We started our adventure at Cabana bay for 3 nights. We got in late christmas night and uber over. I posted that night about my frightful experience with uber car seat. We were lucky to get to the hotel and we could have just rented a car for what it cost . This trip was all of us: DH 39, DS 12 (stepson), DS 9 (stepson), DS 7 (DH stepson), and DD 4.5. We are a very blended family.
12/26. We slept in but still out the door by 9am. Took the bus which was a breeze and we never waited long for one. Husband got cinnabon while I waited in line for our APs. Originally was going to RD but after not getting into bed until midnight decided to not rush it.
First up was Forbidden Journey - wait time was marked 35 mins didn’t time it but it felt about that long. Did child swap. This is where universal puts disney to shame. Child swap was easy. We all got to wait in line together. When we got toward the front they sent us through to a special line. Dh and dd went to a small room to the left and me and the 3 ds got on. Dd got to wave at us. In the room was several benches and the first harry potter movie was playing. When we got off. I switched seats with dh and all 3 ds got to ride again. Great use of time. Tomorrow I will bring her activities she can do while she waits.
Decided to do pterodactyl flyers next…it was only a 25 min wait on the app but by the time we got there it was 45 mins. We decided to do it anyway since dd had to wait out the last ride. This took a VERY long time and the queue is boring. It also broke down for a few mins. I made a rookie mistake here. We have refillable cups but we were in a rush to get to this ride and didnt bother to stop and reactivate them and get drinks. By the time we got off I had a headache from dehydration and lack of caffeine. This may be the only time this worked but all 6 of us could ride. Dd, and 2 of the ds are under 56ins but over 48 and so could go without an adult which meant ds 12 could ride with ds7 and dh rode with ds9 and I rode with dd 4.5. She loved this very short ride. I do not really like heights but I dont hate them either but this ride freaked me out. Partly because I couldn’t hold on to her and it went much faster then I anticipated.
It was after 11am when we got done so we got our cups activated (2 cups for 6 people means a lot of refills but I feel like we get our moneys worth. We purchased these cups in January and I realized that I could bring them back which was a good savings). We then ate at fire eaters grill. This was a compromise. Orginal plan was three broomsticks but ds 12 objected and I knew dd wouldn’t eat anything there. We ended up with way too much food. Everything was fine but just that. Although it was nice to eat a gyro rather then a burger. Also it is really close to a freestyle machine which made refills while we waited much easier.
After lunch we hopped on the Hogwarts express. Very little wait required and I love that you dont have to collapse the stroller. Dd got a kick out of the ride. It was getting really busy by now so we skipped going into diagon alley and headed to ET. Posted wait time was 55 mins…we waited maybe 30. Everyone liked it and it was nice to all go as a family.
A quick check of the map showed a 20 minute wait time for shrek. Dd watched this movie on the flight down so she had been begging to do it all morning. We got stuck in the back row which meant I had dd on my lap. Didn’t bother me but I don’t think she got the full effect.
It was 220pm when we got done and our instacart was due to be delivered. We decided to try the walk to cabana bay. It was longer then I thought and not a great plan in the afternoon. We got back just in time. Dh and I meet the shopper in the lobby to pick up our groceries. Such an easy process.
Instacart went really smooth. There were some adjustments but all acceptable. She called when she got to the lobby and was walking in as we walked in from the other side. I would do this again.
After a nice rest we woke up the children and headed back to the park. Decided to eat an early dinner (430p) to avoid the crowds at cowfish before heading back into the parks. We got seated right away so I guess it worked. I ordered a burger which was fine but nothing grand (I think I ordered poorly). Dh got sushi which was very good and ds 12 got the jalapeno popper burger and both he and dh declared it delicious. Dd and ds 7 got pb&j sushi and it was adorable. They also got fruit which made me happy. Ds9 got the mini burgers and did not complain. It is always a win when we manage to eat all our food and everyone actually ate.
DS 12 felt the matching shirts were very embarrassing and refused to wear them but he made a great photographer!
We headed back into the park going for usf. We did the Mummy with child swap. Again this was so nice, there was a TV playing something with mummies but not the movie (obviously that would be too scary for littles) and the boys love getting to go twice). I had gotten a virtual line for fast and furious. So we headed over. DD likes the rides she can go on obviously but wants them to go faster and last longer. This is a new ride for us and I found it just ok. I didnt really think the content was a problem. Yes they mention guns and the chase scene is intense but really the Simpson ride tries to kill you. I sat toward the outside of the “party bus” and I could see the top of the screen. This really messed with the illusion of the ride.
When we got done it was almost time for the parade so we found a spot in New York. Parade was cute and DD really loved it especially Santa.
We did not try to watch the tree lighting it was just too many people and too long of a day. So back to the hotel.
When we got there very tired we found that none of our keys worked. This is not just inconvenient when it is 9p and you have 4 tired children, one of which has to pee and it’s not like a normal hotel were the lobby is a elevator ride away. It is a trek. I went to stand in line and then the lady at the desk said oh sorry let me recode them and I’ll send out security and maintenance in case they still don’t work. So back to our room and of course they still don’t open. We wait a little while and finally maintenance shows up. I told him no lights came on. He explained it was the batteries going out. Why didnt the front desk tell me this. He jump started it (those were his words and then had to replace the batteries. My IT DH was very interested in this. We then had 4 kids to shower and get to bed. Kind of a sour way to end the day.