We Had the Best Trip Ever! Maholo WWoHP, WDW & Waikiki- A Jan 2012 TR

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by OziJo, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    I really couldn't think of anything clever to write as a title so I just thought I would state the bleedin' obvious. It was the best trip ever :cool1::thumbsup2

    We spent 11 nights at the Fort Wilderness and 10 Nights on the beach at Waikiki. While this TR will focus mainly on our Orlando adventures I have had requests for pics and stories from Hawaii so will happily oblige.

    I have already done a mini TR for the Camping forum. I wanted to highlight FW separately as it was a wonderful place to relax and unwind after the parks and I felt it deserved special photographic treatment all it's own. I will repost some of those pics here but the link is in my sig. if anyone wants to check it out.:cool1:

    Shall I introduce the "We"?

    DD3(13) Hannah, DD1(18) Caitlin & DD2(15) Clair with Woody and Jessie
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    Me-Jo at La Hacienda:
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    DH-Mark After Jurassic Park Ride "Warning you may get wet":
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  3. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Day 1 Wed 4th Jan

    After a nice run into the airport we checked in and made it through security and customs with a couple of hours to spare. We bought some headphones for my iPhone and then had our last Maccas meal for a while. I refuse to eat Maccas while in the US. There are far better fast food joints ;)

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    Our last view of Sydney for a while:
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    We were randomly chosen for an explosives pat down. Fun!! But soon boarded and settled in for our 14+ hr flight to Dallas. The flight left pretty much on time and we were in the air 4:10pm.

    All in all the flight was reasonably comfortable and uneventful. I manged a few hours of sleep DH and kids less.

    We landed in Fort Worth on schedule, made our way through immigration, customs, security and rechecked our luggage.

    We transferred terminals via the monorail (a wonderfully efficient system)...

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    ...and waited for our flight to Orlando
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    While waiting at Fort Worth I loaded up my i-phone with my T-mobile sim and was happy to receive a message from Garden Grocer saying that our groceries had been delivered to our Cabin 2143. What a great service:hippie:

    Flight to Orlando was ontime and uneventful. We arrived on schedule at approx. 9pm, picked up our luggage and hooked up with DME no problemo :cool1:

    On the way to WDW we were treated to a cute preview video. The trip to Fort Wilderness took about 40mins and included stops at 3 other resorts on the way. We arrived and checked in and were in our Cabin just after 11pm.

    Greeted by this:

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    We were tired and hungry. Sooo glad we had ordered Groceries!! Hot Dogs and Salad for dinner. Bed by midnight. Everything is proceeding according to plan:yay:
     
  4. dara00

    dara00 DIS Veteran

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    fun, looking forward to reading all about it!
     
  5. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    I've subscribed popcorn::
     
  6. Travel Mum

    Travel Mum DIS Veteran

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    No surprises that I'm subbing in too!! popcorn::
     
  7. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Me 2 x 2. popcorn::
     
  8. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Hi guys :welcome::wave:

    Better get to it then :yay:
     
  9. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Day 2 Thurs 5th Jan

    Woken by Mousekeeping at 8:30am! I had warned DH that that might happen and suggested that we should put up the "Do Not Disturb" sign. He said that it might be a good idea to be woken up but I didn't really think it would be that early. Anyway it wasn't such a bad thing as we really shouldn't have slept much longer. An extra hour might have done the trick though.

    We let the kids sleep a little longer while we checked out the Cabin and surrounds:

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    Squirrels everywhere. I loved 'em!
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    Got the kids up and DH, DD3 and I went for a walk. DH then went off to pick up our car from Alamo and DD3 and I continued on. Fort Wilderness was as beautiful if not more beautiful than all the pictures I had seen online. Pine cones scatterd, piped Christmas music and some decorations still up. Lovely light through the trees, clear pathways for walking and of course Squirrels. Meadow Trading Post, Settlement and Marina.

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    Back at the Cabin we had lunch on the deck... [​IMG]
    ...until a pine cone dropped with a thud. They made quite a loud noise when they fell so we decided it might be better not to sit out there.

    DH made it back with the car despite the GPS taking him to the Wilderness Lodge:rotfl: She kept doing that (she couldn't deal with Fort Wilderness as a destination :confused3) until we entered our Cabin location as "Home". Then she was set.

    After lunch we decided to take the plunge and head out to the Premium Outlets. We set the GPS for 1200 Vineland Rd. She had no probs with that address. Trust a women to know where the shops were:thumbsup2

    We didn't go too crazy- converse for all DD's, tops and bottoms for everyone, some underwear, a Skull Candy flat rim cap and other bits and pieces. We couldn't carry any more. The place was madness and I didn't really want to go back there. DH and the girls had more fun than me. I did enjoy shopping at Ala Moana though so more of that later.

    I only took one photo while we were there. It was before we had shopped.

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    The girls were a little tired but they picked up once we got to the Converse store:cheer2:

    On the way home we stopped at Wal Mart. Wow that place is huge. DD2 did some videoing but no photos.

    Pizza and salad for dinner. Bed by 10pm
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Sounds like the perfect first day chil-laxing and shopping at the World. :thumbsup2

    The cabins and surrounds of FW look beautiful.
     
  11. hjd0411

    hjd0411 DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to hearing more. :surfweb: I like the look of Fort Wilderness - had a little peek there when we went to Hoop de doo Review! Glad you had a great time!
     
  12. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for stopping by! HDDR was fun wasn't it:dance3:
     
  13. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    Yay - love Aussie reports! :thumbsup2

    Can't wait to read more :banana::banana::banana:
     
  14. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    I'm joining in. :wave:
     
  15. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Day 3 Fri 6th Jan

    I just thought I might backtrack here and explain a little about what inspired us to make the 21hr journey to Florida. Well "that's obvious" I hear you all say. "Disney of course!" But that's only part of the reason and if it was all then we probably would have stopped on the West Coast like we did in '09. Now having done WDW we are so glad that we did go that bit further. Even if we never make it back (DD3 and I have already started thinking of how and when:lmao:) we will always have WDW '12.

    But our main inspiration this time was the boy Wizard Harry Potter and the lure of his Wizarding World:wizard:From the day we heard they were going to open a Potter World we knew one day we would go there. No matter how far, no matter the cost (well that did matter a little so we had to save :thumbsup2)

    So today was the day we had all been waiting for. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaited!!!

    The morning started at 6:30am after not a great night sleep. Jetlag means not so much that you are tired but that your body is telling you it's not sleep time while all other factors natural and man made (the environment & the clock) say otherwise. So we all hadn't slept that well. But that was not going to stop us:cheer2::yay:

    It was interesting to see the different ways we all coped. Us adults having had experience knew that adrenaline soon kicks in and it gets better as the day goes on. So we were fine despite some travel related aches and pains. DD1 was over excited to be going to WWoHP. An original Potterite, at 18 she was seeing her childhood dreams coming true. DD3 was her usual steady self. She's still a real kid and was looking forward to a day of fun. DD2 on the other hand was not coping well. She had been really excited for this trip but the reality of travel had brought her down and she was somewhat grumpy snapping at everyone and even had the nerve to say that DD1's over excited behaviour was annoying :confused3. She did pick up though and the photos show her to be having as good a time as any of us.

    We were in the car by 8am with the idea of being there by 8:30. DH was a little nervous about driving, it had been 3 years since he driven on the "wrong" side of the road. He quickly got used to it but our GPS confused us on the first freeway entrance then directed us to a back entrance to IoA instead of the carpark.:rotfl:

    After some old fashioned asking of directions we finally found the massive car park (you really can't miss it), paid an extra $5 for preferred parking and parked close to the car park exit in the Cat in the Hat section!

    Then we were off, following the crowds which seemed reasonable at this point, we found our way to Universal's Islands of Adventure.
     
  16. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    Hi ya :wave:::welcome:

    (Day 3 cont)
    We made our way to Island's of Adventure
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    We went past Suess Land & Aladdin Land and headed straight for Hogsmead:

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    DD1 is sooo excited:

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    I felt really excited at this point too. I had that weird out of body experience like I was watching it all on a giant screen. I couldn't believe we were actually here :yay::woohoo::wizard:

    The crowds were getting thicker and thicker as we walked through the gates into Hogsmead:

    DH & DD2 in front of the Hogwart's Express:

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    The buildings were amazing:

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    Hogwarts:yay:

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  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    :yay: pictures!


    I so understand about Mickey cheating with Harry. DH had a 3-day conference in WDW in October and I was only going so that we could sneak in a day at WWoHP. We had a blast and plan to go back with DS next year.
     
  18. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    We headed straight to the Forbidden Journey and the sign said a 90min wait :scared1: With no fast pass for those staying offsite we joined the line and settled in to wait:

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    The line progressed quite nicely and there was plenty of things to look at:
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    DD2 :rolleyes1
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    I actually thought I took more photos than this but the line moved quickly and before we knew it we were being hustled into a locker room and told we had to stow all our stuff! We had a couple of backpacks and the camera and the lockers were tiny so we needed two. There was a lot of people packed into here. This is one thing that was poorly designed. The locker room should have been at the start of the queue. Crazy:confused:

    Inside the castle we were treated to a fantastic queuing experience. Statues, talking pictures, the sorting hat. Holograms of Dumbledore and Harry, Ron & Hermione welcoming and beckoning us into the adventure. I managed to hold onto my iphone and got some shots inside the castle. These ones turned out the best:
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    The ride itself was amazing, thrilling and a little scary. It was well worth the wait.

    After that we lined up for Flight of the Hippogrif:

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    Cute but quick.

    Checkin' out the sites as we went- Zonko's, Honeydukes, Three Broomsticks,
    Dervishes & Banges, Ollivander's-
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    The others decided to do Dragon Challenge. I decided to sit this one out. I don't like going upside down. It's just not fun for me.:scared1:

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    Instead I had a frozen Butterbeer. I had heard how good it was but words can not describe :lovestruc:cloud9::love:

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    I savoured my Butterbeer and did a little people watching from under the shelter of the Owlry:
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  19. OziJo

    OziJo Mouseketeer

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    By now the line for Ollivanders was huge so we decided to do that first thing Universal Day2. So after the others grabbed a Butterbeer:

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    We left the crowded Hogsmead streets and walked straight into the Aladdin stunt show. That was a lot of fun. Then we did the Jurassic Park ride:

    You might get wet!
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    We had a boring lunch somewhere close to Jurassic Park (not worth any pictures) then headed over to Universal:

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    We did Shrek 3D first then the Beetlejuice Graveyard Review. The girls are Tim Burton fans and I introduced them to Beetlejuice a couple of years ago. This Rock and Roll Monster show was a lot of fun:

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    It was getting into the evening as we did MIB and the Simpson's rides. Then DD2 decided she wanted to get a hair wrap paying for it herself:

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    We were hungry by then so our minds turned to dinner. We had spotted Bubba Gumps on our way in so headed back there as the evening progressed and the lights came out at Universal:

    Past Mel's Diner...
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    ...and over the Bridge to Universal City Walk:

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    After a short wait we were seated at Bubba Gumps:

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    Onion rings and Magarhita's for starters:
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    The kids had their own fancy drink in a take home cup. I don't know why I didn't take more photos but DD2 who by this time was happy and fun to be with was videoing. So the photo above is the only one I have of our yummy BG meal of stuffed shrimp, marinated chicken, seafood platter and salad. Sorry...

    Overall we had a wonderful day and were looking forward to Universal Day 2 on Sunday. But before that we were blasting off to Kennedy Space Centre:yay:
     
  20. dara00

    dara00 DIS Veteran

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    so cool. I'm a Harry Potter fan but since my kids aren't into it yet (they will be one day!) I haven't looking into all they have at IoA. It looks really fun! I have to check out the descriptions of all the rides!
     
  21. Travel Mum

    Travel Mum DIS Veteran

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    Wooh, look at those crowds!! :scared1: I thought it was busy when we entered early with the rest of the onsite guests but seeing that makes me realise it was not busy at all when we were there!
     

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