You’re Not Allowed to Stupefy Your Mother! A UOR May 2019 TR *NEW* 9/11

khertz

Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
You’re Not Allowed to Stupefy Your Mother!
A Universal Orlando May 2019 TR


WELCOME HOME! … YOU’VE ARRIVED!

I got this feelin' inside my bones
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We're flyin' up, no ceilin', when we in our zone
I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops
I can't take my eyes up off it, movin' so phenomenally
Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don't stop

Hey, y’all, and welcome to my 3rd Universal Orlando TR! Some of you may have read my two previous TRs (or some of my many others!), but some of you may be new, so I’ll do a quick intro to our little traveling party.

First up is me, khertz. I’m 33 years old, and a wife, mom of 2, and pediatric hematology/oncology nurse to fund our vacations. I am a big Disney fan, but have a special place in my heart for all things Universal also. I love Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Transformers. I even love the Fast & the Furious franchise, though the attraction they gave it is pretty sad.

Up next is my DH, @DDuck4Life. He is the main source of the photography you’ll see in this TR, which is why we make such a great TR-writing team. He shares my love of Disney, but also has his favorites of the Universal properties, such as The Simpsons, Transformers, and Marvel.


Finally traveling along with us is my little Universal nut, DS. He’s 8 years old, and finished his 2nd grade year the day before we left for this trip. He pretty much loves ALL THE THINGS in the Universal parks, but he especially loves Harry Potter, Transformers, and Jurassic Park/World.



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by disneymom1024, on Flickr

Rounding out our family, but not traveling this time was DD. She’s now 4 years old, but was still 3 at the time we traveled. Once again, she got to have her own mini-vacation with my parents while we were at Universal. We just couldn't justify spending the money on a ticket for her when she is still too short to experience most things. But, that will be changing come December! We have one more trip booked to use our APs one final time, and she will be coming with us!



Invite
by disneymom1024, on Flickr

Our trip took place May 25th-30th, which was the week of/following Memorial Day. For the first time in a long time, we were NOT staying onsite at a Universal hotel, which meant no Express Pass! We were a bit worried about the crowds, not to mention the summer heat, but we were excited to get the chance to go to one of our favorite parks regardless. We were using the Seasonal APs we had renewed at the end of our 2018 trip when we got a discount plus 3 extra months free.

Every time we go to Universal, I think it was better than the trip before, and this one was no exception! We had some amazing, magical, special moments made possible by some awesome Team Members! I can't wait to share it all with you, so I hope you will join me!
 

khertz

Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Day 0: Friday May 24th

As we sometimes do, we got started a little sooner than expected on our travels! We had tossed around the idea of going to my mom’s Friday night after I got off of work around noon so that we could spend the night there and have a little bit of our drive done already on Saturday morning, plus we needed to drop DD off with my parents anyway so it was one less stop we’d have to make Saturday. At kind of the last minute, I got an invitation to my cousin’s high school graduation, so we tried to leave early enough for me to make it in time for that. I was about 16 when he was born, so I used to babysit him all the time when he was little and spent a lot of time with him, so it was an honor to get one of the few invitations he got for his graduation, and I was so proud to see him graduate!


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by disneymom1024, on Flickr

Going out to that meant I got to sleep a whole lot later than I’d have liked, but DH usually does all of the driving anyway so I was banking on getting some sleep on the car ride!

Day 1: Saturday May 25th

We were up around 7 and had a quick breakfast at my mom’s before we kissed DD goodbye (maybe several times!) and got on the road around 8 am. We had a hotel room booked in Gainesville, FL for the night so we could get a large chunk of the drive done, then just have a few hours left to go Sunday which would give us some park time in the afternoon.

Driving with just DS is so different from driving with both him & DD. When we were driving back and forth with both kids for our Disney Cruise, we made so many more stops to potty or just get out and stretch our legs because DD was getting restless. DS was so chill in the backseat, just listening to his podcasts, watching TV, and playing with Legos for the most part. We were able to knock out 4 hours before we decided to stop in Crestview, FL for a break and some lunch at Chick-Fil-A.

I got the surprise of my life when we walked inside and there was a very familiar face staring at me in shock. It was Alicia (@amazingact21) and her husband Alex! She had spotted us coming in, so she had already had her moment of pure surprise, but as I walked in and saw her and my brain registered what I was seeing, I yelled out, “Oh my God!!!” and ran over to hug her!! So we have been following each other’s trip reports here on the DIS for YEARS and have basically watched each other’s kids grow up through Disney World trips. To randomly be at the same Chick-Fil-A in Crestview, FL at the very same time was incredible!!! We only had a few minutes to talk while they waited for their food since they weren’t staying to eat at the restaurant, but we made sure to take a photo together before they had to leave to remember this crazy random unplanned DIS meet.


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by disneymom1024, on Flickr

After they left, DH and I ate our lunch while DS played and got some energy out in the play area. He came over to eat a little bit and took the rest to go so we could get back on the road around 1 pm.

DH was very excited to find that we had free satellite radio because of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, so that kept us busy.


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by disneymom1024, on Flickr

Unfortunately we hit a few snags on the road for the rest of the time we were driving. The plate under the vehicle kept coming loose and dragging on the road, so we had to stop a couple of times for DH to MacGyver something into place. The road was so hot he actually ended up with minor burns on his skin from laying on the ground to look at it.


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by disneymom1024, on Flickr

We made it to the Quality Inn we had booked in Gainesville around 6 pm. The room was pretty nice, the only bad thing was we were right next to the pool so I worried it would be loud when we were trying to go to sleep.


IMG_1955
by disneymom1024, on Flickr

We weren’t sure what to do for dinner, and DS is always asking for McDonald’s so that ended up being the easiest thing. DH went out to get us some food while DS and I got out what we’d need for the night.

After eating and watching several episodes of Family Feud we got to bed around 9 that night. Luckily being close by the pool wasn’t too bad, and we were all able to get to bed pretty easily.

UP NEXT: Universal, Here We Come!
 
  • Tink2Day

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2010
    Love your trip title! Can't believe how big your son is now compared to previous reports but your gorgeous daughter is the one who has really grown up before my trip reading eyes.:flower:
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    I'm hereee!!

    I cannot believe you ran into Alicia at a random CFA! That is some major pixie dust- I'm glad you guys could meet!

    I'm sorry you hit some snags on the way! I'm sure getting to the hotel felt good!
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Joining in!

    How cool is it that you and Alicia randomly found each other - and not even in Orlando!

    The car trouble sounds very frustrating.

    Can't wait to hear about your time in Universal. We are thinking of getting APs next month and hopefully do a Universal only trip next year!
     

    amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    I'm here!!

    It was so great getting to meet you and say hello! And the odds of that happening were insane. Couldn't have planned it better if we tried. Hopefully, our paths will cross again and I won't be so jetlagged next time. :rotfl:

    Oh dear, laying on hot cement to fix a car issue sounds terrible. Hope everything was resolved and there weren't any more complications.
     
  • macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    In for another great read!
    Have enjoyed your other trip reports and know this one will be as great as the others
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Love your trip title! Can't believe how big your son is now compared to previous reports but your gorgeous daughter is the one who has really grown up before my trip reading eyes.:flower:
    Welcome back!!

    I know, it is crazy to see the transformation for both of them through TRs! In just a few months she will get to join us for a trip, and I'm so excited to share Universal with her. We are getting her excited by watching Despicable Me, hyping up doing magic in the Wizarding Worlds, and getting her some cute outfits.

    I'm hereee!!

    I cannot believe you ran into Alicia at a random CFA! That is some major pixie dust- I'm glad you guys could meet!

    I'm sorry you hit some snags on the way! I'm sure getting to the hotel felt good!
    Yay, welcome!!!

    I still can't believe it either. It was crazy random! Definitely some stars aligning for that timing to line up, especially since they were ordering to go. Us arriving just a few minutes before or later and we could have totally missed them!!

    Joining in!

    How cool is it that you and Alicia randomly found each other - and not even in Orlando!

    The car trouble sounds very frustrating.

    Can't wait to hear about your time in Universal. We are thinking of getting APs next month and hopefully do a Universal only trip next year!
    Welcome!!

    I know, it was definitely the most random DIS meet I've ever had, even more so than when someone else who works at the same hospital as me said she recognized me from my trip reports. :rotfl: DIS meets are fun to plan, but even more exciting when they are as random as this one was.

    I didn't expect us to become so addicted. It was supposed to be a one time Universal-only trip for us, and it has turned into 2 years as AP holders and 4 trips!! Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we have!

    I'm here!!

    It was so great getting to meet you and say hello! And the odds of that happening were insane. Couldn't have planned it better if we tried. Hopefully, our paths will cross again and I won't be so jetlagged next time. :rotfl:

    Oh dear, laying on hot cement to fix a car issue sounds terrible. Hope everything was resolved and there weren't any more complications.
    The odds have to be astronomical!! I still remember walking in and just seeing you looking at me with your mouth hanging open in shock! :rotfl2:The only way I can think to describe it for me is those videos of soldier parents surprising their kids, when the kids take a long pause to process what they are seeing because they are so surprised, and then instant excitement! It took me a second to figure out what I was seeing!! So very cool. And yes, hopefully one day we can plan something a little more substantial when we are in the parks at the same time!!

    We were good on the car issues until we got home and were able to fix it properly, thank goodness. Some zip ties got us through the rest of our travel!!

    In for another great read!
    Have enjoyed your other trip reports and know this one will be as great as the others
    Welcome back!! Thanks for joining in!
     

    Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    Joining in for another report!

    She’s now 4 years old, but was still 3 at the time we traveled. Once again, she got to have her own mini-vacation with my parents while we were at Universal. We just couldn't justify spending the money on a ticket for her when she is still too short to experience most things.
    Completely understandable. That's a tough age for Universal. I had my DD there at that age. Other than Seuss Landing and a couple play areas, there was very little for her. Luckily my parents were with us on that trip and tried to keep her occupied while we went on rides with older DD, but they really struggled keeping her engaged.

    I got the surprise of my life when we walked inside and there was a very familiar face staring at me in shock. It was Alicia (@amazingact21) and her husband Alex!
    How cool is that! Great that you got to meet up.
    You and @amazingact21 need to scold your husbands for having a DISDad meet up and no photographic evidence! 434947
     
  • khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Joining in for another report!
    Welcome!!

    Completely understandable. That's a tough age for Universal. I had my DD there at that age. Other than Seuss Landing and a couple play areas, there was very little for her. Luckily my parents were with us on that trip and tried to keep her occupied while we went on rides with older DD, but they really struggled keeping her engaged.
    Yes, I knew it would be tough to keep her occupied with so little she can ride at her age/size. She should be able to do more by the time we go in December! I'm really excited to get to share it with her, but it will definitely help having my parents along for child swaps when needed too.

    How cool is that! Great that you got to meet up.
    You and @amazingact21 need to scold your husbands for having a DISDad meet up and no photographic evidence!
    434947
    We all thought of that once we got home!!! :rotfl2: To be fair to the guys, Alicia and I were so awestruck to see each other that neither of us even thought about the DIS Dads connection.

    Following along. What a fun surprise Dis Meet.
    Welcome!! It was definitely a total surprise, and really really cool that we just happened to be in the same place at the same time!!
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Day 2: Sunday May 26th

    On Sunday, we were up early so that we could get dressed and have breakfast at the hotel before going to church.



    IMG_1957
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr

    We had found Holy Faith Catholic Church nearby that had an 8 am mass. It gave us time to get to mass and come back to change and pack the car to leave well before checkout time.


    We made a quick stop at Walmart nearby church to get some zip ties to reinforce the panel that had come loose under the vehicle before we got on the road for the rest of our drive.

    Once we got back and while DH messed with the car, I got our park bags situated and we all changed to be ready to hit the parks as soon as we arrived. We were able to hit the road around 10:30 am and only had a little bit of driving left to do before getting to Orlando. We had ordered the SunPass we had intended to get for our Disney Cruise Line vacation and gotten it in the mail, so this drive went even quicker not having to stop for tolls.

    When we arrived at our resort, we were able to check in but our room wasn’t ready yet. We were staying at the Orlando International Resort Club for the first time since it was the closest to Universal property and we could use our Wyndham points. They were happy to hold our luggage for us, and we decided to go get some lunch. We wanted Five Guys, and for some reason DH thought it would be a good idea to hit up the one in the outlet mall. It was NOT a good idea, just so you know.

    After finally finding a parking space way far away, we walked over to the mall entrance and DH thought he remembered which way the food court area was, so we followed him for a very long time in the WRONG direction!!! By the time we got turned around in the right direction and made it there, it was only a few steps away from where we had entered the mall!!

    After some lunch, we stopped inside the Disney store there but only DH was really successful at finding himself a shirt and a pair of lounge pants. We are not coffee drinkers, but there was an old school Duck Tales mug that was super cute and too cheap to pass up, so we got that too.



    Untitled
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr

    But while we were walking around, we did get the text that our room was ready, so that was a plus. There wasn’t really anywhere else we felt like shopping so we headed back to the resort at that point. After a quick stop inside the lobby to get our keys, we were given a room on the second floor of the building closest to the lobby, so we didn’t even need to move our car and were able to walk right over to our unit.

    As we walked in, we discovered we had been given one of the two story units! I had read about this on Tripadvisor, and it was really nice to have such a spacious unit with 2 floors. So from how it looks, the units on the first floor are all one story, but the second floor units take up the second and third floors of the building. We had already booked this resort for our upcoming December trip, and had been discussing with my parents the possibility of them coming with us. Seeing these two story units, we realized it would be a ton of space for them to join us there. With the two stories, there is a master suite and a second bedroom, both with their own full bathrooms, plus a 3rd full bathroom down on the first floor with the kitchen and living area, that includes a pull out couch.


    UniMay19 01-001
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Entryway


    UniMay19 01-002
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Pantry & Kitchen


    UniMay19 01-003
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Downstairs Bathroom


    UniMay19 01-004
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Dining Room & Living Area


    UniMay19 01-005
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    This closet under the stairs was perfect for our suitcases!


    UniMay19 01-006
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Heading up the stairs…


    UniMay19 01-007
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Master Bedroom


    UniMay19 01-009
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Master Bathroom


    UniMay19 01-010
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Laundry was also upstairs


    UniMay19 01-011
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Second Bedroom


    UniMay19 01-012
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Second Bathroom

    The only downside is that the second bedroom is that it’s two twin beds instead of full. It wasn’t an issue for this trip since it was just DS, but with my parents possibly joining us next time, I had to make sure they were ok with either sleeping in a twin bed each and the kids sharing the sleeper sofa downstairs or vice versa. But they said they were more than happy to do whatever if it meant being able to come and not have to pay for a hotel room!

    While DS and I stayed in the room and unpacked, DH made a grocery run to get us some waters, snacks, and breakfast items. Finally, we were ready to head to Universal! First, we had to make a quick stop at Hard Rock so DH could go inside and upgrade his pass to the level that included free parking. We had worked out the math that it would be cheaper to upgrade his pass and get the free parking instead of paying for parking for two separate trips. Doing it at the hotel meant we didn’t have to pay parking that first visit and upgrade his ticket at the parks.

    It had been a long time since we had stayed offsite and had to experience the parking garage and that loooong walk to the gates! The heat about smacked us in the face as soon as we parked and got out of the car since we got stuck parking on the roof that late in the day. But soon enough, we were on the moving walkways.



    We used the app A LOT on this trip, and after checking the wait times in both parks, we decided to head over to Studios first.


    Somebody was super excited!


    Our first stop was…


    UniMay19 01-017
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    …The Hello Kitty Store!!

    Lol I can explain…we were on the hunt for something DD might like as a souvenir for us to bring back to her, and this seemed like a good place to locate something. Plus, as I said before and will probably say a million times, IT WAS HOT! So walking through some A/C seemed like a good idea. Although we didn’t find anything for DD, we did spot the really cute posters they have inside.


    We spotted the UOAP Lounge, which we were very excited had been extended to remain available during our trip! But today, we were too late as it closed at 4 pm. Oh well, at least we knew where it was.


    UniMay19 01-021
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr


    UniMay19 01-022
    by disneymom1024, on Flickr
    Some MiB trying to remain inconspicuous

    Much to DH’s delight (and my chagrin), we were walking right past the Universal Horror Makeup Show right as the next show was about to start. And yes, the temptation of sitting in the A/C for a bit was also there. So we hurried inside and right into the next showing.


    DS was very nervous about the upcoming clips of scenes from horror movies!


    UP NEXT: Kid Zone Adventures
     

    Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    We wanted Five Guys, and for some reason DH thought it would be a good idea to hit up the one in the outlet mall. It was NOT a good idea, just so you know.
    I am pretty sure I made the same mistake. We don't have 5 Guys where I live and I kept hearing how great it was. I was excited when I found it in the outlet mall, but not that impressed. It wasn't bad, but nothing exceptional. Pretty standard food court burger from what I remember.
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    The outlets are so hit or miss, there's either a million things to buy or nothing.

    Wow your room really was huge! Nice to have two stories.

    I love that Hello Kitty store and the posters are adorable!
     

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