Saratoga Springs and Universal Studios

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JoAnn C's picture
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Sorry to hear about Dan's ankle. Love the Harry Potter pictures. One of these day's I'm going to make it over there.

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I'm back at SSR; all that's left is getting some food, packing, and getting to bed early. But even with hubby's sprained ankle, this has been a good trip.

IMO the Universal parks can both be done in the same day unless you're really into extreme thrills AND Harry Potter, in which case you would probably want more than just one day. Also IMO the only part of Universal really worth doing is Potterville, with maybe a non-Potter attraction or three thrown in. It was fun, but it's not Disney.

Definitely get some butterbeer and eat at the Leaky Cauldron, and absolutely take the Hogwarts Express at least once in each direction.

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Last photo on my way out.

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Almost forgot. Yes, Universal is using metal detectors on thrill rides. I wanted to walk the Dragon Challenge queue to see the flying Ford Anglia crashed in the trees and was nearly turned back at the metal detectors before I explained what I wanted. That photo is on my camera, I'll post it later.

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i'm a Ravenclaw too!! I love everything about this TR except the injury wheelchair
Hi to Catman Smile

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Catman says hi back at you and wifey as well. Did you get sorted on Pottermore? We both did.

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Having hubby on crutches really helped at the airport. He was offerred a wheelchair as soon as we reached the check-in desk and had an airport employee to escort us through the wheelchair line at security and then push hubby all the way to the gate. And then we boarded first. I suppose that means we'll be off last at the other end, but it'll be better not to fight the thundering herd rushing to get off.

Anyway, it was a great trip, and now it's Jeff and Joe's turn to keep us all entertained.

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Awesome report, CCP!!

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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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Awww sad it's over! I hope Dan heals quickly. muchlove

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And we're off the plane about to catch the parking lot shuttle. We saw our neighborhood from the air! That was cool. I waved to the cats and told them we'd be home soon.

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There is nothing like coming home to your fur babies meeting you at the door! Happy to hear you made it home safely. mickey

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I now have my photos downloaded from my camera and videos uploaded to YouTube. So, a still photos and a couple of videos from DisneyQuest. One video shows the VR ride vehicle in motion on Cyberspace Mountain, and as you can see, it turns side to side and rotates forward so you actually are spinning head over heels in there. The other video and still photo are of Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters, which is a combination of bumper cars and a shooting game. Aim your cannonball at another vehicle and hit in the right spot and that vehicle goes spinning. Which is why I don't ride.

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The talking fountain at Islands of Adventure. At around 2:55 the fountain asks hubby if his engine is stalled (on the rental scooter). Earlier in the day hubby did a loop around the fountain and got teased about trying to be Vin Diesel in Furious 7.

Also, the cutest carousel in the world, with comments from the peanut gallery while I was trying to video. (I THINK there's a cat on there somewhere....)

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My last videos are all from Harry Potterville.

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crazycatperson wrote:
We interrupt this real-time trip report to post an update on hubby's ankle.

It's officially a sprain. He's leaving the walk-in clinic with an Ace bandage wrapped around his ankle, crutches, and mild pain medication. If the weather holds out and we visit Universal tomorrow, he will once again be using a scooter.

While he was at the clinic, I waited in our rooms to see what JMed and her friends wanted to do this evening. After some consideration and in spite of their fatigue (they were up and out at something like 3:00 am), they decided to go to the Poly for Lapu Lapus. I headed to the bus stop and waited.......Finally a MK bus came by, but I was still on it when JMed and crew were done with their drinks and desperate to crash back in their room. So no meet-up after all. But I completely understand, especially since they want to get up early for their park-hopping marathon Saturday. So once I reached MK I headed right back to SSR, with a stop at the counter service place for a bottle of hard cider. By damn, I was having a drink one way or the other!

I just touched on this in my TR. I owe you a drink!!!! Or 2 or more the next time I do meet up with you!!!!!!!!!!

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LOL, no, you don't owe me a drink! You and the girls needed to get your rest Friday night. Besides, I'm sure we'll be at WDW at the same time again.

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A few more photos. First, areas of the Universal parks other than Potterville.

1. Transformer outside the Transformers ride
2. Hot Dog Hall of Fame
3. Marvel Superheroes area - enjoy it while you can, a Disney cast member told me and Robyn it's going away soon and Disney will have the park rights to the Marvel characters
4. Spider-Man
5. Storm
6. Magneto

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More photos outside Potterville.

1. Toon Lagoon
2. Boris and Natasha (from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons - do you have to be an old fart to know them?)
3. Dudley Doright and his posse done up like Mount Rushmore (from the same show as Rocky and Bullwinkle)
4. Dudley Doright's Ripsaw Falls, which looks like fun, but I don't do water rides unless I'm dressed for it
5. A youth orchestra played outside the parks the second morning we went to Universal
6 and 7. The Dr. Seuss area

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Now, some more Potterville photos.

1. London
2. The Knight Bus
3. Shrunken head on the Knight Bus
4. The Leaky Cauldron entrance - not the working entrance to the Universal Leaky Cauldron, it's supposed to be the door outside Diagon Alley that wizards and witches can see but muggles can't
5. Diagon Alley
6. Gringotts

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And still more Harry Potter photos.

1. The Diagon Alley entrance
2. Two girls get chosen by wands at Ollivanders
3. Celestina Warbeck, the Singing Sorceress, and the Banshees, singing for a guy selected out of the audience
4. Harry's luggage at King's Cross Station
5. Hogsmeade, the village near Hogwarts
6. Hogwarts

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Nope, not finished yet.

1. The Hogs Head Inn, the seedier pub in Hogsmeade
2. The Three Broomsticks, the other and more respectable pub
3. Hagrid's cottage on the Hogwarts grounds
4. Mr. Weasley's flying Ford Anglia, which Harry and Ron "borrowed" in the second book and movie
5. The Hogwarts frog choir, seen in the movies but not included in the books
6. Students from the foreign wizarding schools Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, who appeared in the fourth book and movie

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crazycatperson wrote:
A few more photos. First, areas of the Universal parks other than Potterville.

1. Transformer outside the Transformers ride
2. Hot Dog Hall of Fame
3. Marvel Superheroes area - enjoy it while you can, a Disney cast member told me and Robyn it's going away soon and Disney will have the park rights to the Marvel characters
4. Spider-Man
5. Storm
6. Magneto

Oh man do I hope that's true! I can't stand the Marvel area at Universal but Disney would do such amazing things with that!

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Universal's Marvel section is 100 percent based on comic books, which I'm okay with since I was a big comics nerd back in the day. Love to walk through, especially when the superheroes are out and about, but can't do a darn thing in that section since it's all thrill rides.

Disney, I imagine, will do any future Marvel area based on the movies, which I'm sure will appeal to more people.

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I'm totally fine with it being based on the comic books, to me it just feels...I don't know. Industrial? Cold? Cheap? Rundown? I can't completely put my finger on it, but it is my same complaint for most of Universal with the exception of WWoHP.

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I'll agree on that point, only Universal's Potter areas seem close to what Disney offers in its theme parks. And if Disney does do a Marvel area somewhere, I'm sure it will be vastly superior to Universal's.

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I was told by a CM this weekend that the soccer store in DTD/DS is closing and they will be putting a "super hero" store in for the movie coming out. She said they will have tons of movie merchandise and other Marvel items! awesome

I can't wait for them to add some super hero stuff, Blondie is into that more than princess stuff!

We have to get her back to Universal. We took her a couple of years ago and she was SO EXCITED about HP. Time to plan. Maybe we can go over Thanksgiving....

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

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You've got to take her. Diagon Alley is way cooler than Hogsmeade/Hogwarts, and the Hogwarts Express IMO is the best attraction at Universal.

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Love all those HP pictures mickey

Did you feel that 3 days were the right amount for Universal or would 2 have been good enough? We are thinking about spending two nights at a Universal resort either January 2016 or maybe 2017. I mostly just want to go or HP. I've been twice (only once to Diagon Alley though since it wasn't open the first time). I was travelling with non HP fans though so didn't get to spend enough time there sad

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Great pics of Universal! You made it look like a place I might actually want to visit! I promised Benn we would go eventually, but I have to give up Disney days to do it.... waiting

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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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Spook, if crowds are reasonable and all you want to see at Universal is the Harry Potter areas, you could easily do it in just one day. If you want to see the rest of the two parks, then two days is plenty. On my third day, the only thing I did that I hadn't done before was walk through the Dragon Challenge ride queue, which isn't all that interesting, just a bunch of banners and a flying car.

Alicemouse, go on and do it! As I said above, you can get it all done in just two days, and the Potter areas are well worth seeing. Next time you have an AP and have several trips planned, do it.