Four Go Wild In Florida (Mar 2001) 5 - An unusually quiet day

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by UK Valerie, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. UK Valerie

    UK Valerie TRUST NO-ONE

    Feb 28, 2002
    Oh flip! I've used the wife's sign -in thingy again ( oh hum )

    Four Go Wild In Florida

    Previous drivel

    The Plan and The Flight
    We get off the plane
    Discovery Cove
    "Walk this w..a...yyy!"

    Day 4 - An unusually normal day.

    None of the pretentious disclaimers etc today, just a straightforward account of an ordinary day.

    PLAN - Ponderosa for breakfast then Universal all day. Chill out at Wet N Wild in the afternoon before returning to US for any evening entertainment.
    MISSED FROM PLAN TO DATE - E Night(MK), Pleasure Island , Blizzard Beach, Downtown Disney & Fantasmic.

    An early point for ‘I stay on site, so am smug’ vote - if we had hopper passes we might not be able to get back to catch up on these events. I would be devastated if my one and only chance to see Fantasmic had been washed away before me eyes last night.

    As this was an off site day, we took advantage of the later start to let the kids catch up their sleep. The alarm was set for a very reasonable 7am Mickey Call but I was up at me, now, customary 5am raring to go. When I had a shave, Uncle Fester was staring back at me! Maybe I wasn’t as ‘up for it’ as I thought? I did me usual pottering around and sat and caught up some notes for a little trip report I had in mind while the family slept. We ate our Frosties and were in the car for 8ish. It was drizzly, and we headed for Goodings at Crossroads for some essentials - heel pads for me coz I could hardly walk and other less important stuff.

    We were at Ponderosa for Julie’s next assault on the obstacle course that was her breakfast and a good time was had by all. Breakfast at Ponderosa is ,IMHO, excellent value at only $3.95 per person plus drinks and tip. A good breakfast will set you up for the day and allow a snack lunch while captive in the parks - double benefit as it’s not only cheaper but gives you more time for the rides.The main fried stuff may be too greasy for many - our two love it! but there’s so much else to choose from - fruit, cereals (me & J love the multi coloured sweet cheerio thingys) , porridge, baked apples, cakes etc (etc means I can’t remember it all!) About seven cups of coffee later, we’re off to Universal and arrive at the gates about 10am ,having got into the garage and parked without any delays (which is a first).
    The line for Hannah Barbera (J’s favourite) was posted at 20 minutes so I left Valerie and the kids in the line while I went to sort out Express Passes. Terminator 3D (V’s favourite) was the priority with ET next and MIB as that was new to us. Not having done EPs before, I was impressed at the idea of being able to plan three rides at once but not at the length of time the CMs took at each booth to process me tickets - WDW is much easier, where you just go and put your card through yourself. I did like, however the choice of two times to aid planning your route around the park. I did wonder if they were just giving me the start/finish time ‘a la’ Disney but was able to ‘book’ afternoon MIB and ET rides to fit in with our plans.
    By the time I got back from me EP excursion, the family of doom were already on HB, so I missed that one. Our EP for T3D was for 10.50 to 11.50, so we killed the few minutes we had to wait by catching some video footage of the streets of Rodeo Drive and Hollywood Boulevard. I particularly enjoy the theming of the streets and mood of the soundtracks all over US and ,have to say, it beats MGM for overall mood wherever you are in the park. Just after 10.50 we headed through the EP gate for T3D dragging our Julie as we went. You’ll know by now J has a deep seated fear of the unknown and we shielded her from this in 99 due to the nature of the show (noise wise). 2 years on, we figured she would be ok and it would be one of those ‘once she’s been in she’ll love it’ shows. Besides, I didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of sitting outside with her and baby-swapping as I knew that would entail an hour lost. She’d be fine. She didn’t look fine as she cowered and sobbed her way through the line. She did enjoy the preshow with the ‘Barbie-doll’ presenter and settled into her seat to ‘enjoy’ the show - not! She hated it. It was much louder and sinister than we’d remembered. Great for us , not for Julie - BAD DAD- this is going to cost you !
    So we skipped away from the disaster that was T3D and I wondered if me little princess would ever talk to me again.
    We strolled through Sunset Boulevard and along the lakeside so I could video the waterfront sets - I know, I’m sad but have a lifetime of regret in front of me since me only daughter’s not talking to me and I’ll probably not be invited to the wedding for tea and cakes,now. “Would you like a whole bottle of expensive American pop to yourself, my Pet?” Oh, yes money talks! As I finished me tour round Doc’s Locomotive, I played me trump card to win back the affections of me angel. She can’t scowl when being tickled. You don’t have to tickle our J, just feign to do so. So with ‘Tickly Giggly’ back on my side we headed back over to ET to use our EP. While we could have joined the front of the line sooner, we took our time through the forest as I think this is one ride where the pre-show queuing meander is really atmospheric. Allocated our bicycle, we set off in the vain hope of helping ET get home against all the odds and against the nice policemen with guns. To our utter amazement, we made it, again, as we had last time we were here. The next amazed expression was the CM at the end of the ride ; “Don’t use that VC on this ride ,Sir.” Bit late, Pet. It’s on me telly at home from now on. This was to be a recurring theme away from Disney as many rides/shows were not allowed video taping. Next, we headed to MIB and stowed our gear in the lockers provided - nice system that. We loved the theming in MIB and particularly those little stick-insect aliens on their coffee break. On the ride, we didn’t have a clue and spent the whole ride spinning towards oblivion as we blasted women and children with gay abandon - the baddies were never safer. We all loved this ride and vowed to pay attention next time in the vain hope of someone being the first in our family to score a point!
    When we came out of MIB, it was raining for a change and we were so pleased we chose to come this week for our holiday of a lifetime. We sheltered at Animal Crackers and had hot dogs and fries x3 and I tried a Smoked Hoagie with fries (It’ll have been about $20 without drinks) We planned to go from ACs to Animal planet live at 2pm but , in view of the rain, so did everyone else and the queue was horrendous. We decided to brave the elements and push on. Me and V had our flimsy raincovers from 99 - coz I throw nowt away - and these served to keep the worst of the rain from us - the kids would rather throw themselves in the lake than wear one. I continued filming through Amity Avenue and into Embarcadero and left me happy band of rainwarriors sheltering as I braved the lashing rainfall to get EPs for Kong and Earthquake. The queues for EPs were almost worse now than the rides themselves and it took a while but was to be worth it. Once issued, the EPs were for only minutes later and we were soon in the warm shelter of Earthquake’s pre-show assembly area. After a short pre-amble and selection of victims, we followed the lovely casting lady to our doom in the subway.
    Now, I did wonder if I was going to get blamed for dragging Julie onto this one, but as we’d described it as ‘like Catastrophe Canyon’ she was well up for it. I’d forgotten how loud and dark this was and worried for me daughter’s sanity.
    Loved it!
    Laughed her head off all the way through - so that’s coz it wasn’t my idea then? Oh, and got some nice (but dark) footage in the subway - so that was nice.
    Straight from EQ to Kong we raced round the EP walkway as all the rain shelterers looked at us in that ‘ wish I’d thought of that’ way. Now I wasn’t that bothered about this last time but it was, again, a Valerie favourite. As she doesn’t ‘do’ rides ,V particularly enjoys the rides at US which are more mini shows and Kong is one of the best examples of this. Now, I remember Mike saying in his report that his second Kong ride by far exceeded the first due to the difference in the CMs reactions and this was to be just the same for me. In 99, the ‘driver’ didn’t convey any real atmosphere to me but this time our chappy convinced us this was for real - WE WERE GOING TO DIE ! He was brilliant and really made the journey seem so lifelike (and when you think how corny the storyline is, that’s no mean feat). I got a great video of the ride and you can still ‘feel’ the terror in his voice. Thank YOU Sir, whoever you are. You are a testament to how to enjoy your job and make a difference to others along the way.
    Out of Kong and it was hoying it down in epic proportions. I finished me video of the streets by ‘sailing’ right round 54th Street and Park Avenue and we decided to try Alfred Hitchcock - The Art of Making Movies Show. I went to get us EPs for Alfred Hitchcock and Hannah-Barbera. Gary doesn’t really like simulators so only me and J were to ride HB twice each. I despatched Gary with V to get EPs for Twister and T3D and me and ‘the one who gets her own way’ went on one of me favourite rides. No-one told me to put the VC away during the preshow and I left it by me side until the last second on the ride. I’ve now got a great momento of one of the best rides in the park - it takes me straight back to me youth.
    When we came out of HB, V&G told us they couldn’t get EPs for T3D or Twister as they were now closed. The line for the next show of Alfred Hitchcock was only 10 minutes so we decided to go then rather than wait for our EPs as this was for the next show after this one. As it is a 40 minute show, we knew this would get us out just after our HB EP expired. As the weather was getting worse - don’t know how but it was trying it’s best - we decided to head home after AH/HB as the lines for all attractions were getting worse and it was bloomin cold. The CM in AH asked me to put me VC away so no director’s cut there. Particularly enjoyed the theatre pieces. If you remember Hitch from our youth - you don’t have to have been a fan back then,coz it was adult stuff and we were only young - do this ; you’ll not be disappointed. It is a very good show and tour. The end sets are good and show how special effects are made - only the layout left us disappointed as you couldn’t get to see all the CM was talking about.
    Out of AH three minutes after our HB EP expired we were going to give up (no more EPs there either) when I thought I’d just try. I explained (well,lied) to the CM that we’d been in Hitch and it ran longer than we expected and we missed our HBs. No problem , come right in. He must have been trained at Disney! So me and J rode HB again and it was even better with both hands to hang on with!

    We got back to the car at 4.50 and hadn’t done Twister, Jaws, Back to The Future and Animal Planet live or The Wild West Show ,never mind seen the Blues Brothers or met Barney. How we were supposed to have fitted Wet N Wild in is part of the Tardis that is my life plan, to be fair. If it hadn’t rained we’d have got round faster coz I did let V G & J shelter more than once and we wouldn’t have had lunch in ACs. Plus we’d have been coming back after WnW to finish off.

    Out of the ‘garage the road planners forgot’, I’ve never yet come out the lane that lets you go left straight onto International Boulevard, and have got lost every time I can think of. This time, I had a plan - just keep turning right until I get me bearings. Two rights and I’m on the slip road for 14 West - so at least I’m heading in the right direction. Visibility is not an option, and we drive by Braille. There is a long tail back on the 14 due to an accident off the WDW slipway several miles ahead. It was 5.40 and we decided to head straight for Crossroads and try Jungle Jim’s as we’d been impressed so much by Mike’s report of the place (well just impressed overall, in truth, Mike). At least we were in the car so long we dried off - which was nice. It seemed to ease off as we approached Crossroads and we eased into the car park just opposite JJs. As soon as I stopped the engine it started again. Hoying no longer does the quantity justice this was bucketful’s just aimed at us. Just getting the 15 yards from the car to JJs left us like the proverbial rodents who couldn’t swim and went under the waves so many times they stopped breathing. We were a tad damp! Too wet and cold to care any more we strode into JJs and dripped all over the place until they hurried us into a corner that needed the floor washing anyway.
    Our server brought us the menu and we ordered Mountain Dew for the kids and coffees for me and V. I was clamming for a beer but with the weather as it was didn’t dare go to beer even though we were so close to ASMu. Pondering the menu, V chose chicken strips as she’d heard them recommended on the board and G went for Ole Standard (Burger and fries coz there was nothing else he fancied). J picked bacon and cheese supreme coz she’s into extras on her burgers and likes the way the Americans do their bacon crispy. I knew what I was having coz I remembered Mike’s account of babyback ribs. Now, I don’t eat ribs at home (other than as appetisers at the chinese we go to) and was surprised to see the baby backs came in half portions. When the lovely server came back to get our order and I told her what I’d just told you she said “ A whole portion? Way to go!” Bemused as to why anyone would want to order a children’s portion in a restaurant, I just put it down to a difference in culture. She asked whether I wanted a green salad or Caesar’s with that? Not being a great lettuce lover, I asked for the Caesar’s. Now I loved Roman history at school and we’ve got one of their walls up where I come from, but I’d never heard of their salad so looked forward to trying a bit. The pretty server brought me this bowl of salad and it was enormous. It was a meal in itself and I’m now a firm Caesar Salad fan! I gave half to V coz I knew it would seriously harm me chances of finishing me main course - and that’s when I thought it was going to be a normal portion. When the meals came they were superb. The kids’ burgers were the biggest and best they’ve had and V was well impressed with her chicken strips. My baby backed ribs? She brought me half a butchers freezer! They were hanging over the plate as she put it down in that ‘I’m pretty and I told you so’ way - all kaaki shorts and overflowing babybacked ribs! No wonder they do a half portion. It wasn’t for kids it was for a family of four! Why would anyone want a whole salad for starters then this? Mike, I thank you! My stomach thanks you and my tailor who now has an order for new trousers all round thanks you!
    I loved them. A bit greasy, but hey, this is America. I gave the kids a rib each, V had two , I looked at the fella at the next table and he said he’d been there before and now just orders shrimp! I got through it but was like a bloated pig.....before I went in , now I just felt fat!
    Desert? you are seriously joking- JJs mustn’t ever serve deserts, their main courses are soooo large. Mega recommendations all round. must do this again - lots.

    Price check - only being used to Ponderosa, we expected JJs to be expensive but didn’t think it was. V G & J’s meals were about $9, which is cheaper than P’osa. if I’d chosen the half portion (fool) it would have only been $9 instead of $16. This puts it right on par with P’osa and was infinitely better cooked and presented - and we love P’osa,remember. The only difference was the all you can eat factor - but you couldn’t ,if you’d been able to at JJs- try it just once. you’ll go back.Promise.

    Back home from JJs we pottered around and had a few beers while the kids swam before bed.

    Ponderosa for breakfast .
    Rained a bit which gave me the chance to use me rain poly bag again.
    Jungle Jim’s to bite off a bit more than I could handle.

    So there you go, comatosed stranger. See I have ordinary days where nothing goes wrong as well.
    What are we doing tomorrow? Can’t remember, let’s have a look.
    Have you moved the plan ,Valerie?
    Valerie! ........I’ve lost the plan!!!

    [​IMG] <font color=red>Dave (SD)</font>
  2. Tartan Tigger

    Tartan Tigger <font color=purple>I fixed my PC MYSELF!!!!!!!!<br

    Oct 30, 2000
    Absolutely brilliant:D :D :D
  3. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="

    Jan 14, 2003
    Thanks for sharing - Wonderful reviews!!!!

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