We leave in 9 days first trip to the dark side

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by krisann22, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. krisann22

    krisann22 Earning My Ears

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    I am very excited. This will be our first time to the dark side. I took my girls years ago to Disney world and loved it.

    Im the mom and I will be bringing my 19 year old daughter, this is her graduation present. Also bringing my 21 year old daughter who happens to have down syndrome. And last but not least my poor 16 year old nephew who will be rooming with all us females.

    I will be giving an update about our trip with all the high lights and hopefully can give any tips to other families with kids with special needs. 21 yo dd is also gluten free. I will be packing some GF items like bread and rolls and some crackers. I have checked out all the menus and it seems that there will be some items she can eat but it seems like a lot of the stuff will be the same for her.

    I'm hoping the park is as disability friendly as WDW was.

    We will be staying at RPR and I already found out they have upgraded our room to a water view. YIPEE. So far so good. I am using Happy Limo services and that has been booked and double checked. They have been very accomadating as I have changed the times twice to make sure I give myself enough time through airport security. They also will let you make a 15 minute grocery stop. I already have my park tickets through Undercover tourist mailed to my house. Now do I sign them now or when we get there?

    My plan is that we should get to the hotel around 1300 on Wednesday the
    26th. I will check in and then scoot off to Universal right away. We will spend the afternoon there, eat dinner at Citywalk then back to the park to see 100 year spectacular as that is the only night its on when we are there. We are not doing HHN as my daughter with down syndrome is just too scared of it. Then we have three more days of fun and excitment. I will be renting a wheelchair for my daughter and myself to use as I have Rhuematoid Arthritis and I don't think there is really a lot of sitting places for us to rest.

    If anybody has any tips or ideas Im taking down all ideas. Thanks much
     
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  3. couturelover

    couturelover Earning My Ears

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    Hi and WELCOME :welcome: I'd suggest signing your tickets beforehand. It makes the entry process quicker!

    I see you mentioned DD being Gluten Free. Have you looked into Mythos for a lunch one day? We dined there in August and they had a great menu, and I believe they had a few GF items! Hope that helps you :)

    You guys will absolutely love the 100 year show. It is beautiful to see! We had a great vantage point in "Krustyland" near the Simpsons ride!! Checking out Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure is great too, and there are lots of cool things to see there. The entire area is very well put together, even for non-fans pixiedust:

    I usually stay at HRH, but RPR is beautiful as well!! Enjoy! I'll be looking forward to your report :)
     
  4. krisann22

    krisann22 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks Couturelover for the tips. I had heard about Mythos and got lunch planned there one day. As for the tickets I'll make sure we all sign them before we leave home. Great tip on where to watch the 100 year show, am taking notes now.

    Getting more and more excited.
     
  5. couturelover

    couturelover Earning My Ears

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    Awesome! Another thought just popped into my mind... You might want to note that there are certain rows with stationary seating for attractions such as Despicable Me. When you line up, you can ask the attendants to sort you into those lines. This may be helpful if you have a flare-up of RA. I am sure there are more attractions that offer this option. Someone else might be able to clarify :)
     
  6. krisann22

    krisann22 Earning My Ears

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    Oh that is good to know Couturelover. I had no idea they had stationary seating on some rides, thanks.
     
  7. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    :rolleyes1

    waiting

    :thumbsup2
     
  8. krisann22

    krisann22 Earning My Ears

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    That was the best trip ever. We had a blast. Nothing major happened just little hiccups is all.

    First thing on our way there getting through security the alarm goes off and my nephew is pulled out and his shoes are checked for unknown substances haha. No biggie, they rubbed this little piece of paper all over his shoes then ran that paper through a machine to read it. Came back clean. Flight was not bad got into Orlando at 1200.

    We used Happy Limo and got a discount from mousesavers.com newsletter. Very good service on time and very friendly. Did a grocery stop then at hotel by 1:30.

    Our room was ready yeah. I think it was ready because I had a handicapp accesible room which was very nice. We had a waterview, 3612 of the pool and part of the park. Dr Doom ride. Stashed our luggage and off to the park.

    We always took the boat shuttle every day. Never had to wait very long, the most was maybe 15 minutes to or from.

    First day was Universal Studios. We had bought our tickets through Undercover Tourist and had them mailed to us a month before. This made it very easy to get in, no waiting whatsoever. We divided the park in half. First day Hananh and I did Despicablee me, Shrek, ET and my other two kids did Twister and Hollywood Rip rocket ride. Did a lot of walking, didn't get the wheelchair just did a lot of sitting in AC store and such. The weather was above normal of course cause I was there. It was in the 90's and high 80's the whole time there. Very hot. Went back to the hotel and ate at Jakes at RPR. Very good food. One thing I did notice that all the sit down restuarants are very accomadating for a gluten free diet. Most everyone was very cooperative with our dietary needs. Now the food in the parks is a little harder to get Gluten free food. You're mostly sticking to chicken and salads. Not much choice or accomdations made.
     
  9. krisann22

    krisann22 Earning My Ears

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    Oh forgot that on the first day we were able to see the 100 year movie spectacular which was incredible. Movie clips on a waterfall and fireworks and water display. Very nice. Make sure you go see that.

    Second day we went to Islands of Adventure Studios. We never did use early entry because it was not that busy. We had express pass and the most we had to wait was maybe 10 minutes. The biggest wait was for the rides that are like a show. That was the most frustrating as you wait in line til they cram enough people in then they heard you into another waiting area for another 10 to 15 minutes to have the story set up and jokes being told. All this is standing no sitting and with my Rhuematoid arthritis and Hannah with her bad feet this was very hard to do. Hannah would usually just sit on the ground. Not an option for me, if I get on the ground I ain't getting up haha.

    Divided the park in half. Of course we did WWoHP and that was incredible. We waited in line for a bit got to the front and I was led to see the loading platform to see if Hannah could get on the ride. Not able to, moving too fast. So they directed us to a back way through some hallways and an elevator to get on the ride on a stationary platform. which then got into the ride where everyone else did. This was very, very good. The ride swings you around and the film it makes you feel like you're right there flying. Loved it. Very accomadating for people with disabilities. We also did flight of the hippogriff and my other two kids did dragon challenge. We did not go into Olivanders as the line went around the building and there was no way Hannah and I could wait in the sun and heat. There are other places to get wands, so that's what we did. Went to all the stores, ate lunch at Broomsticks, had the fish and chips which was very good. Of course got the butterbeer. I just had a sip of my daughter's. It was very, very sweet. A little is all I needed. Hannah didn't drink it as I was told the topping could have some gluten in it.

    Went through the lost contient. We went and saw Sinbad's show. Not bad, kind of hokey but Hannah loved it and in the end Sinbad gets the girl. Other two kids did Posidon's fury so I can't tell you much about that. Hannah was very pooped and did not feel good. So we went back to the hotel and the other two kids redid the rides again. Back later with the last two days.
     
  10. couturelover

    couturelover Earning My Ears

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    Glad to hear everything went well so far!!!!!!!!! :banana:I am especially happy to hear that you were able to enjoy Forbidden Journey. How I'd love to go ride it right now.. :cloud9: Looking forward to hearing the rest
     
  11. krisann22

    krisann22 Earning My Ears

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    Wow it sure was hard going back to work. But I got to say all in all the trip was a success. Everyone was very accomadating in regards to Hannah and her special needs. My disability you can't really see unless I have my cane with me but I didn't really have too much problems with any of the rides or the staff. The trip was a success and I would love to go again. One thing I did enjoy about the parks is that it being smaller than WWD it is very doable for each park to cover in two days especially if you have mobility issues like myself and daughter. If I could make one suggestion is that there be seating (maybe some benches along the sides)for the disabled that want to be mobile but have problems standing for long periods of time especially after walking around the park all day, in the studio rides where you have to stand for 10 to 15 more minutes listening to the story being set up after you have already stood in line for however many minutes.
     

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