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Old 09-15-2003, 04:58 PM   #1
AlisonB
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Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Day 10. Universal Studios

Day 10 - Thursday 28th August 2003


Cast list:

Shaun - 40 something 'If it's not alcoholic I won't drink it'
Alison - 30 something 'If it spins I won't even look at it'
Alexandra - 10 'If it goes upside down I'LL LOVE IT!'
Laura - 8 'If it's not pizza I won't eat it'





Up this morning at a reasonable time this morning although I’m sure that I noticed Alison champing at the bit again. Today we decide to grab a bite to eat on the way in at Citywalk to avoid going off-site for breakfast.

We took the boat (girls' choice) and looked around for somewhere suitable and noticed that Pastamore was open. Here they offered various plated options which was so-so to say the least but served a purpose. Once again Laura ate next to nothing whilst Alexandra tucked into anything that was remotely edible. Alison, Alexandra and myself had the breakfast plate (eggs,bacon, breakfast potatoes and a croissant) and Laura picked at a little bit of scrambled egg. With one juice, one milk and 2 coffees the total was $22 (which included our 10% discount for AP holders). Won't go there again!

Once we had finished it was over to USF to do some rides that were more suitable for Laura as she’d been missing out while Alexandra had found her nerve on the bigger rides.
We went straight to Jimmy Neutron, which was the girls first simulator ride. They really enjoyed it - very clever! Round the corner to Nickelodeon which hasd changed a bit since last time. Previously it's always included a tour, but that's been dropped now and it's straight to the 'show', but that's what most kids want anyway! Alexandra and Laura were a bit disappointed that they didn't get picked for anything but they were a bit timid on the hand waving front. Never mind - we'll try again later!

Next it was the long walk to Men in Black:Alien Attack but it was temporarily closed so we milled around for a bit until it opened. As an aside, unbeknown to the others, I’d printed off MIB999999’s copy of how to "improve" your score on MIB and I was ready to kick bottoms! – however, as we queued up my mind went blank! – no change there then, although one or two tips did come back to me.
The outcome of all this was that I managed to wipe the floor clean with the rest of the crew – who’s the Daddy! – LOL Again this was another ride that the girls had never done before - they'd been too scared previously! Having said that, Alexandra managed to do the ride with one arm wrapped round her head to cover her ears (remember the sensitive ears problems with the alarms?) but she still enjoyed it.

Jaws was a walk-on (girls wouldn't do it - they waited outside with some Powerade and popcorn) and the ride was much better than I’d remembered although our CM was a bit lacklustre although it was early in the morning I suppose. One thing that always gets me is how bloomin’ hot the explosion is – as if I’m not hot enough already!

By now it was nearly midday and it was getting very hot once again so we broke off and got the ferry boat back to the Portofino Bay Hotel for a swim and cool down. That’s the beauty of staying on-site at the Universal Hotels, the ability to pool hop across all 3 sites. The view of the hotel as we approached was very spectacular and in looked like a realistic Italian fishing village, complete with boats in the bay and Vespa’s and Lancia cars dotted about on the quayside. Overall, the feeling of the place was very genteel and very swish.

We headed off to the pool area and asked for some towels, but when we asked if they wanted to see our room cards they weren’t particularly bothered, although I guess that it’s because we had honest faces – LOL

We had a lovely cooling swim and the girls went on the slide a few times but the sky began to darken. Not long after, the whistle went and it was everyone out of the pool and WHAM! – down came the rain and people scattered in all directions with us beating a hasty retreat to the toilets to get changed. This wasn’t a bad move initially as we all got changed and dried off but it looked like it was all in vain as the only route back to the hotel was not undercover!
We made a mad dash for it through the puddles and the like and made it to a lift lobby. Not knowing what to do we went in the lifts and made our way through to the lobby area and had a good nose around trying to look like we were staying there!

It didn't take too long for the rain to subside so we caught the boat back to USF and carried on with the rides! (Well after some funnel cake for a slightly late lunch!) Yummy!

Now it was time to leave the DDs on their own again as we go off to ride Terminator 2-3D. They decided that they'd like to watch Animal Planet Live again - so we gave them a park map and a walkie talkie (see we're not totally bad parents!) and sent them on their way! As we enter the holding room it’s clear to see that this show is a real "people eater" as it packs loads in which isn’t a bad thing. The CM who carried out the pre-show warm up was superb and really hammed things up. "Super" was a word that she frequently in a sarcastic way and made everyone laugh out loud and join in Music Hall fashion.
Overall, the show still has great impact and that elusive WOW factor – although there were some little ones in the show I’m not sure how suitable it’d be for some. I know that our two wouldn’t have enjoyed it much.

Afterwards we walked over to meet the girls and they wanted to have another go in Nick - determined to get picked for a game this time! We primed the girls while we were walking over to the entrance about how to act to get chosen for the show and not to be disappointed if they didn’t get picked. After much hand waving and jumping about – the kids not me! – LOL, they were both picked to take part in the games. )The main problem was that Alexandra was chosen as one of the team captains. What’s the problem I hear you ask? Well, this meant that the host asked who she had come with. When she replied "Mum and Dad", they asked who would like to see made a fool of or suchlike – surprise, surprise I was chosen to dress up as Darwin from The Wild Thornberrys – oh the shame! The humiliation! A person of my calibre, pillar of the community etc – reduced to this! Alison, you can put that camera down now honey! (Alison - that was my main aim - to get photographic evidence of Shaun being humiliated!)
Never mind – at least that photo will only be seen by us (Alison - I think not!)
Well, Alison said that was the highlight of the holiday so we'd better leave Universal Studios for the day so she could savour the moment

Back to the Hard Rock for a swim. Then we got changed and decided to give one of the CityWalk restaurants a try as it was reasonably early. After a quick look at the menus for something that DDs would like we went into the Motown Cafe.
The ambience of this restaurant was great with soul classics from the like of Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, Earth Wind and Fire (great outfits guys) etc, etc.
Food was ok but not exceptional and it wasn’t cheap. (We had 2 kids chicken strips and fries, one cheeseburger and fries, one Philly Steak and cheese sandwich and fries. Two cokes and 2 cocktails and the total was $74.) The service was not very good though.
The server gave the girls a couple of games tickets to take downstairs (there were loads of games machines - but after Disney Quest it was a bit disappointing).

By the time we came out, CityWalk was really buzzing. We thought it had much more of an adult atmosphere here than Downtown Disney - I think we'd have enjoyed it more if we hadn't had two tired kids in tow!
Anyway, back for a reasonably early night.


Brits Count - few families in hotel, lots in the park!
Weather - hot but cloudy in patches. Heavy rain shower around 2pm for 30 mins.
Rain impact - minimal - gave us a chance to look round Portofino Bay!

Tomorrow's plan - Check into Club Level at the Hard Rock
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:59 AM   #2
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Wonderful trip reports ~ Thanx for sharing!!
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Old 09-16-2003, 05:29 AM   #3
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Portofino Bay Hotel sounds wonderful

So Alison where's the photo???
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:14 PM   #4
AlisonB
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Whoops! Just realised Shaun must have posted the above report on my log in!

Well, you wanted the piccie.......here it is!!

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1988 - Contemporary
1989 - Offsite
1994 - EuroDisney
1999 - Offsite
2001 - CBR & Polynesian
2003 - Wilderness Lodge & Hard Rock
2004 - Pop, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2006 - Disneyland Paris - Newport Bay Club
2007 - POR, HRH, Grand Floridian
2008 - ASSp, BCV, VB, RPR, VWL
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:22 AM   #5
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Angry

Nooooooooooooooooooooo!


LOL
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1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
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2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:39 AM   #6
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Very Fetching
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Old 09-23-2003, 04:06 AM   #7
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Superb photo
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Old 09-24-2003, 03:09 PM   #8
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I never knew you could pool hop - thanks for the tips!

Oh Shaun, what do you look like!

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Old 09-25-2003, 03:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Don't ask - I've been made a monkey of! - LOL
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1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:05 PM   #10
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OMG!

Ummm, I'm laughing with you - not at you naturally

Sounds like you had a great day here!
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