1. Welcome to the Inside Universal Forums! Make sure to sign up and join the community! It's fast, free, and easy! DO IT!

Sail with the Tide - Trip Report 9/8 - 9/15

Discussion in 'Trip Reports, Planning, & Questions' started by SailwiththeTide, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. SailwiththeTide

    SailwiththeTide Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    TL/DR went to Disney/Universal had a great time thanks for watching!!

    First trip to Orlando in a long time. Have only been to Epcot in the past so this trip was all about hitting as much as I could in a week. Plan was to do 4 1/2 at Disney and 3 days at Universal. Stayed on property at both parks. Wilderness Lodge for Disney and Royal Pacific at Universal. Here is how it went:

    9/7 LAX to MCO - Wilderness Lodge
    Flight was fine landed at 4:30ish. Skipped magical express and took Uber to the Wilderness Lodge. The resort was very nice and the property was beautiful. The rooms were just ok but we did not spend much time in the room so it didn't matter much. I didn't really eat or use many of the amenities at the resort. I liked the ease of check- in and the staff were friendly. overall a good experience and the deluxe benefit is really about convince to magic kingdom. Didn't have plans for any parks in the evening so we took the bus to Disney Springs to eat and do some shopping. Ended up at Maria and Enzo's for Dinner. Good food and great service. One of many good meals on Disney properties. Went back to the room to catch the fireworks from Magic kingdom. Our balcony had a great view of the castle and fireworks.

    9/8 Epcot

    The only park that didn't have any EMH. I planned each day based on maximizing EMH but not having it at Epcot was not a big deal. With so few rides and the Fast Passes I already had I knew we can get everything done. 9/8 was the day a majority of the closures of future wold areas that are going to be redone. I am not very familiar with Epcot and did very little research aside from getting fast passes. I went once before on a business trip and rode most of the rides and drank around the world. This trip was no different. I wanted to get in Test Track as I missed it last time, so I rope dropped it and was able to ride it a few times with 15 min waits. I had a fast pass for Frozen which was a nice ride but I would never wait more than an hour for it. Did Mission Space on both sides. I was worried Orange would be too intense for my fiancee but she was game to try it and had no issues. I liked Orange and thought it was a fun ride but not anything to write home about. We actually did green after Orange and I like it just as much even thought it wasn't very intense.

    We did a few other rides and had a nice lunch in the Mexico pavilion at San Angel restaurant. The food and service were really good. Rode Gran Fiesta tour while we waited for a table. Great way to beat the heat and relax with some margaritas. It was pretty hot so we decided to heat back to the Hotel for a break.

    Sidebar: Disney Buses

    We took the bus a lot but we also waited 20 - 30 min each time. In the morning we tired to hit the first bus so it wasn't bad but afternoon buses were hit or miss. I used Uber on occasion where we just want to get back to the hotel. Not a bad system but the app and time boards are useless. Most of the time the bus times were never listed. A nice serves for sure but I would like it to be more consistent. Also it would be nice to give a higher priority to Deluxe resorts.

    Back to Epcot:

    We went back to Epcot in the evening. This time we tried the Boat to Magic Kingdom, the monorail to TTC and transfer the monorail to Epcot. Not a efficient way to get to epcot but we wanted to get on the monorail this trip.

    To finish out the day we rode soaring which is no big deal since I ride it almost weekly here in LA and watched the Illuminations show. I enjoyed the show and it was pretty easy to find a spot to view it. The best part of the day was strolling around world showcase after the park had closed and enjoying the views with no people in the park.

    Overall a great day. A fun park but certainly not my favorite in Orlando. Hopefully the upgrades will make it better and I am looking forward to Visiting in the future.

    9/9 Animal Kingdom - Rope drop is no Joke!

    I was really looking forward to this park. We had EMH and Rope drop so I really thought I would get in a few rides on FOP. Rope drop is no joke. People running and I was surprised how many people were there on a September weekday. Anyway the CM's handle it very well and we waited about 20 Min to get on the ride. I had a fast pass for later in the afternoon so we decided to go to Navi next. It was a 5 min wait and to be honest it was a nice ride but not something I would wait more than 20 min for.

    Pandora is a beautiful land an very photogenic. I love the lushness of the land and though this is what Star Wars is missing is trees. I do think with only 2 rides there is not much to do so we moved on to Everest. Everest was a walk on all morning so I rode it about 10 times. I really like this roller coaster and the backwards section was way more forceful than I thought it would be. Overall one of my favorite rides at WDW.
    We moved on to Dinoland USA. Dinosaur was a good ride but I prefer Indiana Joes. I know they are different ride but have the same ride system so it is hard not to compare. Did't really need to ride it multiple times.

    We did the Safari and walked around the land for a while. Saw the Lion king show and then had lunch at Tiffins. A really great restaurant and one of my favorite meals on property. Service was excellent and they had some really good cocktails.

    Animal Kingdom was my favorite Disney park. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the rides. Certainly they could use a few more rides but what a great experience.

    9/10 Hollywood Studios 6 - 9 AM EMH

    Took advantage of the EMH and arrived at 6:00 am. We skipped Galaxy's edge until later in the day because well I have been to the one in DL 10 times and it is the same land. I wanted to use the 3 hours to hit the other rides while everyone was at GE.

    Went to Slinky Dog first and we waited about 15 min for 2 rides. I was one of my favorite rides in Orlando and surprised me how much I liked the family coaster. A fun ride for sure. We then went to Tower of Terror which was a walk on. I like the way they load and unload but the ride is not as fun as Guardians.

    Sidebar: Sorry Tot FaNbOYs

    People make is seem like TOT is the best ride ever made. Sure the hotel theme and story is interesting but honestly the Twilight Zone is old an needs a refresh. The ride system is not as good as Guardians. It seemed short once you got into the drop sequence and seemed like it was the same each time. Guardians is fun with the music and the fact it is always a different ride. so TOT was OK but not as advertised.

    Rode it about 5 times since it was slow and then we moved on to Rock N Roller Coaster. Pretty much a walk on. It is a fun ride but way too rough. I did it twice and was done. Maybe it needs some TLC or re-tracking. or they should replace it with a better roller coaster.

    We took a bunch of pictures which I think is great they have so many photo pass photographers everywhere at the parks. I think we have 10 different pictures in front of TOT.

    Since there is not a lot of rides we just walked around and finished the morning with Star tours. Most of the shows didn't start until later in the day so we decided to go back to the room to rest and come back for our reservation at Oga's.

    I love Galaxy's Edge and enjoyed Batuu East. Oga's had a different vibe than Disneyland. the CM seemed to be more hyped and having fun. Maybe it is new so the energy is there but I could certainly tell it was a funner atmosphere. Once we were properly inebriated we went to go fly the falcon. This is a tradition for us. Have drinks and then go Crash the falcon. The wait was listed at 50 min but really more like 40. We got pilot and actually did pretty good. Always have fun on the ride no matter what position.

    We walked around GE for awhile noting the slight differences in the land from DL and then headed out to watch some shows and have dinner at Mama Melrose's Italian. Dinner was good and the service was excellent. They have a limoncello Margarita that is very good. We had the fantastic dinner package but had time to kill so we saw all the shows we could see in 3 hours. We saw beauty and the beast, Indiana Jones, Frozen and the little mermaid. All were really good. I really liked the Indian Jones. We got good seats for fantasmic which I liked a lot. I think Disney has a better show, but I really like the venue. The fact you can sit it great.

    We ended the night with TOT and Slinky rides.

    Overall a great park. It reminded me of DCA a lot. They could do with more rides but I liked all the shows.

    9/11 Magic Kingdom 7 - 8 am EMH and 10PM - 12AM EMH

    Wilderness lodge is a great location for MK. A nice boat ride and you are in the Magic. We rope dropped to 7 Dwarfs and go 2 rides in 30 min. I had a fast pass for later in the day but this was the 1 ride I was really looking forward to. We were able to do a lot in the morning with minimal waits. Small world is not as good as Disneyland and thunder mountain needs some work. it was pretty rough compared to it's DL counterpart. I loved the country bear jamboree and sad it is gone from DL. We had a character breakfast a crystal palace which was good. I like the scale of magic kingdom vs DL everything is more spread out and bigger it seems. I really liked that they had photo pass photographers everywhere. People mover was a hit and we did it several times during the day. Another missed attraction from DL. We had a Fast pass for Space mountain and was underwhelmed by the MK version. again needs work, seemed rough compared to DL. DL is my home park and I go there every week so I may be biased but we were going to spend 2 days at MK but 1 was good enough. Had fun and was a great day especially with the bookended EMH but it was so close to DL we decided to check out Animal kingdom for a second visit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  2. SailwiththeTide

    SailwiththeTide Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Adding as I go. Still a lot to post.
     
    JoeCamel likes this.
  3. SailwiththeTide

    SailwiththeTide Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    9/12 Animal Kingdom and the move to Universal EMH 7 - 8 AM

    I planned 1 day at each park without park hopper so that we can not have to worry about moving around too much. The 5th day was suppose to be at Margic Kingdom. Had Mine train, Thunder mountain and Space Mountain fast passed for the day but we decided that MK was great we wanted to see a park we don't have in LA. We both really enjoyed AK so we decided to change the fast passes and rope drop flight of passage. I was able to get safari, everest and river journey fast passes the night before just no flight of passage (wasn't expecting it at this late in the game). Rope drop seemed about the same as earlier in the week and we were able to get on 2 times within 30 min. We really enjoyed the park and it wasn't too busy so I was able to marathon everest 10 times. We had a great day and had lunch at Tiffins again. We left the park at about 2:00 PM to go back to Wilderness Lodge and move to Universal for 3 days.

    Royal Pacific

    We ubered to the hotel and was greeted by friendly staff. Once checked in I had to pick up my Universal 5 day ticket. Really a great deal buy 2 get 3 free. The hotel is really nice. We didn't do much at the resort as we had a packed universal schedule but it was a great stay.

    Sofies Choice - HHN or Hagrids?

    The original plan was to go to HHN on Thursday night. but after 5 days of non-stop disney my fiancee needed a break. I really wanted to do HHN but also knew that Hagrids was my white whale and opportunities to ride would be elusive. So I checked the app around 6:30 and hatreds was open with 120 min wait. I thought we can get in line and would probably get on by close. Boat ride to Universal is great and made the stay at RP a great option. 7:20 we go to hogsmead and heard the last call before closing the line. Jumped in line and it moved until we go to the inside part of the queue and then it slowed to molasses. about 20 min in we heard there was a technical delay. At this point I was going to wait it out and worse case I would get a ruby pass if they dumped the queue. about 40 min later the ride was back up but then it went down again for a weather delay. Cursed universal for building this ride in Florida when in California the could run all day without any weather delays (of course it is an Intamin) - checking the radar on my phone the storm had passed and no other bands in sight. it took a while but it finally opened. The line moved slowly for about 30 min and we finally got on the ride. they were running 4 trains so the loading was slow and it took forever to actually get to the ride launch. Great ride fun and worth the 2 hour wait. I would not wait any longer for it but a good ride. got off at 9;30ish and went to city walk to get some food. We were both starving so we decided to hit Red Oven pizza as it seemed like the quickest option. Not bad for what you get and we enjoyed the pizza and salad. A great day for sure. Hagrid unicorn ride was a top but we were both tired and went to relax at the hotel.

    9/13 USF + Islands Early Entry USF 7:00 - 8:00 am
     
    Mad Dog likes this.

Share This Page