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Old 31 Jul 14, 10:52 PM  
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Disney with the Dufflers - Day 6 - Universal Studios and Hard Rock Cafe

Pre-Trip Report

Day 0 - The Day Before

Day 1 - Travel Day and Arrival at CBR

Day 2 - Magic Kingdom

Day 3 - Typhoon Lagoon and Bahama Breeze

Day 4 - Epcot and Via Napoli

Day 5 - Downtown Disney and California Grill

Day 6 - Universal and Hard Rock Cafe

I have such a bee in my bonnet over Universal Studios this time. It’s silly really.

You see, like many other dedicated Dibbers, I have been checking my Dibb every day for news on when Diagon Alley was going to open. How, when the media events were in mid June, does it not open until the end of the first week in July? I had thought that it would have been open for at least a month by the time we got there. But, no.

I thought that we would have at least had a shot at a soft opening for Gringotts. But no.

My one main regret from this entire holiday was that we did not manage to get on the Gringotts ride . My original plan had been to head back on the following Sunday to just do that ride, but with queues averaging between 3 and 5 hours and with the ride, according to reports, subject to breakdowns and the like, I just didn’t want to risk losing so much of my day because of one ride. Besides, it’s just an excuse to go back again

However, we did get to see Diagon Alley... more on that later!

Anyway, we got taxis from CBR to Universal with no hassle and arrived to opening crowds at 9am. There were a fair few of the Argentinian Tour Groups at Universal this day. We’d experienced a fair few at Epcot on Saturday but this was the day when they really started to get on people’s wick. The park seemed so much busier because of the sheer volume of these groups.

Arrival at UO

We headed for Rip Ride Rockit first. We noticed that the carriages were going round empty but the technician at the entrance to the ride said that they were just doing the final checks and then they’d be ready to start so we could get in the queue. While we were in the queue, they promptly announced that the ride was ‘open for business.’

However, when we got onto the loading platform, it quickly became apparent that there was something wrong with the ride. The problem was with the harnesses, they weren’t releasing as they should. So we were all given Fastpasses to come back another time in the day. Annoying, but we’d rather be safe. But still, humph!

Transformers was our next stop. The boys called these their 'battle glasses!'

After doing the ride at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2012, I knew that this would be very popular and it certainly was. It’s very like Spiderman, for those who haven’t done it, but it is still a very clever ride and was declared a favourite ride by many at the end of the holiday.

We then headed to the Mummy ride. We walked onto this ride while Mum and Uncle Mark did the ‘Starbucks’ ride. Haha! Sam, Megan and Debsy were on a row behind me, Neil, OB and Martin and it was hilarious. We really enjoyed the Mummy ride this time. Neil LOVED it and declared it one of his favourite rides of the holiday. He said it was because he thought it would be rubbish. I do agree, the effects are really impressive and it’s a great coaster!

After that, we made the walk over to Diagon Alley. Martin had heard rumours amongst the staff that the Gringotts ride was going to open that day, but we were to be disappointed in that department.

However, London and Diagon Alley are absolutely spectacular! From Kreacher at Grimmauld Place, to the Knight Bus, to the view as you go through the wall to THAT dragon – the whole place is just absolutely magical. What a credit to Universal. They must have spent an absolute fortune. But let’s face it, they’ll make it all back opening week!

A few pictures

After this, we decided we should try and get as many of the rides done as possible so we could perhaps chill out in the afternoon. So we headed over to the Simpsons.

And then Men In Black. My own enjoyment of Men In Black was put on hold when me and Megs discovered mid ride that Debsy had gone sheet white and looked as though she was going to be sick. She looked absolutely horrendous. She hated spinning, and we’d sort of completely forgotten about the fact that it spun so much! Poor Debsy!

After Men in Black, we headed over to the Richter Burger Company for lunch. Neil and I shared a mediocre chicken sandwich. We then headed back to the front of the park to see if they’d sorted out Rip Ride Rockit. Oh it was running all right, but the queue for Express Passes? An hour! What is that about? Possibly the worst queue management ever. Sigh. Anyway, it was valid until the end of the day. Although I will admit, I started to wonder if we’d ever get on it! We did get on it, eventually, although I struggle to remember (because I haven’t written it down in my notes) actually when we went on it. We loved it when we did go on it and it was declared one of our favourite coasters of the holiday. I went for ‘Can’t Touch This’ by MC Hammer, Neil went for ‘Rollin’ by Limp Bizkit.

Although as the music started to play, and you make that truly spectacular 90 degree climb, Neil looked at me in horror, ‘JESUS!’ It was the only time I’d seen him worked up by a ride and it made me giggle. A lot.

Anyway, following our earlier disappointment, we headed for Shrek.

I still love this. Even though it’s quite old now and some of the tricks are relatively dated for 4D but regardless, I love the characters so I love this show! I absolutely love the pre-show with the piggies and Pinocchio as well. Just pure gold.

One thing I will say is that the ride opposite Shrek caused us some problems.

I’ve watched Despicable Me once. It was okay. Some bits were funny. But I don’t get the craze. I really don’t. The minions are cute and give everyone a giggle but why it warrants 70, 80, even 90 minute queues, I genuinely can’t grasp. So we didn’t do Minions!

Then we headed over to do ET.

I never thought I’d say this, but I think it’s time to go for ET. I cringe at myself saying it because it’s one of my favourite movies ever. But now, with Harry Potter, with Transformers, with Shrek, it just doesn’t cut it anymore. The animatronics are dated, they’ve taken out the personalisation bit at the end. It just sort of sits there, unloved and unwanted in the corner. When we left, everyone felt the same about the ride but nonetheless, it makes me sad to know that that will be the last time we go on ET.

After this, we had about 45 minutes to kill before the next Blues Brothers show. So we did what anyone would do and as it tradition in our family, we got a drink at Finnegans

The Blues Brothers show did not disappoint – it never does. We were all up dancing and singing in the streets of ‘New York.’

Edited at 07:30 PM.
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Old 31 Jul 14, 10:57 PM  
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After this, we headed over to Hard Rock Café to get some dinner.

Neil and I had a drink at the bar while the Dufflers and Mum and Martin decided to have a look in the shop at merchandise. We were seated fairly quickly but then asked to move again when they crammed us, a table of nine adults, on a table that was meant to be for 7. So we moved to a table of five and table of four and were much more comfortable

The food and service at Hard Rock was very good indeed and it was a very enjoyable meal experience. It has maintained its place as the restaurant we go to after Universal day and I don’t think it will move any time soon!

We went back into the park after Hard Rock and after seeing the queue for Minions was still an hour, we decided to head over to Diagon Alley to do some more exploring.

I was truly in awe of the dragon on the top of Gringotts. It really is a sight to behold.

But I was and remain, utterly devastated that I didn’t get on the Gringotts ride.

Standard picture by the globe!

After this, we headed back home to CBR, getting a taxi in no time. We had a dip in the pool but the main pool at CBR was absolutely heaving for some reason! It was usually pretty quiet!

Grumpy had had a fun day as well...

We were early to bed as we’d done a lot of walking that day and I messaged Katie and Jonathan (who had flown in from Washington that day and were currently at California Grill!) and told them that we’d meet them at the Tequila bar in Mexico at 12pm.

I had really missed my big sister and we genuinely couldn’t wait to see them both.

Day 7 - Drinks around the world is here

Edited at 07:36 PM.
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Old 1 Aug 14, 08:55 AM  
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Fantastic day You seem to manage as a group pretty well. Shame about Gringotts but when you go back on your next trip it will have sorted itself out hopefully.

Cannot decide between Hard Rock and Bubba Gumps when we are there - may have to do both as you seem to have a fantastic time at Hard Rock

Off to read your next day
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Old 1 Aug 14, 06:49 PM  
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good universal day
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Old 1 Aug 14, 11:27 PM  
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Awswm day!

Gutted about Gringotts but least you got to walk around there

You will have to read my report when I'm back

Will continue to read the other days sooon.. Enjoying these !

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Old 2 Aug 14, 05:21 AM  
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Thanks for sharing the Diagon Alley pics. Looks just like the films shame you didnt get the personalisation bit on ET. It worked for us in April x
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Old 2 Aug 14, 07:57 AM  
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Another great day
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Old 3 Aug 14, 10:54 AM  
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Shame you missed the Gringotts ride, but the whole area looks amazing
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Old 10 Aug 14, 07:35 PM  
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Shame you couldn't get on Gringotts or Minions
But fab report none the less
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Old 12 Aug 14, 10:19 PM  
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How annoying about Gringotts, it just means you'll have to go back
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