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Unread 18 Jun 19, 09:25 PM  
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bootsie
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Thou Shalt Not Cram May 2019 Day 12 Volcano Bay

We went to bed at midnight and the alarm went off at 7am... NOPE I don't think so. We decided sleep was far more important than early entry so we went back to bed and woke up at 9.30am instead. We felt so much better for it. We went to the posh hotel Starbucks for breakfast, Jono had a very non vegan bacon and egg sandwich I just had a coffee (its a shame as the Starbucks at home do vegan food as well but not the ones here that we saw). We went to the bus stop and sods law we had just missed a bus! It was 20 min wait for another one and we were surprised that it was empty, the park entrance was also dead as well and it was 10.45am by now so we expected it to be packed.

Missed the Y off this picture!





We knowingly made a rookie error by choosing the first set of lockers and sun loungers that we came too. We just couldn't be bothered to look around although for those that can be bothered it would be worth it as there were many quieter ones further away. We paid $16 for a family locker and used our Tapu Tapu to open it.





I was REALLY impressed by the park it was beautiful, it has as much attention to detail that AK does. I also love the tiki/Polynesian style and everything was creatively in keeping with the style. There were lots of staff around and the ones we spoke to were friendly. We managed to get a couple of sun loungers with a little bit of shade which was good enough for us.



The first ride we hit was Honu Moana - two different slides one more intense than the other. We started with the less intense version and had a 15 min wait on our Tapu Tapu. Well actually it was 10 mins on Jonos and 15 on mine, I asked a member of staff who confirmed it would balance out so that we could ride together. With such a short wait we didn't venture far from the ride entrance. My eyes were really straining today as I had to take my glasses off so I felt pretty rough until they adjusted a few hours later. When its your time to ride the Tapu will vibrate and then you can go to the ride entrance.

As we headed up the steps I was really nervous. We got partnered up with a Spanish single rider who didn't speak a word of English but was really nice and laughed all the way down. It was much better than I imagined so we straight away tapped for the more intense slide. This one has these giant "saucers" that stand upright and you slide up them. I'm not explaining it very well so heres a Google photo doesn't it look very scary!



We got put in a ring with the same Spanish guy and his friend! We all laughed at this. I screamed for the entire ride which only made the other 3 laugh more! It wasn't actually as bad as I expected in the end Jono loved it.

After this we headed straight onto the lazy river. Obviously there was the usual comedy of me trying to get into a tube and once again we were in hysterics! When I eventually got in a tube successfully we found the lazy river wasn't very lazy but was lots of fun. Now it was time to spread out and see more of the park. Sorry there are not many photos though!

We went inside the Volcano where they have a really cool walk through but we didn't get chance to go back for photos. We then found the Tapu stand (totem) for the Karakatu which is the main attraction. It is an "aqua coaster" we were excited to try it. The wait was 65 mins.

While we waited we did a few laps of the fearless river - basically a lazy river on steroids! You have to wear a life jacket and there isn't any ring you just get pulled along by the water. It was brilliant we loved it. We then explored the other raft rides, I can't remember their names but there are 2 rides each with 2 slides each (I think it is one more intense than the other) and we did all of them. They were great fun. Without fail I screamed the entire way down the ride much to the amusement of our co-riders and Jono We then did a few more laps of the fearless river - I could stay here all day!

I should add that the other rides we did were "ride now" which means you can go on them without tapping your Tapu and you will keep your place in line for the current ride you are waiting for. We think that these other slides are ride now most of the time unless it is really busy. It worked perfectly for us.

By now it was 10 mins until our Tapu time so we went in search of the ride entrance. Good job we did as we got completely lost! By the time we found the entrance it was time to get in the queue - you do still have to queue even when Tapu goes off but not for long. On this ride you sit in a canoe which actually goes uphill! I must have looked terrified as the staff stopped to ask if I was ok. Actually it wasn't scary at all, the drops are not as bad as they look and we really enjoyed the ride. We considered tapping again but the wait was over 2 hours by now so happy that we tapped for a time earlier on!

It was now dinner time and we went to Khola Reef as I knew they had lots of vegan options. This is a place where you queue up at different stations depending on what you want e.g. chicken, salad, burgers etc. You are supposed to all get your food then go to pay. I got my veggi wrap straight away but Jono had a long queue for chicken. I went to the till and explained the situation, they agreed it made sense to pay now and keep the receipt. That way we didn't have to queue again when Jono got his. It took ages to get Jonos food! We sat down and when I picked up my wrap I realised it wasn't veggi but turkey it must have been in the wrong section but they let me swap it. Mine was really nice, Jonos wasn't what he expected but he ate it.





After lunch we went for a rest on our sun loungers. The floor was like molten lava it would definitely be worth having those water shoe things here. You could walk round in flip flops though, the rides have stands next to them where you can leave your shoes which is a good idea! After a while we went for a dip in the wave pool. When the waves are about to start everyone starts clapping. We found the waves a bit disappointing though. Instead we went to the Reef Pool (I'm sure that was the name) next door which is quieter. Here you can watch crazy people going on the body slide by a see through tube in the pool.

Jono swam around but I had my glasses on now so I just dipped my feet in. He noticed he could hear sounds under the water so he persuaded me to put my glasses on the side and dive down. I couldn't hear anything so after several attempts we gave up... only to swim round the corner and find that it was actually a Tapu point where you could tap and it triggered the underwater sounds There were a few points where you could use Tapu and things would happen - good fun for kids (and us!)





We chilled out - or more like melted - on the sun lounger for a while. Jono got an ice cream and I had a sweet ice tea (my favourite drink ever I miss it now!). Eventually we had enough sun and headed back to the bus stop feeling like we had a really great day. Volcano Bay is a brilliant park. It is also very cleverly designed so that the crowds don't seem so bad. I was glad we hadn't rushed to get here first thing as there wasn't any need.







Jono needed a nap and I finished my third book of the holiday. I also had some room snacks and wrote up my notes. About 7pm we went back to City Walk and we walked down the really pretty walkway. We had decided on Cowfish for tea (well I had). I had over done it on the snacks so I wasn't very hungry but really wanted to try here. They said it would be a 30 min wait but we got a text in 10 mins. In the meantime we decided not to do mini golf here as, we didn't fancy a late night, it seemed expensive and we had such a good time at the Pirates Cove one.

We were quickly seated at Cowfish and sat upstairs outside. I decided on the bento box with veggi burger and sushi which the internet informed me was vegan. Jono was really going carnivorous and had a bacon cheese burger well done. We also had yet more sweet ice tea! It was a shame that we weren't properly hungry for this (although we still ate most of it!) because the food was really nice. Jono said it was the best burger of the holiday. The sushi on mine was delicious. The bill was only $52 inc tip which was so much better value than last night at Toothsome. We made a good choice here.





We pretty much rolled back down the walkway for our last night in Portofino the hotel looked even more beautiful at night. We checked in online and got seats together without paying to upgrade this time. Today was a MUCH better day than the last couple of days at Universal. I was very glad that our last full day was such a success!



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Unread 18 Jun 19, 09:37 PM  
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Palm trees
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It sounds like you had a fantastic day, I love a lazy river and like the idea of a more exciting version too!
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Unread 19 Jun 19, 02:29 PM  
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collybird
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Volcano Bay looks fantastic, Universal have definitely raised the bar massively when you compare it to what Wet and Wild was!
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