And away we go! Off to Neverland: an almost live trip report

We left yesterday for the long drive, and made it to our air bnb in Orlando! We will be doing universal tomorrow and Monday, then all four Disney parks. We are heading to our sanaa reservation soon after we get settled in and decompressed. I’ll try to update as we go, but I make no promises. I failed at my last “live” report :rofl:
Stopping at the Florida visitors center is always a must do. They have samples or orange juice🍊

My family insisted that we stop at this gas station for breakfast. Apparently it’s a big deal. I got a ham and egg croissant. It tasted like a gas station sandwich and was too ugly for a picture.

And also, I’m a horrible mother because I placed all of the “dress up” clothes on a chair in our living room- dd7’s princess dresses, dd11’s Rey costume for Hollywood studios and boo bash, and ds12’s Luke Skywalker costume for boo bash- then forgot to actually carry them to the car, plus harry potter garb. Tears have been shed. I really hope they can move past it and see that they can still have fun.

I’ll try to update after or during sanaa! :blush:


Aw oh no! Can someone express mail them to your air bnb? just a wild thought. I’m sure they will forget all about it once they are in the parks. Costumes can be uncomfortable anyway.
Is it time for boo bash already??? Yay.
Sanaa is delicious.


Sanaa was a hit! We all shared a little of everything which allowed for some more adventurous choices. The woman in the photos is my mother. I haven’t managed to get into a photo yet :joy:.!

The three salad appetizer was good, the butter chicken was also good but DH and I agree that it’s not necessarily better than our favorite take out place. It really is top notch though!

DH and I split a painted lemur cocktail and it was fabulous but sweet.

DD11 LOVED her salmon and curried vegetables. Dd7 of course had Mac n cheese. This will be a theme for her throughout the trip.

It was a perfect arrival dinner. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a table by the window, but we understand that there are so few.

We explored a little after dinner. The animals were so fun to watch, and the cm really entertained the kids with cool facts about them (and their :poop: :rofl:)


How gorgeous are your kiddos, though?
Love following along. Thanks for sharing.


Cute kids! I could use some of that bread service right now. I’m missing it.


We are at universal today! We got in the parks at about 10:00am and walked right onto gringotts. Child swap worked well, since dd7 didn’t want to ride.

We played around diagon alley for a while, as that is our reason for being here

We had lunch at the crepe stand, no line at noon! I forgot to get pictures, I was hangry! Also walked on to et, now we are waiting for the animal actors show to start! So far a great day


The animal actors show was adorable! My girls love training our dog to do simple tricks, so they loved seeing how the trainers are able to teach complex tricks

Woody woodpecker was a hit for dd7. Express pass made my kids feel like vip, but it truly wasn’t necessary for it. Because my mom does not have express pass, we didn’t use it for gringotts or et earlier, and didn’t need it on those either

We met Patrick Starfish!

And the Scooby gang

And the diamond Bellas

And some much needed pool time

Now it is storming and we are waiting for dinner at
Bob Marley Tribute to Freedom. We’re hoping to get some time at ioa after, but the park closes soon. We got a late start in the am so have a lot that we didn’t get in!


Dinner came after a delay, but it was storming so hard that we didn’t mind. I got chase a fire chicken. It was really good. The bread was so delicious, but I didn’t eat all of it. The chicken and veggies were good without the bread too, so I mostly just ate that.

Almost everyone else ordered the beef patties. Except dd7, she got Mac and cheese.

As we were going into the park, it was still raining steadily and everyone was leaving the park! There were no lines at all, so we got a lot done in our final two hours. Walked on to cat on the hat, then red fish blue fish. We were treated to a gorgeous rainbow

Then at dd11’s insistence, we went to hogsmeade and did some spells, rode flight of the hippogriff twice, bought too many sweets and honeydukes, and hopped on the Hogwarts express to catch the fireworks/fountain show

It was a long and exciting day, dh has already fallen asleep and I haven’t even gotten the kids to settle in. The hardrock hotel is really nice, and I’m sad we are only staying one night. Tomorrow is early park entry and we’re going to try to ride hagrids. Only two days at universal, so after tomorrow it will all be Disney!


Today was a whirlwind, and we are all exhausted. I wanted to update as we were going, but my phone didn’t have good connection and I wanted to “be” with my family. We didn’t have much downtime either.

We dragged on ourselves out of bed for early park entry. Arrived at the gates at 7:20 and there were a few families in front of us. They opened right at 8:00 for early park guests and we made our way towards hogsmeade. They started making announcements that hagrids was down and could be delayed for hours.

I wanted to stay in the area, so we went to forbidden journey. Only dh and I rode, the kids and my mom sat out. They walked through the castle with us and ducked out at the child swap exit. Sadly, the photo app was down so we didn’t get our photo.

We did some more magic

And tried to find breakfast. After failing that, we noticed they were letting people in the standby for hagrids, but saying it is still down. We took a chance and it paid off, we were on it in about fifteen minutes. Dd7 was really nervous, she was actually shaking and crying but insisted she wanted to do it. The wizard that helped us into the bikes really checked to make sure that she was okay with riding before sending us off. As soon as it took off, she was giggling and putting her hands up! She loved it.

Finally, we found the breakfast of champions! The only place to eat before 10:00 was the churro stand in Jurassic Park, I think it’s called natural selections? They had pastries and fruit but of course my kids chose the blue churro

Then we did everything in Jurassic Park. We used express to ride river adventure in just minutes. DD11 wanted to do pteranadon flyers, and I thought she could, if she took dd7 to ride them. Well, dd7 is a short round and not tall enough to ride with a minor (she barely squeaked by on hagrids!) So I had to ride with dd7 and DD11 was just out of luck. The rest of camp Jurassic was so cool though! All three loved exploring. I should have taken a picture but we were having too much fun!

We met Blue! The kids loved it but my mom was too scared to stand with us :joy:

Then the Triwizard rally. It was very sunny and hot, beware, there is no shade at all near the stage! We actually opted not to go back for the frog choir because of this. The show was entertaining though.

We needed some cool indoor rides badly, so we headed to Dr Seuss land. The cat in the hat is such a cool ride (temperature-wise) that we rode it even though we already had yesterday. We also did the trolly train and red fish blue fish again. And we met some friends.

Lunchtime! Okay, the three broomsticks took forever. Over an hour total before we were sitting down and eating. A lot of the waiting was in direct sun. This is the only thing we had any kind of actual wait for.

We were going to head to toon lagoon and super hero island after lunch. Dd7 was dressed in hopes of meeting her favorite super hero, captain America. But the weather had other plans. A storm ahut everything down, so we decided to head to universal Orlando earlier than planned for some of the indoor stuff. That probably wasn’t necessary, as we rode on Jimmy Fallon and the storm was passed by the time we got off. The kids LOVED the Jimmy Fallon ride. They love his bits, I let them watch some of the kid-friendly clips, and they just thought the whole experience was great.

Then dh and I rode the mummy. That was a lot of fun, I loved it. For some reason our ride photo isn’t coming up in my account. Then men in black, also not showing up. Also a hit with the kids! They wanted to do it again.


We had a reservation at toothsome for dinner and that was neat. I got the Reuben but only ate half. It was great, but filling. I also had a chocolate old fashioned, which was a great splurge. Ds12 had the shrimp Mac n cheese, but he said it was spicy and he only ate about half too. DD11 had a chocolate waffle, she said it was very rich.

Sadly, DD11 started showing signs of heat stroke at dinner. I really thought she was going to pass out. We got her home and she took a cool bath and had some water and she’s feeling better, but I wonder if we tried to do too much. The crazy thing is, she was fine and kept asking to do more stuff even during dinner, then suddenly she went pale. Tomorrow is a rest day, but we do have brunch reservations at ohana. I’m hoping she is okay to go.

But on a happy note, how cute is this et picture


I thought we were going to Walt Disney World :sob::sob:


Love the ET picture!

I think Disney World part starts today. Ha

How is DD feeling this morning?


Two days at universal first. Today is a rest day with breakfast at ohana, and we might go check out a place called Dezerland as a special treat for ds12’s bday. I probably won’t share much from that. Tomorrow is Hollywood Studios and nothing but Disney after that :blush: sorry, I didn’t know if I should include the universal part but figured what the hey, why not. I didn’t really want to split it between two boards because I have a hard time navigating on my phone.

She is much better, thank you! I’m certain that it’s because she got too much sun/heat and not enough sleep. Luckily we’re taking it easy today and staying in AC.


DD11 opted out of breakfast and I didn’t want to push her and make it worse. Dh stayed with her while the rest of us went off to the poly for mickey and stitch waffles. She drank lots of water and sat next to the ac vents, and says she feels 100% now.

Ohana was great! The mickey waffles were a bit “off” but everything else was so good. The view was great, we were lucky this time and got a window seat!

Dd7 got a Lilo smoothie, which was strawberry and chocolate (and maybe coconut?) And Ds12 got a Moana smoothie that was predominantly watermelon. I tasted both and preferred the Lilo.

We explained the situation with DH and DD and asked if we could purchase meals to go, and they were so sweet and just gave us a boxed up platter to take, and extra coffee to go. My mom tried to tip them extra for that, and they caught us before we left to try to return the tip because they said it was too big! My mom said no way, that is yours for making our morning magical.

On the way out we stopped at Kona island and I got some cupcakes and chocolate bacon. The cupcakes are so pretty! I’m just going to try a bite of each cupcake since I had the pineapple bread earlier, the bacon is for dh


I almost forgot! The cms at Kona island saw DS12’s birthday button (in a couple days I’m going to have to start calling him ds13!) And let him pick a gourmet chocolate covered strawberry for a bday treat! Extra pixie dust :sparkling_heart:


What a magical morning!


I love that ET picture!

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Always share the Universal part! We love @OBNurseNH but please ignore her UOR sniping. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Why is this so stressful? I’m still shaking, five minutes later