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An EPIC Adventure - A Live & Interactive trip report

Discussion in 'Trip Reports, Planning, & Questions' started by UK-Trigg, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 24 - Disney Fantasy Day 5 - Falmouth, Jamaica.

    I woke up fearing the worst for my toe but it wasn't too bad, a vast improvement on yesterday and the swelling had gone down too. This was good news as today was a port day in Falmouth. We had considered doing the falls rafting and waterfall walk but decided against it, although my toe was on the mend I was still in quite a bit of pain so we decided to have a walk around the port area and spend a lazy afternoon on the boat.

    After fruitless efforts trying to dry out my phones USB port I placed it back into its box of rice for the day, We did the usual breakfast at Cabanas before heading out into Jamaica. The immediate area around the port is nice with the usual souvenir shops, coffee shops and people selling crafts, pretty much like most port areas you pass through. So thats what we did, passed through and headed out of the gates into Falmouth.

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    We found Market St and bartered for souvenirs, the whole market area was buzzing and alive with the loud reggae music blasting from the shops and the hustle and bustle of people going about their day, the place had a real vibe, the kind of vibe you could smell in the air.

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    We didnt want to wander too far off the beaten track so we pretty much stuck to the two main streets in the area, Falmouth and Market Streets. I had a good laugh with some of the locals and we just sat and had a Red Stripe and watch the world go by. We had spent no more than a couple hours in Falmouth but we had enjoyed it there, we had our reservation and had been told to keep our wits about us and we did heed the advice but for the most part the people were fun, welcoming and most likely stoned !!!

    Back aboard we had lunch and chilled by the pool, did the usual get ready at the Spa and headed to Dinner. Tonight was pirate night so we dressed in our pirate attire of bandana, eye patches and facial scars and joined our Floridian friends for dinner, the other couple were dining at Remy. and yes I was jealous.

    Pirate night was fun but the meal is always rushed so that they can everyone through for the pirate show and the fireworks. The show was good but we got the wrong side of ship for the best view of the fireworks. Once the fireworks were over the deck emptied, the was young the weather was warm so out came our pop up bar, which tonight included Red Stripe, and we drank the away the night away once again on deck 13. arghhhh.

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  2. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Ahhh, this reminds me of a cool story with a fine gentleman from Jamaica that I played soccer (football) with. Myself,I've never had the pleasure to visit the beautiful island. My brother, though, spent a week's vacation there with his family, and said it was one of his fav vacations anywhere. The closest I've gotten was many of the wonderful evenings we've spent at CitiWalk's Bob Marley restaurant/bar, listening to reggae music and imbibing unique Jamaican food.....Anyway, here's my story...... I played on a team with a gentleman we only knew by his nickname, Lucky. He was one of the most skilled players I've ever encountered, and he was a great guy too. In his younger days he played on Jamaica's National team. He made a living in the states coaching club soccer (football) teams. Jamaica was scheduled to play the USA in a World Cup qualifier at what was DC United's home field at the time, the old Robert Kennedy Stadium, that was located in what was then a seedy part of DC (but no longer). So our team took a bus from Pgh. to DC to watch the match. The bus was pretty old and kind of beat up, but the line was owned by a player on our team, so the price (nothing) was right. Our teammate even drove the bus. Soooo, we're all standing together as a team (no one sits for these tough qualifiers) , and Lucky and Salem (who was from Libya) were next to me, and we were drinking pretty strongly the whole match, as us soccer (football) players are wont to do when we're watching, not playing. Lucky, of course, is dressed in Jamaican colors, while I had my USA Soccer jacket on (still have the photo). Lucky, high as all heck, then starts chanting. "Heh mon. In Jamaica all we do is get high, eat, sh_t, and play soccer (football)" . He repeats this a bunch of times, so Salem & I join in with our best try to be Jamaican accents and chant along with him. Everyone in front just turned around and watched us... So, match was over, and we go back to the bus in the parking lot. Everyone is there except Lucky. It was really chilly, it was late evening, so George, the player/driver, kept the bus running intermittently so we could stay warm. Two hours pass, still no Lucky. The parking lot emptied out and it was dark as all heck. Finally we agreed we couldn't wait any longer, and George went to start the bus back up again....but it wouldn't start, the constant on/off running kind of killed the battery. So we all got out of the bus, and the entire team kept pushing it across the empty parking lot until it finally jump started and began running. We all climbed back in again, and George never turned it off until we got back to Pittsburgh, fearful that if we stopped it wouldn't start back up. A couple of days later, Lucky contacted us. Turned out that after the game ended, he went to the Jamaican locker room where he met some old acquaintances, and then partied with them in their hotel rooms that night. And then he hopped a bus back to Pittsburgh the next day.... Good times...:lol::):toast:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  3. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 25 - Disney Fantasy Day 6 - At Sea

    Toe was doing better again today but unfortunately my phone was not doing so well, it was still flashing the moisture error message at me every time I plugged it in so apologies ahead for the lack of photos in the post.

    Today was a sea day so we spent a lazy morning around the ship, and had a late breakfast at the usual Cabanas. I think Sam may have gone off and done a craft thing and I put a placeholder down for a future cruise.



    Cruise secured we met back up at the room and got ready, today we were doing a liquor and chocolate tasting. Back down in the entertainment district in champagne bar oh la la we handed our tickets and sat at a table faced my 5 drinks and a selection of cheese and chocolates, I was already liking this.

    It wasn't long before our seminar started and we were trying the first glass, a champagne. We then moved onto the red wine trying them with the different chocolates, next up was an indulgent chocolate Godiva drink with more chocolate to go with it. Then it was on to the harder stuff, first a port with cheese and an aged Glenmorangie whiskey to round it all off.

    Our speaker was excellent and had a wealth of knowledge about every drink we tried and how and why the chocolate paired so well. Although this tasting wasn't as much fun as the mixology we both really enjoyed learning about the drinks and trying the pairings. The cost of this tasting was $35 each, another Disney bargain when you consider the last glass of whiskey is $36 a shot

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    From here I think Sam went and watched a movie whilst I went and sunbathed, by the bar. We met back up later and went to a DVC meet up to try and win the stateroom credit, no luck with the lottery but we did bump into Ron, one of our dinner table friends. We decided to go to the bar, so Ron called Nicole and we all met and had a good few beers at Currents bar on deck 13, we saw the end of the rainbow and sailed in and out of the most amazing rain storm.

    Tonight was Halloween on the high seas and everyone was dressed up, I however had nothing. But we had been drinking and Ron and Nicole (our Floridian friends) had face paints, ill let the photos tell the story. I'm really short on photos for the night, after dinner we saw the show on the upper decks and drank the night away with our table friends. Tomorrow was castaway cay so we didn't drink to late so we let the guys know we would be chilling out on serenity bay all day and to come find us if they wanted to hang out

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  4. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 25 - Disney Fantasy Day 7 - Castaway Cay

    We were up and ready early this morning, my phone was still dead but my toe was doing much better, A good job as today we were doing Castaway Cay 5K before spending a lazy day on Serenity bay.

    We had signed up on day one for the 5K, it is a free race around castaway cay and you get a medal at the end. neither Sam or I are runners but we had been doing a lot of walking and Sam did a baby steps to 5K course on the build up to our vacation, I lasted 2 week but Sam completed the whole 10 week course, go girl. So whilst neither of us are particularly fit we were confident on at least getting round the course.

    We had packed our bags for our day at the beach and were down by the theatre to sign in for the race, from here you are given your race number and escorted off the ship to the start line on Cataway Cay. We stowed our bags at the start line, which ideally is also the finish line. Watches set we were soon under starters and making our way on our first ever 5K. It was before 9am but already really hot but I did manage to get round, mostly running but a little walking and hit the finish line at 33mins 38secs, not bad. Sam came in around 15 mins later. We both got our medals and felt proud to have achieved our goals.

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    5K done we were on the tram heading for Serenity bay, after all that exercise it was time for some well earned R&R at one of the most beautiful place I've ever been. Serenity bay is an adult exclusive beach, untouched by mother with the most beautiful sea teaming with fish, star fish, sea snails and stingrays. There is a small bar and a BBQ that serves lunch. We started at the bar and a well earned beer before finding sun lounges.

    Not long later Nicole and Ron turned so it was back down the bar for cocktails, we had the bamboo souvenir cups. 18oz cups with cheaper refills, we had Pina Coladas with extra rum. I loved sitting in the ocean, in the sun with my bamboo mug of pina colada. Lunch on the BBQ was pretty good, no photos but im pretty sure I had rib eye steak and mahi mahi. The good thing about Castaway Cay is that all the food is included.

    We stayed as late as we possibly could, we had had a lovely day swimming, drinking, soaking up the rays and hanging out with Nic and Ron at the beach. I love this place and was sad to leave but I'm pretty sure Ill be back one day.

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    Back on board we decided to make the most of our last night aboard the Disney Fantasy so made plans to meet in the bar before dinner. It was a quick Spa and we were back out and enjoying cocktails in the Skyline bar. We had purchased a cocktail passport which basically gave us 7 cocktails for the price of 5. You can choose from a variety of cocktails from different countries around the world. We still had 3 left so we paid for one more and had two each.

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    I borrowed Sams phone t get some sunsets photos, Imissed the sunset but did grab these shots of one of the decks.

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    Our last meal on board was at animators palette and by the time we got to dinner all 4 of us were in good spirits. We arrived to find a sheet of A4 with an outline for us to draw a figure in, the whole table went quiet as all 6 of us were hard at work on our creations. Dinner again was good but the fun of this meal was watching the figures we drew come to life, they were now animated and up on the big screens all around the restaurant. This was the first time Id seen this and we all had a lot of fun with it. M#eal over it was time to say good bye to our servers who had not only served us well over the seven days but had become friends too, these guys did a sterling job and all were a credit to Disney. We handed out our tips and bid our goodbyes before making our way down to McGills Bar for some after dinner drinks.

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    2018 - Fantasy

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    2012 - Dream

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    After McGills the Bostonians decided to go and see Solo at he ships theatre so the rest of us went up stairs to open up our popup bat for one last time, we couldn't resist goofing around on the way. The plan was the others would join us after the movie, truth was we managed one drink before calling it a night, we had had a wonderful last day but we were all ready for bed.


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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
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  5. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 26 - RPR @ Universal Orlando Resort - HHN

    We woke up for our last morning aboard the Disney Fantasy, we had had the most wonderful of times, eaten some amazing food, drank decedent cocktails and been afforded exceptional service. DCL truly is Disney at its very best. We had also met some great people and our new friends Nicola and Ron had kindly offered to give us a ride to Universal Orlando Resort as they live right in Orlando near the parks.

    It was disembarkation day and bags were packed and ready to go, you can leave them outside the stateroom door the night before and pick them up and baggage claim once your off the ship but on this occasion Ron needed to get off quick and as he was driving that was fine by us. We did the express disembarkation, basically you take your own bags off meaning you can leave when you ans you are not restricted by waiting for baggage. Because off this we skipped breakfast which on the last day is different, Cabanas is closed but you can have breakfast in the last restaurant you ate dinner, ours would have been Animators Pallet.

    Seeing as we had our bags we had no choice in taking the elevator this was the one and only time we used an elevator the whole trip, those of you who have cruised will know how many stairs are involved. My watch told me I did an average of 59 floors a day during my cruise thats 413 floors during the week. I also ran the 5K, our steps counts were high and I still put on 20lb.

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    We were off the ship by 9am and after a short wait to get through customs, and because we had carried our own luggage we were soon loading up Ron's SUV in the ports car park. First we had to pick up the stowed luggage from the Raddison and then I had to cancel the hire car reservation, both chores done we were back on the 528 making the short journey into Orlando.

    We had a split stay at Uni the first 2 were at Royal Pacific followed by 4 at the newly opened Aventura. Ron pulled onto the drive at RPR and we bid our good byes to him and Nicole, these guys were really cool and we had had a blast with them since the first dinner a week ago, with them both being locals we arranged to have a drink later in the week.

    With express disembarkation and the lift back into Orlando we were all checked in and had tickets sorted by 11am. No rooms were ready so we made plans to meet up with @Scott W who was on his last day of his vacation. We made the garden walk into City Walk and dined at Cow Fish we were both hungry having skipped breakfast, I had the bento with a Funky Budha and Sam stuck with a burger and a coke. I tried to pay with my room key, having set this up at check in it shouldn't have been an issue but it declined. luckily I had another form of payment with me.

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    Lunch over and bellies full we still had an hour to kill before meeting @Scott W so we decided now was as gooda time as any to go and try out Fast and Furious. We had 7 day 3 park tickets so could come and go as we chose and with staying at RPR we also had express so we were more than confident we could get this done in an hour.

    Through the turnstiles we were soon at the ride entrance, I do like the facade and the queue was kinda cool, Im neither into cars or the F&F franchise but the queue was neat. The two pre shows were cringe worthy and the ride, as everyone knows was lame, I got a a water last straight in my eye and couldn't open it til I got off so luckily I only got to see 50% of it, the silent reaction by the other riders as we pulled into unload said it all.

    Even though we had express the ride had taken an age to get through, we now had 5 mins to get from F&F to Margaritaville, I was running late to meet @Scott W and his wife. We hot footed it over and were only a few minutes late. We got drinks but I was a amazed to find a Scotsman drinking water, unfortunately Scott was driving. It was nice to meet another forum member and all though Scott only had a short time before having to leave for the airport it was cool catching up and discussing our vacations. With us both being fans of Orlando Im sure our paths will cross again and next time you can have a beer.

    Our room was now ready so we made our way back along the garden walk to RPR. I explained about the issue with charging and fixed it and issued new room cards. Our room was nice, this was my first stay here since the rooms had been refurbished, I like the look and the room felt big and airy, even more so after been in a stateroom cabin for a week. I unpacked and tried charging my phone and it started charging and fast charging at that, after 4 days it had it finally dried out?


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    After a bit of down time it was time to get ready for HHN, we needed to get to the park in time to get into stay at scream. We left the hotel around 4 and was drinking our first hurricanes in Finns way before 5. This is where we had arranged to meet @JoeCamel and we found him just inside Finns we were soon striking up good conversation and enjoying our drinks. Two hurricanes and a beer in and it was nearly time to open the pens and let us out into the houses.

    I've been to HHN a few times but for Sam it was her first time and she was a little apprehensive. We opted to avoid the crowds and went with poltergeist first, Sam held onto me for dear life all the way. I loved this movie and watched it multiple times growing up so I was really looking forward to this house above the others and it didn't disappoint, the classic meat moving along the counter scene was really well done. A good run through and Sam got a lot of jump scares @JoeCamel did mention rain was missing from the opening scene.

    We were through pretty quick but Stranger Things was already 120mins by the time we passed, so our strategy was to get to the front of the pens at stay and scream tomorrow and hit it first. So next up we did Scary tales, Slaughter Sinema, Carnival Graveyard and Dead Exposure all strong houses and all terrified Sam. We had hit 5 houses in good time but the crowds and the lines were building now so we hung out in the Moes and got a bite to eat and a beer. @JoeCamel was still with us and we enjoyed chatting with him, Joe is a HHN veterean and knew this years event inside out so he was the perfect guide. @bobwadd and Dianne were also coming to HHN so we hung out in Moes until the turned up, so I got another beer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
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  6. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    It wasn't long before Bob and Dianne arrived so we all chewed the fat and drank beers in Moes for a while. @JoeCamel left soon after , it was a pleasure to meet you sir the beers are on me next time. By the time we were done in Moes the lines were crazy mad so we spent most of the night hanging out in the scare zones, riding the rides and we checked out the show. Whilst I liked the Scare zones, we stood and watched Chucky for ages, I was disappointed with the show though and left thinking bring back Bill & Ted.


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    It was now late and we had had another long day, we were seeing Bob and Dianne for HHN again the next day so called it a night. We once again made the short garden walk back and was soon in knocking out the Zs in our super comfy RPR bed.
     
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  7. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Premium Member

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    Mark, love you trip report, you could do this for a living.
    Wonderful meeting you and Sam it was thoroughly enjoyable touring HHN with you and hope to see you all in the future.
     
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  8. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    I would love to be an Orlando travel planner/consultant for a living, not so sure about writing trip reports though :lol:

    We both enjoyed hanging out with you and you betcha that our paths will cross again :thumbsup:
     
  9. Scott W.

    Scott W. Premium Member

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    I think there is definitely a gap in the market for trip resorts based around alcohol. I know we joke about this but I think there’s something there.
     
  10. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Yes. Evidenced by the popularity of the Rum Cruise @Disneyhead went on a couple of years ago. :cheers:
     
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  11. Scott W.

    Scott W. Premium Member

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    You could have a different forum member as a special guest every now and again. Watch the pictures get more and more blurry as the reports go on.
     
  12. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    It's only through documenting it through this trip report that I realised how much I actually drink when I'm on vacation.
     
  13. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    I'll second that. I'm a first hand witness to your drinking atrocities. :lol:...it's like watching a bull charging through a china shop. :chainsaw:....one reason I take close to a case of wine with me when on vacation....to cut costs greatly.
     
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  14. UK-Trigg

    UK-Trigg Veteran Member

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    Day 27 - RPR @ Universal Orlando Resort - HHN Night 2

    I was awake early so had a wander around the resort whilst Sam had a lie in, I took coffees back and as we would be checking out of RPR tomorrow so we decided to give the parks a miss and make the most of the resort. we had a nice chilled out morning at the pool, at one point a plane went over with an Impeach Now sign trailing behind it, I did winder if Bio had gone all political on us.


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    Around lunch time we got a bit of rain which made it the ideal place for lunch, we sat under the canopy at Bula, the pool bar. We ordered lunch, Sam had the nachos, the server suggested a half portion as they were huge, good tip as even the half size was huge I had the Korean beef both were really good and not overly expensive either, first time eating here and we were both impressed. I also remember having a Samual Adams 76, I was getting a taste for this beer.After lunch the sun came back out so we spent another couple hours topping up the tans before heading in to get ready for a second night at HHN.



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    After a nice relaxing day we were ready for some more HHN. We were back in Finns for stay and scream and at the bar ordering, I asked the server for a "Sam Adams 76 and she flat out said "no", "A Sams 76" again "no" I didnt know if she was being smart or rude or bot so the next time I asked "please could I have a Samual Adams 76 beer please"? again I got a "no" but at least this she followed it up with "dont ave it". "It's on the shelf behind you I replied". Anyway we eventually got our drinks and headed straight round to the pens. We were changing tact tonight and hanging out in the pens earlier so we were near the front to get stranger things done and then knock out our remaining four houses. It was a long hot wait but worth it as we made it fairly quickly through ST, although for saying we were right at the front it still took a good 45 mins to get through, they seemed to be letting a yierld of express through so maybe that was it. great house and the lookalikes and sets were bang on point awesome, Eleven at the and was especially good.

    We tried for Halloween 4 but was not open yet so we made our way over to kids zone where both Seeds of Extinction and Trick R Treat only had ten minutes each so we got those in while the going was good. Struggling to remember trick but I did like SofE, fun house and something a little different from what I'd seen before. @bobwadd text to let us know he was at the Alcatraz bar so after Trick we headed over to meet him. He was already on the ice teas, seeing as they were the long island version we decided to join him. The drinks were good here so seeing as the lines were long now we just stay a while so we chewed the fat and enjoyed one or two long islands.

    [​IMG]20180923_182830 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180924_134932 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180924_134915 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180924_134911 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180924_134855 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180924_134849 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    It was getting later into the night and after wandering through the scare zones we found Halloween 4 to be down to 30mins, doable. The line went pretty quick but the house was OK but it wasn't a patch on the original Halloween from a few years back. After this House Bob and Dianne made tracks, but Sam and I stayed on, we still had Blumhouse to do. The lines at the back of the park were still long but I had a theory that after the last show and it got closer to park closing the crowds would head out or towards the houses at the front of the park. So whilst we waited we walked through the scrare zones and grabbed a hot dog from Simpsons, this not only bad it was an absolute rip off, I know theme park food is expensive and I honestly don't mind paying good money for good food but 14 bucks for a $2 weiner, some chips and a coke !!!!

    [​IMG]20180923_221136 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180924_004717 by UK-Trigg, on Flickr

    The show kicked out and we were walking against the crowd so my plan seemed to be working as people were heading past us and to the front of the park. We got to Blumhouse and sure enough the line was down to 20 mins, the actual wait was ten a the most. An OK house but I remember thinking Im glad I didn't wait the 50 mins and had been most of the night. We came out and both Slaughter Sinema and Dead Exposure had dropped to just 5 mins so we got a second run through these houses, like the night before I enjoyed Sinema the most out of these two. The waits for the Marquet houses were well over an hour and it was nearly closing so we decided to call it a night. I enjoyed the event, it had some really strong houses and I didn't dislike any of them, Sam however was terrified of them.

    The line at Red oven wasn't as bad as I thought it might be so we grabbed a Bianca to go, hoped on the boat back to RPR. The pizza was really good and we finished the lot before going to sleep on the last night of our stay at RPR.
     
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  15. Ridgepole

    Ridgepole Member

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    Dang the RP is nice. The Bula has great food and reasonable. The Korean sams are great. The nachos a mountain of gut busting chow.. Hope you enjoyed as it is my fav.
     
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  16. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    I have it booked for May 2019. That will be my third vacation stay there. Not at the level of Portofino for me, but it is very nice. Fab courtyard in the lobby and easy walking distance to the parks are it's strongest points for me. Just like the Polynesian but at 40 % of the Polynesian price.
     
  17. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Premium Member

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    Just a very relaxing place. I am not surprised Mark and Sam took a day to relax there. Only thing to be aware of is Bula has an 18% surcharge so be prepared for that.
     
  18. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    yeah, but that's the case over at Portofino's pool bars also. 18% service charge plus 20% tip sure adds up.
     
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  19. Ridgepole

    Ridgepole Member

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    Hard Rock has that add on as well. But they all let you know. I always tip more anyway and darn it if I seem to get treated like royalty during my stay....go figure.:party: Really like the Orchid Court sushi as well. Again, what a fantastic thread!!
     
  20. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    over 10,000 views so far. That's awesome numbers for an IU Trip report.....and still a week of posts to go.
     
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