"Enjoy these moments; they are precious"-Lesley's EPIC May TR!-COMPLETED-10/2-Last stops at Flower & Garden and Wrap Up

disneyAndi14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
What a fun evening at USO!

I love the Spider-Man ride and FJ is my all time favorite mostly because I Love HP!!

I wish the OI meet-up coincided with one of my trips!
 

2xcited2sleep

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
You are definitely convincing me I need to spend more time at Universal, and specifically the Harry Potter areas, and need to pay attention to OI events. It all sounds so cool. I’m a ride chicken. Is there any comparison of the Harry Potter rides to Disney rides? Looks like a super fun night for you all!
 

pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
And make sure to check out the Index of Epicness (TRs) in the second post - I've added a couple more!
Thanks! :)

After dropping our things off in the room (and for me, changing into shorts – so happy to be in the warmth, as LA has actually been having a chillier winter/spring),
Love that changing into shorts. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...

It’s nice going thru security right there as there was no line!
::yes:: I thought that was a great perk.

Oh, and this event, if you aren’t familiar with it. Orlando Informer is pretty popular website, providing lots of information on the various parks and things to do in Orlando. A couple times a year they rent out the Universal Parks and host after hours events (some of the first ones were just the Harry Potter lands, but the last several have been the complete parks). The events give you free reign of the parks and very low lines, which is awesome! And, something better than Disneyworld’s After Hours events – you get free food! It does cost money, but pretty much the same as a 1-day park-to-park ticket for Universal.
Thanks for the info. :)

One of the things they do at the OI Meetup is allow solo adults to ride Pteranodon Flyers!
No. Way!!!!!!

Unfortunately there was a limited number of slots (it’s a very low capacity ride) and despite not handing out the return times until 4:30, they ran out by 5pm.
Poop! I really wanted to ride that... was so bummed when we were told we couldn't.

We headed right to Diagon Alley (one of my favorite parts of the theme park)
Amazing detail.

Honestly, eating in there just made me so excited to think about what we will have in store at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, as I know the Imagineers used this immersion as a baseline for Batuu.
Oh, really! Didn't know that.

So, time for Dismeet #2 (I’m not counting Steve!),
:laughing: Poor Steve!

Kari and I headed to ride Gringotts with the Express Pass from our hotel stay! Love that ride – yes, many portions are screen based, but it still is so well executed and includes set pieces and other effects so it doesn’t really feel that way!
::yes::

We finished up and met up with Su-Lynn and Steve, where we tried to decide what to do next. But first, photo proof!

Yep. That's you guys all right.

Then, onto the Hogwarts Express! Only OI meetup people were allowed on the train, so lots of people not doing the event were very confused and annoyed!
And how much did you love that?

Steve didn’t quite understand that you are supposed to continue going thru the wall!
I totally missed this! I looked and never saw it. I was bummed.

Cool shot!

Steve and I decided to go on a Forbidden Journey; that was too intense for the wimps in our group
:laughing:

The TMs all chuckled when they saw us sitting there bare footed
TM! So that's what they're called.

By the time we were finished, it was free food and drink time! Which includes free Butterbeer!
Free Butterbeer???????? :faint:

I think we ended up wandering around Hogsmeade a bit, including a stop at Honeydukes for Kari to get some Fizzing Wizzbees.
:laughing: That just sounds so funny to read.

We rode Flight of the Hippogriff. A cute coaster, but not worth the typical waits
Correct.

Starting in Jurassic Park (which I think is being converted into Jurassic World).
Oh? Huh.

(Also, this was the first time Steve realized it actually was a water ride…don’t know what he thought it was beforehand?)
I'm gonna say... a non-water ride.

We skipped the line for the Rapter encounter because it looked longer (also, I get nightmares from the movies – no way I’m meeting a physical Raptor)
:laughing:


Awwww... :hug:

At one point in the land, there was a Team Member who set a trap for any guests not paying attention! As one guy started to walk into the loop, she started screaming “watch out” and made him jump! It was actually hilarious!
:lmao:

Su-Lynn and I competed in a wack-a-mole, which she totally won! Then Steve and Kari caught up to us and all 3 of them played while I videoed. Su-Lynn won again! She needs to play more when you can actually win prizes!
She could clean up!

(make sure you watch until the end for Kari's reaction!)
I did! :lmao: She don't wack moles.

Su-Lynn, Steve and I rode Spiderman, which really is an excellent ride (it can result in some motion sickness though, so you have to be careful riding it). It truly incorporates the screens in the ride and makes it feel like you are defying gravity!
::yes::

Lesley: “I saw your.. um, today, um… your Miles”
Spiderman: “Um… My what?”
Lesley: “Oh, nevermind. I suck at this”
Spiderman: “No, no. we are going to figure this out. What were you trying to say?”
Lesley: “Um, … Spiderverse”
Spiderman: “Oh! You got introduced to my pal, Miles Morales!”
Lesley: “YES! That’s what I meant”
Spiderman: “He’s a great guy, and you must also have seen my other friends”
Lesley: “Yes, also Gwen”
Spiderman: “She’s great… ok, what about a photo” (and I can only imagine – let me get rid of this weirdo!
:rotfl: Very smooth!
 
  • Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    You are definitely convincing me I need to spend more time at Universal, and specifically the Harry Potter areas, and need to pay attention to OI events. It all sounds so cool. I’m a ride chicken. Is there any comparison of the Harry Potter rides to Disney rides? Looks like a super fun night for you all!
    The Harry Potter areas are pretty gorgeous! And so detailed! Some of the other areas have fun rides too; a considerable amount do have screens as a big part, some pull it off better than others! They also have much more intense coasters!

    For the HP rides, I really can’t think of anything that it compares to. So Forbidden Journey you are strapped into a vehicle that is a row of 4 people; it is a full seat with back and sides, but your feet dangle. The vehicle is controlled by an arm on the back, so you really don’t know what’s going to happen next! It has a combination of screens and physical sets/props and they are really well incorporated (the screens are for each individual vehicle so are smaller, but does fully envelope you). It can be a rough ride at times (you do go fully upside down and move a lot), but this time around I didn’t feel it as bad as in the past so they may have reduced the intensity-Steve thought the same way. Also the queue for that is truly amazing and goes thru the whole castle with special effects.

    For Gringotts, it is more of a vehicle set up like Dinosaur or Indiana Jones, except it is on large coaster tracks and you travel in a “train” of 2 vehicles. The lap restraints are also pretty tight-but that’s often with Universal rides. It uses more large room size screens but they are really well incorporated with set pieces and special effects so you feel like you are there. The vehicles also rotate 90 degrees occasionally, so that is a fun effect! And the queue for that is also spectacular!

    So basically, for Universal be prepared for rides with more intensity! They should also be starting work on the third main park there soon, and that one looks cool too!
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    How did you know that it wasn't Miles Morales? He IS Spiderman too.

    Sounds like a great night but reading about all the Harry Potter Stuff, makes me realize what the non-star wars fans must feel like. meh.
     

    DznyPrnces

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2013
    For the HP rides, I really can’t think of anything that it compares to. So Forbidden Journey you are strapped into a vehicle that is a row of 4 people; it is a full seat with back and sides, but your feet dangle. The vehicle is controlled by an arm on the back, so you really don’t know what’s going to happen next! It has a combination of screens and physical sets/props and they are really well incorporated (the screens are for each individual vehicle so are smaller, but does fully envelope you). It can be a rough ride at times (you do go fully upside down and move a lot), but this time around I didn’t feel it as bad as in the past so they may have reduced the intensity-Steve thought the same way. Also the queue for that is truly amazing and goes thru the whole castle with special effects.
    Lurker with a question :) Have you also been to Universal Hollywood? Is Forbidden Journey the exact same ride in both parks? I assume yes, but wanted to try and confirm. My sister and I are taking our kids next weekend. Until I read this, I had no idea it went upside down. The oldest 2 are 9 and 10, and neither are very adventurous (hate space mountain, breaks my heart lol). I’m guessing they won’t like forbidden journey, and the Harry Potter area is the whole reason we are going to universal.
     
  • Jenny Sanders

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2007
    Oh, and I LOVED this shirt!
    This made me LOL!!!!!

    Lesley: “I saw your.. um, today, um… your Miles”
    Spiderman: “Um… My what?”
    Lesley: “Oh, nevermind. I suck at this”
    Spiderman: “No, no. we are going to figure this out. What were you trying to say?”
    Lesley: “Um, … Spiderverse”
    Spiderman: “Oh! You got introduced to my pal, Miles Morales!”
    Lesley: “YES! That’s what I meant”
    Spiderman: “He’s a great guy, and you must also have seen my other friends”
    Lesley: “Yes, also Gwen”
    Spiderman: “She’s great… ok, what about a photo” (and I can only imagine – let me get rid of this weirdo!
    Hee! Hee!
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Lurker with a question :) Have you also been to Universal Hollywood? Is Forbidden Journey the exact same ride in both parks? I assume yes, but wanted to try and confirm. My sister and I are taking our kids next weekend. Until I read this, I had no idea it went upside down. The oldest 2 are 9 and 10, and neither are very adventurous (hate space mountain, breaks my heart lol). I’m guessing they won’t like forbidden journey, and the Harry Potter area is the whole reason we are going to universal.
    I've done both parks and the rides are, if not identical, then very similar. I've only ridden them both a few times, but I don't recall any differences. There probably are some, but... not that I could recall. While you are tilted quite a bit, the rides do not go upside down, though.

    Lesley, back me up here? You've probably been many times to both?
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Lurker with a question :) Have you also been to Universal Hollywood? Is Forbidden Journey the exact same ride in both parks? I assume yes, but wanted to try and confirm. My sister and I are taking our kids next weekend. Until I read this, I had no idea it went upside down. The oldest 2 are 9 and 10, and neither are very adventurous (hate space mountain, breaks my heart lol). I’m guessing they won’t like forbidden journey, and the Harry Potter area is the whole reason we are going to universal.
    I've done both parks and the rides are, if not identical, then very similar. I've only ridden them both a few times, but I don't recall any differences. There probably are some, but... not that I could recall. While you are tilted quite a bit, the rides do not go upside down, though.

    Lesley, back me up here? You've probably been many times to both?
    I have been to both and the rides are pretty much identical. At one time I think Hollywood was in 3D with glasses, but a lot of people complained about getting sick, so it’s back to 2D.

    It’s not like a roller coaster upside down-like you don’t do a full circle. It does flip you backward though, so it does feel like you are going upside down (and you have shoulder restraints on). For your situation I honestly don’t know if they should go on it. I don’t ride Space Mountain at WDW because it’s too rough, but I will ride FJ, because while it’s intense, I’m not in pain after/during the ride! At the very least go thru the queue though!
     
  • Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    It's not seeming to want to insert any quotes right now... glitch? Not sure but suffice to say, your OI Day looked and sounded amazing! I"ve been wanting to go to Uni for a long, long time and I think I may pull the trigger in Sept after my kids leave. The whole Spiderman thing was hiliarous! I'm so awkward with Character Meets too. Probably why I don't do them much, if at all.

    Anyway, loved reading about your day there!
     

    DznyPrnces

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2013
    I have been to both and the rides are pretty much identical. At one time I think Hollywood was in 3D with glasses, but a lot of people complained about getting sick, so it’s back to 2D.

    It’s not like a roller coaster upside down-like you don’t do a full circle. It does flip you backward though, so it does feel like you are going upside down (and you have shoulder restraints on). For your situation I honestly don’t know if they should go on it. I don’t ride Space Mountain at WDW because it’s too rough, but I will ride FJ, because while it’s intense, I’m not in pain after/during the ride! At the very least go thru the queue though!
    Thank you. My nephew is going to skip it. I’m going to talk to my daughter and maybe show her a ride through on YouTube. We will all go through the queue, and then my sister will exit with the kids so my brother in law and I can ride. For the record, I don’t ride space at WDW either, and last time we went my kids were too young. I think what she doesn’t like is the dark, because she likes thunder and Matterhorn. I have a feeling she’s going to skip it too. :/
     

    DznyPrnces

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2013
    I've done both parks and the rides are, if not identical, then very similar. I've only ridden them both a few times, but I don't recall any differences. There probably are some, but... not that I could recall. While you are tilted quite a bit, the rides do not go upside down, though.

    Lesley, back me up here? You've probably been many times to both?
    Thank you, this is helpful.
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Thank you. My nephew is going to skip it. I’m going to talk to my daughter and maybe show her a ride through on YouTube. We will all go through the queue, and then my sister will exit with the kids so my brother in law and I can ride. For the record, I don’t ride space at WDW either, and last time we went my kids were too young. I think what she doesn’t like is the dark, because she likes thunder and Matterhorn. I have a feeling she’s going to skip it too. :/
    It is certainly very dark! And some things do pop out of the darkness! Ride videos will probably help!
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    What a fun evening at USO!

    I love the Spider-Man ride and FJ is my all time favorite mostly because I Love HP!!

    I wish the OI meet-up coincided with one of my trips!
    I just saw a twitter notification that it's the 20th anniversary of the Spiderman ride! I think the guy who designed that also worked on SWGE!

    I was so excited when it worked out I could go to one! If you ever get the chance, I would 100% take it!
    You are definitely convincing me I need to spend more time at Universal, and specifically the Harry Potter areas, and need to pay attention to OI events. It all sounds so cool. I’m a ride chicken. Is there any comparison of the Harry Potter rides to Disney rides? Looks like a super fun night for you all!
    Oh and I already responded, but just realized who you were! I thought just another online disser, not someone I've met too!
    Love that changing into shorts. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...
    Oh, it's sooo nice! I did have to put pants on for the conference, but besides that those pants stayed in the suitcase for the rest of the time!
    No. Way!!!!!!

    Poop! I really wanted to ride that... was so bummed when we were told we couldn't.
    I know! My sister and I tried to see if we could borrow a small child to ride! Funny thing though - I was recounting that to Su-Lynn/Kari and a family in front of us turned around and said - here, you can take mine! Hahaha! Too bad it was only open for reservations then!
    Oh, really! Didn't know that.
    I think after Disney saw Harry Potter get built and realize they have a true competitor in Universal, they realized they need to shape up! Hence Pandora and SWGE. The guy who originally designed The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Scott Trowbridge) ended up moving to Disney a little over a decade ago (after planning for HP was done), and he is the head guy for SWGE.
    :laughing: Poor Steve!
    Hey, Steve is lucky he was even allowed on the trip, amirite @chunkymonkey
    :confused3 what are fizzing wizzbees?
    It's like chocolate with pop rocks inside, so they make a popping sensation in your mouth! Also a bit fruity tasting. I think they are my favorite of the HP candies, though I didn't get any this time because I attempted to go bagless in Universal that evening.
    How did you know that it wasn't Miles Morales? He IS Spiderman too.

    Sounds like a great night but reading about all the Harry Potter Stuff, makes me realize what the non-star wars fans must feel like. meh.
    Oh, you guys aren't HP fans? I don't know if we can be friends anymore!
    Your pic with the Minion is soooo cute!
    Yeah he was just wandering around the lobby. We saw another minion too and then Gru walked by as we headed to the boat dock. Sort of fun with random characters in the lobbies! Though they don't exactly fit the theme...
    It's not seeming to want to insert any quotes right now... glitch? Not sure but suffice to say, your OI Day looked and sounded amazing! I"ve been wanting to go to Uni for a long, long time and I think I may pull the trigger in Sept after my kids leave. The whole Spiderman thing was hiliarous! I'm so awkward with Character Meets too. Probably why I don't do them much, if at all.

    Anyway, loved reading about your day there!
    Yeah, I think it could be very fun to give it a visit. When Lauren and I went in September we basically walked onto everything (we were given a complimentary express pass, but really didn't need it). You have to check the park hours though because Halloween Horror Nights shuts down the Studios early many nights.
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Day 1 - Seuss, Toads, and Ice Cream

    Ok, at that point we were near the Incredible Hulk Coaster. I rode it once on my first visit, and that was enough for me. Kari also was sitting it out. So, Steve and Su-Lynn rode, and Kari and I headed over to Seuss Landing. Also, Alyssa (@...) had gotten in touch with me, and we tried to meet up, but probably walked right by each other without noticing!



    We ended up riding Cat in the Hat, which I had never gone on before. A nice, cute ride. Definitely some maintenance and wear and tear issues, but good for kids or adults looking for a simple ride in the A/C!




    Since we were there, Kari and I went on Red Fish, Blue Fish. I figured it was a simple spinner ride like Dumbo. Well, turns out it also involves water, which Kari didn’t mention until we were boarding (and I noticed the seat of the ride being wet)! She explained there is a song and you are supposed to follow the instructions to keep from getting wet (the vehicles alternate red/blue, so the water is supposed to be timed accordingly).



    So, we start going, and the ride song goes “red fish, go up high, blue fish, stay low”, so I go up high (we were red), all good. Then “red fish go low, blue fish, go high”, so I make us go low. And we proceed to get soaking wet! Then Kari goes – Oh right, you are supposed to do the opposite of the song! Thanks Kari!



    (We did end up realizing the top fountains weren’t working, so after the first sprays of water, I made us go up high for the rest of it to keep safe!)

    We ended up heading back up to Hogsmeade, where Kari and I were able to catch the Toad Choir (always awesome)



    And then catch one of the nighttime projection shows, which I had never seen. It was fine, nothing super amazing though, once you consider the ones on Cinderella’s castle or the Tree of Life! The upcoming Dark Arts one does look cool with the drones though!

     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Kari and I decided to go back to the Studios, realizing we spent most of the night in Islands. We could have taken Hogwarts Express, but it posted a 20 minute wait, so we were wary about that. They had a backstage walk through opened up between the two parks (connecting Seuss Landing with the New York area), so we walked down to that. In reality, we probably should have taken the train, as we had to walk to the pass through and then walk all the way through it, which was much longer than I expected (plus hard to do when our feet were already exhausted). But we did get to see the Hogwarts Express go by on its above-ground tracks, which was cool!

    In New York, the OI event had a Speakeasy, which you needed a password to gain access to. The first step of the password was getting clues from some newsboys on the streets of New York. They gave us a newspaper, but no matter what, neither Kari or I could figure out the next step of the clue. Maybe you need to be more aware of Universal Studios things? Oh well, we did end up walking by the entrance to the speakeasy later, and there was a long line, so we weren’t too upset.



    Kari decided to take a rest on a bench while I took a ride with the Mummy. This was another first time ride for me, as Lauren and I skipped it on my previous visit. I thought I would know what to expect, as I have ridden The Mummy ride in Universal Hollywood, but this one is different, so it was cool! I loved the ceiling made of fire though!



    Kari and I split up briefly at that point – she headed to Diagon Alley, while I was hungry again. I stopped in the Italian place, where I sort of went overboard and got pasta, pizza, and dessert. It was decent, as expected for QS Italian food, and helped me carbo-load (to be fair - I only a had a couple bites of each thing, I more was craving pasta, then saw the cannolis, and the pizza looked relatively good on the serving line; if I had more hands I probably would have gotten the spaghetti and meatballs too)!



    Su-Lynn ended up finding me there (we had a group text going), and I also got to have Dismeet #3 with Alyssa! It was brief, but still fun (we had spent a couple hours at Disneyland together last year).



    Su-Lynn and Steve ran off to go on another ride (a bunch of them shut down at midnight, even though the event itself went to 1:30). I knew the food also stopped at midnight, and wasn’t sure if my next stop was going to be included in that, so I headed back to Diagon Alley.






    The event included free Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream, which is DELICIOUS! So I needed to try a couple of those! Kari ended up finding me in line, so we went in together (the line was on the longer side, but it moved quickly because no payment was needed).



    They have both soft serve and scooped ice cream. I ended up getting 3 of the soft serves (that wasn’t actually my intention as I thought the butterbeer was a scooped flavor). The soft serves are basically vanilla swirled with a different flavor. I got chocolate, strawberry, and butterbeer. And asked for small servings, with this hilarious result.



    They even asked at the end if I wanted another one and I was like – um, I can’t carry another one! I got some laughs juggling everything out of there and thanks to Kari for the photo!

    My favorite ended up being Strawberry! Good to know for the future!

    Kari and I ended up finding a bench and eating our ice cream (I think she got butterbeer?)

    Some more Diagon Alley explorations


    For the first time I noticed fireworks in the "skylight" above Weasley's Wizard Wheezes!





    At that point, we were both done! We ended up walking out of the park via the Simpsons Land (to see lights), and caught a boat back to the resort, where we briefly cleaned up and then totally crashed to sleep! A fun and exhausting night!



    If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of this event! I would totally do it again if I was in Orlando when one was happening. (The next one is in December.) And totally recommend it to anyone else remotely interested in it! Definitely more people than the WDW after hours events, but it’s 2 whole parks, plus plenty of things besides rides, so the crowds are spread out pretty well.

    Also, I'm starting to warm up more to Universal Orlando in general. I mean, the Harry Potter areas are just superb. And some of the other areas and rides are also very fun. I was supposed to do a day here on my previous early-December trip, but I ended up cutting it for time and money (the 1-day park-to-park tickets are much more expensive than Disney). I will definitely be hitting it this trip, probably the first couple days of January when they still have the Christmas entertainment and decorations.

    Coming up - Dapper Day, Part 2!

    Also, I'm going to put a mini-pause on the EPIC report while I finish up my Day 1 of my December TR. I'm going to alternate back and forth since I really need to get that one done!
     

    PlutosRHM55

    Pluto's Prince (Haters back off!)
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2010
    That definitely looks like quite the fun event. You really got a lot done and got to do some cool things. I can't believe you managed to eat all that ice cream and do it in a manner without too much mess. That takes skill. Lol @ your Red Fish Blue Fish ride story. I've luckily figured out that ride from afar so I've avoided it like I do all Universal water attractions, but one day I shall do it lol Again, what a fun night!
     

    Newsies

    Headlines don't sell papes.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2013
    Hi, Lesley! Sorry I'm late, but I'm here! :cheer2:

    I've flown exclusively on American for the very few times I've had to fly in the past three years, the BYO-entertainment device thing has annoyed me every time! Like you said, I like to mess around on my phone while I'm watching a movie, so I feel your struggle!

    OK, the Bev Ledge is seriously the coolest!!!

    Your RPR room looks gorgeous!

    I am SCREAMING at the "Aunt Becky Got Me into Hogwarts" shirt!! :rotfl:

    Wow, wow, WOW at the OI event! It looks like you guys got a LOT of bang for your buck with the food, rides, and fun! The "trap" that TM set for guests was hysterical :rotfl: US/IOA are both massive, I'm in complete awe of how much you were able to accomplish this night! So many meet-ups, so much fun... I loved reading about it! This is a great report already, can't wait for more! popcorn::
     


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