Cass, Rob & Kira - 10 nights at Universal Orlando August 2019 - "It's a sniffler!!"

Timon

DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
August 23rd, Part 1

Although we had intended on sleeping in as much as possible, especially since we got to bed to late, we were abruptly woken up at 8:15am by the crazy-loud music blaring just outside of our window. :scared1::scared1::scared1:

What the heck???!!! There is NO WAY this is normal!! Something's gotta be going on! I opened the curtains and didn't see anything unusual. Our window was right at a smoking section, a detail I did not notice last night but there was only one smoker there and nothing out of the ordinary. :confused3


Rob and I were NOT happy!! We'd only been sleeping for about 5 hours and we were still wiped from the long travel day. We both put pillows over our heads and tried to sleep through it. Rob is a sound sleeper so he managed to snooze a little longer, restlessly but still better than nothing. I am a light sleeper and there was no way I was sleeping through that!! 😧

When I put the pillows on my head, it actually made it worse as you could feel/hear the music through the bed and it just seemed amplified to me. Kira, being sectioned off from our room and a sound sleeper, managed to go right back to sleep but I knew I was awake for the day. πŸ˜”

I quietly showered and headed out as I had something to do anyway.

As a side note, the rooms here do not get even remotely dark. I remember last summer, in a regular room, the light woke me up every day so after some research, I noticed that the mini-suite seemed to have better coverage with a drop-down piece at the top of the curtains, which I thought would help make the room quite darker but sadly, that was not the case. At home, we sleep with blackout blinds and then dark curtains on top of that so our room is pitch black. I know that I am a picky sleeper so this probably wouldn't bother most of you but it was definitely an issue for me. Thankfully, we were woken up every day at 8:15am so the light wasn't much of an issue for me. :rolleyes2

Our mini-suite at 8:30am...



Our standard room last year at around the same time....




I had to go pick up our annual passes so I stopped by the lobby attraction ticket desk. I had originally purchased a Preferred Annual pass for myself and then the Seasonal Annual Pass for Rob and Kira and I wanted to inquire about switching mine down to a Seasonal Pass. Since it was now Annual Passholder Appreciation days, all levels of passes got a dining discount so the extra expense didn't warrant me having that upper tier pass. They said I couldn't do it but she also mentioned that if I ask at Guest Services outside one of the theme parks, there is a small chance they might be able to do it.

The closest one is at Volcano Bay and that was walkable and I would much rather do it now than later at a busy theme park, so off I went.



Heading over, I snapped a couple pics of one of my favourite amenities at Cabana Bay, the lazy river. I LOVE this place! It is filled with gorgeous palm trees and when it's not crazy busy, it's quite relaxing :cloud9:





This entrance is for Cabana Bay guests only...





The security area is never busy here so within 10 minutes, I was already at the main entrance.



I spoke to a very lovely Team Member and she was able to downgrade my AP and refund the difference on a gift card for me. :cool1:

I tried taking some artsy shots :laughing:





A great view of the Honu Ika Moana Slides...you could hear people screaming from here! :P



That photo was taken at the entrance of the Continental Tower at the furthest point of the building from the main building and as I walked in the first set of doors, that's when I noticed where the room we were originally assigned to was....:oops:

At the time I was so glad that we got switched. Probably not as much now, thinking back. πŸ˜’



Back to the room where Rob was just out of the shower so I woke up Kira and told her it was time to get ready for the day.

Here is a daylight photo from our window. We kept the curtains closed most of the time as there was a constant huddle of smokers lingering there during all hours of the day, so we had no privacy at all.



Once we were all ready, we hopped in our rental and off to brunch!



We went to one of mine and Rob's favourite places, Keke's! :woohoo:

We discovered this place last summer and have been dreaming about coming back ever since! Kira said she doesn't enjoy it as much as we do but she still likes it.



Being a Friday, late morning, there was no wait! :thumbsup2



Kira got the french toast and I recommended she get a side of ham and potatoes since she is a huge ham girl like moi 🐷

She devoured her ham in minutes and I ended up sharing mine with her. This was kind of the theme of this trip 😝





I got my usual ham and eggs. πŸ˜‹ Delish!! Ham came a few minutes after my main plate and I forgot to take a pic.



Rob got his favourite, the Florida Waffle and he loved it!



Just as we were nearing the end of our meal, the skies opened up and it started pouring. πŸ₯°

If you've read my previous reports, you will already know how much we love storms, especially Florida storms. In fact, it's one of the many reasons why we wanted to come back again this summer. ::yes::



It didn't last very long at all :worried:

Next up was a stop at Target.



We got some clothes for Kira and some essentials for the week ahead. We also got Kira her boots that she likes, in black instead of tan this time. We bought her a pair of them at the Target in Galveston a couple years ago and she literally wore them out! Target has a great Juniors section, so we always do her clothes shopping at a Target when we go to the USA.




One quick stop at Publix and then we headed back to the hotel.



I've said it a million times before but man, do I love Florida trees!! Not sure who has better trees, Florida or California but I will never get tired of gorgeous trees like these!! :love:




Back to Cabana Bay, where we went and got our mugs for the week.



We got one red, one orange and totally lucked out and got the only blue one that we ever saw! Sadly, it didn't work and we had to go back several times to see if we could get it to work but it just wouldn't. We ended up getting another red one but since it didn't work, they let us keep the blue one anyway, which is now being used at home. :p



We popped in the store real quick where Kira saw many things she wanted already. :teeth: Once again, she had to earn her spending money this trip by having a good attitude. We gave her $20 USD each day that she displayed a good attitude without too much of that tween/teen sass that she often possesses :rolleyes: She only lost her twenty bucks on one day, so that was a success, I think. :earboy2:



Back in the room, I put away all of our purchases and then we chilled for a bit.





We would be doing a lot of chilling in the room this trip. Between Rob's cold and my Lupus and our kiddo's laziness, it totally worked for us πŸ˜„

There was just no way I could be out in the sun/heat between noon and 4pm when it was the hottest. I could barely do the heat at night but we knew that going in and we were all okay with it. It's one of the reasons why we bought annual passes this time, so we could enjoy the parks in moderation. 😊

 

Timon

DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
Woot.
Waiting patiently
Haha, thanks 😊 It takes awhile to write these suckers :teeth:

So glad for another Cass trip report! Hope you had a wonderful time...
Thanks! Glad you're here! :goodvibes

Marking my spot! Woohooo!
Woo woop! :cool1:

Been watching for it and waiting! So glad I found it from the beginning!

ETA: I sure hope you make that plane!!
I needed a week to recover :rolleyes2

Made it, barely but we did it 8-)

Your food looks so good

Waiting to hear you found the correct gate...
Our food was very good this trip,minus a few misses. πŸ˜‹

We found it! I was a hot, sweaty mess by then but we made it 🀣

Yippee! So glad you are writing another report.
Glad you're here! 😊

Every time you post a TR I have to go reset my password!!! I guess I should write it down or you need to travel more!
LOL! Both are probably true πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Me too, I often will walk out of a washroom and head in the wrong direction.

Cool!

Cliff hanger. Looking forward to more TR.
BAHAH! That is EXACTLY Rob! 😜

And I get amused watching to see how long it takes him to spot me in a crowd. :rotfl2:

Thankfully Kira got my sense of direction. :tiptoe:

I’ve never read one of your trip reports before! Nice start.......

What a worry though with your health......I hope it stays good for you for your trip........looking forward to reading about your time at Universal!
Well, I'm glad you found one then! hope you enjoy :goodvibes

This particular trip was more of a worry for me but I made it through okay. :thumbsup2

Woohoo I'm IN for another Cass report!!!
I'm sorry to hear Rob wasn't feeling well, that's no fun :( Hopefully he started feeling better soon into the trip.
I have not flown through Toronto in decades....I think I not since 1996??? These days when we fly across to get to Orlando I try to choose any other connection besides YYZ :rotfl2:

Can't wait for the next installment!
I have been checking out the DCL TR board for yours! Are you writing one??

LOL, 1996! You ain't missing anything! Stay far, far away. No really! :rotfl:

Can't wait to hear more!!
Glad you're here! :cheer2:

Joining in!
Yay!! :cool1:

WooHoo!! Joining in.
Heck yeah! :bounce:

I’m Heeeere! Popcorn ready and excited to read another trippie from my favorite DISer (and bff). :lovestruc
Yay! My editor has arrived! Just in time too, those dang typos!! :rotfl2::love:

Glad you were able to get a room closer to the lobby.....but I hear the gong of noise getting ready to ding and dong!
Less dings and dongs...and more :rockband::rockband::rockband:

:rolleyes1

Enjoying your report. Fellow Canadian here, and also immunosupressed ... am on biologic for rheumatoid arthritis, so I hear you about the constant worry of catching a cold/infection and also flare-ups. Hand sanitizing can get a bit cray-cray! I am hoping your vacation was worry free!
Oh, so you know exactly what I go through! :sad1: :hug:
 

bcwife76

DisneyMomma
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Florida storms ARE pretty impressive! And how do they get those trees to look so round and beautiful? They don't naturally grow that way do they? lol

Target is a MUST stop fo sho! The one closest to our home is in Bellingham WA; it recently went through a renovation and now their shoe department is TINY :headache: so when we were in San Diego in March we sussed out a Target to spend some time (and $$) lol

Yes now that we've sorted through all our photos I can start my Alaskan TR, either later today or tomorrow. I'll post the link here if you like once I've started :cheer2:
 
  • cntkg1

    <b><font color=blue>Runs with Scissors!!<br><font
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2005
    Now that you busted me out as your editor, I better make sure I proof my own posts. You know me, I do my best proofing after I hit send.

    One day I’ll have to try Keke’s too. Not this trip though. I’m planning on taste testing all those yummy gf foods I keep reading about.
     

    LISAMWDW

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2002
    Hi Cass! Loving this trip report already! Love the hanger clip for the curtains! I'm thinking of taking my nephew to Universal Studios and Staying at Cabana Bay next spring. Can't wait to hear about your trip!
     

    allybabba98

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2013
    Loving your report so far!! Fellow Canadian here, live in Toronto not far from downtown. I was doing a Solo Disney trip from August 21st-25th. The heat was wow...and I normally go in August but found it tough. We did a family trip last August to Universal and the boys and my husband loved it. Stayed at Hard Rock and that was a tight fit, maybe Cabana Bay next time would be good? Looking forward to hearing all about the amazing 10!!! days you spent there. And I totally get the teenager thing...14, 12 and 9. I go to work for the break!!
     
  • Timon

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    August 23rd, Part 2

    After relaxing in our nicely air-conditioned room for several hours, it was time to hit up the parks. Cabana Bay has buses that take you to CityWalk and it seems like most of them now make the stop over at Aventura first. In our entire 10 days, we only went straight to CityWalk once and that was during prime-time morning hours.



    Holy Hannah, was it hot!!! πŸ”₯ 😱

    We were here for the last two weeks of August last year and yes, that was hot too but this year, my friends, was WAY hotter!! I am very sensitive to heat and sun because of my Lupus but Rob and Kira love the heat and it was a struggle even for them! Just standing at this bus stop, in the shade, for a few minutes, I was beginning to feel the effects and it wasn't promising as this was day 2 and it was actually a little overcast. :scared:




    These are the best buses in the world though because they BLAST the air conditioning!! Normally Rob and Kira freeze on these buses but they were thankful to be in them, most of the time.



    A quick stop at security....



    They have this massive screen where they show video of everyone walking by and they overlay cute animations like Aliens landing, etc. :rotfl2:This first time we didn't see the animations but we saw them many times over the next 8 days.



    Sass! :laughing:



    We're baaaaack! πŸ₯°



    So the first thing we did after going through the main gate at IOA was hit up Guest Services as I wanted to inquire about the Attraction Assistance Pass. Disney and Universal offer special passes for guests who have a hard time waiting in lines, for whatever reasons and while I have always known about it, I have never felt the need to request it. Until now, that is. πŸ˜•

    I'm not going into details about the pass, if you think you or someone in your party would benefit from it, I highly suggest you do your own research but I can share with you my experience with it.

    You have to be in the parks to request it and it is 100% up to the Team Member with whom you speak to. This is not something automatic or something you can expect to get, each case is different and it is always up to them to grant or decline it, based on your needs. I was 100% okay with not getting it and was prepared for them to say no but thankfully they granted me the pass.

    I will tell you that without this pass, I wouldn't have been able to do half of what we were able to do. Except for one day, we kept our park time to the last 3-4 hours of each day when the sun was on it's journey downwards and the crowds weren't at their peak and I still struggled every single day. The lines were not terrible (other than Hagrid's, which I will get to in a minute) but even waiting 10-15 minutes for a ride was often tough for me, depending on the ride and how quickly we could get to the A/C and how powerful that A/C was. Once I start to overheat, it's hard for my body to cool down and if I can't cool down, I start to feel extremely ill. If I get to the feeling ill part, it can be a little scary for me 😦

    I know my limits though and I stick to them. I know when it's time to find some good A/C and I know I can't do what I used to. I'm 47 now and have been battling with my Lupus for over 20 years now. If it weren't for a few miracles, I would not be here and I know how lucky I am to still be here! Rob is the most amazing and understanding husband on the face of this Earth and is my biggest supporter and I wouldn't have made it this far without him. Kira is also an amazing, kind, empathetic kid and while these types of trips can be a huge struggle for me, having them beside me makes all of my struggles worth it.

    So for the most part, (when the regular line is less than 30 minutes) the access pass works as an Express Pass, which you get when you stay at a Deluxe Hotel here at Universal. We usually do one or two nights at a Deluxe to get 2-3 days of free Express pass but our budget didn't allow for Deluxe this trip. If the line is longer than 30 minutes, you need to get a return time written on your pass and then when you return at your designated time, you will be allowed in the Express queue. So while it is not a skip-the-line pass, it does keep the time you physically wait in a queue to a minimum.

    Usually the return time is equal to the current regular wait time, with one exception, Hagrid's. Since this ride opened in June, not only has it become extremely popular but very hard to ride mostly due to it's ridiculously amazing technology because it breaks down a lot. 😬 And up until now, they've been having to close it down for several hours of the day just to perform proper maintenance.

    It also shuts down in inclement weather, which happens often in the lightning capital of the USA πŸ˜’

    So, with all of that and the fact that it is an AMAZING attraction, the lines are ridiculously long! It also doesn't help that they do not have their Express Pass queue operating just yet.

    So..... with my pass in hand, we headed for a ride Kira has been itching to get back on...her absolute favourite coaster.....




    HULK!!! πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š



    After getting a locker to store everything in, we headed for the ride attendant near the Express queue. I wasn't sure how it worked at first but basically you show the pass to the person at the entrance of the queue and they make sure the pass is valid and then you go ahead. Next up was the metal detector because with Hulk & Rip Ride Rocket, you can't have anything in your pockets! Nothing!

    Then when you get to the TM that scans Express Passes, you show them the pass, they scan it and they ask how many people are riding so they can punch that number into their system. When you are granted the pass, they confirm how many people are in your immediate party and write it on the pass, which (hopefully) prevents people from bringing a whole bunch of people with them and abusing the pass. Also, if you're staying on-site, the pass will be valid until your check-out day.

    Once past there, the queue for Express was only about 5 minutes before we were on the ride and being hit with gamma rays. πŸ’š

    And since I was able to get the My Universal Photos annual pass on sale, this would be our first time (other than mine and Rob's first time together at USF back in 1999) that we would be getting ride photos πŸ™Œ

    So prepare to laugh at some reeeeeeeeally bad ride photos. :lmao::lmao::lmao:



    Despite not loving my face in the photos, I do love the borders they use and the fact that they date them. :thumbsup2

    After enjoying our spin on the Hulk, we were eager to get to Hogsmeade to see if we could even get a return time for Hagrid's. We didn't know if it was even open still as they close it down due to capacity around 6 or 7pm every day.

    Kira, who has recently discovered a love of Greek Mythology, was thrilled about The Lost Continent. She seemed genuinely surprised that it was even here even though we have been here the last two summers. :rolleyes2







    Before long, we were entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘“πŸ•·πŸ¦„βš‘



    This was the only area of the entire park that was constantly PACKED!! :crowded:



    The ride was open and the current wait time was 120 minutes. It's hard to maneuver the area in front of this ride because there are just soooo many people there but I finally found the person I needed to talk to about a return time. He gave us a return time of 45 minutes, yay! :thumbsup2

    This meant we had time to grab a bite to eat since we were all hungry by now.



    And located right there was one of our favourite spots to eat, The Three Broomsticks! 🧹🧹🧹



    Kira and I got the kids fish & chips and Rob got the rotisserie chicken. We also got three ice waters and a butter beer for Kira, which has jumped up in price to $8!!! 😲





    The kids meals are a perfect size for me because I don't like to have a full stomach while I am in the parks. I react poorly to a lot of foods due to my Lupus so I eat light on vacations.

    We still had about 15 minutes to kill before our return time so we explored Hosgmeade a little. If you're even a slight fan of the Harry Potter series, (we are BIG fans!) these parks will astound you!! The detail put in to them is unique and amazing! Best thing Universal has ever done!







    There are tons of places all around both parks where you can use your interactive wand (the average one costs about $50 USD) and cast spells and make things move or change or light up or spin, it's truly amazing!!!





    I had been in all of these stores before so I was mainly seeking air conditioning to keep myself cool, all while having some fun. 😜





    And then it was time to ride Hagrid's for the very first time! By the time we got back, the ride was at capacity so they signed my pass and instructed us to enter via the exit.



    This is the exit...and once inside, there is the gate on the left where they check your pass and let you through. The normal Express queue is on the left side and is where you enter when the ride is not at capacity.



    Once our passes are scanned, we joined in with the regular line, which is near Hagrid's work area. You can see his very large gloves sitting on the table here below.



    I will say that Hagrid's queue was the toughest one for me to get through. Once you join the regular line, you still have to wait about 20-25 minutes, depending on how fast they are loading. The A/C was terrible, you could hardly feel it at all and with all of the people, I could never properly cool off. Thankfully, Rob was a sweetie and carried my little fan with him in his pocket, that totally saved me!!

    Also, for those people with sensitive ears, this is not the place for you. There is a room just past this point where it looks like Hagrid and others are zooming above you on their motorbikes and it is SUPER loud!! 😱 Rob, who was a DJ for over 30 years and is half deaf because of it, was having a hard time here. He used his Decibel app and it was often just over 90DB! That is akin to the sound of a lawnmower and you have to endure it for about 10-15 minutes.

    The room and the effect is very cool but it is super loud. We both ended up getting headaches at this point on more than a few occasions.

    Having said that, I am NOT complaining!! I wasn't even sure I would be able to ride this at all because if I didn't get the pass, there was NO WAY I would be able to wait in a two-hour line!! They would have had to medivac me at that point!!

    So while I was SUPER thankful I was even able to do this at all, I'm just warning those of you who might be sensitive to it. Also, keep in mind, doing the Express line, (which is what we did, it's just not open to the public yet), you WILL skip the pre-show! This is where the whole ride experience is set-up so if you do have Express (eventually, when it opens) make sure to watch a POV video of the regular queue on YouTube, there are tons of them posted. πŸ˜‰

    So, all that being said, this was a freaking AMAZING ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ



    This is the cool ceiling in that noisy room I mentioned...




    And there is a very specific way to line up for this ride. You can ride on the motorbike or the sidecar. Both are very different and I recommend you do both, if you can, just to have that experience. People seem to have a preference for the motorbike but I thought both were unique and awesome. The motorbike is easier to fit on if you're worried about the ride not locking. There is a test seat located at the beginning of the loud room, as I call it, where you can try it out and see if you get the green light (locked) if you're unsure.

    They do have a single rider line here that can save you a bit of time. Everyone we spoke to about it said their wait time was about 60-90 minutes, all when the regular wait time was 2+ hours so while it can save you time, please know that you WILL be split up from your party and there is a 99% chance that you will be riding in the sidecar. We had a not-so-fun experience with a single rider trying to circumvent these rules later on in the week.

    When you get up to the front, they will ask you how many people will be riding and if you have a single rider in your party like we do, they also ask who is riding solo and what their preference is, the bike or the sidecar, so if you choose the single rider line, it won't be your choice what you get. Once they figure that out, they tell you to line up single file, the motorbike rider first, followed by the sidecar rider and if you're solo, they will pair you up with a single rider. This is how you load onto your bike and because the walkway is moving at all times, you need to stay in this order.


    Load area...



    I always go in front of Rob & Kira so I can catch a quick pic or video of them riding. You are allowed to have things in your pocket on this ride, like a cell phone or camera but it must be stowed at this point. If you have easy access to your phone, this is the only place you can take a quick pic without them yelling at you. You can also do it at the end but you have to be quick 😜



    This was their reaction as we pulled into the unload area. 🀩

    Totally wicked ride!!!



    I did watch some of the POV videos before we left but there were still some surprises and they were all so very awesome!! What I love about this ride is that it is fantastic without being too intense. Hulk is awesome but it is INTENSE! When I was younger, I could ride it over and over but now I can only do it once before needing a break. I could easily ride Hagrid's ten times in a row, it's that good, and without the feeling of needing a chiropractor or Excedrin immediately afterwards. πŸ₯΄

    I got to ride it with a lovely young girl who was very enthusiastic about her second ride! :lovestruc


    This first time, I had no idea where the camera was 🀣



    And neither did they πŸ˜„

     
    Last edited:

    Timon

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    Florida storms ARE pretty impressive! And how do they get those trees to look so round and beautiful? They don't naturally grow that way do they? lol

    Target is a MUST stop fo sho! The one closest to our home is in Bellingham WA; it recently went through a renovation and now their shoe department is TINY :headache: so when we were in San Diego in March we sussed out a Target to spend some time (and $$) lol

    Yes now that we've sorted through all our photos I can start my Alaskan TR, either later today or tomorrow. I'll post the link here if you like once I've started :cheer2:
    I don't know about the trees, other than how much I love them.😜

    Yes, we love Target too and is always a must for us too! ::yes::

    Oh yes, if you don't post a link on FB then definitely post one here please or message me at least so I know to head over. :dance3:

    Now that you busted me out as your editor, I better make sure I proof my own posts. You know me, I do my best proofing after I hit send.

    One day I’ll have to try Keke’s too. Not this trip though. I’m planning on taste testing all those yummy gf foods I keep reading about.
    Typo Schmypo, I say! :rotfl2:

    Keke's is a must!! πŸ˜‹

    Hi Cass! Loving this trip report already! Love the hanger clip for the curtains! I'm thinking of taking my nephew to Universal Studios and Staying at Cabana Bay next spring. Can't wait to hear about your trip!
    I showed that hack to Rob years ago and now he uses it all the time 🀣

    I'm sure you will have a great time, as long as you don't want to sleep in 😏


    Such a fun start! I went to KeKe's once and absolutely loved it.
    We LOOOOOOVE Keke's!! I even dreamed about going there last night 🀣

    Loving your report so far!! Fellow Canadian here, live in Toronto not far from downtown. I was doing a Solo Disney trip from August 21st-25th. The heat was wow...and I normally go in August but found it tough. We did a family trip last August to Universal and the boys and my husband loved it. Stayed at Hard Rock and that was a tight fit, maybe Cabana Bay next time would be good? Looking forward to hearing all about the amazing 10!!! days you spent there. And I totally get the teenager thing...14, 12 and 9. I go to work for the break!!

    Oh my dog! Then you can attest to the fact that the heat was just even more crazy than usual! We spent two weeks there last summer and a few days the summer before and while it was hot, it wasn't STUPID hot like this August!! πŸ’₯πŸ”₯β˜€

    LOL about going to work for a break!!! πŸ˜‚

    I would never ever recommend Cabana Bay over Hard Rock, for oh so many reasons! With three kids, it's tough because you will always feel a little cramped unless you book a suite. Did you get a roll-away cot for your littlest? Not sure CB mini-suite would work and I would not recommend that sofa bed for anyone! Maybe for a very young child who is not picky about their bed? Their regular beds are heavenly though, so maybe two standard rooms and request that they connect? πŸ€”
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    I'm so glad you were able to use that pass and get on Hagrids!!! Even with the pass you still had a wait ( a loud and hot one by the sounds of it!) so any way to cut down the time you are there is a good idea, even if it means missing some cool things in line.
    Now we've done California (several times) in August and it's hot but it's a dry heat like here. That's why I could never do Florida in the summer. I'm sweating just looking at K and R in pants :lmao:
     
  • PoohIsHome

    Wizard momma living in a muggle world.
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2013
    Loving your report! So glad you were to get the Assistance Pass and ride Hagrid's.....you're off to a great start!
     

    Timon

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    August 23rd, Part 3

    After having a blast on Hagrids (see what I did there? :p) we decided to see what the wait time for Forbidden Journey was. It was only 10 minutes so we headed into Hogwarts Castle.




    This queue is amazing, sooo many details. I especially love the talking portraits!



    And I finally got video of the sorting hat doing it's thing! Every other time I have ridden it, it was not moving and then as soon as I passed it, it would start up again. πŸ€ͺ



    They have the oddest placed ride photo here! I think I was moving my lips and tongue over my braces like I often do. 🀣

    Every time I ride this, I realize how much I love it! I always said that Gringott's was my fave ride in WWOHP (it's now Hagrid's) but this one is SO GOOD too!! πŸ₯°


    The lovely Crotch Shot ride photo... :rotfl2:




    When we got off the ride, we only had about 15 minutes before the Nighttime Lights would be starting so we stayed put for the show since we had never seen it before. It's not a huge show but it's worth seeing at least once. :thumbsup2











    Getting out of here was not easy and very slow-going. They only had one exit, behind the buildings because there were tons of people waiting there to see the next show.



    As we passed Hagrid's I noticed that the sign was all lit up now and it looks gorgeous so I tried taking a photo but you can't see the building in the photo, only the lighted sign so it just looks like a black background with some lettering 😝



    We slowly made our way out, enjoying the sights. Rob and I, for as many times as we've been here, haven't had the chance to see it at night very often. It used to close super early back in the day and we haven't spent much time at night at IOA recently so we both ended taking so many photos 🀣



    We stopped at the Mystic Fountain to show Kira how it interacts with guests. It was pretty funny!







    Despite numerous attempts, we have never eaten here before....we would change that this trip. πŸ˜‰



    Kira was just in Seventh Heaven in Lost Continent, it was nice to see how much she appreciated it this trip. I've always LOVED this area of the park! ::yes::









    The park was open for another 10 minutes so we decided to do something none of us have had the opportunity to do before...High in the Sky Dr. Seuss Trolley Train Ride! I have some video but sadly no pics. It's just a little kid ride but it afforded some amazing views of the park while riding it, especially at night! I had wanted to do this again during our trip but we always seemed to end our day at the Studios.





    We headed out of the park, made the long, very crowded walk back to the bus stop over at the parking garage, waited in a long line for a bus and then back to Cabana Bay. The A/C on those buses is the best!!! :worship:

    When we got back, Rob kindly got our pool tubes blown up at the Tube Shack and then Kira and I headed out for some pool time. Rob didn't come with us that night so no pics but we did this almost every night and he did take some pics during some of those other times.

    The lazy river is one of my favourite areas at Cabana Bay and Kira and I enjoyed some awesome time together there that night. Rob and Kira had picked out 2 tubes at Target and they ended up being awesome!! They were more like chairs that floated than the usual tubes which meant that most of me was actually IN the water, as opposed to just floating on top of the tube, and I LOVED it!! Kira preferred the tube one that we had from last summer and she would grab my feet and steer me around all of the waterfalls and keep me from bashing into other people and I just laid there, relaxing, with my head back, watching all of the gorgeous palms trees above us. :cloud9::love:

    The lazy river closes a little before the rest of the pool area closes so after they kicked us out, we enjoyed some pool time. We did go in the hot tub for a bit but it was really crowded!

    We lingered until closing at 11pm and then back to the room.

    I think we got to bed just after midnight, exhausted but happy. :lovestruc
     
    Last edited:

    4 mickey

    4 MICKEY
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2006
    Omg your TR is so funny at times and can see myself back when we traveled with my then tween/ teenager
    Love all the details and all the pictures
    Got to say you are now tempting me in visiting universal ( it’s been quite a while since I visited )
    I am waiting for the next post
    And thanks for sharing πŸ˜€
     

    Tink rules

    <font color=teal>The kids in my family sometimes t
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2006
    I’m glad you get to ride with your lupus and being careful. I have Fibro and can’t even go near them.
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    Yay for nighttime pool time!!!

    haha, yes that is an odd angle for a ride photo :magnify:

    You had an awesome spot for the night light show!
     

    jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I've been slowly reading but had so much going on I could only do it in segments.
    Looks like you are having a great time. Claire studied Greek mythology in school too and would randomly spit out info here and there if we come across anything pertaining to it.

    I am so disgusted with the hike in Butterbeer prices. It was that high in California too and I just thought it was Californian pricing. I guess they got to pay for the new ride some way.

    I may possibly get to go to Universal in Jan sometime for a work trip. It's been a few years (to Orlando) and I really need to get back!
    I am living through you!
     

    Timon

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    August 24th, Part 1

    Once again we were rudely woken up by loud music at 8:15am!! o_O Are you kidding me? This is starting to seem like a pattern here, not an exception. :worried:

    I use a Rain app on my phone every night to fall asleep to. At home, I set it to a timer so it goes off after 1 hour but on vacation, I tend to let it play all night so that it helps cover up some of the noise you typically hear in a hotel room. I had turned the volume all the way up in the hopes that it would drown out the music but it didn't help much. Sleep and rest is the only thing that helps with my Lupus symptoms and Rob was in desperate need of some sleep to get over his cold. :scared:

    Eventually, we got out of bed, showered and got ready for the day. I wanted to try a different place for brunch today, First Watch. It's located in Dr. Phillip's, which is the community adjacent to Cabana Bay. We've driven through the Dr. Phillip's area several times before and I love it. If I ever won that dang lottery, I would probably buy a house here. 😍



    When we got there, it was busy, which we totally expected on a Saturday late-morning. We waited about 30 minutes for a table and perused the menu during that time so we would be ready to order right away.





    They offered free coffee while you waited, which helped to wake Rob up a bit.






    We ordered and then waited....and waited...and waited....Rob was feeling it. He was lacking sleep and was getting very hungry. 😒



    Finally...food! πŸ˜‹

    Rob's...



    Mine...



    And Kira was being brave and decided to try an omelette! She never tries anything new so I was super proud of her. :worship: She ended up loving it so I'm glad she tried it. :goodvibes



    It was good but we still prefer Keke's. The grainy toast was amazing and the eggs seemed a little fresher here but it's still Keke's all the way for us. πŸ˜‰

    After filling our tummies, we headed over to the Walmart. I was on the hunt for the new Pepperidge Farm Blueberry cookies that just came out. I thought Rob would love these as he's a huge blueberry fan and I couldn't find them at Target or Publix. I just ran in while Rob and Kira stayed in the car.

    I have been to most of the Walmarts near Disney but never this one. Holy crap, this is the most massive Walmart I have ever been to! 😱 Apparently while I was shopping, Rob saw some guy change his clothes in the parking lot...just full on disrobe, right there. πŸ€ͺ

    I got in, hit the cookie aisle and got out, that place was a freaking zoo!! 😲




    I found Rob's cookies and then some. 😜





    Back to our room where we chilled until about 5 when we headed back to the parks. This would pretty much be the norm for the rest of the trip so I feel like this report is going to get kind repetitive for you. :rolleyes1



    Kira actually asked me to capture this moment for her and that never happens so I happily obliged 😚



    And in return, Kira took this one of Rob and I.



    First up was Rip Ride Rocket :woohoo:

    Kira braved this one last summer but it was a one-and-done kind of deal for her. She told me before we left to make sure that she does this one again, at least once! She knew she might chicken out and wanted me to remind her that she actually did want to try it again. :lmao:

    She was still nervous but she braved it and ended up loving it way more than last summer! :cool1:



    I love her face in this shot! No fear, only joy :love:



    We stopped to watch a few minutes of the parade but it was so hot, we carried on to our next air conditioned ride. :rolleyes2









    Rob was wearing his Revenge of the Mummy shirt that he bought here 20 years ago on our first trip to IOA so I was trying to get a cute shot but it wasn't working out so well. 😏



    It didn't help that it was crowded in front of here with people that were just watching the parade and I was about a billion degrees πŸ”₯



    No idea what this sass was all about :cool: :rotfl:



    This ride would have been so much better had WE GOTTEN OUR CUP OF COFFEE!!! πŸ˜‚

    I love Mummy but I always come off of it with new bruises or injuries. Getting old sucks. 😏🀣



    We then headed for Diagon Alley, probably my favourite part of all of the parks!! On the way there, I spotted a new sign!! Ha!! An advertisement for the Leaky Cauldron, in London, no less!! Tricky, tricky!! ⚑




    We always love coming back, it never gets old!!! πŸ™Œ



    We were in need of some sustenance so into the Leaky Cauldron we went!

    Again...the details, good Lord! :worship:





    Rob got the adult fish and chips and Kira and I got the kids-sized ones.





    I also got a butter beer potted cream for us to try. It was very good but very rich!! We didn't even eat half of it! Kira polished off her butter beer easily enough though. :rolleyes:




    And I grabbed a pic of her near the cauldron...my oh my, has she grown from last summer :lovestruc



    8/26/2018....




    Another quick photo op before we carried on with our evening πŸ₯°

     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    UNIVERSAL PODCASTS


    UNIVERSAL ORLANDO VIDEOS


    UNIVERSAL ATTRACTIONS



    Top