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Old 11 Sep 20, 12:07 PM  
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Andy C
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The Quest For Toad - The No Queues Trip 2019 - Day 12: Islands of Adventure and the Hogwarts Express

Unfortunately, the Royal Pacific night wasn't as relaxing as we'd have hoped. Not only was our fridge in our room excessively loud when closed, The Lad turned out to be a total wriggler in bed.

We were a bit short on sleep when the morning rolled around, but no matter: adrenaline would substitute for sleep. Islands of Adventure today, and we were determined to get on Hagrid's Motorcycle Adventure.

Front of Line Passes don't work for this one, so you've got to beat the queues. It's early opening for hotel guests at Universal Studios - not Islands of Adventure. However, there is a plan.

(Trust THE PLAN)

We go to Universal Studios at opening and straight around to Diagon Alley - and take the Hogwarts Express the moment it opens up. This way, we'll enter Islands of Adventure at the back, at Hogsmeade, and beat the crowds surging in from the front.

Breakfast in Royal Pacific. We got stung last time - if you go for the breakfast buffet, it's a lot pricier than going for any individual breakfast, so we did that this time. We then hurried down to the waters edge to grab the water taxi in.





We disembark and hurry past Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios.



Straight in and around to Diagon Alley. There's already a queue for the train. Someone must have leaked the details of THE PLAN. I will have to hold a leak inquiry.









Nevertheless, we are soon onboard and heading towards Hogsmeade. The ride is interesting and fun. The windows display a rather different scene to the Florida backdrop, showing some great views of London and the English countryside. And there may be Dementors...





We arrive at Hogsmeade station. Hurrying in, the queue is already fairly lengthy, but survivable. The theming is fairly nice, but there are a number of breakdowns and pauses before we get on.



It is, however, well worth the wait.

Until it breaks down half way round.

Ten minutes later, it's moving again, and breaks down again close to the end. If the harnesses lifted, we could walk off.







About half an hour later, staff come across and do just that, releasing the harnesses and letting us walk off. As our ride was interrupted, they give us Ruby tickets to get an effective Front of Line to do the entire ride again.

We move on in to Hogsmeade, and I take a moment to enjoy the success of THE PLAN



And up to the Castle



The Forbidden Journey is great fun



Although, in a bit of a switch, it makes DW a bit queasy (the virtual reality plus the motion, if they are even very slightly disjointed, can have this effect).

Into the village and into the pub for a drink.





We go around the park to Jurassic World. Into the Visitors Centre and then onto the ride





And I get very wet.

I would say "completely soaked," if I didn't now know what was coming up in my near future.

On to Skull Island and we do the Reign of Kong.



And around from there to Toon Lagoon. Bilge Rat Barges first.

And now I can consider myself "soaked"





It was as bad/good as the previous visit, in 2013, where DD1 got her reputation as a watermagnet. When we rounded a corner on these very barges, and, as a tidal wave of water swept through one of the gaps, she had a resigned expression on her face just before disappearing into the wall of water.

This time, it got all of us.

Which meant that Ripsaw Falls couldn't really get us any wetter.

It tried, though. This was the ride for which DD1 never forgave DW and I for what happened on the last trip. Thinking ahead, she chose to go third in the boat, with me first and DW second. Reasoning that the water wouldn't really get past either of us. And as we came down the final fall, into the water and the wave surged over us, I naturally ducked away. To my left. DW ducked away to her right. And DD1 sat there as the water passed both of us and swamped her...

("Why didn't you duck as well"? I'd asked, logically.
"I was just surprised when you two did..." she'd answered.
Learning point: be agile in amending your own plan when necessary...)

This time, we all got wet, so never mind.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster. The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man. All fun, and back to Hogsmeade for a bite to eat in the Three Broomsticks, where I tuned in to Cricinfo and found out that the Aussies had not, as expected, pasted us in the Ashes test but somehow, impossibly, Ben Stokes and Jack Leach were clinging on and inching us to an impossible victory.

Ahem. Sorry. No more cricket; we return you to your scheduled programme.

We'd blasted through most of what we'd wanted to do in the park in barely half a day. We decided to take another shot at Hagrids Motorcycle Adventure, cashing in our Ruby Tickets.

Turns out there's still a bit of a queue, and then, after they took our tickets and we'd been waiting for half an hour, they announced the ride was broken and closed for the rest of the day.

I did speak to one of the attendants on the way out, asking about the Ruby tickets, and they apologised and handed us our tickets back plus a couple more. Somehow, we now had seven Ruby tickets. Without the opportunity to actually use them.

Still, we'd got most of a go on the ride earlier.

Over to Hogsmeade station and on to the Hogwarts Express again.



We could wander around either park, and The Lad deserved a couple more goes on Despicable Me, anyway.

A trip around the shops in Diagon Alley secured a load of fudge and sweets, and after a few goes on Despicable Me, and another go on the Revenge of the Mummy for the adults, it was soon time to wander back homewards. Onto the boat to get back to the hotel.



Luggage secured and in the car, and we drove back to the villa. A brief excursion to Walmart to secure essentials, and a dinner buffet at the Golden Corral, before slumping into bed at the villa.
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Old 11 Sep 20, 12:41 PM  
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Nublar
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Sounds like another successful day! Shame about Hagridís, it does seem to be quite temperamental. Leaning more and more towards an overnight booking at Royal Pacific for the perks mentioned - lots of Dibbers seem to swear by it!
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Old 11 Sep 20, 03:58 PM  
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Another good day


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Old 11 Sep 20, 10:14 PM  
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Jimsdadhalifax
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Originally Posted by Nublar View Post
Sounds like another successful day! Shame about Hagridís, it does seem to be quite temperamental. Leaning more and more towards an overnight booking at Royal Pacific for the perks mentioned - lots of Dibbers seem to swear by it!
Do it. Perks are amazing and so is the hotel.

Hagrids is amazing as well
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Old 11 Sep 20, 11:03 PM  
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Loobylou_82
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Shame about Hagrid's, but you did manage to ride some of it. Can you keep the Ruby tickets for next time you visit ?

Edited at 11:47 PM.
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Old 17 Sep 20, 04:16 PM  
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Andy C
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Originally Posted by Loobylou_82 View Post
Shame about Hagrid's, but you did manage to ride some of it. Can you keep the Ruby tickets for next time you visit ?
We wondered if we'd get a chance to pop in on the way back from Volcano Bay the following day, but no luck. So DD1 and DD1BF got them to use up on their extra week!
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