Holidays

Orlando 2017 – Day 14 & 15

Day 14 & 15 – Typhoon Lagoon, a last visit to Outback and Disney Springs

Due to travelling home the following day, we decided to have a relaxing day at Typhoon Lagoon for our last full day of the holiday.

As we normally travel to Orlando in October / November, either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach are closed (alternate years) for refurbishment.

Unfortunately, 2017 fell that Blizzard Beach was closed and being the much better of the two parks, we were a little disappointed to be stuck with Typhoon Lagoon.

We hadn’t visited Typhoon Lagoon for over 10 years, but to be honest, not a lot had changed. The waves are really good fun but after visiting all the new attractions at Volcano Bay, we just found all the slides at Typhoon Lagoon really lame in comparison.

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The weather was also quite overcast and I couldn’t help wishing that we had gone to a theme park instead as it was quite cold.

Nevertheless, we made the most of the day. We did all the rides and the boys spent most of the day in the waves.

After going home and doing a bit of packing, the boys had one last dip in the pool before  we headed to our favourite restaurant, Outback. As always, the food was delicious.

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The next morning, after packing up all of our luggage and loading the car, we took a few photographs of our home and car for the two weeks before heading to Disney Springs.

We had a wander around Disney Springs and visited the main Disney Store which was decked out for Christmas before arriving at Raglan Road Irish Pub for our 1pm reservation.

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They have quite an extensive GF menu and both myself and Fin had beer battered cod in a gluten free batter with chips and tomato sauce which was delicious. It was so nice to have a change from the normal burger, steak and ribs options.

After our meal we visited Erin McKenna’s bakery which is just around the corner from Raglan Road.

Everything is gluten free and vegan and the choices were amazing! You can visit their website here.

We bought a few doughnuts and cookies and you would never have known they were gluten free. They were quite expensive but TOTALLY worth it.

Finally, we went to the Disney Photopass Studio and had our final photos added to our card. We only found out about this by chance and whilst they don’t have a huge array of backgrounds, they were a nice touch to finish off the holiday.

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Sadly, it was then time to make our way back to the car and head to the airport.

It was an easy drive and the car drop off to Alamo was really straight forward. We were lucky enough to be chosen for premium security and flew through which was brilliant as the queues for the regular lines were huge.

The flight was on time and uneventful and we all slept on and off all flight after what had been a manic but amazing 15 days.

I can honestly say it was the best holiday of my life and as we touched down at Gatwick, I was absolutely devastated to be home.

Beth

x

 

 

 

Holidays

Orlando 2017 – Day 13

Day 13 – Hollywood Studios
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We had an early start this morning as the boys wanted to do the Jedi training. We got to the car park at 8.55am, gave all the bags to my mother and Andrew and me and the boys bolted to the queue.

It was already huge by the time we got there and we were told there was a 45 minute wait and it was quite likely that we wouldn’t get a place and would be on standby.

The boys wanted to wait anyway but Fin’s bloods were super high which means he needed to go to the toilet every 5 minutes so we explained to the cast member and asked if he could wait with Andrew outside of the queue and then join us at the front once we got there.

He opened the ropes and took us straight to the front of the queue. It was so kind of him and I’m not sure we would have got on otherwise despite being there before park opened. He said people start queuing outside the gates at 8am to get a place.

We were booked on to the 3:10pm session and then had some photographs by the harbour with the Christmas Tree.

We then made our way to our first FP for Tower of Terror. I love this ride and the boys rode it for the first time and loved it too.

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After this we headed to the 11am showing of Beauty and the Beast. The boys weren’t amused but I insisted!

Next we did Rock n Roller Coaster. I love rollercoasters but I hate this ride. It really bashes your head around and even though it’s good fun, I could never ride it more than once.

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We then watched the Storm Trooper parade and headed for lunch at Backlot Express where me and Fin both had the gluten free chicken tenders and fries.

Next we went to the Indiana Stunt show but it was standing room only so we headed to Star Wars instead and watched the 15 minute film there and then met BB8, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren.

Had to be back for the Jedi training at 2.40pm and the boys got their robes and then marched over to the Temple Stage where they took on Kylo Ren and Darth Vader. It was really good to watch and the Memory Maker photographers took over 500 pictures which they saved to a photo pass card and gave to us for free.

After this we went to Toy Story Mania for our 2nd FP and then had pictures with Chewbacca followed by the Indiana Jones Stunt Show which the boys loved.

We then did our 3rd FP on the Star Wars ride and then I managed to book a 4th FP for Fantasmic.

We walked up to Rosie’s American Diner for tea and watched the new Christmas projection on to the Hollywood Tower of Terror, followed by one more ride in Tower of Terror before heading for our fastpass for Fantasmic.

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Despite the FP there was hardly any seats left, but we managed to get some on the side plenty of time before the show started.

I love Fantasmic, it is my favourite end of day show from any of the parks and it didn’t disappoint as always.

It was a bit mad trying to get out and then for the first time ever we lost our car. Wandered around the lot for ages before finally finding it 15 minutes later!

We were worried that there wasnt enough at Hollywood Studios to fill a full day but we hardly had a minute spare.

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The park looked gorgeous all dressed for Christmas and they even played Christmas songs all day and had fake snow falling as we left.

All in all, it was an enjoyable but tiring day!

Typhoon Lagoon tomorrow for our last day!

Beth xx

Holidays

Orlando 2017 – Day 11

Day 11 – Volcano Bay

We packed up as soon as we woke at 7.30, put all the luggage in the car and headed to the diner again for breakfast. Me and Fin both had bacon, sausage and breakfast potatoes. He also had scrambled eggs with his.

After this we headed to Volcano Bay as guests have early access from 8.30 am before the park opens to the general public. You have to catch a shuttle bus in from the main Universal car park if you are not on site.

I had read before we left that as it was newly opened, some people were arriving at 6.30am to start queuing and some were still being turned away as the park was at capacity.

From our hotel, it was a 2 minute walk into the park and we were there with sunbeds right in front of the volcano by 9.15am.

The park operates a Tapu Tapu system where you are issued with a wrist band upon entering the park. Then, if there are queues for a ride, you tap your band against the sensor and it puts you in a virtual queue and vibrates when it’s your turn to ride.

We decided to try and do all the rides beforethe official park opening of 10am to give us the best chance of walking straight on. We managed to do them all apart from the main drop slides in the actual volcano by 10.40am and didn’t have to queue for anything.

The Aqua Coaster which attracts the biggest queue was ‘Ride Now’ and we went around twice as there was no one waiting.

After we had done most of the rides we sunbathed for a bit while the boys played in in the waves which occur every 20 minutes and then went on the wild river which was good fun but the currents were really strong.

Lunch was carnage. You had to queue in a 4 deep line only to then be directed to a specific window depending on what you wanted to order and then queue again to actually order then wait for your food and queue again to pay! It was a totally ridiculous situation and took me 40 minutes from starting to queue until paying, by which time I had lost the will to live.

Then, as I was walking to the table with the 2 GF meals and 3 drinks, a boy walked backwards into my tray and knocked 2 of the drinks all over the floor. He was mortified and kept apologising. Told him it was fine even though I wanted to kill him but at that point was just relived that none of the drinks had tipped onto the food and just made do with the drinks we had left between us.

After lunch, I built up the courage to do the drop slides. I hate them but have this weird thing where I don’t want the kids to think Andrew is more fun than me so make myself do everything that he does!

I did the blue one first. You stand in a capsule, then the floor disappears and you shoot down and then corkscrew in twists and turns until the bottom. It was horrific and water shot into my ears making me partially deaf! Finally, I braved the red one which is pretty much a vertical drop into a horizontal tube. It looks worse than the others but in actual fact it was nowhere near as bad.

The worst part of both rides was the 200+ steps you had to climb to the top! I needed oxygen by the time I got there!

We left around 5.30pm even though the park doesn’t close until 7pm as we had a reservation at Bahama Breeze and wanted to pick up some presents on the way back.

We headed to Bahama Breeze by 8.30pm and was a bit disappointed with the place. There was no real atmosphere there and they had very little GF options meaning me and Fin both had sirloin and mash (which was lumpy) and even though I asked for the steaks to be Medium / Well they were quite bloody and chewy. My mojito was also probably one of the worst I have ever had.

Cian had chicken wings with fries, my mother had goat curry and Andrew had Seafood Paella. They all loved their food so think we were just unlucky. Fin ate half of his then laid out a napkin on the table and promptly fell asleep!

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Water parks seem to wipe him out!

We paid the bill, headed home and went straight to bed as we were all exhausted from a busy few days.

Beth

Xx