Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 11 – WossaMotta Me? WossaMotta U

Day 3 – 11/6/2014

I visited Universal solely to check out the Harry Potter lands, so at this point everything else was just a bonus. We strolled the Jurassic Park section before coming to Toon Lagoon. I’m old enough to remember most of these comic strips, but I imagine younger people don’t get most of the references there. I mean who still knows about Dudley Do-Right? I really liked that nostalgia factor of Toon Lagoon.
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– admit it, by now you’ve got the theme song playing in your head

DSC04642 – Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
DSC04644 – nuthin’, WossaMotta U?
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I’ve been a long time comic fan so I was interested in the Marvel Superheroes section of IoA. The only thing I planned to ride was Spider-Man though. Once again Moms found a seat and I got on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man which had something like a 5 minute wait. My verdict? I really liked it.
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I do not understand what they were trying to do with the theming of that area. It mainly consists of giant cutouts of Marvel characters stuck on the walls. The stores just say things like “shop” and “dine”. It just seems like a complete lack of effort. We were both getting a little tired and started to make our way out. We checked out some of the shops along the way but didn’t purchase anything.
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I really wanted to check out the Transformers ride before we left. Moms didn’t feel like walking all the way back to Universal, so she found a spot to sit and wait in Citywalk. Turns out they were filming episodes of The Steve Harvey show in Citywalk so that was entertaining.

My feet were killing me at this point so I was just willing myself to do this one last thing. On my way I passed by the I Love Lucy Tribute. For the younger readers, back in the old days, the early 90’s. We didn’t have all these internet videos and Netflixes. Summer meant being able to stay up late and watch TV. Back then the only options really were Nick-At-Nite or infomercials. Those Nick-At-Nite shows became as much a part of my childhood as Disney afternoon cartoons. Basically I’m saying I Love Lucy was the GOAT TV show so I had no choice but to step in the Tribute. As a fan of the show, it was great seeing the props and set diagrams.
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Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 10 – I Passed my O.W.L.s at Hogwarts

Day 3 – 11/6/2014

We got off the Hogwarts Express and headed into Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade is really well executed, but nowhere near as impressive as Diagon Alley. The walkways seem smaller and make the whole place feel more crowded. While DA has more diverse areas and colors, Hogsmeade seemed one note to me. It’s faithful to what it should be, but it just doesn’t wow you when you first enter the same way that DA does. Moms found a place to sit and kept my bags while I went on Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey.
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DSC04576_HDR – Hogwarts!

I may not have been blown away by Hosgmeade so far, but going through the Forbidden Journey queue had me completely geeked out. It is Hogwarts. You go through Herbology and Dumbledore’s Office, and you’re really there. There is so much to see there I could almost be okay with longer waits for that ride.
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I really had no idea what I was in for with this ride. As I got on the ride and the shoulder restraints came down and my feet were dangling down I was starting to get a little concerned as to what I just got myself into. That proved to be baseless though. That ride is so much fun! Universal loves their screens and this was definitely my favorite implementation.
– in the gift shop

I took a ton of photos on the way back to Moms
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DSC04605 – helpful signs to keep you from getting lost
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I found Moms waiting spot and she said she had seen lots of people with “some drink” and asked if I knew what it was. Oh, I knew. Luckily she had been waiting right outside Hog’s Head Pub so I didn’t have to go far. I really enjoyed it. I ordered the regular version and it was nice and refreshing on what was kind of a warm day.
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DSC04616 – yes I bought the souvenir cup (and yes I still use it at home)

I’m not big on roller coasters so I wasn’t much interested in the other rides in the area. We stopped for one more spell casting before checking out what the rest of the park had to offer.
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DSC04632_HDR – goodbye for now Hogwarts

Random Photo for 06/28/2015

SWCA-14

Today’s photo was taken at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim this year.  On display was this huge AT-AT model and throughout the show you could usually find cosplayers around to get some photos.  Near the end of the first day this area wasn’t crowded and I got this photo of a Snowtrooper with minimal crowds.

Sony NEX-5N w/SEL35mm, 1/60, f/2.5, ISO 160

Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 9 – Yer a Wizard Michael

Day 3 – 11/6/2014

While waiting for me Moms noticed all the kids playing with the interactive wands, so when I got off the ride we had to pay a visit to Ollivander’s Wand Shop. I purchased a wand that most closely matched the one I had been given on Pottermore, because I’m nerdy like that. Moms got caught up in the game herself and while she didn’t buy an interactive wand, she did buy one with a light-up tip. As of now I have been unsuccessful to get her to say “lumos” when she waves it around. Wands freshly purchased, I had no choice but to go try it out.
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Having successfully used magic to make it rain and turn some lights on, we ended up walking into the Weasley’s Joke shop. We didn’t buy anything, but Moms really loved that store. With that we said goodbye to Diagon Alley, because we had a train to catch.
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– one more spell before our train

Back on the streets of London we headed to King’s Cross Station. Where we caught the Hogwarts Express.
– the Knight Bus
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We took the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure, Hogsmeade. The Hogwarts Express is a great way for park-to-park transportation. It keeps you immersed in the worlds and does a nice job of giving you some entertainment rather than just sitting there. Next time I’ll have to ride it both ways.

Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 8 – Jaws Will Be Dropped

Day 3 – 11/6/2014

With our bellies full we headed to the main point of interest. Diagon Alley. Along the way we passed through the streets of San Francisco before getting to London. If only actual trips to London were that quick and easy.
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DSC04463 – all that money they spent and they couldn’t even finish building this wall, and people complain about Disney
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Diagon Alley is seriously impressive. From the moment you walk in you are stunned by the incredible level of detail. Moms is not a Harry Potter fan, and she said this beats anything Disney’s done. I don’t know that I can disagree. Once you throw in the interactive wand areas, it’s easy to get lost looking at everything. After that amazing first impression, we made our way to Knockturn Alley, where we perused through Borgin & Burkes briefly.
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Our dabbling into the darker aspects of magic satisfied we made our way out of Knockturn Alley and headed to the bank. I was hoping to speak to a goblin about diversifying my bonds. The wait was about 45 minutes, so I got in line while Moms waited for me.

I waited in line for quite a while and right before the pre-show area the employee told me I couldn’t take my backpack or camera bag on the ride. Umm, how come they didn’t tell me when I entered? How come I just spend 40 minutes waiting before finding this information out? He told me to leave & just return through the single rider line to that point. In case you’re wondering why I hadn’t just used the single rider line at first, I like to take the normal queue the first time to see everything. I went back out, gave Moms my stuff, and went back in. The ride itself was very good, I just didn’t immediately feel like I needed to jump in line and ride it again like I have with some other rides.

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Moms kept herself busy while waiting for me on the ride

– big ups to Moms for this amazing shot, seriously jealous of what she was able to capture

Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 7 – Today We Visit the Competition

Day 3 – 11/6/2015

I am a Harry Potter fan and had been regretting not visiting Hogsmeade on our previous WDW trip. With the opening of Diagon Alley I couldn’t resist anymore. I had bought us each a 1-day park-hopper (or whatever Universal calls it), but no express pass. We put the address in the GPS and made our way across the Florida wilderness to this strange & mysterious land.

We opted for the Express Parking and after parking we hopped on the first moving sidewalk. Took another moving sidewalk to the bag check area, before taking two more to get to Citywalk. I’m glad we didn’t have to walk all that way, because I would’ve been exhausted already. We made our way through Citywalk and entered Universal Studios Orlando.
– passed this minigolf course on one of the moving sidewalks

DSC04424 – like far-out man!

Our first stop of the day – Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem! We both love the Minions and this was high on the list of rides to try. The wait was about 40 minutes, so not too bad. I didn’t do much research on the rides of USO, because I wanted to stay spoiler-free. We don’t really do roller coasters & I knew a lot of their stuff was screen based, but I didn’t know much beyond that. Now Moms doesn’t handle simulator rides that well. I don’t know why I thought she could handle it. I saw the stationary seats and I don’t know why I didn’t tell her to move down there. I felt really bad because I know she loves Minions, but she had her eyes closed the entire time. It’s in a similar vein to Star Tours and I really liked it. I wish we could’ve ridden it again so Moms could sit stationary and enjoy the film. Maybe next time.

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Not having had breakfast, it was definitely time to get some grub. The nearest place was the Monster’s Café. The restaurant is themed to the Universal Monsters, like Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. It has this mad scientist vibe going on which was pretty cool.
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We both ordered the half-chicken with potatoes and some green stuff that I hear San Francisco is using to ruin pizzas with. We were hungry, so we pretty much scarfed it down, but the chicken was not that great. I liked the potatoes, but didn’t touch the green stuff.
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Up next, we were wowed!