Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Universally Awesome! April 2016 Trip Report, Day 2: Wizards and Simpsons and Bilge Rats (Oh My!), Part 4

(Previous Installment Here)

We needed to do something that wasn’t as motion-sickness inducing as what we have done; the problem is that we’ve never experienced any of these attractions!  Next up in the touring plan was Transformers...

Is it me, or does it look like he's doing a move from Saturday Night Fever?

I love how the sun washes out most of the color on this one...cool effect!

 We decided to hop in line for that one, using the Express Pass.  First, though, was a quick set of pics from a PhotoConnect guy:

This one had a posted wait time of 30 minutes, and the Express Pass didn’t really save us any time.  My guess was that they had a temporary closure that backed the lines up.

I read so much about this one, regarding just how much goes on throughout the ride.  Having already experienced Gringott’s, I wondered if perhaps we did the best attraction first, which could leave the other attractions in its shadow.  This was without a doubt another adrenaline rush, and the boys loved it.  Sheri was a fan of this one too; however, I didn’t see much of a plot line in the sequence of scenes.  Maybe RRR (Rip Ride Rockit) had done me in…I’m not sure.  Yeah, there was a TON to see, but, after seeing Gringott’s earlier…this is something that I’ll have to remember for sequencing when it comes to working with clients on a touring plan.  I’d definitely recommend experiencing this before riding Escape from Gringott’s.

After this, we made our way towards the Mummy, though we just missed the Blues Brothers show.  We actually followed their car for a bit as it drove away.  The Mummy was another locker attraction, so we threw everything in there.  Sheri asked if it was all indoors or outdoors.  I replied that it was, in fact, all indoors.  We all decided to throw our sunglasses in the locker, and, soon after, we were heading towards the entrance…

…until we saw another PhotoConnect guy.

Of course, we were going to get pictures outside, and our sunglasses are all in a locker.

“Everybody say SQUIIIIIINTT!!”

Arms in the air again?  Okay….(?)

It was about this time that another PhotoConnect person snuck around and got our picture without us even knowing it.  This one was in our feed next:

Photo Purchased as Part of Package. No Permission Given by People in
Picture...We Don't Know Who the Hell They Are!

Can I say that Sheri and I look damn good for our age?!!!

Yes, folks, just like at Disney World, you may get a picture that isn't of you in your PhotoConnect list.  I liked his Marauder's Map shirt!

This attraction had a posted wait of 15 minutes; we were running a bit later than anticipated, but no worries…Express Pass to the rescue!  We entered the queue and walked to Kissimmee before making it to the loading platforms.

Oh yeah…Mush likey the Mummy attraction!  (Looks like the date stamp was off by a day...odd)

It’s hard to describe this one - maybe if you thought about what the rebellious offspring would be like if Expedition Everest and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had a kid together and had Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye as a step-father.  It’s a dark ride, but it’s more than that.  It has a moderately intense coaster aspect to it, too.  Regardless, I loved the scenes and the technology incorporated.

After Mummy, we decided to punt on E.T. and head straight to Fast Food Boulev…hmmm…there seems to be a bunch of guys on pogo sticks and a drum-playing rabbit blocking our way.  We had stumbled upon a Hop-themed dance party.

Those pogo stick guys had guns for arms...not that Sheri noticed or anything.

We watched for a few minutes before heading back to Springfield for some lunch!

We made it to Fast Food Boulevard and entered via Krusty Burger; surprisingly, we were happy to see that we somehow weren’t in the middle of a huge rush of people.  Apparently, 11:50 am really isn’t a meal time here….(?).  The setup of Fast Food Boulevard is a food court with perfect Simpsons eateries.  There is Krusty Burger (where we entered).  Also inside is Cletus’ Chicken Shack, Luigi’s Pizza, the Frying Dutchman, Flaming Moe’s, and Lisa’s Teahouse (of Horror).  If I was going to die that afternoon, I wanted to die happy, so I had a Krusty Burger or a Clogger Burger on the mind; however, I wasn’t 100% sure what the secret sauce was, but I was guessing it was something like 1000 Island dressing.  I watched the menu screens change around a few times and finally settled on the well-reviewed Chicken and Waffle Sandwich (with a maple syrup mayo) and tater tots.  The other three also decided on something from Cletus’, so we only had one area to order from.  Sheri got the Thrilled to be Grilled Chicken Sandwich, while the boys got Chicken Thumbs (Eric) and Chicken Arms (Aaron).  Sheri and I decided to try out an infamous Duff draft, so I grabbed two of those at Flaming Moe's and went to pay.  The manager was running the register that we were at and saw our 1st Family pins (well...three of them, anyway...yeah, there was a joke there by her about me being part of the family).

She offered us a free cupcake as a reward.


We found a table and grabbed seats to start chowing down.  I got sent to go get napkins.  I then got sent to the cashier’s area for BBQ sauce that someone initially didn’t want.  Oh yeah, I got sent to go get ketchup.  Then I got sent to get more ketchup because I apparently didn’t get enough @#$^ ketchup the FIRST @#$@$^#$**& TIME!!!.

I was about to add an automatic 15% gratuity to the bill for my family.

The food quality?  Pretty darn good; I found the maple syrup mayo to be addicting!  While we ate, I took in all of the sights and sounds – yep…I had found my place in Universal Studios.  The short animated loop playing in the dining area was great!  We saw the manager that gave us the free cupcake talking to a guest, and, a few minutes later, we saw some workers taking a mostly-full trash bin out back.  Apparently, someone had accidentally dumped their mobile phone off their tray when they threw their stuff away, and they were all scouring through the trash to try finding it for her.  A first scouring found nothing, but they were heading back out of sight after giving the manager an update.

We can’t complain at all about the customer service here!

It was starting to get a little busier in there, so we wrapped up the eating and cleared our spot for the next guests.  I led us out of the dining area and into one place we had not yet visited…Moe’s Tavern.

We walked in, and I was transported into an animated series…it was 100% Moe’s.  I couldn’t have stopped smiling even if had wanted to.  As the boys walked in and approached the end of the bar where the famous red phone was sitting, I saw the bartender wink at me and move her hand ever so slightly.  I knew what was coming, and I was a bit jealous that the boys were going to get to experience it.


“Eric…pick it up and answer it!”

Even though he didn’t catch all of the phone call, he was laughing at it.  He hung up.


Aaron answered that one and busted up laughing.  I mouthed a quick “Thank you” to the bartender.

Seriously, I fell in love with this place, and Sheri knew that this wasn’t going to be our last visit to Moe’s.  The boys found a Love Tester machine in the front corner and immediately started ascertaining how to “win” it.  I explained what they needed to do, and Eric tried it out.  His level:

Uh huh…it must be broken.

Aaron hopped on and ended up with a Hubba Hubba rating.

They pushed Wifey up to it, and it immediately skyrocketed to Casanova.

I had a really bad feeling about this, but I stepped up and squeezed the hell out of that lever!!!

Cold Fish

The boys laughed a little harder than they should have.  Sheri just gave an approving nod.  I decided that the machine was broken and wrote it off.

I thanked the bartender and told her that we’d definitely be back before our vacation was over.  We exited and made our way over to the entrance to the Simpsons ride…it was still down.  That solidified it: we were coming back to Springfield another day.

Before we left, though, the boys wore me down, and we allowed them to try the carnival game where you had to swing a sledgehammer to ring the bell at the top.  For $5, we got three swings.  Sheri said “NO” even before I could ask if she wanted to do it.  The guy manning the game clicked on a button, and Aaron was up first.

89…not bad!

Eric was up next…he didn’t get a good swing, and he got just under 50.

With Aaron at 89, I had to put some effort into it to ensure that I wouldn’t be embarrassed.  I got a little momentum and brought the hammer down at about 90%.

My score: 91

Whew.  My ego remained intact for the time being.  I have to tip my hat to Aaron, though.  He gave it a pretty good swing, and the button that the guy pressed for him was “adult”…same level as me.


1 comment:

Mare said...

Miss Renee LOVES The Mummy! We are still trying to encourage her to ride RRC over at Studios, and we keep telling her that if she can ride The Mummy, RRC is a cake walk!

That Chicken and Waffle sandwich looks amazing. *drool*