Category Archives: Universal Orlando

Chosing Laundry over Writing?

It’s Tuesday afternoon.  I returned home from my last trip on Sunday evening.  I have not written one single word about my trip.  I’ve uploaded my photos and even done the laundry.  Since when do I choose laundry over writing?  What is wrong with me?

My new theory is that I don’t know how to go about writing about this last trip–a combination Disney and Universal Orlando trip–because it wasn’t really a trip.  It was a vacation.  And I’ve not gone on one of those in a while.

I did not go to Orlando to learn anything, to research anything, or to attend anything.  But I did have a great time for a number of reasons, and I do have a lot to share.  To make the sharing easier, I’m going to employ my most favorite writer’s block fix–I’m going to make a list.  That way I know what I’m writing about, you know what you’ll be reading about, and I’ll avoid one of those five thousand word posts including every detail of my trip.  You’re welcome!

In the posts to come, I will share…

-Photos from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Wanyama Safari Tour, which included dinner at Jiko.

-Reviews of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Universals’ Portofino Bay Resort.

-The story of how and why my mom vaulted herself across a parking lot and over a fence.

-A comparative analysis of Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios vs. Las Vegas.

-A review of Mother’s Day Tea at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Cafe.

-My new favorite attraction in Walt Disney World, which is in my ‘least favorite’ park.

-Tips on how to enjoy Disney Dining with a picky eater as a travel companion.

-A first-timer’s experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

-The story of how I lost my hair on The Hulk.

-Dining reviews for the flagship restaurants in each Universal Orlando Resort: Tchoup Choup, The Palm, and Bice

…and, likely, several other posts I’ve not discovered yet! 

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Las Vegas vs. Universal Orlando–The Question

Can you guess which one this is?

Lately I’ve been a bit concerned about the Universal Orlando part of my/our upcoming trip.  More on the details of this trip later–though I’ve written at great length about the whole ‘convincing my husband to book the less expensive Universal resort’ issue.  But I have a new concern.  Is the entire premise of the trip stupid?

For this to be determined, I suppose I should state the premise of the trip.  Basically, the husband wants to go somewhere fun and relaxing.  We love Vegas, and I know for a fact he’s viewing Universal Orlando as ‘Vegas with roller coasters and Harry Potter’.  He’s imagining a few hours in the park each morning, followed by drinking at the pool and fabulous dinners out at City Walk.

I’m imagining mornings standing in line, frustrated, afternoons by the pool being splashed by children, and evenings eating crappy wings at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Clearly, we have two very different mental pictures.  I only hope his is the correct one.

Has anyone out there been to both locations?  Can anyone compare them for me?  Because Google couldn’t.  Though I guess, at the very worst, I’ll end up with a rather long post-trip blog post with an identical title!    I just added ‘–the Question’ to the title of this entry, so I can write a ‘–the Answer’ post upon returning home.

I Think I’m Going to be Sick

For whatever reason, it seems I’ve subconsciously deemed this week as ‘the point of no return’ week in regards to the whole ‘I’m going to write educational travel books’ thing.  On Tuesday I told my boss I’m taking a year-long leave of absence.  On Wednesday I told my team (they didn’t look thrilled).  Thursday was a wash, as it was a snow day–thought I did get a lot of work done on the marketing section of my book proposal.  Friday I talked to the head of HR.  And today…today I purchased not one but two different annual theme park passes.

I think I’m going to be sick.

To be fair, it makes financial sense (am I the only person in the world who can say that after having just spent almost $800 on amusement park admission?!?)  I knew I’d need the Disney Annual Pass all along, and it was technically a birthday gift from my mother anyway (thanks mom!)  But having actually ordered it makes it more…real.  I’m taking a year off and researching and writing this book.  No.  Matter.  What.

The other Annual Pass is for Universal Orlando.  Yes, I just bought an annual pass for a place I’VE NEVER EVEN VISITED.  Why?  In the interest of saving money.

You see, my husband and I are going to Universal for a long weekend in May, attached to the end of my mother-daughter Disney trip.  There’s no undoing if this, no matter how much I may want to undo it–his heart is set.  To Universal we shall go.  I figured out that the difference between the 4-day pass I’d be buying for just that trip and an annual pass was $80.  I then called to see what the AP rate was for the room we’ve booked–and of course they don’t have the ‘basic’ room we booked available at an AP rate.  They did have a ‘better’ room available, and it was still a savings of over $100 from our original booking.  So I changed it–and bought the pass.

To be fair again, to write the Universal Chapter, I have to go back to the parks.  And I would have had to pay for admission, which would have been anywhere from $150-$200.  Instead, I’m saving $20 on our next trip and getting in for free for however many days I need for said research.   If that’s not ‘financial sense’, then I don’t know what is.

So then why am I still feeling moderately ill?