Just got back home from a couple of nights in Orlando and a brief visit to Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure. This was just a quick trip through Orlando for my DW and me after having seen Neil deGrasse Tyson in Jacksonville the night before. Amazing show and highly recommended.
We arrived fairly late in the day at Royal Pacific so just piddled around deciding what to do for dinner. We had a king suite which was very roomy and nice enough. No real complaints. We ended up having dinner at Emeril's Orlando and it was excellent. Both service and food. We split an order of stone crab claws, both had an order of barbecue shrimp, and split a steak entree. Had a couple of half bottles of nice wine with the meal. To finish we split a slice of banana pie. Had a glass of 1968 Boal Madeira as well which is an excellent vintage Madeira. D'Oliveira if anyone is interested. Headed back for some reading then bed.
Next morning up early to be in the park. This was Thursday 10/19. We arrived right about the time US opened for early admission at 7:00. Note everything from here forward includes express pass when ride related. Went straight to Daigon Alley and hopped on Gringotts. No wait. Enjoyed the ride then visited a few shops before breakfast at 8:00 in the Leaky Caldron. Good enough. Then walked around a bit more and headed for the train to Hogsmead at 9:00. No wait. Arrived in Hogsmead and went directly to Forbidden Journey. No wait. Brilliant ride and one of my favorites. We then headed over to Kong and rode that with no wait. You get my drift here. Slower than normal day with early entry and express pass gets you through a lot of stuff by the time most people are entering the park.
Walked around IOA and did a couple more rides, then started thinking about lunch. We ended up having a slice of pepperoni pizza at Cafe 4. This is not the pizza you would expect in Rome, Florence, or even NYC. It has a slightly sweet, tomato paste type sauce along with a doughy crust at the edges. My kids loved this when they were young and it brings back great memories. I've developed a bit of taste for it myself. After that we shopped some, relaxed some, and napped some. Then headed for dinner at Tchoup Chop. I've been before and it was much better. The food on this occasion was pretty good though not stellar. The service was friendly but slow and disorganized. I'll give it another chance sometime. In the bed fairly early.
Up this morning not quite as early. Stored our luggage and hit the parks for a few rides before returning to the hotel, collecting all of our stuff, and heading home. Now sitting here with a glass of Laphroaig thinking about starting dinner. Maybe I'll have a second glass before dinner, who knows?