Florida Memories 2 #ThrowBackThursday

ISLANDS OF

ADVENTURE

 

Following on from last weeks post here is a quick throwback to our time at Universal Studios – Islands of Adventure.

Personally I enjoyed the Islands of Adventure more than the Universal Studios. This may just have been due to the amount of Marvel Characters that were wandering around. My daughters favourite Marvel Character is Captain America and she really enjoyed meeting him.

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However, instead of meeting Superheros I was more interested in meeting a dinosaur. At Islands of Adventure in the Jurassic Park area there is an opportunity to meet a Velociraptor. I queued up twice to do this. The first time we queued for about 5 minutes and they got notification there was going to be a storm. The Velociraptors are not allowed out when there is a storm. However, the second time was more successful.

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It was a very strange experience. My daughter refused to meet the Raptor so it was just me.

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As well as the Raptor experience there is also a Jurassic Park River Boat ride, be warned you do get very wet. There is also the Jurassic Park Discovery Centre as well as a Jeep and Dinosaur decorations for photo opportunities.

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We also got to go on Kong: Skull Island which was quite new. I think it was opened a month before we went. Like most of the rides around Universal Studios it was a 3D experience but the queue was fun. If you haven’t been on the ride be careful of the holes in the walls, there is a surprise in them.

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One of the biggest rides there is Incredible Hulk Coaster, though we never rode on it, we both chickened out.

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View of Hulk Coaster from Mythos Restaurant 

As well as the rides it is worth mentioning Mythos Restaurant. We decided we were going to try it as loads of people were on about how popular it was. We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table maybe, not too long. Though most people make a reservation. The services was great and we had a wonderful times

What I enjoyed most was the attention to detail around the Island. There are lots of nice surprises you just have to look carefully to see them

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Mythos 

I hope you enjoyed my quick tour of Islands of Adventure, there is a lot more to see and do than I have mentioned. These were just my highlights.

Florida Memories #ThrowBackThursday

Ever since I was old enough to be aware of the wonder that was Orlando in Florida, I made it my mission to get there one day. Last year I fulfilled that dream.  So, here is a quick memory from last year.

Myself and my daughter spent 22 days in Orlando spending the majority of the time at Walt Disney World however a year ago today we left our Disney bubble and spent 7 days at Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Studio’s.

This is the photo of part of the resort I took with our first hour of being there, I think. It was such a lovely hotel. It had only opened a few weeks before our stay there so everything felt fresh and new.

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We were given our room passes which we kept on lanyards around our neck. I went for a Jurassic Park themed lanyard and my daughters was Captain America.

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This was our room. It was so comfortable.

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After a couple of hours of exploring the hotel and sorting out our stuff we caught the boat to City Walk.

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Our holiday in Orlando was wonderful. It was definitely made up of the stuff dreams are made of. However this is supposed to be a brief Throwback Thursday Memory that I wanted to share with you.  Don’t worry though I have plenty more things to share with you at some point in the future.

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Try The Grey Stuff

B E   O U R   G U E S T

 

One of the first places we went to during our visit to Walt Disney World was the Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. The only reason I wanted to go here was to meet Beast from Beauty and the Beast, however the whole experience was really enjoyable.

Even though we had made a reservation we still had a little wait before our table became available. When your table is ready they come out and greet you and you get to hold a candle stick as you make your way to the table. We were both thrilled when we discovered our table was in the Ballroom, not that we would have minded the West Wing, but the Ballroom was where we wanted to be.

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The napkins on the table were shaped like a rose which was a nice touch. If there was one thing I noticed about our whole stay at Walt Disney World is that they are great at the finishing touches and tiny details.

Our server was very friendly and very helpful. The food took hardly any time to arrive and the portions were a good size. We were so full but we both wanted the desert because on the desert trolley they had the “Grey Stuff”… and it was delicious.

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The Grey Stuff

At the end of our meal we were encouraged to explore the castle. We visited the West Wing, where the slashed portrait of Prince Adam is hung. We watched the enchanted rose drop a petal. Then we made our way to where the Master of the House (as he is referred too) greets his guests. During our meal we watched the Master enter and leave the Ballroom several times. On a couple of occasions their were little girls dressed up as Belle and Beast would dance with them.

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Our wait to meet Beast was not very long. Beast was our first character meeting so we were a little unsure of what to do, however the cast members were very helpful.

It was a really wonderful experience and I would recommend for every one who is visiting Walt Disney World to have a meal here.

To Disney World & Beyond

This is a true account of my awful journey on National Express and the wonderful Virgin Atlantic staff.
Sorry it is a bit wordy…

This is the first in a series of posts I am planning for every Thursday. From now until the end of the year, I will be sharing my thoughts on our holiday to Orlando.

Orlando was my daughter (16) and myself’s first holiday on our own, our first long haul flight and our first 21 day holiday.

To The Airport (My Rant)

Our journey to Gatwick was a complete disaster. If it had all gone to plan we would have arrived at Gatwick with about 2.5 hours to spare, having a little time to relax before catching our flight.  National Express however had over plans. national_express-bus

Dark clouds hung low in the sky, as we awaited the arrival of National Express. It was 4 am and the sun wasn’t even thinking of raising its head. When the bus finally ar
rived, already late, it was already busy. Myself and my daughter could not find seats together but that didn’t matter, we were about to spend 21 days with each other.

The driver of the bus had a bad attitude to start with. At the next stop he decided he wanted a coffee and fag break, he had only just taken over and the stop was literally 15 minutes from where we began. All of us on the bus watched him bleary eyed, silently willing him to get back on the bus and start carry on the journey.

Unfortunately our driver was not the only delay on our journey. We got stuck in a traffic jam for a over 90 mins, due to an RTA, where someone sadly lost their life. Our driver though insisted that he was going to sit in the lane that was closed for what seemed to be a life time instead of trying to move over into another lane that was actually moving. It was so frustrating.

When we got to Heathrow (the stop before ours), they decided that we were going to change buses. Not just once, but twice. That required moving not just a bus full of people but also their luggage, TWICE.  Due to this we missed our flight. We arrived just in time at Gatwick to see our plane take off. I can not even begin to describe how devastated we both were.

The Flight

Our fligvirgin_atlantichts were booked with Virgin Atlantic and the lady on the desk was wonderful. I cannot remember her name but she was fantastic. I owe so much to her – hats off to the that lady. She got us seats on the next flight, a fast pass through security and she also wavered the cost for my daughter.

We were on our way to Orlando. The flight was smooth. We had a whole row of seats to ourselves, the cabin crew were lovely and so were the other passengers. I watched Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Zootropolis and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It was all good. Until we landed in Orlando. First we had to wait 30 minutes on the plane before we could depart due to amount of planes that had arrived and then we had to queue for two hours in immigration.

By the time we arrived at our hotel in Walt Disney World to check in, I had been awake for over 24 hours and I was making no sense to anyone. Thank fully my daughter was there and she was a little more awake. Looking back I feel really sorry for the guy who was at the desk. I never saw him again else I would have thanked him. Then we found our room and crashed…

In Review

I am sorry this is a bit of a rant but I wanted to share the experience of our journey with you. If you are planning on going to Orlando in peak season, apparently two hours in the Immigration Queue is quite good. I have had people tell me that they waited 6 or 8 hours in the queue. One person told me, that while she was waiting, the people around her began to throw up. Nice!  

I’m also sorry for the lack of photo’s but i forgot to take any.. I was stressed and tired

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National Express – In this post I have given you the edited highlights of the journey there were a few other things that happened too. I didn’t want to witter on too long…  After sending them a couple of letters complaining about the journey and their decision to take the bus off, they refunded me half of my ticket money. All I wanted was an apology so that was nice of them. However, I am in no hurry to catch a National Express coach again.

NEXT WEEK – WALT DISNEY WORLD (more of a fun post… with photos!!!)