Mandy Goes To Universal

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Joined: 06/18/2013
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Mandy Goes To Universal

My parents and I stayed at Cabana Bay with a Volcano Bay view. It was still pretty cool because the volcano gets lighted up at night and we got to see some of the construction workers working. We stayed for 4 nights. We checked in on Sunday Jan 31 and checked out on Thursday February 4. I was just planning on hanging out at the hotel but my mom wanted me to go to the parks. So we pooled our resources together and got me a preferred pass. I was given a birthday button and a drink voucher for any drink at the hotel. Which was not specified when we got it but I also should have read the voucher for myself.

Sunday afternoon we checked in around 4pm. They have security at the door to take your temp and they give you a colored wristband so you only have to be checked once a day. We were on the 7th floor in building 8, Beachside. I got a welcome text which is our main form of communication with the front desk which is very nice. We were able to ask for pillows, a blanket, and even have maintenance to come up as well. They were always prompt with our requests. We settled in a bit and watched some tv, my friend picked me up and took me out to dinner to Red Robin where we had a great time. I was also given a purse which has given my friend and her friend both good luck while they had it, so we are hoping it will do the same for me. She dropped me off and off to bed I went. I had beaten the old folks back to the room. laugh

Monday morning I was up bright and early to catch the first bus over to the parks so I could get my pass and breakfast in plenty of time with the early admission to Islands of Adventure. I was up and ready to go around 7:30am with my new purse, popcorn bucket, and drink cup in tow. I stopped at Starbucks at Citywalk to get breakfast. I had a bacon, egg and gouda sandwich with a warm chocolate croissant and a iced venti pistachio latte. I headed over to IOA to get my annual pass, well silly me forgot that I needed the money on a card and not cash but that's okay, I got a 1 day 2 park pass because I didn't want to miss out on early admission. Once I got my ticket sorted out, I headed to the back of the line to get into the park. First thing I did, was get my cup activated for the day then I headed over to Hogsmeade to get into line for Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure which was looping past the talking fountain into the top area of the old Sinbad theater and back out towards Hogsmeade. I think the wait time was around 60 but it only took about 30 minutes for me to get on. It was 9:53am when I got off and I decided to back in line after using the conveniences because the regular guests hadn't been able to get in yet. Once again, I waited about 30 minutes or so.

I then headed up to the front of the park to talk to Guest Services to see how much it would be to update my ticket to an ap so I could I tell my mom how more money I needed to get it since that was our original plan. Once I got that information, I headed over to Super Hero Island to ride on Hulk but I needed to wait for my Hagrids locker to time out first. I headed to the restroom and when I returned to the lockers, I was able to get one. The wait was posted at 15 minutes I think and I'm pretty sure it took about that time for me to get one. I forgot that the Hulk is a chest crusher but I had fun anyway.

I stopped at Auntie Ann's for a snack and filled up my cup across the street. I got a regular pretzel to snack on. I sat on a near by bench to have my snack and thought about getting lunch but nothing sounded good. I headed towards Toon Lagoon when I saw Spider-man and Wolverine, so of course I stopped for a picture. They both wished me a happy birthday and Wolverine said he would take me out for a beer but Spider-man couldn't join us since he is underage. Then i decided to hop on the Spider-man ride since that was a short wait. Part of the regular queue is under refurbishment so they had us enter through the super extended queue outside where we saw the pre-ride video once we entered the building. There were only two parties per vehicle with one party in the first row and the second party in the third row with the second row empty.

I walked through Toon Lagoon where I saw Betty Boop and of course I had to get a picture. I didn't go on any of the rides because it was a tad too cold to get soaking wet but Popeyes and Blutos Barge is closed for refurbishment anyway. I decided to go on Kong because that also had a short wait and luckily I was able to skip the scare actors in the queue. After Kong I went on the Jurassic River Adventure to find a friend and luckily i only got a little wet but the sun was out so that helped a little bit. I also got a whole boat to myself. The whole time I kept saying who much I don't appreciate my friend working at a water ride laugh I was able to find them at unload and we were able to have a quick conversation before I needed to move on.

I decided stop and get some popcorn at the Jurassic popcorn stand where I found another friend across the way. We were able to catch up at length which was very nice. I also refilled my cup again to go with my popcorn. I walked past the Velicoaster which looks awesome. I walked over towards Hogsmeade and hopped on the Hogwarts express. This was the only long line I had encountered so far at 45 minutes but it only took me about 35 minutes to board. They are only seating one family per cabin. They have the gates staggered so only every other group is standing up at the gate while the others are standing a little further back.

I got a virtual time for Fast and the Furious while waiting for my time, I got another snack at the cart in front of the the entrance to fast and the furious. Once my time was ready, I proceeded to the line. I ended up waiting over an hour to get on a party bus. This was my first time on Fast and the Furious, I'm the type of person that will do just about anything once just to say I did it. It was pretty okay. I wish they had a time posted for the virtual line because had I known it would of been that long, I wouldn't have done it.

Once done, I headed to guest services to upgrade my pass because I had until the end of the day to upgrade and I wasn't planning on spending the only hour I had at Universal Studios for one attraction. The team member that assisted me was very nice and they even gave me the 3 month promotion because I wasn't sure if that was online only. Once that was taken care of, I headed out to City Walk to meet with my parents for dinner at Cow Fish.

We enjoyed very much. I got Dion's roll and both of my parents got a burger since they aren't sushi people. Dinner was very good and we headed back to the hotel for the night. My parents had gotten me a publix cake, a frozen balloon, and some flowers. My mom was trying to make up for not so great birthdays in the past. I had texted for some plates and it took like 5 minutes or so for them to appear at our room. We also had gotten some Voodoo Doughnuts to enjoy as well.

Day 2
We decided to sleep in and enjoy breakfast in the room. We each had about 3 doughnuts and I had made coffee that came with the room. It wasn't so bad. Once breakfast was enjoyed, I headed out to the parks. This time I started out at Universal Studios. I went to Shrek, then Despicable me and on to Jimmy Fallon. I got to see Hashtag on my way in to the bathroom, he was standing on a balcony. I got a snack from the pizza cart and reactivated my cup. I then went on Jimmy Fallon and had a virtual pass but it wasn't needed. It really enjoyed that I went on it twice and the second time I went through standby and they didn't even give me a color. They are leaving 2-3 seats between parties and alternating rows as well. I was also able to get a picture with Hashtag because he was just outside the gift shop. Then it was time for the Mummy which also didn't have a very long wait then I had a conversation with one of the Mummy stilt walkers, well more like he pointed and grunted. laugh I don't remember how the Mummy is seating everyone.

I also took in the Blues Brothers concert that was happening.

I also stopped by Auntie Ann's for a pizza pretzel and sat in the relaxation zone while i enjoyed my snack. I also went on transformers which also didn't have a long line. They are only putting two parties at a time in the vehicle with the middle row empty. Then I headed over to ET: The adventure continues. This actually had a wait but that's okay it didn't take very long. This one party behind me was not keeping their 6 feet so a TM asked me how many then asked the others to back up. I forgot how much I enjoy this ride.

After I finished the ride, it was time for dinner at the NBC Grill. Dinner was pretty good and I was able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with dinner which was also very tasty. I like that they have foosball tables converted to dinner tables and you can play while you wait for dinner. I told my parents, I would probably accidentally stab myself if I sat there. laugh

After dinner we headed back to the hotel. I also redeemed my free birthday drink at the bowling alley bar and that was also very tasty.

Day 3
I got another semi late start but that's okay. We finished off the doughnuts and we got coffee from Starbucks that is in the hotel. After another tasty breakfast, I headed off to the parks. I started off in Universal again and to finish the rides I hadn't done. I went on the Alien twril ride in the Simpsons area, and did Men in Black which is terrible by yourself because I suck at shooting at spun a whole bunch of times. I also got to see Doc on my way over as well. I had seen part of the Spongebob parade party which was very fun. I also went on Gringotts which posted like 20-25 minute wait but I walked right on. It's so weird to know that the elevators are fake laugh like I knew they were fake because somebody told me but to experience it is definitely a different experience. After I hopped on to the Hogwarts express which did have a line but it came out to a little less then what was posted. I stopped at three broomsticks for a butter beer and wedges. The nice thing about Universal restaurants is that they have a qr code you can scan once you get to your table so they know you are there and you can order that way as well which is very nice. I also got some candy floss and chocolate fudge flies.

I hoped on Hagrid's Magical Motorobike a couple more times because why not. The line wasn't very long either. Then I headed over to Seuss landing where I enjoyed story time and got some pictures with the Grinch and the Lorax afterwards. then I hopped on the trolley and after, it was time for dinner so I headed over to Toothsome where my parents had already been seated. We had a very yummy dinner and got some milkshakes for dessert because it's a rule that you must get a milkshake. laugh Just kidding, it is not a rule. Then we headed back to the hotel to get settled in for the night because tomorrow is check out day.

Day 4-Check out day.
We slept in a little bit and we were able to check out virtually without having to go to the front desk. I even double checked with the tv to make sure. After we left, we went to the Waffle House for breakfast and my parents off me at home since we took their car.

Review
This was our first Universal Vacation and it was extremely nice. I like that we can text the front desk for any needs that we may have including adding extra nights. I had told my mom we had a longer vacation then what I had booked and we texted to see if we could get another night, we could. Once my parents got paid, we were able to add another night no problem and they kept us in the same room. We had to visit the front desk to get new keys. I like that we get a free birthday drink. It can be from anywhere on hotel property. I also got to go on Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure 3 or 4 times with almost no wait. Although the one time, they cycled down the ride but it was shut down for a few minutes and we were able to ride it. Like I mentioned, I really love the qr codes on the tables at the quick service restaurants. I also felt very safe because mostly everyone was following the guidelines that were in place. My mom wants to stay at Cabana Bay again once Volcano Bay is open so her and my dad can people watch.

Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803

Thanks so much for sharing your visit with us!

Kristen K.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803

Thanks so much for sharing your visit with us!