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Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

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  • Trip Report Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

    Being a Disneyland lover in the big world of Disney is a scary thing. I love my cozy historic park with all its firsts and quaint atmosphere. The large open spaces can be daunting, I feel so small and yet so consumed! There are differences. Big ones and small ones. Some I liked. Some not so much. Being there only a week basically meant running a marathon and still not being able to get to the finish line. However, I saw a lot and would like to share with you my first real experience on the east coast side of things….

    We started out early early EARLY on the 18th and boarded our flight with my good friend South West…

    We only had one stop in Vegas for an hour so I took my oppurnity to see the sights….from a window.

    The flight was pretty good! I read My Sister’s Keeper and that kept my fully consumed during my 6 hour flight. My poor neighbor caught me crying on several occasions but I digress!

    Did I mention that we were going to Universal as well? No? Well let me fill you in!!!

    Our first two days were to be at Universal and then Disney for the next four. So after we landed we went to the City Walk and ate at the Nascar Grill. Its was good food but I’m not sure if I am saying that cause it was or I was just tried of salted plane peanuts.

    My hubby and nephew….can you tell who’s excited and who’s sleepy??
    We didn’t spend much time in city walk because we were wiped out from our flight and wanted to ready for Universal the next day. City Walk is a lot like downtown Disney in California because it is between two parks and has nice shops but it’s definitely more directed to teens and adults with the shops they have.
    I’ll admit it. I was not excited for Universal. What can I say besides its not Disney? Yes I know tunnel vision is a terrible thing and I promise to get it looked at, I know how you all worry over my health.

    We went to Islands of Adventure first because of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (aka Harry Potter land) and I was impressed. It was essentially a very large Adventureland. Really well themed!

    People searching for wizards…obviously you cant see them due to the invisibility cloak! *sigh* Muggles….

    “Omg omg omg…” Was basically my thought process. I’m not huge into Harry but I read the series and enjoyed all of them. However this place blew me away.

    Okay now we get to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Breath taking. Awe inspiring. Oh crap did I get the wrong tattoo?


    So inside Hogwarts (does anyone just think that name is so odd?) you take a tour through the castle. IT IS AMAZING. Everything is drenched in detail. You meet Dumbldore, Harry, Ron and Hermione, the sorting hat, talking portraits and the list goes on…I didn’t bother bringing my camera, I wanted to enjoy this one. The ride itself, the forbidden journey is just as amazing. I was scared for my life literally after I told myself it was all fake….it was that good. Not recommended for little ones. My nephew went on it and he’s seven he enjoyed it but I think he is desensitized from all the video games…
    We rode the Forbidden Journey three times. The third time it broke down and the work lights came on. The ride vehicles are basically like an arm from the elbow to the hand. You sit inside the “palm” and then your vehicle twists and turns like a hand would. The rooms are humongous and very open and spacey. I saw several “lost” flip flops…anyways just thought you ride geeks would like to know cause I gotcho’ back.

    This is butter beer. I’ve had it before and it I love it. This however isn’t what I tried. Still tasty! But more like cream soda with extra foam.

    Pumpkin Juice. $6.00 each for these beauties. Not worth it. Imagine pumpkin pie and apple juice having a baby. This is what it would taste like. (Yes I did technically make a dead baby joke…thank you for laughing!)

    Overall Harry Potter land is awesome. I love that place. The rest of that park isn’t bad either, I would go again. This park is much better than Universal Studio’s but we’ll discuss that later….

    Islands of Adventure Park I think is designed to get you very wet…

    So they can charge you $5.00 to do this:

    There was a line for this… L
    We were done with the park within 4 hours thanks to our Express Pass. These babies get you to cut in line all day, basically like a fast pass however they cost $80 a day. Due to the price not many people have them making it worthwhile especially if you only got…say a day and half to enjoy the park. So we hike our to Universal Studios….
    This park didn’t disappointment me but I wasn’t taken aback like I was at Islands of Adventure. The only real rides I enjoyed were the Simpson’s Ride, The Mummy and Men in Black…Men in Black is a lot like Buzz lightyear but wayyyy scarier monsters..err I mean aliens. The mummy is kinda like Indiana Jones at first then turns into space mountain and the Simpson’s ride is like being in the show. My favorite line ever:

    I didn’t take a lot of picture’s of this place because I wasn’t really wowed which sucks but saved memory for better stuff later.
    We went back to IA for dinner at Mythos since it was Father’s day and we were with my husband’s family. Mythos is a great place to eat. Tasted realllllllly good, and great dining room. The staff were very friendly and gave my nephew a free order of fries because they messed up on his order so why he waited he munched on those.

    The pricing wasn’t outrageous either. About 10-16 a plate which I was surprised with…
    After dinner we went back to the hotel and rested for our next day! The plan was to go visit Harry again in the morning and then switch hotels closer to WDW. ( I don’t recommend this…we only did because my sister in law was doing a time share thing)
    That made sense right?
    Anyways this was our new place…

    Nice digs huh? That’s what rich people usually get on vacation…Im not saying were rich at all, this was a timeshare persuading us to be rich enough to get this place… For a party of 6 we were plenty comfy everyone got their own bed.
    Now since we were on the other side of Orlando we decided to start the Disney portion of our vaction. (YAY!!) Majority vote was to head to a water park since it was around 1ish and was heckish outside…

    Okay navigating around Disney World isn’t bad. So don’t be intimidated. There are signs every where. Worse comes to worse you pull up to a park gate, say your lost and they point you to the right direction.

    I got the Donald ticket cause he’s sassy. :>

    Alas this is all I have for water park photo’s. My camera had to sit in a lowly locker because she is not water proof. Not to worry though I retrieved her later so to her I wouldn’t be the bad guy. We were done with the water park around 6 ish and had dinner at sizzler. Just for the record, sizzler is better on the east coast.
    So I am a Disney Gal and being so close to the world I was not in the least bit exhausted like everyone else. So I begged my mother in law to come with me to the magic kingdom. My Hubby decided to tag along too.

    This is his “Im happy because your happy” face.
    Disney World got the Win for best entrance. We decided to go aboard the ferry to the park and wow. Talk about fairy tale. Castle off into the distance. Fireworks. Gators chewing on turkey legs below. It was indeed magical.

    This is me. Stoked.

    As some of you might know I was recently married. Being the Disney dork I am I themed it to Beauty and the Beast Disney style…but in a classy no-Mickey-ears-to-the-reception-please kind of way. So when we walked through into the magic kingdom during the fireworks themed to “Tale as Old as Time” I got a bit choked up. As in my husband saw my face and laughed.
    So I don’t know if you played dirty Disney World to get a win but gosh darn it you did.

    This castle is beautiful. So elaborate and by golly if I had my glass slippers on at that moment I may have had an identity crisis but there is something that says home with the Disneyland castle so that gets the win, however, if we wanna go by who has the bigger toy, FL takes the cake.
    Our first attraction was Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor which is hilarious. Its too different from the Monster Inc ride in Cali to compare so I won’t. But we did go on this two more times.

    Our next hit was Stitch’s Great Escape. Now if only we could figure out how he did it so we can do the same…
    Just kidding. It’s alright. We only did it once though. It’s cute and a bit thrilling when the lights go out and you hear screams but it lost some of the thrill with the chill dog sequence…if you don’t know what I’m talking about don’t ask…

    Don’t get me wrong. It is enjoyable and has the Disney flare, but they made what I think what’s supposed to be scary into something way too friendly.
    We toured the park basically and it is beautiful at night. Very very open like I mentioned before. WE did go on Big Thunder but it was too dark to take any real pictures so I guess you’ll have to wait until tomorrow…actually you’ll have to wait for everything else tomorrow . I hope you like everything so far and trust me there’s a lot more to come because the next morning I conquered the animal kingdom.
    Last edited by winder*wonder; 07-05-2011, 01:39 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

    Most of your photos aren't showing, and photobucket is saying that they were moved or deleted :sad: Thanks for flying Southwest and keeping me employed
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
    -George S. Patton


    • #3
      Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

      Originally posted by ORD84 View Post
      Most of your photos aren't showing, and photobucket is saying that they were moved or deleted :sad: Thanks for flying Southwest and keeping me employed
      It's showing up on my computer...I hope its fixed.


      • #4
        Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

        Originally posted by winder*wonder View Post
        It's showing up on my computer...I hope its fixed.
        they're showing up now :grin: thanks again for flying southwest and looks like yall had a ball!!! Great pics though...makes me want to go to the parks for more than the one day I managed out of my last trip...
        The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
        -George S. Patton


        • #5
          Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

          Great trip report, disappointed there were not more shots of the water park.


          • #6
            Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

            Yay! more please
            Good morning, son
            In twenty years from now
            Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
            And I can tell you 'bout today
            And how I picked you up and everything changed
            It was pain
            Sunny days and rain
            I knew you'd feel the same things...



            • #7
              Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

              love this photo update
              Get the latest and greatest theme park news by


              • #8
                Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

                Hello everyone, I’m back with more to share!
                So we got back to our room around 1:30 and slept for a good 7 hours before we hopped out of bed for the first day of the animal kingdom!

                This park is soooooo green which made it even more beautiful coming from a girl who normally see’s sagebrush out her window.

                Our first stop in animal kingdom was Expedition Everest. I loved all the small detail in this park. I didn’t feel like I was in Disney, I felt like I was in Asia, Africa ect… just call me Jane Goodall people!

                Everest is great!!!! Even though Mr. Yeti was posing for pictures rather than grabbing at us, I was terrified. HE WAS HUGE!!!! The ride itself is fast paced and I didn’t feel jerked around very much, which is my biggest problem with coasters.

                That’s my “OMG THAT WAS A YETI” face.
                The only place that I realllllllly disliked was Dino-rama. Whoa…what the heck Disney? You have this amazing park and then throw this in??? Ugh…We did however ride Dinosaur which was enjoyable and probably the only reason people would visit this area.

                I can believe flying elephants but flying dinosaurs?....PLUEESE. :P
                We trekked over to IT’s Tuff To Be a Bug and cooled down for a little bit.

                Let me tell you….if hell was somewhere on earth and ironically it was a lush paradise it would be in Florida.
                I’m use to heat. I live in the desert. Also I’m use to humidity. I work at an indoor pool. But this was awful. My one true piece of advice is drink water. Gallons of it. Not only will be sure to see every restroom Disney has to offer but you won’t faint in front of Mickey.
                They even have this for you to read in the stalls:

                Gross and educational!
                We headed over to Africa and went on the crown jewel of the park. Kilimanjaro safari. I’m not going to ruin it by a lot of writing but we had a great driver and the ride is worth the heat.

                Now where is the zebra protecting the sleeping lion????

                We left the park around 3-ish to go rest for about an hour then go to Hollywood Studio’s for the rest of the night. Overall thoughts on Animal kingdom are positive. The atmosphere was very convincing, and the lushness of the plants was gorgeous. This is the park to go to if you have a kid who’s about 9-12. They can be wowed by the fun rides, and not be put off because its Disney.
                We got to Hollywood Studio’s about 5 pm.


                We headed straight for Star Tours and I was aghast at the wait time…

                ONLY 10 MINUTES???? Don’t get me wrong I was ecstatic but I have been checking Disneyland wait times and its been up to 240 minute wait!!! Why the difference? They even got the cool robot camel out front!!

                Star Tours is a great ride…HOWEVER if you get motion sickness the 3D makes it even worse… I love it but at the same time I need to throw up but it’s okay I’m still trying to give it a compliment??? :P What made matters worse we got the exact same ride twice out of the 53… oh well just means we have to ride it again. J
                We then headed over to ToT.

                I can’t decide which is better CA or FL. I was scared out of my mind when we started moving forward and not down. Both were almost identical in the queue. I think I like California’s drop better but I like Florida’s extended scene. So they both have a win. Hurray for equality!!
                After checking out of the Hollywood Tower hotel we went to meet aero smith for their next big concert.

                This ride is amazing. I screamed to the tune of “Walk this way” and “Dude looks like a lady”. Love it. Sorry California Screamin’…Florida rocks at the coaster. (ha ha get it? Rocks? Rock and Roll?..Ha…Ha…nvm go look at the pictures…)
                BTW is California Adventure basically the sister park of Hollywood studio’s cause its turning out to be!
                By this time it was getting pretty close to Fantasmic!

                Now its time for the Epic Battle between F! Cali and F! Fduhh
                (haha Fduhh…please tell me if there is a good nickname this is all I got)
                Fduhh Pros: Awesome stadium, battle mountain epicness, more villains, cooler fireworks, they sold beer
                Cali Pros: Murphy, Actual MS Dixie, battle scene between Hook and Pan, Less water screen
                Fduhh Cons: too much water screen, tiny boat, Pocahontas not as epic, dragon not as scary
                Calif Cons: small seating space, stage not as awesome, not a lot of bad guys, no drinks unless you sneak/apart of “the club”

                My verdict?
                My home park the good ol’ DLR. Just because it’s my home park. I think it depends where you saw the show first determines the greater of the two and that’s about it.
                Now come back later for my adventure around the world and my day time journey into the magic kingdom!


                • #9
                  Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

                  Great report so far!
                  It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!


                  • #10
                    Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

                    I loved Mythos as well. Great food at a price so low I forgot I was in a theme park.

                    DCA and Disney Studios are definately similair parks, but I think DCA is starting to surpass the Studios as its' overhaul continues along.

                    Universal rides definately seem designed to get one wet. I was certainly drenched after Ripsaw Falls and the Popeye river rafts. I still wouldn't pay $5 for a giant blow dryer. What, people can't let the sun dry them off?

                    Great report so far, thanks for sharing!
                    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:


                    • #11
                      Re: Wizards, animals, and kingdoms OH MY! A winder*wonder Pic Trip Report

                      "This is me stoked" LOL!

                      Great report!
                      DJ JARVICIOUS
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