DayTripping (almost experts at it now)


<br><font color=green>DIS Veteran<br><font color=m
Dec 18, 2000
Saturday March 10 One-Day Jaunt ( gotta make a Meet! )

Rolled into parking garage at 8:45 A.M. and ended up in the usual spot.... Jaws 216. Good thing we like exercise. Also noticed a good 25% of moving sidewalks not operating. Recent posts on Discussion Board pointed this out, but was 1st time we'd seen that many inop. Oh well, can't sweat little things!
Into IOA first & stowed backpack in locker. Looked to be a warm day and just knew we'd be getting wet eventually.
Our first ride, as a rule-of-thumb, is always Spiderman. All the senses are given a good wake-up (well, most anyway), & at a 10 min. wait, it's a bargain! Got an Express tic upon exiting.... 10:30 - 11:30.
Walked on thru Toon Lagoon. Too early for wet rides just yet.
At Jurassic Park DW & DD went on Pteranodon Flyers. 10 min. wait there also. I like to poke around the caves & walkways with all the waterfalls trying to figure what & how I can build something like this in our backyard (Like that's really gonna happen!). It is a beautiful landscape though and always worth a few minutes "exploring". After watching my girls fly by, I meet them over at the exit and down to the trail with the noisy footprints we go. I forget the exact name of this path, but it never fails that DD can stomp on the T-rex footprint at just the precise moment to startle an unwary passer-by. (Wonder where she gets that devious streak?) It's still pretty early & uncrowded, so it makes it easier to pull this off. Once more kids discover this trail, it's non-stop dino sounds though. Moving on....
No wait for JP River Adventure. Didn't really want front row, but what the heck. Were in a go-where-told mood. Don't get that much wetter in front anyhow ('specially when you duck a little).
Still no Ultrasaur around! He's been on vacation some time now. Guess he'll be back tanner and with better attitude soon. Stegosaurs looking happy still. The Hadrosaur looking rough though ( after he bumps your boat ). He's got more than a prop-scar on back of his neck now.... looks like Jack the Ripper got to him. Reckon he'll be on vacation soon!
Now, I am contemplating a lobby soon to see about some blood splatters added around the Raptor area. I fear reprisals, but yet, wasn't that what added to the movie? Anyway, the neatest scene on that whole ride, to me, is the two "miniature raptors" (what the heck are they called?) tug-of-warring with the employees' shirt. (Still don't know if folks are Cast Members or employees or devoted minions or what. Just know they're integral components in my happiness factor) Trivia quiz now.... what is name on the nametag of that shirt being pulled apart? Wasn't Earl. Coaster FEV isn't allowed on a shirt (is it?). Free beer from a Moderator here, if you know!
OK, everything else was working on JP. Will leave rest for those in their future trips.
After wiping faces / top half of shirts somewhat dry, hit "Lost Continent" (my personal fave). Oh, on way out of JP, noticed the flames lit on the giant JP archways. Also lit on Lost Continents' / griffins / big statues. Glad to see someone paid the gas bill finally!
Here's where we split up for our Coaster fixes. DW & DD do the Flying Unicorn a few times while I'm still meandering thru the outside queue for Dragons. They even waved at me from top of Unis' 1st hill before I got inside the castle.( And I was practically running)
Normally I get to do both Fire & Ice. Today my timing was a little off though. They're adding a second train as I'm preparing to board Ice in last row. Front row line had 20 - 25 in line. Wait, wait, wait..... this sure cut into my Fire chances. But like the old saying goes, a single Dragon is better than no Dragon. Can't recall just who said that. Well, Ice was Ice, got my motor running! Still firmly believe you have to be in front row of Ice at least once in life.
Afterward, hustled to meet the girls at the gaming tables. It's just not a visit without DW winning a fuzzy critter to take home. They'd ridden Unicorn 3 times, played at Magic Fountain, & lost a few bucks throwing balls at colored cups. And no prize.... yet. More on that later.
Long story short now: MIB shoot-off at noon & not quite 11 am yet. Wanna see how the Spiderman Express
works before we head to USF (it's great by the way) ; DD is starving now ; DD was assured Popeye or Ripsaw Falls before leaving IOA. Sooooo...... did Spidey; chowed quickly; got wet; realized weren't gonna make it to MIB; got wetter; changed DDs' wet clothes & made way to USF with 11th Commandment in mind...."Thou shalt not miss 3:00 Meet"!

USF was hopping already when we got there. The Mardi Gras excitement was building and it looked to be a mega turn-out for the Parade later. We did a quick walk-in on Alfred Hitchcock just as it started (1st time too). Feel this is a must do from now on, and allow some time to explore props / sets after the show!
Grabbed Express passes to Twister & Jaws and came back to do Twister before heading to the Globe at 3:00.
No matter how many times we see Twister, it still spooks me like no other ride or attraction can do. (Hate to admit it, but Weather Channel is one of my favorite TV shows)
One little adjustment I'd like to see on Twister in the final production.... get rid of the cow! Or make it more real looking anyway.

Now for the Main Event!
We had the most spectacular experience in meeting Molokai Gram, her DH, & Barry at the Globe for web-cam wave! It was a big thrill for us to put faces to the names we'd read posts from and conversed with over the last few months. It's always nice to be with friends, and you certainly feel among long-time friends around these folks.
Donna annointed us with seashell leis and macadamia nuts (straight from the tree! ) and chocolate covered coffee beans grown in Molokai, and if that wasn't enough....chocolate covered macadamia nuts! Now, to say we were surprised would be an understatement. There aren't many people in the world that would be so kind & considerate as to bring gifts from so far for folks they've never met before. But in the spirit of Hawaii, no doubt,
Donna and Ohai (DHs' name: I really hope I spelled it right! I know it's pronounced o-hi) gave a regular old day at the park a magical touch that will long be remembered by us!
We did get some waves in amongst all the gabbing & munching too, I swear!
Well, all good things have to come to an end. But we decided to rewrite that dumb saying and meet back up at 6:00 at MIB. Barry had to complete his Resort hopping by checking out of Portofino & into Hard Rock (what a tough life he's leading, huh?). Donna and Ohai (if that spelling is wrong, I'll eat my hat... in Molokai!) were off to battle jet lag some more.
Since Donna had won the MIB shoot-off, we should've gone straight there to practice. What we came up with though was me taking our backpack of wet clothes and armfuls of Hawaiian goodies back to the car. I was in a good mood from the meets and that backpack was going to be a bear that night. I wanted a little time alone with the macadamia nuts anyway! DW & DD headed for Jaws w/ their Express tics and off to next -to-the-last-row-of-parking I went. ( Made sure I got a new parking spot was nice to be Employee of Month that evening!)
Met DW & DD at Amity games. DW finally wins a prize 2 mins. after I returned. (I'm the official lucky charm I am!) DD chooses a medium Scooby-Doo even though DW won a large. Large just wasn't a Scooby!
Walked over to MIB ( no Expresses avail. this late in day ), wait is 60 mins! Grabbed Express for BTTF and headed to E.T. The wait was 40 mins. so went for Express there too. This was the longest wait time for Express we'd encountered in Express' short history (no, they don't post wait times in mins. for Express...yet), had about 20 people in front of us. While waiting we saw an old friend of my sisters', now working for USF and doing some guest relation stuff right then & there. It really is , for lack of a better term, "a small world after all". Talked with her for awhile and she sent us on our way with a FOTL pass for all rides!
OK, I've figured it out now. It's not me that's the lucky charm. Ever since Donna gave us the seashell leis, great things have been happening! But wait, there's more....
After riding ET & BTTF it was time to DIS meet at MIB ASAP. (say that fast 10 times)

The Hawaiian Alien Exterminating Crew have donned thick outer wear for tonights' festivities! Dipping below 70 degrees by Parade time, Brrrr. Barry has survived his insect-laden lollipop snack & is now sporting key-cards to half the USF hotel rooms. He could take a basketball team for FOTL now, but he chooses us. (It's that seashell lei, I'm convinced!)
I know we have that paper pass, but hey, that HRH / Portofino key card being flashed is so much more classy. Oh, the MIB wait now....90 mins. Our wait, maybe 10-15.
All got in one car and completely dominated over car we competed with. Moral of story: ya can't compete with a car full of Dis'ers w/ alien zapper guns! (more seashell lei karma here)
Donna got the picture of us, and I'd like to think it's posted somewhere my picture can see the Molokai countryside!
On to Jaws now since it's gotten dark. I can't really remember if I've ever ridden it after sundown, but I knew DD hadn't. And to top it off, she rode on the outside seat for the 1st time. It is a huge difference riding at night too. It's that much better! This is another one of those "got to do" items.

Mardi Time!
Parade was starting in N.Y. tonite. We positioned right in front of Twisters' gift shop. Grabbed some drinks at Monster Cafe (monster wait for that too) and just sat on sidewalk & talked. Except for the cool in the air, I'd like to be sitting there right now just like we were that evening. Just talking and waiting for a Parade.
As that night air got even cooler, it became apparent that we had DD a tad underdressed. Donna was going to give up her jacket to her and that's when I decided at that moment....we're definitely going to go live with them in Molokai, forever! Figured I'd wait and surprise her with that news later.
My DW had already shopped the gift shop (Aftermath is the name) for a kids' sweater/shirt but no luck. Takes me all of 38 seconds to weigh options and snag an XL sweatshirt at $26 for an 8 year old. Roll them sleeves up & good to go. Yep, guys don't shop. We get. And usually at a worse price do we get. Ended up getting it for $15 though! (can you say seashell lei?) Didn't question, just paid and went.
Well, the parade was wonderful. We all made good scoreage with beads & a couple coins. Even out-reached a few snotty teens (who came out of nowhere and simply encroached) and took their trinkets away.... HA!
But I really hated to see it end. We would have to leave our dear friends and head back home now. DW working in the morning and final prep had to be done before DDs' 1st Soap Box Derby race on following Sat. After all the good-byes were said, off to the B-52s they went and on to the King Kong parking lot we went. (I was just kidding about parking in the employee lot earlier, don't like being towed 180 miles from home!)
Before leaving the park, noticed some beads hanging from a few trees along the parade route. Some people shaking trees, others throwing things to knock 'em down, some even climbing a little. Some getting more things stuck in the trees.
One particular set of beads hung pretty far up and no one was giving this one a thought. So what the heck, take my ballcap off and wing it 15-20 feet like a frisbee. Right dead on the money!
DD scarfs up the beads and my hat is safely returned. (got your seashell lei yet?)
Made darn sure those leis were hanging on rear-view mirror too!

Hope all can be there soon!
Wonderful report, Jim. So much detail. I felt like I was there with you! LOL :D
BTW Ohai is the correct spelling. Good job.

I have printed up your report to put in our vacation memory book.

Let's hope those leis have enough power to get you all here for a visit. ;) Ohai and I both agreed that it felt more like revisiting family, rather than meeting cyber friends for the first time. How wonderful it was! Hope we get to meet again soon. :)

Must give credit to Camille for her terrific suggestion that we all ride Jaws at night. We have gone on Jaws a number of times and that was the absolutely best time.

And just to let everyone know, we waited longer while Jim got the drinks before the parade than we did for any ride or show at the Parks. Too bad they don't have express lines at the concessions.

Just an FYI, on Twister, the cow isn't supposed to be real, it's a prop used for some dairy company. There's another model outside where the line is (or at least there was a few years ago). ;)
Thanks for the trip report! Mine should be coming up soon. :)


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards

"If you were me, you'd be good looking."

Great report, Jim!!

I can't wait to get there in May! Never did Jaws at night, I've gotta try it now.

Thanks for sharing, I sure wish I were there!


Mother of Michael
Proverbs 3:5-6


<font color=purple>Co-Moderator of the Community and Universal/IOA Boards</font color=purple>

Thanks for the great report. I missed choclate macadamia nut as well as meeting everone? I think I'm going to cry. :( Seriously I'm glad everyone had fun!

Boo, kids and I were supposed to be there with you !! Gosh am I sorry we couldn't make it. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Donna & Barry - how did you all like staying at the HRH ?


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