Wednesday 22nd August - Legoland...or not! After our early night, we were all up bright and early. We had originally intended to go to the (not quite so new now) Legoland park today, however the weather forecast was not great and so we decided to stick nearer home. Plus, Daniel was absolutely dying to ride Rip Ride Rockit. So Universal Studios was the park of choice this morning. Daniel and I were ready first so we headed down to the Orchid Court Lounge to pick up some pastries for breakfast. Daniel chose a mini chocolate croissant and a mini cinnamon pastry. Like pastries only smaller I just got a plain croissant. Plain and boring I was very disappointed at the general standard of the pastries and also the price. The mini pastries were the same price as the full-size croissant and, at $11.72 for the three pastries, plus chocolate milk for Daniel, I felt this was pretty excessive for a very mediocre breakfast. By the time wed finished, Gary had arrived and we set off for Universal. We decided to walk again as it was so pleasant. The sky was an ominous shade of grey but we hoped it would brighten up as the morning went on. Which way? Check out my wheels! Welcome to Universal! We arrived at the park just as they started letting people in. Once through the turnstile, we decided to head first to the new Despicable Me ride. Despicable Me! None of us had seen the film but that didnt detract any from our enjoyment of the ride. The pre-show was amusing and the ride, although of a similar ilk to the old Jimmy Neutron ride, was great. The film which accompanied it was clever and funny and we all really enjoyed it. Next, it was time for Rip Ride Rockit. There was quite a long line when we joined as the ride had been experiencing technical difficulties but it soon started moving along quickly and, before long, we were strapped in and selecting our tunes. I stuck with my old favourite, Evanescence Bring Me To Life. I have got to be honest now whether it is because I have put on weight since our last trip or whether its because we were seated in the rear car, I am not sure but I felt really quite unsafe at times during the ride. So much so that when Gary and Daniel decided to ride again, I sat it out. It was a real shame as I had enjoyed this coaster so much on our last visit but this time I was really quite nervous. Needless to say, I am determined to lose some weight before we go back as I am not missing out next time. Daniel and Gary had a minor disagreement at this point in the day I think Daniel was still suffering after his late night on Monday and Gary was also tired and grumpy not a great combination. It was over something and nothing but, before you knew it, Daniel had plonked his backside down on the kerb and was refusing to move. I gave him the if you dont buck your ideas up, we are going back to the room speech and, after giving him a few minutes to pull himself together, we were all friends again and heading off towards Revenge of the Mummy. We all love this ride and, with the great benefits of Express Pass, were able to ride twice in quick succession. As we were walking around the park towards Men In Black, I spotted this little alleyway which I had never noticed before. It was nothing more than a cut-through from another part of the park but the theming was excellent you really felt as though you were in a backstreet in downtown New York (or what I imagine that would be like). I wouldnt walk down here in the dark We entered the Amity section and were glad to see that, despite the ride having gone, Jaws was still available for photo opportunities. Please dont feed the shark! Since it was early, the line for Disaster! was not very long so we took advantage and joined the small crowd of people waiting. Daniel had never experienced this and neither of us had been on it since the format changed. The new format is much better, far more entertaining, although the end section is much the same (just a little bit cheesier). I definitely prefer it. It was time now for Men In Black, after Daniel had posed for a photo outside. Galaxy Defender We had several shots at defeating the aliens. This is, by far and away, one of my favourite rides at Universal. Daniel was struggling to get a decent score so Gary and I agreed that we would let him push the red button but Gary cheated and pushed it first! The things that man will do to try and beat my score. After we had saved the planet, we were in need of liquid refreshment so decided to check out the Coca-Cola Freestyle at Richters Burger Co. For those who dont know, this is a revolutionary soda machine, where you can create your own flavour of soda by selecting a standard Coca-Cola product and adding flavoured syrups. We paid for two standard cups and took them over to the machine, where an enthusiastic girl showed us how it worked and even made up some samples for us to taste before we made our final choice. Freestylin After several minutes of indecision, we finally decided on Sprite Zero with raspberry and orange, and Diet Coke with every flavour except cherry. They were really delicious and refreshing and made a nice change from plain old Diet Coke. At $5.52 inc tax for two drinks, it was quite steep but Im glad we tried it. As we were leaving, I was filming some of the area, when a little voice said I hope youve got me on camera. As I turned around, I saw Sharon, Norm and Stephen just coming out of Richters. We stood and chatted for a while and, when we mentioned we planned to eat at Nascar Sports Grille that night, Sharon pulled out a wad of coupons and handed me one for 20% off thanks Sharon. The weather had improved throughout the morning and we really wanted to try and get into the pool so we decided to head back to the hotel. First, though, we needed lunch and, since Gary was craving Panda Express, we headed up to the food court area. Daniel and I decided to get burgers instead so we went into the BK Whopper Bar. We had a minor panic when we realised you couldnt charge to your room and we hadnt got much cash but luckily we were able to use our Fairfx card. The burgers were cooked to order, meaning they were piping hot and fresh but, seriously, how expensive! A Whopper with cheese and bacon, a Chicken Tendercrisp, two portions of fries and a strawberry milkshake came to $19.04. Burgertopia Daniel really enjoyed his burger (as you can probably tell from the picture) and, while my Chicken Tendercrisp was nice, I had serious food envy and wished Id had Panda Express orange chicken instead. Its nice but its not orange chicken I had to be content with stealing a piece of Garys chicken. His meal was a bargain at $10.10 for a two entrée combo orange chicken and chicken in black bean sauce plus fried rice and a large diet coke. There was plenty of it too and it was delicious, as usual. Friday night dinner on a Wednesday After a quick stop into the candy shop to buy some presents, we caught the boat back to the Royal Pacific where we arrived back to the room and found that Doggy and Pluto had been enjoying themselves again, in our absence. I love you Dogster, I love you too Pluto Unfortunately, we had just arrived back when the heavens opened and we were subjected to yet another downpour. Daniel decided to have a lie down but I told Gary I was absolutely not spending the afternoon in the room so we decided to go to Downtown Disney. So sweet (when hes asleep) Since Gary and I had some old non-expiring Magic Your Way tickets from a previous visit, we decided to use one of the plus options from each one and go to Disney Quest. Daniel had never been and Gary and I hadnt been since our first visit to WDW in 2004. We arrived at Downtown Disney, where it actually wasnt raining, although it was very overcast. Disney Quest We bought Daniel a one-day ticket at the ticket window. When I asked for a child ticket, the CM asked Daniel How old are you buddy. Im not entirely sure why I was relieved when Daniel responded that he was 9, since thats how old he is. I must be paranoid. The cost of the ticket was $40.47 with tax (this will be relevant in a couple of days time). We spent an enjoyable few hours in Disney Quest. I was surprised how busy it was. The one and only time wed been before, it was practically empty. There were long lines for everything but we managed to do a few of our favourites, including Virtual Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Aladdins Magic Carpet Ride and Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam. Gary and Daniel also did CyberSpace Mountain (their coaster was named the Turbo Shredder), while I created my own Country Music single called I work to get to Disney lol We also went on Buzz Lightyears Astroblasters, which I thought I remembered as being pretty good. It was rubbish, though, and I wish we hadnt wasted time in line for it. Lame, lame, lame Reluctantly, we left Disney Quest around 6 as we wanted to get back and change before heading to CityWalk for dinner. As we were driving away from Downtown Disney, I spotted this great licence plate a Disney employee perhaps? So cool After a quick shower and change, we caught the boat to CityWalk and went straight to Nascar Sports Grille (previously known as Nascar Café, I believe), where we were seated straight away. Our server was Anthony and he was absolutely amazing. He was great with Daniel, laughing and joking and talking to him about sport. We ordered drinks. A Category 3 for me, which was really nice and fruity, just how I like my cocktails. I dont think I could have handled a Cat 4! Daniel chose a Speedway Slush and Gary (quite predictably) opted for Diet Coke. A slushie with style We also ordered some delicious teriyaki boneless wings to start. Although they were essentially just crispy chicken nuggets with sauce, they were completely awesome and I wished wed ordered two lots. I would return here just for these babies. Yummity yum yum For entrée, Gary had the pot roast, which he said was delicious. It certainly looked good. Roasted pot (or something like that) I really didnt know what I was in the mood for and had a hard time choosing as the menu is pretty varied. I eventually chose the fish and chips and it was a great choice. The fish was not too fishy, just how I like it, and the chips were hot and crispy. There was so much of it and I couldnt eat it all. I had to give a piece of fish to Gary. Chish and Fips (as my Grandpa used to say) Daniel kept maintaining he was starving and really wanted to order an adult meal but Gary and I were convinced he wouldnt eat it. In the end, with some help from the lovely Anthony, we persuaded him to go for the chicken sliders appetiser. This is an appetiser! This was an absolute monster of a dish. I am not sure if Anthony was just saying this but he told Daniel he quite often ordered them himself but couldnt eat more than three of them. Daniel was determined to try and beat Anthonys record. The food really was delicious and Im pleased to report that Daniel managed to polish off three-and-a-bit sliders, although he barely touched his fries. Anthony was impressed and told Daniel so. Daniel told Anthony that next time we came back, he would order it again and eat the lot! The check came to a very reasonable $64.24 (after the deduction of 20% using the voucher Sharon had given us) and we left a generous tip for Anthony. We will absolutely, definitely eat here again. We caught the boat back to Royal Pacific, stopping in at Treasures of Bali for a diet coke to take back to the room ($2.75). Daniel took great pleasure in charging it to the room with his key. Back in the room, we watched television for a little while, before retiring reasonably early. Tomorrow is our last day at Universal before we head to Disney yay!