Part 2- Adults acting like kids: Monday, Nov 6. IOA-Univeral-Citywalk


<font color=royalblue>Oh, meow!!<br><img src=http:
Aug 29, 1999
Island of Adventure- early entry day-mid 80's, sunny

Long day, long report.

Me- 39, trip planner, roller coaster fanatic and stay at home mom
DH- 41, wonderful husband of 12 years

Kids: boy 11, girl 6 but they stayed home this trip. Don’t worry, we toured Universal as a family in Nov/99 and WDW in Feb/00.

I’m up first so I go to the Gelatteria Cafe Espresso for coffee and a muffin ($8.22 w/tx). They also had a selection of little boxes of cold cereal, milk, bagels, fruit and muffins. Pretty pricey option for breakfast though.

We go through the gates at about 8:30. With front of the line access we don't need to get here early but I love the low crowds when the park first opens. We hit Spiderman-the ride first. It’s a walk on. This is a high action 3-D simulator ride unlike anything else, absolutely amazing. Every time I go on this attraction I hold on for dear life! DH is equally impressed. The statue of liberty effect wasn’t working. Everyone in our car clapped at the end.

Next, on to Hulk. Posted wait time was 10 min. This is a very smooth coaster, great inversions! I like going through the mist; it feels refreshing.

We meandered through Seuss Landing. There was almost no one else there, so I took a picture of Pat on a deserted street. This is true eye candy for Seuss lovers. It’s like walking into one of his books. Don’t miss “sneech beach”. It’s along the path that goes next to the water. You’ll find the Zax there too. This is also a great way to avoid the crowds in Seuss landing since it bypasses most of it.

Our destination is Dueling Dragons in Lost Continent. When you are at the entrance to the castle there are some “stained glass” windows like they have in church. The pictures on the glass will begin to change and a great booming voice tells you the story of the dragons. Many people go right by this. Try to look up, down and around on your long journey through this que. It’s almost like a haunted house. When we got to the dragons, we chose ice first. There was no wait except for the front row, only about 10 minutes (that’s not included in front of the line). This is the best view on the ride, imho. Using the “ride again” short cut, we rode fire front row.

We’ve worked up a good appetite. I knew we could get danish and pastries at the Croissant Moon Bakery in Port of Entry but we needed something more substantial. We went to Green Eggs and Ham and had good breakfast sandwiches. They were served with french fries. It was about $13 with drinks. Service here was very slow. Afterwards we stopped at the Cats, Hats and Things gift shop to pick up a stuffed cat in the hat for my daughter. I charged it with my Portofino key and requested delivery to the hotel. It’s a great convenience.

My son requested dragons for his present. We thought the shops in the Lost Continent were a good bet. Neither hubby or I are big on shopping but we enjoyed looking through the shops here. The metal smith shop has beautiful things. There’s a store with handcrafted metal type puzzle and another with hand crafted glass items. We found some big heavy plastic dragons in the shop near the Dueling Dragons exit, very fierce looking!

DH and I are hungry again so we stopped at the Enchanted Oak Tavern in Lost Continent. It’s counter service but the interior is like being inside a tree! Check out the display behind the condiment counter. DH ordered the Turkey Leg Platter ($7.95). It comes with excellent side dishes; a corn muffin, corn on the cob and fries. The smoked turkey leg was pretty dry. I wanted something fresh fruit so I went outside to a vendor cart and purchased a fruit cup, excellent, ($3) and large water ($3) and brought it back to share.

While wandering through Jurassic Park we stopped at the Watering Hole for a “triple threat of extinction” I’d heard so much about. Boy was I glad I had just eaten! It’s a beautiful layered drink made w/rum (5.50) or virgin (3.95). We sat and enjoyed the warm sunshine and each other’s company, *sigh*.

We decided to head back to the hotel for awhile. Not so fast, I tell the love of my life. Then I direct him towards the caricature artists in the Port of Entry. We chose a color picture, ($36 /2 people). The artist had one person sit still at a time so I had fun harassing DH and admiring the pictures on the booth wall. My favorite was the Pamela Sue Anderson one with a Dr. in the picture who was holding two blown up balloons, lol. It’s neat because during this whole process you can’t see the drawing’s progress but you can see the reactions of people passing by. There was a lot of chuckling! The whole process took about ½ hour, longer than I thought. The final picture was very funny, if not exactly a likeness. We purchased the frame available for $12. I didn’t want to worry about traveling with it. It’s now sitting on my bureau and I smile every time I look at it.

Back to the hotel to relax for awhile. Pat goes off to the local Walgreen’s in search of water shoes. I stayed behind to write trip notes. Well, maybe I’ll just lie down for a minute. Oh, this bed is so comfortabl...zzzzzz. DH returns with shoes and a jug of water to keep in the room.

Rested and refreshed we decide to go to Universal. We went to Earthquake first. We just made it to the next show. First there was a pre-show. They picked people out of the audience and demonstrated how they made a scene from the original movie. It was funny to see the participants smiling and laughing when they were supposed to acting terrified! The “ride” part of EQ is short but I love the special effects. Next is Kong. It’s a walk on. DH says the graffiti must be fake, there’s no obscenities, lol. We both find this a little cheesy but I enjoy it anyway. Off to Finnegan’s since happy hour is ending at 6pm. We enjoy a couple of Guinness pints and listen to a guy singing oldies. He was pretty good. Outside someone was filming a commercial using the storefronts as a backdrop. I heard someone say it was for a Brazilian Bank.

Pat had not seen Twister before. I wasn’t really impressed when I experienced it on my solo trip but I thought he should decide for himself. It was a 15-minute wait. We didn’t think to use front of the line access. I maneuvered us to the front row. You might get a little wet but the view is great. DH was very impressed by this attraction and to be honest I enjoyed it much more this time. Many of the very young kids didn’t seem to enjoy this show, at least at this time of the day.

We decide to go to Citywalk. First we went in search of kid souvenirs in Captain Crackers. This store is crammed full of tacky to funny toys. The workers here are very high energy. We found a necklace with my daughter’s name on it and an ornothopter for my son. We were getting hungry so we went in search of food. We went into Bob Marley’s but since it was past 8pm there was a $4/pp cover charge and we only wanted to eat. But the raggae music sounded great. Next we tried the Latin Quitter but it was closed for a private function. So it was back to Margaritaville. There was a 45-60 min wait but I showed them my Portofino Key so the wait was only 15 min. Cool! I think this perk is called “preferred seating” for on-site hotel guests. There are a few conditions when it’s not available. We waited at the volcano bar hoping to see an eruption. Once seated at a table Pat orders the Burger in Paradise and I have the veggie burger again ($16.86, no drinks). Both are good. The volcano finally blows, more mix for those excellent margaritas!

Exhausted we drag ourselves back to the Portofino. Tomorrow the water rides at IOA :D

[This message was edited by nhrenee on 12-08-00 at 01:13 AM.]

[This message was edited by nhrenee on 12-08-00 at 01:16 AM.]
I am happy to see you back!
And a new trip report - wonderful. :)

It sounds like you and your DH enjoy being with each other and had a great time together at Universal and IOA. That is really nice and maybe a little rare nowadays. I hope that DH and I do as well when we go - we have always had the grandsons or sons with us before.

I am surprised it was so warm in November, we are still trying to decide whether to go in early March (for Madri Gras) or late November-early December (to see Christmas decorations).

Can you tell me a little more about the coasters? I want to try them when we go. Haven't been on one since ???? and those were the old wooden ones.

Where would you suggest we eat?

Thanks for the hint about going to the shore area in Seussland. We will have to explore that. Did you find any other out-of-the-way spots?

Hope there are more reports. I am so selfish. This is a very busy time of year and all I can think about is the next installment. Sorry, but...

Hi Donna,

To answer your questions:

The coasters: Hulk is a very smooth steel coaster with multiple inversions. At the beginning of the ride you are catapaulted from 0-60mph in about 4 seconds! Dueling Dragons is a duel track steel coaster but it is floorless, meaning your feet dangle as you ride. It has 2 sets of cars to choose from, fire or ice. Each side is a different experience. It's less smooth than hulk and very short, but intense. Try to ride in the second row if you don't want to wait for the front. The view is nearly as good.

Restaurants: I can only speak for the ones I've eaten in. Please remember these are only my experiences.

At IOA I've enjoyed The Thundering falls terrace. It's in Jurassic Park. It offers chicken, (Turkey legs?) and side dishes like corn bread, corn on the cob, black beans, rice and a dinner salad that could easily be a side dish for 4. Excellent quality.
Enchanted Tavern, Lost Continent, Turkey dinner combos(dh said very dry, 2 times), excellent side dishes (cornbread, fries, corn). Very interesting interior.
Mythos: mixed bag, My pasta was awesome, service was great, interior themeing is amazing. DH fish was overcooked, salads were excellent but way overdressed and the chairs were minitature torture chambers.Only a bed of nails could've been worse.
Confiscos: Great character meal, I have eaten here 3 times now for lunch (last time on the outside patio). Service is good, food and prices are excellent. If you like frozen drinks, try the Confisco's concoction, mmmmm.
Green eggs and Ham: Breakfast sandwhiches with cheese and or ham. Served with ff, slow service but nice. These tasted great but we were really hungry too.

Universal: Animal crackers, expensive but big portions.
International food bazaar, large selection but cafeteria style quality, reasonable prices.
Monster Cafe: mushy pasta, long wait, expensive. The chicken dinners looked like a better value. Cool themeing if you like the old horror movies.
Pattasserie Boulongerie (sp?), pastry shop: great coffee and cake before 2pm. After that things tend to be dry, get cheesecake or something that stays moist.
Finnegan's: Excellent Bass ale and Guiness on tap. Happy hour from 3-6 pm.

Out of the way places: At IOA, each "island" has a quiet spot by the waters edge. My favorite is behind the Dinosaur Discovery Center in Jurassic Park.Also, the little court yard to the right of the "Cat, hat and things" gift shop. There's a cute photo-op in there.
At Universal, "Central Park" is beautiful and always uncrowded.One afternoon around 3pm I found the Marx brothers playing golf on the grass! A nice way to avoid the crowds if you are walking from the entrance to the MIB side of the park. Walk along the water. Also, the "trick photo" spots are a riot. There's one on the left past mel's diner if you were heading towards the back of the park. Also, across from the giant shark at the Jaws ride, behind the bathrooms by the water.

I'm sure others have places too. That might be a good question for the general board!!

Mahalo Renee. Printed up your response to reread at work (shame on me). Have to leave now, but hope you might have your next report on when I return??? (Pushy thing that I am) Aloha
Donna :)


Dreams Unlimited Travel is committed to providing you with the very best vacation planning experience possible. Our Vacation Planners are experts and will share their honest advice to help you have a magical vacation.

Let us help you with your next Disney Vacation!

facebook twitter