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

buteraa

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
We always struggle between late flights after work or early flights the next day. So far we've stuck to the late nights, but getting in around midnight is tough after a long day. May have to reconsider at some point. Those rooms are really large and look pretty comfortable. Looking forward to hearing more!
 

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
We headed out of Diagon Alley and after a few quick snaps – headed across the lake.

It was probably about 10:30 by this time, and it was starting to get pretty hot. I have to say, even though it was a hot trip, the humidity was not super-high, making it at least bearable until around noon. We were posting a lot of pictures of Jerry the Minion, and apparently this is the only photo I got of the MIB ride:

DD is kind of excited for MIB International, and in fact we just watched MIB 3 together. She was extra excited on this ride when she sat down on the ride and they announced over the speaker that it was her birthday! I was hoping this would get us to do the backstage tour, but no they said they were not running the tour today. (They said that both days we were here.)
I like this ride, even though the first time I rode it and it spun around I was really annoyed. It does capture the spirit of the film pretty well.
By now we were getting pretty hungry. We decided to eat at the Simpsons food court as we remembered the food being pretty good. We weren’t really interested in the ride. DW and DD both don’t like how rough it is, and while I like it OK, I don’t think it is great and didn’t really want to ride alone.


In the meantime – DW decide to finally go on social media and joined Instagram. Here’s DD trying to explain to her how it works.

We had a few choices to eat. The line was pretty long, probably like a 20 minute wait when we got there, and maybe a 40 minute wait by the time we were done. I wanted to try the chicken and waffles from Cletus’ Chicken Shack:

DW and DD wanted to try the frier at the Frying Dutchman

No one dared to eat a Krusty Burger, but that was by far the most popular place.

We sat in Moe’s Tavern, where I couldn’t resist ordering a Duff.



The food was remarkably good. I had had the Chicken and Waffle sandwhich before, and it still didn’t disappoint.

DD had the shrimp basket, and she could only eat about half of it. I actually couldn’t resist eating 2-3 of the remaining coconut shrimp that were actually pretty decent.

DW got the fish and chips are reported it quite tasty. (There were already a few gone by the time I got a picture:

Overall, not a bad place to nosh, too bad about the crazy lines.
By the time we were done eating it was getting to be around 1 PM. We decided we were going to try and hit two more rides. First up, we were determined to finally ride ET, which we missed out on our last THREE visits. DW didn’t remember the movie at all, DD didn’t really like it (too sad).

It was a bit of a odd ride in that it was I guess a sort of sequel to ET, but overall I thought it was quite pleasant. Actually, there were no screens to be seen, and it was fun the way they made the vehicle a flying bike. We all commented that it was somewhat reminiscent of Avatar (Navi River Journey) over in Disney, only better. All the little baby ETs were kind of weird though.
Last up, we took on yet another new to us ride – Fast and Furious: Supercharged.

DW and I were big fans of the franchise and even though I hadn’t heard the best things, I was looking forward to the ride. DD hasn’t seen any of them. The queue was kind of neat in that it was basically a garage for all the cars from the movies.




The wait was listed at only around 20 minutes, but right before we got into the first of two pre-show areas, the line stopped movie completely for about 10 minutes. Not sure what went wrong. They eventually let us in. The preshows were odd because they had a live TM on stage interacting with the videos of the cast of the movie. However, the TM was making all these snarky comments like we knew that they weren’t ACTUALLY talking to anyone. It was almost Jungle-Cruise like.

Jerry the Minion was excited though!

The ride itself unfortunately was pretty awful. They put you on a “party bus” that had flashing lights and pounding music but was otherwise identical to the King Kong transports. They drove you down a hallway…I mean “alleyway” and then the cast told you in another scene to watch out for the bad guys. Then they drove you into a big room with movie screens on either side. You could easily see looking out the windows where the screens ended, and the ceiling in this room went up maybe 50 feet above the screens. It sort of ruined the illusion of motion, but I guess it was OK if you didn’t look up. Unfortunately what you are “stuck” watching is what appears to be a cut scene from “Fast and the Furious: The Video game” where the bad guy (The guy that played Gaston) tries to hijack your bus while The Guy That Voiced Maui and the Guy that Voiced Groot and their friends try and stop him using cars and truck and missles. It is pretty incoherent and as I said I’ve seen better videogame cut scenes. Mercifully, the “ride” was only about 90 seconds long and it was over. We got off and said “Well that sucked.” It didn’t help that we really tired at this point, being it was about 2 PM and we had been awake for so long. We had all along only planned to stay in the park until about 2-3 PM anyways, so we got a Lyft back to our hotel. We ended up crashing for about 2 hours, though we also used Instacart to get some groceries delivered to our room. Once we woke up, we still didn’t have much energy, and since we hadn’t planned to go back to the park, we decided rather than spend the money to lyft somewhere, we would just eat at the hotel. The food was fine, but honestly it would’ve been cheaper and probably better to Lyft somewhere, but live and learn. By the time we were done with dinner it was 9 PM and we weren’t up for going anywhere, so back to bed for us!

Edit: I completely forgot when I typed this earlier - DD was offered a free milkshake at the Simpsons' place because it was her birthday...and she TURNED IT DOWN!! She doesn't like milkshakes, but c'mon, think of mom and dad. This was the only birthday offer she got.
 
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  • khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    We really love eating at Fast Food Boulevard! The chicken & waffle sandwich is a favorite of ours too.

    Oh man, F&F. It's just so laughably bad. We are big fans of the movies too, but this ride is just awful. DS likes it though, so we usually end up on it a couple times a trip.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    The more I read about people's trips to Universal the less it makes me want to go there. I'm not familiar with most of the movies that the rides are based upon, and the YASR nature of the rides doesn't interest me much.

    I'm also getting tired just reading about you being hot and tired, but maybe that has to do with the fact that I'm working my way through my third hour of sitting in my car outside one of our apartment buildings, watching the termite tent get taken down. And now the guy from the Gas Co. Is hunting down a leak before he can restore service to the building.
     

    anniebean

    Flyers fan stuck in Tennessee
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2011
    I’m just now getting back on the DIS regularly after a long absence, however, have enjoyed your TR’s in the past (don’t know that I’ve commented before because I normally don’t)
    Anyways, I can’t believe your DD is 16! What a wonderful way to spend your bday!
    DH and I love Universal! We are Disney AP holders, but are seriously considering adding Universal APs too since we have several trips planned.
     

    lebeau

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2008
    It's hard to explain just how bad Fast & Furious is. You really have to experience the awfulness yourself to understand.

    My oldest loves the Simpsons and had to eat at Fast Food Blvd several times per trip. She gets the chicken and waffle sandwich every time.
     
  • Bethany10

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 17, 2016
    It's hard to explain just how bad Fast & Furious is. You really have to experience the awfulness yourself to understand.
    I tried selling it to DH as cool cars, but awful ride. He was unimpressed with my pitch and we skipped it. I was thinking we might try for it next year if only to get out of the heat and into some AC.
     

    lebeau

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2008
    I tried selling it to DH as cool cars, but awful ride. He was unimpressed with my pitch and we skipped it. I was thinking we might try for it next year if only to get out of the heat and into some AC.
    The one time I road it, the wait time was around 20-30 minutes with Express Pass. And that queue is just painful. Sure, the parts in the garage are neat but the entire wait was in a narrow concrete tomb. I would never queue up for it again unless I was absolute certain it was going to be a walk on and even then, I'm not sure the A/C is worth it.

    Here's hoping Universal replaces this one sooner rather than later!
     

    Bethany10

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 17, 2016
    ugh, well maybe we won't put it on the list again. I think we walked past it once, but then never located it again. DH is a car guy, so I thought that might at least interest him.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Awesome picture of that minion

    Enjoying your trip report!
    Jerry keeps coming back!!

    We really love eating at Fast Food Boulevard! The chicken & waffle sandwich is a favorite of ours too.

    Oh man, F&F. It's just so laughably bad. We are big fans of the movies too, but this ride is just awful. DS likes it though, so we usually end up on it a couple times a trip.
    Holy cow - that ride is pathetic. How did it take them 3 years to build it?

    The more I read about people's trips to Universal the less it makes me want to go there. I'm not familiar with most of the movies that the rides are based upon, and the YASR nature of the rides doesn't interest me much.

    I'm also getting tired just reading about you being hot and tired, but maybe that has to do with the fact that I'm working my way through my third hour of sitting in my car outside one of our apartment buildings, watching the termite tent get taken down. And now the guy from the Gas Co. Is hunting down a leak before he can restore service to the building.
    Sorry, we stay hot, but we get less tired after a good night sleep. At least the humidity was low making it bearable until around noon.

    I’m just now getting back on the DIS regularly after a long absence, however, have enjoyed your TR’s in the past (don’t know that I’ve commented before because I normally don’t)
    Anyways, I can’t believe your DD is 16! What a wonderful way to spend your bday!
    DH and I love Universal! We are Disney AP holders, but are seriously considering adding Universal APs too since we have several trips planned.
    Thanks for commenting. Universal APs can work well because they aren't much more expensive than a 3 day pass. Universal has Disney APs beat hands down.

    It's hard to explain just how bad Fast & Furious is. You really have to experience the awfulness yourself to understand.

    My oldest loves the Simpsons and had to eat at Fast Food Blvd several times per trip. She gets the chicken and waffle sandwich every time.
    I was a die hard Simpsons fan from the start until I was about 35, and then I realized I was still watching the show but wasn't laughing at it anymore so I quit. Still it's a classic.

    I tried selling it to DH as cool cars, but awful ride. He was unimpressed with my pitch and we skipped it. I was thinking we might try for it next year if only to get out of the heat and into some AC.
    The one time I road it, the wait time was around 20-30 minutes with Express Pass. And that queue is just painful. Sure, the parts in the garage are neat but the entire wait was in a narrow concrete tomb. I would never queue up for it again unless I was absolute certain it was going to be a walk on and even then, I'm not sure the A/C is worth it.

    Here's hoping Universal replaces this one sooner rather than later!
    ugh, well maybe we won't put it on the list again. I think we walked past it once, but then never located it again. DH is a car guy, so I thought that might at least interest him.
    Everything is worth riding once, but yeah I wouldn't go too far out of my way - it's pretty bad.
     
  • skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Falling a bit behind because we were away on vacation - but I want to get this done before D23 which is only 6 weeks away. So here's the first half of Day 2 - spent at IOA

    The forecast was the each day was going to be hotter than the next – and by Monday it was supposed to be up to 97 though fortunately the humidity wasn’t so bad. But with that we were feeling the need to get to rope drop every morning.




    Jerry was very excited for the rope to drop.

    You can see it was at least a really nice sunny day. There’s of course one main place to go to at rope drop in IOA.




    Minion Jerry though that this might be Gru’s new secret lair and he was excited to check it out. He was even more excited when we stuffed him in a locker.

    There’s little doubt in my mind that this ride is the BEST theme park ride in existence. The way the story really captures the world of Harry Potter, the fact they got the original cast all to take part in it, the ride mechanism, the combination of the screens and the actual sets (There’s really very little true “animatronics” in this ride – something that just moves up and down isn’t really an animatronic.) The line was so short DW and I were willing to go again, but DD wasn’t feeling it. But, this was the first time that she rode it where she actually kept her eyes open for it! So you go girl!
    Instead we jumped in line for “Flight of the Hypprogriff” which is all well and good, but over in about 60 seconds. (So fast I didn’t even get pictures!)
    We then had to go and get our daily dose of butterbeer by the showman.

    I love that the restrooms have Moaning Myrtle talking to the guests – but it led to a fun exchange in the bathroom with a TM custodian. This TM seemed 100% serious…
    TM: “What the heck is that woman’s voice?”
    Me: “It’s supposed to be a ghost. She died in the bathroom.”
    TM: “Why is she in the men’s bathroom?”
    Me: “That’s a very good question. I have no idea.”
    TM: “It’s really creepy.”
    Me: “I’ll give you that.”
    We were really hoping that the new Hagrid ride would be open to try out, but we were about 2 weeks too early. In the end with everything we heard about the lines and the problems on start-up, I was sort of glad we didn’t get to see it open. Something to actually look forward to next time – unlike “Fast and Furious”!


    And now --- off to Jurassic Park! Jerry remembers when the minions were working for a T-Rex. Ah, those were the days!

    Let’s all sing along…dah de dah dum dum, dah de dah dum dum.

    DD had both her button and her Jurassic Park shirt on today!

    So one of the things we missed on our last trips was the Raptor Encounter. The last times the lines were really long. This said 20 minutes, but in fact they were just about to open for the day. The actual wait probably ended up being around 20 minutes, though as we were leaving the line was shorter.




    I usually don’t link videos on here, but this one is pretty fun. The Raptor actually nuzzled DD in the back of the next.

    DD was saying she was hungry – we had a decent breakfast in the room, but it was coming up on 11 AM and we had eaten fairly early so I got the feeling. I had heard good things about Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park, so we gave it a try. A bunch of other people must’ve wanted to eat early because there was already a pretty long line.
    DD had the ribs dinner and DW had the chicken and ribs dinner. These were big portions and actually everything was decent considering the theme park experience. Most surprising to me was the quality of the corn. It was actually cooked well and didn’t have a bad flavor, and I am a total corn snob. (DD didn’t want it so I ate hers.


    I had the pulled pork rice bowl, and again very surprised by how good it was. Lots of flavors and actually the amount of rice wasn’t a lot, there were beans and greens, and plenty of pork. I really enjoyed this.

    We passed right by Kong, but DD agreed to ride it later when we met up with our friend. So we instead went right to toon lagoon. It was about noon at this point, and I really wanted to try the Dudley DO-RIGHT ride since I hadn’t ridden it in nineteen years. DW agreed to go on with me, but DD wanted nothing to do with getting all wet, so we found a spot she could sit in the Comix Café and play on her phone while we rode. The wait was listed at 40 minutes, but I didn’t even realize there was a single rider line so we walked right on with no wait at all. The ride was fun but you got very, very wet. Having gotten so wet, we sort of knew we would be ready to go back to the hotel for a break. It was close to 1 PM and it was getting VERY hot out. So we headed out and got our Lyft back to the hotel.
     

    Lynne G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2009
    Awesome pictures! Enjoying this report. Love that Jerry is having fun as well. We have that same minion, as my DS wanted it, I think it sits on his bureau in his room. His has the alien one too. For some reason, we tend to not bring them back. The red cup, yeah, that one is always in our luggage. Most of the time, we just ask for ice water.

    Yep, heat means getting wet, and relaxing in AC. But I love the summer in FLA. No need for lots of heavier clothes, and nice evenings and mornings. And hot enough to enjoy the water parks and pools.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Afternoon of Day 2

    We relaxed for a while in the room. Thought about swimming, but we were pretty drained from the heat. DD also discovered that our room had a view of Sea World:


    Only a few hours after we returned, our friend from nearby – I continue to just refer to her as K – came to meet us at the hotel. She drove us back over to Unversal for an evening in the parks. I was hoping as the evening wore on the lines would start to fade – but unfortunately they did not. However, the line for Spiderman was showing only 30 minutes, so we decided to give that a “spin”. (Haha!) Jerry was hoping to meet J Jonah Jameson!
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    We decided to try something else we hadn’t done before – the Posiedon’s Fury show at the Lost Continent.




    DW and I hadn’t seen this show since 2000 when it was significantly different. Overall, it’s not a bad show, but I would also not call it “great”. You walk through a series of rooms to see some demi-god threaten Poseidon. There’s an actor that plays along gamely and it’s pretty fun. It certainly not an “every time we go” experience, but also not a bottom of the barrel show that was the Sinbad stunt show.
    We decided to get some dinner. We were going to finally try Mythos – but when we got there the prices seemed high and there was nothing really that DD would like, so we instead went to the Three Broomsticks. I love the little kid in this picture being SO serious with his wand!




    I am not a huge fan of this place – the food is OK, but I am not a huge fan of English food in general. I got the Shepard’s Pie – it was fine. I liked getting the salad actually.




    From the back of the 3 broomstick, you could see some of the work they are doing to install the new raptor coaster.



    It was getting pretty late in the day – maybe 8 PM and closing was a 9 PM. We thought that the line for Forbidden Journey would be down by now but it was still 75 minutes! So we decided to head over to Kong. We headed into the queue and the ride must’ve gone down because a lot of people were getting out of line. We decided to stick it out since DD would only ride with K there. We actually ended up waiting maybe 30 minutes to get on the ride – it got going again after only about 5 minutes that we were there.




    We like this ride – I really loved it the first time we rode, but subsequent times it has dropped slightly because it is so much screen stuff, but really it’s one of the better screen rides here at Universal.
    With that, the park was getting close to closing. We decided to head out at this point. We had debated about heading over to Jellyroll’s tonight, but decided to save it until tomorrow night.


    Until next time!!
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Oh, good for no new posts! Now I'm caught up!

    I'd like to try Forbidden Journey again, but the one time I rode it, the ride made me so sick, I'm afraid to try it again. Maybe if we go to Universal out here I'll try it.

    I don't think I'm on the same page as you with your dah, de dum dum dums, cause the song I was singing had more dah's, de's and dum's. :laughing:

    Your lunch looked very tasty for theme park food. Nice that you could leave right after getting all wet. Did the Lyft driver appreciate that? :lmao:

    It's too bad that you couldn't get on Forbidden Journey that evening when you came back. That poor piece of Fish looks really sad on the plate. Nice that you can take your time and not rush around. Heading over to the new report.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Oh, good for no new posts! Now I'm caught up!

    I'd like to try Forbidden Journey again, but the one time I rode it, the ride made me so sick, I'm afraid to try it again. Maybe if we go to Universal out here I'll try it.

    I don't think I'm on the same page as you with your dah, de dum dum dums, cause the song I was singing had more dah's, de's and dum's. :laughing:

    Your lunch looked very tasty for theme park food. Nice that you could leave right after getting all wet. Did the Lyft driver appreciate that? :lmao:

    It's too bad that you couldn't get on Forbidden Journey that evening when you came back. That poor piece of Fish looks really sad on the plate. Nice that you can take your time and not rush around. Heading over to the new report.
    Every other time I've ridden FJ I have gotten mildly sick. Recently I read the key to avoiding illness is to keep your head facing forward, don't move your head around to look at stuff. This time I didn't get sick at all, and even after riding it twice within about 15 minutes I was still pretty good, but not quite willing to chance it. DW rode it THREE times in a row and didn't get sick, and she gets ill easy - so I think that's the key!

    We actually felt bad about being wet - so we bought a Gryffindor towel to sit on that also is a match for DD's Slytherin one. Now I sort of feel we need the full set!
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    It was sooooooooo hot that week!! I know we were absolutely melting too, so the early rope drop hours were pretty much a must for us roo.

    We really enjoy the Raptor Encounter, but I'm glad we have done it the last couple of trips because we will likely end up skipping this in December since we will have DD. I can't be that mean to drag her in there, she will be so terrified!!

    I'm really excited for the new ride to open in Jurassic Park! I love that land, but hardly ever go on the River Adventure because I don't like being wet. lol
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    It was sooooooooo hot that week!! I know we were absolutely melting too, so the early rope drop hours were pretty much a must for us roo.

    We really enjoy the Raptor Encounter, but I'm glad we have done it the last couple of trips because we will likely end up skipping this in December since we will have DD. I can't be that mean to drag her in there, she will be so terrified!!

    I'm really excited for the new ride to open in Jurassic Park! I love that land, but hardly ever go on the River Adventure because I don't like being wet. lol
    Yeah, we try to encourage DD on things when she's young - but that's one thing I would NEVER force a kid to do, even though to me it is more hilarious than scary.

    It must've been hot that week if you LA folks were hot. I actually thought the humidity wasn't too bad -but by noon the heat was enough to drive us inside. (Why we were just sitting in that empty restaurant when we found you.)
     

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