Hot Butterbeer & Grinchmas Cheer-Dec 2017 Xmas & Birthday TR-Completed-4/25

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by Raeven, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    For those of you who haven't read one of our trip reports before
    :welcome:

    My name is Raeven! :wave2:

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    I'm 25, work as an administrator at a furniture store, and I'm the planner, photographer, and TR writer for our trips. I love vacation food, being a Slytherin, beating Josh at Men In Black, and I feel most in the holiday spirit in a place with palm trees and no snow. This was our second (and coldest) December trip, but it warmed up a bit by the time we went to Universal.

    This is my trip partner and boyfriend of 4.5 years, Josh:

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    He just turned 32 the day after our trip ended. So when we go in December we always celebrate his birthday! He works for the Highway Department, and isn't as involved in the planning but enjoys the destination. He loves Universal, roller coasters, and delicious gluten free food.

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    We're Universal AP's, and this was our 6th trip to Universal. We stayed on site at The Royal Pacific during this portion of the trip (where we stayed back in September too). While we love going to Universal during HHN, the last 2 years we've also been going over the holidays as well. This year we had to reschedule our September trip to December due to Hurricane Irma. We still went in September for a weekend for HHN, but ended up taking our actual vacation time in December. It was disappointing at the time, but it actually ended up working out really well because I really wanted to go back for Christmastime.

    Stay tuned if you want to see:
    • A double dismeet
    • The Macys Parade
    • The holiday castle show at Hogwarts
    • A Shrek filled day
    • More of Royal Pacific
    • Some of the food offerings at the Royal Pacific
    • Our first time in IOA at night
    • Copious amounts of Christmas trees
    • & more!
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    Or if you want these questions answered:
    • Will we finally make it on Poseidon's Fury?
    • Who will be the MIB champ this time?
    • Will we get to meet Shrek & Donkey?
    • Will it ever be hot enough to wear shorts?
    • What's my favorite Butterbeer? (Now that I've finally tried them all)
    • What store in Universal has the funniest name?
    • Will we make it to everything we mentioned in the PTR?
    Finally we started vlogging last year, and we've had a lot of fun vlogging each time we go. In September, I didn't get as much footage as I hoped but we got a lot more this time! Because we've already been back for awhile I do have everything edited and I'll probably post one each week. You can also find the link to previous vlogs is in my signature along with all our previous PTRS, TRs, and DTRs.

    If you're wondering why it took until March to start our Christmas TR, that has to do with the vlogs too. I decided to post them chronologically, so I started with the Disney portion of our trip, and entirely finished that TR and those vlogs before I started this one. (I know some of you will be coming over from that TR and will already know this).

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    The first 6 days of the trip are here:

    "Kurt Russell Read Us the Story of Christmas" Dec 2017 Christmas & Birthday TR

    And the DTR of all the food (both Disney and Universal) is here:

    QS, TS, Holiday Snacks, New Places & Old Favorites


    Table of Contents
    Day 1-#KingoftheFunSpot + Arrival Night Vlog

    Day 2, Part 1-A Shrek Filled Day Aka The Full Shrek Experience
    Day 2, Part 2-Wizarding Christmas, Josh's Fancy Birthday Dinner, & a Dismeet

    Day 3, Part 1-Grinchmas Cheer & Time Travel

    Day 3, Part 2-Macy's Holiday Parade
    Day 3, Part 3-IOA Nights

    Day 4-The Last Day


    Wrap Up Post

    Vlogs
    A Shrek Filled Day & Josh's Birthday Dinner

    Islands of Adventure & Macy's Holiday Parade
    Hogwarts Christmas Show, IOA Nights, & the Last Day
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  2. pepperandchips

    pepperandchips [melinda]

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    What?! Am I really first?! Well here I am and so excited! I'm on my phone and can't get the quote function to work but I absolutely love that last pic you posted above. What a gorgeous and moody view of the park!
     
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  4. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Here!! :cool1:
     
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  5. DLo

    DLo DIS Veteran

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    Hopping over from the Disney part . Going to Universal for the first time in May so looking forward to this part of the report
     
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  6. wdwnut61

    wdwnut61 DIS Veteran

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    WooHoo I'm here can't wait!
     
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  7. buzzrelly

    buzzrelly DIS Veteran

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    I’m here! This just happened to come up in my “new posts” section, and I had a feeling it was yours!

    I love the first picture, where you’re holding the cup!

    Can’t wait to read along :-)
     
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  8. SweetSerenity

    SweetSerenity Thank you evenin' star!

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  9. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    Reading along:bounce:
     
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  10. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    Yes you are! Ugh I hate it, I can't quote anything from my phone. Thank you! I've tried to get this angle a few times because you can see almost the whole park from there. It's over by Men In Black.
    :wave: Yay!

    :wave: Let me know if you have any questions about Universal that I don't answer in the TR or DTR. We didn't spend a ton of time in the parks (not to make things sound boring, we still did a lot in the parks but we did spend some time resting and went off property one night) or eat a huge variety of places this time, but we have on other trips.

    Thanks for following along!

    :goodvibes Thank you! And thanks for reading!

    :thumbsup2

    :banana:
     
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  11. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    And I have made it :scared: I know some of the details but look forward to hearing the rest and seeing pictures!
     
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  12. crabbymom

    crabbymom Slythermom to 2 'claws and a Princess

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    Yay!! Love your trip reports! Can't wait to read this one!:banana:
     
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  13. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I'm here too! :wave2:
     
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  14. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Woot!

    Another trip report to read
     
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  15. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    OMG! I almost missed this
     
  16. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    OMG! I almost missed this!
     
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  17. Stargazer9

    Stargazer9 Loves Universal and Disney

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    Looking forward to reading!
     
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  18. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for following along! :wave:
    Aw thank you!

    Hi :wave:



    :thumbsup2

    You're just in time :thumbsup2

    Thanks for following! :wave:
     
  19. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    Day 1-#KingoftheFunSpot

    Since some of you might not have read the Disney portion of the TR, I'll go back in time a bit and rehash the night we arrived at RPR.


    After leaving Hollywood Studios for the night, and heading back to Coronado Springs Resort we grabbed our bags, and called an Uber over to the Royal Pacific Resort. We had a driver named Darlene, who I noted was great! She was really fun to talk to, and really nice. We arrived to RPR around 11 pm.

    The first thing we saw when we walked in....

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    A Christmas tree of course! You do remember my promise from the intro to show you Christmas trees, right?

    Underneath the tree was a little gingerbread village.

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    With minions:

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    I thought the area with the minions fishing was the coolest:

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    We had a smooth check in (and I think we ended up in the same tower we were in the previous trip). The only thing different about the check in was....

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    We got leis! :cheer2: I was so excited. We've stayed at RPR before and the Poly and have never gotten them.

    Here's a look at our gorgeous room although I know I took some pictures and videos last time we stayed at RPR:

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    It's weird because after staying at the 4 other hotels on USO property this was the only one left. When we first stayed here in September I didn't think I'd really like it for some reason (though I loved all the other ones), and I wasn't completely wowed in September (though I did think it was nice). But this time coming back to RPR just seemed very home-y, and after staying here a second time I really, really like RPR and can't wait to stay there again. RPR is also usually the cheapest hotel with EP (but it does depend on the time of year sometimes HRH is cheaper).

    We had a view of Fun Spot in the distance:

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    I like how Josh goes into a hotel room and immediately sits down like he's a king looking at his kingdom :rotfl:

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    #KingoftheFunSpot



    Next up
    A very Shrek filled day!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  20. Raeven

    Raeven DIS Veteran

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    Day 2, Part 1-A Shrek Filled Day Aka The Full Shrek Experience

    We stayed up pretty late the night before so I think we slept in because our first picture of the day is time stamped for around 1-1:30 pm. I'm happy to say it was finally warming up! I'm pretty sure I wore capris with a tshirt on this day, which was a first for this trip since it was so cold the whole Disney portion of our trip :cold:

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    Last time we stayed at RPR we never utilized the walking path so we decided to take it on this day.

    There's a beautiful beach:


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    And soon after we were headed to Citywalk:

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    We ate lunch at Cowfish, and while it wasn't as great of an experience as we had the night we came before HHN, we'd still go back in the future.

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    Cowfish & Drinks from the Wizarding World Review

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    We were finally headed into Universal Studios!

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    Can you guess where we went first?

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    Shrek 4-D of course! :rotfl:

    We hadn't done Shrek 4-D since our first trip, and every time we go I mention that we should do it again but we usually end up skipping it in the beginning and not coming back. My goal this time was to meet Shrek and Donkey afterwards in order to have the full Shrek experience.

    While in line for the attraction we did see something odd. An entire family was eating lunch in line...but that wasn't the weird part. They were all sharing what looked like a salad inside a large Ziploc bag? Surely, there's better food for eating on the go than salad, right? :confused:

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    The attraction itself was a bit bumpier than I remember, but soon we were off and headed into the gift shop.

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    Aw, baby donkey dragons :love:

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    I convinced Josh to put on these Shrek and Fiona headbands long enough for a picture :rotfl:

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    Donkey headband and tail combo:

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    There was a donkey tshirt that said "in the morning I'm making waffles" that I now totally regret not getting and may get in the future. @xlsm I know you'd love it, I think I have a quick view of it in the vlog.

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    After having some fun in the store we headed out to see if Shrek and Donkey were meeting....

    ...they were!

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    Well they went on a quick break when we came up, and when they came back Donkey didn't come out for awhile so I wasn't sure if we'd get the picture with both, but while in line I snapped this picture of RRR:

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    When we got up to the meet and greet Shrek took quite a liking to me...at least I think he did because he wouldn't let me move from his side. I don't think he had a lot of control of his giant hands to be honest. At one point he was turning around and kind of grabbed me to his side, half picked me up, and moved me with him :rotfl:

    Donkey did not like Josh, and let him know it :lmao:

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    It was a fun meet and greet to do for the full Shrek experience, but it was a bit of a strange one :rotfl: Luckily, it's all in the vlog so you'll get to see it for yourselves (and it's hilarious).

    Also I can't help but wonder...

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    Why is the Donkey so scary??!! He has demon eyes!

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    Btw has anyone seen the recent SNL sketch about a guy who thinks Shrek is the greatest animated movie ever? :rotfl: I'd link it here, but I can't remember if there's any inappropriate language in it so I'll just tell you to google "Family Dinner Shrek SNL" if you want to see it.

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    (This is from that sketch).

    Next up
    Diagon Alley decorations, a fancy dinner & a dismeet, and our first day vlog!

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  21. buzzrelly

    buzzrelly DIS Veteran

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    Aw, that is really cute :P

    He's not??

    I didn't even know you could do that :confused3

    :rotfl:EW!! I've had some of my weirdest theme park experiences while waiting in line, but that kind of takes the cake!

    :laughing: I love those pictures! I'll have to go back and watch the blog later because I am off to work, but that Donkey is super creepy!:bitelip::bitelip::bitelip:

    I'm going to look that up later too, sounds funny!
     
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