SAT 14th OCT 2000

Tam and I wake about 5:30. The jet lag has not worn off fully yet. The girls snooze until 6:30 and then get up. A quick breakfast in the room and we are on the way to Universal by 7:30 to use up the last day of a multi pass we have left over from January.

With perfect timing we are at the gates for 8:00 opening and head for Men in Black Alien Attack. We come off the ride and head straight round to ride again, so you can tell how much we enjoy it. I am once again top dog at shooting aliens and easily trounce the wimpy women with my manly score of 330,000.

They are preparing the park for one of the Halloween Fright Nights and the mascot seems to be a rather scary clown similar to Pennywise from It but called Jack. The catch phrase being 'If you're not afraid of the dark, you don't know Jack'. Georgia finds him particularly scary but fascinating at the same time. We tease her for the rest of the day about this. She will probably develop deep psychological problems and grow up to be a mass murderer of clowns.

Over to do battle with King Kong where our guide is a complete nutter. Tam and I are laughing for the whole ride as he really hams it up with an over the top performance.
Next is ET which is always fun, especially for the children. I'm not sure if I've ever heard him say goodbye using our proper names. This time he mutters something about Klammy and Ingra.

A lot of the rides and shows have special Halloween versions prepared for tonight such as Nightmare Creatures II and Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure. As we pass the Animal Actors Stage I say that they ought to have a naughty version where the animals bite people and poo everywhere (snigger!). Tammy tells me not to be so childish, so I sulk for the next hour, head bowed, kicking at stones.

Twister is very clever. A little too short maybe but Georgia enjoys the flying cow.
The girls now go to the Kiddies area with Tam while I go to see Terminator 3D. This is the first time that I have seen it with the motorbike working properly which is a big plus.

I join the rest of the tribe in the Curious George play area. The whole reason for this part of the park seems to be to get children as wet as possible, which they all love of course. At regular intervals a huge trough of water empties from a great height. Never mind wet, I'm surprised no one drowns.

After this we leave for Islands of Adventure where we have a quick ride on the Cat in the Hat before lunch in the Enchanted Oak Tree Tavern. Large amounts of greasy American style food are consumed including ribs, chicken, corn and fries (6/10) but this does not stop Tammy and the girls from venturing forth in search of sweets while I sit and write up my trip report. They return with bags full of jelly beans and sour laces. The girls finish all theirs but Tam has got quite a few left. I reckon she should keep some for later to be pulled out at an appropriate moment to head off a child rebellion, only to be told 'They're my sweeties and you can't MAKE me share!'
Oh, you think so do you young woman? Well, Mr Hand will be paying a short sharp trip to Bottieland some time in the very near future I do believe. Hang on though, she's 36. Oh well....

We watch Poseidon's Fury using the IOA version of Fastpass for the first time and it works wonderfully well as we stroll casually passed a long line of suckers ..... er .... other customers. I'm sure that this show has a different ending from when we saw it in January and is much better for it.
Georgia is using the earplugs as last trip for anything loud and they work a treat. If you have a child that is a little afraid of loud noises then give this a try.

Back through the Lost Continent, which I still think is the prettiest of all the lands, and on to the Unicorn themed children's coaster. Georgia loves this and wants to go again, she also derides Tammy who doesn't like anything that goes higher than 5 ft off the ground.
It's a fairly run of the mill ride that is supposed to represent a trip on a Unicorn through an enchanted forest. A ride through a few less than magical twigs more like. It could have been much better, a ride through a forest like the walk through area of ET would be excellent.

Popeye's Bilge Rat Barges is next and we somehow avoid a massive soaking. Afterwards the girls play on Me Ship, The Olive while Tam and I split a beer (I'm driving) and watch the people getting soaked on the ride. Why is it so funny to watch another human beings getting wet? The most fun are the ladies who are dressed nicely with immaculate makeup on. Evil aren't we?

Just a minute, I should be ashamed to be British! Here I am, a long way into the afternoon and not once have I mentioned the weather. Well, it's sunny with a few patchy clouds, mid 80's and a light breeze. Wonderful!

We go to Spiderman next where the line is 30 minutes. there are definitely more people in the park than when we were last here in January. Most everything was a walk on then.
This is Georgia's first time on Spidey and although she looks a little apprehensive when I glance at her during the ride, she say's she enjoys it. For the rest of us it is the highlight of the day again.

We decide that we have been on everything that we want to for the day and leave the park around 5:00. The traffic on I4 is heavy and we don't arrive back at the Boardwalk until 5:45. The journey back is not helped by the fact that Tam decides she has had enough of the rock station on the radio and fiddles around trying to find something quieter.

Back at the Boardwalk we use the valet parking facilities again and trot off to our room. We are very lucky with our room location as it is about 50 yards from the lobby and on the same floor. Directly opposite our door are the stairs which lead to the main pool. The girls are looking forward to a swim, so off we go.
The main pool is quite crowded and noisy so we plump for the quiet pool, which lives up to its name as there can't be more than half a dozen people there. The girls hire rubber rings ($2 per hour for DVC members) and happily wallow around while Tammy and I relax in the last of the early evening sunshine, with a beer of course. a very pleasant way to relax after a day at a theme park.

A quick word about Universal. We have enjoyed all our trips here and today has been no exception, but this will probably be our last visit for a little while as we have ridden everything we want to several times. it is not the same as Disney for me in that the rides themselves are the only reason for being there. Once you have done these the rest holds little long term appeal. The Disney parks give me much more in terms of an all round experience. The shows, the parades, the music, the lights, the food, the people. Substance over glitz. Now if they could just move Spiderman to MGM Studios....

After a shower and a beer we take to the Boardwalk to perambulate and enjoy the atmosphere. Hunger is calling us again so we have a pizza from the take away window at Spoodles. It takes about 20 minutes but is very nice, hot & fresh.
Georgia is now getting tired so we walk back along the Boardwalk towards Atlantic Dance where a disco has been set up. I want to stay and impress the lovleeee laydees with my sexy dancing but I'm outvoted. Just as well, the sniggering and finger pointing often puts me off my stroke.

Back at the room the girls are swiftly to sleep at 10:00 and I spend a happy hour on the balcony watching the comings and gongs at the Boardwalk entrance. Wow, there are some strange people around. Sometimes I think I am the only sane ..... pass the kipper Mildred the ferret needs washing ..... person here.

Bed at 11:00 a happy bunny.