Trip Report I found us a table at Ohana, let's go back to Disney World

I visited WDW during Food & Wine last year and I realized I never finished editing my photos. What better way to motivate myself than to write a trip report?

Who am ? I'm gsrjedi, it should say so next to this post. There's a picture attached & everything. Feel free to read my previous trip reports at the following links: My first trip report: A visit to Cars Land, The Trip Report that was 23 years in the making, & We're going to DLP, We're not?, We Are?, OK!

If you don't have hours of free-time to read about my past adventures, let me introduce the cast of characters for this trip.

gsrjedi (me) - your fantastic scribe; despite living in Arizona my whole life, my earliest Disney memories are from my first trip back in 1989

Moms (that should be self-explanatory) - my mother; she tends to downplay her Disney love, but she's been more open about her love of the Parks recently

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We live in AZ, frequently visit DLR, & were just in the World in 2012. What brought us back so soon? Two things, we really loved WDW; and on that trip Moms learned of Ohana and was sad we couldn't get a table then. So in July of '14, I was checking out the My Disney Experience app and found a table at Ohana during Food & Wine. We already had an itch to go back, plus I love food! Plus, this time I had to visit (looks around the room for Disney executives), Universal, to check out Diagon Alley.

This trip had one interesting wrinkle. For a whole host of reasons, of which I was never fully clear on, we would be staying in 4 hotels this trips. We'd certainly be seeing a lot more of the resort this time.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Day 3 - 11/6/2014: Part 8 - Jaws Will Be Dropped

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.
DSC04460 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04463 by Michael, on Flickr - all that money they spent and they couldn't even finish building this wall, and people complain about Disney
DSC04471 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04472 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04473 by Michael, on Flickr

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.
DSC04474 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04479 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04477 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04481 by Michael, on Flickr

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.


DSC04484 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04487 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04488 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04491 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04497 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04501 by Michael, on Flickr

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
 

sheriffwoody

Well-Known Member
Awesome shot of the dragon! Props to moms :). I agree, they just knocked it out of the park (pun sort of intended) with Diagon Alley! It's stunning.

The bag check thing at Universal is so annoying! I didn't bring anything but my phone (with card/id in the case) and sunglasses last time, and I had my husband put that in his cargo pockets for rides. I can understand not having loose items for the coasters, but many of the rides could totally have a little pouch for stowing bags.
 

Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
I agree with your opinion on Riverside! We love the resort, It really feels like your somewhere else. The Dragon shot is awesome! Tell Moms good job!
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - 11/6/2014: Part 8 - Yer a Wizard Michael

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.
DSC04513 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04515 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04518 by Michael, on Flickr
IMG_0158 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04519 by Michael, on Flickr


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.
DSC04526 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04542 by Michael, on Flickr



- 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
DSC04559 by Michael, on Flickr


DSC04563 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04565 by Michael, on Flickr

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.

I'm off to a birthday party, so I'll be back with more later.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Awesome shot of the dragon! Props to moms :). I agree, they just knocked it out of the park (pun sort of intended) with Diagon Alley! It's stunning.

The bag check thing at Universal is so annoying! I didn't bring anything but my phone (with card/id in the case) and sunglasses last time, and I had my husband put that in his cargo pockets for rides. I can understand not having loose items for the coasters, but many of the rides could totally have a little pouch for stowing bags.

It was especially annoying because none of the people I passed in line who worked there said anything.

I agree with your opinion on Riverside! We love the resort, It really feels like your somewhere else. The Dragon shot is awesome! Tell Moms good job!

Moms said thanks on the compliments, she was really proud of that shot.

Absolutely amazing photos!
Thanks.

Not a Potter fan but love your photos. I also travel with my mum most of the time so nice to see someone else doing the same.
Me & Moms get along so it works out well. She tends to be the financier while I'm the tour guide.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - 11/6/2014 - Part 9: I Passed my O.W.L.s at Hogwarts

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.
DSC04568_HDR by Michael, on Flickr


DSC04576_HDR by Michael, on Flickr - 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.
DSC04582 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04585 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04587 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04594 by Michael, on Flickr

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
DSC04601 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04603 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04605 by Michael, on Flickr - helpful signs to keep you from getting lost
DSC04608 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04611 by Michael, on Flickr

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.
DSC04615 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04616 by Michael, on Flickr - 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.
DSC04620 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04632_HDR by Michael, on Flickr - goodbye for now Hogwarts

Still to come, more Islands of Adventure
 

FlaggNL

Well-Known Member
Love the Univ pics! A more than great shot of the dragon! Brings back a lot of last october memories! Thanks for sharing! So you are staying in Riverside? Next October we will do French Quarters and October 2016 will be Riverside!
 

RedNoseMickey

Well-Known Member
It was especially annoying because none of the people I passed in line who worked there said anything.



Moms said thanks on the compliments, she was really proud of that shot.


Thanks.


Me & Moms get along so it works out well. She tends to be the financier while I'm the tour guide.
I am both the tour guide and financier but enjoy spending time with my mother. She can't really travel by herself anymore as she is nearly deaf but my mother is always happy to accommodate my schedule and loves it that I plan everything. So we are both happy.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Love the Univ pics! A more than great shot of the dragon! Brings back a lot of last october memories! Thanks for sharing! So you are staying in Riverside? Next October we will do French Quarters and October 2016 will be Riverside!

We were staying at Riverside for that portion of the trip. It was actually our 2nd hotel of four planned. We didn't get a chance to check out French Quarter, but Riverside is really nice.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - 11/6/2014: Part 10 - WossaMotta Me? WossaMotta U

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.
DSC04635_HDR by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04638 by Michael, on Flickr
- admit it, by now you've got the theme song playing in your head

DSC04642 by Michael, on Flickr - Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
DSC04644 by Michael, on Flickr - nuthin', WossaMotta U?
DSC04645 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04648 by Michael, on Flickr

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.
DSC04650 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04651 by Michael, on Flickr


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.
DSC04656 by Michael, on Flickr





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.
DSC04426 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04672 by Michael, on Flickr

 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - 11/6/2014: Part 11 - Goodbye Universal

After getting the famous Vitameatavegamin skit stuck in my head again, I continued on my way to Transformers: The Ride - 3D. Transformers & Spider-Man use the same ride systems (even the same vehicles). Having just rode Spider-Man, Transformers just didn't feel different enough.

DSC04681 by Michael, on Flickr - passed by some beautiful classic cars on my way to Transformers
DSC04454 by Michael, on Flickr - Autobots, Roll Out!

Mom's kept herself busy taking some photos while she was waiting.
- you can kind of see them filming the Steve Harvey show here
- Moms used to love Emeril's show on Food Network

The Decepticons defeated, I headed to the exit. Moms collects Hard Rock shot glasses and we couldn't remember if she had Orlando already. I decided to stop in the Hard Rock Café when I exited to get her a shot glass.
DSC04683 by Michael, on Flickr - bye for now Universal Studios

We were hungry and Emeril's had a promotion going on for like a buy-one-get-one free entrée or free appetizers with a theme park ticket. We thought that seemed like a good deal and the menu looked good, so we decided to try it. The thing is, the promo was only for lunch and they had just opened for dinner. Neither of us caught that bit on the outside menu. Plus we had been looking at the lunch menu which had completely different food and prices from dinner. We stayed though and both got some small dishes. After looking at the lunch prices we weren't prepared to pay double that for the entrees. The food was excellent though. I got a prosciutto pizza and Moms got some sort of pasta.
DSC04686 by Michael, on Flickr - my prosciutto pizza
DSC04687 by Michael, on Flickr - Moms' pasta

After dinner we made our way back to the car, stopping at a nearby Walgreen's before going back to PORS.
- this mini golf course looks insane

We got back to the room and rested a bit, but we ended up feeling a little hungry after our light dinner. We went to the food court and decided to split a burger back in the room.
DSC04693 by Michael, on Flickr - Downtown Disney boat taking off
DSC04696 by Michael, on Flickr - moscato colada I got from the pool bar on the way to the room (yes, it was very good)

After second dinner around 11 I wanted to go take some photos of the hotel with my tripod. Port Orleans Riverside is such a beautiful property at night. I mainly stayed around the lobby/pool area since I was super-tired.
DSC04697 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04701 by Michael, on Flickr - I like this spot

DSC04707 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04710 by Michael, on Flickr

- Old Man's Island pool

Tomorrow we'd be checking out of PORS and heading to yet another hotel.
 

FlaggNL

Well-Known Member
We were staying at Riverside for that portion of the trip. It was actually our 2nd hotel of four planned. We didn't get a chance to check out French Quarter, but Riverside is really nice.

We hear a lot of things abut Port of Orleans. One of the best resorts to stay... so we will find out soon enough :)
 
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