Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Flossbolna, Mar 19, 2011.
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Loved the Universal Update !! Yes PC is surely English !! But they were also at some point called WC( water closets ) A truly authentic one would have had a slot on the door for a penny !!Hence the term "Spend a Penney"
Rosie, I remember visiting the UK when it was called a water closet!
I hope you all had a wonderful time over Christmas! And I want to wish you all the best for 2012!!
But I don't want to leave the old year without getting this TR up to date again. So after the replies, there will be another update.
The package was really a great deal, she should just make sure to print out the confirmation twice because one has to be given to the shuttle person!
Those bon bons were a great piece of merchandise! I still have some because I only treat myself to one for a special occasion.
Since I am not sure what butterscotch tastes like, I can't say. An American friend told me before the trip that it tastes like cream soda with a little bit of pumpkin in it. But I also have no idea what cream soda tastes like, so I have no idea whether I would agree with that description. I can only say that it is sweet and delicious...
Oh, I knew "john" and the British like to call it "loo" which seems similar to the German "Klo". We have lots of terms for it as well, sometimes it can be called the "quiet little place".
The theming is wonderful, I could have spent much more time there taking pictures. The insides of the shops is amazing!
Not a firecracker, but still pretty fun to eat!
Well, at least it is not a free-floating boat, but a train on a track!
Butterbeer is wonderful... Rereading my last update made me think that I should start planning a trip to Orlando mainly to go to Universal for the butterbeer.
It did blow me away in person still after having seen many pictures. I am so excited about the extension they are about to start building!
Katharina answered that for you - and she was quite right, her German is really good!
Hi stranger! Great to see you posting again!!!
Thank you all for the Christmas wished! I did see your greetings on Christmas Day and was very touched that my DISfriends were thinking of me!
WC is still used in Germany! It stands for Wasser Closett - so the same as in English. That's where the most commonly used term for that place comes from: "Klo" - and toilet paper is "Klopapier" - my mother however when writing the shopping list always wrote "Clopapier" which used to amuse Katharina and me as kids - that she would use the posh spelling with a "C" for the rather ordinary product.
When I was in England for the very first time in the summer of 83, we came across a restaurant where it was called "cloakroom" - which we looked up in the dictionary and it told us that this was a place where you would place your coats - so we were really surprised when after we enquired about the toilet we were actually shown to that door... After opening the door, things became evident, it was indeed the restroom.
Part 4: On to other Islands and Adventures
By now the crowds started to arrive at WWoHP, the wait time for FJ was up to 15 minutes now... And we decided to head somewhere else and left Hogsmead at around 9:45 am:
We had heard that Spiderman was a must do and that it was attracting rather long lines as well, so we wanted to make sure to get that done in the morning hours as well. So we continued to walk around the lake of IoA, passed through the Jurassic Park area and then found ourselves in Toon Lagoon. This is a funny looking place, very cheerful:
And then we arrived at Marvel Super Hero Island. It is quite funny that Disney ended up buying Marvel and now their largest competitor in Orlando has a land themed after Disney's intellectual property. I am not a comic book fan and so I did not expect very much of this land. I think visually it is the least pleasing of the IoA lands, but neither do I think that it is ugly. BUT it has one problem: they play a lot of very loud music here. In general I found Universal and IoA more "noisy" - the background music is not so much in the background as perhaps trying to be a soundtrack to your adventure?
So, this is a view down Marvel Super Hero Island's main walkway:
You can see some of the Hulk coaster in the background.
Walking towards there we had seen numerous groups of people which seemed to consist of several special needs children with parents and possibly siblings. Each group was wearing matching t-shirts, each group with a different design, but all of them had the name dreamflight on them in some way or another. I actually looked it up afterwards and that is what I found:
"Once a year, 192 deserving children from all over the UK, accompanied by a team of medical carers, board a chartered Boeing 747 and head to Florida to spend 10 magical days of fun and excitement. Many children could not undertake such a trip without the support of the army of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and non-medical volunteers who care for the children 24 hours a day."
I think we met them on their IoA day.
And we met a group of them when we went on Spiderman. It seemed like it was taking ages to load the ride, but then we realized it was because one of those groups was getting on the ride via the Express Pass line (the Universal version of Fastpass, but only available to Universal's hotel guests and people who pay for it). Still the wait was not long at all!
The deal with Spiderman is that you are supposed to go out and hunt for a new story in the city with a newly designed vehicle. You actually walk through the newspaper office in the line:
The ride itself reminded us of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey because it was a similar combination of moving through rooms combined with screens. And the end result is extremely impressive!! We both really loved that ride and knew that we wanted to ride it again in the afternoon. I knew that it was considered an excellent theme park attraction, but did not expect it to be that good. It definitely exceeded my expectation and even came close to beating FJ as best attraction at Universal.
I also knew that I wanted to ride the Hulk. But Katharina saw it and decided that she rather let me experiment it with it on my own... And considering that it was supposed to have severe rain at some point during the day, I thought it would be better to get that ride in as soon as possible. A coaster in the rain is unpleasant!
The wait time was 10 minutes, but in reality I just walked onto the ride the first row would have been quite a wait though. I was really a bit nervous, this coaster does look very impressive!! And then it has an interesting launch which did take me by surprise... But in the end I enjoyed it a lot! Great coaster (even though, I would recommend to try to get one of the rows towards the front, those seem to be less rough).
When I got off, I at first had trouble finding Katharina since she had tried to escape the loud music in that area, but we quickly reconnected and I told her that it was not bad at all and that she should come along for a ride in the afternoon.
But now it was time for another break. I had read that there was one of those places called "Cinnabon" which people mention now and then in their TR at IoA in the Port of Entry area. And we had talked about getting a coffee there. So since we had to pass through there on our way over to Universal Studios, this was the perfect opportunity for a coffee break with one of their baked goodies. It was extremely delicious!!
There was also a Universal character hanging out in that area and interacting with the people sitting there. It was quite fun to watch, no lines for a greeting and this character seemed to love to sneak up on people:
The next update will take us over to Universal Studios.
I don't think I'd like the loud music in some of those IoA areas either. They must be trying to generate excitement, I guess.
Okay, so whenever we get to Universal, we need to try Spiderman in addition to Forbidden Journey. Got it!
I see Katharina heading to Cinnabon.
Well, I did manage to get on here today and catch up a bit! Yay me! So glad you liked the ride- I know when you don't know what to expect and it ends up being great is such a treat! I thought you'd enjoy Cinnabon! Yummy, calorie-laden goodness.
Hope you and your whole family had a most wonderful, Peace-filled Christmas, Katharina and Magdalene!!
Wonderful update! I'm so glad Spidey didn't disappoint, it is one of our all time favorites anywhere. I love love love the hulk too (and it is actually VERY fun in a light mist) but agree, front is best. I hadn't thought about it but would agree, overall IOA and Universal area bit louder in some respects.
You had a Woody Woodpecker sighting! He has the BEST laugh. My nephew laughs just like him, cracks me up every time. Cinnabon. YUM! I used to work for the company that started Cinnabon, they sold it off a long time ago but I remember when it first came out (originated here in Seattle) and...YUM!
Coming out of lurkdom to tell you what a wonderful trip report you've written!
Love all of your pictures, especially those from WWoHP. I also love Butterbeer but prefer the non-frozen variety which I have almost perfected here at home. It was relatively empty when we were there Nov 2010 too and it was amazing.
So sorry you didn't get to take your time in the Hogwart's queue, it's as much a part of that ride as the actual flying broomstick part. Too bad no one told you that you could do just the castle tour be in a separate line, take all the time you wanted as well as take your camera in and take some more of your wonderful photos!
Happy belated Birthday and Christmas! A prosperous New Year and a return to WDW in the future.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Magdalene!
All caught up on your TR. Sounds like you planned your IoA day perfectly to catch the big rides. Spider-man sounds very fun. And I can't blame Katharina for letting you test Hulk out for her!
We love Cinnabon here...just don't ask to see the nutritional information! (or lack thereof)
I think you are right, it is all about the excitement. Maybe it would be different if it were more crowded, I think crowds would absorb some of the music as well. And it was more or less empty when we were there.
And yes, you MUST ride Spiderman!! I know some people who claim that Disney hasn't done a really innovative ride in ages and they cite Spiderman as an example as what can be done. And it is really great - makes me wish that Disney would build something like that!! The only Disney ride which it can be compared to is Indiana Jones at Disneyland.
Hi Liesa! Great to see you catch up! The one thing that made our day there so special was exactly that: to explore something new where every ride is a new discovery! I would love to be able to do that with a Disney park again! I guess I need to travel to Tokyo for that...
I can very well understand that Spiderman is an overall favourite. I think it and FJ definitely have a place in my all time top ten attractions in theme parks!
I have no idea who Woody Woodpecker is, but he was fun to watch!
You seem to have worked for a lot of interesting food/beverage companies. I think your next job needs to be with a brewery to equal out all that sweet stuff...
Hi Tink2Day and to my trip report! I love comments, so thank you very much for coming out of lurkdom!!
I think next time I need to try the non-frozen Butterbeer. Maybe I like it even better... How do you make it? I must confess, that the foam on top was nearly the best part...
Oh, we did take out time in the line, so it wasn't as if we did miss to much. I knew about the castle tour and I think we should have done that later in the day, but never thought about it. Still, leaves me something to look forward to for the next trip!
Thanks for all the good wishes, I hope you will have a magical 2012 as well!
Thank you Mark, I hope your Christmas was wonderful as well!
We were so lucky with our day there and had some very good advice about how to tackle those two parks. But I am sure that in the future I want more time for these two parks.
ALl caught up.
I agree that Spiderman is a great ride. We went ages ago, and that ride was the highlight. Our trip eneded up being the midst of a hurricane.
Cinnabon is yummy and I hope to get to IoA soon.
IoA in the midst of a hurricane sounds a bit frightening... I think you really need to a redo then, and hope that you get to go there soon as well!
Cinnabon is indeed very yummy. Unfortunately I was not very much into taking food porn that trip. I would love to have a picture of what we got there... I only remember that it was warm, sticky and delicious...
Part 5: Two Parks in one Day?!
And then it was time to head over to the second park it was 11am by now and we had a lunch reservation for 2pm back at Mythos in IoA. So not so much time for Universal Studios.
Luckily it is just a very easy walk from one park to the other, with no bag check between. So, soon we were at the other entrance:
It is an interesting entrance because you immediately fall into the park, there isn't really any entrance area. I think that gives it a much more realistic feel, like it were a true studio compound.
And at first corner we met these lovely albeit rather yellow people:
We then entered New York city:
I am not sure whether all those things in that bus stop are always there or whether this was some decorations for Halloween Horror Nights. HHN is Universal's Halloween event and from all I have heard about it, it is truly scary. But very creative, they change the theme every year, which I think is very impressive! More strange decorations:
On with New York City:
And this was our first destination in the park:
The Mummy. I knew that this was going to be a roller coaster in the dark. I expected something like Rock 'n Roller Coaster. I did not see the movie it is themed after. Actually, I think I have seen very few of the movies which have rides at Universal. But this really did not matter at all. Like you can enjoy Splash Mountain without having seen Song in the South (even though I recently watched it and can't recommend it at all!). Back to the Mummy: It started with a nicely themed queue walking through the inner corridors of a pyramid (at least that was my interpretation) and then you board the train. And then strange things happen. I was so amazed. This was so different from what I expected! I really don't want to spoil it, but in the end I think this ride gets the #3 spot for me after Forbidden Journey and Spiderman. And I must say that when we got back and rode RnRC again, it really paled in comparison.
continued in the next post...
We continued on our way and saw the Blues Brothers:
Next we came to the San Francisco area where you have views across the lake to the World Expo - as you can see because there are a lot of different flags. And Katharina was excited that one of them was the Czech flag!
The San Francisco area kind of morphs into Amity:
Amity is the town where the events in the film Jaws take place... So this is why they have this beauty on display:
And you can go on a scenic boat ride there... Just be warned, it's a place where sharks were around in the past... Jaws the attraction has been described to me as kind of like the Jungle Cruise. Well, in a way it is, but kind of mixed with Catastrophe Canyon of the Backlot Tour at DHS...
Katharina and I thought the queue was quite funny. Even though it was just simple switchbacks through a shed, there were TV screens overhead playing local TV - news, commercials etc. from Amity. A lot of that was quite funny! The ride itself was surprisingly entertaining. I really liked that attraction a lot as well. It helped that we had a good boat captain as they deliver a spiel and just as with the Jungle Cruise I am sure that there are differences in quality.
I think this and the Mummy were the longest lines we had to wait in all day about 15 minutes. I think Universal Studios felt more crowded than IoA that day. But then we missed the busiest part of the day at WWoHP.
While we were in line for Jaws it started to rain and we were wondering whether this was the start of the downpour which was forecast. But by the time we got off Jaws it had stopped raining. Perfect timing!
However, Amity and Jaws are history by now. The whole area is undergoing change - and the very strong rumours indicate that we will see Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter universe appear in this area, with a coaster themed after the Wizarding bank Gringotts. And with a train connecting "London" in Universal Studios with "Hogsmead" over in IoA. There still is no official announcement, but since the rumour surfaced in October there have been quite a lot of insiders more or less confirming that those are the plans.
More Studios in the next update!
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