Thursday May 5th 2016

Today’s plan was to go to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios for the morning, and then head to Sea World so Liam could go on the rollercoasters for one last time before our passes ran out. We got up super early this morning because the evening before I had seen online that UO’s Passholder Perk for the month of May was early entry from Monday to Friday! Today it would be early entry to IoA.

Trip Report Day 6 Universal Orlando

The alarm was set for 6am and we got up and ready, but ended up leaving later than we wanted to. We left the house at about 7.40am and were parking up at 8.10am, so 10 minutes after early entry had started. My parents had come with us too, and as they weren’t passholders they couldn’t get in early so they just hung around in Starbucks for an hour! We headed straight into IoA. We had assumed the whole park was early entry but when we arrived it turned out it was just the Hogsmeade area with the hotel guests, so we were corralled down there which was a waste of time. We did early hotel entry here in 2014 and it was an absolute waste of time because they only have about 2 cars running on the Hogwarts ride so the queue is longer than it would be in the day time!

So off we went into Hogsmeade anyway, after having a slow walk up through Suess Landing, and we headed straight for Dragon Challenge. There was no queue at all for this. We did it twice, and today they had the ‘reride’ sign when you got off so we were able to head back through without having to waste time walking around again. We did one Fire, and one Ice. After that, I wanted to do Ollivanders as I wanted an interactive wand, so we got in the queue there. It was long, and Liam started moaning saying we’d do it another time but I said no! We’ve already done what you want to do, and Liam bemoaned that he had wanted to the fun stuff and I the boring stuff!

Finally, we got in and it was nice and great for children. Liam said he thought some of the kids genuinely thought it was real. When we got out though, the shop was absolutely rammed which wasn’t nice as you couldn’t look at anything! So we left and walked round to the front bit where they only sell wands – it was rammed but we managed to get a look in at the interactive wands which had gold labels. We took a couple out and eventually found a really nice one with a gold handle, it cost me about $41 with my AP discount and I managed to get a full $5 off!

We had a bit of a play with it outside but it was so very busy now, there were lots of kids and families that just ignored the queues and pushed infront of you so that was incredibly frustrating. In the end we headed up to Hogswarts for a ride. On the way in we thought, omg! Is this wand going to fit in the locker?! I genuinely thought we’d have to take it back to the car but then said no no, surely they wouldn’t make them too big for the lockers. It did fit in, but we had to take it out its bag and put it in sortof lopsided – and there were longer wands in the shop – so be aware!

Trip Report Day 6 HogwartsThe wait time for Hogwarts was half an hour and we didn’t want to wait so we just got in the single rider queue. There was no one in it so we walked straight on and got on cars one after eachother. It’s a shame it didn’t work out a little differently as in my car there was an empty seat, so if they had sent two single rides together we would have been together, but there was no one behind me so I was on my own. Of the handful of times we’ve been in the single rider queue for this, about 80% we end up sat together.

We were both sat in the far right hand seat for this ride and this really is the best one! After getting off we walked into Jurassic Park and we both needed a break for the restroom so we popped in, Liam says these are the best toilets in IoA! The Discovery Centre was absolutely dead because it had only just gone park opening time. We had a nice look around taking pictures.

I didn’t want to go on River Adventure today as I didn’t want to get wet after being so soaked in the rain the day before, so we went and looking in Camp Jurassic. Oh my gosh, we’ve never been in here before and it was great! We mainly went in to try and look at the Kong ride but the place was massive, with loads of places to explore. They had roped off the section where you could see over the new ride though.

After that we decided to go and squirt people on the water rides. We first tried the machines on the bridge above Ripsaw Falls, you have to pay a quarter for these ones. I put a quarter in and mine was broken! Luckily Liam’s worked so atleast he got to squirt a few people. Then we carried on up to the Olive and decided to do it from there, because you don’t have to pay for those ones and they’re hilarious! We always aim for the people in the boat that look like they’re trying desperately not to get wet – it’s so funny. The people with hats on or hoods up we try to get!

We carried on into Marvel and it was absolutely rammed. It was now 11 o’clock and the park had been officially open for a couple of hours. We headed to Spiderman and the queue was 50 minutes, so we just got in the single rider queue. Again, we walked straight to the front and ended up next to eachother anyway! The attendant had such a configuration that we had ended up one behind the other with spaces next to us (it must have been because she didn’t have any parties of 2 or single riders to fill the seat) and she noticed us talking to eachother. She said, ‘Oh, you’re together?’ and told us we could sit next to eachother! Due to the fact we didn’t wait at all, I bet some people in the actual queue were mad… but the thing is, you take your chance with the single rider queue, and we’re really not at all bothered whether we’re next to each other or not.

After that we went to Dr Doom but even that had a 50 minute queue! Just crazy, as we’d never seen it that high before. There was no way we were waiting. We reckoned it was because of Hulk being closed everyone was just overflowing to Doom. Anyway, we were flagging a little so we headed to Cinnabon. On the way, we saw some stilt walkers dressed up and Liam had his picture taken. We thought it was hilarious because they were really jazzy and dressed up like Mardi Gras, and they had a Universal employee accompanying them in Universal shirt and shorts, holding this tiny little windmill! He looked so out of place and ridiculous as he was just RIGHT THERE! With his little windmill. He’s on the picture haha.

Trip Report Day 6 Little Windmill Man

Little windmill man RIGHT THERE on the left!

We got to Cinnabon and whilst I had a treat Liam filmed some ducks.

Once I’d finished we walked round to Suess to do either the Trolley Ride or Cat in the Hat but even they had massive queues! We didn’t want to wait so we had a little look in the book shop (Liam forced me to leave as I was taking too long looking at all the amazing things) and then we headed to the train station to go over to Universal.

We tried a few spells in Diagon Alley but it was super rammed there too. We could barely move, so thought we’d try down Knockturn Alley. Most people don’t seem to realise this exists so we were shocked to see that here too, it was rammed! It was weird though because people seem to forego the map and just queue up where other people are, which means they miss some spells and there’s never a queue for them! So I headed over to one everyone was ignoring and casted a spell.

We didn’t want to stay in Diagon Alley as it was so busy so we tried to go on Men in Black, but it was closed. The Simpsons had a giant queue, and ET did too, and Transformers, too, was down. So we went into the Simpson food court so I could get some calamari (mmm my fav!) and then we decided it was too busy so we’d just leave. We headed out, and Liam had a sandwich in the car. It was about 12pm now so we drove down to Sea World whilst filming a GoPro time lapse down International Drive.

When we arrived we planned a couple of things to do, so headed to Manta first. Liam made us queue for the back, and it was ridiculously intense and horrible and not fun at all! I did not enjoy it. It had taken longer than we thought because the posted wait time was 10 minutes but it was more like 30. We had already planned to go and watch a presentation on the new Mako ride at 2.45 so we needed to make a move down there now.

They had advertised special perks for attending and when we arrived we were given a packet of Lays. I didn’t think it would be busy but loads of people turned it! It was really strange with an overly chirpy presenter lady and some half arsed competition. They showed us a really awful 3D animation of the ride that looked like it came from Theme Park World and then it was over! The free perk was a voucher for free dessert with the purchase of an entrée! Not really a perk. We’d already eaten so we wouldn’t be using that.

We decided then to do the Sea Lions, rollercoasters and Turtle Trek. We headed to the sea lions first and watch them for ages – there was a big bloater sea lion and I loved him. He was my absolutely fav and I wanted to take him home. He was just so massive and he kept popping up at the front and barking, then he’d get back in the water and lie down like a rock, trying to camouflage himself, and then he’d pop back out and bark again – over and over, literally! He was such a bloater.

After that we headed to Kraken, where I grabbed a coke as I felt pretty dehydrated. Liam likes to go on ten millions times so I said I would wait outside whilst he went on a few times in my usual spot – either near the Kraken eggs inside or on the wall outside. Well I couldn’t get a seat on the wall so I headed to the Kraken eggs and sat down inside. Liam headed off and I then realised I couldn’t get wifi so of course I had to move! I squeezed into the tiniest space on the wall and just mooched on my phone, reading the news to catch up and what was happening back home.

A bit later, I saw Liam wondering round looking for me. I wasn’t going to leave the wall because I assumed he was going on again and I didn’t want to lose my seat, so I waited until he looked over and started waving until he saw me! When he came up to me, he said it was terrible! It had given him a headache, it was rickety and needed a refurb and that he didn’t want to do it again! I was thoroughly surprised. I said I wasn’t bothered, either, and since Liam didn’t feel well I said the best thing for us to do now would probably be to go to the Premium Outlets we hadn’t done on Day 5.

On the way out of the park we stopped and I got a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream. I was proper annoyed, I was going to get a waffle sundae for $5.99 but Liam guilted me as we were having a big dinner tonight so I ended up getting one scoop. Well one scoop cost over $4! Ridic! Also it taste just awful. It had a hint of washing up liquid, and also, like it had been in the tub forever. I ate it as we walked to the car.

Trip Report Day 6 MallWe drove to the mall. Funnily enough, just before we left I’d managed to connect to the SW wifi and my mom had sent a picture of what looked like Starbucks at the Premium Outlets. All day we had been bumping into them. When we were getting off the Hogwarts train into Diagon Alley, they were leaving to go to Hogsmeade, and we crossed paths! So I thought it would be funny if we saw eachother again. When we got there, we parked a couple of rows down from what we thought was there car, so I had a look in and saw the sat nav mount so I knew it was them! I took a picture of Liam by it as we wanted to creep them out, but I didn’t get chance as we bumped into them on the way in! They were walking out as we were walking in. We arranged to meet a little earlier for dinner, at 6.45pm instead of 7.30pm at Bahama Breeze.

It was now 4.30pm so we had just under 2 hours. We had a quick walk round the shops. Liam didn’t get anything, once again, but I got a Hurley hoody for $11 and 2 hoodies in Billabong for $29 for both! I didn’t see anything else, so we headed down to Bahama Breeze. We arrived first so we went and sat in the outdoor bar area so we could look out for them arriving. We watched the poor valet guy. He was on his own and totally rushed off his feet. He kept jumping in cars and driving them about 200 yards away, just parking up anywhere and running back because he had so many to deal with. Eventually my parents arrived, and it was a good time to go as we didn’t have to wait for a table, just walked straight in. By the time we left there was a huge queue.

To start, we shared the amazing Spinach Dip. Me and my mom both had a really nice strawberry lemon drink, whilst Liam opted for just lemon and my dad had the virgin bahamarita. For mains, I had the Jerk Chicken Pasta and Liam had his usual curry bowl! My mom had a salmon dish which was way too hot and spicy for her, and my dad had some kindof chicken thing. Although dinner was nice, I was I had stuck with my usual order of butter chicken because when I left I was a bit like, meh, didn’t really feel anything about it! Liam said he liked all the flavours and the rice and naan bread was great, but unfortunately he had some bad lumpy bits of brown fatty chicken – he said it was one of the worst chicken pieces he’s ever seen and he left loads.

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We shared the amazing banana nut pudding. Me and my dad mainly ate it, and it was just amazing. I had been looking forward to it for so long. After that I had debated with Liam about going to Disney Springs or something, but in the end we just went straight to the villa so we could get up and about tomorrow morning. We stopped at Walmart first for a good look around and to withdraw some cash. I ended up spending loads actually! I brought 3 pairs of workout trousers, a t-shirt, a pool float, a towel clip and all Liam got was some fruit haha. Once we got to the villa it was late and we were tired so we went straight to sleep!

Make sure to check out Day 7!

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