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Unread 26 Apr 15, 01:30 PM  
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scottishnellie
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Here Now! first WDW family holiday - Day 13. Leave HRH, Finish US and IOA, Longhorns Steakhouse


I had set the alarms for 8am but as usual Kieran and I were both wide awake before then. I had a shower while Kieran messed around (quietly so as not to wake the sleepers) then we dressed and went downstairs at 7:15. The breakfast option at HRH is a buffet breakfast for age 10+ for $19.95 and any 3-9 year olds eat for $5, which is a decent deal I think. If Kevin had been up earlier we may have made use of this but I would not eat enough to make it worth our while Kieran and I going. When we checked in yesterday we were told about the shop downstairs that sold Starbucks coffee and various breakfast items so we popped down to check it out.



They had plenty on offer, mostly croissants filled with bacon / cheese, various pastries etc. They also had pots of cereal with a decent sized portion which, bought with a little carton of milk from the fridge included came to $3.50. There are a few tables and chairs in here so we bought our cereal and sat here. Kieran had his pot then finished the other half of my pot, and we bought 2 to take up to the sleepers. We went back up to the lobby and looked around the memorabilia killing time. Headed back upstairs at 8am to wake the other 2. I packed up and sun creamed the kids while Kevin had his shower, they both had their cereal and got ready to leave. We could hear the Eastons up and about next door so chapped the door to let them know we were ready. They said they would be another 15m or so and to go on and they would catch up. So we put all our bags in the car and I checked out. It was the same guy who checked us in and he was lovely again wanting to know how we had got on with everything yesterday. I was checking out both rooms so the Eastons would not have anything to pay. I had put my credit card on both rooms knowing we would not charge anything to them other than the parking for the 2 cars which would be $21.50 per car per night. The guy then said there was only 1 parking fee on there and juts to make sure both cars used one of the McNicol room keys to swipe out of the car park and gave me a little wink. So nice of him. He also said how, although we were out of the rooms we were very welcome to come back and continue to use all other hotel facilities right up until midnight again, so the pool was still available if we chose.









We walked over to Universal Studios and walked on Transformers, which was showing a 30m queue already. Then over to Rip Ride Rocket where we left off yesterday and the line was showing 40m, but Kevin and the kids walked on with the passes. As they disappeared, an American woman sitting next to me where I had planted myself with the bags, said oh you will be glad your family have those passes. I have been waiting for well over an hour for my husband. We got chatting and she was all chuffed I was from Scotland exclaiming 'I'm Scottish too!' and lifted her sunglasses pointing at her eyes, as though that explained everything. 'yeah – there are a whole bunch of cousins back in Scotland who look just like me'. Oh- kaaaay. I just smiled and said 'Oh yes'. What else can you do eh?! I'm assuming she thinks all Scots have blue eyes. She must have been confused when my very dark eyed boys came out of the RRR!



Andrew had messaged to say they were on their way so we waited where we were for 20mins but still no sign of them and it was getting hot sitting around so we moved on to Shrek 4D. Again I was bored senseless at the intro bit, hoping from foot to foot. The ride part was ok but nothing special. The kids both declared it 'rubbish'. We then headed into Twister, whatsapping the Eastons on the way to say where we were. This has been our chosen method of communicating while here. We looked at all the 3 at home options etc but since the parks all have wi-fi, the hotels have wi-fi and the villas have wi-fi all we really needed was to al download whatsapp and we have free messages to catch up with each other. So far the only park where the wi-fi was rubbish has been Busch and thankfully we didn't split up much that day.

When we got through to the show part of Twister, Andrew and the Boys came inside behind us. Kieran and Matthew didn't like this. Not because it was so realistic or anything, just because it was dark and loud. Kieran did like the fire bit though. I gave Andrew Kevins room key and explained about the parking charge and using that key to exit.

We caught up outside with Dianne and Emma and moved on to Revenge of the Mummy. The FOLP were really worth their weight in gold by now as the park was much busier than yesterday already. Getting on this Emma started to gripe saying she was scared and did not want to ride which is very unlike her. Normally she has no fear of anything and her only barrier is her height. Evan wasn't riding either so the Eastons did child swap. When we met up afterwards Matthew was crying as he hadn't liked it and Dianne said she thought they were just going to have one of those days so we should split up and we should go on ahead. It was now 11:40.

We moved on to Disaster which I didn't realise had an audience participation bit. So we were waiting to go in when the girl came out and started the show, asking for volunteers. Kieran of course was jumping up and down with his hands in the air when she asked for 'an energetic 7-10 year old child' so she asked him to come forward and bring a 'dadinator or muminator' with him and off he went with Kevin. This was really funny. He was given a blue rainjacket to wear and asked to look up at a rock, then jump off a wee ledge. They basically film the members of the public in little clips then piece them all together into a wee film as the end which you watch at the end after the tram/subway/earthquake bit. Kieran loved taking part. My kids are anything but shy! At the end it was really funny that in the film THE Rock, Dwayne Johnson saves Kieran from a burning building by Kieran jumping on to him then rolling off and looking up at him. I then understood why Kieran had been asked to look up at a rock suspended from the ceiling when they were filming. Hannah was dead impressed that Kieran had been on the same screen as The Rock!









We came out and headed up Diagon Alley, taking more time today to see the Nightbus outside and explore a few shops. Kieran bought Bertie Botts All Flavour Beans. He was very excited about these but having tried about 15 and had nothing but rank flavours they got tossed back into my bag.

We then got back onto the Hogwarts Express back to Hogsmeade at IOA, stopping to do the disappearing through the wall at platform 9 thing. Really effective to see in person but not so easy to catch on camera so the photos are a bit rubbish. Enjoyed the different scenery on the way back but was a bit confused why Kieran kept complaining that it was raining in Hogsmeade. It was only when we arrived and got off the train and he was jumping up and down happy that it was still sunny that I realised he had thought the rain on HE yesterday had triggered the rain in real life. Funny how their minds work! We bumped into the Eastons again, getting off the same HE. They were heading to get a stroller to see if that would help the tired kids cope with the heat and get round the park for the rest of the day. We got off, found the lockers and headed for Duelling Dragons. Queues were 60m but again with the passes we walked on, rode the red, walked off and back on and rode the blue. Although we were held up a wee bit right at the ride as someone had been sick and they had to clean it. They sent the ride round with that row empty, presumably to dry off! Both the kids loved these. They are definitely more into the rollercoasters than the special effects rides.












We got our stuff out the lockers and it was time to queue for some frozen Butterbeer. Hannah loved this as she shares my sweet tooth. Kieran wasn't so keen. I thought it was like a mild caramel flavour. The kids were peckish so we stopped at the Firecracker Grill. Hannah got a hotdog and fries, Kieran got chicken tenders and fries and we bought the refill cup for drinks as it was really hot and we needed to start drinking more. Kevin and I were not hungry so just picked at a couple of the kids fries.


















Next was Flight of the Hippogriff which was a 40m wait and we walked on. This was a rattly wee rollercoaster but the kids liked it and Hagrids House looked brilliant from it.

Now it was time to get wet. After the drenching at Animal Kingdom we had decided today to bring a change of clothes, get the wet rides done at once then change. Luckily the 3 wet rides are all right next to each other in IOA so its simple to do this. We went to put our stuff in lockers as I had not lugged the clothes about all day just to get them wet. You are allowed bags on these rides so because the lockers at the wet rides are not compulsory they cost $4, taking credit/debit cards or notes (giving change) but no coins. The lockers at rides where you are not allowed t take anything on are all free using a finger scan method to lock and reopen. First up was Jurassic Falls, nice theming and only got a bit wet. Then was ripsaw falls, very fast, kids loved it and we got pretty wet. Lastly Bilge Rat Barges – oh my lord. Soaked to the skin. My whole dress was see through. Thank God I had worn the matching bikini underneath! We were on this with a bunch of grad kids and they were good fun. Off to collect the bags from the lockers and a quick stop to dry off and change in the loos.

Time to head down towards Spiderman – very similar to Transformers and all loved it, Kevin and I especially. We waited 10m for this even with the FOLP. I dread to think how long the 60m wait actually was and it certainly looked longer. The park was heaving by now with grad kids, apparently it was grad weekend whatever that is.

The kids and Kevin then went on Dr Dooms Fear Fall, which being a shoot them up and drop them straight back down ride was an instant NO for me. I took all the bags, got myself some Dippin Dots and a seat in the shade. I was next to a woman waiting with her younger daughter for her 2 teenage daughters and the were complaining they had now waited and hour for them despite the ride time saying 30m. Universal are either not as efficient with their queue times as Disney, or not as honest. My lot were on and off within 10 minutes so had another turn. That woman was still waiting when we left. This has decided it for me. If we go back next year I am definitely doing at least one night a Hard Rock again.

After this we had a go on the Hulk and walked on past the 60m wait. Kids loved it, Kevin and I felt a bit battered and bruised. I also kept thinking on the way round how this was the one that stopped and had folk stuck on it a few weeks ago, remembering that I had been going to skip this one as a result. Doh!

Off there and onto the Stormforce Thing – basically spinning teacups. Kevin went on with Hannah and I went on with Kieran. He turned that wee wheel like his life depended on it and my head was birling. Good fun!

Came off and contemplated another go on Spiderman but it was 5:30pm and we decided we were done. Headed out of the parks and back to Hard Rock to collect the car. Being Friday night it was really busy with people checking in for the weekend. Sort of wished we had another night.

Having caught up with Dianne later they had indeed made it around the park at their own pace with kids taking turns in the stroller. They then went back to Hard Rock Caf for dinner again as the rest of Citywalk was too busy so they had a good, if tiring, day.

We got the car, swiping our room key to exit the car park, and headed to Vineland premium outlets. Kevin wanted to finish the last stretch of shops we hadn't done yet on the way home. He bought a bunch of t-shirts in Ralph Lauren and a bunch of polo shirts in Tommy H. Let Kieran go to the sweety shop again and buy some treats.



We then decided to go to the Longhorns Steakhouse right next to the outlets for dinner as this was on my list to try. Loved it in here. Kevin had a full rack of ribs, The kids had grilled cheese and a cheeseburger and I had fillet steak with a lobster tail. I had always wanted to try lobster and I liked it with the steak but not sure I would order it on its own.





















We then ordered a chocolate desert to share. It was massive! At least it was a form of training for the Kitchen Sink I suppose. We managed it between the 4 of us.

Into the car and Kieran was snoring in the back before we had even left the car park. Arrived home, unpacked the bags, got the washing on, showered and readied the kids for bed, set the alarms for the next day. It had been my intention to the the trip report for the 2 Universal days but that was out the window. Far too late and far too tired.

Tomorrow – Dolphin Swimming at Discovery Cove.





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Unread 26 Apr 15, 02:15 PM  
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New Photo Added by scottishnellie - 26 Apr 15 2:15 PM.
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Unread 26 Apr 15, 03:44 PM  
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Megandllsmum
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A brilliant second day at universal, looks fantastic, as does the food at longhorns that's on our to visit list too. . . . Read your comment about the kitchen sink practice with the dessert and had a little chuckle.
Do you have the kitchen sink in your plans? We did it in October and just about succeeded between the four of us. . . Credit to paul mainly being a tight Yorkshireman lol he hates waste! Me and he girls left him to it in the end, I'd starved the kids beforehand lol so they would tuck in , so glad we all had skipped lunch ( think we went around 2pm) otherwise it wouldve defeated us, but it was well worth the experience.
Have a lovely tine at discovery cove x
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Unread 26 Apr 15, 04:14 PM  
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scottishnellie
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We have an ADR for tomorrow night but the Eastons want to cancel so I need to see if I can amend to 4 people or cancel it . Won't let me do it on MDE so need to try and find out how to phone from here to see if I can amend the booking.

Really want to go!
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Unread 26 Apr 15, 04:18 PM  
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JoJo88
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Great second day at US! You really are making the most of everything and sounds like you are having such a fun time.

Ooooh yummy Longhorms, definitely one of our favourites!

Thanks once again for a fun report
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So much for not going this year!
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Unread 26 Apr 15, 05:29 PM  
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A great second US day. You really made good use of your FOLP. Your holiday so far has been fantastic, and I've loved being along for the ride.
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Unread 26 Apr 15, 06:03 PM  
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I'm loving reading each day of your trippie - did I miss it or did you guys not do Forbidden Journey?
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I'll be there for my birthday!
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Unread 26 Apr 15, 07:08 PM  
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Another brilliant day glad you enjoyed your time at universal

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