March 10, 2001 The cast: Me (the 29 year old) Donna (aka Molokai Gram, didn't ask age, from Hawaii) Ohai (Donna's DH, didn't ask age either, from Hawaii) Jim (aka h20jag) JimÃ¢ÂÂs DD and DW I headed into Universal Studios. I had time for one ride before the 6:00 meet. I decided to go on Back to the Future. The wait time was 15 minutes. I used front of the line access and was in the line in a few minutes. I was in a car on the outer edges because I saw the screen at an angle. Lucky for me, I was in the loudest car in the theater! I sat with several teenage girls (one had funky glasses) and they were screaming a lot. One said during the ride, Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre reliving Spider-Man!Ã¢ÂÂ Too bad she wasnÃ¢ÂÂt reliving the bad old days when Spider-Man broke down a lot! I didnÃ¢ÂÂt have time for another ride, so I headed over to Men in Black to meet JimÃ¢ÂÂs and DonnaÃ¢ÂÂs gangs. The wait for the ride was 90 minutes! Good thing we had keys for front of the line access. Jim came by and he had gotten a special access pass from a friend who worked in the park. I pulled out my keys and we would use them to get us all front of the line access. I did notice that my Portifino keys said Ã¢ÂÂMr. Barry HomÃ¢ÂÂ and my Hard Rock Hotel keys had just Ã¢ÂÂBarry HomÃ¢ÂÂ on them. I guess another perk of spending more on the Portifino room is the honorary title! JimÃ¢ÂÂs DW and DD were in the bathroom, but we soon met up with them. Donna and Ohai were running a little late. I thought Ohai had overslept! We were ready to do our unofficial Men in Black shoot-off. There were no prizes this time (I had left them in my room), but we were competing for Men in Black honor and Universal discussion board bragging rights! We entered the Men in Black Universal Express line. This was the longest wait IÃ¢ÂÂve had in the line. The line was backed up to the coffee break aliens area. We waited about 15 minutes in the line. My other waits in different Universal Express lines were no more than a few minutes. Still, waiting 15 minutes beats waiting 90 minutes in the regular line. Finally, we were on. Maybe I got a little too cocky because I was bragging that I would get the highest score. I ended up getting 180,000 points. Jim was the shoot-off winner with about 235,000 points. Donna got the bonus and scored 172,000! I would have gotten a lot more points if the other car had turned a little more so I could aim for its fusion reactor core. I know, I shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be making up excusesÃ¢ÂÂ¦ After the ride, Donna wanted to get a photo of all of us. We watched the screens. And watched and watched and watched. Out photo did not come up. Donna finally had the cashier scroll through several photos and we found ours. It was getting dark, so this was a perfect time for a night ride on Jaws. The posted wait was 20 minutes, but we got on in a few minutes with front of the line access. We got on and again Dave was our skipper. Donna noted that he looked very tired. This time, Dave gave a better performance, although he overacted a bit. If you havenÃ¢ÂÂt ridden Jaws at night, you owe it to yourself to ride it at least once! The ride has a different feel at night. The shark is more hidden and the explosion looks very cool. Donna said that she liked the ride at night. It was around 6:15, so we decided to stake out a spot for Mardi Gras. I figured we would stand by the parade entrance near Twister. I thought that it would not be very crowded. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt too crowded at first, but as it got closer to the parade start at 7:00, more people came to stake out their own spot. While we waited, Jim was generous enough to treat us all to a drink. We all ordered sodas and Jim had coffee. He went into the Monster CafÃÂ© and did not come out until about 15 minutes later. Maybe front of the line access would be good for restaurants too! After drinking the Coke, I started to feel chilly. I should have been smarter and gotten coffee! JimÃ¢ÂÂs DD was getting cold. Donna gave DD a jacket. Jim went into the Twister Aftermath shop and bought her a Mardi Gras sweatshirt for ÃÂ½ off. He got it for $15! It was an XL, though. There were no other sizes. DD put it on and it covered her entire body. She can grow into it or Jim can run it through the dryer a few hundred times. Then the parade began. Ohai was a wild man! He waved his hands and screamed for beads. He got a lot of them! I stood behind some short women and plucked beads out of the air. I was working hard for my beads too! I felt like the birds that hang around the dolphin and sea lion feeding areas at Sea World. They wait for you to toss a fish at a dolphin or sea lion and they pluck it out of the air. I may have bumped one womanÃ¢ÂÂs head because she kept on rubbing it. Whoops! After the parade, Jim and his family had to leave. We said our goodbyes. He had a 2 hour and 45 minute drive home. The chocolate-covered coffee beans would keep them awake! Donna, Ohai, and I headed out to Citywalk for dinner. Barry Hom Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards Click HERE for interesting Universal Orlando information!