"It's Because This Wand CHOSE Me!" Sept 2017 TR *COMPLETE* 3/1 x2

khertz

Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Probably a smart call skipping Forbidden Journey after eating pizza. It's an amazing ride but rough on the stomach!

And for about the millionth time, I love all the pictures you post. The ones of the shop fronts are so bright and colorful.

Sorry you and DH got into an argument and it ended up with both of you skipping the Hulk. Sometimes, those dumb married disagreements sneak into vacations.
Totally agree. It's one of my favorites, but it does a number on me.

Thanks! DH is always working hard to get nice photos of our trips. I'm eager to see how many photos he ends up taking on our Italy cruise lol

They totally do, and it's such a bummer when it does. Luckily it was the only one and it was pretty minor, all things considered.

Great time at Islands of Adventure. So nice to be able to do Forbidden Journey a couple of times since the crowds were kind of low and glad the weather was nice for you guys in September. That is certainly a big deal!!
The crowds and weather really couldn't have been much better! I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by both while we were there, and I hope if we are able to go in September again, we have another comfortable trip!

I don't blame him! It's a happenin' spot!
lol He has been doing that since the first time we took him to Universal. He loves to jam!

This is a really neat shot!
DH is always working hard to get nice shots of us on rides when possible!

I'd call that a win! Sometimes these things happen on vacation. Theme parks are tiring and overstimulating, and that makes it easy to get short with the people we love. Good that you made up quickly though! But too bad about missing Hulk.
Definitely was good that it was only a little bump in the road of an otherwise perfect trip!

Sounds like a nice night! DS looks so cute jammin along! I'm sorry you didn't get to ride the Hulk and that is resulted in an agreement, but at least it was the only one of the trip and you got over it quickly!
He really feels the music, wherever he is! lol

It was a sucky moment but only a minor one thankfully. Otherwise we had the best time! So I'll take one little argument for an otherwise awesome trip!
 

khertz

Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Day 5: Saturday September 23rd

On our last full day, we were ready to go early so we could hit Early Entry at 7 am again. We got up at 6 and were down to the water taxi at 6:20 am. When we got down there, there was no one else on the boat and no one else waiting, so boat captain Bonnie said we could get a private ride over to the parks! Since DS was wearing his birthday button, Bonnie had us all sing Happy Birthday to him, and she let him be her First Mate, which meant he got to go up front with her to honk the horn and to give the All Ashore call over the loudspeaker.

It was a really fun boat ride over to the parks, and I posted the pic of DS and Bonnie on Facebook when we were done. I later got a comment from a friend Kathy, who we traveled on our Italy Adventures by Disney trip and lives in Florida, that Bonnie is her neighbor! Small world.

We got to the gates around 6:40 which gave us time to eat our breakfast while waiting for them to let us into the park. They let us in a little before 7 am and we made the walk over to Diagon Alley and right into the line for Gringotts. We must have been at the head of the pack because DH got this great video of DS and I walking through Diagon Alley and it was pretty empty!



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When we came off, I wanted to ride again, but DS didn’t want to. DH offered to take DS to Ollivanders while I rode again if I wanted to, but I said, “No way, because if I do that he’s going to end up being picked for the show!” So the three of us went in together. Since it was still pretty early in the morning and people were still swarming Gringotts, it ended up being only us and one other family in the room.

And wouldn’t you know it…DS GOT PICKED FOR THE WAND CHOOSING CEREMONY!!! I think I was just as excited, if not MORE excited, than DS was!!



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DH even got it all on video!!


Of course, the wand that chose him was another interactive one…and we just couldn’t leave it behind. So yep, we ended up buying a second interactive wand! In our excitement, we took his new wand out to do some magic.


I think he had probably just gotten better with his technique after a couple of days using his Ron Weasley wand, but he was doing a lot better with his new one. That’s when he looked at me and said, “Mom, I think it’s because this wand CHOSE me!” Warmed my Harry Potter loving Mama heart, and I was SO glad we had all ended up going to do Ollivanders instead of splitting up. I would have been devastated to miss seeing him get chosen for the wand ceremony!

DH put together some clips of him using his new wand. I was a bit over the top excited in some of them, mostly from the high of watching him be chosen for the ceremony, but also because it was genuinely exciting to see him having such an easy time with this wand compared to the frustration of the first couple of days when he couldn’t get the hang of it. The one that got us both really excited was turning on the lamps in the shop over by the restrooms, because we had all had trouble getting that one to work properly!

While doing some magic, we corrected the fact that up until now, we had not gotten a single frozen Butterbeer the whole trip!

Diagon Alley is so nice early in the morning when it isn’t packed!

By that time, the early entry had come to an end, so we were ready to head out into the rest of the park for some more fun. But it had definitely been the most fun and most magical early entry hour ever!!
 

MeghanEmily

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
How cool is this??

Ooh I like this shot :)

And wouldn’t you know it…DS GOT PICKED FOR THE WAND CHOOSING CEREMONY!!! I think I was just as excited, if not MORE excited, than DS was!!
Yay! Finally! Thank goodness you didn't miss it!

I think he had probably just gotten better with his technique after a couple of days using his Ron Weasley wand, but he was doing a lot better with his new one. That’s when he looked at me and said, “Mom, I think it’s because this wand CHOSE me!” Warmed my Harry Potter loving Mama heart, and I was SO glad we had all ended up going to do Ollivanders instead of splitting up. I would have been devastated to miss seeing him get chosen for the wand ceremony!
Oh my gosh, this is awesome! :goodvibes What a precious little wizard you have! Your DS must have been super proud walking around with his wand, casting spells like a boss.
 
  • amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    How awesome that Paxton got picked for the wand ceremony! And good on you for going with your gut and skipping that second turn on Gringotts. You would never have lived that down if you'd missed that!

    Oh my gosh, the comment about the "wand choosing me" kind of sums up how magical your trip was.

    Your first frozen butterbeer?!? I know ya'll were on the hunt for Strawberry Icees, but you can't forget the butterbeer. :rotfl2: Glad you were able to remedy that on your last day.
     

    allybabba98

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2013
    I have loved following along in your adventures. I can't wait to take my three boys there in August...your planning and how you approached each day helped me plan some of our days. Great trip report!
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    Nice private boat ride to the park!

    Love those early morning pics where it's still so dark! And how it looks like you were the only ones walking into Diagon Alley!

    So cool that DS finally got picked at Olivanders! So sweet to hear how the TR title came to be :) And I love the video of him using the wand!
     
  • khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    How cool is this??
    It was awesome!! DS was in heaven.

    Ooh I like this shot :)
    It's a really cool entrance, made even more so when it's lit up like that, I think.

    Yay! Finally! Thank goodness you didn't miss it!
    I would have been devastated to miss it! I have been hoping for that to happen since our first trip to Ollivanders.

    Oh my gosh, this is awesome! :goodvibes What a precious little wizard you have! Your DS must have been super proud walking around with his wand, casting spells like a boss.
    Haha definitely like a boss! He was so proud of himself!

    Still reading and loving your report!!
    Thanks!

    How awesome that Paxton got picked for the wand ceremony! And good on you for going with your gut and skipping that second turn on Gringotts. You would never have lived that down if you'd missed that!
    I would have been devastated to miss it! I'm really glad I didn't go along with DH's "plan" lol

    Oh my gosh, the comment about the "wand choosing me" kind of sums up how magical your trip was.
    Absolutely! I had a few contenders for TR title, but that just ecompassed our entire trip when he said that.

    Your first frozen butterbeer?!? I know ya'll were on the hunt for Strawberry Icees, but you can't forget the butterbeer. :rotfl2: Glad you were able to remedy that on your last day.
    I don't know how it happened?! All of a sudden it was the last day and I realized we hadn't had one yet, and it had to be fixed!

    I have loved following along in your adventures. I can't wait to take my three boys there in August...your planning and how you approached each day helped me plan some of our days. Great trip report!
    Thanks so much! I'm glad you're enjoying. Y'all will have such a great time!

    Nice private boat ride to the park!

    Love those early morning pics where it's still so dark! And how it looks like you were the only ones walking into Diagon Alley!

    So cool that DS finally got picked at Olivanders! So sweet to hear how the TR title came to be :) And I love the video of him using the wand!
    It was a pretty awesome way to start the day with a private boat ride.

    I know we couldn't really have been the only people, but it sure does look that way! It makes for some great pictures!!

    He was so proud of himself and how well he could do magic after getting chosen by that second wand. I'm so glad we are all such Potter nerds, because that moment made us all so happy!
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Day 5 Continued: Saturday September 23rd

    After wandering around Diagon Alley for the rest of the Early Entry hour, we went over to Men In Black. We had heard on the DIS Unplugged Universal show that you can ask about an Immigration Tour to get a chance to go down on the floor of the queue where the desks and stuff are. So we asked the TM outside, but he said we would have to come back later between 11 am and 3 pm when they would be going on, so for now we just went on the ride.

    We always have fun on that ride!

    We tried to go over and do E.T. next, walking through Krustyland, but Kids Zone didn’t open until 10 am and it was still too early.


    So we detoured over to Transformers instead. It’s always a winner for DS.


    We defeated Megatron, once again!

    We wanted to head back to Diagon Alley in hopes of catching the first Beedle the Bard show at 9 am and finally seeing the Tale of 3 Brothers. But we stopped to visit with Bruce along the way.


    Once we got over to the stage and had waited a few minutes, a TM came out to make sure the stage and stairs area was clear, and I asked her which story they would be doing first. It was going to be Fountain of Fair Fortune again!! I confirmed with her that the next one at 10 would definitely be 3 Brothers, and we decided to bail on the show. Not that we don’t love it, but we had seen Fair Fortune 2 or 3 times already this trip.

    We went over to ride Revenge of the Mummy instead, and even though DS had said it was his second favorite new ride after Forbidden Journey, today he decided he hated it and didn’t want to ride again. So I will be honest, DH and I were pretty annoyed that he suddenly didn’t want to ride after proclaiming to love it the day before, so instead of doing something else with him while we took turns riding, we made him take turns sitting on a bench with us while the other one rode. Probably not our best moment, but it was frustrating.


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    After taking turns riding, we still had a little bit of time to kill before needing to go over and catch the 10 am Beedle the Bard show, so why not do Transformers for the second time today?


    DS wanted to pose at this pet shop on the side streets because he loves animals.

    Then, finally, it was time to see Tale of the 3 Brothers!!


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    We did a couple of magic stops before heading toward the front of the park to get our cup activated for the day and riding Minions.


    Continued in next post...
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Day 5 Continued: Saturday September 23rd

    When we got up to Minions, we got our first taste of weekend crowds compared to weekday crowds, when we saw that the standby line was up to 75 minutes, and Express looked really backed up as well, so we decided not to ride. We got our cup activated for the day and got a Lemonade Icee to start off the day. And we made a quick pit stop at guest services for another birthday button for DS because he had realized his was gone after one of our Transformers rides that morning.

    Since it was after 10, we decided to head over and give E.T. another try.

    After E.T. DS wanted to ride Woody Woodpecker, so we went to that next, and they announced his birthday as we went up the lift! It was really cool that he got so much recognition for his birthday button. It seems like at Disney everyone is wearing a button for one thing or another, so they don’t acknowledge them as much anymore, so he was excited to get recognized so much on this trip.

    DS was getting hungry for lunch and asking for a Krustyburger so we went over to Fast Food Boulevard to get some lunch.

    Just a FYI, there are no kids burgers at Krustyburger, so he had to get a regular meal, but he still managed to eat almost all of it. I got a grilled chicken sandwich, but DH had decided to get the chicken and waffle sandwich.

    I tried a bite of his and it was really good, actually.


    After lunch, we went back over to Men In Black since we could now do the Immigration Tour! We rode first, and then asked the TM as we were exiting the ride. He directed us to wait up on the platform next to the child swap room, and let us know someone would be up to get us soon.


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    After waiting just a few minutes, a TM came up to gather us and bring us down a back staircase and down onto the floor. It was so incredibly cool! The only rules were that we couldn’t touch the Twins. But we could touch anything else and take as many photos as we wanted.


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    Besides just the desks, there is a little sitting area with some interesting looking chairs, so we went to check those out too.


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    We spent about 15 minutes down there looking around and taking pictures before we were ready to head back up. The TM gathered everyone together and brought us all back up together.

    One more pic of it empty.


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    It was a really cool experience! It was kind of funny to hear people up on the catwalk in line asking each other how we had gotten down there! The TM did tell us it’s a lot more popular now than it used to be, but I’m sure there are still a lot of people who have no idea it’s an option. It was fun!

    UP NEXT: Hogwarts Express
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    Your luck was so bad trying to catch that 3 Brothers show! Glad you finally got to see it!

    Sounds like an awesome morning! The Immigration Tour at MIB is so neat, I never knew it was an option! Love all the photos you all got.
     
  • MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    You finally saw the 3 Brothers!! I was hoping this would happen eventually!

    I'd really like to try the Immigration Tour sometime. It looks so cool, and I didn't realize that there are so few restrictions on what you can actually touch, sit in, etc. Looks like you had a great time!

    For the record, I think I would have had the same reaction with your DS saying he suddenly hated the mummy. I think I'd be a bit frustrated with the sudden change of heart, too. Sitting and waiting may not have been the most fun thing he could be doing, but it's also a good skill to work on, I think, if he didn't want to take part.
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    You look like you are typing away while at work in the one picture downstairs at the tour room

    So cute !
     

    lebeau

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2008
    Great pictures! Cute kids!

    The last time we went to the Halloween Party was 2008. The candy was mostly terrible, but there was no crowd whatsoever. Funny how the candy has gotten better and the crowds have gotten worse. Looking forward to the Universal portion of the trip. Great report so far!
     

    klo1335

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2015
    DH had decided to get the chicken and waffle sandwich
    I was just telling my DH about this yesterday. I got it last trip and it was so good. I saw a TimTracker review of it which made me want to try it. Going to get it again next trip :)
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Your luck was so bad trying to catch that 3 Brothers show! Glad you finally got to see it!

    Sounds like an awesome morning! The Immigration Tour at MIB is so neat, I never knew it was an option! Love all the photos you all got.
    It really was! Thankfully we had 4 days because I would have been bummed to have such bad luck over only a couple of days instead and miss out on seeing it entirely. It's one of our favorite things!

    I didn't know about the Immigration tour before they talked about it on the podcast, so it was really cool to get the opportunity to do it.

    You finally saw the 3 Brothers!! I was hoping this would happen eventually!

    I'd really like to try the Immigration Tour sometime. It looks so cool, and I didn't realize that there are so few restrictions on what you can actually touch, sit in, etc. Looks like you had a great time!

    For the record, I think I would have had the same reaction with your DS saying he suddenly hated the mummy. I think I'd be a bit frustrated with the sudden change of heart, too. Sitting and waiting may not have been the most fun thing he could be doing, but it's also a good skill to work on, I think, if he didn't want to take part.
    FINALLY!!! After 3 days of trying and trying, it was a long time coming!!

    Yeah, I was surprised that they pretty much gave us run of the area, just don't touch the aliens! It was very cool to get to explore. Lots of people had signed their names on papers on the desks, but we didn't have anything to write with to get our names on there ourselves. Definitely something to remember to bring next time!

    He can be a bit frustrating when it comes to things like this, but this was really the only moment like that all trip. Even though he didn't love Gringotts, he would still go on it when we asked him. So I'm glad he didn't put up more of a fight on anything else and it was only this isolated incident.

    You look like you are typing away while at work in the one picture downstairs at the tour room

    So cute !
    Haha yep we did our best to look authentic! :surfweb:

    It was a lot of fun!

    Great pictures! Cute kids!

    The last time we went to the Halloween Party was 2008. The candy was mostly terrible, but there was no crowd whatsoever. Funny how the candy has gotten better and the crowds have gotten worse. Looking forward to the Universal portion of the trip. Great report so far!
    Thanks so much!

    The candy was definitely good this year! We had so many Dove bars, M&Ms, Twix, Snickers, etc. It helps take the sting out of the cost just a tiny bit knowing at least we are bringing home a lot of really good candy!

    I was just telling my DH about this yesterday. I got it last trip and it was so good. I saw a TimTracker review of it which made me want to try it. Going to get it again next trip :)
    I liked the little bit of DH's I tried, so I would definitely get it next trip if I was in the mood for chicken! The chicken sandwiches I got other places were not that great.
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Day 5 Continued: Saturday September 23rd

    We walked over to London so we could finally take the Hogwarts Express over to Islands of Adventure.


    They had a musician out playing tunes as we walked up.


    The queue wasn’t too busy so DH was able to hang back and get pictures of us going through to Platform 9 ¾ .


    After a quick wait we were loaded onto our compartment. We were with a really funny family with 3 boys and they were acting so silly with each other. Finally the oldest one looks at his brothers and says, “Guys! We’re in public!” It was one of those things you just know his parents have said to them hundreds of times! :rotfl:

    Unfortunately, that was our one and only ride on the Hogwarts Express the whole visit! So we didn’t get a chance to ride the opposite way, but that’s okay. We have done it before, so it wasn’t a big deal. And it’s just something to make sure we do if/when we go again in September before our APs expire.

    Once in Hogsmeade, we decided to do some magic! We had tried to do the stops here another time in the evening and it was so packed at there were long waits for the magic spots, so now was a much better time to get some done.

    DS wanted to go ride Forbidden Journey next, so we headed into the Castle.

    After another fun ride on Forbidden Journey, I was feeling a bit too queasy to join the two of them as they went on Flight of the Hippogriff right away, so I sat out to give my stomach a few minutes to rest. Once they had retrieved me, we crossed the bridge over to Jurassic Park.


    It still wasn’t overly humid this day, but the sun was pretty brutal and the heat was starting to really get to us, more than it had in all of the days leading up to this one. So we ducked inside the Jurassic Park Discovery Center for a little while to soak up some air conditioning and get out of the sun.

    DS did some scanning for dinosaur fossils.

    We hung out in there for awhile before going over to ride Reign of Kong, stopping for a strawberry Icee refill along the way.

    We got to Kong, only to realize it was down. So we had to decide what to do next?!

    UP NEXT: ROAR!
     

    amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    That Platform 9 3/4 trick is pretty cool.

    Glad you guys were able to get one ride in on the Hogwarts Express. And of the two, the one going towards IOA has the better special effects (in my opinion). I could see any kid making that comment, because that's practically a parent's motto. We try to reign in the crazy family quirkiness while around strangers! :rotfl2:

    Paxton has an iron stomach when it comes to Forbidden Journey! I wish I could go on that attraction as much as he did this trip. :rotfl:

    Bummer about Kong being down. Never the sight you want to see on a warm day when you're out in the sun.
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Glad you could get in a ride on the Hogwarts Express! Great photos as always!

    Oh no, another bust with Kong!
    I'm glad we got on it at least once, since it is one of our favorites!

    I think having the unlimited express and knowing we really wouldn't have much wait for anything made us not use the app as much as we would have without having the express. In checking wait times, we probably would have saved ourselves quite a bit of pointless walking as we would have known when things were down.

    That Platform 9 3/4 trick is pretty cool.

    Glad you guys were able to get one ride in on the Hogwarts Express. And of the two, the one going towards IOA has the better special effects (in my opinion). I could see any kid making that comment, because that's practically a parent's motto. We try to reign in the crazy family quirkiness while around strangers! :rotfl2:

    Paxton has an iron stomach when it comes to Forbidden Journey! I wish I could go on that attraction as much as he did this trip. :rotfl:

    Bummer about Kong being down. Never the sight you want to see on a warm day when you're out in the sun.
    It's really cool how they did it, and I loved that we were actually able to get photos of DS and I going through, as it's even more fun to see the effect being used on members of your own party.

    Yes! It was such a typical parent/child moment. There were 3 boys if I remember right, and mom was pregnant with another boy! I couldn't imagine!! Two keep me more than busy enough.

    He really does! I was a bit worried about him going on so many thrill rides since I myself have to take Dramamine to get me through the day, so I brought some ginger pills for him just in case. But he was a total champ! Never complained about his stomach once.

    Yeah, really. Extra walking in the hot sun is never fun. Had we not had the unlimited express, we probably would have been on the app more checking wait times and would have seen when stuff was down instead of not knowing until we got over there.
     

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