hollywood studios, flight back

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I had half a day, and was vacillating between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Finally the lure of the revamped Star Tours ride proved irresistible so DHS it was. We always loved this park, it’s so full of surprises. Got fastpass for the ride, and went to find lunch. Cheeseburger and a beer, to continue the unhealthy non-running diet. The new ride is interesting, gone is the Endor scenes and now it’s a more modern romp through space. The line at Toy Story Mania never got below 60mins, I believe I’m destined to have to wait a long time for it.

Wasn’t able to check-in online so had to go to the airport earlier than expected. Ate more junk food and a soft serve ice cream to boot. The aircraft on the way back was even more elderly than the one coming in, unbelievable. The controls were the ones embedded in the seat-rest, ack I’ve forgotten these existed! The whole upper deck was full. Was the extra money for premium economy worth it? For the comfort and quiet yes, but it’s not value for money considering the condition of the planes. I guess it’s worse in economy class.

potter adventure

video link: http://youtu.be/5Yw8HF29e4U

The afternoon after the con finished, a group of us went to islands of adventure. There were 11 of us, and we took 3 cars. I was the only one who had visited before, but that didn’t mean I was less excited. We headed straight to the wizarding world of harry potter and began exploring. I ended up having 2 frozen butterbeers and fish & chips. After we went on the forbidden journey ride. At someone else’s suggestion, we all went on the single rider line, which meant only 5-10min wait. The pods were enclosed anyway, so it didn’t make any difference going as a group or as a single. I remembered how dizzying it was, and I must confess to having my eyes closed for the worst parts. I did take the video of the whole ride though.

Then it was a matter of riding every water ride there was, so we all got soaked. I dragged a few to the Spiderman ride, which I experienced from the first row with a huge grin throughout — this is one ride I love and am not afraid of. It started getting dark and a little bit thundery towards the end. We managed to do the whole park in about 4 hours.

universal islands of adventure

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full flickr set: here

Universal studios today. Or more precisely the Islands of Adventure part, there are 2 parks and this is the one everyone goes to, because of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But first, there was the main street and the Seuss section. We breezed past the Seuss section, cos we know nothing about Seuss. In any case we wanted to get to Hogsmeade.

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The village was authentic, with Hogsmead station and Hogwarts express. There was a Honeyduke’s for sweets, owl post, restaurants, Ollivanders and of course butterbeer. Yummy. The castle at the other end of the village was home to the ride. It was a very intense and occasionally dizzy ride. Strapped in a pod, we went up and down, sideways and rotating all around while play quidditch, or fighting death eaters. The line was long, about 1.5hrs, I thought it was worth the wait.

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Lunch of ribs, corn, rice, beans and it was onto the rest of the park. Jurassic Park, Toon land and Popeye’s boat, and another signature ride, Spiderman. This one was 3D too, following Spidey as he flies from building to building fighting villains. Good fun. The outside of the park, between IoD and the studios, is an area called Boardwalk. There are restaurants, cinema and a hard rock café. I wanted to get a shirt there, but alas, it looks exactly the same as my London shirt. Not worth getting.

On the way back, we stopped by the Premium Outlets. We were both pretty tired by then so we did the outlets very quickly. Dinner was drive-thru McDonalds heehee. I wanted the angus burger and mm hasn’t had it before. We sat at a comfy cushioned seat by the lake back at our hotel, proving that it isn’t necessary to go for fine dining to have a nice meal.

not spinning

via cnet and a bunch of techie, geeky, weird stuff websites, here’s one rollercoaster for the adventurous, but only if you have lots of insurance.

The Skycycle (Japanese site — English translation) in Okayama Japan isn’t terribly terrifying — it doesn’t have any loops or whizz its passengers around while seemingly suspended in mid-air or offer experiences of near-zero gravity. Instead, the passengers do all the work, they need to pedal themselves around the track quite a height above ground. The “bikes” look like the ancient types you see in very old fashioned amusement parks.

Heh. Take that, spinning.

skycycle

outing

We went to Ocean Park today. It’d been raining the past month and for once the sun came out occasionally albeit interspaced with heavy showers. When it was sunny it was hot as hell and we felt like we were melting. I didn’t want to go at first for the same reason — I don’t go outdoors when it’s this hot. But she had these complementary tickets that runs out 30 June, and she really wanted to go. Sigh, the things I do.

Turned out to be a good outing. Heaps and heaps of people, and rude and loud too. I tried very hard to pretend they didn’t exist. Watched a bit of the show from way up on the pathway, walked along a nice sea lion enclave, fought against thousands of people for much needed but way overpriced fried chicken, vsited the panda house, dinosaur house, goldfish house. All in all it was worth the visit.

Bus queue was long, so we made a great decision to take the taxi out. Stopped by the computer store and bought her a new Powerbook, currently sitting pretty at my place. Nice dinner and here I am. Every single piece of clothing I wore today is soggy and sticks to my skin, my hair is full of grease and whatnot, I stink of … just stink. Freshly showered, I’m okay.