My thoughts on my two week Disney,Discovery Cove/Seaworld,and Universal Christmas vacation Dec 21-Dec 30 2019.

fantasy08

Member
Original Poster
I made an account here a few months ago to ask some questions about Disney etc,and even though it's been two months since then I thought I'll share my views if anyone cares.

I will only cover the days I went to theme parks.

Sunday, Dec 22
Discovery Cove.


I had the package with the 30 minute Dolphin Swim. It also came with a 14 day admission to Seaworld and Aquatica. I also added Seaventure.

It decided to rain.

I was a little put out, but since I was going to be wet all day anyway it didn't bother me too much. However, rain pretty much became a reallllllly annoying running gag my entire vacation.

Wet suits were a pain to get in and out of. I wore nothing underneath though which came in handy with using the bathroom. What is with having to pee after swimming?

The unlimited breakfast,lunch, snacks and drinks that came with admission were okay,but nothing to write home about.

Also as I would soon find out it would be the only "free" food I would have.

Even though the hours were supposed to be from 7-5 nothing was actually open until 9. I first found this out when I went to the Aviary. The ticket cost too much for the attractions not to be open at the time they should. So basically for two hours I had to just walk around a fake set looking, cheesy, childish 'island' instead of doing the things I paid for.

Seaventure(30 minutes)-
It was okay. It was lacking a lot of the marine life that was suppose to be around us from the short video and pictures I watched. There was a lot of holding place cards in the water for a teaching lesson then interacting with the wildlife. The whole thing felt more like false advertising to me.

Honestly the whole trip felt like that.

Also gravity hit me like a ton of bricks when I resurfaced lol.

Dolphin Swim(30 minutes) -I love animals so I perked up for this. A professional photographer took pics while we were in the water.We "played around with two female dolphins for 30 minutes.We also feed them a small fish each. I liked when they jumped in the air and waved at us with their tails. We also got to ride them once for a few seconds. I did mine in shallow water cause come on lol. They were cute and lovely.

I said "played" because they really wouldn't let us carouse with them in a manner that felt like we truly interacting with them. It seemed like they were to busy making us pose for their almost $300 dollar shots. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the pictures of my dolphin swim and seaventure unless I paid that outrageous price so I had to go with just one for $40. I picked the one of me kissing her snout.

These pictures should have been added into our admission,but greed must prevail as I kept being reminded throughout my theme park vacation.

I also got out of my comfort zone and got in deeper water. I'm 5'6 so I'm taller than 5 feet of water yet when it starts getting over 3 feet I start to panic a little,and 8 feet is a definite NO. However, I had on a wetsuit,life jacket, googles, breathing apparatus,and floaties so I tried the 8 feet. I looked silly,but all that made me conquer my fear(somewhat) to get into deeper water. I did this for the Wind Away River. The life guard only had to help me though a waterfall once lol . I got to scared to try it again for the The Grand Reef though. I stayed in the shallower end for that, and I also got to see mantle rays swim around me.

The Aviary was a disgrace. Barely any birds,and the ones that were there didn't fly around or even near us. They gave us little cups to feed them, but they only barely nibbled out of mine. The Marmosets exhibit was also pretty bad.

Monday Dec 23
Magic Kingdom


The reason I wanted to go on this trip, and yet it was the one I ended up disliking the most.

It rained. Sigh.

Luckily before the vacation brought a small backpack that comfortably held a small umbrella, raincoat, earmuffs,winter hat,gloves,and a scarf.

I was going to do this one on Christmas,but I was warned not to because it would be a wall to wall mob more so than any park.
Even the workers in Epcot on Christmas Day warned that Magic Kingdom would probably close due to capacity so if anyone wanted to go they should leave Epcot and go over there quickly. However, I was told by another solo traveler I met that she went to MK on Christmas,and the crowds were manageable so...

I arrived early enough to be there before rope drop.

It's the only theme park that seems to be on a piece of land to itself. I had to take a train there. However, I left that night by ferry. Apparently the ferry is slower,but they felt about the same to me.

I was shocked by the airport like security I had to go through to even enter the park. Little did I know that this would be an occurrence at all of them even Aquatica.

I was greeted to a cheesy welcome with Mickey,Minnie and the prince and princesses, and then we were let in. Also fireworks should not be done in the day. I mean It's not like you can even really see them.

I liked the murals that told Belle's story inside the castle.

I didn't want to bother people about taking my picture so the only memento that I have of the 'heart' of Disney is a badly shot selfie of me standing in front of the castle. I also unfortunately have no pictures of me standing in front of the Epcot Ball or the Universal Earth either. I just didn't want to bother anyone. Of course I found out at closing time that there are professional Disney employees that will take your picture for free in front of these landmarks, but by that point I had stopped caring and just wanted to leave lol.

My Fast passes were for Pirates,Ariel, and Peter Pan.

The fast passes are nice to have,but if you get there early enough they become useless. Since the park didn't start to get noticeably thick until 11ish I pretty much walked on my first two. I also was annoyed that even though I knocked Pirates and Ariel out pretty quickly I couldn't add anymore fast passes until I used my 4:55 Peter Pan one :( That part needs to be revamped; especially if you last fast pass is so late in the day.

I do like the melody like ding of the fastpasses when it turns green to let you in lol.

It also took me a while to realize that no I don't have to walk to the nearest fast pass booth to get a new one which annoyingly seemed to be spread out at pretty much hidden locations around the park. I could just use my freaking phone and book though the app.

However....

Disney's internet was a nightmare for all of their parks. It kept being slow and having connectivity issues. Also don't even try to use their internet to access the app for the map, fastpasss, and wait times ugh. I got so frustrated I just cut my data on.

After I used my first two fast passes I stopped caring about following my park plan, and just got on whatever ride or show I got to first as I walked aimlessly around.

I ended up doing this for the rest of the parks to.

I kid you not by 10 a.m. I was texting my sister a long rant on how I wanted to leave. I was soooooo bored. I also found the park strangely small and fake looking. Something I also mentioned in my rant. The only thing that stopped me from calling a lyft right then and there was that I had to keep reminding myself just how expensive the ticket was, and therefore to feel like I got my money's worth I should stay until closing. Unfortunately closing was midnight. I damn near died.

Pirates- slower than I thought it would be. Boring. The human animatronics were nice though; especially Jack. Honestly I thought it was Depp for a second that's how life like he looked. Also should have been more imaginative then what was provided.

Ariel- another really slow boat ride that felt like it should have been more imagination to it. Also the animatroics looked uncanny valley because of how anime the characters looked. Basically another ride with a lot of hype, but failed to deliver.

Jungle Cruise- I was bored. I couldn't be amazed by the animal animatronics because they were clearly fake to my eyes, and also I'm not ten. I'm glad I went early though because when I walked back by it the line was snaked all the way to the Tikki room.

In no particular order

Liberty Riverboat- another really boring experience. Getting on the ferry, and then these boat rides, did make my realize that if I ever wanted to go on a real cruise water sickness wouldn't be a thing. So there's that I guess...

Peter Pan's Flight- It was okay. It was nice seeing a miniature London and Wendy etc while flying about. Not sure why this ride had the extreme wait time it had though. The stand by line was snaked down the street,and even though my fast pass was quicker the line for it was also still rather long. This is the ride I saw reviews raving about during my research,and yet this is it?

Haunted Mansion- I deliberately waited until it was night to experience this because I wanted a spooky atmosphere. It's the only ride that I went on twice. I really liked it.

The first time I went on a little before the ending shows at the castle. For the second time I caught a fast pass for it the park was truly starting to shutdown. This pass was unnecessary because pretty much no one was there. I could have just walked into the the pretty much empty standby lol.

I loved how on the elevator the pictures slowly revealed the amusing horror going on with the people in them.

My favorite part is when we got to the parlor. That was beautifully done and magically creepy. The bride was deliciously creepy to. I was amused at my head getting pulled off toward the end,and the hilariously voiced narrator saying the ghosts that did it were going to follow us home lol.

It caught some mechanical trouble the first time though. Ride stopped for about five minutes. Apparently it was just spiteful spooks though ;)

Tiki Room- Animatronic birds. Just like with the Jungle Cruise the animatronics are only good when they look like humans. I could tell the birds were fake, and it took me right out of it. Also the song they sung was annoying,but not as annoying as it's a small world after all. Ye Gods.

It's a small world- Another raved one in reviews,but I was not impressed. It was really boring and repetitive, and the song was god awful.

Swiss Family Treehouse. Blah. It's going up a tree looking at furniture etc

I wanted to do frontier shooting,but you had to use 'real' money. Who in the world uses 'real' money anymore.

Mickey's Philaharmagic- I enjoyed it, and the 3D effects.

Hall of Presidents - I was going to skip this because I thought it was going to be some boring history lesson,but since I was trying to find something to do until closing I went in. I enjoyed it,but what had me take out my phone and start filming was all 45 presidents as animatronics at the end. It was absolutely brilliant what they did there.

I think I might have caught a bit of some dance party with mickey etc in the streets. Ugh

Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom- It was like a scavenger hunt across the park,but it was to childish. I did the tutorial in the shop then threw my map in the trash. Plus since you spend most of park standing in line how would you even have the time to be able to enjoy doing this to completion.

Tommorowland Transit- Blah and boring.

Carousel of Progress- Like always I enjoyed the human animatronics,but it's a beautiful tomorrow should be shot off into space never to be heard from again. I also liked how we moved with the theater.

I caught some bears dancing and singing in the streets leaving Liberty. Not sure what was going on there,but meh.

I accidentally caught some of Festival of Fantasy while I was leaving Pecos with my food. Thinking I must have missed something I tried to catch another showing that day. It was whatever. The princesses and princes dancing in their carriages was nice I guess. Also apparently Magnificent's dragon was supposed to show,but I didn't see it. :(

I got to take pictures with Tink and Ariel. A part of me felt self conscious being the only adult without kids, or with anyone else with me period, taking pictures with characters/set designs clearly set up for small children. However,the other part of me said so what lol. One of the employees also took pictures of me with my phone so now I don't have to go on Disney's picture thing with their water mark all over it just to view them.

Only restaurants I partook in where The Main Street Bakery, Plaza Ice-Cream, and Pecos. I literally loled at the prices. $4 dollars for a regular size pack of MM's and the mickey cookie I got was $6 lol. Drinks, even water, were almost $5. Considering the base ticket is a house and car note combined the food should have been covered with the price.

I'm not real sure if I saw happily ever after or once upon a time at closing,but whatever was happening at the castle is what I saw. So both? They were nice effects happening to the castle, and the the second one of course had Elsa,but there was strangely something off about the whole performance to me. I was pretty much like this is okay instead being wowed.

I deliberately ignored raved about rides like Thunder,Dwarfs,Space and Splash Mountain. I don't like huge drops,but later I did make myself get out of my comfort zone at the other parks in regards to roller coaster like rides.

Except for Tom Sawyer,and considering the blah of this park I probably wasn't missing anything, I pretty much got to do everything in my park plan,and honestly if it wasn't for the thirty five to an hour long wait times for pretty much everything(fast passes only take off about ten minutes if you try to go on anything after ten) you probably could be done before noon.


Tuesday,Dec 24(Christmas Eve)
Animal Kingdom


Boring, and the ugliest one design wise out of the parks.

Rained(ugh) and strangely freezing. This is supposed to be sunny Florida right? First time I had to pop out my gloves, scarf and hat.

Fast Passes were for Lion King, Safari, and Navi.

I missed my fast pass for Lion King trying to get my wallet back(long story) so they gave me an unlimited one that I could use anytime that day.

This is also where I noticed every park from here on out roped dropped faster then the time listed for opening.

Avatar Flight of Passage- I was there before rope drop, and decided to do Flight first since my research said this one had very long wait times and I didn't catch a fast pass for it. I didn't know where to go,but something told me to follow everyone literally running towards something. Good thing I did since it was Avatar lol.

The line was crazy long and this was rope drop time. I stood in line for at least an hour,but it quite the experience when I finally got to the ride. I absolutely LOVED it. Blown away. I wanted to get on again, and again, and again. Forget everything else. However, the time never truly left around 130 the entire time, even to closing, so welp I never got to get back on. :(

Also they even told me when I left the park, right after my avatar ride, to sit outside and try to get my wallet that it was about to fill to capacity because of Avatar. So I had to go back in,and still without my wallet(again another story lol) :(

This ride is literally the only reason why it wasn't the worst park to me instead of MK.

In no particular order

Lion King- I thought it was going to be like the Broadway play my sister raved about from her newyork vacation,but instead it was this childish dumbed down abomination. I very much disliked it, and was nonplussed at what I just witnessed and wasted a fast pass on.

Safari- I was so disappointed with this. Boring, Boring, Boring. Also barely saw any animals,and the driver pretty much sped by the ones we did see. Another waste of a fast pass.

Navi- boring and fake looking. Not real sure what the raved reviews were about for this one. Glad I had a fast pass for it though because the line was long,but nowhere near Flight's length. The only thing nice I can say about it was the inclusion of that creepy animatronic Navi toward the end.

Honestly, the whole Avatar section of the park should have been the most outstanding design wise because of what it's based on and yet it was really, really fake looking.

Discovery/Gorilla Trails. Boring. Nice to see some gorilla's up close though.

It's tough to be a bug- Nice. Liked it. Special effects were cute and the 3D was nice.

Kali River Rapids- I was going to skip this because I don't like drops, and I didn't want to get wet. However, I went ahead and did it anyway and wore my raincoat and water shoes just in case lol. I went a little before closing with a fast pass I snagged. I came 30 minutes early and they dinged me in anyway because no one was there lol. It was fine, and the drop wasn't terrible at all. Didn't even get nauseous like I thought I would. I was put in a raft by myself so that was kind of a experience in of it itself lol.

Dinosaur- Liked it. The dinosaurs were clearly fake looking,but since it was in the dark the fakeness was toned down a bit. It was also a mild drop to this,but it didn't bother me.

Tree of Life- So basically what was done to Disney castle but on a fake looking tree? Okay.

Before the light show you can see carvings of animals etched into the the tree sooo that was nice I guess.

Winged Encounters- I was looking for this,and finally got fed up and asked someone where it was.The employee said it had no set time and to just look into the sky. Sooooo basically the one or two birds that you can barely see flying around when you come in the park are the attraction. :(

For a sweet treat I went into some place in the Africa part of the park. Don't remember what it was called though. Also as I was walking by I saw people eating huge chicken legs. Made me chuckle,and I also got to try one myself at The Three Broomsticks at Universal.

Pandora Drummers- Accidentally caught some of this I think. Meh

I ate dinner at Flametree BarBQ . Not good.

Up! -This, and the Epcot attraction of Finding Nemo, were the only two that I seriously contemplating leaving. Unfortunately I was literally on a moving ride for Nemo so couldn't just get up and go like I could for Up. It was just absolutely horrendous. There were barely any birds just a supremely long, boring skit with cheesy characters in costumes.

Rivers of Light- accidentally caught the ending of this going up to Kali. Then I watched all of it later that night before closing. The flowers glowing on the water were okay,but honestly the whole show was poorly done and boring.

Affection Station- animal lover in my me wanted to go,but didn't get to.

I mostly got to do everything in my park plan.


Wednesday, Dec 25 (Christmas Day)
Epcot


It rained yet again.

Boring,but has Soarin Around the World so that along gets it high marks like Flight does for Animal Kingdom.

There at rope drop. I mean literally at the rope. I could put my hands on it and shake hands with the security guards if I wanted. One women at the drop told me and some other rope drop people to follow her if we wanted to hit Frozen Ever After first. So that's what I did lol.

Fast passes were for Soarin,Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth

Frozen Ever After- I'm always glad to see Elsa,but it didn't live up to the hype. Very childish as were the animatronic's (Ariel at MK were like this to) which I'll concede are probably the point.

In no particular order

Pixar's Short Film Festive- I really liked this one. The 3D was nice and the effects. I especially liked how in one short they climbed out of the screen and were still there even without the 3D google's on lol. Also the one called Feast was cute and heartwarming.

Living with the Land- very boring ride.

Soarin around the world.- Loved it. Unlike Flight we were lifted up in the the air more lol. It was very, very beautiful. It was also cute that Tink showed up to bring a taste of magic to the experience.

Out of the two I still prefer Flight though because there we went though a fantasy world, and this one was just our's. I also felt like Flight's graphics were just a tiny bit better than Soarin. If Flight's were a 11 Soarin is a 10 and a half.

All the parks need more virtual reality ride's that are immersive to the point you actually feel like you're there in the picture before you.

Journey into Imagination- very boring and childish ride. Waste of time.

Got my picture taken with my phone with Anna and Elsa separably. They didn't look, talk, or act like their characters at all. Just like Ariel and Tink they just felt like women in cosplay. No imaginative immersion.

I also kept thinking how all of them have this fake genki girliness about their acting. I'll hate to fake being out of this world cheerful all the time, and having to say cheesy inane things on an daily bases. I hope they get payed well.

Mission Space Green- the graphics need an update. The ride was enclosed like a spacehsip would be,but not enough to cause claustrophobia.

Seabase- nice place to take a break and watch the marine life go by. Saw divers go in a feed different beautiful and creepy looking the fish in the huge tanks. Atleast I think it was here and not Seaworld lol. Also saw a guy get in a tank near the middle of the room and sign talk to us. This gets boring after a few minutes though.

Nemo and Friends- a ride with nothing to offer. Absolutely atrocious. Hype is a lie and a half. Literally wanted to walk out,but it's a moving ride.

Also this is the ride I realized I lost my Disney Ticket(actually looks like a credit card instead of freaking paper like Universal's). I wouldn't have cared since this was my last Disney park and I was already in, but you need it to ding in you fastpasses and I still had Soarin and the free one active on it.

So I had to walk all the way to guest services and its long lines to get another card. However, since it was linked to the app I had a new card within seconds.

Spaceship Earth- the sent an email saying it was not operational at the time I had so they gave me an all day free fastpass to see this one if I wanted or any other ride that day. I still ended up using it for Spaceship though. A very slow ride. Apparently we were moving up the Epcot ball. Didn't feel like it though. Another over hyped ride. Boring.

Project Tomorrow- I think I took a glimpse in here as I was walking toward World Showcase. The fact that reallly can't recall what I saw is saying it all.

Test Track- I really was going to try this ride to get out of my comfort zone of high speeds, and it even had a single rider line(45 minute wait to the standby's 60 minute),but ultimately didn't get to.

Turtle Talk with Crush- very cute how CGI crush was actually talking to us and asking questions in real time. The CGI for Crush needed to be updated though.

Imagining presents- The 360 projection was nicely done as was the little miniature town and Epcot ball that kept changing in the room.

World Showcase- I wanted to see Reflections of China but didn't get to. It was pretty close to closing so I just decided to walk the showcase until Candlelight and Epcot Forever started.

However the showcases just seemed to be just a bunch of restaurants featuring different foods from the the country highlighted. Meh
During my walk I stopped at the Germany one and got something.

Candlelight Processional- I saw the last show of the night. It was located at the American part of World Showcase. I got to get with a reservation because when I was walking to standby an employee noticed I was alone and said she had been waiting for a guest to be by themselves so she could give this reservation card to them. She said the original owner only ate at the dinner but didn't want to do the show.

At first I'm like yea since this one was hyped as a must see, and reservations got first pick in an already small setting.

Well that soon died once I actually saw the processional. It was horrendous; from the songs to the set up. Soooooo boring and poorly done. The guest speaker was the captain from Battlestar Galactica. He was a boring waste of time to.

Epcot Forever- really bad show. Pretty much just fireworks going off and barely seen jetskiers riding in the water for a few seconds. Also if you are going to do fireworks make them make designs in the air. This goes for all the parks.

You are Disney so have an imagination.

Got to mostly everything I wanted to do.
 
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fantasy08

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Original Poster
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Part 2 Theme Park Vacation

Thur Dec 26
Aquatica


It rained of course. :(

Since it was a just water park I did other things on my agenda so didn't get to Aquatica until about 12:30,but it closed at five so I saw that as enough time to experience what I wanted to do.

Used my Discovery Cove badge to get in. I came back again my last day for a few hours before closing,but only to feel like I used some of my 14 day passes,and because it's a quicker park to get in and out of then going back to Seaworld.

I hated that Seaworld and its water park always tried to nickel and dime you. We had to pay out of pocket to get towels,lockers,dry off in a heat machine,and I'm not talking about a quarter or a dollar either but five to fifteen and up.

I also didn't like that there was never enough showers in the bathroom to clean off. The day I went back I just went home wet since the showers were always full, and you had to wait in a long line to even get one in the first place.

Here and at Discovery Cove lifeguards are situated at each point of the watery attractions. So since I'm not a good swimmer that was reassuring to me.

In no particular order

Commerson's Dolphins- Wasn't much to see,but they were cute. They're coloring makes them look like really tiny Orca's

Loggerhead Lane - Couldn't get on the flotation devices and on top of not knowing how to swim well two life guards had to intervene lol.

After I finally got situated I floated down the lane three times before finally getting off. It's a leisurely experience to the point you can honestly take a nap and just float.

Roa's Rapids- Another one of the 'life guards had to help me attraction' :( ,and especially since the jets are so fast and it gets a bit deeper as you go.

Walhalla Wave- a tube ride. They wouldn't let me get on by myself. Don't see why I couldn't since it wasn't that different from the rafts I got on at Animal Kingdom. Anyway they asked a husband and wife could I get on with them. It was quick nice slide. Glad the water we flew into was a walkable depth.


Friday,Dec 27
Universal Studios


Rained :(

There before rope drop.

I had a two day Park to Park pass. I decided to stay until closing for Studios,but since I didn't get to do two things there I now had an excuse to ride the Hogwarts express from adventure Sunday back to Studio's

The makeup to get in and out was kinda confusing the first time,and especially when you wanted to leave by rideshare ,but then I realized it was just a long escalator clad straight line.

Another nickle and dime you theme park.

Their version of the fast pass is almost $200 dollars( Seaworld's was only $20ish and Disney's was free with your ticket). I refused to purchase, and just went trough single rider(was quicker anyway) or toughened through standby.

Also you had to put you bags in lockers. This took precious time away from already standing in long lines, and also having to wait until some opened up. The first was free, except if you had multiple bags,but if you wanted to ride again you had to pay.

There was no excuse for any of it.

None of their rides were dangerous enough that you couldn't bring your bags on them. They were no different than Disney after all,and they had no bag policy. This was just an excuse to get more money out of anyone who wanted to ride again or had multiple bags.

The first thing you see is Citywalk which is supposed to look like Vegas I guess. It's just a bunch of restaurants and drinking areas. If you are in Studio's or Adventure you have to leave the park to get back to it.

I only went to The Chocolate Emporium for dinner. I liked how the outside looks like a gold and black factory,but the inside is disappointing. I ended up having to sit at the bar since there were no tables available.

I ordered some rib dinner that was atrocious. I don't drink, but made a exception since I was on a once in a life time vacation. I ordered some chocolate cocktail that had small cherries and gin in it I think. The only thing keeping it from becoming completely foul was the chocolate taste as I sipped.

I got to see the Universal earth up close. I do regret that I didn't take a picture in front of it as well as the Epcot ball.

There was movie theater playing Rise of the Skywalker etc,but you had to pay out of pocket to watch them.

I didn't like the 1920's(I think) theme of the park. It wasn't magical. Boring looking,but still nothing beats how horrendous the animal kingdom theme looked.

Harry Potter: Gringotts- Another get out of my comfort zone of drops experience. Standby was already at 60 minutes, and this was at rope drop,but I waved to the peasants as I sped through the single rider line lol.

Another virtual ride. I liked it but the graphics are not good like Disney's are.

Single rider is brilliant. Hour long waits at standby become five to ten minutes with Single rider. It was faster then fast pass by leaps and bounds. I literally walked in and out both Harry Potter rides I got on within five minutes tops for both.

The only thing with single rider is that you don't get to see the queue,but none of the queues at any of the parks were anything special to see in the first place so...

After the ride one of the employees personally took me through the queue of gringotts and then out the employee exit. That was nice of her,but like I said they were nothing special to look at.

Also once you see the dragon breath fire on top of the ride it quickly looses it appeal and is annoyingly loud.

Diagon Alley was okay. Nothing to awe about it though.

Olllivander's wand show was a horrible waste of time.

The knight bus is outside the alley. It had the shrunken head, and the driver there so you could take pictures. Kids will like it I suppose.

You had to have Gringotts money for the food and drink stands in Diagon alley. Such nonsense.

I did get to talk to the animatronic elf at the place you exchange money at though. That was okay I guess.

Pumpkin Juice is not good. Ended up not finishing it.

Butter beer, both the hot and cold version, are not good. Although the warmer version is a tad bit more bearable.

However apparently a glutton for punishment I got butter beer ice cream from Florean's in Diagon. It was was nothing fantastic,but was edible.

Outrageous pricing as always though.

Men in Black- not great. Really chiidish.

Revenge of the Mummy- Single rider heaven lol. This ride made me realize again why I don't like huge drops. I felt nauseous getting off of it because of the huge drop that came out of nowhere in the dark. Even the harry rides didn't make me feel like that. Also the effects were creepy,and again CGI was lacking.

Shrek was a nice little respite and a new tale. I enjoyed it and the effects. CGI was not great though. Seeing a pattern with that at Universal.

Jimmy Fallon- was always closed when I tried to get on it. Even single rider. However, I used it as my Hogwarts express excuse from adventure sunday, and it was finally open. I liked it. CGI was welll.....

Animal Actors was cute if childish.

Ate Gelato at Louie's for a snack.

Celestine Warbeck- accidentally saw some of this as I was meandering around Diagon. Horrible songs,setup, and vocals. Walked away from it.

Transformers- Liked it. CGI... well you know.

Fear Factor Live- was going to skip this,but was looking for something to do so went in. I enjoyed it. The feats were nice to see and especially since they were live.

Horror Make-up show- Nice respite. Enjoyed it. They took a poor women out of the audience and cut her arm lol,and the two hosts were funny.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard- Take the annoying cheesy humans out of it and it could have been great.

Macy like Christmas Parade- they canceled it because of the rain,but when I had a chance to see it Sunday I went home instead lol.

Accidentally saw some of The Blues Brothers show. Horrible. Walked away.

Marilyn Monroe- canceled because of rain. Caught it Sunday when I came back through the Hogwarts express. Horrible songs and set up.

Fast and the Furious- I completely had no interest in this, but needed something to do while I waited for the closing show. Bad CGI and surprisingly boring even though it was loud and flashy.

Cinematic Celebration- had more going for it than Epcot,but overall still boring. I just wasn't awed by it.


Sat Dec 28
Seaworld


Of course it rained.

I had their version of the fastpass.

Also realized it's pretty much across the street from Discovery Cove lol.

Was there before rope drop.

Empire of the Penguin - caught this before closing. Horrible, boring and really childish ride. Nice seeing real penguins at the end of it though. Also it kept having mechanical issues all though the day, and kept having to close and reopen; even when I finally went on it.

Dolphin Cove- saw them swimming about,but she told me that cut out the seven dollar fee to feed them. Now you can only do it by paying more for a reservation. However, it wasn't a great loss since I got a better deal with the dolphins at discovery cove.

You could feed the stingrays five or seven very small fish for seven dollars(rip off). Their mouths gliding over my hands for the fish felt weird lol. I feed them two fish and ended up giving the rest to a family and leaving.

Flamingo Paddle Boats- another ride you have to pay for instead of it being in your admission. You have 20 minutes. I got bored in about five. Novelty wears off quick.

Infinity Falls- was going to skip it because of the drop,but went on anyway around closing and therefore pretty much walked on. It wasn't bad at all. Didn't even realize we had dropped lol. I again wore a raincoat and water shoes for this one.

Went to the various aquariums. I think they have the best collection of different sea creatures out of all the theme parks. I especially liked that the shark aquarium was all around us and above us as we walked. I was disappointed that the sharks were so small though. Barely bigger than the black and white dolphins I saw at Aquatica.

Only time I ate was at my lunch reservation to eat with Shamu. It was an all you can eat buffet. The food was nice. The 'show' they put on for us as we ate was just a trainer talking to us while two killer whales lazed about in the background.

Sky Tower- another one you had to pay to get on. It was not good. Boring waste of time.

Turtle Trek- false advertising in the extremes. Horribly done.

Wild Artic was baddddddd. My god. Throw the whole thing away. Outdated. Horribly boring. Horrible graphics.

Dolphin Days was nice and the setup was pretty. I like the trainers actually got in and did tricks with the dolphins.

One Ocean- Very nice setup inside the stadium. Very pretty clear water.I was so busy paying attention the Orca's that it didn't dawn on me at first just how huge the stadium was. I had reserve seating for this and Miracles(Christmas show with the Orca's) later that night. This show was better though. The orca's were so cute and huge. I was disappointed that the trainers didn't do any tricks with them though. It really was the Orca's show through and through.

It was five of them, and they even slid out of the water onto the stage and stuck their tongues out at us lol. They're very majestic looking creatures. Just watching their powerful forms jump out of the water and dive was beautiful. I also was amused that the trainers deliberately told them to go to the soak zone and splash people several times lol. It was a cute show, but the novelty soon wears off,and again the trainers should have did some things with them. The Christmas showing was pretty much the same,and the novelty was just worn off by the point for me.

I watched a show about how Jesus was born that I had reserve setting for and it was absolutely horrendous, cheesy and childish. Other than them bringing the real animals of the story on stage (I got to see an actual camel tehee) I loathed this show.

I also had reserved seating for the ice skating show that I almost missed because it was at some little hard to find nook. Didn't really like it. The different costumes that they don throughout the show were nice though.

Sun Dec,29
Island of Adventure


Did it rain? Yep

The look of the park was nearing Animal Kingdom levels of ugly at some points.

Was there at rope drop.

Not a lot of things to do in this park.

Spiderman-it was a 3D,but the CGI was not good. Disney still definitely got them on that.

Skull Island- Single Rider heavennnnn. Ride was meh. King Kong's huge face glaring at us as we exited was nice though.

Jarassic Park River Adventure- wish I had did this at night so I couldn't tell how fake the dinosaur animatronics looked. :( I did like the huge T-rex face coming toward us at the drop though.

Wanted to ride Hagrid's Motorbike Journey, but it was full to capacity every time I walked pass. They even had to close single rider.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Single Rider. Was in and out . I liked it. Just like the other one in Studio's it wasn't a ride I was itching to go back on though.

I noticed I can take thrill rides with large drops if I can't see them.So not sure I wouldn't have chickened out for the Hagrid ride since it looked to be completely outside and therefore you could see the drops coming. Although this isn't a hard and fast rule since The Mummy ride was pretty bad for me at the drop.

In no particular order.

Christmas at Hogwarts.Their version of a closing show. They herded us to it like cattle,and then said we weren't allowed to go back through the easier way out of the park when it was done. Surprisingly not magical at all. Really horribly done. It's like it was trying to be the light show that Disney put on the at their castle,but failed in the imagination department. Was not as bad as Epcot's though.

Hogwarts Express- took it to Studios just to experience it. Waste of time and also a long line to get on. Through the windows you see magical scenes of you leaving play out. An employee said coming back you can see different scenes. I'll have to take his word for it though because I ended up walking back to Adventure since it was honestly faster than standing in yet another long line.

Got a tiny drink at Hogsmeade(Hog Head?). Had rum in it I think. You can tell I don't drink since I got dizzy after a few sips.

Only ate at The Three Broomsticks. Had a dinner that consisted of a huge chicken leg. It amused me. Couldn't finish it though.

Poseidon's Fury- One of these I'm trying to find something to do rides. Horrible and cheesy.

Pteranodon Flyers- wanted to get on this,but was told I had to have a child with me to get on. Um what?

The Mystic Fountain- This was a complete disappointment. Very cheesy.

I loved that when I came out of Poseidon's Fury She'ra from Netflix was there. Everyone was disinterested and left,but I stayed. She asked me who my favorite character was and when I said Hordak she said she didn't want to talk to me anymore and walked away lol. She then came back and made me lol explain why I liked him. The employee with her took pictures of us with my phone. I was amused by this experience.

Summary

While I won't talk anyone out of going at least once I also won't mince my words about it either. I am glad I got to have this experience; even if it's only to say I did it once in my lifetime,however I also won't willingly step foot in any of them again.

Welllll I probably could be persuaded to just go back to Flight in Animal Kingdom,but only with unlimited fast passes and someone else paying for the ticket lol.

Miscellaneous-

Orlando International Airport-I landed in Orlando Saturday Dec 21,2019 at around 8:30ish p.m. however, the airport was a nightmare to get out of though. I took at least 45 minutes trying to maneuver to the rideshare pickup. :(

Air B&B- was in a really quiet and upscale neighborhood with my own bedroom. Furthermore even though on paper I had to share a bathroom I never had to. I didn't see anyone else my entire time there except the host, and even that was barely twice. Also my Lyft and Ubers had no problem finding it. There are some things I didn't like that a hotel has them beat by,but Air B&B's are much cheaper which comes in handle for longer stays.

Rideshares- In principle I love them. They are very quick and I never had to wait over 10 minutes for any ride. I also never had to share a car with another person for any of them. I honestly don't understand how Taxi companies are still in business with ridesharing existing.

However, they were an exercise in frustration when trying to find them when they did pickups at any of the parks. While every last one of them made me want to tear my hair out Universal's rideshare layout is the one I wanted to scream about the most.

Also I loathed that, except for two drivers, all my rides had someone who barely spoke English.One even took out his phone and handed it to me so it could translate English to him. How are you in a customer service job driving people around a city when you can't speak the language the vast majority of the country speaks? My god what if a emergency happened?

Furthermore two drivers didn't even know where to take me even with their GPS; and I'm not from Orlando so its not like I could help them.

Also one really angered me when I lost my wallet in his backseat after my MK drop back home. My ID(can't get on a plane back home without it), my only money(card), and my unsigned and unused at the time universal ticket were all in there, and it was a struggle to get it back,but like I said that's a another rant for another day lol.
 
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eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your perspective. Not everyone is a theme park person. Do you think the weather had an effect on your enjoyment. I know whenever I get rained out of a vacation I'm looking forward to it will color my view. ;)
Glad you gave it a try though. I totally understand, I went to Jamaica twice and hated it, can never understand when folks rave about it.

I think the only thing that surprised me is your comment about Orlando Airport, that imo is one of the easiest airports to navigate
 

StarshipDisney

Well-Known Member
Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Appears nothing went your way and you did not enjoy most rides.

I will agree with you IRT the mandatory locker system at Universal. We hated it also. SeaWorld is even worse because they will charge you.
 

Disone

Well-Known Member
Is this Katiebug???
My thoughts exactly. I couldn't even finish reading this alledged trip report. My favorite was the tile mural of Belle in Cinderella castle. Maybe there was more I would have enjoyed but I stopped breeding shortly after that.
 

fantasy08

Member
Original Poster
Thanks for your perspective. Not everyone is a theme park person. Do you think the weather had an effect on your enjoyment. I know whenever I get rained out of a vacation I'm looking forward to it will color my view. ;)
Glad you gave it a try though. I totally understand, I went to Jamaica twice and hated it, can never understand when folks rave about it.

I think the only thing that surprised me is your comment about Orlando Airport, that imo is one of the easiest airports to navigate
I definitely think the weather negatively affected my enjoyment a bit. One or two days of rain? Fine. But the entire two weeks though?! :(

I think I had trouble because the rideshare pickup wasn't where I thought it would be, and therefore I panicked and started racing around the airport looking for it lol.

I didn't know there was a Trip Report board. 🤭 Is there a way to ask the moderators to move my thread there if they can?
 

ELG13

Well-Known Member
A lot of the things you didn't like, were things that were either out of your hands (rain) or things that are meant to be taken for what they are. People don't rave about small world because the animatronics are life like and they can't believe they aren't actual real children signing and dancing. They rave about it because it's a classic ride. Same with jungle cruise. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your time, really, but it sounds like your expectations were not on par with reality.
 

HongKongFooy

Active Member
by 10 a.m. I was texting my sister a long rant on how I wanted to leave. I was soooooo bored.......... The only thing that stopped me from calling a lyft right then and there was that I had to keep reminding myself just how expensive the ticket was, and therefore to feel like I got my money's worth I should stay until closing.

Another absurdity ---got to appreciate the terribly flawed thinking that I see pop up around here fairly often.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
I definitely think the weather negatively affected my enjoyment a bit. One or two days of rain? Fine. But the entire two weeks though?! :(

I think I had trouble because the rideshare pickup wasn't where I thought it would be, and therefore I panicked and started racing around the airport looking for it lol.

I didn't know there was a Trip Report board. 🤭 Is there a way to ask the moderators to move my thread there if they can?
Our trip last June it stormed everyday, which I was expecting, but not the level of rain and storms, from 2pm often till after 5 PM it was thunder and heavy downpours. This killed our plan to do some afternoon swimming and the worst was when we arrived at Typhoon Lagoon only to have them close the park right after we arrived. But it happens, and you just move on.
 

Buzzd

New Member
This is comedy gold. I read through the whole thing and kept cracking up every other line, thank you. I lost it when you got to the airport part, but was surprised when you didn't write about how boring the flight was and how they nickle and dimed you for an atrocious meal on-board. Reading a trip report from somebody who finds a way to complain about everything in a morose attitude may be my new guilty pleasure
 
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