Saturday, March 29, 2014

Orlando Vacation, Part 2--The One Where We Meet Anna & Elsa

Our original vacation plans only included 3 days at Universal Studios.  It really hurt my heart that were were going to be SO close to Disney and not see Anna and Elsa, who just happen to be our favorite.  If you've ever been to Disney though, you know that going for only a day is much more expensive than going for several days, so it just wasn't in our budget.  As our luck would have it, one of Mallory's friends who had just begun working at Disney texted her and offered to be our personal tour guide for a day at Epcot (where Anna and Elsa are until April 1st).  AND she was able to get 3 people in the park for free, as part of her employee perks.  YAY for us :)

Chelsea met us at Epcot Monday and spent the whole day with us.  It was truly a VIP experience!  We still had to wait in a few lines, but she knew so much and was able to help us with lots.  We were in line for Epcot at 8:15, and the gates open at 9am.  As soon as the gates opened, Justin SPRINTED (sorry Disney) all the way back to Norway to get in line for Anna and Elsa.  Even with all this planning, we still waited an hour and a half.  Anna and Elsa are kind of a big deal right now.

While we were waiting, I went into the store and purchased a few Frozen books (that I think you can only get at Disney) and we had Anna and Elsa sign them.

After Anna and Elsa, we hit the rides.  We did Soarin', Journey Into Imagination with Figment, and the Seas with Nemo and Friends. We took a break for lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel, in Mexico.  From there, we saw Mulan and watched an acrobatic show in China.

We rode TestTrack and the bigger kids (including Kyndall) rode Mission: Space.  While they rode Mission Space, Libby and I sat around and did a little people-watching.  When they were finished, we rode the boat over to Disney's Beach Club Resort and had dinner at the Crew's Cup Lounge and ice cream at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.  We made it back just in time to see the fireworks before calling it a night.

On Tuesday, we went to Universal Studios.  From everything I read, this park was going to be the least-friendly to my smaller children.  It's better suited to teenagers and adults.  We did find lots to do though!

We rode E.T.'s adventure and Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster. We happened on a dance party with the characters from Hop, and posed for a few pictures.

We saw the Spongebob parade, and characters, next.

We braved the Transformers 3D ride (the girls thought it was a little scary) and then the big kids went to ride Hollywoods Rip Ride RockIt while the girls and I, with Gra-Gra and Pops, went to see Shrek 4-D.

Leaving Shrek, we saw Fiona, Donkey, and Shrek.

Donkey was so cute!  He talked to the girls for a while and then asked Fiona to show them how to pose like princesses. When they already knew how to do it, he said "Well, look at them! Alabama royalty!"

After Shrek, we went for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  When our bellies were full, we came back into the park and found seats for the Superstar Parade.  (It was a really cute parade, but much shorter than the ones we were used to from Disney.)

As soon as the parade was over, we got in line for Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.  It was a 70 minute wait (because we didn't have Express tickets... boo!) but well worth it.  During the ride, Gru and the girls turned us all into minions! It was really cute.  After the ride, we were able to meet a real-life minion and get our picture taken.

Kyndall decided last-minute that she wanted to ride Revenge of the Mummy, so we hustled to the BACK of the park to let her ride.  Then we had to speed walk out to meet our bus to take us back to the hotel. (FYI:  We stayed at the Hampton Inn S. Universal.  It is off resort property, but offers free shuttle service to and from the parks.  There are certain times the bus runs, and you have to catch these times.)

Wednesday was our last day and we decided to go back to Islands of Adventure for a while.  Kyndall, Justin, and Gra-Gra waited 90 minutes to ride Forbidden Journey, while Pops and Libby rode Flight of the Hippogriff THREE times!  While they did all this riding, Mal and I did a little shopping.

We went back to Seussville and the girls rode the Caro-Seuss-El.

Just so you know how amazing Suessville is, here are a few photos.  

We left Islands of Adventure just in time for lunch, so we stopped in at Hard Rock Cafe for a quick bite to eat.  Then, we took a taxi back to the hotel (it wasn't anywhere near time for the bus to pick us up).  The girls loved it and requested that I take a picture of their first time in a taxi:

For the rest of the afternoon, we hit the outlets wide open :).  The girls both got new tennis shoes from the Nike outlet and germ-x from Bath and Body works.  (They love hand sanitizer, which is hilarious because I am the anti-germophobe!)  

We grabbed a quick dinner at McDonalds before heading back to the hotel and pack up.  We had a jam-packed, fun-filled 4 days in Orlando and, as I'm writing this, I'm already planning our next trip!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.  I am, by far, NOT an expert, but I'll be glad to share tips and tricks that we've learned along the way!

No comments:

Post a Comment