2 kids, 2 dogs, 1200 miles: 2 weeks and 2 birthdays in Florida - COMPLETED!

FreezinRafiki

Cold enough for ya?
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Thanks, you just confirmed what I suspected with Universal, we would like to take the kiddos there but it seems like it is more for adults. Maybe we will wait to see Harry Potter and Universal on the same trip next time. At least it didn't cost you an arm and a leg to get in.:thumbsup2
Bambi and I are big fans of Harry Potter and really want to go there too. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are millions of other people with the same idea. It's going to be packed after it first opens, and probably for months after. Maybe we can send a few dementors in there to clear the place out before we get there...
 

DisneyDaddy-O

Dis Dads Club Member #286
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Bambi and I are big fans of Harry Potter and really want to go there too. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are millions of other people with the same idea. It's going to be packed after it first opens, and probably for months after. Maybe we can send a few dementors in there to clear the place out before we get there...
By your review of Universal it dosen't appear that there are too many happy thoughts in that park to fight them off, so.....I think your plan may just work. :lmao:

okay...I feel like a real geek now:lmao::rotfl2:
 

brewcrew80

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 27, 2009
good info to have on Universal. my daughter will be 2.5 when we go in March. I only had passing thoughts of spending a day there. Think we'd get more out of a pool day.

Also, being from Wisconsin, I think curious travelers from the north are one of the target demographics of Waffle House. I went there out of curiousity, and most fellow Wisconsinites I know have done the same thing.
 

FreezinRafiki

Cold enough for ya?
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
good info to have on Universal. my daughter will be 2.5 when we go in March. I only had passing thoughts of spending a day there. Think we'd get more out of a pool day.

Also, being from Wisconsin, I think curious travelers from the north are one of the target demographics of Waffle House. I went there out of curiousity, and most fellow Wisconsinites I know have done the same thing.
I have a friend who spoke very highly of the Dr. Seuss area at Universal's Islands of Adventure park. I've never been there, so I can't comment specifically. However, looking at the maps, it looks to be about the size of Woody Woodpecker's KidZone. To me, it wouldn't be worth a full price ticket to enjoy 1/8th of the park.

And how's this for a coincidence: On of the things MIL & FIL miss most about living in Wisconsin is Menards hardware stores. (For non-Midwesterners, think Home Depot or Lowes). The closest one to them is in Indiana. The closest Waffle House to us? Indiana.

Really makes you think, doesn't it?
 

brewcrew80

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 27, 2009
I have a friend who spoke very highly of the Dr. Seuss area at Universal's Islands of Adventure park. I've never been there, so I can't comment specifically. However, looking at the maps, it looks to be about the size of Woody Woodpecker's KidZone. To me, it wouldn't be worth a full price ticket to enjoy 1/8th of the park.

And how's this for a coincidence: On of the things MIL & FIL miss most about living in Wisconsin is Menards hardware stores. (For non-Midwesterners, think Home Depot or Lowes). The closest one to them is in Indiana. The closest Waffle House to us? Indiana.

Really makes you think, doesn't it?
oh yeah, indiana is really where the midwest meets the south. you'd think it would be the best of both worlds..but, really it's just 5 hours north to south of random road construction.
 

praisehisname

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Since you didn't have to pay much for the Universal experience, it was worth a shot. At least the kids looked they were enjoying the characters! :thumbsup2
 

FreezinRafiki

Cold enough for ya?
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
oh yeah, indiana is really where the midwest meets the south. you'd think it would be the best of both worlds..but, really it's just 5 hours north to south of random road construction.
Tell me about it. On the way back, just north on Indianapolis, the right lane was shutdown for probably 15 miles. They had all the orange barrels out blocking it off, but I never saw one piece of construction equipment. :confused3

Since you didn't have to pay much for the Universal experience, it was worth a shot. At least the kids looked they were enjoying the characters! :thumbsup2
They were. They're young enough that they still had a good time - and that's all that really matters anyway. :thumbsup2
 
  • itJeff

    I'm just not so sure how well this plan was though
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2009
    We've had several people ask us if we've been, or if we're going to Universal when we go to Orlando. I usually tell them that we probably will when the kids are a little older. Now I know they'll need to be quite a bit older. Since the youngest is 4, it could be 6 or 7 years before she would enjoy very much there.

    Thanks for the info. :thumbsup2 I've wondered what it was like.
     

    FreezinRafiki

    Cold enough for ya?
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    We've had several people ask us if we've been, or if we're going to Universal when we go to Orlando. I usually tell them that we probably will when the kids are a little older. Now I know they'll need to be quite a bit older. Since the youngest is 4, it could be 6 or 7 years before she would enjoy very much there.

    Thanks for the info. :thumbsup2 I've wondered what it was like.
    Glad I can help.:thumbsup2
     

    GoHerd1028

    <font color=red>DDC 172<br><font color=green>"Inse
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2007
    I agreed with your unimpressed feeling with Universals movie studio part. However, I do like the Islands of Adventure. Shari and I have not been since the kids came along becasue there is not much they can enjoy at their size. One day we will make it back. I will have to say that we did the Halloween Horror Nights several years ago and it was amazing and I would like to do that again one of these days!
     

    FreezinRafiki

    Cold enough for ya?
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    So, with the debacle that was Universal Studios behind us, we turn our attention to something much more fun - Epcot.
    Grandma & Grandpa met us at the Beach Club and we walked over to the International Gateway and on over to Future World. First stop - Journey Into Imagination with Figment. Can you believe that there was literally no wait! :rotfl: Both kids love this ride, therefore, we all love this ride.
    After that little treat, I ran over to get Soarin' Fast Passes since Madison was tall enough to ride.
    I caught up with the family in time to jump on the Nemo Clam Shells, and get a picture with Bruce.



    Turtle Talk with Crush was awesome as usual. :thumbsup2

    From there, Bambi & I took Madison to do Soarin' while Evan played in the fountains and soaked himself.

    Madison was a bit nervous on Soarin, but she got over it pretty quick. We were front row, which means we got lifted as high as you could. My little thrill seeker loved it.

    We met up with a very wet Evan by the fountains, changed him into dry clothes (yeah, we've been through this before) and rode Figment again.

    I ran over to get Test Track Fast Passes. It wasn't particularly hot yet, but I had to swing through Club Cool and grab a nice cup of Beverly. :eek:

    We thought we would have time to catch Honey I Shrunk the Audience before lunch, but the next show didn't start for 30 minutes and we had an ADR at Coral Reef in 45 minutes. Still haven't seen this show. Oh well, something to save for next time.

    We all wandered over to Club Cool so the kids could try some Beverly too. Man, their faces were priceless. Evan did like the Vegitabeta, and went back for a few cups of that.

    Turns out that we could have done HIStA, as long as we had to wait at Coral Reef. We checked in about 20 minutes early, and waited close to 45 for a table. Not getting off to a good start. I was hoping for a table closer to the aquarium, but we were seated against the back wall. I could have requested another table, but we had waited long enough and the kids were starving and quite stir crazy by now.
    I had the Mahi Mahi. The waiter brought out one little piece of fish on a pile of rice. I told him there had to be a mistake, because I ordered Mahi Mahi, and they only brought out one Mahi. Yeah, he didn't think it was funny either. (What I did have tasted very good)
    Bambi had a Wild Mushroom Lasagna, which got very high marks. I don't remember what the kids had, but it came with ice cream and sprinkles. By the way, you don't have to put the sprinkles on the ice cream to enjoy them:




    After lunch Bambi and I took Madison to ride Test Track while Evan went back on Nemo with Grandma & Grandpa. I probably don't need to tell you what our little adrenaline junkie thought of Test Track, do I? I do like that they will let you add the picture to your Photo Pass account. (I know it looks like Madison is about to blow chunks here, but she wasn't.)



    Madison wanted to see Mulan again so Bambi took her to meet up with the rest of the family and head over to China while I rode Mission Space.



    After successfully landing on Mars, I met up with everyone else just in time to see Mulan.



    Usually we spend a lot of time in the World Showcase chasing characters but we didn't have to this time because we had seen them all already. (Well, not Beast, but we didn't bother to fill Madison in on that little tidbit.) Instead, we did something we haven't done before while at Disney World - we went back to the hotel to swim. It helps that the Beach Club is an easy walk from Epcot.







    After swimming we headed back to Epcot for dinner at, well, just about everywhere. I'm a big fan of the International Food & Wine Festival. It seems like a cheap way to get dinner, but $4 here, $5 there, $3.75 there really adds up quick. Bambi and I each got a wrist band gift card with $20 on it. We emptied those and spent about $10 out of pocket. So we did feed a family of 4 for about $50.

    We started near the International Gateway and headed towards Canada. First stop: the New Zealand kiosk and a lamb slider. Evan was big fan, since I only got one bite and he finished it off. :mad::rotfl2:

    The cheese soup was fantastic and usual, as was the strawberry shortcake and the beef empanada. We stopped in Mexico for a corn tortilla with chipolte chicken. We had to go back for another one of those little pieces of heaven. :thumbsup2

    The taste of Spain was Ok, but the pierogies left a lot to be desired.

    I did make a quick detour through the bakery in Norway to pick up some school bread. I found a recipe for this online and tried to make it at home. It didn't turn out well at all, so Bambi had to be a smart aleck and take a picture to remind me what it is supposed to look like. :rolleyes2



    The biggest problem with this food festival is that there is so much too it. You get get so filled up on the first few booths that it get hard to walk to the rest of them. I had skip a bunch to save room for the sausage on a pretzel roll in Germany, the Cannelloni in Italy and some very good Mushroom soup in Austria.

    Meanwhile, the kids got a little face painting done.



    We watched Illuminations from the bridge between England and France. As good and this show is, my favorite part is in the very beginning when the guy "blows" out all of the torches around the lagoon.

    Grandma & Grandpa left after Illuminations while we took advantage of Extra Magic Hours. We did (suprise!) Figment again. Then Bambi and Evan rode Nemo while Madison and I did another trip on Soarin'.




    It was getting pretty late, so we headed back to the Beach Club to crash for our last night there.


    Up next: back to Grandma & Grandpa's house and our last day in Florida.
     
  • FreezinRafiki

    Cold enough for ya?
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    I agreed with your unimpressed feeling with Universals movie studio part. However, I do like the Islands of Adventure. Shari and I have not been since the kids came along becasue there is not much they can enjoy at their size. One day we will make it back. I will have to say that we did the Halloween Horror Nights several years ago and it was amazing and I would like to do that again one of these days!
    We'll probably wait until at least the Harry Potter land opens before we go back. Of course by that time, it will be so popular that we may not even be able to move in there!
     

    itJeff

    I'm just not so sure how well this plan was though
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oh no! :scared1: The last day in Florida is up next? Already? How can this be? What will I do when this TR is over? :sad2:

    :laughing: :rotfl: :cool2: Looks like the F&W festival is a lot of fun! What was your favorite food?
     

    dvczerfs

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2008
    how did i miss this update. nice pics barry! dw will only go on test track one time. myself and dd go on that first thing in the morning and see how many times we can go till theres a line.:lmao: than its over to mission space to see who gets sick first!:lmao:
     

    FreezinRafiki

    Cold enough for ya?
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    Oh no! :scared1: The last day in Florida is up next? Already? How can this be? What will I do when this TR is over? :sad2:

    :laughing: :rotfl: :cool2: Looks like the F&W festival is a lot of fun! What was your favorite food?
    Well, I supposed I could keep chronicling my everyday life around here.
    Saturday - went grocery shopping. Put the groceries away. Played Barbies with Madison and Monster Trucks with Evan. Ummm...maybe not quite as exciting as WDW. You can always read Don's report! :rotfl2::rotfl2:

    Favorite Food is a tough one. I'll present them pageant style. Imagine bunch of food lined up, hugging each other. Each one is lying through their teeth when they tell another food that they deserve to win.
    Our third runner up: Strawberry Shortcake from the "desserts" kiosk. A simple classic that was very well done. (Strawberry shortcake cusses under her breath at not winning)
    Our second runner up: Canadian Cheese Soup from the Montreal kiosk. We still haven't eaten a Le Cellier, but it's on our list of things to do. We found the recipe and made this at home. It's quite good, but nothing compares to the original. (Cheese soup, being Canadian, graciously accepts defeat, goes home to crack open a Molsen and watch the Leafs game.)
    Our First runner up. And should our winner not be able to fulfill her role as Barry's favorite food, this food will assume the crown. (The Lamb Slider and Corn Tortilla with Chipolte Chicken hug tightly) The Lamb Slider! (Corn Tortilla drops to her knees crying) The Lamb Slider is ground lamb with tomato chutney on a nice roll. Very tasty.
    And our Winner: Corn Tortilla with Chipolte Chicken. It was a 4 or 5" flat corn tortilla with chicken, tomato, beans, sour cream, and salsa. Like I said, we had to go back for more. Even the kids loved this one. (It was dark enough by this time that they didn't realize there were tomatoes on it! HA!)

    Also receiving votes: Austria's Mushroom Soup, Germany's sausage on a pretzel roll, kielbasa from Poland (the pierogie was nasty, but the kielbasa on the side was good)


    how did i miss this update. nice pics barry! dw will only go on test track one time. myself and dd go on that first thing in the morning and see how many times we can go till theres a line.:lmao: than its over to mission space to see who gets sick first!:lmao:

    I want to party with you. :thumbsup2
     

    DisneyDaddy-O

    Dis Dads Club Member #286
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2009
    Our second runner up: Canadian Cheese Soup from the Montreal kiosk. We still haven't eaten a Le Cellier, but it's on our list of things to do. We found the recipe and made this at home. It's quite good, but nothing compares to the original. (Cheese soup, being Canadian, graciously accepts defeat, goes home to crack open a Molsen and watch the Leafs game.)
    Unfortunately, you would have to drink 4-5 more after the Leafs game as well.:sad2: One day I will be able to cheer again.:lmao:

    Great update, I think its great they let you add the Test Track pic to photopass now, we did this on our last trip. It's too bad they don't do it anywhere else, at least I have not noticed anywhere else.

    Being the foodie that I am, I would love to go during that time of the year. Who knows maybe this year.:)

    As much as every day life is very exciting, I just don't know if it will have the same POP as a disney trip. ;) The Monster Truck thing sounded kind of fun, I have no experience with Barbies other my youngest boy always undressing my friends daughters Barbies. :thumbsup2

    Oh.. and if Mommy-O happens to be reading this I totally think that is wrong!:lmao:
     

    FreezinRafiki

    Cold enough for ya?
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    Unfortunately, you would have to drink 4-5 more after the Leafs game as well.:sad2: One day I will be able to cheer again.:lmao:

    Great update, I think its great they let you add the Test Track pic to photopass now, we did this on our last trip. It's too bad they don't do it anywhere else, at least I have not noticed anywhere else.

    Being the foodie that I am, I would love to go during that time of the year. Who knows maybe this year.:)

    As much as every day life is very exciting, I just don't know if it will have the same POP as a disney trip. ;) The Monster Truck thing sounded kind of fun, I have no experience with Barbies other my youngest boy always undressing my friends daughters Barbies. :thumbsup2

    Oh.. and if Mommy-O happens to be reading this I totally think that is wrong!:lmao:
    It was hard to miss the PhotoPass area at TT. They have the big bank of Monitors showing the pictures, and each one has a little laser reader under it. There is a CM there assisting people with scanning their cards to add the picture. I'm guessing that most of the other rides with pictures are making enough money selling the prints that they don't need to add them to PhotoPass?

    We're not wine drinkers, so we typically refer to it at the International Food Fest. But yes, it is a great time with a lot of food to try.

    I would guess that at any given time in my house, there are no fewer than 5 naked Barbies laying around. And for some reason, Evan's Buzz Lightyear action figure seems to smiling more than he did when he was in the store. :confused3
     

    itJeff

    I'm just not so sure how well this plan was though
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2009
    I would guess that at any given time in my house, there are no fewer than 5 naked Barbies laying around.
    I have three girls... you can imagine what's it's like. We have probably over 100 barbies. No lie. I think there are more without clothes, than with. We could put on a Barbie Vegas Show or something. :lmao:
     

    FreezinRafiki

    Cold enough for ya?
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    I have three girls... you can imagine what's it's like. We have probably over 100 barbies. No lie. I think there are more without clothes, than with. We could put on a Barbie Vegas Show or something. :lmao:
    Stay strong, brother. Just make sure you go outside and get a breath of fresh air. Inhaling all that estrogen can't be good for your health. :rotfl2:

    Great update! I can't believe you only have one more day left!
    I can't either. But alas, all good things must come to an end. But, as you can see from my siggy, we've got 2 more trips in the planning!
     

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