Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 4- Universal Studios

Monday we were all definitely ready for a break.  Ga Ga and Papa flew back home in the morning and we were sad to see them go! We hadn't slept in past 6am since we had arrived and we all just really needed to catch up, thinking we would play Monday by ear.  
We all slept in late and woke up and had breakfast at our resort.  It was so nice to just relax for the morning!  We talked and decided to head to Universal Studios, even though a day at our resort was very tempting.  I really wanted the kids to see the Minions and ride the new ride they had there.  It felt like we were so close, we should make a day of it!
After a very long cab ride and an even longer time trying to get tickets... we finally made it inside around noon.  We almost decided to leave since we purchased tickets online but apparently they were only express tickets, which allow you to use the fast pass lines, they just cost extra.  Where at Disney you don't have to pay for fast passes.  So the price I paid wasn't even for the tickets, but just the fast passes.  Let's just say after a very heated conversation with customer service, I got my money back and just purchased regular tickets.  And we learned about the Disability assistance card, which allowed us to return to the ride after the allotted current wait time.  This was fine with us, as it allowed us to do other things instead of waiting in line.
They had this neat playland for the kids, they loved it and could have spent the whole day there.  
So it's where we hung out most of the time while waiting for our rides.
They even had a neat waterslide!  You had to wear your clothes on it, which Andrew thought was weird!  You didn't get very wet, just a little bit- and you dry off fast!
This was the most anticipated ride for me.  I had been reading about it for a few years in the making, and couldn't wait to take the kids on it. (Note the 135 minute wait time... I'm sorry, but no ride is worth that long of a wait!)
Inside Gru's house
It was a 3D ride- you sit in these little carts that move and basically watch a movie but the animation is amazing and you actually feel like you are right there with the characters on an adventure.  I have to admit, I wasn't as impressed as I had hoped.  It was okay, but honestly by this point I felt like there are just so many shows and 3D/4D things rather than rides.  I prefer a really neat ride, so wearing glasses in a simulator just isn't as fun for me.  I think my expectations were too high!
After the ride there was a dance party with the minions, which is what I couldn't wait for.  I knew the kids would go nuts over them.
They did not disappoint.
We caught this float just as they were leaving, and not returning for another hour or so, which always makes me slightly irritated.  We went all that way and had the chance to meet Gru and the gang (you can see them all in the background) but they had cut off the line.  It just wasn't our day.  But seeing the float was cool!  We just love meeting characters and hate to miss them!
We had to settle for the gang from Spongebob instead (not my favorite, but the kids loved it).
I always enjoy the E.T. ride.  It is just a classic.  You sit in this little cart that looks like a bunch of bicycles.  Then it takes you up in the air and flies you around looking at different scenes from the movie.  I really like it better than the minion ride!  Because, you know, it's a real ride.
Afterwards they always take you through the gift shops (don't you hate that!?) They had these neat scenes of E.T. that Andrew wanted his picture by (see the bike in the background?)  Yeah, they wanted to charge me $25 for him to stand there and take his picture.  No thanks, this spot will do just fine thankyouverymuch.
Curious George was neat in the background
Daddy went on this ride (aka 3D show) all by himself.  Andrew was too freaked out.  Craig enjoyed it.
The floats from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade were displayed throughout the park, which was neat to see.
Meeting Shrek and Donkey after the Shrek 4D "ride" (not a ride!)
Andrew loves this roller coaster.  Especially when I told him that last time we were there, he was only 3, and it was his very first roller coaster he ever rode.  So fun.
Kerigan was happy to take a turn riding it, too!  She loved it!
So after that Woody Woodpecker (and Mrs. Woody??) were like their BFFs.
These are not my favorite characters, but the sign and their little camper was cute with Christmas lights! (Side note: my kids have no clue who the Simpsons are!  Ha!)
They opened a small section of the park with some Harry Potter stuff (not as extravagant as Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter world).  Sometime I'd like to go to that park, but I've heard it's more for older kids so maybe next time!
Killing some more time in between rides at the Curious George splash park!  Andrew played here when he was little too and had so much fun.  Both of them loved it (and we knew to bring our swim suits this time!)
Selfie on the street!
Andrew took this picture of me in the gift shop and it couldn't be more perfect.  He wanted me to buy it but he settled for a picture instead.  Ha!
I thought this street was so pretty.  Everything was always gorgeous lit up for Christmas.  We had a nice afternoon and decided to head back to the resort early again for supper and to get to bed early.
We realized we hadn't explored the other section of our resort, which was Cars Land.  It was so neat!
It reminded me a little bit of Cars Land at Disneyland that we visited a couple of years ago.  
It got dark early in Florida too (I don't know why I thought it wouldn't!), so it was hard to get pictures of our resort when it was light out!  It was really only like 6pm here, but it was still dark!

Overall it was a fun day.  I always feel overwhelmed wanting to see and do everything when we are in Orlando.  There is so much to see and do besides Disney (Legoland, Sea World, Universal, etc)...  I suppose as the kids grow up we will have to explore some of the other things to do there.  But I'll always be a Disney girl at heart!

Back to the parks tomorrow!  More to come soon...

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