Bubba's Mom & her DH do their first HHN!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by bubba's mom, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

    Jul 14, 2004
    Our Very First HHN :eek: ...weekend.

    Over a YEAR ago, yes in July of 2009, I had the opportunity to plan to attend a meet w/ some fellow DISers (who I've become pretty good buds with) over Columbus weekend. I won't bore you with 'who' or 'what' was planned, as plans change, but knowing the whole darn thing *could* have fallen apart, I decided to still book our room(s) and airfare and go with DH anyway. If nothing else, it was a weekend away alone together without the boy.

    Our plan:

    Friday, October 8th...put Bubba on the schoolbus, go out to breakfast w/ DH, pack up and drop the dog and Bubba's stuff off at my Mom's on our way to the airport for our 12:10pm flight.

    After landing in MCO, grab rental car and head to Dad's for the night. Spend Friday night at Dad's.

    Sometime Saturday, October 9th, either late morning/early afternoon, leave Dad's for PBH.

    Check out of PBH Sunday, October 10th and check-in at DoubleTree.

    Check out of DoubleTree Monday, October 11th and fly home.


    Our Trip:

    Day 1 - Friday, October 8, 2010

    We got up and got Bubba off to school this morning. When he left on the schoolbus at 7:45, we went out to breakfast. After about a 45 minute breakfast, we came home, threw (not literally) our bags, Bubba's stuff, the dog's stuff and the dog in the car and dropped the dog and 'stuff' off at my Mom's on our way to the airport. Everything went smoothly and we were headed to PHL for our 12:10pm flight on time. :thumbsup2

    We (surprisingly) didn't hit much leftover morning traffic on our way to Philadelphia. When we got near the airport, we went and checked in at Winner Airport Parking and they dropped us off at the airport. Flying SW, we had our printed boarding passes in hand and checked the monitor to see what gate we departed from. Since this was just a weekend for the two of us, we weren't checking any bags...so, we headed for security.

    A short wait and we breezed through security. We headed for our gate and were there early enough that the flight before us was still sitting there waiting to leave. We didn't sit and wait too long before it was our turn to board. We were A53 & A54 boarding passes, so we stood in our respectable spots at boarding time and waited to board. I believe DH picked row 6 and I sat next to the window and he next to me in the middle seat. As soon as we sat down, buckled and settled in, it seemed very weird not to have Bubba with us.....I missed him already. :sad1: But, I knew I'd be talking to him soon (he was in school anyway) and we were getting ready to push out.

    We were about 10 minutes past departure time when we pushed, but we were up and out of there relatively quickly. On our way, I pulled the shade closed on the window (the reason I took a window seat...so I could control the shade ;) ) and DH got my laptop out and we watched The Karate Kid on the way down. (on a side note about the movie: good movie, but a lot like the original...too many similiarities as a matter of fact) That movie is actually 2:20 minutes long, and we only got to watch to the 1:37 mark. We were already decending into Orlando...:banana:

    We landed and headed to the rental car counter (no baggage claim, remember? :cool2: ) and there were a couple of parties ahead of us but there were plenty of agents and we were taken right away. A little background into the car I rented: I always reserve an economy car because they are usually better on gas and smaller..it's usually just the 3 of us and 4 bags...plenty of room. This time there was the 2 of us and 1 bag and 1 backpack. For some odd reason, that I still don't know, a week before we left, I happened to check the rental car prices again. Only this time, the cheapest car that came up was a convertible! :eek: It was only $18 more than the economy car I had reserved months ago, so it really was a no brainer. I reserved the convertible and cancelled the ole economy. According to the website, we were supposed to be getting a Ford Mustang or Chrysler Sebring. The agent called for the Mustang and after a short wait, they told her they didn't have any. Ugh...my heart sank as I really wanted that....now I was getting stuck with a Sebring. Oh well. :guilty: It's STILL a convertible. Imagine my happiness when she said they were getting us a Mitsubishi Spyder/Eclipse. We waited a couple minutes for it and finally got the 'okay' to head to the parking garage to pick up our car and get outta there. :yay:

    We only waited a minute or two as they brought the car up to us (we didn't have to walk the aisle to get it). The top was up, but being a nice sunny day, I knew it wouldn't be up for long. We pulled out of the parking garage and were on our way....and, yes, put the top down.

    Our first stop for the weekend was Dad's in Ocala. Can't go all the way to Florida and not stop by Dad's. Besides, they were having some computer and printer issues that DH had to work on for them while we were there. I believe we rolled into Dad's around 4:30 or so. We said our hello's and shocked Dad by rollin up in a convertible and then DH got to 'work' right away. Dad wanted to network his 2 computers and do some other stuff, so they got busy with that.

    Meantime, after settling in, I called my Mom's to talk to Bubba. Mom had picked him up from the bus stop after school and taken him to her house for the weekend. I talked briefly to him (& Mom) and let him go so he could get ready for his karate class that night. I promised we'd call him before his bedtime.

    We sat down to dinner with Dad & Joyce about 7pm...a little later than they normally eat, but DH had a break in his business with Dad's computer issues. After a nice steak dinner, DH worked a bit more on his Dad's computer before we all retired to the living room to watch/catch-up on the Phillies game (Game 2 Phillies vs Cin Reds). Dad DVRs all the games and watches them at night. We watched it on the DVR trying to catch up to the end. It was a good game....especially since they won 7-4. :woohoo:

    DH had some video of our summer vacation and the cruise we all went on to show Dad. We showed him that and some of Bubba's testing for his 3rd degree black belt in TKD. I think we stayed up visiting till 12:30am...waaaaay past all our bedtimes. But, being there for only 1 night, we wanted to make the most out of our visit. :goodvibes

  2. RVGal

    RVGal Whaaa?

    Dec 24, 2005
    I'm here! :wave:

    Great start and score on the convertible.

    Waiting for more.



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  4. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Apr 21, 2003
    i'm in......
  5. tlinus

    tlinus Forever a Proud Redhead

    Mar 21, 2006
    here I am!!!

    It's a Brab trippie!!! :woohoo::yay::woohoo::yay:
  6. LilKintnerBoy

    LilKintnerBoy Earning My Ears

    Feb 7, 2007
    I'm excited... looking forward to seeing how this all turns out... scary so far
  7. rpbert1

    rpbert1 DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2005
    A nice start, and looooovvvveeee the car, would love one of those , but not really practical for us.
    looking forward to the rest.
    LilKintnerBoy- is their bits that are a blur to you:confused3:rotfl2:
  8. wegs3000

    wegs3000 Mouseketeer

    Apr 22, 2009
    I love your trip reports! Please lots of PBH pics.
  9. tink1957

    tink1957 Proud Redhead

    May 18, 2008
    :cool1:Woohoo another Barb trip report...let the fun begin.
  10. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Dec 30, 2004
    good start barb:thumbsup2

    the ride suits you, i thing you should buy one!
  11. LilKintnerBoy

    LilKintnerBoy Earning My Ears

    Feb 7, 2007
    It was a weekend without the boy... there were a few blurry spots for ALL of us :rolleyes1
  12. rpbert1

    rpbert1 DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2005
    its amazing how the kids keep the parents under control:rotfl2:
  13. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

    Jul 14, 2004
    Day 2 - Saturday, October 9, 2010

    That said, we were up early the next morning. Showered, dressed and after a bit more working on computers and printers, we had some breakfast. We did do some leisure visiting too before we left, so it wasn't ALL "work" for DH :upsidedow

    Around lunchtime it was time to go. I had to take some pix of our cool rental car for Bubba before we left Dad's.
    Front of car. Rear of car. Putting the top down: just about half way...almost there... and TA-DA! Here's two pix of the inside front seat: 1 and 2. Just because Bubba wouldn't believe me, I also took a pic of the backseat (with the subwoofer IN it) and the trunk with it's limited space. In order for him to understand exactly how small the trunk was, I took a picture of our (carry-on) bag IN the trunk. He was pretty shocked it was that small..in the trunk and in the backseat!
    DH & I left probably around 12:30 or so...headed for PBH at Universal.

    BIL & SIL were meeting us at PBH, so we called BIL to let him know we left Dad's and then called him again once we were about 10-15 minutes away from PBH. We stopped at our usual spot to fill the gas tank and arrived at PBH. We checked in and the parlor of our Portofino Suite was ready. (We stay in the same suite each year, so I didn't take pictures [well, till tomorrow morning anyway]. There are many pix in my 2008 and 2009 reports.) We decided to run our bags to the room before returning the car. We got to our room, and it was made up (both the bedroom and the parlor), but they were still messing around in the bedroom. We just dropped our bags on the sofa in the parlor and headed back to return the car. [​IMG]

    We went back to the front of the hotel to get the car and drove around the corner to the Holiday Inn Express and parked in Budget spot #1. We went in and nobody was at the counter...had to wait about 5-10 minutes. Sign said the dude was helping a customer, but we knew he was really on break. He returned and was very nice with our paperwork...MUCH less hassle than the summer (which, you'll read about once I finish that TR).

    We left the HIE and I stopped in across the street at the DoubleTree to make sure they did luggage hold. I explained to the lady at the desk I wanted to check in the next day very early and leave my luggage there for the day until we came back that night VERY late. I wanted to make sure they did this (because we've never stayed there before). She assured me they hold luggage. And...she also happened to mention that they were full that night (Saturday) and Sunday..it was a good thing we had a reservation. :thumbsup2

    We left the DoubleTree and headed back to PBH. We called BIL to see what their eta was and they actually weren't that far away. DH told him we would wait for them at the entrance to PBH (at the light) and they could pick us up. We got to the entrance/light of PBH and waited about 5-10 minutes before they came cruising by. They picked us up and to the parking garage we, I mean BIL, drove.

    BIL found a spot to park and they grabbed their suitcase and off to our room we went. There wasn't anyone in our bedroom, so when I put our bags on the luggage holders/racks in our room (from the sofa in the parlor), I then pulled the sheets back to inspect our bed for bedbugs. I wasn't expecting to find any, and I didn't. We all freshened up and in no time, it was off to IOA for the day. :woohoo:

    We arrived via boat at CityWalk and headed to IOA. First stop was Backwater Bar for drinks. We headed in the direction of WWoHP so I could get me a frozen, but the lines were crazy long! :scared: Almost like "summertime long". I told the group to forget it..I didn't want them waiting on me. Instead we headed for FJ because BIL is the only one who hadn't been on it yet. I believe the standby time was posted at 75 minutes, but after a very steadily moving line, SIL timed our boarding the ride at 50 minutes. FJ 2 and Hogwarts.

    After FJ, Filch's was crowded and butterbeer lines were still long. :guilty: We headed off to Dueling Dragons, I mean Dragon Challenge, to ride Fire, I mean, Chinese Fireball. (sorry...will always be "Fire" & DD to this old dog that you can't teach new tricks to) We didn't go on FOTH or in any stores...again, because of the lines. Seeing a lot of school-age kids, guessing the holiday weekend brought them ALL out?! :confused3

    After Dragons, we headed toward the Watering Hole for Happy Hour. With no particular place to go, we headed back through JP and TL. Coming out of TL, I saw a friend of mine. I thought she was buying ice cream and I was gonna 'bust' her, but she was just getting a drink refilled. Meh...took a pic anyway. Still busted. :teeth:
    AFTER I took their picture, I went over to talk with her. I told her I left her a voicemail and she said she didn't get it. Her son chimed in: "Toldja not to leave your phone in the bag Ma." :lmao: We talked about general stuff and meeting up that night. After about 10 minutes, I didn't want to hog her vacation time with her family, so they went their way, we went ours.

    Our way happened to be in the direction of Spiderman. You always have to have a spin on Spidey! :charac4:

    After Spidey, just walking to nowhere in particular, we headed toward Hulk. DH suggested we stop and ride Dr. Doom...something we don't do when Bubba is with us because he is not a fan of the "drop" (even tho DD shoots you 'up'). We got really good seats facing the park...wish the ride didn't go so fast so you could enjoy your view from up there a little longer.

    After Doom, it was time to visit Hulk. A quick fly on Hulk is always awesome. Just love this coaster! Getting a bit rough imo, but still a great ride!

    It was getting close to dinnertime, so I wanted to go to Snookers in Suess Landing to get cookies for Bubba...my guilt gift. :rolleyes1 He loves those chocolate chip white chunk cookies, and since he didn't get to come with us, I wanted to bring him home some. I also got him a chocolate chip chocolate covered smore and a huge peanut butter cookie w/ chocolate fudge on top of it. (back at home, he said it was delicious) I also got Mom some huge rice krispie treats and a cookie for watching Bubba & the dog for the weekend. I know she likes those, so it's a good gift for her.

    So, about 5lbs later, we were on our way out of the candy store. [​IMG] I have been trying for 2 years to get an ice cream from Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop. The line is always long and they are only open till 7 (for some reason?), so DH waited in line with me. When it was time for me to order, he held the bag of cookies and my camera. Since we aren't going to UO next year, this was my chance. I got a chocolate covered ice cream on a stick...for dinner! :laughing: It was good, but messy. Least I can say I've been there and had one now :teeth:

    After I got my ice cream, we caught up to B&SIL and headed out to Margaritaville. SIL's parents, grandmother, sister and her baby came to meet them for dinner (SIL's folks live about 30 min from UO). I said some quick hello's and explained I wouldn't be joining them for dinner :( ...I was meeting friends. I needed to drop off all those cookies and get changed into some warmer clothes before meeting my homies. Good place to add...the weather this time of the year in Orlando/Florida is AWESOME!! Mid 80s, no humidity, sunny....just perfect. Although it is chilly in the morning and at night when the sun goes down, still beautiful days. [​IMG]

    Back at our room at PBH, I stashed the cookies I bought into the ziplock bags I brought with me, changed clothes and freshened up. As I made my way to the boat dock, I saw a familiar face also waiting for the boat. My Keisha buddy :banana:

    Jibberjabbing with her made the wait for the boat fly by...even though I tried to talk her into walking to CW, she was hearing none of it. [​IMG] She said her feet had "hundreds of miles on them" from her week on vacation down there and at Disney and she was done. I even offered to show her the shortcut...no dice. We hung out and waited for the boat.

    We gabbed the whole way to CW (of course) and arrived to find Mac waiting for us right where we said we'd meet. How awesome to finally meet up! :hug:
    We must have sat chatting for a couple hours easily before I called Bubba to say goodnite and we decided to move the party to the Lone Palm for margaritas. On our way! At Lone Palm, we found a table in the back where it was quieter...away from the speakers, and ordered a round of 'ritas. And talked. And talked. Ordered another round. And talked. Hammed it up for the camera (know Keish has more pix on her camera that I don't). And talked.....
    Meanwhile, SIL's family had left and the 3 of them were looking for me. They wondered if we minded if they came by...not at all. They grabbed a table next to us, which was REALLY convenient. Now we had someone to watch our stuff for us while we ran to the Ladies. :lmao:

    DH & crew left a while before we did. We sat and hung out for awhile longer. I think it was around 1am when we called it a night. Keisha & I walked Mac to her boat and got on our boat back to PBH. (I coulda walked, but I think Keisha woulda shot me if I even SUGGESTED we walk! :rolleyes1 )
    We said our good-bye's at the boat to Mac and Keisha and I said our good-byes at the elevator when I got off (she was the floor above us). I got back to our room about 1:30am and SIL was asleep in the next room, while DH & his brother were still up in our room talking and checking something out on my laptop.

    The 3 of us filled out the room service card for breakfast and I hung them out on the doors. (Being Loews Platinum and not really being at the hotel very much this trip, we needed to use our Food & Beverage credit somehow. Figured breakfast in the room was the best idea.) Hung out with BIL for a bit before saying goodnights. I think it was about 2:30am before DH & I got to bed. These late nights were killing us. [​IMG]

  14. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

    Jul 14, 2004
    no problem....got a spare $30,000 you can give me?
  15. donaldduck352

    donaldduck352 <font color=red><marquee>Proud Redhead</marquee><b

    Mar 16, 2008
    Hey brab.I'm here reading your TR.Great as allways.We missed ya'll buy 1 day.Would have loved to meet up.Maybe next time!!

    Kiesha,mac,you and Joyce(DW) would of had a ball at the Lone Palm with the margaritas!!
  16. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Dec 30, 2004
    anything for my homie :hug: (even with you mentioning the cellphone 'no-no':guilty:, bad enough i had to hear i told you so all the way out to citiwalk...who knew?). Too bad I have my 'spare' kidney already allocated for back up college tuition semi kidding:rolleyes1.

    It's not that I don't 'want' to walk, somebody has to support the boat captains so they can keep their jobs. That's my story & I'm sticking to it. i do have quite a few pics i'll some post in my TR, found one of ur mr grinning widely too:laughing:.

    donald - the more the margaritier:banana:, joyce is really such a sweetie

    btw, it's sure nice to hear somebody got into their room early.:thumbsup2
  17. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

    Jul 14, 2004
    I knew we were missing you by 1 day...but, our schedule was just full. Really no wiggle room. Like ya said...maybe another time. I'm ALWAYS up for a 'rita @ Jimmy's!! :goodvibes

    PLEASE tell me they DIDN'T "i toldya so" all the way out to CW? :sad2: It wasn't THAT big a deal...I woulda caught up w/ you sooner or later. Mof, I left YOU the voice mssg... You woulda returned my call.....eventually :rolleyes:

    You know, I'm so used to 'walking' everywhere there, that when I DO take the boat, it's just weird to me :confused3 idk what it is....but, I understand/stood :hug:
  18. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

    Jul 14, 2004
    Day 3 - Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Before I knew it, that room service for breakfast that we ordered arrived. Promptly. At our 8:30am request. [​IMG] DH jumped up to get it...I stayed in bed. They brought in both rooms' breakfasts at the same time. They set up BIL's and our gentleman set up ours. When they set up ours he took the covers off our eggs...so, I HAD to get up and eat right away. I wasn't planning to do that, but oh well...it was food and it was here to be eaten...while still in my pajamas :teeth:

    I don't know what I was expecting, but our breakfast was very good. Everything was yummy and exactly how we ordered it. I wouldn't hesitate to get PBH room service again (even at their prices). I would assume the club level food is just as good also...but, I don't know for sure because we've never stayed club.

    Remember, today is Sunday, Oct 10th. I happened to look at the clock while getting ready and packing that morning, and I hollered to everyone: "Hey! It's 10:10am on 10-10-10." SIL hollered back: "Make a wish!" A little eerie....especially since we planned to attend HHN tonight!
    One last look around "our" room before checking out. Sad we won't be back next year. We really love this suite at this hotel. [​IMG]

    We checked out and had BIL drive us around to DoubleTree where they waited for us to check-in and stow our bags. (I was hoping nobody would catch on that I had all those cookies in one bag!:rolleyes1) We 'pre-checked in' and stowed our bags with no problem and very little wait (surprisingly..because most people were checking out).

    Outside, BIL picked us up and over to the UO parking garage he drove. He parked at trusty ole Spiderman and we all headed to the Studios. I wish they'd hang a sign to explain moving walkways to people. You are supposed to KEEP WALKING WHILE ON THEM, or, if you choose to just stand, stand to one side. :mad: We found it WAY FASTER to just walk around them.

    We headed to the Studios where we planned to be for the day. DH & I were doing Stay 'n Scream for HHN (our first) and B&SIL were leaving later in the day. Once arriving in the Studios, I went to GS to get a 'real' ticket for our HHN ticket and Express Passes. I had purchased them online and did the 'print at home' option. Instead of lugging around those full sized pieces of paper, I wanted real tickets. Even though GS was crowded and slow moving, I was still in there about 10-15 minutes. Getting the actual tickets exchanged took like only 2 minutes.

    After getting my 'print at home' tickets exchanged, we headed back toward MIB. We went down Hollywood Blvd. through the first two scarezones--HHN 20 Yrs of Fear and Fear Revealed. Of course, never being there for a HHN before, I took pictures of whatever I saw while it was still light out. Pic 1, pic 2, and pic 3. Just a quick look back and we continued on to the next zone. The last couple pictures before leaving this zone.

    I absolutely LOVED Central Park with all the pumpkins everywhere! They even looked better at night, lit up, but I didn't get any pix of them at night. Pumpkin group, more pumpkins and lastly, yet more pumpkins!

    DH & I did Simpsons while B&SIL waited for us. I like a quick spin on Simpsons...especially the spiel in the room before the ride.
    We caught up with them after Simpsons and the four of us boarded our own car on MIB. Ironically, the car we played against, only had 4 people too. I thought it'd be a pretty fair 'exhaust port' fight. Turns out, it wasn't. We hit theirs 3 times, they didn't hit ours at all. :cool2:

    Went through the game and the average score for our car was in the 400,000s. The car we played against? Their average score was 43,???. I don't think it was even a little bit close! :lmao:

    After one spin on MIB, we stopped by Jaws. We always get into the cheesy show and are usually the most rowdy bunch on the boat. I guess others are expecting a 'real' tour/show? idk, but we had a good time w/ our Captain on that ride!

    After Jaws, we headed in the direction of the Mummy...back the way we came though. This had us go through some scarezones, of which I took some pictures of. This was The Coven scarezone. I must have run around the corner to snap a couple pix of the Esqueleto Muerte scarezone before we turned in the direction of the Mummy.
    Finally on Mummy, we had a great ride and a good time with the camera on this ride. You have to laugh when you see two couples in the back row smootching on the picture!

    I believe the next stop after Mummy was Twister. This is something that is 'meh' and we don't necessarily do it unless Bubba requests it. But, I think SIL requested it today...so, we went there. We kept seeing this skywriter overhead, but we could never figure out a whole message? Maybe because it was quite breezy and the message didn't last? I don't know, but we saw him back at the PBH that morning and again now. Took a picture just because I could.

    Back to Twister.... I can say it was the first time I was ever the first person through the doors at the end of the pre-show. Although, after the next segment when the doors opened to the 'show' area, I think I was supposed to go forward to the low end of the stands. I always go high (so I don't get sprinkled). I went high and went all the way to the end. This allowed us to be all the way at the end and first out at the end of the show.

    After Mummy, we stopped by Louie's to get a pizza for lunch, but DH came to get me (at the table I was saving) and said SIL went to Lombard's and there was only a 5 minute wait. Line at Louie's was much longer than 5 minutes (or at least it looked it), so I guess it was off to Lombard's.

    After a short wait, we were seated. While waiting for the server to take our order, BIL checked us in at SW via his cellphone. We were right on top of it...2:45pm was our check-in time. When he did it (on the second), we got B1 and B5! :confused: I chalked it up to that whole "early bird check-in" thing SW offers. Probably not many people do it flying FROM home, but while IN Orlando, they are most likely IN a park somewhere 24hrs prior to their flight home, so they opt for that service flying home. Ah well...it was just the 2 of us, and B1 wasn't all THAT bad.

    At Lombard's, SIL had a salad, the guys had the steak sandwiches and I had the Asian Chicken wrap sandwich. Oddly enough, this is a seafood joint and nobody ordered seafood. :laughing: It was all very good...including my Asian Chicken wrap. I didn't know what to expect, but it was very tasty! (My menu pix came out blurry and not legible, but I know I have better menu pix from last year in '09's trip report.)

    We sat here for awhile and talked about our trip with them for next summer. It was good just to have the 4 adults together...no kids. We are used to having the 4 kids and SIL's parents and grandmother...a large group! It was also nice to eat with them and have the bill under $100 for a change too :laughing:

    After a late lunch, they were getting ready to go home. Since we were passing by Mummy, you just have to stop and ride. Went back on Mummy again and wouldn'tcha know, we got the LAST row...AGAIN?! :headache: Oh well, the back row on Mummy is better than being in no row on Mummy ;) Again with the smootching for the camera....

    On our way walking them toward the front of the park (it was getting close to their time to leave), we all stopped to see Shrek. We got in the next show and this group is always a bit emphatic with the 'oh no' part of the pre-show. If you've been to Shrek you know what I'm talking about. :thumbsup2

    After Shrek, we walked all the way to the turnstiles with them and said our goodbyes. It'd be till summer till we see them again. But, we had a good time with them and appreciated the ride(s) they gave us. I made sure they remembered where they parked and off they went.[​IMG]

    We had just under an hour until 5pm to be at the holding area for HHN. I needed to see Jimmy Neutron so DH & I headed there. Walked right in. Not necessarily a good thing with express...we got the far end. Not the best seats, but how can you complain when you get to do the chicken dance?! :teeth:

    After JN, DH really likes T23D, so we headed there. Didn't have much of a wait before the next show, so in we went. We were let into the large room and walked all the way toward the front and grabbed a seat on the floor against the wall. Listened to the pre-show and noticed not a whole lot of "super" in it ...booo. [​IMG]

    Got seats about 4th row or so...all the way toward the end. Gotta love the schmucks who plop their butts right in the center of the row...despite the TM's instructions to move all the way down. It really DOES hold up the seating people. :sad2: Finally, everyone seated, show starts. Always a great show...this time noticed "John" was taller than the "Terminator" and our seats didn't work at the end. Bummer :( But, a good show...and, I quickly remembered...cold inside. [​IMG]

    After T2 show, it was almost 5pm. On our way to the area of 'holding' for HHN, I saw an eerily "empty" Mel's. Looks weird, huh? We thought we'd make a bathroom stop before heading to the holding area near Finnegan's.

    On my way to the bathroom, I spotted Mac & Metro sitting outside on a bench (and we'll leave it at that). I went over to let her know I was there and surprise Metro. We chatted and after using the restrooms, headed over to the holding area for HHN. They scanned our tickets and we were in. We did find out that you can't leave the holding area after being scanned in...not even to go in Finnegans. Good thing I decided to use the bathroom before going to the holding area.

    The 4 of us talked about everything it seemed while waiting to be let out of the 'holding' cell. I just made sure they knew we were following them because we had NO clue what we were doing. They had been to the houses and such...we had no idea of anything. Matter of fact, while in line, they were giving us the background info on all the houses so we'd know the story/theme to each one. And, as I would find out, it helped. It made the house make more sense to me....but, only in the beginning. As I would realize after going through the houses, they would start out with wonderful themeing and then turn into a bunch of people just jumping out at you from around corners and such. That got old after awhile.

    I know when we were let go (I don't know what time it was...Mac might remember), we went to Legendary Truth. Since this was behind HRRR, I looked toward the front of the park and I did not see anyone being let in yet. Glad we stayed. :goodvibes We only waited about 15 minutes and we were through. Again, many, many thanks to Miss Mac. :hug: Without her pointing out stuff to me, I would have missed a LOT of stuff.

    After that, we went to PsychoScareapy (tour guides' fave) and then to Hades, where we used our Express for the first time. I snapped an unusual pic from Twister while walking through the PsychoScareapy line.

    Next we went to Zombiegeddon and then to Orfanage. According to our 'private tour guides', we were making good time, even though it seemed we waited in lines, turns out we were only waiting about 15 minutes. Ironically this seemed like a long wait for us because we are used to staying onsite and using EP. We were assured a 15-20 minute wait was GOOD during HHN and trusted our friends.

    We finished the last 3 houses using our Express Passes: Havoc, then Catacombs and lastly Horror Nights of Hallow'd Past. Here's a cool pic of the MIB building on our way to Havoc. I liked the Horror Nights house with all the memorabilia. I just think that's a great idea to have bits & pieces of the past HHN's all in one place.

    I did notice the Express lines were longer earlier in the evening and later in the evening (when we used ours), the Express lines were almost non-existant. Definitely use standby lines early and switch to Express later on when more crowded. :thumbsup2

    After we finised ALL the houses, at least once, it was about 9pm. We talked about what to do next and Metro decided he wanted to go do his thing and my DH said he was hungry and wanted a hamburger...so, we were headed for Finnegan's. Mac said she coulda used a bite, but wanted pizza at Louie's. (Here is DH & Mac walkin' ahead of me.) I told her to come to Finnegan's when she was finished (figuring she'd be done before us), but she didn't. She did finish before us, but she spied on us through the window from outside and was waiting for us to be done. I told her she was silly and didn't have to do that, but she wanted to give us 'alone' time. She didn't need to give US 'alone' time when she was there alone herself! I gave her heck telling her she was more than welcome to come sit with us! Oh...and a note about Finnegan's. I remembered another reason it isn't one of my favorite places to eat. It's cold in there. Freezing as a matter of fact. I asked our server if there was any way to have the AC turned down or something and she said "No...unfortunately our temperature is controlled by the park. You could move if you like." Really? Interesting... Do they know it's October and NOT July? Ugh.... I can't handle that freezing cold...especially when I'm eating. Made me remember why it's a place I will eat at, but rather not.

    I hurried out of there when DH was finished his burger. I went outside and called Mac...who was at the corner looking at me! She came over and we talked while waiting for DH. I'm pretty sure we decided to catch an earlier showing of Bill & Ted and headed in that direction...through Scarezones Zombie Gras & Saws n' Steam.

    We got to Bill & Ted's with great timing! It wasn't a long wait for the next show...AND with our tour guide, holding hands, she cut us through the mass of people who'd been waiting and we managed to get pretty darn close to the front of the line. :rolleyes1 When they let the line go, that was a whole 'nother story!! OMG...I was holding on for dear life. We were all but running. I just couldn't help but laugh! But, I knew we were in good hands.

    After a super-fast walk/slow jog, I think we ended up in about the 7th row or something close to that. We were at the end of our bench and in the center section. Our tour guide did NOT fail us...most excellent seats. We thought the show was good...for what they had to work with this year. The Situation & Snooki were some of the funniest parts of the show. My DH likes stuff like that, and we both got some good laughs out of the show.

    After the show, we started back through the houses we hadn't used our Express Pass for yet. First up, being right there, was Orfanage. Then Zombiegeddon, PsychoScareapy and lastly Legendary Truth. How cool the last house we did, was the first one we started with at the beginning of the night? While doing PsychoScareapy again, I snapped a couple of pictures from the Twister area...while we were in that area again. I guess I don't normally see some of these props because we usually go in through the Express line?

    Anyhow, after finishing all the houses and exhausting our Express Pass, we went through the scarezones. First was Saws 'n Steam. My DH & I enjoyed it and waited for Mac to talk to some CSW friends she found there. Matter of fact, she is one popular lady...she sees people all over the place there that she knows! I don't think she is ever 'alone' for very long when she's there! I also came across of a photo-op of the Ghirardelli building...how cool.

    Scarezone Fear Revealed (by Mel's Die-In) ...this one was REALLY good. Mac made a point of looking for the Director. She talked with him briefly. DH especially liked this zone, as the actors really stayed in character. It was here we talked with Cindy (from Orfanage) and the Usher. They were very interactive and let's just say Mac ticked them off just a tiny bit. You don't want to tick off Cindy. They were VERY good and we spent the most time strolling through this scarezone. More pix from this area: Mac & Jack, a creepy old lady , Queen of Hearts, scary lookin' tall dude and DH & Pumpkinhead.

    The next scarezone we did was HHN 20 Years of Fear... on Hollywood Blvd. We walked around to where JN was and did Scarezone Esqueleto Muerte and then around the corner to Scarezone The Coven, behind Shrek. If you didn't know, there are scareactors that jump out of these huts as you go walking by. Of course, if you stop and wait to try to get a picture, they don't come out. Of course...oh well... I took this one instead.

    It was about 1am and this was where we said goodnight and goodbye to Mac and thanked her ever SO MUCH for all her help and information she generously gave to us on our first HHN. After about 12 hours in the Studios today, my DH was exhausted and it was time for us to leave. We left backtracking through Esqueleto Muerte Scarezone. (But not before a few pix.)

    As a brief review of HHN, we felt there was more 'startle' than 'horror' at HHN....scarezones and the houses. Don't get me wrong, some of the houses had some really cool stuff (stuff like we expected) like: a nurse-zombie with scissors sticking out of her one eye and there was a person laying on a table (face down) and the 'doctor' was pulling her spine out of her back...stuff like that was cool (even though we knew it was totally fake, they did a good job with the make-up and blood and such....) I did think the 'mesh netting' in the houses got annoying after awhile. I know it's there so you can't see the scareactors jumping out at the people walking ahead of you in the house...but, it's more annoying than concealing.

    The chainsaw guys in the scarezones got sorta old pretty quick. I was standing there talking (to someone...can't remember who) and someone came up behind me and growled in my ear. :confused: I think I expected to be more scared than I was...but I wasn't? After a while, just the loudness of the chainsaws was enough for me....I'm not a sort of person who likes "loud". Between the scarezones and the houses, I would say if you are a person that scares easily, you will be scared! If you don't scare easy, it may not be all you had hoped.

    As we were leaving the Studios, I asked DH if he wanted to take the boat, but he didn't want to wait cause of the crowds...he decided walking was faster. So...we headed out to HRH parking lot. I didn't forget to take a couple of pix of entrance to the Studios on our way out either.

    It was about a 10-15 minute walk by the time we arrived to the DoubleTree. Obviously at that time of the morning, there was no line at the front desk. We 'officially' checked in, got our key, retrieved our bags and headed up to our room.

    We were in room 1526 and our room directly faced the other tower. I was hungry so I ate one of the cookies we received at check-in and drank some water. I did a quick check for bedbugs (negative btw) and we headed off for la-la land. It didn't take long to fall asleep after the day we had!

    Pix of our room: king bed, the closet (with the tacky mirrored doors), two bathroom shots...always, a pic of our tolietries (for Janet ;) ) and the coffee maker (that we don't use).

    As you can imagine, we fell asleep pretty quickly.

    That sums up our first HHN. Tomorrow we fly home....already!

  19. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Dec 30, 2004
    excellent report barb:goodvibes

    i may just cut & past it into mine for HHN stuffs:lmao:

    btw, im still offended we didn't get any toiletries either night of our stay:upsidedowleast we got the coffee

    r u sure u won't be returning next year? never know, another quickie HHN trip?;)
  20. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

    Jan 1, 2001
    Sounds like you guys had a great time. The three of you look like sisters!!!
  21. patster734

    patster734 DIS Veteran

    Apr 4, 2004
    Sorry, I'm late to the party!

    Excellent trip report as always.

    We were there that same weekend. Sorry that we didn't get to meet up, or did we? On Sunday, our check-out day, we did MIB and the opposite car spanked us good. After reading your trip report, I suspect that the opposite car may have been you!

    Would have loved to have met up on Saturday, but we had dinner reservations at Emeril's. Afterwards, we did some shopping before heading back to our room. We went to bed early Saturday night so that we could get up early Sunday to pack, checkout and take advantage of the extra morning hour for WWOHP.

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