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Old 15 Sep 19, 12:19 PM  
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tracey1302's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
Disney with the Dufflers - Take 2 - Jul 2019 - Day 4 - Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure & move to CSR

Pre-Trip Report

Day 0 - Monday 1st July 2019 - Overnight at the Radisson Blu, Manchester Airport

Day 1 - Tuesday 2nd July 2019 - Travel day and arrival at Sapphire Falls

Day 2 - Wednesday 3rd July 2019 - Universal Studios and Hard Rock Cafe

Day 3 - Thursday 4th July 2019 - Islands of Adventure, Bahama Breeze and Bar 17 @ Aventura

Day 4 - Friday 5th July - Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure and our move to CSR

I woke up to a mixture of emotions on this day. I was very sad to be leaving the incredible Sapphire Falls but I was also very excited to be moving on to the next part of our Florida adventure: Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.

But before any of that... I had one ride that I was desperate to get on: Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure. My determination to get on the ride was partly spurred on by the fact that the reviews were incredible, but also because the last time we'd been as a group, I hadn't managed to get on Gringotts. Plus, we'd pretty much done everything else so it was literally the only thing left!

Mum, Megan and Debsy decided to stay by the pool that morning as they weren't bothered about doing the ride. We all checked out of our rooms and left our big cases with concierge.

So, the final Universal park day crew were me, Neil, OB, Martin, Mark and Sam. I remember being shocked to see the latter two with us... given the fact that they had wussed out of pretty much every rollercoaster type ride we had been on so far.

There was a massive queue for the boat that morning, so we ended up walking to IOA. We got there for park open, and we held just by the entrance to Seuss Landing. Naturally, everyone there was headed for Hagrid's.

Everyone apart from me (and by extension, Neil) seemed to think that because we were there for park opening, despite the hordes of people in front of us, that we wouldn't queue for much longer than an hour. Mark, Sam, OB and Martin hadn't even eaten anything. I did tell them that I expected to queue for at least 90 minutes.

That's not to mention that Hagrid's had only been open for a few weeks, and had had very unpredictable runs so far. It had sometimes opened at 9am, sometimes at 12pm. I had been keeping a careful eye on it, and it often shut for hours at a time because of issues with the track...

Anyway, we set off for Hogsmeade, keeping everything crossed. It was absolutely boiling hot, and we were already sweating buckets when they announced the park was open.

OB and I legged it. There was a special cord barrier for those headed for the Hagrid lockers, and OB and I shed our things (OB went back a little in the queue for everyone's stuff) and shoved them in a locker. I had digital copies of everyone's tickets on my phone now (thanks Tony ) so this was no longer the hassle it had been on the first day.

The ride was open... so that was a good start.


We headed towards the old Castle, which I think is meant to be an extended version of Hagrid's cabin.

My stomach was fluttering with excitement. The track was awesome.

Hagrid's cabin... the original...

We joined the queue at 9.10am. On entry, you see this dried up fountain thing... which has the mermaids on it from HP4.

We went through a few corridors, which were very familiar from the DC (Duelling Dragons). We'd mainly been walking in the queue for about ten minutes. And then it stopped. There was a technical problem with the ride ("lessons had been temporarily postponed" - I think was the official line). We stayed here for half an hour, but then 'lessons resumed' and we steadily walked through the queue, catching sight of these random crates and nets.

Walking through this bit of the queue took about another half an hour, stop and start, but it was just like queuing for any other ride. The atmosphere was buzzing because everyone was so excited to get on the ride. I cheekily looked online for photographs of the different 'stages' of the queue, so I would know whereabouts we were in the grand scheme of the queue.

We knew we were near when we got in here, and could hear the distant vrummming of the motorbikes and side cars.

And here, a dragon was walking on... I think it was the roof of the cabin. Either way, it was awesome.

We had been queuing for just over an hour in total when literally, we got to about eight people from the front and... lessons were postponed.

I couldn't believe it. We were literally steps away from the loading platform. We waited.

On the plus side, it was very, very cool in there. I would have happily waited forever. As I mentioned earlier, it was the only thing I wanted to do.

Every half an hour, they gave us updates, which went from a temporary "halt in lessons" to a less optimistic and official sounding "break in operations".

It got to two hours, so around about 11.10am, and OB, Martin, Sam and Uncle Mark left me and Neil in the queue. I felt sad for them that they had queued all that time and not been able to go on, but they hadn't eaten... whereas me and Neil had had a bit of breakfast before we left.

Martin sent me this picture from outside.

He said he'd spoken to a CM who had said they'd had to load guests off the track that morning and that they didn't think it would reopen that day.

We waited, hope slowly draining from the pit of my stomach.

I was so so grateful that Neil stayed with me. I know that the husband thing pretty much obligates him to stay with me but we had been waiting a very long time. I asked him honestly if he wanted to leave (I really didn't ) but he said he was genuinely fine. It was really cool in the cabin, and we had water.

At two and a half hours, there was another 'lessons had been postponed' announcement.

Ten minutes of further waiting.

Then, magically it was as though the whole system had been rebooted. The vrumms started up again, we started to hear Hagrid's voice, and the dragons... and the loading platform began to move.

I was literally shaking, I was so excited. Neil was grinning from ear to ear. Finally, the whole ride queuing area (absolutely full of people) erupted into cheers when they announced that lessons were resuming.

I couldn't believe it, and indeed I didn't believe it, even when Neil clambered onto that motorbike and I got into that truly fantastic sidecar... WE HAD FINALLY, FINALLY GOT ON HAGRID.

Having been on the ride, however, I can see why they had so many issues with it. The track system is one of the most sophisticated things I have ever experienced in my life.

I won't give a description of the ride because again, I don't want to spoil it but, was Hagrid worth the wait? 100% YES.


I texted the gang, absolutely BUZZING that we'd managed to get on it. We headed out of IOA, chatting about our amazing experience. I posted on the group chat that we'd done, and they were all having dinner at Amatista, but were ready to head over to Disney, if we were.

I shared that that was no problem, but me and hubby got a celebratory picture and left IOA on a massive high.

We got on the boat for the last time, bidding farewell to bubbling Citywalk.

Whilst we retrieved our cases from concierge, Mum, Martin and OB shared that they'd had a lovely meal in Amatista, but the Dufflers had had massive problems with their service there.

As we ordered our Ubers to take us to CSR, I reflected on our amazing time at Sapphire Falls. It had been incredible for us, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to stay there again, but I think the things like the lack of a food court had been an issue for the Dufflers and on occasion, perhaps, Mum, Martin and OB. I, of course, did highlight this on a planning evening, and had thought they'd be more suited to somewhere like Cabana Bay.

Uncle Mark went on a few walks over to Cabana Bay and raved about it. (I did tell you, I laughed )

Anyway, me and Neil are still in love with Sapphire Falls, and we all agreed it was an incredible hotel. However, I do think that next time, we may stray next door. I still have a RPR itch that needs scratching and I think we could get away with only going for two nights and getting Express. That's the current thinking.

You know me, always planning the next one...

Our Ubers arrived quickly and we packed up the cars with all of our cases and headed over to Disney. I bagged a front seat in the Dufflers car (Neil had ordered the other Uber so he went with Mum, Martin and OB).

This was a semi-tactical move, as I wanted to make sure that I got this photo...

I was absolutely buzzing when we finally turned in here...

It had taken us all by surprise when our group had unanimously voted to go to Coronado Springs instead of returning to our beloved Caribbean Beach. I think I'd sold them on the rooms more than anything, and the fact that the place had three bars (it now has five if you include the tower).

What did we think of Coronado Springs, you may ask...

WE ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. This is now our Disney home and we cannot wait to go back.

Coronado Springs is, for me, a deluxe resort with moderate prices. Even before the addition of the Tower.

We pulled our cases into the gorgeous lobby. We must have been one of the last parties to check in here, as a few days later, the lobby moved to Gran Destino Tower.

It somehow felt that we had arrived home, and I think this was a big turning point for the Dufflers and for Mum, Martin and OB. I guess there is a certain comfort in knowing how a Disney resort works in terms of transportation and dining.

I was quick to spot a hidden (not so hidden) Mickey in the lobby...

We checked in quickly at CSR and were soon presented with our magic bands.

Mine and Neil's...

Mum, Martin and OB's...

The Dufflers had a delay with theirs as the CM didn't seem to make the link between their actual names (Mark, Debra, Sam and Megan) and their magic band names (Russell, Kevin, Andy and Megatron). I can't imagine what the problem was...

I'd requested rooms in Casitas 4 and 5, which were granted for all of us but mine and Neil's room wasn't ready. To be fair, we were there about an hour before official check in time. I had secretly hoped that this may mean that we'd been upgraded to a King room, but I was to be disappointed in this regard

We headed out and took in the incredible lake. Just WOW.

And headed over to Casitas.

We left our cases in Mum, Martin and OB's room and while everyone else unpacked and chilled, we headed back where we'd come from...fully taking in the beauty of Gran Destino Tower.

I did, however, have a destination in mind which hubby was fully on board with... The Laguna Bar.

Coronado Springs really does have it all for me. It has that gorgeous tropical feel of Caribbean Beach, but has so much more in terms of facilities than Caribbean Beach had had the last time we went. But now, Old Port Royale has changed as well... so much change!

We chilled out here for a bit, but then somehow realised it had already been an hour and we still hadn't heard anything about our room being ready. So we paid our cheque and headed for reception, where a nice CM sped up our check in and got us straight into a standard room. I don't know if this was just already ready, or whether he by passed a potential upgrade to get the room ready quicker. We'll never know..

But anyway, we were seriously impressed with the rooms at CSR.

We dumped our stuff, did a quick unpack and texted the others. They were at the main pool, so that's where we headed.

There were a few of them in the pool when we arrived.

They'd already got us a couple of beers in (how lovely! ) and we had a quick cheers to the next part of our holiday. One thing that everyone commented on at this point, and even at the end of the holiday, was how LONG the holiday seemed when you effectively split it into two as we had done. It already felt like we had been away for ages!

We managed a quick dip in the pool, but clouds were starting to form, so we finished our drinks and headed back to our rooms for showers, agreeing to just do our own thing that night. We only planned to have a QS meal in the food court, and a few drinks, so it was all very chilled. This was very welcome.

Me and hubby had some lovely food in the food court. Mum has previously said that she didn't think the choice of food at CSR was quite as good as CBR, even though the hotel overall was much better, but I disagree. I thought it was great. But again, as I've said, CBR has changed again since we were last there.

I had ribs and Neil had chicken.

And then after dinner, we had a drink in the Rix Sports Bar and Grill. The food looks amazing in here, but we just didn't have a table service credit free to dine here. Sad times.

After this, we joined the rest of the gang for a couple of games of cards outside. Well, Neil did. I just chilled out with a Sprite, excited for this next leg of our holiday. There was a really different atmosphere in our group this night, everyone was just so much more relaxed once we had arrived in Disney.

I guess we all just felt like we'd come back home

Day 5 - Magic Kingdom and 'Ohana is here.

Edited at 09:33 AM.
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Old 15 Sep 19, 04:45 PM  
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The excitement at being in Disney just jumps off the page! Sounds like a lovely, chilled day getting settled in.

Hagridís breaking down though, what a shame. Glad the ride was worth waiting for.
The Magic 3 do DLP - February 2018
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Old 1 Oct 19, 11:51 PM  
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Rescuer's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 6

That was dedication to stick with the Hagrids line.
We rode it a few days after you and loved it.
Like you we got stuck in the same room on the Saturday night and they ended up closing the ride which did mean we got passes and managed to ride on the Sunday.
Rescuers Reports Food - 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 x2, 2019 x2 Trips Christmas 2018, April 2019, July 2019, Feb 2020
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