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Unread 16 Apr 16, 03:07 AM  
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scottishnellie
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DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
Day 5 Universal Studios, Cowfish At Citywalk - April 2016, Scottishnellies 2nd Live Florida Trip Rep


I woke at 6am (woo-Hoo, an hour later than usual) and lay there until 6:40 then started to move around getting ready and hoping to gently start wake the others up. We had agreed last night that we would get up and make it to the park within early entry hours of 7 to 8am in the hopes we could ride Escape from Gringotts without queueing forever. That seemed like a good idea at the time, and still a good idea to me, being awake anyway. It did not seem such a popular idea to everyone in the room now. And, in hindsight writing this I am half laughing and half crying at how the next couple of hours would go.

For a start Kevin was moving like a robot and complaining his back was killing him, even asking Kieran to put his socks on for him when he got out of the shower. I of course thought he was just being a grumpy old get having been woken so early, so was poo pooing him a bit. Unsurprisingly this did not help his mood. He had finished the Tylenol we had bought for his cold so was left with a couple of paracetamol from my handbag.. Hannah was staggering about like Cousin It. Kieran wasn't too bad once he was up. The plan (oh how I hate to call it that now) was to be at the club lounge 7 to 7:15 for a speedy breakfast then hot foot it along the walkway being at Universal Studios about 7:30 and straight to Diagon Alley.

What actually happened was this. Kevin moaned he would be going to no park without a supply of paracetamol thus followed us throwing all the other cases (that we had intended not to open until we reached the villa) around trying to find them while the kids headed up for breakfast. Paracetamol found, we left the room like a bomb site (which I would normally never do. I am a make-the-beds-before-the maid-comes-in kind of girl) and headed to the lounge barely speaking. Kevin had a coffee but didn't eat anything and sat with his face tripping him, the kids were chucking cereal down their throats like their life depended on it and I was trying not to look at my watch every 10 seconds as the time tripped past 7:25.

Kevin eventually decided he would start walking slowly and we could catch him up so he set off with a takeaway coffee.. 5 mins later, the kids finished what they were having, grabbed a few pastries to go and off we went downstairs and out through the back to the walkway to Citywalk. We caught up with Kevin about 500 yards up the path and I thought 'OK. Lets get back on track. We were about 20 feet from the bag check into Citywalk when Kieran says "Mum. Did you bring my wand?". STOP THE BUS! No. Because the wands were still lying on the Club Lounge table weren't they? Keeping the Universal refillable cup company. Aargh!

Hannah, bravely trying to salvage the morning, offered to run back and get them. After a false start where she had to come back for the key to get to the 7th floor, off she ran. I told Kevin and Kieran to head off at Kevin's pace and we would catch them up in Diagon Alley. So I hung around just short of bag check waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Wearing my watch out. All that getting up early for nothing.

Next thing the water taxi sails by, and here's the bold Hannah waving to me as she passes. So I then had to leg it through bag check and up around the dock to meet her. I had to half explain to security what had happened as they were clearly worried about this mad woman who had been hanging about for 10 minutes then suddenly dived for bag check like a mad wummin.

Puffing and panting (I don't run. ever. I'm not kidding) I get caught up with Hannah, who has been befriended on the boat by an American couple asking why she appears to be heading to the park on her own. What a great mum I am eh? We start hauling our butts to the park and having rushed through the entrance at 7:55 with no park map, we try to remember the quickest route to Diagon Alley. We were helped when we spotted a young couple totally decked out in Hogwarts garb power walking so followed them. They couldn't have been heading anywhere else let's face it.



We catch up with Kevin and Kieran and get Lockered up. Gringotts said 10m wait so off we went. While walking through Kevin appeared to be much happier and started to get excited about the ride. When I asked if his back had eased off he said nope – he had just doubled up on the tablets. Okaaayyyyy. With normal McNicol service resumed and moods balanced again, I could care less. Hannah and I decided we would just keep encouraging him to take his happy pills.



Ride was better than I remembered it (this keeps happening, I must just have a rubbish memory). We loved it and came off and walked straight back on, again taking about 10 mins. We came out and got our stuff from the locker. With their wands retrieved, the kids set about doing spells everywhere and had much more success than last year. To be honest I think it's because it was tipping with rain last year whereas it was a bright morning today. We sent quite a while around the area and went down Knockturn Alley which I didn't even know was there last year.



While walking round Kevin got umpteen compliments from staff on his t-shirt, which my mum bought him for Christmas and what better place to wear it than US.



We finally left DA at 9:30 am and decided to get the Hogwarts Express over to IOA and back again before that got too busy.

We got carriage to ourselves on the way there. We do love the HE. So atmospheric. Got off and went to the cart to buy Hannah a frozen Butterbeer. She is the only one who really likes this. Kieran and Kevin hate it and I think it's just OK. I can drink it but wouldn't ask for one. It's like American cream soda with a shot of caramel I think. Kieran had a wander round the sweet shop but didn't buy anything in the end. We then headed back to the HE back to US so we could finish the park.









Quick restroom stop then round to Men In Black. It was a 15m wait but with the FOLP passes was a walk on. Enjoyed this. Forgot to read up about the red button thing so had no idea what to do and Kevin beat us all as usual. We decided to go straight back on again. This time we waited 10 mins even with the FOLP and when we got to the top of the queue discovered it was because the cars on the right hand track had broken down and they were only using the left ones. On we got, only to stop dead halfway round. Since we were stationary we were trying to shoot at everything in sight but the scores were just spinning around and not going up so in the end we just sat there. It was probably only for a few minutes but felt weird. And when we passed the last bit with the screen none of that was working so it was a bit pants. It was our second ride anyway so didn't bother us much, but the poor CMs were getting a really hard time from the American family that got off in front of us. On the way out we scanned for our ride photos and the guy was loving Kevin's Pulp Minion T-shirt.

Got the stuff back out of the lockers and headed for the Simpsons. We all got on and then. Nothing. It didn't move. They kept playing messages that it would move soon so we just had to wait. Again it was probably only a few minutes. This ride was ok. Kevin thought it was pants. The kids were indifferent. My lot are definitely coaster fans.

Next up was ET which I wasn't going to bother riding but the kids decided they wanted to. They did like the flying above the city bit as they were seated at the far left so got a good view of this. Hannah heard her name at the end but Kieran missed his.

Now it was time for one of my favourites, Transformers! I love this. And Spider-Man which is of course very similar. It was a 20m wait and we waited 5m with the passes. Loved this again! We came off and straight back on again for another 5m wait. Kevin and I both agreed that Spiderman just pips it for us though.



Then it was one I hate. Rip Ride Rocket. But I had agreed before we came I would do everything once more. Apart from Sheikra at Busch gardens. I got a pass for that as it made me cry last year. So away we went. 35m wait but about 12 with the FOLP. I sat with Hannah and was just accepting having to do it. Until we turned to be lying on our backs heading up that damned hill. From that point I was screaming no, no, no, no interspersed with some colourful language. Oops. This got worse when we went over the top. Getting bashed about, head whipping all over the place is in no way improved just because ZZ bloomin top are screaming Gimme All Your Lovin in my ear. I came off windswept and feeling slightly abused needing a sit down. Drink anyone? Not sure I will be buying the video! Hannah stayed off with me whilst the boys went on for another beating (fools). Hannah felt so sorry for me she sat and pleated my hair to calm me down while I dibbed on my phone! Yeah. NEVER doing that again. That goes in the box with Sheikra. Kevin and Kieran appeared 2 mins later looking disgusted as it had broken down. They had been given 2 express pass slips for any ride as consolation. No use to us of course.

We headed onto Despicable me next, Kevin handing the Express passes to a family we passed in the regular queue. Wait time was 30m but took us 5m with the FOLP. Good fun on this one. Kevin and Kieran were both dressed in Minion stuff head to foot so we waited the 5m until the Minions came out for their photo shoot. Had to be done.






By this time it was 1pm and Hannah was hungry so we headed to Mels diner. Kevin wasn't hungry (surviving on water and paracetamol, but he was cheery so we just left him to his own devices!) so the kids and I shared a couple of grilled chicken sandwiches with fries and vanilla milkshakes. I got Kevin a milkshake when he asked too which is really weird for him having no sweet tooth whatsoever, but he drank it and loved it and still seemed happy. (Just keep swimming eh?)

The Minion dance party appeared so Kieran had a wee dance at that before we moved round to Revenge of the Mummy. 20m wait but walk on with the FOLP. Again this was better than I remembered (anyone see a pattern here?). We had now done everything in the park we wanted to so asked the kids what they wanted to do. They had a wee confab and said Gringotts if it was 40m or less of a wait then back to the hotel. It was pretty overcast from lunchtime onwards today so we were not in as much of a hurry to go back to the RPR pool as I had initially imagined we would. So off we went into Diagon Alley. It was stowed to the gunnels now but we fought our way through the crowds. Gringotts showed a 30m wait so we lockered up. Once we entered, and were led right down into the outside queuing area where it was twisting round and round and round my heart sank. Hannah at this point turned round and said there's no way this is 30 minutes mum – Ahm no waiting in this! So we about turned, back up the line and out. Stuff retrieved from the locker, the kids decided they wanted back to the hotel for some pool time so out of the park and off to the water taxi. On the way it started to rain quite heavily but it was fairly short lived and afterwards the sky was brighter.

Kids headed to the pool while Kevin and I repacked from the mess we had left that morning to make it easier for tomorrow. I had my shower and got ready. Meanwhile I asked for some help on the dibb for where to eat tonight in Citywalk as we had no idea what to try. General consensus seemed to be Margaritaville or Cowfish so will see where we end up. Kids came up from the pool at 4:45 and started showers etc. We left Hannah in the room beautifying herself in between face timing her pals at home while Kevin Kieran and I dropped into the club lounge for a bite to eat and a few glasses of wine and some Coronas for Kevin. We definitely seem to be getting the use of Club Level so I am glad we booked it. It was a kind of Mediterranean chicken tonight. Chicken in a tomato sauce with onions peppers and herbs. Very nice.

So now it is 7pm, Kevin is having his shower while I type up my TR while I have the Sound of The Jam playing on my iphone (great soundtrack for getting stuff done. It's my housework theme!). We are heading to Citywalk for dinner and will see if Kieran can stay awake long enough for his parents to have more than 1 drink! Thank God we have had the club lounge for pre-dinner drinks. We talked about how great these 6 hotel nights would be as neither of us needed to drive. Best laid plans and all that eh?!

WORK IN PROGRESS - will update the evening in the morning



We were out by 7:45 and off to Citywalk. It was a lovely night and there was a real buzz about the place so we had a wander around before going to ask for a table at Cowfish. I had posted on the dibb for some opinions on where to try tonight and from the replies decided on this Sushi Burger Bar. We were told it would be 40m for a table and they would text Kevin when it was ready. So, given Kieran's track record with falling asleep after he has eaten we decided to do it upside down and stop in at Margaritaville for cocktails before dinner!



Helen0705 had suggested a Last Mango In Paris so I asked for one of those. He said they had taken it off but was happy to make me one anyway. It was lush so thanks for the tip Helen! The kids both had kids cocktails, Hannah a strawberry one and Kieran banana. Kevin stuck to beer.



Just as we were finishing them the text came in so we went back to Cowfish for our table and were seated upstairs outside. I was happy with this as it was warmer than inside with its air con.


Hannah ordered the kids nuggets meal with fries n carrots and a strawberry milk shake. The kids milkshakes were amazing. Really creamy.






Kieran ordered the shrimp tempura kids meal with a banana milkshake. I thought this would be battered shrimp given it said tempura but it was actually sushi. No matter. It got eaten anyway.






Kevin ordered the Kings roll sushi roll and beer. He loved this, saying it was really fresh and tasty. Scoffed the lot.



And I ordered Crab Rangoon Dip, which is an appetiser as my main. OH my God this was delicious. Creamy crab with a crusty topping, with crispy things and sweet chilli sauce. Yum!



I also had a Ruby Panther cocktail



We really liked this. Made a change from too much fried stuff.

Too stuffed for dessert we were happy to waddle back to the water taxi and back to the hotel. We arrived back at the RPR dock only for Kieran to realise he had left his tablet at Cowfish. So Kevin and Kieran had to about turn straight back onto the boat for a return journey. They got it at guest services fine thankfully.

We agreed I would let everyone sleep tomorrow but if they are not up by 8:15 I have to wake them. I didn't bother to set an alarm as it will be a miracle for me to sleep past then. I am sitting here now at just after 4am doing this (after staring at the ceiling since 3:20 hoping sleep would come again) and now hoping I will be able to get back to sleep for a couple of hours once I am done.

Today we move from RPR into Joanna's Dream Villa. Can't wait.



The bill


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Unread 16 Apr 16, 06:13 AM  
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orlandofan
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Hope Kevin's back is better. Loved his t-shirt. Can't wait to see what you think of Cowfish as we have looked at the menu, read TR from people who have been there and it has all been good reports. Weather in Scotland been rubbish all week.

How does he manage to blag 1st class using his TP?
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This is going to be a looooong wait
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Unread 16 Apr 16, 07:48 AM  
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jorm35
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Another great day (after the bumpy start). I'm a bit concerned the update will have another down turn though? Hope not x
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Unread 16 Apr 16, 09:24 AM  
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New Photo Added by scottishnellie - 16 Apr 16 9:24 AM.
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Unread 16 Apr 16, 09:28 AM  
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scottishnellie
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scottishnellie's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
Originally Posted by orlandofan View Post
Hope Kevin's back is better. Loved his t-shirt. Can't wait to see what you think of Cowfish as we have looked at the menu, read TR from people who have been there and it has all been good reports. Weather in Scotland been rubbish all week.

How does he manage to blag 1st class using his TP?
He works for the railway so if there are seats available the manager will usually bump us up when shown the privilege passes. Not always but we have been quite lucky.
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Unread 16 Apr 16, 09:33 AM  
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orlandofan
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Never tried it with our passes but may one day when we are going on a long journey. Enjoy today.
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Unread 16 Apr 16, 09:44 AM  
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Lindaelaine
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Not a great start to the day and what was it with those rides breaking down ? how unlucky, glad the day improved and seems like Kevin's back problem improved thank goodness .love his t shirt by the way .

We stayed at RPR club for a week last year, did the same as you, sampled the evening offerings and then went out to eat
We also did the early entry one morning and with one thing or another we actually got in only minutes before everyone else, our own fault of course, just couldnt seem to round everyone up that morning .

Loving these live trip reports thank you for posting during your holiday, it's much appreciated .enjoy the next stage of your holiday
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Unread 16 Apr 16, 09:55 AM  
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Cowfish is definitely on our list your crab entree looks lush.
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