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Old 01-13-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
littleaussie
I tell people my daughters are 75% American and 25% Australian
 
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The Trip Report that doesn't fit. . . anywhere

The trip I just got back from yesterday doesn't fit nicely in any of the report boards. So I'll post my hodge-podge here. We stayed at a home off-site, we went to Universal one day, we went to Downtown Disney one day, we dined off-site. . . It just doesn't fit.

I have been traveling with Disney for many years. My parents started me on this obsession. Usually, my partners-in-crime are my 2 DDs, whom I try to force my unhealthy obsession on.

But this trip was an adults-only trip, so DDs stayed at home Not to worry, they got some fabulous grandparents time - always love the Grandma visits. DD11 even put on her Christmas list that she wanted to spend more time with Grandma as one of her presents so it made things easier. We've done several adults-only trips and they are kind of nice, although I do miss my girls. We also planned on going to Universal and hitting the intense stuff and I knew my girls wouldn't want to do the scary stuff just yet.

My victims for this trip included myself - yours truly, a 30+ mom of 2 - my niece19 and my DH of 1 year, 4 months. We were only staying 5 nights, as I am an important executive for a high profile job and can't be away for too long. Well, not really, but I didn't have much vacation time saved up and we like to break up our cold ND winters by going away in January sometimes. Our last trip to Florida had DH and I tying the knot on the beach:


The picture shows from L to R: friendnow19 (niece's friend), DDnow8, me, DH, DDnow11 and niecenow19.

Our past stays have included several options:
1) Oak Plantation resort - my parents own a time-share and it's a free week. When my parents first bought into this place, it was very nice and new(er). It's only been in the last 5 years or so that it has gone from good to nightmarish, with old/worn condos, extremely poor customer service and the bug problem. I will never, ever stay there again. I've had 2 bad trips there and I refuse to waste my precious vacation time dealing with the management problems and extra house-guests (aka roaches). Check out my previous trip report for more details.
2) A cheap off-site hotel. We did this several times when Oak Plantation wasn't an option and before I discovered house/condo/townhouse rentals.
3) A rental home/townhouse/condo. We've stayed at Windsor Hills in a townhome (Storytime Vacation Homes) and a 4 bedroom house (Romancing the Mouse).

For this trip, since it was only going to be the 3 of us, I seriously looked at a condo this time around. But I really wanted a private pool so I looked at our last rental (Romancing the Mouse) but they were booked. I decided I really wanted a hot tub this time around, since I was turning 29 (for the 8th time) on this trip.

I asked for advice on the disboards about a free-standing hot tub and got some recommendations and narrowed it down to 3:

1) http://www.orlandostarvilla.com/ - This is in the Lindfield estates. West of Windsor Hills and Windsor Palms (further west from the interstate) on Hwy 192. It is a community of pool homes in a subdivision. It's 4 bedrooms with a pool and a stand alone hot tub and gas bbq. No club house/community pool.

2) http://www.suncatchervilla.com/ - This one is in Indian Creek. The general area of Windsor Hills and Windsor Palms. No club house/community pool, just a neighborhood of pool homes - gated community. 5 bedrooms, private pool and a stand alone hot tub. I don't know about a BBQ, doesn't look like they have one.

3) http://www.priderockorlando.com/index.html - This villa is in Windsor Palms. It is 4 bedroom with a private pool and a separate raised hot tub. And a Gas BBQ, and laundry machines. It also has a community pool for socializing

There was a home in Windsor Hills with a 5 bedroom and stand alone hot tub but that was $1350, a little out of my 5 night budget. I liked Windsor Hills, felt comfortable with it but really, really wanted a hot tub.

So, with all my decision-making skills, I chose. . .
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September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!

Last edited by littleaussie; 01-13-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:24 AM   #2
littleaussie
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Windsor Palms resort it is

We chose the Windsor Palms house:


It was a 4 bedroom house with a king master suite:


The Master suite had a huge bathroom with garden tub!!! The bathroom had a double-sink, very handy for DH and I to get ready at the same time:


The second bedroom had a queen bed with bathroom (I didn't seem to take a picture).

There were also 2 twin bedrooms and a 3rd bathroom:




The living room:


Kitchen area:


The owners were very easy to work with. They were from the UK and responded promptly to my emails. We booked last minute and got pool heat included but had to pay the entire amount (drawback of booking last minute). Phone and internet were included. The villa had a combination entry, which we prefer as we usually arrive at night. There was no deposit required.
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September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:33 AM   #3
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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I'm in!!!

I love the Orlando trip reports that don't fit anywhere. That's usually the same style of my family's travels!

Can't wait for the rest .
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 01-13-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
littleaussie
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Flying out of FAR and -40 weather kills our dreams, literally

Our flights were scheduled to fly out of FAR-ORD-MCO on Tuesday, January 7th. Checking the weather and flights diligently on Monday, I discovered flights were being cancelled due to our -40 weather we were having. Lovely. ORD was cancelling almost all flights in and out of that airport on Monday and some Tuesday flights too. Guess whose flight was cancelled? That would be us.

I got on the phone with American Airlines on Monday once I saw flights were cancelled and spent 3.5 hours sorting it out. I had to, I had no choice, really. Niece19 was set to fly out of Sioux Falls to ORD to MCO and her flight to ORD was also cancelled (we were meeting up in ORD and sharing the MCO flight).

And so it went, that the CS rep for AA had 2 flights on Delta he could reserve, but that was it. Or, we could all fly out on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. That wouldn't do at all. I decided DH and I could fly out Tuesday as planned and niece would fly out Wednesday. She was actually going to Florida again in February to both Disney World and on a Disney Cruise with my parents so I didn't feel too awful about her missing a day on this trip. It was sad, but AA did the best they could and I didn't blame them for cancelling things. I thought it was great they put us on another airline and we were set to arrive at 9 pm instead of 7 pm, not too bad at all.

So we all were rerouted FAR-MSP-MCO - DH and I on Tuesday and niece on Wednesday (Sioux Falls-MSP-MCO). MSP had only a few flights that were cancelled due to the cold weather, I know better for next time not to fly through ORD.
__________________
September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
littleaussie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
I'm in!!!

I love the Orlando trip reports that don't fit anywhere. That's usually the same style of my family's travels!

Can't wait for the rest .
Thanks Gina, I read your last trip report and I love your family's style of traveling.
__________________
September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:37 AM   #6
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We just stayed at Windsor Hills in a condo in October/November so will enjoy your hodge podge trippie
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:41 AM   #7
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Following along.
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For the love of Disney...
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:19 PM   #8
littleaussie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Doubtfire View Post
We just stated at Windsor Hills in a condo in October/November so will enjoy your hodge lodge trip pie
Thanks, variety is the spice of life, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Following along.
Glad you are along for the ride.
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September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:49 PM   #9
littleaussie
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Our rental and first full day

Flights went smoothly on Tuesday, even with the changeup. My flight to MSP had me rubbing elbows with several Armani suits. Due to the cancelled flights, AA put me in first class to MSP and in a preferred seat to MCO with no charge, another bonus. It had been several years since I have flown to MCO but we managed to navigate the waters.

I had booked Alamo with the coupon code found on the Transportations thread for January car rentals . I like to choose my car but at the mid-sized aisle, there were slim pickings. It was either a Chrysler 200, a Jeep Grand Cherokee or the Compass we eventually chose:



It was adequate for the 3 of us and I had no complaints about the vehicle. The check-in guy mentioned the fuel sales pitch and I quickly calculated in my head if I could manage to bring back the car empty and decided that I could, so I took advantage of the prepay tank. I'm happy to report that I returned the car with the empty light coming on as I pulled into the airport! My high school math teacher would be so proud. . .

We left this in ND (-40 and snow):


And arrived to this (50s and green):


Side note - when I was little and living on a farm, I was firmly convinced that if I played dead on the farm lane, vultures would come down and try to pick at me. I tried so hard to play dead to see if my theory worked but it never did. I was tempted to lay down on the residential street when I saw these guys but I stifled my impulse.

Anyway, we got to Windsor Palms around 10:30 p.m. and I managed to squeeze in the first of my many hot tub excursions:


Windsor Palms is quite adequate for our wants. Windsor Hills is newer but we had no complaints about our house this time. There were a few small things like cupboard knobs being loose but nothing was dirty or worn out (Oak Plantation anyone???).

Wednesday - our first full day - was cool, I don't know if it ever hit 60. Tuesday night, we had to turn on the heat in the house, it was that cool. The pool did not heat up at all that first day. I called the management company and they said to fill the pool a little higher with water and that many days, when the temp doesn't hit 65, the pool won't heat properly. We couldn't use the pool, even being from ND, as it was really, really cold. Oh well, it was nice to look at and the hot tub was warm so that was my main concern:


Niece was arriving at 2:30 so we went to Winn-Dixie to get groceries and peeked in a gift shop. I suckered out and bought a Mickey t-shirt for $16. Later, we went to Target and the exact same t-shirt was selling for $12. Another lesson learned: the gift shops are NOT the cheapest place to buy souvenirs.

Did I mention it was my birthday this day? I turned 29 (for the 8th time). So after picking up niece at the airport (and using the cell phone parking lot, how convenient!!! Another first for us, FAR doesn't really need this, as only 2 people fly in and out the airport each day - well maybe more than 2), we got ready for supper. I chose. . . Red Lobster. I know, I know, how adventurous! But I had a bunch of gift cards to the place and a birthday coupon and I heard rumors the doors were closing so we went there. By the way, I'm a dance teacher, always looking to teach:


I love Margaritas. And I love Red Lobster's margaritas. So I had one (or maybe 5 or 6):


After the meals of Peppercorn Steak (DH), Walleye (niece) and Shrimp trio for me, we returned to the house for some beers in the hot tub. . . for those who are legally able to drink (pool was still too cold):

(OK maybe this photo was taken earlier in the day but you get the idea)

After the hot tub, I filled the garden tub and maybe relaxed in there for another 30 minutes. I don't know why, maybe because I felt a little too tipsy to stand in a shower to wash the chlorine off so the tub was safer.
__________________
September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!

Last edited by littleaussie; 01-13-2014 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:43 PM   #10
littleaussie
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Thursday - DTD

Thursday morning we awoke to a glorious day and a warm pool

H decided that he was too exhausted to do much of anything so niece and I packed up and went to Downtown Disney. Usually, I research things like this but as we were driving on property, we noticed tent supplies being set up around the World. It dawned on me they must have been preparing for the Marathon (which I forgot was this weekend).

Things were somewhat blocked off but nothing too bad that morning. We quickly parked in a fairly empty lot and started from Cirque and made our way deeper into Disney territory.



Niece and I got into the spirit of the comradeship of being Disney freaks and I have never in my life taken so many photos as an adult



This was only my second stop at DTD but I made sure to document it:


Niece seemed to be a willing participant:


Since she was being so good about letting me take her photos, I let her made a lightsaber:


Can you believe that we spent 4 hours at DTD, as Disney freaks, and did not buy one single thing? Shocking.

We then hopped a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge because I wanted to show niece the property that we almost became owners in. H and I had taken the tour on our wedding trip and bought into AKL but then had buyer's remorse and opted out a few days after we got home.

Niece thought the flamingos were stinky but loved the property:


I hope to stay here someday:


We split a flatbread pizza at their quick-service place. It was really good and plenty big enough for the 2 of us. On our return to DTD, it started to rain heavily and the empty parking lot we parked in was completely full that afternoon. I started panicking about not using the hot tub enough so we returned to Windsor Palms for another session before supper.

Supper that night was at Miller's Ale House (no pictures to prove it though). I heartily recommend this place (it was just west of WP on 192, right across from the Super Target, in which I bought some drinks), due to the thread on here about best places to eat off-site. The Ale house was one of the recommendations, so glad I remembered it! It's a pub/grill sort of set up with sports being shown on the TVs and decently priced food. The Prime Rib was on special so that's what I had and it was perfect. H had another type of steak I believe and niece had some sort of pasta. I was dying for another Margarita but forgot my ID at the house so I was unable to order one . H remembered his so he chose the special of 5 Bud Lights in a bucket for $8.99, what a steal!!!

After stuffing our faces, we returned to the hot tub for a few more hours before calling it a night. I bought a 6 pack of JD Lynchberg Lemonade drinks and they were awful. I imagined I could taste the whiskey, not sure if it's actually made with whiskey but they were too strong. The lemonade was definitely not the high notes in this drink. Oh well, hopefully our cleaning person likes the tip I left them in the fridge.

Next up: Universal Orlando. . .
__________________
September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:56 PM   #11
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaussie View Post
Supper that night was at Miller's Ale House (no pictures to prove it though). I heartily recommend this place (it was just west of WP on 192, right across from the Super Target, in which I bought some drinks), due to the thread on here about best places to eat off-site. The Ale house was one of the recommendations, so glad I remembered it! It's a pub/grill sort of set up with sports being shown on the TVs and decently priced food. The Prime Rib was on special so that's what I had and it was perfect. H had another type of steak I believe and niece had some sort of pasta. I was dying for another Margarita but forgot my ID at the house so I was unable to order one . H remembered his so he chose the special of 5 Bud Lights in a bucket for $8.99, what a steal!!!
Loving the TR so far .

So glad to hear the positive reports on Millers Ale House. We aim to give it a try for the first time this coming August, and I'm super excited! It sounds so good!
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 01-14-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
littleaussie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
Loving the TR so far .

So glad to hear the positive reports on Millers Ale House. We aim to give it a try for the first time this coming August, and I'm super excited! It sounds so good!
I think you will like it. I read your last trip report and it seems like something your family will enjoy
__________________
September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:58 PM   #13
littleaussie
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Friday - Universal Do or Die part 1: IOA

Woke up again to another perfect morning. Unfortunately, H had to return to ND He is racing a new class of snowmobiles this year and is trying to promote it so every race counts, even over a Florida trip. I elected to stay the weekend in Florida.

H and I left for the airport at 4 a.m. and I dropped him off, wished him well and returned to get in an early morning hot tub session. I was too excited to sleep

Niece and I agreed that Friday was the Universal day. H had no interest in going to US or IOA on this trip (we did a commando day several years ago) so I figured I had to be up early anyway, why not make it a park day?

Niece was ready on time so we left at 7:30. I was unsure of the I-4 commute and morning traffic jams so thought I would play it safe. We made it thru the interstate with no issues and arrived at UOR in record time. Parking was a breeze, we were the 15th car to park that morning (yes I counted the cars).

Strangely enough, the 12th car in line was someone I actually knew!!!!! I worked at the U of MN in my hometown for about 5 years before I moved to ND and the people in car 12 were my cohorts from the U of MN! Talk about a fun reunion. What are the chances you bump into someone you know unexpectedly at such a huge place??? It was their last day and they were heading to US and then IOA. They were commandos like me and had to be there early as a non-resort visitor to keep the waiting to a minimum. I'm still awed that I ran into someone I knew.

At any rate, I had 2 - 2 day PTP tickets to use up. I had bought these tickets in 2012 for our wedding trip and misplaced them. They weren't found until after we returned from our trip in 2012 so it all worked out in the end for this trip.

We arrived at the gates and began the waiting game. I had previously instructed niece that no bags or purses would be allowed today. I'm telling you, DON'T BRING A BAG. We saved a ton of time by not having to fiddle with lockers and saved our purchases for the end of the day. I wore my trendy cargo pants to hold my little camera, niece just didn't bring anything except her phone:


I was much more patient than niece:


I curled my hair so nicely for this day, only to admit defeat later in the day. IOA opened their gates at about 8:54 a.m. and niece and I pushed our ways to HP land:


Niece has never been, but I was there in 2011 so it was fun to see her reaction to everything. She said it was just like the movies. FJ was our first stop of course. Last time, I didn't do the castle tour because it was so dark inside, I think H and I went through the singles line by accident (which does not give a castle tour). So I was happy that we picked the correct line this time and we were in line at 8:58 with a 10 minute projected wait time:


FJ always gets me and this morning was no exception. I felt nauseated and shook up from the dementors almost killing me on this ride. I was so nauseated, when niece refused DD, I didn't push the issue and we skipped it.

Next was Ollivandors. I had not done this before either. We waited about 25 minutes for the cute little show:


Not sure if I would wait much longer for this show or would do it again but it was fun to see once.

We then went thru the bridge to Jurassic Park area. And stopped for the obligatory photos and assisted others with their family ones:


My hair was getting flatter:


Niece wanted to skip JP but I can be persuasive when I feel like it (it helps to have a death grip):


Our projected wait was 5 minutes but we pretty much walked on:


Moving counter clockwise around, we unanimously agreed to skip the water rides and made Spiderman our next stop:


The wait was 10 minutes:


Look out guys, this is serious hotness!


Next we had to overlap our circle from the morning by going back to Seussland and ride the Cat in the Hat:


We walked on this ride too. Everything was going swimmingly, until niece triggered the announcement of no photos on this ride (at least it wasn't flash photography?):


Oops, guess we need to pay better attention to the directions. Our short career of crime came to an end and we suffered no backside boots for our indiscretions though. This brief dabbling with the dark side caused niece to refuse the Hulk coaster and I was still trying to overcome my Dementor run-in so that ride was regrettably skipped.

But we decided to stop and see Poseidon's Fury, as I cannot resist a good Greek/Roman tragedy. We had just missed the first show so it was about 30 minutes of waiting. Poseidon's fury is one of those shows that the actor can make or break your experience. I'm happy to report the ruins guide 'made' the experience for us:


It was time to head over to the Studios for part 2. . .
__________________
September 2014 - Southern Caribbean Disney Magic Cruise
January 2014 - Windsor Palms TR
September 2012 - Disney, a wedding & DVC. . . Oh MY
January 2012 - Celebrating engagement with a Disney trip with a stay at WH
January 2011 - WH trip that will not be repeated!
December 2009 - Oak Plantation stay with Disney visit disaster
May 2008 - Traveling the WB Repo 2008 with an ex. . .
January 2006 - WDW at Oak Plantation+ Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
2003 and earlier - Numerous family trips too many to count!
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #14
littleaussie
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Universal part 2 - Studios

When we first arrived at US, we peeked into Despicable Me. The wait said 80 minutes so we skipped it. This was really the only ride I needed to see, like really needed but I hedged our bets that later would be more tolerable. Although we were getting hungry, I wisely suggested we get the Mummy out of the way, so we did. . . with a 10 minute wait:


Since Monsters Café was close, we decided to eat there. While niece went to the bathroom, I walked by Despicable me again to see if miraculously the wait was down. Nope, still 80 minutes

Each of us ordered the pepperoni pizza, it was pretty good:


Regrettably, my curls were at the end of its' useable life, so I gave up and ponied it:


After lunch, niece thought she had never been to see Twister, so that was our next stop - 15 minute wait baby!


Might as well go to Disaster next (after running back quick to see if DM was acceptable yet. . . it was not) 15 minute wait:


It was getting too far to keep going back to check on DM so I reluctantly headed further away to MIB, even though it was like leaving a sleeping baby too far away to check on periodically. Niece and I always like MIB and I somehow ended up with the high score for our car - 10 minute wait:


I wanted to see Fear Factor next and we had about 30 minutes before the next show but the Simpsons was promising a 15 minute wait so we opted to take our chances on it. I practiced a selfie while waiting but just ended up looking like I was 1/2 way undressing myself at some sort of circus arena:


Niece gave a shout out to itchy (or is it scratchy?):


Simpsons did me in and I had to close my eyes for the entire ride. I don't know what's wrong with my stomach today but it is seriously interfering with my commando trip!!!!

2 minutes until Fear Factor had us running to the show but we made it and enjoyed the time on our butts:


On our walk back to DM, we saw Transformers was promising 20 minutes wait (as opposed to 45 minutes earlier in the day) so decided to go for it. Transformers uses the same technology as Spider man but I enjoyed it much more! We were actually an Autobot this time, as opposed to an innocent bystander in Spiderman:


I felt much better being so close to DM again. The screen showed 40 minutes. We decided to risk it. 15 minutes into our wait, 127 Brazilians in their green tour group shirts flooded the Express line and our wait went to 60. I became irate that my touring plan went to shambles, even though it was the end of the day. Niece had to take out her iPhone and show me pictures of kittens to calm me down, hahahaha. Once we got inside the building, my happy pills kicked in:


I would have happily waited 60 minutes inside, the theming was great!!!:


I really enjoyed the preshows, 60 minutes of that would have been just fine:




After our short time of being a minion (I didn't get sick with this simulator), we regurgitated to the dance floor and minion photo ops and gift store:


Finally, the atmosphere got to me, I gave in and purchased Agne's stuffed Unicorn. It's so fluffy, I'M GONNA DIE!!!!!!


I'm happy to report DD8 loves it.

Since my mood had improved, I went on HRRR in the singles ride, with only 5 minutes wait. Niece held my stuffed unicorn, as she refused the ride due to the vertical climb at the beginning:


They were loading this ride weird. First, they loaded the express people in a car and filled the gaps with singles. Then they loaded the next car with regular line people and singles to fill the gaps. The 3rd time, they loaded all single riders in the car. . . I only had about 12 seconds to look at the music and accidentally picked something that sounded like Johnny Cash. I don't know what I chose or maybe I was too slow and it autofilled the Country Legend. . .

We both agreed after this it was time to go. So at around 5:30 p.m., we headed out. I couldn't resist looking at DM again but the wait was still 40 minutes.

It was decided to stop at Golden Corral for a quick buffet before going back to the house.

Once back at the house and in the hot tub, we counted the blisters. 2 for me, 2 for niece. The pool was bathtub temperature so we alternated between the 2 for the rest of the night before collapsing when our legs gave out from our commando day.

I slept with the Unicorn

Next up: our last day of shopping
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:02 PM   #15
Mrs Doubtfire
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You really packed it all in at Universal Despicable Me had a crazy long wait every time we went too!

Can't agree more about the Ale House, we went about 5 times. It was definitely our favourite
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