2012 started off with a bang as Dan and I arrived in Orlando. We were exhausted because we had spent New Year’s Eve with our friends, having dinner in the 360 degree restaurant on the CN Tower and then at their place where we played Bohnanza all night. Because it was New Year’s day, we were served complimentary champagne on the plane. The first thing we did when we arrived was get the rental car and then head over to where Kristen and her family, along with Eddie, Anna and their kids, and another family friend were all staying. It was apparently going to be the only really nice day during our trip so we took advantage by the pool before going shopping at one of the outlets.
The next day, we all met up at Universal Studios. I had never been before so I was probably more excited than some of the kids there. It was also practically empty (either because of the weather, or the popularity of Harry Potter World at Islands of Adventure, or both).
Kristen still had to buy her ticket to get into Universal Studios so the rest of us sprinted in to line up for Jaws. We found out when we got there that it was the last day that the Jaws ride would be operating, so we got into line. Only there was no line so we got on right away. They also handed us complimentary beads to celebrate the last day of Jaws.
Kristen caught up with us so we went on Jaws again. This time with Skipper Ashton.
We spent the rest of the morning riding different rides including The Mummy (where cast members scared Kristen in line), Shrek 4-D (again barely a line) etc. We felt spoiled by the lack of lines.
There was a long line up for the Men in Black line. We decided that since we didn’t care about riding this one together that we would line up in the singles line (it was a lot faster). Kristen and I still wound up riding together because of the way the singles line worked. While we were in line we all bet a dollar, saying that whoever hit the most aliens (and scored the most points) would win the pot. I was confident of my skills due to all the duck hunt I played growing up.
Next, we stopped for lunch at Finnegans.
We went on a whole bunch of other rides after this and also got to meet a minion from Despicable Me.
We also went on the movie ride “Disaster.” The premise of the ride is that Christopher Walken is the director and he casts people from the audience to act in front of a green screen. Then everybody goes and rides on a fake subway car that has fallen through the ground and we get to watch the movie and scream a lot. It was fun. Kristen and I made a lot of noise so we got cast as the evil villains. We got to look evil and laugh and they dropped fake rocks on our heads that hit my head so hard that my hard had fell off. It was great!
That night, Dan and I had dinner at Maggiano’s (at Steph’s recommendation). They were a little late getting dinner to us and were really nice about it. They apologized right away and validated our parking, so we got free parking out of it. And we got a complimentary dessert.
All in all, it was a good start to our trip, however nothing could prepare us for Harry Potter World the next day…