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  1. #1

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    Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Day 1 Uni, IOA, and EPCOT:

    Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

    This is my 2nd trip report of 2009. The trip started out at Universal Orlando. After winning the Super Bowl promotion and much thought and consideration, I decided this was the best chance I had to actually use the free ticket. With that decision made, I logged onto Hotels.com and found a great deal on a hotel close to Universal. The Orlando Continental Plaza Hotel is right at the intersection of Universal Blvd. and International Drive. It isn't anything fancy, but at $35 it provided a nice, clean place to shower and sleep.

    I hit the road on May 17th around 7:00 am after completing the drive, I arrived at my home base for the first 3 days of my trip. Once I got checked in and moved in, I made my way to Universal Orlando.

    Once I had exchanged my voucher at the ticket booths, I entered Universal Studios Florida. My main goal for the day was to ride The Simpsons' Ride. I am a huge fan of the show and I had been anticipating this ride since it was announced. I must say that while it was enjoyable, it had me feel exactly like BTTF did...sick. Unfortunately, I do not foresee me riding the attraction again. After The Simpsons' Ride, I rode Revenge of The Mummy and made my way over to IOA. Once at IOA, I caught a ride on The Hulk, followed by Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dueling Dragons and The Amazing Adventure's of Spider-Man. It was now close to closing, but I made it over to Universal Studios and rode Revenge of The Mummy as the clouds began to role in.

    After grabbing a quick bite, I headed to DtD to renew my AP. With a new AP in hand, I stepped out into the rain and headed to EPCOT. I didn't accomplish a whole lot but I did ride Soarin' and SSE. With my new Patriotic Figgy in hand, I made my way to my hotel for the night.

    Selected pictures from Day 1:





























    Hagrid's Hut:



    HP Construction:











    That'll do it for Day 1.

  2. #2

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Day 2 Uni, IOA, and MK:

    I made it into Universal Studios right at rope drop on Monday. I quickly headed to MIB and walked right on. After MIB, I had awhile to wait until Disaster opened, which meant it was Mummy time! I probably rode it 3 times or so. Next up was Disaster. I was simply blown away by the Walken projection thing! It is really well done. After Disaster, I watched the first showing of The Horror Makeup Show. It still is one of the best stage show in any theme park. After another couple of rides on Mummy, I made my way to IOA via the "secret" exit.

    At IOA, I rode Hulk (multiple times), Dr. Doom, Spiderman (multiple times), Popeye, JP (multiple times), and Dr. Seuss's Sky Trolly. After a delicious meal at Mythos, I made my way to the exit and headed back to my hotel b/c closing was coming.

    I decided to head to MK for the evening. I really was surprised how much I got done with in about 3 hours times. I rode BTMRR (2 times), HM, Pirates, Philhar (2 times), and CoP.

    The rain had really started to pick up at this point, so I made my way out of MK. It had been a cold, rainy day, but I still had a blast!

    Selected Pictures:









    RRR Construction:























    Next 3 are pictures of Hogwarts:







    Other areas of HP:























    That'll do it for Day 2. Day 3 will probably be up later today!

  3. #3

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Day 3 Uni, DHS:

    On Tuesday I woke up to RAIN!!! This had to be one of the worse weather days I have ever experienced in Florida. I made my way to Universal Studios where I enjoyed a ride on MIB alone. Next up was a couple of spins on Mummy, followed my T2 and Shrek. I was planning on watching Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue, but the rain wouldn't let up. They eventually started the show, but after the first number decided to cancel for the performers safety.

    I was soaked to the bone, so I made my way back to the hotel where I enjoyed some KFC for lunch and chilled for awhile. The rain eventually let up and I decided to head to DHS. On the way to DHS, the skies really opened up. :brick:

    At DHS, I accomplished nothing. I grabbed a FP for TOT that I never used, watched Muppets and headed out of the park.

    It was a crappy day to say the least. :dazzle:

    I didn't take many pictures at all because of the rain, but here are a few I have:













    Day 4 and the move to the All Stars will be next.

  4. #4

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Enjoying the trip report. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope that crazy weather subsides for our trip in two weeks!
    Rick


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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Day 4 The move to Sports, EPCOT, and MK:

    I woke up early on Wednesday. I had pretty much packed everything the night before, which made the morning a lot easier. I quickly made my way out to my truck with all my belongings to start the actual Disney portion of my trip.

    I made it to Sports before 8 and was told my room was ready at Sports! Once I had moved into room 7355 in Touchdown, I gathered what I needed and made it to EPCOT right around 9.

    I quickly made my way to Soarin' for a FP and rode LWTL and watched Circle of Life (I love that film!!). Next, I visited Figgy, rode TT, and M:S. It was now time for Soarin' which was followed by SSE. At this point, I decided to head to MK for a bit.

    After my monorail rides and transfer, I headed for BTMRR for a FP and caught the railroad around to MTTF/TL station. I got in a ride on CoP as the rain started to lightly fall. After CoP I made my way to Philhar. As I was coming out the rain was down pouring. I took off to IASW to stay out the ran, next I ran to HM.

    At this point, the rain started to let off and I made my way to Pirates. The ride started off fine and all, but it quickly turned after the drop. Once at the bottom, the work lights popped on we eventually came to a stop. I was eventually evacuated after a 30 minute wait into a total downpour. I had a nice walk all the way around pirates building and under the train tracks. back to Adventureland.

    At this point, I decided to head back to Sports for dinner and to dry out. After a bit of a break, I made my way back to MK where I rode Splash, Pirates, CBJ, and Philhar. I made my way to hub where I enjoyed Wishes in the light rain and made my way back out to the bus stop.

    It was a good day, a wet one, but a good one.

    Selected Pictures:

    My offsite hotel:



















    They were redoing the sand sculpture. I think the rain got to the original.:



















    TTA is all boarded up.:



    I liked how they still had Stitch on the screen even when the performers couldn't do the show b/c of the rain.:















    Jack's new stage?:









    A lot of facade work going on around MK. In addition to the ones I have pictured below, they were also working on IASW and PVH:













    That'll do it for Day 4! Thanks to everyone for looking!

  6. #6

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Whoa! I heard it was raining like crazy over there in Florida and to see it in photos... whoa.

    Fun trip report. Loved seeing a wet Universal Studios. Thanks.
    Micoofy Duck
    Disney Theme Park Fan #4,584,376
    http://www.micoofy.com



  7. #7

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Very nice report. Looks like you had a great time considering the weather!

  8. #8

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    I feel sorry for anyone who's taken a vacation to FL last week or for the next week or so. It is absolutely dreadful here right now. I am so sick of rain.

  9. #9

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Day 5 DAK and EPCOT:

    I headed out to DAK on Thursday arriving just before rope drop. Once Mickey and the gang had done the little show, I headed straight for KS. We had to sit and wait for a giraffe to decide to move out of way for a good 15 minutes during the safari, but that made the experience better. All of the animals were out and I had a great tour guide. It all made for a great safari.

    After KS, I looked at the gorillas for a while before heading to EE. I grabbed a FP and got in the single rider line. After my first ride on EE, I went to CTX. It was one of my best experiences on the ride. I apparently was riding with a bunch of first timers, it was excellent.

    After CTX, I watched ITTBAB, used my FP for EE and caught Nemo. After a delicious lunch at Flame Tree, I headed to EPCOT.

    At EPCOT, I grabbed a FP for Soarin' followed by a ride on Imagination. Next, was Club Cool where they are now selling AIE merchandise for some reason. I then rode UOE, followed by M:S and TT. Next was SSE followed by Gran Fiesta Tour.

    I grabbed a sweet pretzel at the Norway Bakery and relaxed for a bit before heading back to ride Imagination followed by Soarin'. After Soarin' I stopped by the UK for Fish and Chips. I went ahead and caught AA as the rain started to fall. I decided to ride SSE and head back to the hotel because the rain was falling pretty hard now. I called it a day and headed back to Sports for the night.

    Selected Pictures From Day 5:



















    I love the little details around DAK like this:





    AIE merchandise in EPCOT:



    The finished sand sculpture:













    Thanks again for looking! Expect the start of SWW to be up later today.

  10. #10

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Great report! I hope it didnt rain your entire trip! That look like a crazy storm.
    Check out my page at www.myspace.com/wheresmickey

    Check out my pin collection at www.pinpics.com. User name is WheresMickey




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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Next, was Club Cool where they are now selling AIE merchandise for some reason.
    Coke is a major sponsor of American Idol. They've sold AI merchandise in there for years. It makes sense that they would change it to American Idol Experience merch.

  12. #12

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Quote Originally Posted by kcnole View Post
    Coke is a major sponsor of American Idol. They've sold AI merchandise in there for years. It makes sense that they would change it to American Idol Experience merch.
    Ah! That makes sense. I don't watch the show, so I didn't know that. Thanks for clearing it up!

    BTW, AIE is a much better attraction than I thought it would be.

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    I like the resort shots at night !

  14. #14

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Great TR overall! Nice shot of Hagrid's hut at Universal.
    "C:\Documents and Settings\martinla\My Documents\My Pictures\WINDVD Capture\cap014.jpg"
    Home away from Home.

  15. #15

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    Re: Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)

    Day 6 SWW @ DHS and EPCOT:

    This was the day I had been waiting for. My whole reason for going this week instead of the week before was for SWW. Now, I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, but I do enjoy the movies and have read a few books. It was with great anticipation that I booked my trip and researched exactly what I needed to be prepared for.

    Friday morning, I headed straight to DHS. I arrived around 45 minutes before opening to discover a HUGE line waiting or Ray Park autograph FP. It was backed up all the way to the boat dock at the entrance to DHS!

    I made my way to the merchandise line b/c I wanted to be sure I picked up a few limited edition SWW pins. After I had my wristband, I was able to snatch up a FP for Warwick Davis. At this point, I got in line and waited for them to start letting us in.

    They finally let us in, and I made my way to TSMM for a FP. With my FP in hand, I went straight to Wicket's Warehouse. Since I had a blue wristband, I was allowed in first I quickly grabbed my SWW hat, a Yoda bobble head and a throw they had for $15 if you spent $50. Then the waiting started. It took me a good hour to get up to the limited edition merchandise table. I got 4 pins the logo pin, the AP pin, and two spinners they had.

    After spending $130 :brick:, I exited Wicket's and used my FP for TSMM. I made my way to TOT to grab a FP for it and headed to the Premiere Theater for the Behind the Force show. Before I made it to the theater, I stopped at Mickey's of Hollywood on my way to the theater to pick up my EPCOT Center Vinylmation Mickey that had been released that day.

    The Behind the Force show was a very interesting. It started off with Jay Laga'aia introducing Ashley Eckstein. She is the voice of Ahsoka on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Eventually James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, came out. They gave a very interesting discussion of working on the show and demonstrated how the voice work is done. It was really interesting.

    Next, I just wondered around soaking in the atmosphere and wondering around DHS. I eventually ate lunch and started queueing up for the Stars of Saga show. This show was hosted by Jay Laga'aia who played Captain Typho in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It also featured Ray park (Darth Maul from Episode 1) and Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok from return of the Jedi). I liked the show a lot.

    By this time, the rain had started again. I made my way quickly to the Animation building where I held up for the rain. Unfortunately, I missed Warwick Davis' autograph session, but I'm sure it would have been ruined by the rain. I rode TOT and rode single rider on RNRC before heading to package pickup for my goodies. I was drenched, and felt a change of clothes was in order.

    Once back at Sports, I hung around for a bit and ate dinner at the food court. The rain eventually stopped, so I drove to EPCOT hoping to catch Illuminations. I arrived around 2 hours early, so I got a few rides in SSE, Imagination (I had a train to myself), and M:S.

    I had been wanting to see the new Canada film, but 360 films normally make me sick. I decided that since it was going to be my last attraction for the night before Illuminations to risk it. I must say, I LOVED the film and it didn't bother me at all.

    After the film, I watch Illuminations and made my way to the exit. Since it was EEMH that night, I rode SSE to let the parking lot clear. After my final ride on SSE for the trip, I walked to the truck and drove back to Sports.

    Selected photos from Day 6:







    Wicket's Warehouse:





    Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor during the Behind the Force show:







    Stars of the Saga Show:





    Ray Park, Warwick Davis, and Jay Laga'aia:







    The Up characters:













    Retro Universe of Energy paint:



    WOL all done up:

















    Thanks to all for looking. Day 7 (final day) will probably be up tonight!

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