March '19 Mother Daughter Mini Break - Cabana Bay, Harry Potter Here We Come!

Travelgrrl

Disneybounder
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Hello, and welcome to my latest trip report! My last one is here: https://www.disboards.com/threads/harry-potter-a-bit-of-mnsshp-shades-of-green-fall-2017-pre-trip-and-trip-report.3604591/

That trip was for a large party of 17, with various people doing various parks, and only a few of us visiting Universal. We all stayed at Shades of Green, which is lovely but hardly handy for IOA or USO! Half of our visit was to Universal, and half to a couple of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween parties. Of course, at the time I looked longingly at the ever-so-close Universal resorts and dreamed about someday staying there.

Well, recently I discovered that I earn an entire week's worth of vacation more at my job than I thought! (Was part time until last February, so 2019 will be the first year I've had the full boat, so to speak.) I added a week in March to my vacation request, and started noodling around on vacation congregators (Apple Vacations, Allegiant, etc) and lo and behold, there were convenient flights right out of my town in March, and a great rate at Cabana Bay!

My daughter, who missed the last big family vacation, was free to go. So: Mother Daughter trip to Universal in early March! Instead of the usual 10 months to plan, we have two; both upping the excitement and lowering the planning time. But as you all know, Universal is EASY and requires little planning, compared to a visit to the House of Mouse. Off we go!
 

bobbie68

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Hi a mother daughter trip sounds wonderful!!! It is a nice time of year to go. I agree as long as you can get the resort you are good to go. I do love the relaxed pace of the Uni vacations. Congrats on the extra vacation time.

Happy Planning and can't wait to read your report.
 

Travelgrrl

Disneybounder
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Thanks so much, Bobbie68!

Our room at Cabana Bay is a Standard Poolside, which I'm guessing is in one of the towers, facing the pool and not the freeway? The family suites seem to make up the other wings - unless I've got it backwards! Shades of Green, as lovely as it is, generally has rooms an awfully long hike to the pool. It's only 3 floors, but extremely long wings. I'm hoping this is more like a normal hallway, an elevator ride and BOOM.

The theming at Cabana Bay is also adorable as I love that "Mad Men" vibe! Bringing my own pool noodles for the lazy river, and very much looking forward to the ease of getting to the parks.

Next up: My daughter and I sort ourselves into Ravenclaw, and I begin to make some DIY Hogwarts shirts!
 
  • schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    Nice plans you have there......and how lovely you found out you had an extra weeks vacation!!

    Always a nice surprise.........look forward to reading about your trip with your daughter.......
     

    Travelgrrl

    Disneybounder
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    Macraven, you are so right! I'm used to planning trips months and months out so this is a bit of a mad whirlwind!

    Schumigirl, thanks for your kind words!
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Let us know when you start thinking about your food places for the trip

    We do love reading about food!
     
  • bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi we love Cabana Bay and I hope you do too. There are tower suites and courtyard suites. The tower pool side is enclosed and faces the lazy river/ pool. The court yard is open like a Disney moderate and faces the pool with the slide.
    Personally we always do the tower pool side. It is very relaxing and you probably will have some view of VB.
    We love the lazy river best part of the resort. We stay in for hours lol!
    The food court is very good it is a big resort and you could end uo walking a bit depending on your room location but it isn't bad at all.
    Ravenclaw that is my daughter's house. We have 2 Slytherin and I am a huffelpuff.
    Can't wait to hear more of your plans. I agree with macraven enjoy the food choices.
     

    Travelgrrl

    Disneybounder
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    So, the last time we went to Universal was in 2017 (the trip report linked above) and my sister, 13 year old niece and I 'made' house shirts to wear. And by "made" I mean we dug in our closets, and failing that, went to Goodwill. We each ended up with a fairly crisp looking shirt (mine had blue pin stripes, for Ravenclaw), which I attached cloth house patches on the upper left. My sister declared herself a Gryffindor, my niece a Slytherin, and since I'm an egghead, I figured I was a Ravenclaw. I bought the patches, and also Hogwarts house neckties, from Ebay.

    To purchase cool Harry Potter items cheaply, search "All categories" for your search term (in this case "Harry Potter"), then change the box on the upper right of your results from "Best Match" to "Priced Low To High". I think I paid less than $2 for each necktie, and even less than that for each patch. With free shipping!

    These things are coming from China or Hong Kong, and will generally take 4 to 6 weeks to arrive, so this method is not for last minute trip buying. But if you're a few months out from your Wizarding World trip, it's WELL WORTH IT to stock up on fun items! I still have my old kit (pictured below), but my daughter is coming this time so it was off to Goodwill, where I scored her a so-new-it-still-had-sizing-in-it Ralph Lauren white blouse. Her tie has already arrived, and I'm just waiting on the patch to make her a custom Ravenclaw uniform! Cost: $3.99 Blouse, $1.23 Patch, and $1.99 Necktie, for a grand total of $7.21 for a cool Harry Potter outfit!

    Here's the three of us in our house shirts and neckties in 2017. That's a Slytherin Cast Member with us, and a delightful witch photobombing us in the background!

    Hogwarts uniforms.png
     

    bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi I really enjoy your idea for the uniform. In my trip reports you would see that we get new matching HP shirts each year. We where them our first day there. It cost me much more than yours does. I will have to think about that sometime. I am not sure I could get my daughter in a skirt :laughing:

    Gotta love photo bombs!!:teeth:
     

    Travelgrrl

    Disneybounder
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    Hi I really enjoy your idea for the uniform. In my trip reports you would see that we get new matching HP shirts each year. We where them our first day there. It cost me much more than yours does. I will have to think about that sometime. I am not sure I could get my daughter in a skirt :laughing:

    Gotta love photo bombs!!:teeth:
    Hey, Hogwarts students wore jeans by the third movie! And come to think of it, they virtually NEVER wore their wizard hats that were required purchases on their first year Hogwarts supply list! :wizard:
     
  • Travelgrrl

    Disneybounder
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    On the subject of What To Wear To The Wizarding World, in 2017 I bought this Marauder's Map dress from Torrid (or the Hot Topic Zaftig Gals collection), and it was fun and comfortable to wear. It had a low back but a modest bodice, and I wore a pair of black shorts underneath. I'll wear it again this trip!

    Marauders Map dress.png


    The goblin, however, does not seem interested in my mischief managing!
     

    Travelgrrl

    Disneybounder
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    Now that our sartorial choices are out of the way, here's a little more on the cheap Harry Potter stuff I've ordered for this trip, and the previous trip. (See above for how.)

    Ever since my kids were small, when I took them on a trip I bought multiple 'souvenirs' in advance and doled them out each day, in order to not have to buy several expensive souvenirs on our trips. (I'd still buy them something of their choice, but this cut down on the begging about 90%, knowing there was a gift waiting in the hotel room.) Generally, I'd have a little thing to chivvy them out of bed in the morning, one waiting in the afternoon for them to encourage a rest time, and one waiting for when they went to bed.

    These were not expensive - just little things that were generally themed for our trip: Disney, a cruise, England, etc. Once I took my then-eleven year old daughter and her friend to the UK and on a transatlantic cruise and I ended up packing 66 gifties: 11 days x 3 a day x 2 girls. (Giant suitcases were free to take on planes in those days!) Luckily I had hit a Claire's Boutique that had a huge sale beforehand, so most items were 50 cents each. Little cross necklaces for the day we went to Westminster Abbey, tiaras to wear to a play in the West End, etc.

    Even though she's a grown lady now, I still do that for my daughter, although now she usually gets one thing a day. Since this is a short trip, she gets a few Harry Potter things daily! :rolleyes1

    I have a bunch of things coming for her, and many have already arrived. A Sorcerer's Stone necklace, a Ravenclaw Diadem necklace, a Snitch bracelet, Ravenclaw keyring, Felix Felicitas necklace, Ravenclaw scarf, etc. For illustration, here are a Platform 9 3/4's necklace and a "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" bracelet that I bought for myself the last time I was at Universal. Again, these little things cost about $1-$2 each, with free shipping!!!

    hp.png
     

    Travelgrrl

    Disneybounder
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    I made these two (huge) SPEW buttons, one of which I will force my adult child to wear:

    spew 2.png

    You, too can become a member of the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (just a few Sickles to join!), or you can print out a couple of images on cardstock paper, and pop them into plastic "make your own button" badges!
     

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