of time to see everything in UO and not feel rushed I can’t wait to hear more about your plans!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink-erin-belle View Post
Hi, Nancy! Happy planning! I’ve had the same thing happen with my Darkside PTR – tons of views but only you and a handful of people have actually commented! That’s OK, though. It seems like people lurk here a bit more than they do on the WDW side. I figure, as long as they are reading it, they must be enjoying it You have a beautiful family!

I don’t blame you for choosing a resort that was far from WDW! I would have a hard time, too, seeing it and not going. With your 14 day tickets, you should have a lot of time to see everything in UO and not feel rushed I can’t wait to hear more about your plans!
Thanks for reading. I have been keeping track of your PTR too. I loved the 30 day challange and it inspired me to my own PTR. My DD12 is the one that cried hysterically when Dobbie died. That will always be one of my favorite kid stories.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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My children have told me that it is Book 3 where they first go to Hogsmeade. They nearly followed it up with a "Duh, doesn't everyone know that?"
Well I used to know! Young whippersnappers and their good brains!

Quote:
The weather wasn't as bad as they expected here. The roads were bad but I have driven on worse. DD19 did not have to work by DD12 did have ice show rehearsal.
Glad you got through it all safely. Apparently the morning commute is going to be messy here tomorrow...

Quote:
I am not sure if will have time to watch anything as this is ice show weekend. Three performances. It will be a crazy week. I will be glad when it is over.

I like lots of photos in trip reports so here she is skating:
Beautiful girl! You didn't say she's 12 did you??? Does her daddy have a baseball bat ready for the boys?? So does one still say "break a leg" for an ice show? I could see why that would be frowned upon in skating circles...but hope it goes well, anyway.
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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 03-03-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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Well I used

Beautiful girl! You didn't say she's 12 did you??? Does her daddy have a baseball bat ready for the boys?? So does one still say "break a leg" for an ice show? I could see why that would be frowned upon in skating circles...but hope it goes well, anyway.

She IS beautiful. I am very blessed with three great children. Thank you for saying it!

Ice Show weekend is nearly over. I am not attending the final performance which starts in about an hour. Up until a month ago I always worked Sundays so I am used to not attending. I helped Fri night and watched the show last night. They all did very well. This is usually the end of ice season but now she is doing so much for stuff. It won't be until the April 17 (or something near that date). We will be heading up Minnesota too for her syncro competition in April as well.

Tonight is movie night. We have Jurassic Park and Terminator. I will let the kids pick. DS16 and I made a very important trip decision yesterday... Which HP book to listen to on the way there. We are going to start on Book 3 since this is when they first go to Hogsmeade and will probably be able to get into Book 4 since my understanding is there are a lot of Goblet of Fire references in the park. We have an 18 hour drive so we at least get the second one started.

Another thing I always do on trips is make a mix cd of music that relates to our destination. There is sure to be a lot of sound track music in this one. I had DD19 pick up the Shrek 2 soundtrack at the library for me yesterday. Any suggestions of good music that relates to Orlando and US???? I am sure to have Margarittaville and lots of Blues Brothers. I try to make mental notes of music that is played in the movies as we watch them but I keep forgetting what they were.

I am down to 3 months too.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #12
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That's a fun idea on the CD. We have the soundtrack to one of the HP movies on the kids' ipods...maybe an obvious choice and not exactly sing-along music, but we actually play it a lot. (We have the HP version of Clue and a Lego HP game that is actually really fun--so it's good to have the soundtrack when we are in game mode!)
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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 03-03-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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I'll Be Back

1Just watched Terminator with DH and DD12. DD12 had to step out for the scene where they made John Connor. It is a classic. It is funny how DD12 knew the catch phrase "I'll Be Back" but had never seen the movie. T2 is on watch instantly so that may be next Sunday. DD12 can't figure out how there is a next one if The Terminator died. I reminded her that there were a bunch of them in the future.


I was going to add any songs that would be good for a CD from the movie but there weren't any good ones in the movie. Oh wll maybe the next one.

Night All.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:57 AM   #14
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Heheheh. It's funny that they have all these cultural references they don't really understand.

Was Terminator the one with the silver skeleton at the end crawling around inside the factory? Maybe I'd be able to watch it with a sense of humour now, but when it was released I remember ...
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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 03-09-2013, 08:22 AM   #15
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Heheheh. It's funny that they have all these cultural references they don't really understand.

Was Terminator the one with the silver skeleton at the end crawling around inside the factory? Maybe I'd be able to watch it with a sense of humour now, but when it was released I remember ...
Yes, the silver skeleton. Not so scary in today's terms but back then oh, yeah!
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