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Unread 5 Mar 19, 07:47 AM  
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ally1966's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 06
... and Then There Were 3 -Day 11- Islands Of Adventure & Toothsome Shakes

Today had always been scheduled as our 2nd day at Universal / IoA. However after our less than successful visit on Saturday, DH was reluctant to return.

We discussed various ways of altering the itinerary and swapping one of our remaining Disney days to today but couldn't get the FPs that we wanted at such short notice. With only 3 full days left we had little room for manoeuvre.

He told me to just go ahead as planned; take DD and leave him at the hotel but I was reluctant to do this for a 2nd day running. It felt like he'd given up on the holiday and that we were abandoning him.

However he wasn't prepared to give it another go and said that he actually preferred relaxing at the hotel. I, on the other hand, wasn't prepared to waste the tickets in favour of a day sitting around doing nothing. So off we went again without him.

As we hadn't booked the transfer bus the night before we got an Uber to the park, which cost just $5.61, and arrived just after opening. I hoped that this time we would be ahead of most of the crowds. When we reached the Hulk and the posted wait time was just 15 minutes it seemed like the plan was working.

We waited in the queue... and waited... and waited. After about half an hour we were eventually inside the lab and the reason for the delay became clear... a seemingly endless stream of guests with front of the line passes meant that the standby queue was hardly moving.

The 15 minutes turned into more like 50. But this ride was so worth the wait. I'd forgotten how good it is and DD loved it!

We decided that we might as well have a go on Storm Force Acceleration which was right next to us and had a 5 minute wait.

This was fun, although basically just a re-theming of a tea cup ride. DD enjoyed making the car spin and hoped to make me dizzy as she'd done to her Dad in MK during our 2012 trip... it didn't work!

DD flatly refused to attempt Dr Dooms Fear Fall after her experience of Falcons Fury yesterday!

By now we were feeling hungry having had no breakfast before we left the hotel. DD had spotted Toothsome when we were here on Saturday and I'd been telling her about their massive milk shakes. She asked if we could have one for breakfast. I thought, we're on holiday, why not?

We were seated at an outside table. DD ordered the Brownie - chocolate ice-cream with milk chocolate swirls, topped with a brownie.

I had the Cookie Jar - vanilla ice-cream, with Oreos, oatmeal and a chocolate chip cookie, topped with whipped cream.

These were huge and very sickly! We enjoyed them but DD didn't manage to finish hers and we definitely couldn't have eaten a meal with them.

At $13 each (+ tip) they were a bit of an extravagance but we did get to keep the souvenir jars which our server kindly rinsed out for us.

Returning to the park our next stop was Spiderman. This had a 40 minute wait but it passed quickly and we were soon enjoying the ride. Another great simulator from Universal.

We came out just in time to see the Marvel Super Heroes motor bike procession.

As soon as the bikes were gone we continued our way round the park heading into Toon Lagoon. Bilge Rat Barges was closed for maintenance so we joined the queue for Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. This was posted as a 60 minute wait.

This has to be one of the most boring queuing areas that I've ever experienced. It is dark, cramped and moves so slowly; it felt like we were never going to reach the end.

It was actually the first time that I'd ever done this ride. Water rides are amongst the few that DH enjoys so on previous visits he's taken the older children on while I've occupied the little ones.

It is definitely the wettest water ride that we've tried anywhere this holiday - we got soaked!

Our next stop was at Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This was a new one for both of us and was also posted as a 60 minute wait. However in contrast to Ripsaw Falls there is lots going on in the queuing area and the time passed quickly. There are a few surprises which I wont go into here as I dont want to spoil it for anyone yet to experience this ride.

Unfortunately, for me, the ride didn't quite live up to the build up. It wasn't bad, there just seemed to be something missing. It is yet another simulator and I think that they could've done more with it.

We headed into Jurassic Park and rode the River Adventure - and I got wet again! DD was in the middle of the boat and managed to avoid it.

DD then wanted to try the Pteranodon Flyers which was showing a 55 min wait - I questioned whether it was really worth it, especially when she had to prove that she was under 56 inches tall before we were even allowed to join the queue. (We've spent most of the last few days proving that she is OVER 54 inches so that she can ride the roller coasters!) However she was determined that she wanted to have a go.

We'd been waiting for about 10 minutes when they announced that they were closing the ride due to technical problems.

We decided to stop and get something to eat from Pizza Predattoria.

I had the meatball sub and DD had a cheese pizza. These were very tasty and DD declared it the best pizza of the holiday.

We had now arrived in Hogsmeade which was considerably less crowded than it had been on Saturday. I managed to get some photos before entering the castle for a ride on Forbidden Journey.

This was another 60 minute wait. Again it passed relatively quickly due to all that is going on. It was nice to see this properly because although we'd done the ride in 2012 it had been a walk on then so we'd rushed through the castle and not taken in much of the detail.

We both loved the ride. DD would have done it again but there just wasn't enough time.

Whilst we were here we also rode Flight of the Hippogriff before heading to the station and taking the Hogwarts Express over to Universal Studios.

We finally managed to get a proper look round Diagon Alley. It didn't disappoint.

I took loads and loads of pics to share with the girls back home, who I'm sure will want to know all about it... but I wont bore you here with any more of them!

We then joined a 50 minute queue to ride Escape from Gringotts for a second time - this time making sure that I had my phone with me to take some pics. Again it was brilliant.

It was 6.20pm by the time that we left this ride. The park was due to close at 7 and we hoped that we'd have time for one last ride, possibly on either Simpsons or Minions both of which wed missed on Saturday due to the crowd levels, but the staff were already clearing the park and ushering people toward the exit. We were disappointed to find that all ride queues had now been closed.

We had no option but to join the mob heading for the exit. We wandered slowly through City Walk taking in all the sites and sounds. We debated stopping at Panda Express and taking a Chinese back for DH but he wasnt answering the phone and I didnt know whether hed already eaten or would want to go out to eat when we got back so I didnt bother.

It took a while to get an Uber and when it arrived we had trouble finding him due to the shear number of people and vehicles trying to get out. After a couple of phone calls we managed to locate him.

We arrived back at the hotel for 7.30 and DH said that he'd had another good day in splendid isolation and didnt want to go anywhere this evening.

Tomorrow is supposed to be Hollywood Studios but DH is now saying that he never wants to set foot in another theme park ever again so we'll have to see what the morning brings!

Day 12 is here:- https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...8#post13720598

Edited at 02:56 PM.
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