Monday, 3 January 2011

Dec 20 - A Trip To The Dark Side

Today was our last day in Florida before heading off to New York and it was somewhat of an anti-climax after such a wonderful time in WDW.

We were picked up by our 720am Mears shuttle for our Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure day. After making it to the gates of Island of Adventure just before 8am, we were routed the LONG way through Jurassic Park toward the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. However just short of the WWOHP, the crowds were advised that it had already reached capacity and we had to either wait in the stand-by line or get a timed ticket to enter. However, this ticket was to be obtained all the way back at Toon Lagoon. So we trooped back with Malcolm running in front. The fabulous husband of mine earnt his keep and managed to get the first return ticket issued for the day. This was all by 835am.

What I resented was the poor flow of information and poor crowd management. The whole morning was filled with chaos and confusion. This was evident in the frustration of all the other guests around us. We were also unable to get information about child swap despite asking 5 staff members.

When we tried to return to WWoHP, we found the road blocked. We were not told why but the path was so jammed pack with people that it was impossible to do anything else but wait. Even at this late stage of the morning, I could see that guests were being told different things by different staff members and that people were just not getting the information that they needed. We only found out by chance that the timed ticket we got was for entry into WWoHP and not for the Forbidden Journey. This was not apparent and others were not so polite when they found out.
Islands of Adventure

The stroller brigade ready to roll out

Almost there...but no cigar. We were told to turn back
Our place of refuge while we waited
The line for entry to WWoHP would later go past this statue
We tried to make the best of the situation and we did enjoy getting to see WWoHP. We bought ourselves some butter beer, both frozen and unfrozen, as well as some pumpkin juice. It was simply delicious! I loved the frozen version. With everyone refreshed, we started to line up for Forbidden Journey. At this stage, we had no idea what would happen to the babies and we were tired of asking with no reply so we took them all with us. By chance, we found out that we didn't need lockers as the ones minding the babies were able to carry the bags. This was fortunate as we very nearly took the slightly longer line of those who required lockers. We were still in the line for at least 90 minutes. This truly tested everybody's patience, for both adults and children. The ride was fanastic but it broke down halfway through! To have the lights come on whilst stuck in an awkward position just ruined the experience.

By the time we finished, the place was even more crowded so we left. The children were getting tired of lining up and were cranky and hungry. I was so disappointed that we didn't get into Ollivander's or Honeydukes's. We headed to Seuss Landing to entertain the little ones and for some lunch. We then left IOA and headed for Universal Studios.

Completing a very important transaction
What Elliot thought of the goods
The pumpkin juice
Crazy roof lines
Pointing us in the right direction
A place to lick our wounds
Once again, it was disappointing to discover that the advertised wait times did not correspond at all to the actual wait times! Shrek 4D was noted to have a 10 min wait so we entered, but ended up waiting for at least 20 min. We gave the children another reprieve and headed for Woody Wood Pecker's fieval's playground. We had a choice of ET with a 45min wait or the children's rollercoaster which advertised a 20 min wait time. We chose the latter but came out at the same time as our friend who chose the former. I was not happy Jan.

We decided to give up on Universal all together and headed out for an early dinner of Japanese. It was a nice way to end the day and oh so welcoming to have sushi and sashimi. Who would have thought that jalapenos peppers would work well with sushi! We caught the shuttle back to the hotel exhausted. Although the day did not go as well as was expected, it helped to share the experience with friends. We were at least able to complain to each other to moderate the pain!

We're now back at the hotel and we've finally sorted out our luggage that we're leaving behind to be transfered to the Boardwalk Inn upon our return to Florida. We're off to New York tomorrow!

Hurray for Japanese!

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