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Old 07-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Twoboysnmygirl View Post
I don't know what most of those things are, but as always, you are a master organizer/planner and put me to shame! Looks fun!!! I'm so excited for you.
As if! I wouldn't even know what a touring plan IS if it wasn't for you!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:04 AM   #182
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Time for touring plans! Our first full day in Florida we're heading to LegoLand. I started to just skip this day and go straight to my plans for the darkside but then I thought someone might be reading that would appreciate the info on LegoLand.

My kids are actually a little older than the target age range for this park but Jace LOVES Legos. He isn't really that into rides, especially thrill rides and generally enjoys the theming and shows found in theme parks more than anything else. So, even though the rides are pretty tame for most 14 year olds, I think just seeing all of the really cool builds is going to be enough for him.

From everything I've read Saturdays are busy with locals, like most theme parks. But unlike a lot of other parks the weekdays during the school year are also busy at LLF because a lot of school groups visit during the week. Sundays were deemed the best day to visit the parks by most of the regulars on the forum I joined to find info on this park.

Even though we'll have a car it was much cheaper for us to take the shuttle from Orlando that LLF offers. For $5 per person each way (plus tip) we won't have to worry about traffic, getting lost or parking. We have our seats reserved and will meet the shuttle at the Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland at 8:30 AM.

We'll have a full day because there's a lot we want to see and do. Thankfully park hours were extended for the week of our visit. Originally they were 10-5 but now the website is showing 9:30-6:00.

The numbers following attractions in parentheses indicate their priority for us, 1 being a MUST, 2 being really want to, 3 being it would be nice but is okay to skip if we're pressed for time. I don't know if we need to be this thorough now that the hours have been extended but we already had the plans made for a 7 hour park day.

I've excluded coasters because my kids don't like them. HOWEVER, the coasters at LL are kiddie coasters and the advice I've gotten from the forums is that they are comparable to Barnstormer. Jace says he may want to try one but he'll have to see when he actually sees them in the parks. I'm not holding my breath.

I've also included dining options in each individual land after reviewing menus. I have picky eaters plus dietary restrictions so it helps to know where we can eat around the park without being too locked in to having to be at a specific place when we get hungry.

Sunday September 22: LL (9:30-6)

World of Chima (This is the brand new land that just opened this month, heading here first to try to beat the crowds!)
-Quest for Chi (1)

Land of Adventure
-Safari Trek (1)
-Lost Kingdom Adventure (2)
-Food Option: BBQ Pit

Lego Kingdom
-Merlin’s Challenge (3)
-Food Option: Castle Burger

Lego Technic
-Technicycle (3)
-Aquazone Racers (3)
-Food Options: Robot Pit Stop, Lakeside Sandwiches

Lego City
-Rescue Academy (2)
-Boating School (2)
-Big Test Live Show (2) (Try to see the first show of the day)

Leave these areas no later than 1:30

Imagination Zone
-WB Games Zone (1)
-Hero Factory (2)
-Build and Test (3)

Pirate’s Cove

-Water Ski Show (1)
-Food Option: Brickbeard’s Burgers

Cypress Gardens
-Botanical Gardens (1)

Leave this area no later than 3:30

Miniland (1)
-This is the area with extensive builds of city scapes, movie scenes, etc. The entire land is an attraction in and of itself.

Fun Town
-Grand Carousel (2)
-Greenhouse (1)
-4D Theater (2)
-Food Option: Pizza Pasta Buffet
-Granny’s Apple Fries for snack on the way out

Shopping/Pick up held items (1)

Back through The Beginning
-Island in the sky if time allows (3)

Be back to shuttle no later than 6:15

Pick up dinner near hotel in Orlando to take back to room
You implied that you are new to park planning, but I really like your planning style.
So many of us, myself included, place the rides in order from best to worst, but scattered all of the park. If you do it that way, you are running back and forth all over the park all day long.
This way, you have a clear consensus on your priorities, but can also see where the rides are. That way you can decide if you want to do that 2 attraction before a 1 attraction based on where you are in the park, and their proximity to other attractions you want to see.
I also like your timeline goals and food locations.
Great as a quick glance to-do card you can carry with you!
I may steal your idea. It feels a little less commando to me.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:46 AM   #183
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You implied that you are new to park planning, but I really like your planning style.
So many of us, myself included, place the rides in order from best to worst, but scattered all of the park. If you do it that way, you are running back and forth all over the park all day long.
This way, you have a clear consensus on your priorities, but can also see where the rides are. That way you can decide if you want to do that 2 attraction before a 1 attraction based on where you are in the park, and their proximity to other attractions you want to see.
I also like your timeline goals and food locations.
Great as a quick glance to-do card you can carry with you!
I may steal your idea. It feels a little less commando to me.
I did touring plans for our 2010 trip to WDW BUT we had the GAD Fastpasses (we volunteered a day locally and instead of free park tickets we got special FP that were redeemable instantly instead of giving a return time). Since we had those there was no need for criss-crossing the parks. And we aren't big on thrill rides so a lot of the headliners aren't on our list which makes it easier.

But I do love a more laid back plan. Besides, I think my family would revolt if I tried to go commando on them.

The LL park is the only one I included the timeline goals. It's a pretty big park and several of the things we're interested in are time consuming because they aren't rides- the botanical gardens and mini-land especially will take time to truly see and appreciate. And since we only have one day and the park hours are short it's going to be tough to fit it all in. I hope the timeline is as realistic and helpful as I think it will be.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:09 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
I did touring plans for our 2010 trip to WDW BUT we had the GAD Fastpasses (we volunteered a day locally and instead of free park tickets we got special FP that were redeemable instantly instead of giving a return time). Since we had those there was no need for criss-crossing the parks. And we aren't big on thrill rides so a lot of the headliners aren't on our list which makes it easier.

But I do love a more laid back plan. Besides, I think my family would revolt if I tried to go commando on them.

The LL park is the only one I included the timeline goals. It's a pretty big park and several of the things we're interested in are time consuming because they aren't rides- the botanical gardens and mini-land especially will take time to truly see and appreciate. And since we only have one day and the park hours are short it's going to be tough to fit it all in. I hope the timeline is as realistic and helpful as I think it will be.
I'm looking forward to reading your report and seeing how it goes!
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:41 AM   #185
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I'm looking forward to reading your report and seeing how it goes!
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #186
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Touring Plans Day 2: IOA

After a fun filled day at LegoLand it'll be on to Hogwart's!

We're staying in a partner hotel so we have early entry to IOA but no express pass. I'm pretty confident we aren't going to need it during this third week of September, especially since we won't be riding any coasters, but I'm still a bit nervous about it. Undercover Tourist has this day as yellow in both parks and then our other two park days are green; Orlando Informer shows both days as "slow" and doesn't recommend EP. I do think we'll be fine, I just can't help but be nervous.

So, to ease my nerves I have touring plans!

We WILL have another day at IOA so if this doesn't all happen on our first day it won't be the end of the world... but I'm still hopeful that our second day in this park will just be about revisiting favorites.

And once again, I've looked at menus, reviews, etc. and included several food options so we can easily find a place to eat when we feel hungry instead of being tied to a specific place.

MondaySeptember 23: IOA (8-7) (entry time indicates early entry)

WWoHP
-Ollivanderís
-FJ
-Queue for roller coasters to see Hagridís Hut and Weaselyís car (kids may want to ride Hippogriff but doubtful)
-Explore!! (Possibly start scavenger hunt at this time, I'll decide in the parks if I want to do it then or if we just want to soak in the magic and do it when we return.)
-Butterbeer in Hogs Head
-Donít forget to visit Myrtle
-Castle Tour/FJ again

Jurassic Park
-Discovery Center
-River Adventure
-Lunch option: Thunder Falls Terrace

Toon Lagoon
-Ripsaw Falls
-Bilge Rat Barges
-Lunch option: Comic Strip Cafť

Super Hero Island
-Spider-Man
-Storm Force
-Superhero meet-n-greets!
-Lunch options: Cafť 4, Captain America (avoid unless starving at this point)


We may want to take a break at this point and go back to the hotel to swim/relax and return later. Need to return by around 4:00 for this to be worth it so depends on time and how tired we are when reaching this point. We didn't really like mid-day breaks on our trip to WDW but we were relying on buses instead of having a car so not sure at this point how we'll feel. My mom will still be recovering from a back injury so her energy levels will be a factor as well.

Seuss Landing:
-High in the Sky Trolley
-One Fish, Two Fish
-Cat in the Hat
-Caro-Seuss-el
-Lunch option: Circus McGurkus

Lost Contintent
-Poseidonís Fury
-Sinbad (if schedule works out)
-Mystic Fountain

Back to WWoHP
-Revisit favorites
-OOP dinner at 3 Broomsticks
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:51 PM   #187
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Thunder Falls Terrace is excellent for counter service and Mythos is wonderful for table service.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:45 PM   #188
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Thunder Falls Terrace is excellent for counter service and Mythos is wonderful for table service.
Thanks! I'm really going to push for TFT. I already settled for Confisco's instead of Mythos to satisfy my picky eaters so I'm hoping to at least get my way on something, lol!
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:43 PM   #189
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The Legoland sounds so fun! I can't wait to hear about it when you get back!
Mmmmm, butterbeer!
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:28 AM   #190
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The Legoland sounds so fun! I can't wait to hear about it when you get back!
Mmmmm, butterbeer!
I'm much more excited about LL than I was originally. Going through all the ride descriptions with Jace and seeing his excitement was contagious. :

Yes, can't wait to try the butterbeer! I'm diabetic so the hard part is going to be not over doing it!
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #191
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The autograph books/journals I ordered from Snapfish came in yesterday.

I'm pretty pleased with the way they came out and so are the kids. I uploaded images I got from the DISign boards and used them to create the books. I added lines to some of them for journaling and also chose text options while creating the books to create space for journaling.

The plan is for the books to be everything they might need- a journal, photo album and autograph book. They are 5x7 so some of the images are small so I think we'll need to get some wallet size prints instead of 4x6 for some pages. I chose to stick with the 20 pages included in the base price though I could have added a few more and still had a very reasonably priced book (especially since I had a coupon code which Snapfish offers frequently). I just remembered how many empty pages the kids had in their WDW journals and decided they probably wouldn't fill a lot of extra pages- no matter how cute I think they are.

One of the things I really like about creating the book myself is that I was able to tailor it for our needs- an all-in-one book with space for pictures, notes and autographs was perfect for us and I added fun captions. Since this is our first trip to UO I didn't have any personal pictures to add but for a return visit a book could be even more personalized.

So, anyway, a few pics of the finished product. I snapped these with my phone so I apologize for the quality.

For the cover I decided not to put the kids names. This was mostly because I wasn't 100% sure the book would save and allow me to edit after adding one to the cart. I didn't really want to go back and recreate the book because it's time consuming and my coupon expired that day. So, again, these could be made more personal.


I created a variety of pages using a combination of text and images from the DISign boards.




The last page in the book is for character autographs that don't have a specific page in the book. There are some blank, white pages following it (including the back cover) that can be used for autographs as well. I started to just give it the title "Autographs" but then had the idea to do this instead...


There are, of course, more pages not pictured here and I added fun little captions to all of them. The opening page has space for a pic in front of Hogwart's castle with the caption "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good!" And the final page (before the autograph page) has the caption "Mischief managed!" The journal page with the Spongebob DISigns is titled "I'm Ready!" The Simpsons page is captioned "Aye Carumba!" and the page for pics with the Marvel superheros is captioned "Just hangin' with some friends." I could go on but you get the idea.

So, like I said, overall I'm pretty pleased. And it was fun getting something trip related in the mail yesterday. Just another reminder of how close we're getting!
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:53 AM   #192
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Hello Hope ~

I found my way over here from Karen's Run Like A Princess PTR. I remember reading your Chicago mini TR last year...so HELLO again! It took me about 2 days, but I am all caught up.

It looks like you have planned an amazing trip to Universal and Legoland. I can't wait to see the pictures and read the TR when you return. The journal/autograph books you made are just adorable! Great job!

I am a thrill ride junkie, I LOVE Harry Potter and I have always wanted to visit Universal. BUT...I'm kind of hung up on this mouse...named Mickey. He gets very jealous and he might break up with me if I visited the dark side...LOL In all seriousness I would love to get there one day, but I love Disney so much that it's hard! For now...I will just live vicariously through you!
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #193
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Hello Hope ~

I found my way over here from Karen's Run Like A Princess PTR. I remember reading your Chicago mini TR last year...so HELLO again! It took me about 2 days, but I am all caught up.

Welcome! You are a brave soul if you read through all of my insane planning and plan changes!

It looks like you have planned an amazing trip to Universal and Legoland. I can't wait to see the pictures and read the TR when you return. The journal/autograph books you made are just adorable! Great job!

Thanks! I'm pretty excited so hopefully the actual trip will live up to all the plans.

I am a thrill ride junkie, I LOVE Harry Potter and I have always wanted to visit Universal. BUT...I'm kind of hung up on this mouse...named Mickey. He gets very jealous and he might break up with me if I visited the dark side...LOL In all seriousness I would love to get there one day, but I love Disney so much that it's hard! For now...I will just live vicariously through you!
Karen has the same jealous boyfriend issue you have.

Honestly, this started because I wanted to see WWoHP but the more research I've done the more excited I am to be venturing over to the darkside.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #194
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Touring Plans Day 3: US

More touring plans! We only have one day at US which means it's more important that we get everything done on this day. So, any feedback from experienced darksiders is, as always, greatly appreciated.

No coasters which makes things easier but there are several shows we want to see which can be tough to schedule. It also means these plans may change once show times are published for the day we'll be in the park.

Again, the CS food options are based on my research of the menus to accommodate our dietary restrictions and picky eaters as well as what's available on the dining plan. It's my understanding that the new Simpson's area restaurants aren't included on the DP so I guess we won't be eating there unless we opt for an OOP snack or drink. I keep expecting them to update the DP flyer since it includes Monster's Cafe which is not on the park maps anymore.

Anyway... plans!

Tuesday Septemeber 24: US (9-7)

Production Central
-Transformerís
-Despicable Me
-Shrek 4D

Hollywood
-Lucy

Woody Woodpeckerís KidZone
-ET

World Expo
-MIB
-Simpsonís

San Francisco
-Disaster
-BeetleJuice
-Lunch option: Richterís

New York
-Twister
-Blues Brothers
-Lunch Option: Louieís

Back to Hollywood
-T2 3D
-Horror Make-Up Show
-Lunch Option: Melís (doesnít have great reviews but some like it)

Time for a break, may go back to hotel depending on time but we need to be back in the park around 4:30-4:45. We only have one day in this park so we may just want to rest at CityWalk or in the park so we have time to revisit favorites.

5:00 Dinner Ressie at Finneganís

Cinematic Spectacular after dinner; go to bench area at the end of the lagoon near Melís Diner in Hollywood for best viewing.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:34 AM   #195
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Oooh, going to have to add the new Kang & Kodos ride after The Simpsons- looks like it will probably be up and running before our trip.
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