Welcome to another year of trip reports! For those of you who have read some of my past reports, I hope you will join me again as I revisit 2011’s day trips, vacations and more and post some of my photos from them along the way. To those who haven’t read any of my reports, here’s a look at our cast: Meeko- I’m a 20-something guy who has been going to Walt Disney World for longer than I can remember. While at Disney World, I most enjoy the attractions (Tower of Terror being my favorite), finding the little details, and meeting/ photographing the characters. Out of all the Disney films, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite. As for Universal, my favorite attraction there is Jaws, and I’m a fan of both I Love Lucy and The Simpsons. I (of course) will be going on all the trips reported here. Buzz- My twin brother. Buzz is an art student and, like me, a Disney fan. He’s a big fan of Disney and PIXAR animation (Toy Story being his favorite film, hence his nickname here) as well as the Muppets. Buzz’s favorite Disney attraction is Splash Mountain, and he enjoys the atmosphere, humor and all the animals around the World. His favorite attraction at Universal is the Simpsons Ride and is, obviously, also a Simpsons fan. Buzz went on the February, May, July August, September, and October trips and will be going on the December trip as well. Mom- My and Buzz’s mother. Mom’s favorite parts of a Disney trip tend to include doing something that involves learning about history of different cultures, trying different restaurants or just relaxing in a beautiful setting. She loves World Showcase, Soarin’, the Animal Kingdom (park and Lodge) and the resorts. She has never been to Universal before. Mom went on the August trip and will be going on the December trip. Dad- My and Buzz’s father. Dad also enjoys having a more relaxing time at Disney and also likes Soarin’, exploring the gardens around the World, restaurants and just sitting on a bench and enjoying the day. His favorite Disney movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas and tends to like both Disney and Tim Buton films in general. Like Mom, he has never been to Universal. Dad went on the August trip and will be going on the December trip. As for this year's trips, we have… "The Geekiest Place on Earth"- February 2011 Day Trip My brother Buzz and my first visit to Universal’s Islands of Adventure plus a brief trip to neighboring Universal Studios. Chapters: Part One- Welcome to the Wizarding World: Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff Part Two- I Need Photos! Photos of Spider-Man!: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel Super Heroes meet-and-greet Part Three- Toons and Water Rides: Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, lunch at Blondie's, Jurassic Park River Adventure Part Four- Characters Galore: Universal Studios and Seuss Landing meet-and-greets, Lucy: A Tribute, The Cat in the Hat Part Five- The Adventure Lives On: Oh! The Stories You'll Hear, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, trying Butterbeer in Hogsmeade Trip Reflections ************** "Best Day (Trip) Ever"- May 2011 Day Trip A day at the Magic Kingdom with Buzz. Chapters: Part One- The Princess and the Theif: Tangled Play-and-Greet, Frontierland Hoedown, Beast's Castle in Fantasyland Part Two- Winnie the Pooh and Tomorrowland Too: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain Part Three- Time in Tortuga: Lunch at Tortuga Tavern, Swiss Family Treehouse, Princess and the Frog meet-and-greet Part Four- Magic Kingdom Classics: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Dumbo the Flying Elephant Part Five- Magical Moments with Mickey and Minnie: It's A Small World, Town Square Theater meet-and-greet, Snow White's Scary Adventures Part Six- Now It's Time To Say Goodbye: Princess meet-and-greet, Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!, Pirates of the Caribbean Trip Reflections ************** "Alone in Universal"- June 2011 Day Trip A solo visit to Universal Studios Florida. Chapters: Part One- Solo and Commando: Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, The Simpsons Ride, Disaster: A Major Motion Picture Ride Staring You Part Two- Spring and Summer Characters: Star Toons Summer Jamz, exploring the Classic Monster Cafe, Hop show and meet-and-greet Part Three- I Love Lucy: Lucy: A Tribute, ET Adventure, lunch at Louie's Italian Restaurant Part Four- That's A Wrap: Terminator 2: 3D, Simpsons meet-and-greet, dessert at Schwab's Pharmacy Trip Reflections ************** "A Disney Afternoon"- July 2011 Mini Day Trip A brief afternoon visit to Downtown Disney with Buzz. Chapters: Part One: Lego Imagination Center, lunch at Earl of Sandwich, Marketplace Fun Finds Part Two: World of Disney, Harley Davidson, D Street ************** "Africa in the Rainy Season"- August 2011 Trip A theme park-free family vacation including a three-night stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo House and visits to Kidani Village and Downtown Disney as well as a trip off-property to Orlando Premium Outlets. Pre-Trip Report Sneak Preview Chapters: Day One, Part One- A Room with a View: Checking in at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, lunch at the Mara, Arusha Rock Savanna Overlook Upcoming Chapters Include: More Animal viewing at Jambo House and Kidani Village Tours and activities around the Lodge, including the Wanyama Safari Dining at Jiko, Sanaa, Boma, Raglan Road and more Shopping at Orlando Premium Outlet, including the Disney outlet store ************** September 2011 Day Trip A day with Buzz at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Sneak Preview Upcoming Chapters Include: Our first flight on the new Star Tours Lights, Motors Action with new Cars 2 segment The "new" PIXAR Pals Countdown to Fun Parade Lots of meet-and-greets including Phineas and Ferb and “Character Palooza” at the Magic of Disney Animation Lunch at the infamous ABC Commissary ************** October 2011 Day Trip A day trip to EPCOT with Buzz. Sneak Preview Happy Halloween Upcoming Chapters Include: Our first time seeing Captain EO Kim Possible Missions in the United Kingdom and Mexico Snacking our way around World Showcase at our first International Food and Wine Festival ************** November 2011 Mini Day Trip Buzz and my very brief visit with stops at Orlando Premium Outlet and Downtown Disney. Upcoming Chapters Include: Shopping at the Disney's Character Warehouse Christmas Decorations at Downtown Disney Trying out Pin Trading ************** December 2011 Trip Report A family Christmas vacation including a two-night stay at the Royal Pacific Resort and visits to Universal Studios, Citywalk and Islands of Adventure. Christmas Photos Preview Upcoming Chapters Include: Mom and Dad's first trip to Universal and all of our first stay at at Universal Resort Holiday Festivities around Universal Orlando including Macy's Holiday Parade Dining at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, Lombard's Landing, Pat O'Brien's and more Early Entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ************** As you can tell, we’re long-time Disney fans but just discovering what Universal has to offer. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about our adventures starting with our first trip into the Wizarding World.