How Universal saved our vacation...a PTR

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by Jennasis, Sep 13, 2017 at 11:23 AM.

  1. Jennasis

    Jennasis DIS life goes on

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    After many....MANY...trips to Disney, it's time to take a walk on the wild side! So, in anticipation of all the fun, I thought I'd start this pre-trip report.

    On our trips there are generally just two adventurers: Me and DH. We are both 40-something, no kids (unless you count the multitude of 4 legged "kids" on our farm), DVC owners, and all around big kids. Oh, and did I mention we have a farm? We own a small (large LOL) business..a horse farm where I am a full-time barn manager and professional riding instructor and horse trainer (and horse manure shoveler). I also work PT at our local public library for fun...and for the human interaction. DH is an IT professional...who takes care of all the heavy duty stuff on our farm. By day he writes programs and solves complex computer issues, and by evening/nights/weekends he's tractor-guy.

    With our busy lives (the farm is a 24/7 gig), getting time off is precious to us. We don't get any days off from our manure-shoveling duties (heheee...duties) during the week, so the only "days off" we get are when we physically go away somewhere...which often takes an act of Congress to make happen. We had been planning a trip to WDW for over a year and a half...a trip which was to begin on September 10th. WAS. But some lady named Irma had other ideas. NASTY ideas.

    We had been watching the hurricane's sloooooow and devastating progress through the Caribbean over the week leading up to what should have been our departure. (SPOILER ALERT: We did not get to take our trip.) We desperately clung to hope...hope she would stay out in the Atlantic..hope she would curve at the last minute and stay off the east coast...and finally no hope as we sadly picked up the phone Thursday evening and made the gut wrenching call to DVC member services to cancel. This trip we had actually planned to stay at Saratoga Springs, but we had tickets to Discovery Cove/Bush Gardens/Sea World/Aquatica. Luckily we were given full refunds of all our tickets and DVC gave us back our points.
    Here's where it gets tricky...
    [​IMG]


    Unfortunately, and such is the nature of DVC, there was ZERO availability anywhere that we could have used those points to reschedule the trip between now and MARCH. And there was no way I was planning a Discovery Cove trip in the winter! So we moped around the house for a while bemoaning our "lost vacation".
    [​IMG]



    That is, until DH looked at me and said "Hey! Weren't we going to do a cash trip to Universal in May?" To which I responded, from the depths of the ball I had curled up into, "yeah, so?"
    "Well," says DH, prying me out of my fetal tuck, "Why don't we flip flop the trips? Why not go to Universal NOW and do the Saratoga/Discovery Cove trip in May?"

    At this point, I am just wallowing neck deep in self-pity. Flip flop what trips??? What the heck are you talking about man? Can't you see I'm filled with angst and ennui???

    [​IMG]




    Then I remembered we really WERE planning to do a trip to Universal in May 2018! And YES, by George...
    [​IMG] IT COULD WORK!!




    I nearly broke the laptop jumping on line and scouring the web for deals on rooms, before we settled on a lovely package at CABANA BAY BEACH RESORT from November 6-10 complete with 3-park, 2-day, park-to-park tickets with 2 days free! I don't care if it was a good deal or not...THE VACATION HAD BEEN SAVED!
    [​IMG]



    Now begins the planning...where to eat? What to do?? What to seeeeeee????

    We have our hearts set on Cowfish and Toothsome, and I am a proud and loyal Hufflepuff (fo' LIFE!) so we will be hitting up the Wizarding World with my wand, and I have been a Kong fan since I was a little bitty gorilla so I'm excited about that!

    DH is looking forward to all of Cabana Bay and its amenities as well as Volcano Bay. We are hopeful early November is warm enough for that. But frankly, at this point, we'd swim on an ice flow if it meant getting the most out of a vacation.

    So buckle up kiddies and hang on, cause we are desperate for fun, adventure and way less horse manure! Anyone wanna come along?
     
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  2. jcc0621

    jcc0621 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. Looking forward to following along popcorn::
     
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  4. Charade67

    Charade67 Whatcha *do*-in'?

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    I'll follow along. I enjoyed your PTR and looking forward to reading more.
     
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  5. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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    That's awesome that you get to go to Uni/IOA. We also have the 2+2 free day tickets for our trip next week (originally was Sept 9-16th). We were also lucky that bosses and resorts worked out for us. I think we might even get an interactive wand but I can't decide if I want to spend $55 on one. Definitely getting Lard Lad donuts though, and Duff beer :)
     
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  6. sciencegrrl

    sciencegrrl Earning My Ears

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    Following along too! My mother and I will be at Portofino Bay November 5th - 9th. It will be our first trip to UO so we are very excited.
     
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  7. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    I know it was a heartbreak to have Irma come to town and ruined plans for your vacation.
    :grouphug:

    But, now you have a trip planned for the park down the road.

    You'll have fun!

    Happy planning and I'll be reading along

    Good eats you will have.....both places are great!
     
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  8. PoohIsHome

    PoohIsHome Wizard momma living in a muggle world.

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    @Jennasis soooooooo glad Uni was able to save the day!!

    Swish and flick, baby....you're going on vacation!!! party:
     
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  9. chs27

    chs27 Mouseketeer

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    Yay! Vacation saved! Love it!
     
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  10. Jennasis

    Jennasis DIS life goes on

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    [​IMG]

    Just popping in to update...

    The trip drawers ever closer and apparently I've inspired others! After hearing how excited we were to have booked the trip, my sister decided to book one for herself, her DH and DS along with my mom and dad for Spring Break next year. They couldn't all get their acts together quick enough to join our trip in November, but really...that's okay. We've tried doing large family trips before, and well...


    [​IMG]

    But we wish them all the best on planning their 2018 Royal Palm Resort stay during Spring Break. My sister asked me if we thought they needed to stay at one of the big 3 hotels for express pass during that time. Um...

    [​IMG]



    Back to our trip...So we ordered some T-shirts for the visit. As a loyal and true Hufflepuff (FO' LIIIIIIFE!!!) I found this one:
    [​IMG]




    And DH is a Slytherin, so I got him this one (snicker):

    upload_2017-9-18_11-52-35.jpeg


    Interestingly, back to my family...my older sister has been insisting for years that she's a Gryffendor. So I made her go onto Pottermore and take the sorting tests. Whaddya know? She is ALSO a Hufflepuff (fo' liz-ife!!)! And as it turns out, after taking the test, so is my younger sister. Weirder still, all 3 of us have various cats as our patronus'. Weird how similar we all are. I often joke that the 3 of us share a brain.

    Is it too early to start packing yet? I hope not, cause I already have LOL! Only 54 days to go!
     
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  11. PoohIsHome

    PoohIsHome Wizard momma living in a muggle world.

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    Our trips are *so* close to overlapping! We're at 60 days today!!
     
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  12. Charade67

    Charade67 Whatcha *do*-in'?

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    I always thought I would be a Hufflepuff, but Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw. My daughter is also a Ravenclaw. My husband hasn't been sorted yet. I think he's afraid he will end up in Slytherin.
     
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  13. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Those Tees are great!
     
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  14. Jennasis

    Jennasis DIS life goes on

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    ACK! Apparently me not so good at basic math...
    [​IMG]

    49 days!
     
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