The TMs are Starting to Recognize Us! September 2018 TR *NEW* 12/9

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by khertz, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Great pics by the pool, looks like you all enjoyed your time there!

    I'm starting to think I under guessed with my slushy count!!
     
  2. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    Lovely! I have seen pictures of the Smoky Mountains and it looks like a nice place. My parents did a trip there about 10 years ago and they really enjoyed it. As much as we all love our theme parks, it is nice to see other places too!
     
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  4. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I know, it does make me think we need to have more non-Disney trips! But there was that year we had APs and went A LOT so there wasn't really time or funds for a non-Disney trip that year. Then we had the Viking cruise. Now we have the Disney cruise. lol Our vacation budget tends to get blown on theme parks!! But we will definitely plan another Smoky Mountains trip when DD is a bit older, and we have been talking about taking the kids to Washington D.C. in the next couple years, so it will happen. Eventually!

    It ABSOLUTELY spoils you!! We have 2 trips planned for next year to Universal but to take the trips, we have to sacrifice staying onsite, and it is KILLING me to even think about it! We haven't done Universal without staying in one of their resorts since 2009. But it was better than not getting to go at all, so we will see how it goes.

    We really loved the pool! And it was a nice respite from the really awful September heat.

    Hahahahaha SPOILER ALERT: you did!!!!! :rotfl:

    It was our second visit but our first in the fall and it was SO gorgeous! We don't actually get a "fall" here in south Louisiana. The leaves just kind of turn brown and fall off the tree. lol So seeing all the red and orange leaves in the mountains was absolutely stunning, plus we got to see the beginnings of their holiday happenings so lots of Christmas lights and activities, which made it a lot of fun for the kids. We took DS when he was about 2.5 and knew we'd have to go back someday, and this Thanksgiving trip turned out to be so perfect. We had a great time and are already talking about when we can go back!
     
  5. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    I never thought of that before. I guess I was never sure if Louisiana got a fall at all! I've been in Lafayette in April-May and Sept-Oct so it was what I would call full on summer at that time.
     
  6. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Poor DD, wondering why you were going somewhere besides Orlando. :laughing: Honestly, though, if we still lived in the states my kids would probably have that same mindset. Alex and I have talked about how we barely went anywhere outside FL when we lived there!

    However, that being said, even after taking them all around Europe if you ask them where they wanna go next they ALWAYS say Disney. :rotfl:


    There seems to be so many different areas you have to go through to the get to the Jimmy Fallon attraction. Almost sounds like more work than its worth.


    Your pool and down time at the resort sound like so much fun. It had to be kind of nice, having DS old enough to go down the main slide and not have to stress as much about him in the water since he's older. I love still having a toddler, but I won't lie, seeing your pictures of being able to have fun in the pool does make me look forward to the day when my kids are both more independent.


    Icee #5, I love it! I also laughed that the cup was so full you couldn't close the lid on it! :rotfl:
     
  7. Alexsandra

    Alexsandra Ready for the next adventure

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    Really enjoyed your trip report. Your pics are great by the way!
     
  8. Pumpkin1172

    Pumpkin1172 Mouseketeer

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    Still following along..and enjoying the hot weather pictures!!!! With winter here I'm longing for heat and warmth. When I'm in the warmth is when I'm my happiest. We have been very lucky so far this winter and it has been mild...which scares me for when winter really hits with the -40 mind and skin numbing coldness:cold: It gets harder each year to get through those cold months.

    I'm loving all the pictures...your at 5 icees so far....wonder how many more you will have for the day :scratchin
     
  9. IheartBroncos

    IheartBroncos Earning My Ears

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    Loving the report! We just switched to HRH for our May trip and I love seeing your room pics! Seems easy to walk to the parks too!

    Do you remember what show # this was? I would love to listen to it! I looked through their podcasts but didn't see one named this (I totally could have missed it though, lol).
     
  10. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Yes it was episode 115! It’s called New Information & Special Offer for Universal Orlando. Although they did talk about the special offers they did they talked about a lot of tips they learned during their fam
     
  11. IheartBroncos

    IheartBroncos Earning My Ears

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    Thank you! Just downloaded it!
     
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  12. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Haha It's pretty much full on summer weather except for a few weeks here and there in December and January.

    She was honestly SO confused about vacation. To her, "vacation" refers to a Disney or Universal park. Then she thought "vacation" was the hotel! lol It's so hard to explain to a toddler that just being somewhere is vacation.

    It is!!!

    It's nice being able to give him a little freedom and not having to hover over a toddler. It was the first time in a long time I've actually been able to enjoy pool time!

    They always filled them so high! It was like getting a little bonus every time lol

    Thanks so much!

    I can't even imagine that cold! It's going to be in the 30s tonight, and I'm already freezing just thinking about it. lol

    The answer ... a lot!! :rotfl:

    I'm glad you're enjoying it! I think you will LOVE the Hard Rock!! It's my favorite of the 3 resorts that includes express pass. The rooms are so big, and I love the theme. The walk is a breeze!

    You're welcome!
     
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  13. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 3 Continued: Monday September 17th

    After getting to Islands of Adventure for the evening and doing a little shopping (and getting our 5th Icee!), we were ready to ride Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man!

    After helping Spider-Man save the city, we headed into another gift shop for DS to look around.


    We found strawberry Icees over by Reign of Kong, which are DS’s favorite kind, so we got one of those to share since he gets annoyed with us always getting the Coke Icees.

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    We went over to Camp Jurassic to check out the wait at Pteranodon Flyers because it’s the one ride that doesn’t offer Express so we wanted to catch it when the wait was not too long.

    The wait wasn’t too bad, and I offered to ride it with DS since he and DH have done it a lot together over the years. This was hands down the WORST wait of the entire trip!!! I was absolutely melting in the heat and there was little to no air circulation in that queue, plus it is SUCH a slow loader that even though it didn’t seem like there were a ton of people in front of us, feeling the sweat dripping all down me in that agonizing heat was the absolute worst ever. And of course I had left all my wonderful cooling towels and cold beverages with DH outside of the line!!

    That ride is great but it is SO quick. I don’t have any pictures because I didn’t trust myself enough to use my phone swinging through the air like that.

    We found DH after the ride, filled our cup with some refreshing ice water, then went to the Discovery Center to let DS play and get some a/c.

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    Once the water was gone, DH ran to get another Icee while I watched DS play.


    We went over to watch one of the velociraptors hatching.

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    DS ended up being the kid that named the baby velociraptor! He decided to name it Sugar. The TM working there gave us a certificate of what DS named the raptor, and some stats on it including the date and time it hatched for DS to take home. He also explained that we could come back any time on future trips and ask about Sugar to see how she is doing. I thought that was pretty cool!

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    DS and Sugar

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    Since we were right there and ready for dinner, we had some food at The Burger Digs. This was about when we realized full sized adult meals were just too much for us in the heat so we started ordering kids meals. Both DS and I got a kids burger and DH got the kids chicken tenders.

    We did have a couple funny moments during this meal. DS went to use the restroom and when he came out he was telling us about the “Team Member” in the bathroom that saw his button and wished him a Happy Birthday. DH was super proud that DS knows the difference between Cast Members & Team Members! Also at one point while eating he was leaning over DH’s shoulder and DH told him to sit back. DS replied, “Sit back, relax, and we’ll be on our way shortly” which is the opening phrase from one of the DCL podcasts I listen to with him in the car sometimes.

    Continued in next post...
     
  14. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 3 Continued: Monday September 17th

    After dinner, we headed over to Hogsmeade.


    DH and DS decided to do Forbidden Journey, but I wasn’t willing to tempt fate with riding that after having just eaten, so I sat out and shopped. I stopped to grab a scavenger hunt map since it was a special Back to Hogwarts event going on while we were there, but since everything was done on Twitter, I didn’t think DS would get much enjoyment out of it, so we didn’t end up doing anything with it.

    By this time in the day, the ankle I had hurt a little after doing the water slide was really starting to bother me from all of the walking. This afternoon and the next day were the worst of it and I ended up having to take Advil pretty much around the clock. It’s hard to let something like that rest when you’re spending a week in a theme park!

    We decided to do Flight of the Hippogriff since we were right there.

    DS was ready to cast some spells, so we went around to pretty much all of the magic spots around Hogsmeade and did them all. There aren’t as many as at Diagon Alley, so it’s not hard to do them all quickly as long as it isn’t terribly busy.
    They had this weird little skeleton guy who has a crow under his hat that pokes his eyeball out and it drops down into his mouth like a coin return.

    After he was finishing practicing his spells, we headed over to Seuss Landing to ride the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. As we crossed through Lost Continent we had to get one more Icee.

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    So most of you who guessed (and who didn't see my Facebook post about this), you all underestimated us! lol 8 ended up being our max for Icees for the day, and DH had a fleeting thought to try to break his record the next day, but I don't think we could stomach the idea of drinking that much slushed sugar and caffeine for a second day! :rotfl2:

    It was about 7:30 pm and although the park was open until 9 pm that night , DS said he was tired and ready to go back.


    Since my ankle was hurting, I opted to take the boat back. It seems sort of silly to do that when the boat launch is SO close to the Studios entrance so I had already walked most of the way back to the hotel by that point. But I was happy to save myself as many steps as possible and boat it back while the boys decided to walk.

    We got ourselves off to bed with plans of a sleep in morning the next day!

    UP NEXT: Good Things Come In Pink Boxes
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  15. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    So cool that DS got to name the hatched velociraptor!

    SO many icees!! At least you can say you got your moneys worth!

    Great pics from Seuss Land!

    Ah I'm sorry about your ankle :(
     
  16. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    I ♥️ Reading your fun trip report!
     
  17. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Love that shot of the Hulk Coaster from the "Seuss-Eye-in-the-Sky-kill-me-now-if-this-ride-doesn't-end-soon-obile"

    That Jurassic Park area really needs an update - but it's still great for the little ones. DD at 13 was still in there for about an hour.

    Had this conversation with DD the other night
    DD(15): "When can we go back to Universal again. Disney's OK, but I like Universal too"
    Me: "But you won't go on any of the rides"
    DD(15): "I'll ride Forbidden Journey"
    Me: "So one ride?"
    DD(15): "OK, I guess I want to go back for Harry Potter"
    She can keep dreaming if she thinks we're going back for one ride...:confused3
     
  18. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    It was definitely a new spin on something we have done many times with him getting the chance to name it. We all thought it was very cool!

    ABSOLUTELY! I think we did every day, but that day there was no question. lol When we started taking the pictures, it became a game of how many could we possibly get in one day.

    The ankle was unfortunate, but thankfully some Advil seemed like it did the trick as long as I kept it in my system, and it didn't hurt long.

    Thanks so much!

    :rotfl2: Well that's certainly a mouthful name for it. It might take longer to say that than it does to ride it!!!

    I agree, although we enjoy it, there were a lot of elements in the Discovery Center that were old and worn out. It needs a sprucing up. And maybe some Jurassic World elements wouldn't hurt either.

    You can tell a kid has NO CONCEPT of money spent and value when they say things like that!!! :rotfl: Paxton does it all of the time, and I just think, "One day you'll understand..." Yes, let's drop several hundred dollars so you can ride one ride! Luckily for us Paxton enjoys way more rides than he refuses, but there are other times he wants to do something super expensive and he only likes one element of it, but he thinks it's no big deal.
     
  19. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    8 icees in one day...that is impressive! I would have been amazed if your DH would've been able to top that number. Besides...I'm hoping some that Icee room got saved for some more Butterbeer. I need to enjoy that delicious drink vicariously through your reports!:rotfl:

    Sorry your ankle was bothering you that evening. Hard to let it heal when all you want to do is walk around and enjoy the parks.
     
  20. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    8 was pretty much our limit. We joked about trying to get more the next day but I don't think our stomachs could have handled it! lol

    That's exactly it...how can it rest when you're there to walk all day long?? Luckily it didn't last too long, but that day was particularly bothersome.
     
  21. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 4: Tuesday September 18th

    After an early morning the day before, we were ready for a sleep in morning. For us, that doesn’t mean sleeping in super late, but it did mean we went to bed without setting an alarm the night before. It was after 8 am when we got up, and we took our time getting dressed. We had some wet plans for the morning, so DS was just wearing his swimsuit and rash guard. I was also wearing my swim suit but with a tank and shorts over it. DH wore his swimsuit with a t-shirt.

    Remember when I mentioned DH had elected NOT to get his pass reprinted and was just going to use his phone to get into the parks? That was all fine and dandy until today, when our morning plan consisted of getting soaked on the water rides, so DH wanted to leave his phone in the room! So we had to wait for him to go down to the ticket counter in the lobby and have it reprinted anyway! DS kept himself busy while we waited playing with his Legos.

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    Before we were ready to get soaked, though, we had to have some breakfast. The wait was over…we were ready to have our first taste of Voodoo Doughnuts! After a quick walk over to City Walk, it wasn’t much farther to Voodoo Doughnuts, and there was not a long wait at all to order. We had been scouring the menu for months and had plenty of doughnuts we wanted to try.


    What did we pick?!?!

    DH and I decided to get 2 doughnuts each. I picked out the 8 Mile Cake (Plain cake doughnut with vanilla frosting and mini M&M's) and the Blueberry Cake (Blueberry cake doughnut with a glaze). DS didn’t really know what he wanted, but decided on the Cinnamon Sugar Cake (Plain cake doughnut with cinnamon sugar). DH wasn’t sure DS would love that one, so for himself he picked the Butterfinger (Chocolate cake doughnut with vanilla frosting and Butterfinger crumbles) and the Chocolate Old Fashioned (Cake with chocolate frosting). He figured he’d let DS try the chocolate old fashioned and the cinnamon sugar one, see which one he liked better, and take whichever one was left.


    Here come the gluttonous photos of us all trying our doughnuts!

    So what was the verdict? They were DELICIOUS!! But so so so rich. I was starting to get full halfway through my 8 Mile so I stopped and ate a little of the blueberry one. Both of them were delicious, but the 8 Mile was a little too sweet. And I love sweet! DS ended up liking the chocolate old fashioned and polished that one off. We also traded bites of each other’s, and I think we all made good choices. They were all so good! But we were definitely stuffed, and our eyes were way bigger than our stomachs. We figured we’d be back later in the trip and realized one doughnut each would be more than enough.

    They have a really cool revolving display case in the center of the line, so you can get a good view of all of the doughnuts while waiting to order.


    The special HHN doughnut caught DH’s eye, so he was thinking of trying it next time.


    It looked cool, but then he asked on the way out and found out it was filled with raspberry and Bavarian cream, and he’s not a big fan of raspberry, so he had to settle for this photo instead.


    We were absolutely positively stuffed when we waddled out of Voodoo and over towards Islands of Adventure. After getting through Port of Entry we made a left towards Marvel Superhero Island, and spotted Po from Kung Fu Panda over to the side with no one around!! For some reason, I have always been crazy about the idea of meeting Po. It’s not even one of my favorite movies or anything, but I see pictures of people meeting him and have always hoped to see him in the parks but before this day, had never spotted him. I was so excited!! I had to convince DS to come over and meet him with me, but there was no way I was passing by without meeting Po!


    The TM offered to take a picture of all of us, so DH joined in.


    After a fun meet with the adorable Po, we stopped in Marvel Superhero Island to get our cup activated for the day and get our first Icee of the day. (Important things first!). Then we were ready to get soaked!

    UP NEXT: Bilgerats!
     
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