July 10-18, 2010

I surprised my half-sister Amanda by telling her I would take her on her first ever Disney Vacation. I’ll also be visiting a non-Disney attraction for the very first time, as we visit Universal Studios for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed land. This will also be my first time going during the ridiculously crowded summer time frame, so I’m a little worried about that.

I have three or four surprises for Amanda along the way, so not everything I’m saying here is completely accurate, but as far as she’s aware, the current plan is:
Saturday, July 10: Fly out of Hartford at 8am, arrive in Orlando around 11am.  Take a rental car to an offsite hotel, then on to Epcot for the afternoon and evening. We’ ll probably hit the things that aren’t likely to have huge lines, like Ellen’s Energy Adventure, the Kim Possible game, Club Cool, and World Showcase in general.
Sunday, July 11: Animal Kingdom all day, and then over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma that evening.  Everest, Safari, Kali River Rapids, Finding Nemo, and Lion King are the top priorities.
Monday, July 12: Magic Kingdom.  I’ll redeem my volunteer certificate for a Dream Fastpass.  We’ll hit the big attractions as much as we can in the morning, then take a boat over to Fort Wilderness for lunch at Trails End.  Then back to the MK for the afternoon and evening.  I’m very looking forward to the Main St Electrical Parade and the Summer Nighttasitc Fireworks.
Tuesday, July 13: Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando. Top priority is unquestionably the Harry Potter land. I’ve never been here before, so I’ll be relying on my Unofficial Guide to tell me what to do when.
Wednesday, July 14: Typhoon Lagoon.  Gotta do all the big slides and water coasters in the morning before the lines build, and then I would be perfectly happy spending a couple hours in the surf pool.  Later that night, probably Downtown Disney.
Thursday, July 15: Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Hoping against hope that Amanda is over her fear of the Tower of Terror by now.  Dinner is at Hollwood & Vine, and then on to Fantasmic in the evening.
Friday, July 16: Epcot.  Starting with breakfast at Akershus in Norway, and then on to the big attractions we weren’t able to do on our first day.
Saturday, July 17: Universal Studios.  We actually have park-hopper tickets, so if there’s anything at IOA we didn’t get to or want to do again, we can head back there as well.
Sunday, July 18: Magic Kingdom in the morning, before heading back to the airport to fly back home.

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