New House, New Disney Trip TR - COMPLETE 5/13!!
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Cast Of ...
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I am going to write this trip report and try really hard to finish it, so here goes…
Cast Of Characters:
Me (Chrissy)-34, Mom to 2 great kids and labor and delivery nurse at the tiny hospital in the town next to ours
Richard, my DH-37, Carpenter and all around great guy, wonderful dad. Had his birthday while on vacation
Ethan-11-my DS, wise-cracker and sometimes too-smart kid
Natalie-9- my DD, sweet and kind but incredibly emotional 4th grader
A pic of us:
Day One- 3/1/12
We woke up to a snowy day at home, so my husband stayed home from work, as he is a carpenter and all his work was outside. The kids ended up having a snow day as well. Wednesday night we had decided to stay at a hotel in Revere, MA, just outside of Boston-Logan, on this night, because we knew we were supposed to get snow Thursday night and didn’t want to worry about getting to the airport in time. I made reservations at a Comfort Inn in Revere that had a park/sleep/fly option with a 24 hour airport shuttle. We had never done this before, but thought we’d give it a try. It was a hair under $200 for the night, which I thought wasn’t too bad considering that we could park the whole time we were gone as well.
We ended up getting the house cleaned fairly quickly, let the housesitter know that we were leaving early and said goodbye to the dogs. We drove through a fair bit of the snow storm, stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch in Portland, Where Natalie made her first purchase, a new stuffie (she couldn’t even wait until she was out of the state!)
We got to Comfort Inn around 3 in the afternoon and settled into our room, which was nice.
Even better was the Margarita’s restaurant on the first floor of the hotel! We ate dinner fairly early and headed upstairs to bed, as we had a 3 am wake up call!
Great start! I just found and read your PTR-- missed it somehow-- and love that you managed to keep the surprise until Christmas. Must have been great to finally be able to talk about and anticipate the trip all together.
I lived in Camden for 15 years and still miss Maine, although it's much easier to get to WDW (or anyplace else for that matter) living closer to Logan.
Day 2- 3/2/12
Happy Birthday Richard!
Our day started at 3 am, with us getting dressed and figuring out what we needed to switch over to the suitcases that were going with us. (I had packed a duffel with essentials for our one overnight in Revere that I was leaving in the car until we got back.)
We took the 4 am shuttle to the airport, checked our bags, headed through security fairly quickly and settled in to wait. We grabbed some breakfast and ate while we waited to board. The flight was great and we had fun with JetBlue’s in-flight entertainment. It made the time fly watching our regular morning shows on the TVs in front of us.
Natalie and her new stuffie!
I had booked Quicksilver to get us to the DoubleTree Universal, so when we got to baggage claim, there was Marcelo with a sign with our name on it. The kids thought that was pretty cool! They actually picked us up in an Escalade, which was very nice. It was warm and sunny when we got there, and we all couldn’t wait to get to the hotel and change out of our winter stuff.
We got to the DoubleTree around 10, and amazingly enough, we already had a room ready. We had figured we would need a nap at this point, but since we stayed in Revere the night before, we had gotten more sleep than originally planned. I could still have taken a nap, but Richard and the kids wanted to go! We only had 1 day tickets to US/IOA, so we couldn’t head to a park, but figured we would head over to CityWalk and check it out.
Rich and the kids at the entrance to CityWalk
We walked over, which was a pleasant 15 minute walk, and headed into Citywalk. We walked around for quite a while getting our bearings and checking out the shops. Natalie made her second purchase- a stuffed minion from Despicable Me that she named Dave. The kids started to get hungry around 11:30, but I was far from hungry. In fact, I was starting to feel anything BUT hungry. Not to mention the girl I had worked with 4 nights before leaving left sick with the flu. I started to worry that I was getting it too and that we would all have it before the vacation was over.
Thankfully, it lasted just a short while, and after getting into some air-conditioning and putting something in my tummy, I was much better. I think it was a combo of heat, exhaustion, and hunger all rolled into one.
After lunch we decided to try out the new Hollywood Drive-In mini golf at Citywalk. It was newly opened, so I figured it would be mobbed, but apparently it wasn’t that busy, and I also think people didn’t realize it was open because people were still working on it. We got a 20% discount, since work was still being done. It still was a bit pricey for mini-golf, but hey, we were on vacation, everything’s expensive, right? I think some of the special effect type stuff wasn’t completely working, but since we had gotten a discount it was OK. We played the “Invaders from Planet Putt” side, which was cute.
We had a blast, and Natalie got two completely off-the-wall holes in one. The rest of us looked at each other with a “How did that happen?” look. She, of course, was absolutely delighted and sure that it was her skill that got them for her. Daddy won, of course, and then we were all parched, so it was time for a drink.
At this point it was about 2:30 and we had Margaritaville ressies for 5:30. Richard and I were trying to decide what to do next, we talked at first about going back to the hotel, but knew we would never walk back over to go to the restaurant if we did that, so we nixed that idea as we really wanted to eat at Margaritaville. We had noticed earlier in the day that The Lorax was playing in the theater there. It was opening day for the movie, and it was in IMAX 3D. The kids had already asked, and I had already said probably not. Who goes to the movies on vacation? Well, apparently WE do. We were in serious need of air conditioning, and it was a good way to kill 2 hours. The movie was very cute, they really did a great job with it.
We headed over to Margaritaville a little early but had no trouble getting a table. We ate out on the Porch of Indecision and it was lovely! We were all giggling when a duck was walking around underneath the tables looking for crumbs. I can’t remember what everyone had, but I know that Ethan and I both had great burgers. I, of course, had a Margarita which really hit the spot. I was a little nervous after my yucky stomach of earlier, but thankfully it was gone for good. Richard had a Landshark, which he hadn’t had before and really liked. He’s a bit of a beer snob and really only drinks dark brews usually. The Landshark was pretty light, so he wasn’t sure about it but said he wasn’t disappointed.
Happy Birthday Daddy!
After dinner we headed back to our hotel where the kids were hinting heavily that a swim would be nice. We took them out to the pool, which was as warm as bathwater, and let them play for about an hour. It was 83 degrees and 7 pm. It was 13 degrees when we left home, so we were loving the change and the kids were in heaven.
We headed back up to our room, hit the showers and then hit the hay. We were all tired and we were getting up early the next day to head over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Day 3- 3/3/12
Part 1- Harry Potter!!!
We were up bright and early at 6:30 am as we had passes to get into WWOHP an hour early with the rest of the on-site Universal guests. We all slept great and were really ready to go, although Richard said his shirt felt a little tight, he was worried he was gaining weight. He was wearing a Celtics t-shirt with Paul Pierce’s number on it, and I didn’t really think anything of it. We all have Celtics t-shirts at my house as we’re huge fans.
The kids got these shirts for Christmas
We attempted to make coffee in the in-room coffee pot, but that malfunctioned and overflowed, so we had to hit the Starbucks in the lobby of our hotel. So sad, right? The man at Starbucks made a funny comment about Richard’s shirt, telling him that he looked much lighter in person that on TV. Ha-Ha. He was telling me this story as we were making our way over to Universal, and I laughed and then didn’t think much about it again at first. Then I realized something pretty funny- I told him I realized why his shirt felt too tight. He said “Really, why?” I told him “That’s MY shirt silly! You don’t have a Pierce shirt!” He saw the green and just assumed that it was his. We laughed about that one all day. Thankfully he didn’t stretch it out too much.
So after all that we made it to the IOA entrance around 7:40, where I traded in my voucher for our tickets and we waited to enter. It all went pretty well and we were headed in the gates at about 7:50. We could barely stand ourselves we were so excited. We made our way to WWOHP with the rest of the crowd, and the view when we got there was amazing.
We headed right over to Ollivander’s and got in line for the wand show. We were able to get into the first one, which we were glad for as the line got very long very quickly and stayed that way the rest of the time we were there. It was a cute show, and the wandmaker played a great part. We headed into the shop after where the kids thought long and hard about which wands to purchase. Natalie ended up with Luna Lovegood’s wand, and Ethan got the Elder wand. We had them sent to the front of the park so we wouldn’t have to worry about them in the lockers. We also got Natalie a Gryffindor hat and Ethan a Gryffindor backpack. That backpack turned out to be a lifesaver all week as he carried it everywhere and we used it for a lot of stuff.
Then, of course, we headed to Forbidden Journey, which only had a 10 minute wait!
It was awesome that we walked right on, but of course we walked through the castle fairly quickly and didn’t get to soak up the amazing detail as much as I would have liked. We got into our bench and we were off! The ride was amazing! The kids liked it but were not wanting to do it again. I had planned on going back to ride in the single rider line one more time but never got around to it.
We headed over to Flight of the Hippogriff, which was also a walk on. We all did it together once, which was enough for Ethan, who isn’t much of a rollercoaster person and refuses to be talked into it. Natalie went on twice more, once with me, once with her dad. She would have gone a hundred more times if we had let her.
Richard and Natalie in the front row.
We headed to the Owlery and got a postcard stamped and sent it on it’s way to our friend Sherri back home. After this we tried the frozen butterbeer. We all agreed it was tasty, but so sweet that we all shared one and decided it was enough.
The kids sat on a bench and waited so Richard and I could go on Dragon Challenge together. We did this a lot during the week. We left them with one of our cells and we texted back and forth to let them know that we had gotten off the ride and where we were. They stuck together well and it worked nice. We did the red side, which was awesome! As soon as it was done, we both said the same thing- “Natalie would love this!” When we got off, I was able to talk her into it. She went on the red side as well, and she absolutely loved going upside down. She had to call her Grammy, who is a rollercoaster fanatic, after she was done so that she could tell her that she did her first upside-down coaster.
We walked around the shops a bit and then decided to head over to Suess Landing, which I’ll talk about in my next post!
You're getting so much done with very little wait time. Good planning! I love the kids' shirts, and the story of the tight t-shirt on your DH is really funny! Glad you figured it out before he started his diet!