Saratoga Springs and Universal Studios

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alicemouse's picture
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I love Squash Soup and the selection at Sanaa looks fabulous muchlove

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Diagon Alley!

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Escape from Gringotts. I walked through but didn't ride.

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Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron. Butterbeer, Guinness stew for hubby, toad in the hole for me, and sticky toffee pidding to share. All is delicious, especially the bangers (sausages) in the toad in the hole.

Disney could take a lesson from Universal. Here a "team member" leads you to a table, unlike at BoG, where you wander and wander on your own. And they bring your food to you here as well, but it comes much faster.

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The in-park wifi is much, much more reliable here than at the Disney parks.

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I think you've talked us into hitting up Universal one of these trips! Your lunch looks amazing!

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Isn't Diagon Alley amazing?!!?! My husband and I said the exact same thing when we ate at
The Leaky Cauldron. They run it so much more efficiently than BOG.

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Hogwarts Express.

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Love, love, LOVE Harry Potter World. I could spend the entire day going from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and back again and never see the rest of the parks. Did you exchange your muggle money for wizard money at Gringott's?

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After wandering Hogsmeade a bit and getting more Butterbeer, we took the train back to Diagon Alley and got ice cream at Florean Fortescue's. Mine was earl grey and lavender, awesome; hubby's was butterbeer flavor soft serve, which didn't really taste like butterbeer but was still tasty.

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Our view while eating ice cream.

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Kreacher peeking out the window at 12 Grimmauld Place.

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We walked through the money exchange but didn't actually exchange.

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Rode Men in Black for the last time ever. In the past I could handle it once, but this time once got me a little queasy. Sitting and sipping a Coke for a while.

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We'd never visited the tribute to Lucille Ball before, so we strolled through. I think you'd have to be a huge fan to appreciate it. Even I am a little too young to qualify. A couple of photos, some of Lucy's clothes and a model of her show's set.

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I'm so jealous not to be with you right now! How was the butter chicken? I wish I could eat those breads right now....

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RobynPrincess wrote:
I'm so jealous not to be with you right now! How was the butter chicken? I wish I could eat those breads right now....

I totally understand why you rave about the butter chicken. I'll definitely get it again - and will eat the leftovers tomorrow, most likely.

Wish you were here, Robyn, we had such a great time in March.

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After a second round trip on the Hogwarts Express, we visited the Disaster! attraction, which is like a much better version of the final, watered-down version of the Backlot Tour.

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After that we headed over to City Walk and got a light dinner at the Hot Dog Hall of Fame, which features hot dogs from all around the country. Huby got the Arizona dog, which had bacon, pinto beans, cheese, grilled onions, and...I forget, it had a lot. I got the Boston dog, which just had spicy brown mustard, relish, and onions, but it came in a New England-style bun. Haven't had one of those in this century, so I had to try it.

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Got a Ravenclaw T-shirt and an interactive wand.

We had stopped by Ollivander's in Diagon Alley to see the wand show. Amazingly, hubby and I were the only two in the show! So instead of choosing a child to be selected by a wand, the wand keeper pulled out two wands, had each of us try one unsuccessfully, then switched them around, after which magic happened! Hubby didn't buy one; he actually preferred mine, so we'll share it.

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And now we're lounging around our rooms drinking asti spumante we bought here at the resort and eating a candy apple we bought at DTD yesterday.

Tomorrow is a day off, so I'll get more work done. We decided to go to Universal every other day because the main attraction is Potterville and we don't want to do it three days in a row unless weather requires it.

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I spent about four hours working today, with frequent breaks. Hubby wandered off on his own, then when I was done I took the boat to DTD, strolled through, then caught a boat to French Quarter. And good news, no moe work this week! A few photos around Saratoga Springs.

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Downtown Disney. I actually saw three of the amphicars on the water while I boated over to DTD from SSR. We thought about eating at the Boathouse this trip, but reservations aren't available yet and the lines to get in are pretty long.

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Wandered around the French Quarter...

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...and then walked over to Riverside. This was my first visit to Port Orleans, and now I understand why so many people love both resorts. They're beautiful and much more peaceful and relaxing than the values are. I liked French Quarter best but would be happy staying at either one.

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Oh I wish I had known you were going to check out POR! I have a friend who is working in the food court there for the college program. I told her I won't get to see her this weekend but I would try to send some friends to say hi! LOL I could just imagine now... "Hi Stephanie? Jen said to say hi!" LOL

Great pics. I really can't wait to get back to Universal for the Hogwarts Express!

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Hubby drove over to Port Orleans to meet me for dinner. Last night, after we decided not to do Universal today, I made a dinner reservation at Boatwright's specifically to afford us an opportunity to see both Port Orleans resorts and also to try a restaurant we'd never visited before. So, the food! We started by sharing the fried oyster appetizer (I love fried oysters!), after which hubby got jambalaya and I got prime rib. And they had creme brulee on the dessert menu, so of course we had to indulge. The oysters were excellent, although the accompanying watercress was overseasoned. The prime rib was yummy (and will be again later this week; I left half of it and most of the potatoes)and hubby loved the jambalaya. He gave me a bite of the andouille sausage; I don't normally care for smoked sausage, but this was delicious. As for the creme brulee, it was good, but not as good as the version we got at California Grill. Still, we were pleased with our dinner and would eat here again.

I forgot to take photos of the oysters and creme brulee, but I did get the main dishes.

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Now, some bad news. Hubby has weak ankles and is unusually prone to twists, strains, and sprains. I can step wrong and twist my ankle so I land on the side of my foot and walk on without more than a twinge; hubby does that and he can barely walk for days or longer. So yesterday his ankle started to hurt. He doesn't know why; he didn't fall or step wrong or anything, but now he's hobbling around in pain. And his ankle brace is back at home. So we'll see how he feels tomorrow. I told him we can skip Universal tomorrow and go Friday and Saturday or even skip going a third day; we paid for two days with a third day free, so we won't have wasted money is we only go two days. I said we could get him a rental scooter or a wheelchair or stop at a pharmacy for a brace or an Ace bandage. So we're not sure what tomorrow will hold.

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JMed wrote:
Oh I wish I had known you were going to check out POR! I have a friend who is working in the food court there for the college program. I told her I won't get to see her this weekend but I would try to send some friends to say hi! LOL I could just imagine now... "Hi Stephanie? Jen said to say hi!" LOL

Great pics. I really can't wait to get back to Universal for the Hogwarts Express!

I even went into the food court! First I stopped at the counter service place in POFQ to see if they sell beignets individually because I was hungry and our ADR was a good 1 1/2 hours away - but no, you have to get three or six. Then I stopped at POR's food court to get a glass of water after all that walking in the heat. Well, if I go back I will ask for her.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Now, some bad news. Hubby has weak ankles and is unusually prone to twists, strains, and sprains. I can step wrong and twist my ankle so I land on the side of my foot and walk on without more than a twinge; hubby does that and he can barely walk for days or longer. So yesterday his ankle started to hurt. He doesn't know why; he didn't fall or step wrong or anything, but now he's hobbling around in pain. And his ankle brace is back at home. So we'll see how he feels tomorrow. I told him we can skip Universal tomorrow and go Friday and Saturday or even skip going a third day; we paid for two days with a third day free, so we won't have wasted money is we only go two days. I said we could get him a rental scooter or a wheelchair or stop at a pharmacy for a brace or an Ace bandage. So we're not sure what tomorrow will hold.

Oh no! I hope Dan's ankle is feeling better quickly!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.