On top of our week's stay at the Fountains Resort (very lovely), we were given a 7 day ticket to Universal Studios/Universal Islands of Adventure. But we had to go to our meeting first which was the next morning after our arrival. That was fine so we could get it out of the way and on with our trip!
Day 1: Left Kansas City at 6 am - this meant getting up at 2:30 am to get around and leave for the airport by 3:30. It was about an hour drive from Josh's mom - we only saw one deer in route to KCI. Check in was easy as well as security. We got through it all in about an hour, there was a line to check in because the counter wasn't open when we first got there, or the 10 people ahead of us. Our flight was completely full and since airlines are charging for luggage now everyone had a carry on. Since we were loading in zone 3, the last one, Josh's bag had to be checked (for free), but it was still irritating. I bet they're going to be more strict on carry on size, because it was obvious no one was checking their size. Our first flight was about an hour and then we landed in Dallas (our 3rd time in Texas in a month). We were there about an hour and a half, time enough to find our gate and get some breakfast. The next flight was about 2.5 hours -not terrible, but we forgot headphones so it was boring at times. We landed at MCO - got our car rental and headed to our resort. BG (bluegreen) told us we'd be staying at a Hilton property hotel but since they were so slow we stayed there. We had a 2 bedroom (3 beds, king, and 2 fulls), two bathrooms, jacuzzi tub, full kitchen, washer, dryer, and all the kitchen appliances, bar seating, 3 tvs, dining room, and screen in patio. It was very luxurious! We were in building 6, room 108. We hadn't ate since 7:30 that morning so we were starving by the time we got to Orlando. Thankfully the resort had a restaurant. The food was okay - it was food and we were hungry. I had one of the worst migraines I've ever had so we went back to the room and took about a 3 hour nap. We ordered pizza from a place called "Pizza" for dinner-it wasn't he best or the cheapest but once again it was food, we were hungry, and we didn't have to go anywhere. We stayed in for the night was tv and rested up for our bright and early meeting in the morning.
Day 2: 11-15-11-Bluegreen time share talk at 8 a.m. We had to arrive 15 minutes before because they start right on time and then you have to take a later time. It was only supposed to take 90 minutes, but ours took 3 hours. They offered great deals but we just can't afford that type of commitment at this point in our lives. 11:50 a.m. - we're off to UNIVERSAL! YES!!!!!!! First things first, food once again. We wanted to eat a bit before roaming the parks. We ate at Pastamore - it was fairly cheap pizza. Tasted like a frozen store bought pizza but whatever. It was food and quick. We went over to the Universal ball for a picture (that we did everyday).
Then we went in to US to make sure we didn't have to get a different ticket but our printouts were fine. Then we went to UIoA for Harry Potter! We hadn't got to do the Harry Potter rides at our honeymoon because it opened the week before, it was June, and well, the lines were 2 hours+. So we literally hauled ass around to the back side of the park to Harry Potter and Forbidden Journey/Hogsmead.
We rode the HP Forbidden Forrest ride - it was FANTASTIC! The detail of the building was awesome. You walked in the castle, through Madam Pumfries greenhouse, back into the castle, past Dumbledor's entrance to his office, through the corridor of talking pictures, yes they talked!, through Dumbledor's office, to the Observatory room, down a hallway with the lady in the painting that kept the entrance to the Gryfindor common room, moving daily profits, and even past the sorting hat. This was one ride I wouldn't mind standing in line for and looking at everything. It was a stimulated ride that you flew through the castle, dealt with the spiders (grossest part), fought demontors, played quiditch, fought dragons, dealt with the whom ping willow, and over the water and through mountains and returned safe back to Hogwarts. We then went on the flight of the hippogriff. It was definitely a kiddie ride - it was about 5 minutes, a quick simple rollercoaster. We didn't ride the dualing dragons because it went upside down. We don't do upside down rides. After our ride we had our first butterbeer --- YUMMY!!!!!! We had one every day that week. There was a liquid version and the frozen kind. I loved them both! Then we went to Marvels Superhero area. I had huge blisters on the back of my feet so we went in one store asking about bandaids - they could call over an emt (no thank you) or sell me 8 bandaids for $6. So I passed and we stopped back at guest services and loaded up on bandaids. While we were in the store Spiderman ran in and out - it was crazy. That was the one superhero we didn't get a picture with. We decided to go eat lunch before Impact Wrestling that was being taped that night. We had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe - Josh had a bbq sandwich and I had chicken with mac & cheese. The mac & cheese was delish but the chicken was a little lack luster. We then went to get my bandaids and our tickets (even though the event was free) for Impact Wrestling. On our way to get in line we ran into the Minons! They're building a new ride in honor of them and we can't wait to go back in a few years once that is complete and they're also closing the Jaws/Amity area for something new - I hope it's Transformers!
5:30 - Doors open for Impact Wrestling. They film IW on Monday & Tuesday for that Thursday & next Thursdays show. So we were on a clip of that Thursday's show and then we were on the Thanksgiving show. We got to see a lot of wrestlers - and my all time favorite, Jeff Hardy.
I took this on the tv a week later - there we are on national tv - on Spike. After we left Impact/Universal we went to Citywalk and bought Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
Day 3: 11-16-11 - Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast while sitting on the patio enjoying the Orlando weather and palm trees. Definitely loved this - it was very relaxing. We headed out to Universal about 11 that day - with the parks not very crowded we weren't in a hurry and get up mood. When we first walked in U.S. we ran into Scooby & Shaggy. When we were here for our honeymoon, we only got a picture with Scooby.
After meeting a few characters, we had lunch at the Diner. We then proceeded to the Rocky Horror Makeup Show, a Magic Show, T2, the Simpsons Ride, and Men in Black. Josh and I rode the Simpsons about 4 times, and the Men in Black ride 5 times over two days. Josh won the MIB game 3 outta 5, but I hit the bonus all but once.
This picture is from the next day (11.17.11) but it fits ---
and yes, I knew where the cameras were. And no, we don't know the people behind us - but the guy is hilarious!
After the MIB/Simpsons ride we headed past Jaws (we did that the first time, interesting, old and boring-they are closing the Jaws/Amity area in Jan. to make room for something new --- I HOPE it's Transformers!). We went to Disaster and the Mummy. Oh the Mummy. We didn't do this ride the first time - not really sure why, probably the line was too long) --- but my brother and his family went a month early and Amy said Jer & Cole LOVED the Mummy. So we thought - ok, if a 9 year old can do it, so can we. The wait time was only 5 minutes and that was just walking all the way through to the front of the line. You get in this rickety boat car looking thing - bars come over the top and off you go. You start out in the story and the guy (Brenden Frasier) is saying go back don't do it yadda, yadda, ya. Well we proceed into the gold room, fire on the ceiling, mummies, bad guys, twists, turns, falling backwards, and turning fast and fire. I know I screamed and laughed most of the time - it was definitely awesome! We did it the next day too and sat by this couple who hadn't rode it and the girl was freaking out. It was AWESOME!
Back to U IofA we go --- I gotta go back to Harry Potter! But first we rode the Cat in the Hat - it was very cute! Reminded me of the Pooh and Snow white rides from Disney.
All aboard!!!!!!! Platform 9 3/4s and the train conductor! Random I know but HP know it alls know what I'm talking about :) When we got back to Hogsmead today the conductor was there, I took my picture with him, but Josh didn't. He was super cute and was in great character. So then we went to the Forbidden Journey and then to Olivanders. Last time when we were there the line to Olivanders (a wand shop) was about 2 hours long - everything there was 2 hours long. But this time it was only about 10 minutes. What is it? Olivander's is a wand shop. There is a skit that is played and the detail is so fantastic!
That night we went to Downtown Disney. I desperately wanted to go the Christmas store.
Josh bought me this Buzz & Woody ornament - I don't get it until Christmas though.
We ate dinner at Fulton's Crab House --- Oh my gosh their crab dip is so delish!
Fulton's Crab Boursin
Fulton's Crab House
3 lb. cream cheese
1/2 cup roasted garlic
1 TB chopped green onions
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 TB Prepared Horseradish
2 TB crab base or crab meat
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
1 TB hickory-smoked mustard (Note: If you cannot find smoked mustard, check your local supermarket for a bottle of liquid smoke. Use approximately 1/2 teaspoon.)
METHOD OF PREPARATION
1. Mix all ingredients except cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
2. Cut cream cheese into small cubes and place them in the mixer.
3. Mix cheese until smooth. Stop, scrape sides and mix again.
4. When cream cheese is smooth, add the rest of the ingredients to mixer. Be careful not to over mix.
Store in covered container and refrigerate up to 7 days.
Day 4: 11-17-11-Our laziest of days. We did some outlet shopping, well browsing. We didn't really buy anything that day. We went to the Mall of Milena --- a way over priced mall but we did go to FYE and I got "Where the Heart is" and "Mars needs moms" both on sale so I was happy. We also went to Target and I got an alien shirt from Toy Story 3 - I was so happy to have found that. We watched iMPACT wrestling and we were on one segment of it.
Day 5: 11-18-11-Our last full day of fun. We started off to Universal Studios.
We first went to Krustyland for our 1st of 2 rides on the Simpsons. It's one of our favorites.
We kept going back and forth with the Simpsons and Men in Black. Like I said earlier - Josh won our series at Men in Black - but I'm going to get him next time. And then back to the Mummy. What a rush! I love that ride!
After we were done at Universal Studios we took our Men in Black picture to the car and went in to Universal Islands of Adventure. We decided to start in the Marvel area and I'm so glad we did. I'm big into taking pictures with characters and we were in luck. We got to meet Wolverine, two girls (I can never remember their names, but Josh does and one complimented my shirt - the first of many that day), Cyclopes, and Captain America. We were too late for Spiderman, but they said he'd be back at 5, we got their at 5:10 and they were getting on the cycles and heading out. It was so disappointing.