Mike- Two & Two kids, pleases...Day 12......IOA and a very nice surprise!!!

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by UK Valerie, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. UK Valerie

    UK Valerie TRUST NO-ONE

    Feb 28, 2002
    Two & Two kids, pleases...Day 12......IOA and a very nice surprise!!!

    After the late evening of the previous day...we arrived back at the villa well after midnight..a lie - in was called for, so you can imagine my delight when the phine went at 8 a.m.....!/*|*!....."Hello,I grunted ..." then a voice said " Hi Mike , it's Steven , how are you today...? " It was our new American friend from Illuminations 2000( read Day 11 Trip report)........sounding very chipper for this time of day!! He and his crew had been up since 6 a.m. , had their character breakfast and thought they'd give us a ring...THANK YOU !!!! What followed next made me feel guilty, Steven and Christie wondered if we had anything planned for the next day...Thursday....I explained nothing definite was planned , and we were invited to be their guests for the day at the Yacht & Beach Club ........." Eerrr, yes, please !!!!!" Steven said they'd all really enjoyed the previous night and wanted to spend time with us ...aren't Americans direct in their approach!! Plans were duly made to meet them at the Y&B Club at 11 a.m. next day. Not surprisingly I was now fully awake, and felt quite pleased that Steve & co. had enjoyed our company enough to contact us again .
    I told DW the good news, she was delighted too, the kids grunted and went back to Cartoon Network. Half an hour later we were en-route to IOA for our return visit courtesy of the free extra 7 days on our flex-ticket. We were in the concrete jungle they call a car park by 9.30 and started on the half marathon to the gates of IOA.....
    The idea was to have breakfast at The Croissant Moon Bakery......on the walk to IOA DW said " Are you sure it'll be open ?"....I'd not actually thought about that eventuality.....luckily the aroma of fresh baking and coffee reassured me and sure enough it was open. We had juice , coffee and the most delicious croissants I've ever eaten....fresh baked and with as many fillings as you could imagine. Even the kids went wild for them! They must have been good , I can taste them as I write this report and I feel hungry!!
    As on our previous visit we were given our free IOA Express Pass, which allows you to got the head of the queue until 11 a.m. ( once per. ride ) but it had been so quiet on our first visit we decided we weren't going to rush around.....anyway our legs wouldn't take it!!!! It was about 10.15 when we decide "It's party time !" and straight over to the Hulk we went....hey , let's start with the big ones !! TIP....You can put your bags into the Hulk lockers FREE for 2 hours....a real plus in the heat of summer I'd say! Emilia had her big-soled trainers on ( she's about half an inch too short for the big rides otherwise ) so straight into Hulk , up the stairs and into the loading area. The only queue was for the front row which DW refused to ride in anyway so I dragged them all to the back row. As ever , we trundled slowly into the tunnel , chugged slowly uphill.......then KAPOWWWW!!! off we shot at 50 mph....you see daylight , then the sky....except the sky's beneath you!!! This is one incredible ride, lightning fast , a million and one twists and turns ......you have to do it!! you owe it to yourself!!! Two minutes later we dismounted, windswept , dishevelled and laughing like fools.....and whizzed round for ride number 2 on Hulk, closely followed by ride number 3, before DW decided enough was enough , she's wonderful taking care of us three kids the way she does!! TIP Number Two...Without any doubt the most intense ride on Hulk is the last row of seats....the expectation as you go into the tunnel at the start of the ride is magnified many times.......try it and thank me for the advice!!!!!!
    Next up was the glorified spinning teacups ...but not for the grown-ups! This is too vicious for me , I'd prefer to hang on to my breakfast thank you. Callum & Emilia were straight on , only half the seats were taken so unfortunately for them they got a longer ride than they wanted and came off looking a bit green ! I cannot recommend this ride at all...it's so low tech compared to the rest of IOA. Anyway as Callum wandered toward us four characters appeared from nowhere and leapt in front of him...." We are the X-men !! " they yelled at him ......" Yes.." said Callum.." I know that, what do you want?" Cool or what? They looked a bit bemused then Wolf(?) asked if Callum wanted his photo taken with them....." Go on then " he replied ..Wow , thanks for doing them a favour!!! I don't think the X-men got a cooler reception all day......Callum explained to DW and myself he didn't like them anyway....fair enough I suppose.
    We by-passed Doctor Doom's Fearfall, we'd done it on our first visit and Juliet reminded me that I'd taught the kids a new word .....an unconscious reaction to the velocity with which Dr. Doom had catapulted us skyward!!! In fairness this is quite an intense ride and I'm not too bothered if I do it again....but I'd still recommend you try it at least once yourself.

    Here we are then!!!!! SPIDERMAN...the piece de resistance of all rides the world over , unparalelled and unbeatable.....worth the fare to Orlando in itself!! ( I like this ride ) Actually the word "ride " does not do Spiderman justice, it's so far beyond anything else . We only had a 5 minute wait, and this is spent wending your way through the offices of the Daily Bugle to get to your Scoop vehicle. TIP Number 3....At all costs try to get the front row ...you get totally immersed in the ride with no-one in front of you...there aren't any bad seats on Spidey but the front row is a class above.....and since we did the ride 5 times in a row I consider myself a bit of an expert on it ( if I may make so bold!!! ) After leaving Spidey for the 5th. time we saw him in the shop doorway opposite....yet again DW's eyes lit up and she pushed the kids ungraciously to one side to get over the road!!!!!! OK, then Juliet, relax , I'll take the blooming photo..Oi ! not so close!!
    Through we went to Toon Lagoon...there are some very good photo ops. here in the various cartoon scene cut-outs , take plenty of film!!!! You'll love it! We did Popeye's Bilge Rat Barges , essentially a white water raft ride then on to Ripsaw Falls.......this is a definite 10/10 for getting wet , we'd purchased our obligatory Yellow ponchos on our first visit ( CHEAPEST PLACE to buy them is the store next to Caro-Seuss-Sel ) and put them on ...OK we looked like gimps but I knew what this ride was like!!! it may be good fun getting a fully-clothed shower in 90 degrees in July...it's not so clever in 65 degrees in December!!! On we trooped looking like 4 demented daffodils, and the ride was just as good,i.e. wet, as on our first visit...Excellent Fun.......It's good fun just standing on the bridge watching this ride , it looks as if the boats are going to have a collision on the way down.

    Next up was going to be Jurassic Park so we kept our ponchos on and aimed for JP river Adventure.....nothing to add to my first report about this one...a classy ride with a very exciting (if predictable ) finale...another of IOA 's stable of must-do's.......I'd even queue for it!
    The kids wanted to do the Triceratops Encounter again , nothing too much happens ( unless you believe the Triceratops IS real ! ) but it's cute and has a definite AAWWWHH !! factor , great for under 10's. However , unless you want to be soaked by some kid controlling a water cannon DO NOT walk on the ground floor area of Camp Jurassic....you've been warned!!
    By now it was 1 p.m. and we were feeling peckish...how very unusual...this is when you realise that IOA is not abundantly supplied with kid's eateries. We followed the tried and trusty trail to Circus Mcgurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous. As on our previous visit we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves , the show they put on is brilliant and the kids loved the way Thing 1& 2 cuddle them while the Cat in the Hat insisted on posing with them for half a dozen shots. The characters in this show really enjoy themselves, and if you don't join in you'll definitely attract their attention..........!!!! Advice...JOIN IN !

    Since we'd jumped over to Seuus Landing we decide to do the rides here and backtrack to Lost Continent later. First up was Caro-seuss -el...pretty much a new slant on a carousel and very enjoyable too!. Cat in the Hat followed ...sort of "Small World " with loads of attitude, we did it twice and the kids did it three times so it must have been pretty good. On leaving Cat we found the entrance to If I ran the Zoo....and wandered it thinking " Looks boring..." big mistake , nothing here for adults ( mainly 'cos the staff would stop you ! ) but a really excellent interactive playground for kids . I know Simon's book says "fun for pre-school brigade"...but I'd definitely recommend this area for any kids up to 10 or so......imaginative, adventurous and potentially very wet !!Our two spent a good 30 minutes here , and had real old fashioned fun....I can't recommend it enough, and it's great fun to watch from the various levels .

    On to One Fish etc........the rides seat two so we paired off with one kid each and let them control the fish!!!! This will show you whether or not your little angel loves you, sit on the outside of the seat and hope your child listens to the rhyme...or else .......!!
    Having exhausted all that Seuss Landing had to offer we reversed our path to Lost Continent....and caught Eighth Voyage of Sinbad....not a bad show at all , but imho it doesn't have the charisma of Disney's offerings, a few bangs and flashes but I wouldn't rush to see it again.
    Duelling Dragons was what we'd really come for so it was back on with Emilia's trainers and into the queue ...they have lockers here too, but only free for 45 minutes. I can imagine this being a problem with summer queuing times....... It's a really long walk to get to the loading areas , most of it in near darkness , but it's worth the shoe leather!! The first thrill comes when you're seated and the floor falls away so your little legs are dangling in mid-air!!! The two dragons , Fire & Ice start off together chugging up the hill then part ways at the top before you start the whirling and twirling that earmark this ride.......Fantastic Fun!!!! It's more aggressive than Hulk, if such a thing is possible , but it's still a very smooth ride , don't worry about being jarred or jolted ...it ain't gonna happen!!! Apparently the two rides pass within a foot or so of each other on a couple of occasions but I never noticed....too busy working out up from down !
    We did Duelling Dragons 4 times in a row, the good thing about this ride is that once you dismount and exit , you can take a short cut ( legitimate!! ) and re-join the queue within 50 yards of the exit...saves having to do the long walk again...a definite plus point!! We preferred Ice to Fire , and again the nearer the back the more intense the ride. I hope I haven't made it sound frightening, it's not that sort of ride ...you'll love it !!!!!!!!! ( Famous last words! )

    We continued our reverse journey and passed through Jurassic Park ...BTW Do yourself a big favour and AVOID the Pterandon Flyers AT ALL COSTS.......we'd done it on visit one....a sheer waste of time , you'll queue AND queue , even in quiet times , for 80 seconds of nothing...I've warned you!!!!!!
    We couldn't resist another go on Spiderman....OK two goes....then onto Hulk where Dad & kids treated ourselves to three more rides.....stopping only when DW gave us THAT look !

    It was 6 p.m. now , and we decide we'd done everything , and then some !!, so set off for the car only for DW to notice a restaraunt called Mythos....we surveyed the menu and decided to treat ourselves!! The inside of the place was fantastic , it's done as the insides of a volcano complete with steam , fountains little rivers...the lot!!!!! DW had roasted sea-bass with salad which she pronounced delicious ( it certainly smelled fabulous) while I had a grilled porterhouse steak!!!! Beautifully prepared this thing was the size of a small republic and I was pleased I'd declined fries in favour of salad for once! Emilia had spag. carbonara while Callum, who seemed a little quiet , had plain spaghetti. Finishing off with a shared chocolate roulade , I had to praise DW for spotting Mythos...a real find . The bill was just under $ 60 with tax , not cheap but vey good value , the surroundings alone were worth the money!!
    It was noticeable by now that Callum was definitely not his usual bright self , and he told us he felt poorly , something he rarely says. We took our time getting back to the car, he fell asleep on the way back and seemed a little better back at the villa , he decided he'd have an early night so that he'd be ready to play with his new friends, Gabe & Colin next day at the Y&B Club.
    Day 13, ......Poor Callum, all's not well....


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