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

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Sorry for the lack of updates here - but we've been so busy with summer and going out to Disneyland - but I'm going to try to wrap this one up quickly and move on to THAT report:

So here we go with the entire Day 3

So again we were spending the day with K, and she picked us up in the morning. When we drive to the parks – we always end up passing by the former wet and wild location where they are building yet another Universal hotel – I believe this is the “endless summer” resort. I don’t think it is opening until next year, but there are two buildings on either side of the road and one looks pretty close to finished – at least on the outside:





Our first target was Minion Mayhem. Unfortunately, every day has early entry into this park – so even though we got here right at opening, there was already a 40 minute wait, but we figured it wasn’t going to get any better (and it didn’t). Jerry was VERY excited to see his fellow minions.





The minions were also excited to see Jerry as well:



We also watched the acapella group perform. One of K’s friends performs in the group (as well is a “friend of Wolverine”). They were really good, but we were glad we had a place in the shade, because it was already getting hot for us.



We next headed to Diagon Alley. DD didn’t want to ride Gringott’s again, so DW, K and I all rode single rider. The wait was maybe 5 minutes long this way – we went right to the ride. After walking around a little bit, we decided to get some Butterbeer ice cream.




We headed over to the Men In Black ride again. Again they gave DD a shout-out for her Birthday button, and again we couldn’t get the “backstage tour”.



Next we went over the Monster Make-up show – which again was another thing we never saw. I had heard that it was really fun, but honestly there was almost no demonstrations of actual make-up, it was mostly jokes and videos. I wouldn’t call it a complete waste of time, but it’s not something I would rush back to either.

By now believe it or not it was already coming up on noontime and we were getting sort of hungry. We had two rides we wanted to do. One was Jimmy Fallon, but we found out the Rag Time Gals wouldn’t be on for another 45 minutes, so decided to pass on that. K and I wanted to ride Rip Ride Rocket, but the standby was 120 minutes and the single rider line was posted at 70 minutes – yes you read that right. I really didn’t want to wait in line that long, so we decided instead to just go out to one of our favorite places for lunch – Toothsomes Chocolate Emporium. We like the food here – but the biggest problem is that it is so SLOW….in fact, it took so long to get our order in that they gave us a complimentary chocolate bread, which no one was complaining about.



DD got the stuff French Toast – which she really liked.



I can’t remember the other menu items we got now, but everyone enjoyed them!





We were full enough by the end that no one wanted their giant desserts, so K and DW wanted to stop at Voodoo Donut on the way out to take a donut home for later. I don’t really get why this place is so popular. I mean, the donuts are fine and all, but I don’t think anything more than some good donut shops at home – and way more expensive.



We had decided to call it a day early because (a) DD was getting worn out from the heat and wanted a break and (b) the other 3 of us wanted to hit Jellyrolls! So we took time to wash up and rest, but then headed out around 7 PM.




Love the Boardwalk area – is it going to get overcrowded with the opening of the gondolas? We’ll see.


We were able to get just about the last table on the floor. Lots of big parties tonight – forgot it was Sunday and CM day at Jellyrolls. Always a very wild night.


To be continued....
 

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Day 4 –
Our last day and it was going to be a short one. DD was obviously wearing down after 4 days, and she really didn’t want to get up and go to the park early, but with the heat and the crowds we insisted. We didn’t quite make it to rope drop but we were pretty close. Again another beautiful sunny day – but the temperatures got hotter each day, and today was supposed to be a high around 97. The humidity was not as brutal as later in the summer, but holy cow when it gets that hot it’s bad anyways.

Regardless, we were heading for Hogsmeade first and the Forbidden Journey.


Mirror of Erised – I joked on Instagram that when I looked into it, I saw myself at Disney World.


After we rode once – DW and I wanted to ride again single rider – but DD had had enough with one ride. So we first rode the Flight of the Hippogriff again, and then found a seat for her in Hogsmeade, and we went back on. Turned out the single rider wait was literally about 6 people long, so we were off in under 10 minutes, and DW decided she wanted to ride a THIRD time. (Which is amazing to me, since she does NOT like thrill rides, and this is the one ride that can make me feel queasy.)



In the meantime – Jerry spotted some Deathcaps and thought this would be a great present for Gru:


I can’t remember specifically what we did next – but we had been texting back and forth with @khertz and her family. I have been friends with @khertz on the DIS for almost 10 years – since we were both at WDW at the same time in December 2019. We had followed along in eachothers trip reports, and ALMOST overlapped trips so many times. (Like we would miss each other by 2 days and things like that. We are even “neighbors” at AKV!) Well –FINALLY our trips overlapped by an entire day – so we were able to meet up and talk with her and her husband @DDuck4Life and their son. It was very cool to finally meet after all these years.



I wanted to ride the hulk coaster – and so I went and got in line while DW and DD sat this one out. Even though I rode single rider, there was an odd set-up where for about 15 minutes the two lines were together, and then they had us go through metal detectors, and only after that split off the single rider line, so it probably took about 25 minutes to get through the entire line, but it was worth it. This is probably my favorite coaster of all time. So many inversions, and it’s long and smooth. So much fun – but I’m getting old and can only do it once.

It was still a little early (maybe 11:30) – but DD was getting hungry, so we ate a pretty early lunch. We ate at the Comic Café I think it was – the one that serve Italian food. I was a little leery of this – as I grew up with really good Italian food and I am a little bit snobby about it. I wouldn’t say this was GREAT or anything, but for theme park food, It was fine. DW had the meatball sub, DD the spaghetti and meatballs, and I had the chicken Parmasean. The chicken was quite good, the sauce was decent, and the spaghetti was OK, only a little overcooked.





DD really didn’t want to wait in line for anymore rides – it was getting so hot again, and she was just totally worn down from the trip. DW and I debated about a few things, but there wasn’t really that much in the park we really wanted to ride again – at least with the wait times listed - but settled on going on Spiderman one more time. We went Single rider – which ended up taking maybe 20 minutes to get through the line. (I think standby was around 40 minutes by this time.) We decided after that to go back to the hotel – with one last picture from Marvel superhero Island.



With that we wrapped up our theme park time. We had paid for an extra night at the hotel because our flight didn’t leave until 10 PM that night. So we hung at the hotel, took a nap, went down to the pool for awhile for a swim. We ate our dinner at the airport before boarding our flight – and got home quite late. We only did such a late flight because it was the only one with a reasonable price. I guess we could have gone back to the park, but we had had enough of the Universal toss and turn.

Overall, it was a great trip – we learned that four days at Universal is probably more than we need, and honestly two is probably enough for us. There’s a lot of rides here that we don’t really care for that much, and there’s only so much mileage you can get from Harry Potter world. DD was very happy with her 16th Birthday trip, and that’s what was important. She tried some rides she wouldn’t try before, but still avoided the coasters. She just not a thrill ride junkie. We got enough Universal to last us a few years (IMO) but were a little sad that we missed out on the Hagrid coaster by just a few short weeks – though I would not have waited in 10 hour lines to ride it. (Is it even fully functional yet?)

In the meantime – feel free to go on over to our Disneyland/D23 trip report – which will be starting shortly.


 

khertz

Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Finally got a chance to come properly ready & reply since I saw I had been tagged in your post. I was SO GREAT to finally meet you & your family after so many years and so many missed opportunities at the parks!!

I'm glad DD really enjoyed her trip. Despite the heat, I'm sure that was great to know she was happy with her birthday gift.
 
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Nice wrap up and Dismeet! Four days at Universal is plenty! You guys broke up your day nicely with rest back at the room and not running around so much. Someday we'll go back and I think we might try the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Nice wrap up and Dismeet! Four days at Universal is plenty! You guys broke up your day nicely with rest back at the room and not running around so much. Someday we'll go back and I think we might try the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.
    Toothsome's is the one restaurant that to me is worth the re-visit. Besides butterbeer there's nothing in the Universal parks that I would go out of my way to eat. It's the one place that Universal is no competition with Disney, though I hear there's some good food at the resorts.

    I will miss seeing new pics of your minion

    Thank you for your great reporting
    Yeah - who knows when we'll get back with Jerry - but he'll be back again someday!
     

    Pumpkin1172

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2016
    Great Report!!!! You gave a great perspective of the parks with those teenagers. We love the good and bad ( like not wanting to get up in the mornings lol ) and it gets hard to keep them going. It sounds like it was a great milestone birthday gift!!!! Thanks for the report!!!!
     
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Toothsome's is the one restaurant that to me is worth the re-visit.
    Well I'm going to blame you for this, but your comment got me thinking. Fran loves Steampunk anything, and well, who doesn't love chocolate? We have a day free in our band part of the upcoming trip. Because we really don't care to spend a day at a Pride Parade and festival, two of our friends who live in Florida are coming to Orlando to hang out and they have said they'd like to do anything that we would like. So we may be spending the afternoon at City Walk. Just don't spill the beans when I allude to something "secret" when I post the nickel version of my PTR in my next post. :laughong:
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Well I'm going to blame you for this, but your comment got me thinking. Fran loves Steampunk anything, and well, who doesn't love chocolate? We have a day free in our band part of the upcoming trip. Because we really don't care to spend a day at a Pride Parade and festival, two of our friends who live in Florida are coming to Orlando to hang out and they have said they'd like to do anything that we would like. So we may be spending the afternoon at City Walk. Just don't spill the beans when I allude to something "secret" when I post the nickel version of my PTR in my next post. :laughong:
    No problem! I swear I won't say a thing. Just be aware the wait to get a table can be bad!
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    No problem! I swear I won't say a thing. Just be aware the wait to get a table can be bad!
    We have all day. Rehearsal ends at 11AM and our friends are driving over from Tampa. We'll have a lot of catching up to do, so as long as there is somewhere to sit while we wait we will be in good company!
     

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