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Unread 14 Jan 20, 01:58 PM  
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Join Date: Nov 10
The Fifth Time of Firsts - August 2019 - Day 4 Goodbye to Universal, hello to Disney

Sunday 18th August

We woke up early again and did some packing ready to move on to Disney, this wasn't too bad with my new favourite packing cubes! After our last breakfast in the club lounge we got the last things together, and I took the younger two on the boat to Universal whilst David and Alex moved all our bags to the car (which had sat in the car park the entire time whilst costing us lots of parking!) then walked to meet us outside.

I think we were over at the Universal entrance just before 9. We had the plan today to do a few things we had missed at Universal before going across to Beach Club. First up, Alex was desperate to do Rip Ride Rockit again. This time he managed to enter the number in time and got Immigrant Song successfully, and he really enjoyed the ride again. He was on and off very quickly, and despite watching I failed to spot him going round!

We then went up to the Simpsons area and went on the Twirl n Hurl ride which was fun, and had no wait.

We carried on around to Men in Black. Barnaby wasn't tall enough for this as it is 42", so we used the parent swap, which also meant not having to put our bags in the lockers. Again this was fun, though I'm not sure I was all that good at it!

After this we doubled back to the Woody Woodpecker area, I think this must have not opened until 10 which is why we couldn't do it as we passed. We saw some of the Trolls characters there, although didn't stop for photos, and went to ET. This is where things went a bit wrong. We had had lanyards for our express passes, which I had bought from Facebook and looked lovely, but sadly they were glued together rather than sewn, and gradually one by one they had all fallen apart over our stay, I guess the heat and humidity melted the glue.

So by now we had ended up with them just in my purse or David's pocket. When we got to ET, David failed to find his and Alex's which he had also been carrying. We pulled aside to search through pockets and bags, but they were nowhere to be seen. Although we were leaving that day, it was a bit of a pain not to have them. He headed back to Men in Black to see if he had dropped them on the ride, so I took the kids on Fievel's Playground. They enjoyed this, and the older two went on the water slide thing within it. As a parent with a 3 year old the play area was a little nerve wracking as it wasn't easy to keep track of where he was, but he turned up!

David had no luck at Men in Black, but was told they could reprint them at Guest Services. He came back to us, and we spotted Barney and some other dinosaurs so went to meet them. This was mainly as we had our own Barney, none of the kids are really familiar with the TV show, but they looked cute! In fact it seemed to be mainly older teenagers getting photos with them, I guess as they were little when Barney was on TV

We also went on the Woody Woodpecker coaster which we persuaded Barnaby on but he wasn't a fan!

We then all trudged back beyond Men in Black to the guest services point, stopping on the way to buy a big pink doughnut in the Simpsons area which we all shared.

It was easy enough to get a paper temporary express pass reprinted, just a pain having to go back and forth. We went into Diagon Alley again for another wander, and Alex had decided he wanted to spend some of his holiday money on a little cuddly rat he had seen previously in the shop in Knockturn Alley, and also a phoenix. He had seen the phoenix in Hogsmeade, but we discovered there was a whole animal shop in Diagon Alley and he got him from there

We cut back across the lake to finally go on ET. This was quite a sweet ride and we all enjoyed it. By now it was after 12 and getting to the point I didn't want to be too much later heading to Disney, but Barnaby had been asking all day to go on Cat in the Hat again, and we felt he deserved to get to do it one last time, so we went and got the Hogsmeade Express across (I have a lot of photos not featuring Barnaby, he generally refused to be in one if there wasn't a character!)

We had our final go on Cat in the Hat, and also went on One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish which we hadn't done before

At 12.45 it was really time to get going, so we said our goodbyes to Universal and went back to the hotel to the car. The drive over to Beach Club was straightforward, and we got to the entrance at 2.15, where our bags were taken for us by bell services so that David could go and park the car. They had an old car outside the entrance which the boys liked pretending to drive!

I went to the desk to check in and collect our magic bands. It had taken a lot of effort and daily checking to try and order the magic bands, as the ones everyone wanted were never all available at the same time (in fact I had moaned to Disney on email and got given an additional FP for each day of our stay as a result), when I finally did it I had my doubts whether they would actually turn up, but amazingly they all did. Alex had Rocket and Groot, Sebastian Captain America, Barnaby Fantasia Mickey and David Epcot. I had plain purple as there was nothing I was desperate for when the others were available, and I wasn't risking losing them!

Our room wasn't ready yet but I was told I would get a text when it was. We went and got our refillable mugs from the shop, and sat and waited in the lobby area. With no sign of a text I looked on the app and saw we had been allocated a room number, but there was no text. I went to the desk again, and was told that meant our room was ready but sometimes the texts don't work to international numbers. So we told bell services our room number for the bags and headed up at about 3.15. We had booked a standard view, Orlando Attractions who we booked through had noted on our booking that we wanted a balcony, and I had also done a room request via Touring Plans. We actually ended up with a garden view I think, but I was quite sad that we didn't get the balcony.

The room was lovely, but I have to admit that compared with Portofino Bay it was nowhere near as spacious, and the bathroom particularly was quite cramped. My photo doesn't show the 5th bed which is on the right side towards the window

We were on the 3rd floor (in American terms), and looked out over the entrance way next to Stormalong Bay

We got unpacked, then had a short break before we went back to the car to go to Wilderness Lodge for our 4.55 Storybook Dining reservation. I hadn't visited Wilderness Lodge before and it looked lovely. We got to our reservation around 10 minutes early and were seated straight away. We were able to have both a soft and an alcoholic drink here (this varied as some restaurants wouldn't give a soft drink as well).

Starters were shared, though they also did a separate kids starter plate which they sent out for Alex too even though he was a Disney adult, plus enough of the adult starters for all of us. The starter was mushroom bisque, Shrimp cocktail and chicken terrine.

For mains I had the prime rib as did Sebastian in the children's version. David had pork shank, Alex the roast chicken from the adult menu and Barnaby chicken tenders. I had read some very mixed reviews just before we went, but for us all the food was really lovely and enjoyed by everyone

During the meal Snow White, Grumpy and Dopey came round to the tables. For some reason I don't seem to have any photos of this, I will have to ask David if he does as I am sure at least one of us took some!

The desserts are also shared with gooseberry pie, poison apple chocolate mousse, sponge cake and popcorn

You go up separately to meet the Evil Queen. She was great and very in character

We finished at Storybook Dining just after 6. I had planned to take the older two to see the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Live in Epcot, which was on its last day today, and the last performance was 6.45... I had thought we might do an earlier performance before dinner, but we had been later getting to Disney than I had thought we might be.

We drove back and David dropped us by the door to speed things up (he was going to take Barnaby to bed as he was by now tired and grumpy). We raced through to the International Gateway and up to America, and managed to make it just a few minutes after they had started. The show was great and we enjoyed it

The boys then wanted to go and do something else, so looking at wait times we headed to the Nemo ride. We also had a wander in Mouse Gear, and I got Alex a couple of t shirts as we had struggled finding anything character based in his size at home. It was now 8.25 so I thought we should head for the exit to avoid the Illuminations crowds

On our way back we had a wander on the beach in front of Beach Club, and swung on the swinging chairs there

We got back to the room about 8.45 where Barnaby was already asleep, and after a trip downstairs for drinks headed to bed.

Steps today were an impressive 21,350!
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