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I don't want to need a vacation from my vacation- A May 2018 PTR

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by wellesleyprincess, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    "I don't want to need a vacation from my vacation"- May 2018 PTR
    Hello everyone! This is my second attempt at a PTR but my first Universal one. My husband and I were originally supposed to go abroad in May, but life through some good curveballs with new jobs and other events and so that trip has been postponed.

    Last year, while engaged we did a Universal and Disney World split stay that was now DH's first trip since he was 6 (and he got the flu on the trip when he was a kid so I say it doesn't count). He's super hooked on Universal.

    Flash forward: We got married in August and honeymooned in Augusta, GA before moving from Alabama to the DC area. I recently finished the bar exam (still waiting on results) and am in a fellowship-type program that ends in May (I'm staying on after), so I need a vacation. I'm a huge Disney fan so my first instinct was Disney World, but after month's of bar exam and work related stress, I didn't want to be anxiously planning and then need a vacation from my vacation. To give you the idea of the type-A planner I am, I'm planning on starting a PTR for our 2020 Disney World trip when we get back from this one. I love it, but it's not the relaxing trip we need right now.

    Introductions
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Me (WellesleyPrincess): I work for an Academic Research Center focusing on tech policy (driverless cars, robots, etc.) by day and am a diehard theme park aficionado by night. My family went to Disney World about every 3 years growing up and I've shortened that to about 18 months now that I'm an adult. I have severe food allergies (dairy and tree nuts) and Disney and Universal are among the few places I know I can always eat safe.
    Favorites:
    Ride: Men in Black or Forbidden Journey
    Sit down Restaurant: Margaritaville at City Walk
    Counter service Restaurant: Three Broomsticks or Fast Food Boulevard
    Snack: Tongue Tying Lemon thingy in Diagon Alley

    DH: He's an accountant currently working towards his CPA. He loves college football, horror movies and fiction (he's a semi-professional writer), and video games.
    Favorites:
    Ride: Kong Skull Island
    Sit down Restaurant: we mostly ate at Disney for sit down last trip, so he doesn't really have a favorite at Universal
    Counter service Restaurant: Monsters Cafe (for the atmosphere)
    Snack: Butterbeer
     
  2. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  4. cocofifi

    cocofifi Mouseketeer

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    First of all, I see you’re husband’s t-shirt - Roll Tide! I totally agree that Universal is more low key and requires less intensive planning. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.
     
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  5. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Come back and tell us more about your trip!
     
  6. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:and yeah I was raised Hail State but he and I are more Roll Tide. And only a fellow SEC football fan would understand this statement.
    I am I just won't be posting more than once a week.
     
  7. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    Update 1 Hotel Plans
    If you haven't noticed by my signature this trip will be at Sapphire Falls. We'll be in a lagoon view because no standard view king rooms were available.

    upload_2018-3-11_9-19-1.jpeg

    I've done two previous trips onsite and they've both been at Cabana Bay. I love Cabana Bay especially the lazy river and a pool cup, and my husband loved the vibe when we stayed there. But we decided to upgrade to upgrade for a few reasons:

    1. Water Taxi
    We used the water taxi late one night last trip to go to CityWalk looking for a missing souvenir. It was so nice to just do that rather than to get on the bus and then go through security. Plus stairs to get the bus are exhausting after a long day. We plan to come back forth to the hotel for pool breaks, etc. and go to city walk at least one night.

    2. King Beds and Room Options
    There wasn't an option for King Beds and being just a couple on a romantic getaway we preferred just a single bed to an extra bed that would just become a place to pile things. We couldn't justify the suite for just the two of us, but the last time I stayed in a standard room at Cabana Bay I could swear the room was actually in Ocala. This is likely only worse with the new towers.

    3. Because we still can
    (God willing) this will be our last trip just as a couple before we have kids. We know we'll want the space and the cheaper prices at Cabana Bay by that point, so we figured enjoy a step up now.


    There was only a $20 a night difference for our date between a pool view at Cabana Bay and a lagoon view at Sapphire Falls. We couldn't justify the $100 a night upgrade for an express hotel, but we're willing to go with the flow on crowds a bit and it shouldn't be too ridiculous yet.

    I'll try to update about once a week. Next week, transportation plans...
     
  8. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    We'll be in UO for Memorial weekend! Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
     
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  9. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Hahahahaha....that was the first thing I noticed was the Crimson Tide tee..
    Do see a few of them around town at times in Georgia

    You will enjoy staying at Sfalls.
    It has become quite popular and those that have stayed there become repeat customers.
     
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  10. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    Update 2 Food Plans
    Sorry for the delay- it's been a crazy week or two at work.

    So, as I may have mentioned in my intro, I have severe (EpiPen) carrying food allergies to dairy and nuts. (Yes, you can have allergies that severe as an adult). As a result, I do have to pre-plan our meals to some degree.

    So far here are my plans:
    Arrival Day: We arrive land around 6 so we should be at the hotel around 730. My plans are either Strong Water Tavern, walk over to Cabana Bay's Bayliner Diner, or take the boat to City Walk and do Moe's.

    Universal/Islands of Adventure Days: We plan to do the quick service dining plan you buy by the day. The last time we did it it was the perfect amount of food for a day with maybe an additional entree split between us at the end of the day for dinner back at the hotel. We'll probably do either Three Broomsticks or the Jurassic Park restaurants (they both handle allergies well) and Fast Food Boulevard (aka Simpsons). Hopefully one night we'll try Cowfish and I have an Islands Dining room reservation as a back up one night (because they're also very good with allergies).

    Volcano Bay Day: We plan to snack around the day and grab lunch at the park but where is tbd. We're also going over to Disney Springs that night (hello Erin McKenna's please!) and dinner at Sanaa (my favorite restaurant in the world, not exaggerating).

    Departure Day: We'll need to leave for our flight around 11 so we'll probably just grab Starbucks and then get a snack/lunch when we get to the airport.

    A couple of questions you may be able to help with:
    Does Prime Now deliver to bell services or your room at Universal?
    If you have allergies/food restrictions anywhere you'd particularly recommend?
    What's your favorite Volcano Bay dining option?
     
  11. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Mississippi girl here! I totally get the SEC statement!
     
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  12. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    Update 3 Arrival Day/Day 1 Plans
    So our flight should get in around 5:45 p.m. As a result I'm guessing we'll get to the resort between 6:30 and 7. After dropping stuff off we plan to go get dinner either at the fast food places in CityWalk (Moe's, Breadbox, etc.) or Bayliner Diner. After dinner we may hit the pool at either Cabana Bay or Sapphire.

    We plan to sleep in a little bit the first day and head to the non-Early Entry park which looks to be Universal Studios. We'll plan to hit Despicable Me first, then Rip Ride Rock-It, Fast and Furious, and Diagon Alley. After Diagon Alley we'll continue to make our way around towards Springfield for a lunch break. Some time in the afternoon we'll head back to the hotel for a swim and a drink (and a nap if needed), and then head back to the parks and City Walk around dinner time.

     

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