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Old 20 May 20, 04:18 PM  
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katnav
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Join Date: Feb 15
Take 2 - August 2019 Day 1

Day 1
So after a terrible nights sleep where I woke at 11, 1,2 and 3.30 I eventually gave up at 3:40 and got my phone to browse the internet. Andrew was already awake when I woke up but went back to sleep shortly after.

The kids were up at 4:30 when Ava needed a wee and then they started annoying each other which then woke Andrew up again. We decided to start getting ready after that and left the room around 5:15.

I also received a text from my step mum in the early hours to say they had been over to our house to check the alarm and everything and had a lovely surprise... see below picture of the message



We jumped on the monorail over to the car rental area where we had booked a standard SUV with Alamo however that row was empty when we arrived. An Alamo employee was wandering around and asked what we had booked and she pointed to a Dodge Durango which Andrew was happy with. I have no clue with cars and he was happy so we jumped in and went off.



It took 1 hour and 17 minutes to drive to the ihop on International Drive. We got to witness a lovely sunrise on our drive where we went from complete darkness to daylight.







We always have Ihop for our first day breakfast although we have now learnt we should share dishes and not order 1 each!

Ava and I shared the strawberry pancakes and Andrew and Joshua had a cooked breakfast of some sort with pancakes on the side. It came to $35 including a top. It was not the nicest Ihop we have been to and the staff were not overly attentive but it was clean and food was good.



We made the 5 minute drive to RPR to check in. I have been to Universal as a teenager so have some memories of it but the others had never been and none of us had stayed on site. We parked in the self park car park and took the luggage in. There was a long queue to check in and it took about 25 minutes. Ava got bored and ended up in a little bit of trouble so they ended up sitting to the side while I queued.



They did come round with leis and some bottled water while we waited. We finally got our room keys and left our luggage with bell service and walked to the parks. The pathway was an easy walk and the kids enjoyed seeing the boats going past on the way.

We came to IOA first so headed in, With Disney I know where all the rides are and most restaurants etc, with Universal I had no clue so we didnít know where we were headed so we just walked and came across spiderman first. I must say here we all really enjoyed the freedom to just wander. No clock watching for fastpasses and ADR's (don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disney and all that comes with it) but it was refreshing to just stroll and see what took our fancy.

The kids hated this ride. Andrew and I thought it was quite fun. Next came Kong which again the kids hated and cried and moaned. We had a bit of a talk when we came off this ride as neither of those 2 rides were awful for the kids they were just in moany moods. After our little talk we all moved on and headed to Pteradon flyers for our Dinosaur fan Joshua. They both loved it and it cheered them right up. Although I enjoyed this, it does feel like it isnít the safest rideÖ.Iím sure it is but it just feels so strange and like you arenít buckled well enough.





Moved onto Jurassic Park. Both kids loved this ride except for the drop. I will put the ride photo in here. Now I spent $27 buying this photo but it was so worth it for me. I laugh/cried so much for over 10 minutes at this ride photo. Both the kids faces killed me so I had to get it.



I then spent the next 5 minutes sending it to various family/friends on whatsapp. One of my cousins responded with a laughing emoji and then 10 minutes later responded again saying OMG iíve just realised I was looking at the wrong family! She thought we were this family



After all that laughing we needed a drink but couldnít find anywhere to buy the refillable freestyle bottles. We just kept walking to see what we came across next and that was Hogsmede and went for a wander. We got a frozen butter beer and a lemonade from a stand and saw there was a 10 minute wait for the Hogwarts Express so jumped on.

We had a quick peek in Diagon Alley but didnít stay long and walked round to Men in Black where we finally managed to get a refillable bottle from the stand outside the ride. We all enjoyed the ride.

We felt hungry for lunch now so went to the Simpsons area. The kids shared a hotdog and tater tots and both Andrew and I fancied a krusty burger and curly fries. We sat in Moes to eat.



It is a shame as Joshua has now really got in to watching the Simpsons/The Simpsons Movie so would appreciate it more now as at the time he didnít really get it.






We had a quick ride on Kang and Kudos as the kids fancied it and then went on the simpsons ride. It made all of us except Joshua feel quite sick - Joshua loved it. He may not enjoy rollercoasters of any sort (even Barnstormer!) but that boy loves a simulator ride.

Rode E.T which I remembered from my previous visit 20 years ago. Kids didnít really get it. We also lost our drinks bottle on this ride which was a bit of a palaver to get replaced where we kept getting sent to various places and then that place would send up somewhere else. Eventually a lovely lady from the ET shop helped us and actually escorted us to a stand and sorted the replacement herself.

It was extremely hot and humid now and we dipped in and out of shops for the air con. We decided we were done for now and headed out. We waited 10 minutes for a water taxi and went back to see if our room was ready.

It was not ready but was being worked on so we waited in the lobby for 45 minutes but still not text to say it was ready so we went for a look around the hotel and ended up at Jakes bar so grabbed a drink.

Went back to the reception to see if it was ready and told it still wasnít ready but they would give us one that was! I thought it was strange they wouldnít do that in the first place but anyway, new room keys in our hand for room 3240 and we all went for a little nap. We slept from 3:30-4:45 and thought weíd go for a little swim but when we got downstairs it was closed due to the weather.

Got changed into normal clothes and walked to City Walk and went to Cow Fish for dinner as had heard good things. Had a short wait in the bar upstairs but read the menu while we had a drink and soon our table was ready.




I won the order with this restaurant. I had the Dion OMG roll and it was OMG delicious. Andrew was very jealous. I canít remember what he ordered, combo bowl of some sort but this is a picture of it. It was still nice but just not as good as mine.


My amazing Dion OMG roll




The kids had bento boxes with various things but I do remember Ava had mac n cheese and it was amazing- Joshua was jealous as he had ordered the 2 mini burgers. It was a really nice meal and we would definitely eat here again.

We walked our dinner off through City Walk and looked in a couple of shops. We ended up heading in to Universal Studios and could see huge dark clouds and lightening in the distance. We headed to Jimmy Fallon and all quite enjoyed it. We quoted this ride a lot for the rest of the family, especially as the kids have an Aunty Sara - but no H becauseÖÖ.

We didnít want to do many rides with full bellies so what best to do when you feel full? Head to the sweet shop and get dessert to take back with you. We all chose something from the counter and took them back to the hotel in the rain. We were back in the room for 8:00 and settled down watching Avatar eating out treats in bed.

We all really enjoyed our first day at Universal.

Tomorrow - Day 2 Volcano Bay and shopping.
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The husband loved it, we're going back!
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Old 20 May 20, 07:35 PM  
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Goldia
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Goldia's Reviews
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I'm glad you liked Cowfish, both meals look fab to me. The kids were not in the mood first thing it seems, but then some of those simulator rides aren't quite what you'd expect. I think Kong is a bit like a poor copy of Kilimanjaro safari but with screens, it's a shame really as you would think that a King Kong ride would be exhilarating and at least have you on the edge of your seat or be thrilling. Max isn't a fan of the simulators at universal, but he does love all the thrill rides at IOA that you skipped. The Jurassic Park ride photo is great, the kids really look like they are terrified. It's a fab ride!

I'm looking forward to see if you make it on Hulk? That's an awesome ride. Maybe the kids aren't tall enough...But with the express passes the wait is next to nothing. So maybe you did a bit of a child swap?
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Old 20 May 20, 07:52 PM  
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jothp
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It sounds like you had a lovely first day. You got so much done considering the drive to start your day.
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