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Old 01-07-2005, 03:51 PM   #1
danandjackie
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DanandJackie Trip report Christmas 04 Day 5

Today is our first trip to Universals Islands Of Adventure, a park that did not even exist on our last visit in 1991. We leave the DTD Hilton at about 7.30am and are parked and walking towards the gates by 7.50am.Its about this time I look down at today's schedule made on Stu'S DVP planner that I realise I have made an error in PS arrangements for lunch. Although I have everything planned out for IOA I seem to have made a PS reservation for Lombards in the Studio for today and vice versa, oh well I`ll have to sort it when we get in the park.



Today the weather looks like it will warm up this afternoon (hurray) though its still a little chilly in the morning before the sun has got up. We are straight in at 8.00am and after grabbing our maps walk clockwise heading for the hulk.

Over the bridge where you would normally turn left to enter the Hulk, Cast Members are directing people forward and telling everyone there is a slight technical hitch this morning with the Hulk and it will probably not begin running until about 10.00am.

So we head on into the Marvel Super Hero Area, almost missing the entrance to Spiderman, for which we double back. This is a walk on as well but we walk nice and slowly through the wonderfully themed Queing area, (what is it about these phones by the way, I keep reading one of them does something but have forgotten). Spiderman is brilliant, I wasnt sure what to expect as most guide books tend to be vague about the style of the ride which is a good thing. Its absolutely superb and so different to anything before. Thrilling and a technological masterpiece.

We need a coaster fix though, especially as we have had to by pass Hulk this morning, so we head up towards Toon Lagoon and watch the Ripsaw Falls which is empty as its still rather cold this morning. The bridge is roped off, but its only 5 mins until this is removed and we and about a group of 15 people head up and into Jurassic Park.

We walk all the way through this beautifuly landscaped and themed area deciding we will come back to JP when it warms up slightly in case of a soaking!, it is a ride we have done previously in California.



Then we are in the Lost Continent and walking through the Castle (very dark and wonderful Queing area though I would hate to have to Q all the way through, it seems to go on for ever) onto the Dueling Dragons. We ride Fire immediately as its a walk on then take the short cut back to re join the line, here we head to Ice and decide that as theres no Queues we will ride the front. This does make the experience way more intense, especially as you approach the castle wall and feel sure your about to loose your dangling feet forever.

We then decide to continue to walk around the Park, The park's theming feels so complete and the mix of rides perfect. As we pass Mythos I go to the Podium and explain my mix up with the restaurants and this is simply corrected with a quick phone call.

There doesnt seem to be a square inch in this park where the designers have not gone to town to make sure the experience is total immersion in each Land's theme. Seuss Landing is out of this world in its sheer mad design.

Hulk is still closed so we decide to grab an Express Pass for Doctor Dooms Fear Fall. Its the first time we have used Universals EP system and I'm in slight trepidation as I could never actually make any sense of the instructions on the web page. We also had problems when we went to Universals Park in Spain last year where basically it didn't work and the Spanish just shrugged there shoulders and walked away.
Anyway it works like a breeze and I like the flexibility of being able to choose a return time as this enables us to go get a bite to eat in the Croissant Moon Bakery.


Not sure having a breakfast then riding Doctor Doom's Fear Fall is such a good idea but we dont have a choice as we simply walk straight on sit down and are launched in what seems like a minute. OMG. I love the return from the initial launch where you are simply floating off the seat restrained only by the shoulder Harness. Its not quite as good as the Stratoshphere ride in Las Vegas but that does have a slight advantage of being 50 storeys up to start with!

As Hulk is still not open (there now talking about 11.00am) we walk up and ride Jurassic Park which is fun as usual, there's still no Queues but we chose to arrive just as they are adding new boats to the ride which means we have to watch about 6 empty boats complete a full circuit before we can get on.

As its approaching 11.00am we decide to get back down to Hulk and see whats happening. People have just started forming a Q outside the entrance though the CM`s seem to be trying to discourage this by saying its not open, however the ride is now being sent around empty which we take as a sign its due to open and join the group of about 50 people desperate to get on.

Hurray, they open it, we agree with a group of young English couples in front of us that it would be foolish not to join the front row Q as it would only mean waiting for three rides to pass.




What an awesome ride, The launch is fantastic (even better than space mountain launch in Paris) the way it glides then just goes for it with that immediate inversion. Its so smooth and is a good long ride. We came straight off and grab an Express Pass. As the ride has just opened and the park is now quite busy theres a large Queue at the Express Pass point. But here's a little tip if this happens, the Express Pass distribution point for the Hulk consists of six or eight terminals under an umbrella type canopy, half of this canopy is decorated with Hulk Logos whilst the other half is decorated with Accelatron ride Logos. For some reason people are only queing at the Hulk side of the canopy yet all terminals serve both rides. There are plenty of CM's around, but there not making any effect to move people along to the practically empty terminals on the right, so you can just walk up and grab a pass without queing.

We then went to the Crazy Freakin Stunt Show which was actually more fun than I had expected, Its actually warm now and I`m having to shed layers of clothing for the first time. We also then catch the Sinbad Show which is also well done and good fun with a great set and good action.

Then its time for another long relaxing lunch at Mythos, which I have included on a link.


After lunch we are re-riding Hulk on Express Passes then trying to re-ride Spiderman on Single rider seats, only in typical style Spiderman decides to break down!!Wait for 30mins but can't wait for the ride to be fixed as we also have an Express Pass for Poseidons Fury, quite an enjoyable show/experience, though I knew nothing about it; in fact most of the people in the queue spend the time asking if its a ride or a show.

Its amazing that as we come out of Poseidons Fury its suddenly gone a lot darker so after a buying Jackie a "thing 1 thing 2 "t-shirt we head back as we have to get changed for a dinner reservation at California Grill at 9.00pm

We again walk over to the DTD Disney terminal and use the Disney Bus direct to the Contemporary hotel, then take the lift up to the California Grill Restaurant on the top floor.

As mentioned before in a report, its quite a noisy restaurant at this time, as people have come to watch Wishes ( It's such a wonderful place to see the fireworks, with Space Mountain to your immediate right and of course the castle and lagoon in front). It quietens down once the fireworks have finished. Luckily a family is seated as we enter the lounge so we get a sofa and have a cocktail, then the lights are dimmed and the Wishes music plays and we get a great view of the fireworks. They must time the music direct with Magic Kingdom as everything is in Sync.

After this the California Grill does become a more intimate place to eat as most of the families and people using the lounge leave after the firworks and we are shown to our table for a beautiful meal.
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Last edited by danandjackie; 01-08-2005 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 01-08-2005, 08:41 AM   #2
KayleeUK
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You are a very good photographer
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Old 01-08-2005, 10:48 AM   #3
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I agree Kaylee, great photos.

By the way what's the date??????
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Old 01-08-2005, 01:28 PM   #4
danandjackie
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24th December 04 to 1st January 05

Jackie
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Trip reports and Trip Videos and Restaurant Reviews

WDW Florida July 91(way too hot), DL California June 92,DL California Sep 93, DLP France Feb 96, DLP France March 02, DLP France Christmas to NY 03, WDW Christmas Eve to NY 04, WDW Oct 05, DL California Christmas to NY 05, DLP March 06, WDW Nov 06,DLP Paris Christmas to NY 06, WDW April 07 DL California Nov 07, WDW Dec 07, DLP Mar 08, DLP Jul 08, DL Hong Kong Mar 09, WDW Oct 09, DLP Xmas 09, WDW Xmas/NY 10
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Old 06-04-2005, 03:56 PM   #5
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Great report ~ Thanx for sharing.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:39 PM   #6
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You two certainly know how to get the most fun out of one day. Well done.
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Old 06-27-2005, 03:12 PM   #7
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Lovely report, we enjoyed IoA too.
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