‘How to do HHN for Wimps’ Guidebook and More! ~ Sept. 2021 *updated with Hagrid’s pre-show & Confisco’s

wdwrule

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Haha! We are not horror people at all. Love Halloween and some mild spookiness; anything from watching Hitchcock’s Rear Window to partaking in Gettysburg Ghost Tours. However, we are not fans of big-time horror stuff.

We just returned from a quick weekend trip and decided last minute to go to HHN since each of our premiere annual passes included a free ticket.

To be continued…
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wdwrule

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
So HHN oh my goodness! After a wonderful meal at Toothsome and some IoA time, we entered HHN at a separate resort hotel guest entrance. Scanned our APs and we were in. We could’ve went earlier to wait in the holding pens where they would’ve scanned our APs but we decided to use our after 4:00 express at IoA so we arrived at HHN around 7:30 I believe.

Here’s what I loved at HHN… the fog, the music, the overall vibe. What we steered away from (as the wimps we are) was all of the jump scare stuff. That’s what we dreaded the most. We just don’t have fun with that kind of stuff. So the sidewalks were our friend!! Haha yep! In the few scare zones we went ‘through’, we walked on the sidewalk. For the most part we were safe. We tried not to look scared and moved along towards rides. We didn’t tour any houses although we contemplated Beetlejuice since we heard that wasn’t too scary and we do enjoy that movie. At the point we thought we’d go to that house, it was an hour wait so we declined.

Ok here’s what we truly loved about HHN:
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We felt like we had Wizarding World to ourselves! Ok almost to ourselves. It was amazing!! We were able to totally take our time and look at all the details in the shops and all around. Multiple walk-ons in Gringott’s. We also visited Florean’s Ice Cream for the first time ever… and we were the only customers they had at the moment!! We got a soft serve Butterbeer ice cream and ate it in Knockturn Alley (so delicious). We then slowly walked through that area including the awesome shop. In addition to us, there were maybe 6-8 other people in all of Knockturn Alley! I have to say, this was such an amazing experience to be in this area with hardly anyone else there! Now as the night went on, there were more people filing in but it was still way less crowded than any other time we’ve been there.

Haha can you tell now why I mentioned we may do HHN another time? We also rode Mummy as a walk-on and checked out the Tribute store for the first time. We were crazy tired so we headed back to Cabana Bay after going full force that day.

At some point I will write more about Cabana Bay and some other occurrences that happened during our short stay.
 
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wdwrule

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Cabana Bay:
This was our first time at Cabana Bay. We arrived late Friday night after flying super cheap through Spirit (which all went well). We waited maybe 10 or so minutes in line to check in. We had a family suite, exterior entry first level by parking lot. It was very quiet and the room had plenty of space. Seemed a bit dated but all was good. We really weren’t in the room much and didn’t utilize the pool as we were only there for the weekend and love our park time! Breakfast in the food court was good and not crowded the next morning. Daughter and I each got a kids meal which was plenty for us and it came with a beverage. Hubby got a big bowl of oatmeal which was tasty and filling. We then walked to the park which we averaged about 15-20 minutes each time. We love walking and being in control of our own transportation so this was perfect. Last month we walked from PBH so this trip the walk was just a few more minutes than PBH.

We didn’t have EPs this time around (besides the after 4:00 EP with our APs). However lines really weren’t that bad. Saturday was definitely more busy than Sunday. We kicked the trip off with one of our favorites… Velocicoaster!! Man I love that ride!! I think we only waited about 30 minutes. Then 20 minute wait for Forbidden Journey. We were then gifted a paper single use EP from some kind people who said they weren’t going to use them because they were leaving. Velocicoaster and Hagrid’s were excluded from the pass so onto Hulk it was. Now I have to say, I don’t often get motion sickness but take Bonine at UO just in case especially with the simulators. However, after Hulk I was a complete mess. Like I could barely stand up mess. I’m thinking it was a mix of caffeine that morning (I had previously been staying away from caffeine), the heat, and maybe not drinking enough although I feel like I drink water frequently there. Anyways I thought maybe if I got some protein I’d feel a little better. Got a chicken Caesar salad at nearest place which was Cafe 4. The chicken had way too much salt and pepper on it. It was almost inedible (and not just because I was feeling horrible). I ate several bites in hopes I’d feel better but just got worse. Meantime daughter and hubby went on like I insisted they did. I slowly met up with them at Three Broomsticks where they had just ordered their lunch. They got me a pumpkin fizz which tasted good but was still feeling gross. I actually laid down on the bench seat. Long story short, I went back to the room and slept for almost two hours. After that I felt so much better! Thank goodness!

We got on some tame rides then headed to Toothsome where we had a delicious meal! I totally had my appetite back and got the brisket meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Oh my was this good!! Hubby had to help me finish it. It was huge!! Two thick slabs of meatloaf. We then all split the birthday cake sundae…
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This was so good and rich. Even with the three of us eating it, I think we left behind just a couple of bites.

Then we went back to IoA to use our EPs from our annual passes for a bit, then it was off to HHN which I described above. After HHN we mobile ordered Voodoo doughnuts for the next morning. This is so convenient!! Oh and these doughnuts were heavenly the next morning. A new one for me that I tried was the Vegan PB&J. I love PB&J everything so this hit the spot! The peanut butter on top was so creamy with a perfect strong taste of peanut butter. The raspberry filling was perfect as well. So glad I tried it! Every doughnut I’ve tried so far of theirs has been fabulous!

Then it was off to bed before our last park day. To be continued including lunch at Confisco’s!

ETA: Here is a pic of that luscious meatloaf. For whatever reason the portion looks tiny in this picture but it was actually a massive amount. Maybe it was the angle of the pic as it was plated more top-heavy. Those are crispy fried onions on the top.
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nouvellefleur

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Great report! I really like seeing Toothsome reviews that talk about the food, and not just the desserts! The free EP was such a nice gesture, how unfair that it resulted in motion sickness.

I have dreadful motion sickness and also sometimes get nauseous from anxiety, and I've found that gentle, carb-forward, hot food is the best for me if I'm both nauseous and hungry (which is a horrible combination). Especially if it's a little salty, to boost your electrolytes. Soup, potatoes, toast, etc., and then when you're a little more settled either some protein or something like an apple for the vitamins and fiber.
 
  • wdwrule

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2013
    Thank you both! Yes we’ve had good food both times that we have visited Toothsome. Last month I had a burger that was so good and juicy… very flavorful. Daughter had the chicken BLT sandwich and that was very good too… thick and tender chicken. Hubby had a delicious Reuben. The braised cabbage gave it a wonderful tangy flavor. We’ve had no complaints there so far. We also were seated upstairs near a huge window this time which gave a nice different perspective.

    Yes that was quite ironic with the gifted EP and then I got sick. Technically though I started feeling it prior to Hulk. I noticed it on Forbidden Journey which I hear hits a lot of people. However last month I rode FJ multiple times and once even two times almost back to back and never felt even slightly dizzy. I also crave salty/carb foods when I’m not feeling great, especially French fries for some reason. I was so far gone though that I couldn’t even think of food or smell it. I’ll be more diligent next time by drinking lots of water and some with Nuun in it for the added hydration and salt. Thanks for the tips on recovering/preventing!
     

    wdwrule

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2013
    The next morning we got up and ate our delicious Voodoo doughnuts. They tasted very fresh and soft… even since purchasing them the night prior. We then packed up our things which didn’t take long at all since we each had just one small suitcase and dropped them at luggage services. We had a pleasant walk over to IoA and hit some rides. Believe it or not, we did an almost repeat of rides from the previous morning minus Hulk and I didn’t get sick. We started again with Velocicoaster which posted a 45 minute wait and ended up being around 30 minutes including a short wait for the front seat. Love that front seat view!! Then Forbidden Journey, then Hagrid’s. Hagrid’s was also posted at a 45 minute wait but we only waited about 30 minutes. We did notice the pre-show this time around. Hubby said the day prior (when I skipped out from motion sickness that day) no pre-show but today it was on! We never saw this during last month’s trip so this was completely new to us. It was in the room where Hagrid’s dog walked around on the digital screen. The queue lines disappeared in this room and turned into a holding room where Hagrid and Mr. Weasley put on a show. This was so enlightening as it was the first time we’ve ever witnessed it. After this show we funneled into the egg room. The pre-show fulfilled its purpose: entertaining and made it feel like you were getting somewhere a little quicker. “And look, she’s a Mum!” Love that line! :love:

    Almost forgot: right before hopping in the Hagrid’s line, I was craving a Butterbeer of course so I went in the back door of Hogshead but the line looked long but low and behold, when I went around the corner the Butterbeer cart had no line at all! I stepped right up and ordered a frozen Butterbeer on that very warm morning. Hit the spot while in line for Hagrid’s.

    Shortly after some rides we headed to our lunch reservation at Confisco’s. Wow this seems like a hidden gem! First time there and didn’t know what to expect because I haven’t heard of many reviews. This place was amazing! The atmosphere was so wonderful, service was great and the food was scrumptious!! I saw several weeks prior, an AP appreciation days menu for specific restaurants. I had remembered that Confisco’s offered a Wagyu beef burger on that AP menu. So glad I ordered it!! Daughter and I split it and I wish I had a pic of it. It was sooooo good! Juicy and flavorful. Definitely best burger I had on property so far. Hubby had chicken and shrimp pad thai and loved it. We will definitely come back to this restaurant next trip. Combined with its location right in the park, great service, and excellent quality of food, this was one of our favorites so far from our two trips.

    After lunch we hit up a few more rides then took the glorious train over to Studios. It was almost a walk-on at Rip Ride Rockit and got front seats! We stopped in the lounge to pick up our pins and magnets. They were sadly out of pins but mentioned they might still have a few left over in the Beetle Bailey store back at IoA. (We did check back there later and scored pins.) Our son was at college attending his first home football game of the season so we also showed his AP and they gave us his pin and magnet after scanning his AP, no questions asked.

    After Transformers, we exited into pouring rain, actually torrential rain. We dug out our small umbrellas and made our way across the road to an awning (otherwise the gift shop at Transformers was packed shoulder to shoulder with no one moving). I was surprised the TMs weren’t telling people to exit like they do at Disney. Doesn’t matter to me, just surprised. It slowed to a regular rain and we were on our way to ET. Such a cute, light-hearted ride that brings back fond memories of watching the movie when I was little.

    After several more rides we headed back to CB to dine and get ready to leave. Waaah! To be continued…
     
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    wdwrule

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2013
    We hit up the Universal store and the Legacy store before walking back to Cabana Bay. We then had dinner at the food court which included a Cuban sandwich and a roast beef sandwich. I’m blanking on what hubby had but I remember everything tasted good and fresh. Every time we’ve eaten there, there were a ton of empty tables. In fact, both times that we sat to eat there we pretty much felt like we had the place to ourselves. Also, the texting feature to get in touch for any hotel needs worked beautifully. We encountered this at other resorts as well. Earlier in the morning, we had texted for our overall hotel bill (to make sure the balance was at zero) and immediately I received a response and less than a minute later, an email with our statement.

    After stopping at luggage services to retrieve our bags, we asked if we needed to checkout via text or whatever and he told us nothing at all was necessary to do for checkout. So we walked around the upstairs of the lobby for a bit, but not for long since one of Tony Hinds’ drivers called and was just pulling in. So off we went with Art who was lively and pleasant to chat with on our way to MCO.

    To be continued with some closing thoughts…
     

    wdwrule

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2013
    Some closing thoughts:

    As I said, we are wimps when it comes to horror, although our son enjoys it but he’s at college. However maybe next year we’ll coordinate it somehow so he can come along and take it all in. As wimpy as we are, I did enjoy the overall vibe if that makes sense. Minus the jump scares which I dread the most, the sights and sounds including the actors on the little stages throughout were really cool. We greatly enjoyed the walk-on rides and the nearly empty Harry Potter sections. Haha the sidewalks were our friends in the scare zones!

    Sunday was overall very less crowded than Saturday. We couldn’t get over the difference. It was so nice to either walk on the rides and/or wait in very short lines. Made for a very nice park day without EPs.

    I’m glad we tried some new restaurants this time around. Confisco’s ended up being one of our new favorites. Excellent service, nice window seat to people watch and great food quality. We’ll definitely be back. Three Broomsticks ended up being a kind of a dud for hubby and daughter. Nothing terrible… they just said food was ok. Seems to be quite a long wait for just ok food. Atmosphere awesome though but food was not spectacular for them. I did have the pumpkin fizz there for the first time as mentioned previously and that was good in my opinion. It was kind of like apple cider but soda form. Refreshing and tasted like autumn in a cup.

    Overall we had a great time! We took a bit more time this time around to look in shops and slow down to notice details. We really enjoy walking to the parks and having the security checkpoint almost to ourselves. It’s such a great advantage. Some of my favorite memories are from those walks… family conversations and hearing screams from roller coasters in the distance. Love it! We will soon be staying at Royal Pacific for the first time so we’re looking forward to experiencing that as well. I’ll post some more random pics from the trip. Thanks for reading along and hopefully there’s at least one thing in this report that can help someone.
     


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