It's an epic 16th birthday celebration (TR) - Update 9/1 - Days 3&4 with wrap-up

caylene44

Aspiring Disney Travel Planner
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – This is a “Dad Only” ride. I definitely want to ride it again though – I think the harness mechanism is kind of scary/doesn’t feel secure, but it’s a fun ride I want to ride at least once.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! This was my first ever Universal ride and I spent the entire time wondering if I was about to die :rotfl:

Your PTR is super helpful! I love how you listed out all the rides/shows. We are going to Universal for one day so I'm trying to figure out where to focus our attention, I'll have to copy your list and do the yes/maybe/no trick.
 

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! This was my first ever Universal ride and I spent the entire time wondering if I was about to die :rotfl:

Your PTR is super helpful! I love how you listed out all the rides/shows. We are going to Universal for one day so I'm trying to figure out where to focus our attention, I'll have to copy your list and do the yes/maybe/no trick.
That wasn't my intention - but I am happy if it helps you. I think the hulk coaster is more thrilling, but the lap bar on RRR definitely makes it scarier!

Following on Instagram. Have a fabulous trip!
Thanks - Saw you follow me - you got the right guy.
 
  • macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    So - we are leaving in under 20 hours - just thought I would say if anyone wants to follow along for the trip - my Instagram account is under "Skierpete23" . I am going to try and post more than normal on there - so please feel to join along with us and Jerry the Minion Mug.
    I do not do Instagram so will be checking here on the Dis for your postings

    Hopefully the Dis will have their new system in place and live again when you come back to post
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    I do not do Instagram so will be checking here on the Dis for your postings

    Hopefully the Dis will have their new system in place and live again when you come back to post
    I will definitely be posting a Trip Report with photos of the trip.
     

    crabbymom

    Slythermom to 2 'claws and a Princess
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    So - we are leaving in under 20 hours - just thought I would say if anyone wants to follow along for the trip - my Instagram account is under "Skierpete23" . I am going to try and post more than normal on there - so please feel to join along with us and Jerry the Minion Mug.
    Following on IG. Hope you guys have a blast!
     
  • hootietootie

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2019
    Just caught up on fab report and gonna follow on insta!!!! Been hectic at work the last few weeks but today is my last day, we leave Ireland next Tuesday. Only parks we are doing are universal and IOA so want to see what ye got up to!!!
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    I’ll be checking back in a few weeks to read about your trip

    So 4 days was plenty for you?

    I’m sure you had some high temps there to deal with

    I’m in GA and last week and have had temps that zapped me...
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    I’ll be checking back in a few weeks to read about your trip

    So 4 days was plenty for you?

    I’m sure you had some high temps there to deal with

    I’m in GA and last week and have had temps that zapped me...
    You have to understand - we are not a family that rides the rides over and over again. Most rides we are either one and done, or maybe we will ride twice - though I think there were only 3 or 4 things we rode twice. The exception was FJ which we rode 3 times (Wife rode 4.) The heat had a big part to do with it. The crowds were another part - I am not one for waiting 75 minutes for ANYTHING. Other rides DW and DD won't even ride. We did get DD on some new rides, but again they were "one and done". Never got on RRR either because the single rider line was 45 minutes and that isn't worth it to me. We did most everything we missed on previous trips though. It was all fine, but 4 days is MORE than enough. If it wasn't for the heat we could easily be finished there in two days.
     
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Back from our trip - likely will be a few weeks before I get into the report. Had a great time - 4 days at Universal is plenty long enough.
    Welcome back! I'm not on Instagram either, but I did see your posts on FB, so that was a bonus!

    No rush on getting started! I'm way way way behind and still have four new TRs to start reading!
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Take your time doing the trip report
    No rush

    I do the parks similar as you did
    I don’t do rides over and over but the most would be twice in a day for a couple of specific rides
    ( Dr Doom and Minions)
    Then I skip those rides for the following days I am in the parks
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    And AWAY WE GO!!!!

    ...at 3:30 AM in the morning. Yes, we got up at 3:30 AM to make our flight to the airport. It kinda sucked. It was a 5:45 AM flight and the only notable thing is we got to the airport about 4:45 AM, and there was a MASSIVE line at the TSA. Fortunately, we have TSA Pre-check, which only had about 6 people in line, so we breezed right through and we were off to Florida with our carry-on bags in tow. (No checked bags.)
    DW had gotten a sweet deal on Lyft where you pay $5 for a "Lyft Pass" and you get $5 OFF of 10 rides. So our flight ariives in Orlando about 8 AM and we are off to find the Lyft location. We were on the wrong dang level. (Silly me, I thought they would pick-up at departures, but no it's arrivals.) The App showed him coming to our location but he was 50 feet above us. (GPS doesn't work in 3 dimensions! ) We were off to the Hilton Grand Vacation Club @ Las Palmeras, which was across from the Orlando convention center and had gotten in here on our RCI points. Our plan had been to drop our bags and head for the park, so I asked the Lyft driver if he would hang out for 5 minutes and I'd give him $15 cash to drive us over to Universal. However, when we checked in, our room was ready! (At 8 AM no less.) So I went out and gave the guy a 5 for sticking around, but we decided we preferred to wash up over just heading for the park. (We'd already been awake 4.5 hours at this point.)

    The room had that typical timeshare look to it, very generic but very clean. Still, a 1-bedroom with a full kitchen makes for a nice stay for 3 people. DD had the pull-out sofa, and DW and I had our bedroom. The bathroom was cavernous. (Why is this always the case in these timeshares.)







    After we had dropped our stuff and used the facilities it was time to head to the park! Yes, we missed out on rope drop, but hey it was just after 9 AM and we were leaving our room, that would be a pretty good timing The ride over to the park via Lyft took about 8 minutes and with the $5 off was only like $3.50 (plus a $3 tip). It actually turned out that the good deal of not renting a car and having to pay for parking at the hotel AND the park was even better, because the Lyft drops you off right at the entrance to security, so it also saves you about a mile of walking versus parking in the garage.

    This photo was taken at 9:35 AM. Pretty close to rope drop for getting up in our bed in Buffalo that morning!


    We actually stopped them at Guest services to get DD a birthday button to celebrate her 16th Birthday.

    Unfortunately, every day of our trip, Universal Studios was the early entry park, so coming into the park at 9:30 AM meant the Minions ride already had a 70 minute wait...no thanks. So we headed to the other "big" ride at the park...Escape from Gringott's via well, some route...




    A ride we completely were NOT going to get to ride at any point...



    This is the first time I ever noticed that while you can't see Diagon Alley from directly outside of it, as we were approaching it from afar, you COULD see the dragon sticking up above the wall. However, it's still pretty impressive turning that corner into DIagon Alley.




    I love this dragon, but I wished it moved just a little bit...



    DD with her Slytherin shirt and her 16th Birthday Button.


    The Gringott's bank.





    I tried to capture a moving painting;


    Of course no photos on the ride itself. FOr those that haven't ridden it, Gingott's is a semi roller coaster in the dark with cars that can turn, and semi standard Universal YASR (Yet another screen ride). It's a pretty great combination and though really not a particularly thrilling coaster because it's in the dark it's still a fun ride - and we even managed to get DD to ride.

    Once we were done with the ride, there was nothing to do but wander around a little bit.



    And of course get some butterbeer (with a Dr. Otters Fizzy Orange for DW.


    We did a little bit of practicing our wand work and did the trek down Knockturn Alley to get a little cool air. It honestly was about the least crowded we've ever seen Diagon Alley, which didn't mean it wasn't crowded, but just meant it wasn't packed.




    Loved this shot of the dragon in the glass. Wish I could've gotten it breathing fire...


    After a while though DD was ready to defend the planet from the scum and villany of the galaxy. No, not Star Wars land....

    To be continued...
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    You are a great dad!

    Sweet 16 birthday trip is probably the best gift you could have given your daughter

    Awesome pictures!
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Glad you got started! Despite the early morning, it is pretty cool to wake up in NY and be in the parks practically by opening time!
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Wow! I can't believe how early you got up. We have sworn off any flights before 8AM but more 9AM if we can swing it. It's just not worth our sanity, and while our relationship is solid, that's just not a good way to start off a trip. We don't like yelling at each other. :laughing:

    Your early start did pay off for getting to the park fairly early, but 70 minute waits for rides, nope. I got better things to do.

    I liked your acronym YASR, did you make that up or is a board wide thing?

    I need to try the Universal here and see if I get sick on the Forbidden Journey again.
     

    Lynne G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2009
    Great start, and a late happy 16th birthday to your DD.

    My DD, wanted to go to the beach. Hence, 10 days in KW for her 16th. For her 18th, we are doing the parks, right before she leaves for college, even though she won't be 18 until a week after school starts.

    Enjoy reading your report. And yeah, we have done those oh so before crack of dawn flights. We tend to then book the latest ones for on the way home.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    You are a great dad!

    Sweet 16 birthday trip is probably the best gift you could have given your daughter

    Awesome pictures!
    Thank you! She really enjoyed it! She was very appreciative for 3 days. The fourth day - not so much.

    WOW that's a great arrival time considering you started the day in Buffalo!

    Excited to follow along!
    It was great on paper - that's for sure!!

    Glad you got started! Despite the early morning, it is pretty cool to wake up in NY and be in the parks practically by opening time!
    It's hard to argue with a 20 minute wait for Gringotts!

    Wow! I can't believe how early you got up. We have sworn off any flights before 8AM but more 9AM if we can swing it. It's just not worth our sanity, and while our relationship is solid, that's just not a good way to start off a trip. We don't like yelling at each other. :laughing:
    It's funny, I think we get to the airport more efficiently with these early flights. There's no time for goofing around. When we have an afternoon flight - DW spends 3 hours to get ready to leave the house. On this - she does it all the night before and we just hop out of bed and go.

    Your early start did pay off for getting to the park fairly early, but 70 minute waits for rides, nope. I got better things to do.
    Oh yeah, we weren't waiting for that. We DID end up doing Minions with about a 40 minute wait later in the trip. Overall though 30 minutes was sort of our limit. I just lose interest in almost every ride when the wait exceeds an hour.

    I liked your acronym YASR, did you make that up or is a board wide thing?
    YASR = Yet another Screen Ride - that's my own Acronym. I don't think it has caught on across the boards, but I'd like it to! "Oh, looks like Universal's building a YASR." Make sure everyone starts to use it - maybe they'll stop building them. (And too their credit, Hagrid's is not a YASR.)

    Great start, and a late happy 16th birthday to your DD.

    My DD, wanted to go to the beach. Hence, 10 days in KW for her 16th. For her 18th, we are doing the parks, right before she leaves for college, even though she won't be 18 until a week after school starts.

    Enjoy reading your report. And yeah, we have done those oh so before crack of dawn flights. We tend to then book the latest ones for on the way home.
    WE also booked a late one going home. If I'm spending all this money - wanted to give us the opportunity for 4 full days, though in the end we didn't really spend four full days.
     

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