Tag: Trip reports

Disney’s Animal Kingdom trip report – October 2014 (park-wide construction, new animal exhibits, and the reopened Lion King show)

Animal Kingdom - October 2014.

This past weekend, my family and I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom. The weather was wonderful, with highs in the mid-80s, and the crowd levels were moderate. It made for a beautiful and enjoyable day at the park. Arriving in the parking lot, we noticed parts of the Giraffe section were closed, which is due to the construction of a new parking lot rumored to be titled Yeti. We were directed to park our car in the RV/bus section, which advantageously placed us within walking distance of Animal … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – October 2014 (Skull Island rises, the heat wave broils, and Marvel’s superheroes assemble)

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My family and I spent another beautiful Sunday this month at Universal Orlando, this time at Islands of Adventure. Knowing that Halloween Horror Nights was scheduled for that evening, we were fully prepared for the moderate crowd levels and wait times that we encountered at the park (unlike last time, when the annual Halloween event through us for a loop). After walking through the lively CityWalk area, we proceeded through the turnstiles of IOA and were immediately transitioned into the … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Florida trip report – October 2014 (HHN props, weekend crowds, and beautiful weather)

Universal Studios Florida - October 2014.

On a beautiful, sunny afternoon this past weekend, my family and I visited Universal Studios Florida. Touring the park is always fun for us, and this trip was no exception. We arrived in the late morning, and since USF was closing at 5:00pm for Halloween Horror Nights, we drafted a plan to get the most out of our shortened day. Banners promoting the event's haunted houses hung at the entrance, and HHN props were strewn throughout the park (don't worry - they're nothing that would scare young … [Read more...]

Epcot trip report – September 2014 (saying farewell to Maelstrom and a sampling of this year’s Food & Wine Festival)

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My family and I visited Walt Disney World’s Epcot on a beautiful sunny afternoon this past weekend. The trip promised to be bittersweet, as I looked forward to smaller crowds and sampling some unique culinary treats at the International Food & Wine Festival, on the one hand, but I also had to say goodbye to some Epcot favorites, on the other. A highlight of my visit this month was riding more attractions in a shorter time span due to the low wait times (Spaceship Earth was at just 10 … [Read more...]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – September 2014 (new free wifi, Clyde and Seamore refurb, dolphin training, and more)

SeaWorld Orlando - September 2014.

Plans to visit SeaWorld this past Saturday were almost derailed by the constant rain in the Orlando area. However, we decided that the rain would also bring a drastic reduction in crowd levels – and a little water wouldn’t hurt us anyway, right? So after stopping at the Walgreens just down the street from SeaWorld for ponchos ($3.99 each, and they were surprisingly durable), we headed off on our wet adventure. As we entered the park, we found the crowd levels as we expected – the lowest … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – September 2014 (shorter wait times, King Kong’s progress, and a “thank you” to Team Members)

Islands of Adventure trip report - September 2014.

It has been three months since my entire family visited Islands of Adventure together, so we were excited about spending a beautiful day at the park last Saturday. The lower summer crowd levels and wait times and the slight temperature drop spurred us on our adventures at the park. Arriving at IOA around lunchtime, we decided to head to the shaded umbrella tables next to the Green Eggs and Ham quick-service restaurant in Seuss Landing. Although it wasn't open this trip, we still ate our … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Florida trip report – September 2014 (Fall crowds, HHN prep, more Diagon Alley, and The Boxtrolls)

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I headed to Universal Studios Florida this past Saturday for this month's trip report. Since I was visiting the park by myself, I was determined and eager to take my time enjoying the park's attractions on my own schedule. Arriving mid-morning, the sign for Universal's Christian music festival, Rock the Universe, was hanging from the arched entrance to USF. All of the entry turnstiles were open and busy, but the lines moved quickly. I was pleased with the moderate crowd levels, and the … [Read more...]

Visiting Diagon Alley for the first time: A truly spellbinding experience

Visiting Diagon Alley for the first time again.

It has been nearly two months since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley’s enchanted brick wall first opened for the world to experience. I often find myself craving a weekend visit as I muddle through the work week. So when the last-minute opportunity to visit with someone who hadn’t been to either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade popped up, I had to jump at the chance. As someone who has now clocked over 15 journeys to Diagon Alley since its soft opening days, it was magical to see … [Read more...]

Magic Kingdom trip report – August 2014 (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, LeFou’s Brew vs. Butterbeer, Hub construction)

Magic Kingdom - August 2014.

My Walt Disney World trip this month was to Magic Kingdom last Sunday, on a very sunny, very hot day. Although we did not spend a long day at the park, by pre-planning our FastPass+ attractions, my family and I were able to enjoy ourselves and not have to wait for a lengthy period of time for our preferred rides. When we arrived at the park, the summer version of the entertaining Main Street trolley show was occurring. Talented performers usually ride the horse-drawn trolley and stop at … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – August 2014 (World Lion Day, Falcon’s Fury testing, Howl-O-Scream construction, and more)

Busch Gardens Tampa - August 2014.

Last Sunday, we arrived at Busch Gardens Tampa around 10:30 in the morning and found the crowds to be much lower than we had anticipated. The summer travelers are finally starting to thin out, and it’s a welcome sight, indeed. We came specifically that day for the World Lion Day celebration. Add in that it also happened to be the celebration of the two adult females' birthdays (Iris and Rose turned eight on August 15), and this was a great party put on by Busch Gardens. The park set out all … [Read more...]

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