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Old 28 Jul 11, 12:52 PM  
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Summer Family Fun - Live(ish) 2011 - Day 4

Day 4 - Universal Studios

After our first day of theme parks my report update is late, I was tired out last night so this is an early morning report on the day before. We fell into our usual routine, DH left for gym at 6am and I was woken at 7.30 by DS informing me that he was very hungry. Off to the Islands for the buffet breakfast and requested a table in the family room. This is my second "parent heaven" place on earth. Restaurant with toys and away from all of the other people that want to enjoy a peaceful breakfast. Usual great variety and quality and the current deal is $19.50 for adults with kids under 12 eating for $5. DD is free as she is Under 3. I can't really eat that much in the morning so just asked for a bagel, our kind server said that I might as well have the buffet and he'd charge me a kids price. Final bill was $40 with tip (a little over 20% as he was so kind and helpful).

Off to the Water Taxi at around 9am and straight to Universal.

I've forgotten to mention the weather which was a little strange. It was very overcast and quite cool. This is our 5th year visiting in July and I've never known the temperature to be so pleasant. I loved it but DH was not so impressed by the lack of sun! We went straight to Shrek which we've missed for the last couple of years as DS who loved it when he was 18 months decided that as soon as he could talk he could explain that he didn't like it. Anyway he was fine this year and loved every minute. DD hated the pre-show and I felt like an evil Mum but then she enjoyed the actual real thing. We then went to our first challenge DD meeting the characters. Last year she hated them and we were interested to see if this had changed. We exited Shrek and went to queue at the Shrek/donkey/princess bit. DS was so excited as meeting the characters is his favourite thing in the world and it is really magical watching him as he completely believes. (I always think as I watch him that I'm glad we have taken him when he's so young and he has no inhibitions or doubts about what is cool!) Anyway Donkey came out and made a real fuss of DS asking him questions and you've guessed it DD was petrified. I tried her then with the Princess but there would be no cuddling just waving from a distance.

From now on in my character photos it's not that I've lost my daughter it's just that she'll be standing at the other end of the park. (I will make a guilty admission now, at 33 I'm petrified of the characters too. It's something about the oversized hands so you won't see me in any shots either)

10.15 and the Madagascar gang drove past so we went over to see them. DS wouldn't stop hugging Alex the Lion! He gave the Penguins a manly high five.

DS then spotted the Woody Woodpecker ride and thank the world for FOTL passes he rode it 5 times in a row. DH endured 4 goes while I wimped out with 1 (it's quite quick!) DS loves the rollercoaster type rides and did ask to go on RRR as soon as we got in the park but he now thinks you have to be 34 to ride that!

DD played in the little circus playground and enjoyed the slides and Air-con. We then wandered in to Curious George's playground after a quick change into water clothes and spent the next hour here. I went and bought the refillable cups - $6.99+tax with 79c refills. Buy 2 cups get 1 free. Barney, Baby Bop and BJ came out at 11am so DS went for his hugs (Barney is still cool when you're 4!)

We went over for the 12.00 show for Barney, the first one of the day. DD and DS absolutely loved this and danced for the whole thing. It was amazing to watch them having so much fun. After a short play in the playground we decided to wander back to the hotel for a swim. DS was excited to meet he HOP characters on our way out.

Back in the hotel for an overcast swimming afternoon. DS loved the water splash bit beside the pool and also enjoyed entering the Pool Jumping-In competition.

Returned to the room to change for an evening meal in Margaritaville at 5.30pm. It was cool enough to wear a cardigan tonight which was a surprise for July. We ate on the Porch as it's a big favourite of ours. DH had the Buffalo Chicken Burger, I had the French Dip Burger, DS had Spaghetti and Meatballs and DD had the Chicken Fingers. Bill total including tip was $55. We went over to TCBY for dessert ($14.95 - two cups (these were huge, they could have shared) and a regular milkshake).

We were looking forward to the dive-in movie which was showing at 8.30 in the hotel pool so killed some time by returning to Universal Studios. I took DS on the Jimmy Neutron ride, he loved it while I felt sick. DH wanted to ride RRR but it had broken down just as we got there.

Back to the hotel for Despicable Me which was shown on a big screen. DS and DD really enjoyed this and their late night dip. We didn't stay until the end and were fast asleep by 10pm.

We have a really relaxed time in Universal as we have 6 days to do the parks so we tend to just pop in and out doing little bits at a time. It prepares us for the Disney experience which has to be much more organised. Plans for today include a return to Universal to see the characters we've missed and we'll probably go to IOA later after a swim. I hope that you're all having a lovely day!

I'm going to add more photos later, I need to get dressed for breakfast!
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Old 28 Jul 11, 01:28 PM  
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Sounds like you had a lovely day. The FOTL passes are fantastic aren't they? We love the fact that because you don't have to queue for the rides, you can slow down and enjoy other parts of the parks. Our boys spent hours in the Curious George water park, a definite favourite, but wouldn't have been able to spend so long in there if we didn't have the passes
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Old 28 Jul 11, 02:30 PM  
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Sounds like a really great day, I really think we will try a night at one of the Universal hotels next year.

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Old 28 Jul 11, 03:48 PM  
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great report
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Old 28 Jul 11, 04:11 PM  
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A really good day at universal. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 28 Jul 11, 04:18 PM  
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A lovely day, I'm so envious that you're there right now!

Great photos of the characters with your little boy!

Thank you for sharing.

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Old 28 Jul 11, 06:33 PM  
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Great the photo with Shrek
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Old 28 Jul 11, 07:14 PM  
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Fab day! I had to lol at your son now thinking you have to be 34 to ride RRR!
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Old 28 Jul 11, 07:24 PM  
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great day reporting.
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Old 28 Jul 11, 07:25 PM  
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Lovely day and lovely photos.
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