We're off to see the wizards! We leave tomorrow!!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by -Hope-, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    Thank you! I am really so pleased with all of the family pics we got. :love:

    The dolphins were awesome! Watching them in the mornings while enjoying my coffee was one of the best things about the trip. The cruise was great too and seeing wild dolphins that close was awesome.

    Thanks also for not thinking I was whiny! :lmao: I do think next time will be better. I know there will always be vacation frustrations but I figure its okay if we learn from it and use it to make our next trip better. :thumbsup2

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  3. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!!

    We had another Universal family night last night! Last month we had lots of fun with Despicable Me! but I really want to focus on some of the older movies and themes so the kids are more familiar with them when we go to the parks. I figure they'll get more out of it and have more fun that way. So, last night I knew Beetlejuice was going to be on TV and I decided to make it festive. :thumbsup2

    Since we are a Tim Burton loving family this wasn't the first time the kids had seen this movie but it had been a while and they've only seen it once or twice so a lot was new to them- and they LOVED it! It's campy and corny but that's part of the appeal- we laughed so much! I can hardly wait to experience the Beetlejuice review with them next fall. :yay:

    Our tablescape:
    [​IMG]

    I didn't want to spend a lot of money because Christmas and property taxes are upon us so it's really more generically Halloween than Beetlejuice specific but the kids didn't seem to mind.

    In addition the the tombstones we had skulls and bones but just to Beetljuice it up a bit we added some black stripes to our white table.
    [​IMG]

    We had "Beetlejuice burgers" and "freaky fries" for supper but everyone was hungry so I didn't get pics of those. I did manage to snap some pics of our buggy deviled eggs and cemetery dessert:
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    The dessert was cream cheese mixed with icing, topped with crushed oreos with Vienna fingers for tombstones. The bugs on the deviled eggs are black olives, cut in half with one half sliced into legs. The dessert was my own concoction based on stuff I had (except the Vienna fingers) but the buggy eggs were an idea I saw on Pinterest. :)

    The kids let me snap a quick pic of them with the table but it's not the best quality.
    [​IMG]

    I used my phone because I'm trying to learn to take better pics with it. I'd like it to be my main camera for our trip since I'm trying to avoid lockers and don't want to buy a small p&s just for this trip (my camera is a DSLR and quite bulky). I'm pretty happy with the quality of pics (especially since the i OS 6 upgrade) when I have time to frame it for the best lighting. ALL of these pics were snapped with my phone and the last one is the only one I'm unhappy with. That's mainly because the kids don't usually want to wait for me to find the best angle which means I sometimes end up with bad lighting and grainy shots. :eek: I'm going to have to keep practicing so I can learn to find those best lighting angles much quicker or I'm going to end up with great scenic shots and crappy family pics on our trip! :scared1:

    So, another successful movie night. The kids are more familiar with one of the attractions AND I think I learned some things about the camera on my phone (just need more practice) that will be useful for our trip. :thumbsup2

    And just so you don't think I've gone completely over to the dark side, I'll leave you with one final pic. Kya's Jack-o-lantern...
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

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    OMG! When you said ALL the pics had been taken with your phone, I had to go back and look at them, I had no idea when originally looking at them, I thought they were taken with your camera. NICE! Especially for low lighting! :thumbsup2

    What a fun night! Perfect right before Halloween too. LOVE the pumpkin. ;)
     
  5. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    Yep, I really am pretty happy with the camera on my phone when I have time to do it right. Just need more practice. I think I'm going to try using it exclusively for a while (except for photo shoots of course) just so I'm forced to get better at it.
     
  6. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    I’m glad your kids liked the movie! I couldn’t get around to responding to this yesterday, but I did read it yesterday and I was so glad that I did! I was able to find Beetlejuice on TV, too, and I recorded it so that I could show my kids soon :thumbsup2 It really is a funny and crazy movie! I liked your decorations and that was smart to add the black stripes! Cute! I saw those eggs on Pinterest, too. They turned out well! The graveyard dessert was very cute. You take great pictures with your phone!
     
  7. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    Thanks! I'm still adjusting to pics with my phone. So far I do okay with close up shots of things but everything else is only so-so. :confused3:

    I'm glad you found Beetlejuice on tv, hopefully your kids like it. :thumbsup2:

    And I do the same thing- read then respond later. :)

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  8. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    Hmmmm, I saw the announcement that the new transformers ride will be open before our trip. The movies are universally panned but I'm guessing not by mist 13yo boys. We may have to add that to our list of movie nights. popcorn:

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  9. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    I saw that, too! I am excited to do a movie night for this ride :yay:
     
  10. Aussiesalad

    Aussiesalad Totes Mcgoats

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    joining in!

    I am loving your photos and family theme nights. Such great ideas!!
     
  11. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    Joining!

    If all goes well, we'll be spending three days at Universal at the end of July! We're booked and I'm soo excited. We haven't been to Universal since 2008. We're 254 days out and it feels like such a
    l-o-n-g time. I was excited to see a PTR for a trip just as far away as mine. ;) I'm enjoying your movie theme nights very much and look forward to the rest. You are very creative!

    Happy Planning! :hippie:
     
  12. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    :welcome: Hurray- I'm always so excited to have more joining in on my personal brand of crazy. :lmao::cheer2:


    First of all, :welcome:

    As for a PTR so far out, what can I say, I'm a planner! :surfweb: I know most people over here don't jump in quite so early but I just can't help myself! For me the planning is almost as fun as the actual trip. :goodvibes

    What are your dates? Where are you booked? Are you doing park to park? Tell me all about it! :hyper: (Or link me to your PTR if you have one- I don't see it in your siggy.)
     
  13. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    I'm definitely a planner also, but I've never done a PTR (or a TR for that matter). It's possible that my brand of boring could lull the Dis into a coma. :rotfl:
    I may actually try one this time, because I NEED someone to talk to. We're keeping this trip on the down low from the kids and I just about can't stand the suspense.

    We're planning a split stay (that's a first for us). July 20-25 at Ft. Wilderness (tent camping unless we wimp out before then :scared:). We're using my rewards for this dirt-cheap portion of the trip. I bought two-day tickets with water parks and more (so, no hopping here, but we'll have four full days at Epcot, DHS, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach).

    Followed by July 25-27 at the Royal Pacific! We've got park-to-park tickets for Universal. We were there last in 2008, so there are quite a few new attractions to look forward to: HP, Despicable Me, the Putt Putt courses (that I hope we'll have time for), and maybe, just maybe (crosses fingers) Transformers. Our son was too short for the Dragon ride and Hulk on our last trip, so I know he's going to be soooo excited when we get there. I'm pumped and it's nine months away! :bitelip:
     
  14. Alysa

    Alysa DIS Veteran

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    Love those movie night shots!!
    :)
     
  15. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    Woohoo! I'm pretty sure our onsite time will also be spent at RPR. If we stay onsite- I'm still debating and keep changing my mind- but I'm going to have to make a decision soon! :scared:


    Thank you! My plan is to do at least on per month and, since I have most of the week off next week for (American) Thanksgiving, I'm going to try to do another soon. Stay tuned! :thumbsup2
     
  16. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    Looking forward to your next movie night!

    On a similar note:
    I just have to share my excitement, because I can't give any clues at home....
    I'm so glad...DS is FINALLY starting the HP series. Just in time! Yeah! He'll be able to catch all the fun little tidbits in WWoHP that he would have missed otherwise.
    I've been trying to entice him to read the books for at least two years (he's 12). He finally reached the point where there were no more (smaller) books he was interested in for the school reading program so he was "stuck with"... "those huge books." :lmao:
    I know he'll love them once he gets started. I think he just :faint: when he sees a book with 700 pages. :rotfl:
     
  17. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    That's so great! I really think being a fan will make a huge difference. The whole reason I do movie nights at all is because I think each ride/land is more fun if you know the back story. :thumbsup2

    I have to confess that I'm a recent HP convert myself. My mom read the books when they were first published, waited impatiently for new ones to be released, etc. but I just wasn't into them at the time. :confused3 My mom is also a big Tolkien fan and I'm not so when she was raving about this book of magical things I think I thought it was going to be too much like The Hobbit, which is her favorite book.

    Anyway, when the last movie came out and Pinterest was exploding with HP related pins I decided to give it another try. Sooooo glad I did! DS13 and I are actually reading together. He still enjoys being read to even though he also reads on his own so I'm happy to share the experience with him- although sometimes he doesn't want to read and I don't want to wait. :rotfl: DD12 is enjoying the movies but has no interest in reading the books or me reading to her. :eek: Ah, well. I didn't listen to my mom either. :rolleyes1
     
  18. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    :lmao:
     
  19. -Hope-

    -Hope- Always dreaming of adventure...

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    Okay folks, big, big, BIG news!
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    Just a few short weeks after our trip to Universal Kya and I are doing a girls only trip to WDW!!!! :cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:

    As I do with most of my Disney related decisions, I blame Karen for this. Our daughters are just as good of friends as Karen and I so when Savannah talks to Kya about going to WDW it, of course, makes Kya beg to go back. At first I said no because I'd have to do something for Jace as well and I can't afford that! :faint:

    HOWEVER... my mom is looking for a new job so her vacation time is up in the air at this point. I started thinking about what a trip without her would look like. Recently, thanks to Karen, I discovered that a nearby regional airport sometimes has really cheap flights to Orlando. So, I thought what if we just did Universal in this trip, Jace and I did Legoland on our own later on and then the next year Kya and I do Disney on our own?! Seemed like a really great plan. :thumbsup2

    Then I talked to Jace... and he thought flying to Florida to do LL for two days was ridiculous. He said he'd rather just include it with a day on our Universal trip and if Kya and I wanted to go to Disney that was fine with him. :confused3 I am still floored and have trepidations about this idea. He keeps insisting that he won't feel left out and it will be fine for us to go without him but I'm worried that when the time comes he'll feel differently. I guess I'll just have to be prepared to take him somewhere the following year if he really seems bummed about it when the time comes. :rolleyes1

    So, anyway since I don't have to plan the trip with Jace first I told Kya we could go in 2013 and asked her when she'd like to go. She really wants to see the Christmas decorations (and so do I!!!) so we decided on November. I warned her that it might mean one less night or not getting hoppers/making it to every park because there are times that are cheaper than November but she said she doesn't care. She wants to see Disney dressed up for Christmas. :santa:

    I don't have exact dates yet and will have to just watch for the cheap airfares. Frontier is the airline doing the cheap flights and they don't have rates released for next fall yet. I think I'm going to end up buying tickets for both trips at the same time. :scared1: It will be fine and I have the budget all worked out. My work schedule is changing next month and I'll be doing more hours so I have the money- but I always feel nervous about spending until it's actually done.

    I have some ideas about where we'll stay as well but I'm not sure if I should just modify this PTR and duplicate it here and on the Disney side of the boards or just wait and start a new one for the second trip... thoughts??? :confused3
     
  20. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

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    You withholder!!! You knew this yesterday and didn't tell me?!?!? For shame!!!!!! :lmao:

    NEW PTR!!! You have to have two, trust me, trying to do a PTR for two trips is a mess. I'm making a new one for Savannah & I as soon as I'm done with my Anniversary TR.

    Christmas will be AWESOME! I got a taste of it last week and it was FAB!!! :goodvibes

    Still cannot believe you sat next to me for nearly 2 hours on that picnic bench and didn't spill the beans. I mean, I knew you were planning to go, but not in 2013 for Christmas!
     
  21. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    :yay: I am so excited for you!!! November is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE month to go to WDW!!! You are going to have a blast! The parks are so pretty with all of the Christmas lights, trees, decorations…everything! My recommendation is that if you really want to see everything done up for Christmas, go the week after Thanksgiving. It was gorgeous! If you go in early November, most of the stuff is up for Christmas, but not all of it. That is really sweet and mature of Jace to let you and Kya have the mother/daughter trip. If it was Coy, I would be a little concerned that he might change his mind, too. Hopefully Jace won’t, but even if he does, that was a really nice gesture :goodvibes Oh, and I vote for a second PTR, too :thumbsup2
     

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