' A LIVE Trip Report, 3/28-4/4, Spring Break Fun!! Completed :) | The DIS Disney Discussion Forums - DISboards.com



A LIVE Trip Report, 3/28-4/4, Spring Break Fun!! Completed :)

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by ForMyBoys, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    We just arrived at Universal today!! This is a live trip report because I'd never have time to post such a thing in regular life. But we had such a great time at universal last time I figured it would be nice to post thoughts for other researchers out there!

    We are a family of 5. 3 boys, ages 15, 12 and 8. We were here 2 years ago and stayed at Portofino Bay. I really enjoyed that hotel so wanted to go back, but my kids really wanted HRH and I got a good SMSM rate so went for it. I was a little worried about it, but I LOVE this hotel so far.

    We were picked up in style by Anthony Hinds. This is the 6th trip we have used him and my kids really like him. He makes for a nice start to our vacation.
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    Once we got to the hotel check in was a breeze, the staff even texted to ensure the room was satisfactory. We got a deluxe room with two doubles and a pull out. We do travel a lot, and I travel for work a lot, and I will say I think this room has a great lay out. I like two sinks in the bathroom with the divider. There is a separate counter area for food, a separate closet area for bag storage and lots of places to charge devices. The beds are comfy and there were a lot of pillows. The rooms are new and decorated well. The only thing I don't like about the room is a lack of a microwave and I wish the fridge was a bit bigger and colder, but really minor things. The coach they are sitting on pulls out to a queen size bed, my 15 year old waa very happy about that!
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    Our view is nice as well:
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    The walk to the park tonight was super fast and it was a very pleasant walk. We didn't arrive til 7, but decided to hit the park for a couple hours anyway. We did The Mummy and the Simpsons ride and both were great. It was a good test for us because our youngest was scared of these rides last time we were here, but this time he loved them! It is going to be a great trip! We also had a great interaction with the Knight bus!

    We then left the park and had a late dinner at the Bread Box. It was fun to see the new Vodoo Donuts store, we will have to eat there later this week.

    The boys want to do a Harry Potter and swimming day tomorrow, so its time to hit the hay. But I'm falling asleep happy and hoping for some more fun tomorrow :)
     

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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  2. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Glad you’ve settled in nicely.........enjoy your trip.......

    Enjoy voodoo donuts........we loved the 2 we had!!
     
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  4. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    A cute interaction with Finn and the Knight Bus last night. Finn had to explain to the talking shrunken head that his name was Finn, not Fish. Of course the talking head disagreed, and Finn had to explain that it is spelled with two Ns and his name has nothing to do with a fish. It took some convincing, but Finn is fairly persistent and eventually the shrunken head and driver begrudgingly agreed.

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  5. christophfam

    christophfam DIS Veteran

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    Yay! A live trip report!! I’ll be there in 13 days... always love to get a peek at how the parks and weather are just before I go. How was breadbox? Haven’t tried it.
     
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  6. ckmiles

    ckmiles Mouseketeer

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    YAY! Enjoying this and can't wait for more!! Thanks so much for sharing, and enjoy your trip!
     
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  7. prairiesarah

    prairiesarah Mouseketeer

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    Following along : ) We just loved Bread Box - went there three times on our trip. Excellent sandwiches and I thought a very good value too.
     
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  8. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    It was very good, we hadn't eaten there so picked it for something new!
     
  9. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    Today we started the day by dressing up the youngest. He loves costumes so we budgeted for this, but let me tell you I will try to get him to use it for Halloween the next two years!! His older brothers always tell him he's Slytherin so he embraces it. Here are a few pics of him trying to look evil!
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    Next stop was wand picking. While everyone was racing to ride Gringotts we raced over to Olivander's. Now, two years ago Finn's brothers got wands and were very into this, but Finn was not. But this year he was all about it. This is where magic happened.

    Olivander picked a pair of siblings and Finn was in awe!
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    Then as we were leaving Finn told him thank you and Olivander pulled him over to the table and gave him a private wand picking. Finn was over the moon and of course we had to buy the wand selected.

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    The wand shop was also nice enough to "repair" our wands from two years ago and provide some extra maps.... and we were off to spell cast!
     

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  10. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    All 3 boys enjoyed spell casting and apparently my 15 year old had done some advance research as he had many things he wanted to do so I let him and my second oldest explore diagon alley a bit on thier own while casting spells with #3.

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    After a time of spell casting we got parched and enjoyed a few butterbeers. ds1 had a hard time deciding between frozen and non, but in the end figured he'd do regular first and try frozen later. They were yummy, but I definitely prefer the froth.

    Next up was a ride on escape from gringotts. Even with EP we had a bit of a wait, so I posted here and gave DS3 a "what house are you" quiz, it said 37% ravenclaw, 36% slytherin, 21% hufflepuff and only a tiny % Gryffindor. I and ds2 test ravenclaw so he completely dismissed the assessment and said of course he is Slytherin.

    The ride was great by the way! Ds3 was a little fearful but in the end loved it.
     

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  11. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    Skipping a few steps, here is a LIVE pic... pool break!

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    That is my son in the snorkel. Sadly he was told by a lifeguard no snorkels were allowed. I didn't see that in any rules I looked up and I wonder if they meant no flippers?? Oh well, he seems fine now swimming with just the mask.

    Edited to add:
    While at the pool I got a pina colada while hubby enjoyed a beer. The family split a huge nachos. All and all some great pool time. We had a very awesome server.

    Also, many of the kids in the pool had beach balls. They sell them by the pool but as you can imagine prices are inflated, so consider bringing your own.
     

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  12. Lori74

    Lori74 DIS Veteran

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    sounds like a great time!!
     
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  13. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    Ok we are now in line for Jurrasic Park, the heat drove us over here. But to finish this morning.

    After escape from gringotts we cast some spells in Knockturn alley then grabbed some snacks, name of the place is escaping me, maybe Sugar Plum Sweets? Dh and I split a pumpkin pastie which tasted just like pumpkin pie. DS1 got a witches hat chocolate cupcake, it was super yummy. DS2 got a piece of cookie dough fudge, which he didn't like that much. DS3 got a gourmet apple which was dipped in caramel, then chocolate, then nuts.
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    We enjoyed our snacks while a fun show was on, they pulled a dad on stage and had him dancing with a boa, it was quite humorous. We waited a bit to watch the Beetle the Bard show. It was a good one and we enjoyed it.
     

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  14. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    After the beetle the bard show we headed for the hotel for a pool break. I wish we had stayed an hour or so more but DS3 couldn't wait to swim. In fact he wanted to swim the minute we woke up so I fibbed and told him the pool didn't open til 11. He has a watch so reminded me about 5 times a minute that it was past 11 until we finally gave into the break :)

    After a brief pool break we headed back. We attempted to carry on with the HP theme so we grabbed a ride on the Hogwarts Express over to IOA. The wait was a bit long but it was fun.

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    DS3 quickly realized how hot he was and while he attempted to keep the cloak on he just couldn't.

    Hogsmead was so crowded when we go there we got a bit overwhelmed. We did ride flight of the hippogriff but the line was long even with EP. It was around 5 and we were hungry so we then decided to eat at 3 broomsticks. No pics but everyone liked thier food.
     

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  15. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Love the added pictures!!!

    How lovely Finn got a private wand wand choosing.......must have made all of your days!!!
     
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  16. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    Day 2, Volcano Bay!!! OR I guess day 3 if you count the arrival day. Yeah, yeah I never finished yesterday!! Maybe I'll go back, maybe I won't. In a live trip report you have to deal with such things. Suffice it to say we are having a lovely time and are very much enjoying the park. I will try to write more later but here is a live pic!

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  17. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great start to your trip! HRH is our Orlando home! We love it there! Nice pool pictures!
     
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  18. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Glad you’re having fun.........:)
     
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  19. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    I took very few pictures today. It is just too hard to carry a phone around at a waterpark. We did have a very nice day and I do like taputapu bands. We did wait in line way less then at other WPs.

    However, we did have an issue. Right before lunch we decided to set our tapu's to ride the water coaster Krakatau, sp? Anyway the wait was 120 min, but we figured we wanted to grab a bite and swim in the wave pool for awhile so it would be ok. Well about an hour in we got a message that we were delayed as the ride went down. Also the line for food was so long we decided to just grab ice cream and eat some snacks we brought along.

    After we were done eating, swimming, relaxing we still had a 45 min wait even though it had been 110 min because the ride had gone down. But the boys still really wanted to ride it. So we hit the lazy river waiting it out.

    FINALLY we got the message that it was time to ride. As we were getting out of the lazy river my youngest grabbed my hubby and pulled off his wristband and away it flew gone to the depths of the lazy river.

    That morning a kid in line on a ride lost his wristband and they let him ride with his group anyway so I figured it wouldn't be an issue. Well it was an issue. We walked up and explained and they would not let us all ride together. The man manning the entrance told us we had to go get my husbands ticket (in our locker all the way across the park that we used the missing wristband to acquire), then go to guest services to get another wristband. I was not happy. So since I had been on the ride once already i gave my band .... to be continued
     
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  20. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys DIS Veteran

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    Ok continuing... to my husband. So the 4 of them rode without me while I went to guest services to pick up a new wristband. Which of course I needed a ticket first so had to have them let me in the locker to go get the ticket to return to guest services.

    For some reason the woman had a really hard time reactivating a new band and our wait was really long. I left to find my hubby as they were by that time done with the ride. My 15yo offered to watch the younger two so DH could come help sort it out. Given the wait she offered to put us to the front of the line on that ride again but the ride was down again. I was very happy I had them ride without me as they wouldn't have been able to ride otherwise.

    Anyway they had so many problems setting up and fixing the locker issue I let her know there was only one other ride we wanted to ride then had planned to leave the park. She went and talked to her supervisor then came out and offered to walk us to the ride of our choice for a front of the line ride. So we gathered the kids and rode the blue family raft ride (I can't remember the name of it, but it seats 5), then headed out after that.

    If I could summarize, I'd say the following:
    1) they need more places to eat and servers as they get so swamped at lunch it was hard to get food. They def lost money on our family because we were willing to spend the money but not willing to wait 45min.
    2) perhaps a better way for seating. It didn't impact us, but around noon there were lots of people looking for a seat and lots of seats only covered with towels.
    3) taputapu stations where you can pick a ride without walking to the ride would be nice. I'm not sure why this is reserved for cabanas only.
    4) diff color tapus would have been nice or an ability to add your name to them would be nice as they were easy to mix up.
    5) At busy times of year I would not arrive mid-day, either arrive early or late.

    So room for improvement,but the park is great!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  21. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Too bad about the Tapu tapu issue! We loved Volcano Bay too! We went last year right after it opened so they were still working out the kinks- hope to go back again this year!
    Love your picture of the volcano and waterfall!
     
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