The TMs are Starting to Recognize Us! September 2018 TR *NEW* 11/13

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

  1. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Ugh, this frustrates me so much! I've been trying to "fix" my old TRs because all my photos used to be on Photobucket, but then they imploded.
    So now what I do is use my 10 upload allotment and then use Flickr for any additional photos I want to include.

    I still write my reports in Word. When I'm writing, I just leave a blank space where I am going to insert the photos and after I've copied and pasted it onto the boards, I add the photos. Does that make any sense?



    ***

    I'm glad to hear that if you take the Fast and Furious ride with a grain of salt and understand it's not the biggest, best, most amazing attraction then it's good. Not every ride can be Escape from Gringotts...

    Love the text feature with the Universal hotels, but it does seem funny that they are capable of that but not able to activate the "placeholder" tickets and make you get new ones.

    That's awesome that the resort gave you guys some goodies for your celebrations. The cake looked really yummy.

    I like DS's way of thinking...go through the shops and not only get some air conditioning but also look at potential souvenirs.
     
  2. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    That's exactly what I do too.
    I have no idea if that's "the best" way to do it, since it's my first TR. Good to know somebody else does it that way :)
    I'll have to try checking out your report - I was in DLP 20 years ago! So much has changed since then, I'm sure.
     
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  4. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    He really loved being thought of as a "pro"! It was really cute.

    Thanks! It's such a beautiful resort!! Probably my favorite of the 3 we have stayed at that include express passes. It was very cool & unexpected to get all of the celebration goodies!!
     
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  5. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I don't know how I got lucky but even though I was over the limits Photobucket imposed when they changed their rules for free accounts, my photos still seem to show up! :confused3 I wanted to cry when I read the Flickr announcement and thought of trying to fix all the TRs I've done since I started using them. 17k photos and pretty much every single one is from a TR!

    That does make sense!! I am going to at least pay for the Flickr Pro account for a year since they are offering it 30% off, and hopefully I can justify paying $50 a year moving forward, or find another solution.

    Exactly!!! It's like people expect their very best with every single attraction, but they can't all be crazy amazing. Sometimes you just have to take something for what it is.

    I totally agree that they have figured out so many ways to make things better and easier, but not the key issue. lol The text feature was awesome though, and every time I used it I got a reply almost instantly, and if I was requesting something it always came very quickly. A lot more quickly than I have experienced in the past when calling the front desk for something, that's for sure.

    The cake was really good, and it was such a nice surprise to have our celebrations acknowledged by the hotel staff! DS was super excited and it was a lot easier to get him to do his schoolwork with a promise of bites of cake in between accomplishments.

    That boy LOVES to shop!!!

    I have no idea what the best way is either!! :rotfl: When I first started I would type up each update directly to the DIS, but that was definitely NOT the best way to do it and I lost many an update that way if my Internet was acting up. Plus it took a long time, so I had to have a lot of uninterrupted time to make a post. Now with typing everything up in Word, I can write huge chunks of the TR at a time, and then I only need about 10 minutes here or there to copy & paste an update in and get it posted. Since my DISing time is so limited lately, that has really been the best way for me!
     
  6. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 2 Continued: Sunday September 16th

    After some downtime in the room to relax and cool off, we headed out around 6 to go back to the parks for some dinner and decided to take the water taxi this time.

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    Since Studios was now closed for HHN, we were heading over to Islands of Adventure for the evening.


    DS’s first thing he wanted to do here was Forbidden Journey, so we started off through Seuss Landing to Hogsmeade.



    After a fun flip around in Forbidden Journey, we decided to head over to Three Broomsticks for dinner.


    DS got the kids chicken tenders, while DH and I decided to split the chicken & ribs platter with a frozen butterbeer.

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    Treat Yo Self 2018


    The food was really good, and I was glad I hadn’t gotten my usual shepherd’s pie. As we found out at this meal and which stuck throughout the rest of the trip, the heat really zapped our appetites. Even when I felt really hungry, it didn’t take much before I felt overly stuffed so I couldn’t eat as much as I normally would. That stayed true for almost every meal during this trip.

    After the meal, we decided since we were right there, we’d go ahead and find a spot to wait for the nighttime Hogwarts show. There were only a couple of nights that Islands was open until 9, this being one of them, as it closed at 8 the rest of the nights we were there, and with it not getting dark until closer to 8 I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to have a chance to see it on those earlier nights.

    We found a spot on the bridge between Hogsmeade and Jurassic Park and had awhile to just sit and wait. There are no showtimes for this, it just says ongoing from dusk to park close, so we weren’t even sure how long we’d be sitting there waiting.


    It ended up being about 30 minutes before the show started. It highlights the 4 different houses of Hogwarts and has a few fireworks at the end.


    Overall, the show was just ok. After investing 30 minutes waiting, it was only about 5 minutes long. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but not a huge payoff for all that waiting. I think it was also clouded by the fact that they were not doing Cinematic Celebration on non-HHN nights like I’d been hoping they would. In my mind, I was thinking surely they wouldn’t debut a brand new show at the end of July, run it for less than 2 months, and then not show it at all during fall, yet that’s exactly what they did. And yes, I was bitter about it! Lol

    Since we were on the bridge, a TM told us before the show started we’d have to exit through Jurassic Park. If you wanted to go into Hogsmeade after the show, you’d have to leave the bridge before the show and watch it from there. So once it ended, we walked through a dark JP.


    Since it was the end of the night, we decided to stop at Camp Jurassic and see if the wait time was manageable for Pteranodon Flyer since it doesn’t accept EP. However once we got over there, we saw it boarded up and closed for a refurb. I happened to pass a TM on the way out and asked when it’d be reopening, and he said it actually should be up and running the next day, so that made DS happy. He enjoys that ride a lot and would have been bummed to miss out on it entirely.

    So we continued on and ended up stopping to do Reign of Kong next instead.


    We were ready to call it a day by then. We still had to pass through Marvel Superhero Island, which was pretty cool looking all lit up.


    We walked back to the room and had a few minutes to FaceTime DD before taking our showers and getting to bed. Despite only a half day in the parks, we were totally exhausted!!

    UP NEXT: Early Entry!
     
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  7. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a good evening! Nice pictures of the nighttime show- I'm sorry it just ended up being ok!
     
  8. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Yeah, we waited maybe 10 minutes for that Hogwarts show, and it was cute but unimpressive. The other point I didn't realize was (at least when we were there) they kept running it every 15 minutes, so there was really no need to wait around for it. I didn't know if Disney was maybe making me get tired out of Projection shows?

    I did notice my appetite perhaps a little curtailed by the heat as well. We mostly ate our big meals at lunch in August, and found that by dinner I was barely hungry again. It also might have been drinking so much liquids too.
     
  9. Pumpkin1172

    Pumpkin1172 Mouseketeer

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    I know I would have been bummed to see that show...knowing that they had a much better show, but because of HHN they wouldn't show it. Especially for us, we wouldn't know when we would be returning to visit, and would want to experience all the " great " things about the park.
     
  10. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Well, that's a bummer that the show was over pretty quickly. I'm sure it was nice to be able to see it in person, but probably underwhelming when you think about wasting 30 minutes of park time for it.

    I did enjoy the photos the castle at dusk, though!
     
  11. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I'm sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not been so bitter about Cinematic Celebration. :rotfl:

    I did know they ran it every few minutes or so, but I didn't know how many times they would be running it since it wasn't going to be dark long before the park closed. So we took our chances with the first show. It wasn't a terrible wait, but definitely not the payoff I would have expected.

    I'm usually a big eater, especially on vacation. lol I was really surprised by how much the heat was affecting my appetite this trip. We've had other trips during very hot times, and I don't remember it having that much of an effect on me like it did this time!

    I was so disappointed to see they halted it entirely during HHN season. It made no sense to me that they wouldn't at least show it on non-HHN nights!! Luckily we are going back in May so we should hopefully be able to see it then.

    I'm glad we saw it, but it wasn't as big a payoff as I was expecting after that kind of wait. Poor DH kept suggesting seeing it another night during the trip from in front of Hogwarts instead of the JP bridge, but DS and I shot him down every time. lol

    The castle is VERY pretty as the sky darkens and it begins to light up!!
     
  12. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    I never did eat at Three Broomsticks, but it does look like decent food. I haven't been overly happy with the QS options at Universal in the past. might be one to try next time.

    The Hogwarts projection show does seem "just ok" from your pictures. Something nice to stumble on, or wait 5-10 minutes to see, but not much more I guess. It's too bad they don't have a schedule for it so you could plan better.
     
  13. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    We end up eating at Three Broomsticks pretty much every trip because it's a welcome change from the rest of the Universal quick service places which aren't great, that we can definitely agree on. We also end up at Fast Food Boulevard a lot because it offers some different options than most of the other quick service places and it's somewhere we can go and all be fed when we all want something different!

    If they had a posted schedule, I think we would have enjoyed it a lot more. Saying it starts "at dusk" doesn't really tell me anything!!! It was a bit frustrating sitting there waiting and not even knowing really how much longer we'd be waiting. I'm sure that tainted the experience a bit for me as well. It was okay, just not great nor was it worth the time investment. It's something in the future I'd be happy to stumble upon, for sure.
     
  14. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Day 3: Monday September 17th

    On our first full park day, we were up early to get to 7 am early entry! Our alarms were set for 6 am, and we got up and dressed pretty quickly.


    We decided to bring breakfast with us to go, and made our way down to the water taxi to take it over to City Walk, then walked over to Studios. At the gates, everyone was crowded at the turnstiles on the left side, but DH noticed they were getting the turnstiles on the right side ready but no one was over there. So even though it was only just a few minutes prior to 7 am, we were able to get over there and be one of the first ones into the parks when they opened the gates.

    Of course, we were headed for Diagon Alley, as were most people. They had recently changed what was available for early entry along with Diagon Alley from Minion Mayhem to Return of the Mummy, so we really didn’t have anywhere else to head during early entry anyway!

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    Once we made it into Diagon Alley, we decided to hit up Escape From Gringotts and ended up riding twice in a row!

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    After two great rides, we decided to let DS do some magic spots before the park opened up and Diagon Alley got more crowded.


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    It was a little after 8 am when we decided to make our way out of Diagon Alley, and we wanted to get our refillable AP cup activated for the day. DS was requesting Fast & Furious again, so we hit up the cart outside of there where we had activated before, but the TM there said her activator wasn’t working and told us we could go across the street to the bakery, then come back for an Icee refill once we had gotten it activated. When we went inside the bakery, we had our one and only negative TM interaction when one of the two ladies working in there exasperatedly told us they were not open. We explained why we had been sent there and the other TM was happy to help us activate the cup. I just wasn’t prepared for that kind of attitude first thing in the morning.

    Once our cup was activated, we went back over to the cart and got our first Icee of the day. We chose lemonade this time because DS wanted some and he doesn’t like the Coke ones.


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    Then we made our way into Fast & Furious.


    After the ride, the sun was beating down on us, so we stopped on a bench to put on our sunscreen and DH went over to get our second Icee of the day. We decided to keep track of how many we got in photos this day.

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    How many more can we manage to get throughout the day??

    UP NEXT: Gimme All the Icees!
     
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  15. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    The refillable icees! :laughing: I remember them from your last trip; glad they're making a return appearance in this report!

    Two rides on Escape from Gringotts sounds like a fantastic way to start the morning. Such an awesome attraction.

    Sorry to hear that TM wasn't very friendly; must not be a morning person. :confused3
     
  16. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great early morning in Diagon Alley!

    I love your family's love of the refillable icees!! I look forward to seeing how many you get- maybe 6 for the day??
     

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