Orlando, Florida: Universal Orlando

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The internet connection keeps disconnecting it's annoying. I'm trying to upload pictures and resize them but it's impossible with the internet getting disconnected every time (had to resize online because my laptop decided to ban 3rd party apps and I couldn't download the app I normally use to do a batch resize...turns out all I had to do was change the pre-set security preferences).

And so...the above paragraph was written last year. It has almost been a year since my holiday and I have yet to publish this, or even write anything about it. I'm going to have a hard time trying to recall the events that happened. Not like I scribbled anything anywhere that I can refer to, so I'm going to have to base it entirely on my poor memory.

We're in the middle of a very bad haze, thank you very much to Indonesia and their purposely done forest fire, so I'll be cooping up at home giving me plenty of time.

Now, what's different about Universal Orlando and the others that I've been to (Los Angeles and Singapore)? THIS IS WHERE THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER IS!

I remember watching about it in an episode of Ellen (wayyyyy back) when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was still new, and I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could go there one day.

I'm not a Harry Potter fan. In fact, I stopped watching after the 3rd movie because there were too many to keep up with and I haven't read the book. To say I'm a fan...nahhh. But I still wanted to be there.

To see a replica of Hogwarts. To see a replica of the Hogwarts express. To see the shops I saw in the movies. It was a feeling unexplainable. And interestingly, the people working around the wizarding world are English. Made it feel a lot more authentic than hiring Americans right? I liked that part.

Like at Disney Epcot...it was an Around The World kind of place and in Germany, the people working there were actual Germans, if not, their accent was unbelievable!

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I think this is based on the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, although I'm not sure if his is the first one or the second one. And I do not remember if this is a ride or a souvenir shop.

Bubba Gump seems to be at all other Universal Studio, expect Singapore's. They need to set one up on our shores. I can have them all the time because I am prawn crazy, and that despite my allergy to it. But seriously, I'll just have to apply some 999 cream (my colleague gave it to me and it helps a lot with rashes and itch) and it's all good.

Spot the shorts, sleeveless tops, caps, hats, ice-cold slushie, sunglasses, sunglasses, I spotted a bunch in a bikini top...it was HOT!

Yep, that's me lacking of something...with Nadya and I do hope they'be got fans in their extremely large pants to keep them cool. Poor thing the guy has to wear that, at least the lady has a mid drift top.

I dislike lemon juice. I dislike slushie. But here it was the only thing I wanted. And they had strawberry so thank god for me! I would have still drank lemon slush though.

It was hot. Hotter than it felt in Singapore. So hot my husband has a tan line in the shape of his wrist watch that lasted for months!

My baby did face painting! But silly me, she perspired so much the make-up melted off her face! I did one too but mine didn't melt off because I wasn't like her who kept touching her face to wipe the sweat away. We were advised to go in shops to set the make up each time we perspired, we did that...but that didn't help Nadya at all. Lesson learnt: do not bother doing face painting when the temperate outside is in nearly in the 40s! But she loved it...and because she did not find any mirror to see her reflection she did not know her face painting was no more. So, phew!!



BUTTERBEER! My biggest regret. The line was long I couldn't be bothered to queue for one or two AND NOW I REGRET NOT HAVING IT. Not like I live in Florida or near it. IT TOOK US 30 OVER HOURS TO GET TO FLORIDA!!! I tried replicating it using recipes I could find online, but having not tried it, I have no idea if it's close or just utter rubbish. Should've tolerated the heat and the queue.

The castle! If only the castle wasn't just a façade but made in a way that we can go in and do a tour. It would be a lot better than just seeing it as just...that. It's a ride, from what I recall, but rides and I...

Zul, Nadya and I took a picture with them but I think the person who took the picture doesn't know how to click a camera because we ended up without a picture with them. :(

We left Hogwarts and walked around the rest of the places. Lots of waterspray, water fountains, water everything here. I didn't want to get drenched but Nadya couldn't care if her dress was soaked so she happily walked under water shooting out random pipes just to cool down.

The Hulk's ride. I THINNNNNNNNNNK.

There are actually a few more photos to upload, but they're currently on the laptop (I'm on the PC), yet to be resized and edited (mainly just brighten), so I'll upload what I've got for now. Tilllllllll then, it's gonna be Miami baby! Sadly that place has the least number of pictures. Hopefully I'll get it done before my next holiday in September.

Posted on Saturday, July 06, 2013 and is filed under .

Orlando, Florida: Walt Disney World

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I have had the pictures of my trip to DisneyWorld uploaded on Blogger for weeks now (and the trip was months ago!) and I have been struggling with it. The past few weeks, I've been writing paragraphs for this entry, only to delete it away because it was unrelated to the holiday or too sappy for a happy holiday entry. Seriously I wrote about the hell hole that is my ex-company but decided that deserved its own entry. Back to square one. Empty entry. Besides, it's Disney! I do not want to ruin such a happy place by writing about my nightmare.

What, it's been 3 months since the holiday and I'm only at DisneyWorld? I'm waaaaaaay behind. I've still got Universal Studios and Miami, sadly without many pictures to post. I do not know why I did not spend most of my time taking pictures like I normally do. From what I remember, the heat didn't get to me. After all, I come from Singapore. It's almost 2am right now and it's 29ºC outside. Imagine just how hot it is during the day.

Whatever, I'm here, again...and I'm gonna post something. For real.

DisneyWorld is unlike DisneyLand. The name speaks for itself. It's Disney WORLD! This place is enormous. It was recommended online to spend five days exploring the park, but we did it in one day! It was a Disney marathon. Zul planned to spend two days at the park, but the tickets were mad expensive! I checked online before going and I knew I was gonna have to cram them all in a day. Unknown to me, the park was huge. I was shocked that getting from one park to another required getting on a bus for at the very least a 5 minutes ride.

It was so big I gave the whole cram-into-one-day plan a second thought but I'm glad I stuck to a day. I WOULD HAVE TO FORGO SHOPPING DAY IF I DIDN'T! Although I did mention that I wasn't going to shop on this trip (we did not research for outlet malls or set aside a day for shopping day in fact our plan was Day 1 - SeaWorld, Day 2 - DisneyWorld, Day 3 - DisneyWorld, Day 4 - Universal Studios, Day 5 - See 4th July celebration, Day 6 - drive to Miami), but Zul picked a hotel that was less a only a mile away from an outlet mall, I'm weak.

Walt Disney World is broken into four theme parks and five other attraction. Our tickets were only for the theme parks, but they rest were water parks and Downtown Disney would just be where the restaurants and souvenir shops are. We visited all four theme park. They are, starting with the usual at all DisneyLand:

1) Magic Kingdom
2) Epcot
3) Hollywood Studios
4) Animal Kingdom

In my earlier post, I mentioned how bad our hotel room was but I suppose it's a blessing Zul picked that hotel. It could be that everywhere else also provides the same kind of discounted tickets to enter the theme parks (only for SeaWorld and DisneyWorld for the hotel we stayed at), but I didn't stay at other hotel, I stayed at the "Continental" Hotel. A ticket to the main park, i.e. Magic Kingdom, comes with its own fixed price, and we would have to pay extra for the park hopper ticket (to enter rest of the theme parks), and it wasn't cheap. When I go for holidays, I try to bag as many discounts as I can get. The more we save, the more shopping I get to do, see how it works for me right?

But this hotel had some way to get us a park hopper ticket without having to pay extra, but only paying the amount to enter the main park. It was a good deal. We saved hundreds (US$116 to be precise)!

We started our day at Disney's Animal Kingdom!

I thought it was going to be like a zoo, but not quite exactly. There were animals there, but it was more of a safari and one DinoLand. I finally saw an orange tiger. I squealed in excitement when I saw it. I screamed at Zul I FINALLY SEE AN ORANGE TIGER! ALL MY LIFE I'VE ONLY SEEN A WHITE TIGER. To which he replied, and it makes a lot of sense, "You know a lot of people right here have never seen a white tiger." Haha I guess he's right, but it was exciting for me to be able to see the original ORANGE and BLACK stripes tiger.

This tree is too perfect! I guess it's a replica of Tarzan's home? Well anyway, it's a perfect because it's fake. And see everyone in their shorts? Everyone except for me and Zul. He had his jeans on, so did I. People might think we're crazy, but we come from an extremely hot country, it doesn't bother us.

Spot Zul and Nadya!

Finding Nemo play! It was the whole movie, turned into a real-life play, condensed into a 10-15mins show.

Mickey & Minnie camp and we got to take pictures with the star but I suppose it did not make the cut.

I'm aware of the large portions in America, but I forgot for a moment while waiting for my funnel cake to fry. THAT much deep fried batter? Woah! I thought I was going to get a quarter of that portion, at least that's how it would have been in Singapore.

We got a piece of Africa (still at Disney's Animal Kingdom)...

And a bit of Nepal...

That black thing hanging is a large fruit bat... not vampires, they do not feed on blood.


We entered a cage filled with my biggest fear, BIRDS. I freaked out. I was not in any mood to snap any pictures of any pretty birds, all I wanted to do was get out of that place. We left the place shortly after and made out way to the next theme park, Magic Kingdom.

We could go on a bus or take a ferry boat. Of course we chose the boat! Anything for my princess...

We arrived Magic Kingdom and everything started to look familiar.

The same Magic Kingdom I've been seeing the past three holidays. They're all the same, just different language and different weather conditions. Here's the main street USA and of course... The Castle!

Nadya brought along her bubble gun we bought from SeaWorld (hence the Shamu shape) and kept all the kids around her entertained. And herself too!

Nadya is at an age where she's beginning to appreciate things. She loved the holiday, she enjoyed herself tremendously. She's began to have favourites. Get excited when she sees Minnie, sorry Mickey, you're the star, but not in my baby girl's heart.

Mickey & The Gang had a show. All the princesses made an appearance to Nadya's delight! She thinks she's also royalty. We gave Magic Kingdom a quick walk around and moved on to the next one. Yeah, it was super quick. Magic Kingdom is all the same and this one is no different.

We got on a bus and headed straight for, Hollywood Sutdios!

I don't know why some of my pictures turned out not crisp, vibrant and sharp like the others. I did some alterations, but it wouldn't work. It gives this lousy quality image.

 A little bit of L.A, a little bit of the land of fame.

There goes this Golden Voice...

New York baby! I bought this shirt, in the most ridiculous purple (I do not wear purple), with glitter (*gasp* the horror!!) all over from Malaysia, just because it had 'Left My  In NY'. I did.

Backdrop of San Francisco. This city, I don't think I'd get to visit. Just got this feeling. By the way, see the tall tower sticking out of the top right corner of the backdrop? Swensens has this popular Coit Tower ice-cream sundae right? It's named after that. Always something to learn from my seasoned traveller husband. He's been to SF a lot. He tells me about Fisherman's Wharf and it's yummy clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl. But he also mentions about the city's crime rate. Where in US is it safe?

Nadya and I cooled ourselves this way. It was done on purpose. They had all sort of water mist, water this, water that...they've even got a spray bottle that comes with a fan, so while we fan ourselves, we spray water on our bodies, faces, anywhere. The sun dries the water up real fast.

New York above, San Francisco below. The East Coast and the West Coast.

Ah this! We got Nadya tinkerbell dog tag (I don't know what's the formal term for this...). It's tinkerbell on one side, and the other side, it has Nadya's name and my phone number (we included country code). We told her, if she ever got lost, just show whoever her tag and they'd be able to call me and we'd be able to get her. She didn't get lost in the end, thank god for that. She still uses it in Singapore because I think it's useful.

We passed by the place to take pictures with Phineas and Ferb once. After watching a show, I asked Nadya if she wanted to take a picture with them, and she nodded. She nodded like as if that was what she wanted but was too afraid to ask.

We spent a little more time at Hollywood Studios than we had planned. It was starting to get dark but Nadya insisted on taking more pictures around "San Francisco". When we finally arrived at the last place, the sky had darken.

And so we arrived at our last place, Epcot.

Epcot has this large golf ball. Hahah honestly I don't know what it is!

Drenched here...minutes later, all dried up below!

Chinatown at Epcot. This is a travel round the world sort of place. I got candied apple in Germany!

They had a rock concert. They played Bon Jovi and the vocalist sounded just like Bon Jovi. Maybe it was Bon Jovi? I couldn't see because I'm too far back.

Very typical Disney, fireworks. I don't have a tripod so this is the best firework picture I managed to get. Overall, the whole day was a rush, we're talking four large parks done in a day, but fantastic! We didn't have 24 hours, we only had half of that and we did it!

We skipped taking the rides, because it was summer holidays and the queue were hour long queue, we didn't have much time to wait. We explored the place. Managed to catch a few empty rides and shows, nothing for us.

I offered to wait while Zul got on rides but he declined my kind offer. I knew he's very much into riding scary rides that'd rip the hearts out, while me, who has a weak stomach, rather watch these people go through the risk of suffering a heart attack. Actually, I don't have a weak stomach. I've gone on roller coasters, roller coaster with multiple 360º turns one after another, and still the contents of my stomach remained where it should be, but I'm not a big fan of adrenaline doing stunts like that. Zul wants to go do the reverse bungee. I say, lu sua gila? 

Phew I've done it. :D This post has been in draft for weeks. Now to move on to other things, Universal Studios. Ahhhhhhhh hahahahhahahah! 

Posted on Saturday, September 29, 2012 and is filed under ,.