Dec. 7, 2021

Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort

Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort

Happy Who-lidays! This week we’re taking a look at the holiday season as celebrated at that other park down the road, Universal Orlando Resort! But first travel news, including trams are back at Magic Kingdom, how to live like Kevin McCallister for a day...


Happy Who-lidays! This week we’re taking a look at the holiday season as celebrated at that other park down the road, Universal Orlando Resort! But first travel news, including trams are back at Magic Kingdom, how to live like Kevin McCallister for a day,updates to COVID testing protocols for international travel, paying $20,000 to get lost, a new German theme park coming to Orlando, and more travel tweets! Feast on Who Pudding and rare Who Roast Beast, it’s time to hit the trail with the Gold Key Adventurers Society!

 

Let’s do a thought experiment. Close your eyes, and imagine a typical theme park in Orlando. Imagine it’s December, time to celebrate the holidays. What types of special events are going on? Food and drinks? Parades? Amazing fireworks, stage shows, night time spectaculars and special holiday character meet and greets? Go ahead and open your eyes, what did you see? The great news is, you can find all those things and more at Universal Orlando! Let’s dig in and see what’s on offer this year! -

-A look at how you can enjoy Christmas like the McCallisters, ya filthy animal https://bit.ly/HomeAloneBNB

-And from the this is why we can’t have nice things department…https://bit.ly/NewIntlCovidTestRules

-And on the brighter side, trams are back, baby! Or will be soon. But only in Magic Kingdom. https://bit.ly/MKParkingTramsReturn

-And let’s cut to the chase, there’s far too much rugged adventure, camping and red rocks in the next story for ⅔ of tonight’s hosts, but let’s hear about it anyway https://bit.ly/GetLostTours

-It’s not often we get to share a story about a new theme park opening in Florida, but today is our lucky day! https://bit.ly/KrushBrauParkOrlando

-Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Celebration Details https://bit.ly/UORHolidays1

-Universal Orlando Holidays compared with Magic Kingdom https://bit.ly/UORHolidaysVsMK

 

As always, a huge thank you to our sponsor, Key to the World Travel. For all your travel needs, Key to the World's expert travel advisors are standing by. Make sure you tell them the Gold Key Adventurers sent you!

Proud to be a Feedspot Top 100 Disney Podcast! https://bit.ly/GKASFeedSpotDisney

Thanks to Outer Vibe for the use of their song Hoka Hey off of the album Hoka Hey as the intro and outro of our show. For tour dates, merch, music and more, check them out at www.outervibe.com.

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Remember, life is short and the world is wide. So go have an adventure!

Transcript

Universal Holidays

[00:00:00] 

 

 

Dan: Welcome back to another meeting of the Gold Key Adventurers Society. My name is Dan Leonard and joining me this week in the studio is Heather Straight

Heather: Hello?

Dan: and Mr. Jeff Williams, 

Jeff: That is my name. Do not wear it out. 

Dan: did you S 

Jeff: Hey, 

Dan: did you see that they gave him a radio show for one day only last week?

Heather: No. Pee Wee had a radio

Dan: Peewee, Herman. Yeah. 

Jeff: Oh, I would've listened to that. 

Dan: You can on their website. I think through the end of this week, 

Jeff: Who's who did 

it?

Dan: like [00:01:00] K C, R w 

Jeff: It's not for sale Francis. 

Dan: I love every time I was hoping you would bust that out. I love that movie so much. Anyway, we're changing the direction of this show. All Peewee all the time. 

Jeff: I like it 

Dan: We can rewatch episodes of the Playhouse and recap. Well, our Peewee centric show as always is brought to you by Key to the World, Travel. Key to the World Travel is a full service travel agency, specializing in theme parks, cruising, and destinations around the world. Head to www dot key to the world travel.com for more details,

and a no obligation quote on the vacation of a lifetime. Guys- how the heck are you?

Heather: So good.

Jeff: Just so, so good? 

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. It feels like it's been like a week or two, at least since I've talked to you all

Jeff: it's been at least two days, two 

nights. 

Heather: Something like that. 

Dan: Yeah. I told why that I was recording a podcast and he 

Jeff: Why were you talking to my son, 

Dan: my son, Wyatt, 

we both 

Jeff: white. Oh, 

Dan: Wait, you have a son Wyatt?

Jeff: Do. 

Heather: Yeah, me too,

Dan: You jerk, you stole my baby name. 

Jeff: [00:02:00] You know, good and well Kendra stole that from me. 

Dan: Yeah, of course. I told him I had to record tonight after Cub Scouts. He was like, why are you recording again this week? Isn't it like three nights? 

Anyway. Yeah. Well, it's the most wonderful time of the year. And we're going to explore the enchanting Grinch tastic holiday offerings at Universal Orlando resort.

But first as always is the travel news. Starting with a look at how you can enjoy Christmas, just like the McAllister family, ya filthy animal.

Heather: I am so excited about this opportunity that 

Jeff: I'm winning it, 

Heather: You can live out your home alone fantasies in the actual home alone house. And the best part is you get to set booby traps, eat junk food and play with a tarantula.

Dan: Oh, and Buzz himself is going to be the host

of the 

Jeff: Buzz, your girlfriend. 

Dan: Oh man.[00:03:00] 

Heather: it seems that the house is always operated as a rental and it's going to be up on Airbnb. I'm not sure, actually it doesn't it. Doesn't specify if it's always on Airbnb is something that you 

Jeff: Yeah, it was hard to tell from the articles I saw, I've seen two or three different ones and none of them make that very clear. 

Heather: Yeah, but it says that the rental agent is offering up this opportunity for people to win a stay for four lucky people. And that stay will happen on December 12th, but bookings for the property will go live on December 7th, which will be the day that this recording comes out. So perfect timing. The stay will only cost $25 and guests will be responsible for their travel to and from Chicago.

But they're doing this as a fundraiser for a children's hospital in Chicago. So Airbnb is going to make a donation to this hospital 

Jeff: I was going to say, are they doing anything $25? 

Heather: well, they seem to be [00:04:00] donating more, but the whoever wins this one night stay will only have to pay $25. And that's 

just for 

Jeff: they also have to cover their own medical bills after the paint can, to the 

face 

Heather: Yes.

Jeff: Goes awry 

Dan: That is one heck of an escape room challenge

Heather: And looking at the decorations, it appears that the house has been completely redone so that every room is Christmas themed. Like every single room has wallpaper and furnishings that are all red, green, and white.

Dan: Yeah. I'm trying to look at the rest of the pictures, but I can't get past this first picture of the entry foyer with the staircase. What is going on with that wallpaper? It's

Heather: crazy busy, bright red and green wallpaper. And there's a red runner on the stairs.

Dan: Extra in the way that the kids these days are the kids of 10 years ago, used the word the extra, but that's 

Jeff: The kids [00:05:00] today, 

Heather: Yeah. 

Jeff: These young whippersnappers 

Heather: If you scroll through all the photos, every single room is red, green, and white from the wallpaper to the furnishings, to the curtains. All of it. 

Jeff: was it like that in the movie. 

Okay. 

Heather: it was decorated for Christmas, but it didn't have red. white And green wallpaper on every wall

Dan: no. 

 

I wonder if the basement has a terrifying animatronic furnace 

Jeff: Furnace. 

Heather: be 

Dan: try to eat song.soul. 

Jeff: Eautiful 

Heather: guests will have a chance to set their own booby traps, have a casual meet and greet with a real life tarantula. And of course watch the entire film franchise as well as the newest holiday adventure in the series. Home. Sweet Home Alone.

Dan: No thank you.

Jeff: Is it the Disney plus one? 

Dan: Yeah,

Jeff: Has anyone seen it is. it 

good? 

Heather: I haven't watched.

Jeff: Okay. 

Dan: I have not watched it, but from what I've heard about it, I'm not interested. 

Jeff: I never saw the fourth [00:06:00] one. They had a different kid, Alex lens or whoever that 

Dan: From what I understand, the kid is a jerk and the people who are trying to break into the house are actually lovely people. Or at least that's what I got 

Jeff: Oh way to flip the

Heather: Oh, 

Jeff: So he's just a narcissist. 

Heather: interesting.

Dan: and we all learn a lesson in the end, but what's more important is they specifically say that you get to dine on nineties junk food, which sounds wonderful to me because snacks in the nineties were at least my brain remembers them as being pretty awesome compared to. What I can get today. 

Jeff: I don't remember what they were. I don't remember a lot of the nineties. 

Dan: Why is that Jeff? 

Jeff: in 1991, I turned 21 

Dan: Oh, that'll do it. That will do it.

Heather: So looking through the Airbnb listing, it appears that it is a full time operated as a rental property. Now they've gone full Home Alone in [00:07:00] their redo, and they're making money off of renting it all the time. And this is just a sort of a launch to that

Jeff: And 

what's the 

Dan: it say what

Jeff: of guests you can have under normal circumstances. 

Heather: circumstances. It doesn't have that listed yet. The listing is just right now talking about this the special and it's only for guests.

Dan: I was also curious about the normal price per night. Cause I imagine it's more than $25.

Heather: I'm sure. I'm sure. And they want to make sure you understand that you have to clean up after yourself.

Dan: What 

Jeff: clean up the tar and paint and feathers and hair and

burnt stuff. 

Heather: but there is free parking, wifi breakfast the next morning, so, I know it looks pretty cool

Dan: that's not very authentic.

Heather: right?

Dan: I don't think if Kevin had wifi that would have solved a lot of his problems. He could have just FaceTimed with his mom and told her that he was okay. And then we don't have movies 

Jeff: [00:08:00] It's such a good movie though. 

 

Holds 

up. 

Heather: It really does. I L that's my one of my favorite holiday movies.

Dan: I think I fell asleep on the couch with it on just a night or two ago.

Jeff: It's my second favorite behind Baby's Day Out. 

Heather: Oh, no.

Jeff: Which I actually have watched a bunch of times. I'm not proud. 

Dan: We all, have we all have that

Heather: And everyone has guilty pleasures. Every single one of Kendra's favorite movies is a guilty pleasure.

Dan: They're all diamonds in

Heather: Yes. My sister has terrible taste in movies.

Dan: I do not. I do not endorse statement 

Jeff: yeah. The views expressed by 

Dan: my life partner, the person I've chosen to spend eternity with. I did not agree with your sister just to be clear. Well, you know,

Heather: That's a lot, Dan.

Dan: I've covered all my bases.

Well, speaking of covering all the bases and this is why we can't have nice things.

Heather: Yeah.

Dan: I thought that we were done speaking about, it's been a while since we've talked about [00:09:00] COVID protocols and no.

Heather: we've got a slightly. Wrench thrown into the works. About a month ago, they changed the requirements for testing to return to the U S to vaccinated. People kept the same requirements. You have to have a test within three days of returning to the U S unvaccinated.

People had to have a negative test within 24 hours. But now thanks to Omicron. Everyone is 

Jeff: He was a transformer, 

Heather: test. Yes, I'm just waiting for when we can all say, look, anybody who wants to get vaccinated can get vaccinated, and we're just going to go on with our life. But for now, the media keeps freaking out about every new variant and. Mutation and whatnot. So there it's expected that on December 2nd, President Biden's going to announce that air travelers returning to the United States, [00:10:00] even if you're vaccinated will have to have a negative test result within 24 hours, which quite frankly is not that big a deal almost anywhere you can go.

You can get a rapid antigen test now. And actually what I recommend is we know this is coming and we know what's going to happen. So if you have a trip out of the country planned, go ahead right now and go online and order a. Bin ax now at home COVID testing kit, that includes the tele-health option and get it before you leave and pack it, take it with you because it's a test that takes 15 minutes to get a result.

And it's valid for testing to return to the United States because you schedule an online consult with a Teladoc and they watch you take it. You show 

Jeff: Dan is holding one up right 

now. 

Heather: Yes, you show them your results and then they email you the official results [00:11:00] that you can show to check in for your flight. And I have, we actually have a supply though, has been X now tests here.

Dan: Got a big stack

Heather: Yes. I have a huge stack of them in my bathroom because whenever one of my kids comes home with a cold, we take a test just to make sure when I've ordered them from Walgreens, they're about $24 for two. But I discovered today that you can get the same two tests from Amazon for 1299. 

Jeff: shut your mouth. That's

Dan:

Heather: It is cheaper now.

Dan: right in between. We ordered them from Walmart and we got them today delivered to our house in like two hours. I think they're like 15

Heather: yep. Now the difference is

Dan: everywhere

Heather: they are that's true. The difference is that the one that comes with the tele-health visit is usually a little. More expensive and you have to get that version in order to, for it to be valid, to come back into the United States. And those are a little trickier to find. I found them today for delivery within one to two business [00:12:00] days, but they were from Optum RX.

I didn't find the tele-health ones from Walgreens or CVS. But you can find them. And those are valid for returning to the U S. The difference is that you're paying a little extra for the visit with an online doc who watches you to make sure that you test correctly and you sh you show them your ID to verify who you are.

And then they send you an email with your results. Then you can show that email to board the plane, and they're really easy to use. I actually, part of the reason that we have a stack of them is three between three and five days after I return from a trip. I go ahead and take one, just to be sure. I'm vaccinated and boosted, you never know, and people who are vaccinated have, if you get a breakthrough case, you're more likely to not show any symptoms.

So I just do that just 

Jeff: does not come up on Amazon 

Heather: oh, interesting. I'll have to send the tele-health one. 

Jeff: None of 

them. 

Heather: Oh, I did have, I found the non tele-health ones on Amazon today for cheaper. [00:13:00] And I actually, I ordered a couple more because I just took some last week when I came back from Key Con I used one and every time I, we use one, I go and order another one.

So that we're, we always have them to avoid the situation we had about a couple of months ago, my son came home with a bad cold symptoms and waited until about six o'clock at night to tell me that he wasn't feeling well. And it was too late to get him a test anywhere everywhere was closed.

And I couldn't get one of the at-home tests. So I ended up

Dan: I was running around looking for at-home tests and all of the pharmacists I asked were pissed at me. They're

Heather: yes, they were sick of it. There was a shortage.

Dan: glad that people are being responsible and want to

Heather: Well, exactly. And so what I ended up having to do, we took him to our airport at six o'clock in the morning, the next morning, before school to get him a test. And it costs like 75 bucks, but they threw in a free flu test.

So I knew that he did not have [00:14:00] COVID or the flu just a cold, but anyway, now I keep a stack of them around just in case. And they're super easy to use and they show you the result in 15 minutes. So it's honestly not that big a deal. I think it's going to scare people a little bit of from some traveling internationally, but really there are easy ways to 

Jeff: Well also most resorts, like if you're going to Mexico, like we both are. And next week, and then I am the following week they've been testing you within three days of your departure anyway, at the resorts, and now they will do it within 24 

hours. So, And 

they use these rapid tests, which are still good for the U S I think Canada, you have to have a PCR test within 24 hours to get back in.

So that, that could actually prove pretty 

difficult. 

Heather: those, these resorts are used to it. And actually it's been a month now that they've been having to give unvaccinated Americans a test within 24 hours. So they're set up for this anyway. And a lot of 

Jeff: I've got your [00:15:00] negative tests already printed out, ready to hand you.

Heather: exactly. And if you're traveling here's what I find is interesting.

If you're traveling on a cruise that leaves from a U S port and returns to a U S port, you don't have to have that. I just did that last month and we left the country, but we didn't have to have that test to come back in because we 

Jeff: That's annoying because I'm going to leave from, an airport and leave the country and come back to that airport. How's that? Any 

Heather: I suspect it's because of the cruise lines have to test everybody before you get on the ship anyway.

And almost all of the cruise lines are requiring everyone on board be vaccinated. So I think that's why it doesn't apply because you have had that test. I'm actually doing a big out of the country trip at the end of January, and 

Jeff: Oh really? Where are you going? 

Heather: Antarctica actually. 

Jeff: Really? 

Heather: And that that's on an expedition cruise and the cruise line is going to test us all on the ship as we're returning.

To [00:16:00] Argentina so that we have the test results within 24 hours to get on the plane to come back to the U S so travel suppliers are aware of these rules in there. They're making it easy for travelers to get the test. So, and if you're doing what you should be doing and getting tested before you leave and getting vaccinated, then you don't really have anything to worry about anyway.

Dan: Yeah, weird how they've been telling us all

Heather: yeah, right. Maybe we should be listening.

Dan: Well, like I said, this is why we can't have nice things. The good news is, you know, you don't necessarily need to be scared off of traveling internationally because of these new rules. But if you are, we got a great reason for why you should go back to the magic kingdom sorry, Disneyland, but Walt Disney world is getting their trams back soon.

Heather: That's so exciting. 

Jeff: didn't know anyone was missing 

these 

Heather: Where are they coming back to first, Dan?

Dan: Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World coming back just later this month and the rest of [00:17:00] Walt Disney World, will be getting their trams throughout 2022, but there was no one else mint about Disneyland. And I know 

Jeff: Magic kingdom is really the only one that super needs it. 

Dan: Ah, man,

Heather: I thought Disneyland already got the trams back.

Dan: I thought they were still complaining about not having them.

Maybe they did get

Heather: No, 

Jeff: No, they, announced it. They're not back yet. 

Heather: they, announced that they're coming back. They just didn't give us 

Jeff: I think they're coming back in 22, like 

January 

Heather: Oh yeah. You know, I think you're right. Cause I know we talked about it and Dan, you made a comment about the Disneyland fans could stop complaining.

Jeff: Yeah. 

Dan: Oh, that's 

Jeff: about it 

on the 

Heather: Yeah, I remember,

Dan: I did talk shit about

Heather: I think I think I do remember now that we didn't know an exact date, just that they were coming back.

Dan: I pulled a Jeff there.

Heather: Yes, you did.

Dan: Yeah. That's exciting. Is there anything else that we 

Jeff: Everybody should pull a Jeff every now and then. 

Heather: true.

Dan: a public service for Jeff's everywhere. Is that what you say? [00:18:00] Gross. I think we've sufficiently covered that

Heather: I think so. Trams are back.

Dan: another two minutes about trams? Should we investigate the origins of the word again? 

Jeff: Yes. It's short for tram sport tation 

Dan: is just as good the second time around

Heather: it is.

Dan: it hits every time. Well, 

Jeff: banger. 

Dan: yeah. Well, I gotta be honest. I was a little surprised when Heather sent me this next story. I was looking at it. I didn't read the story, but looking at the picture and looking at the headline, I was thinking, you know, there's way too much rugged outdoor adventure, camping and red rocks in this story for two thirds of the people on this screen,

Heather: it doesn't always have to be though. That's the point of this? Dan?

Dan: I should have read the

Heather: You should have read it. 

Jeff: I wish I could 

now. 

Heather: would you pay somewhere between $15,000

$30,000 for a mystery travel experience. [00:19:00] That is basically this luxury travel company called Black Tomato. And they take you and they don't tell you where you're going.

They give you some basics about what you need to have. You know, the only thing you'll have with you is what you can carry in a backpack and they take you and have you get lost on purpose in a place of their choosing. So 

Jeff: Dangerous places.

Heather: Could be you never know. You can 

Jeff: the Galleria mall. 

Heather: can look through their offerings on their site and you can see they'll give you different types of adventures.

So they could say it could be, you could choose a polar climate or a jungle or a desert or a mountain or a coastal region. You pick just that. And then they take you somewhere. And drop you off with no directions, no information about where you are and you just have to wander. And they have a security team that follows you [00:20:00] at a distance so that you don't see them, but they're making sure that you don't get robbed.

You don't get mugged, you know, you know, you're not murdered. But they want you to, they want you to just get lost in a new place and explore the culture and your surroundings and purposely get lost and 

Jeff: Do you have money and a place to 

sleep, et 

Heather: And all along the way they give you some geo clues to follow. So. They'll give you some training sessions in the beginning to, to acclimate you to whatever type of environment you're going to.

And they'll make sure that you're equipped for that environment, but then you just go get lost. And so what are the ones that, 

Jeff: kinda like amazing 

race. 

That sounds like something Dan would like, 

Dan: yeah, I'm 100% into this. And then I got lost in their website looking at some of the other experiences they have, but yeah, get, I want to get lost. 

Jeff: I wish you would. 

Heather: yeah, one of the

Dan: back. I [00:21:00] promise I'll come back.

Heather: the one that they mentioned in this in this article specifically is where they took some people to the Atlas mountains of Morocco and they just drop you off and then you're alone on foot and.

Dan: Holy crap.

Jeff: know where I would stay right at the bottom of that mountain. 

Heather: give you like they'll leave you in the, so the writer who's talking about this actually did one of these experiences, and they left him in a valley in these mountains in Morocco.

And they gave him two days to get to the next rendezvous point, which was 18 miles away. And he basically had to just find his way there. And then once you get there, you have a next, the next point to get to until your thing is done. So it could cost you anywhere from $15,000 up to $30,000. 

Jeff: It's like, if you paid to be on the amazing race, instead of them 

paying you, when you, win 

Heather: some 

Dan: without being forced to eat 

Heather: yeah. [00:22:00] Some of them that, that will take you into the Maasai, Mara national reserve in Kenya amongst all the animals. And presumably follow you with some armed people who can shoot the lions. If they get, you don't know,

Dan: This is, yeah, this is amazing.

Heather: It looks crazy. And I had a feeling. It would be up your alley, Dan.

Dan: this is like now at the top of my bucket list. This sounds incredible. Did you see an experiences? 

Jeff: There's no way. 

Dan: Did you see their their version of glamping

it's called blink and it's like set up the most over the top opulent glamping experience you want, like, there's this giant geodesic dome tent in the middle of a desert somewhere. It looks like.

Heather: that's cool.

Dan: So, or like, yeah, this company is cool.

Heather: Yeah. It's very cool. And I thought you would be down for the get lost adventure.

Dan: Look, holy... holy...

Heather: We know it's on Dan's bucket [00:23:00] list now.

Dan: Look at this dinner at the grand canyon.

Heather: Yeah. It looks like the grand canyon. Yeah.

Dan: It's literally at the re like

Heather: Right at the edge. Right on the

Dan: If you're into edging, right, right there.

Heather: The grand 

Jeff: If edging and rim jobs are your thing. You need a Black Tomato. 

Dan: Well, I sure I'm glad that my grandma and aunt have been sharing links to the show lately. 

Jeff: Well, They should

look up edging.

Dan: They should 

Heather: Or maybe not, maybe 

Jeff: I mean 

Heather: just look up 

Jeff: the

Heather: the, Get Last Adventure from Black Tomato. 

Dan: Well now for something completely different and far less incredible and amazing to be honest. It's not very often that we get to share a story about a brand new theme park opening up in Florida. But today guys,

Heather: What?

Dan: today is our lucky day because coming soon to Kissimmee

Heather: no, not Kissimmee.

Dan: in 2022 at the site of the former Jungle Land [00:24:00] Zoo is going to be the Krush Brau Biergarten park.

Jeff: Yes. 

Heather: Krush Brau. 

Dan: Yeah. This dude he was in the army. He was deployed to Germany and he came back he fell in love with Germany. So he bought the seven acre. It was, it used to be a jungle land zoo, and he has developed it into a family-friendly German themed entertainment complex. Yeah. So there's gonna be three areas.

There's an outdoor tented area known as the Fest Platz which will host German festivals, including October Fest, the Y Nocton Christmas festival new year's festival called Sylvester Fest. Spring festival is Frewings fast. I know, I don't want me to be giggle earlier. And the autumn festival known as Herbst Fest.

Jeff: herpes 

Fest. 

Heather: Oh my 

Dan: the second area will feature a A beer garden restaurant with authentic German food, as well as homemade and [00:25:00] imported German beer.

Heather: can we have some schnitzel?

Dan: Yeah. I hope so schnitzel with noodles. That's one of my favorite things. And then the other area they're going to have more kind of like amusement park food games and animatronic animals from various countries. Yeah. So apparently there's a park somewhere else in Florida that is small themed experiences inside shipping containers.

Heather: Oh, I've not heard of this place. Wow. Florida has everything.

Dan: And so he's going to have, he describes it as. Cut in shipping container buildings. He's got 13 shipping, convenient shipping container venues that are going to open up and everyone's going to be themed to a different country.

And in that country, you'll be able to visit with animatronic animals from that land. 

Heather: This is a lot.

Dan: Yeah, it is.

it's I, 

Heather: give dizzy a run for their money.

Dan: it just might, Epcot watch [00:26:00] out he probably

Heather: see animatronic animals in shipping containers.

Dan: Yeah. And the good news is that the zoo is going to feel like it's a German zoo. He says we're taking a zoo and putting a very in front on it.

It will look as if you're in 

Jeff: The animals will be drunk. 

Heather: Or just very

Dan: animals will be, yeah. so the first phase is going to open. The first phase will open this spring. Meanwhile, the complex is open Friday, Saturdays and Sundays for festivals, 

No admission charge, except for ticketed events, such as concerts, featuring popular bands or activities such as gingerbread decorating for the kids.

We decided to have something kids and their families would enjoy for a change because you know, there's nothing like that in

Heather: Right. There's nothing else near Kissimmee. That's for kids and families.

Dan: right?

Heather: Wow.

Jeff: And then you can swing by gift 

shop 

Heather: Yes. We've been to gift shop. That's great.

Dan: We need to visit there someday.

Heather: I'll take you next time. We're down there.

[00:27:00] Is it time for travel tweets though? 

Dan: It is indeed time to close out our new segment with some travel tweets.

Heather: These travel tweets this week are the theme for this week are very good travel tips that have been tweeted out by some, these people seem to be really seasoned travelers. I think, let me know what you think. So the first one is from at Susan Orlean. And her tweet was another hard won travel tip.

If you are wearing black pants, do not repeat, do not let a donkey rub its itchy forehead on your thighs. Because haven't, we all done that 

Jeff: Yeah. 

Heather: No.

Jeff: why, w what color is the donkey? What if is the blank donkey? 

Dan: Well,

Heather: Why is she letting the talkie? Where did she find the donkey? I have so many questions, 

Jeff: Is it donkey further that she's concerned about? Or the dunk? He rub a little too hard and some 

happened. 

Heather: not sure.

Dan: But

Heather: Yeah.

Dan: why [00:28:00] specifically a

donkey.

Why not just animals in 

Heather: Yeah. She's very specific about it being a donkey. You're going to really love this next one. Then Dan, from at boobs, Radley.

Dan: can I just appreciate the username for a second?

Heather: Yes.

Dan: Now I'm mad that I didn't get that handled.

Heather: PSA travel size lube and travel sized hand. Sanitizer are virtually indistinguishable. You should know this before you offer either to strangers.

Jeff: Oh, dear. 

Dan: Ooh, but there's a good prank.

Heather: Hell that is a good. Prank.

Jeff: Yeah. 

Dan: Jeff, you should do 

Jeff: oily? Or 

Heather: Just put a pure WRAL label on 

Jeff: when you want lube 

Heather: Oh, ouch. That could sting

Dan: but,

Jeff: But so sanitary. 

Heather: But I love the prank of putting a pure, a label on a lube bottle and offering it to people.

Dan: yeah, I feel like 

you're 

Jeff: and just 

Dan: yeah. I feel like that's, you're going to get more [00:29:00] opportunities to offer that to a stranger who might, you know, 

Jeff: a then the other 

one. 

Dan: care about offending, you know, the other way around.

Heather: that's fair. 

Jeff: gotta get 'em home. Get him 'to lube up burning. 

Heather: I don't want to think about that one.

Then we have this one from, at hodgeman travel advisory. If you're playing a ukulele in your hotel room in St. Paul at midnight, the hotel will send security to ask you to stop. 

Jeff: What about a guitar? 

Heather: He doesn't say guitars just so ukulele. Just try to avoid the sorry. I always have to remember that Jeff has the correct pronunciation from his time in the islands. 

Jeff: right. 

Heather: and finally from at Rob Hubel travel tip, don't lick everything. This, are words we should all live by 

Jeff: Yeah. That's not just for 

travel. 

Dan: Maybe if more people would follow that advice, we wouldn't have to be following these new testing [00:30:00] protocols

Heather: That's fair. I, how many of us have watched children licking like handrails and everything 

Jeff: Remember our first trip, literally first trip back to universal. After the shutdown of the pandemic, there were two kids just licking the hand 

Heather: Yes. And then. 

Jeff: the Hogwarts 

express 

Heather: was a third kid with them who was picking his nose and smearing it on the hand rails. And then the other two kids were licking them off. It was foul.

It was foul.

Dan: somebody got the Bertie Botts Every Flavored 

Jeff: two kids, one rail. 

Dan: gross.

Heather: It was disgusting.

Dan: Now we're on a watch list. Again,

Heather: Sorry Dan.

Dan: Jeff that knocking. You hear on your door right about now licking things do you have any more good tips for us, Heather.

Heather: those that's this week's tweets tune in next week for even more great tips.

Dan: Good. 

Jeff: So lick everything. 

Heather: Just [00:31:00] remember that.

Jeff: advice. 

 

Dan: Yeah. Well stick around because after the commercial break, we're talking about all the holiday wonder and cheer that you can find at universal Orlando resort.

e

 do a thought experiment. I need you guys to close your eyes and imagine a typical theme park. I was hoping for that. Imagine a typical theme park in Orlando it's December, and it's time to celebrate the holidays. What types of special events are going on? Delicious foods and drinks, parades.

Do you see amazing fireworks, state shows, nighttime spectaculars and even special holiday themed character meet and greets. 

Jeff: all of those 

Dan: Yeah. So go ahead and open your eyes. And what did you see in your brain?

Jeff: beer garden. Did I get it 

right? 

Heather: Kush, browse, 

Jeff: Kush brow. 

Dan: Krush Brau! Yeah. Yeah. Well, the good news is

Heather: I bet you thought we were thinking of Walt Disney world. Didn't you

Dan: you're [00:32:00] always thinking of Walt Disney world. You guys. 

Jeff: will say when people think of the holidays at the theme parks the castle lights and all that at Walt Disney world are what come to mind, but they're missing out. 

Dan: right. The great news is that you can find all of those things and more,

Heather: More,

Dan: did there, just like that's what Christmas means to me anyway at that there at universal Orlando resort. So let's dig in and see what's on offer this year.

Heather: one of my favorite things I got to say first is the story of behind the big, huge Christmas tree in universal studios park, because we noticed Jeff and I noticed a couple of years ago that we were standing taking pictures of the their big Christmas tree. 

And there was it's very. And we spotted this animatronic squirrel kept popping out in the tree.

And we were with at the time, a friend of ours who worked for universal [00:33:00] Orlando resort, who told us the story that this animatronic squirrel is in that tree every year. They move it to a different spot on the tree every year. And the reason that it's there is because one year an actual squirrel took up residence in their Christmas tree and chewed all the wiring up. 

Jeff: it kept happening. They kept repairing And this thing was just wreaking havoc with this enormous a hundred foot tree for the whole season. 

Heather: And then, so the following year they put a fake squirrel in it, just as an homage to the real squirrel that was wreaking havoc on their tree. And I just, I love that. So now that's one of my favorite things to do when I'm there at Christmas is go try to find the squirrel because he's never in the same spot.

Jeff: Heather 

Dan: was 

Jeff: to play. Find the

squirrel 

Dan: wondering why I kept on seeing this cartoon squirrel on all of their announcements.

Heather: And he pops up everywhere and I think that's so cool. Like[00:34:00] 

Dan: Yeah. Well, another cool thing that I think, and I don't want to , I'll spin this positively when they decorate their parks and their resorts, it is decorated and decorated and

Heather: over the top.

Dan: everywhere, there's Christmas. And so here's the part that I forgot to bring this up last week with my trip report.

I hadn't, I was a little bit disappointed at the magic kingdom that the only place you see Christmas decorations are on main street USA. And then once you get past that castle, it's just business as normal past there. And there's a 

Jeff: too, this year, and has it always been that way. 

Dan: I don't know, but it's like, especially when we were thinking like Heather and I were talking about like the difference between Disneyland's offerings and especially like Disneyland's Christmas party and they've got different themed areas in each of their lands that fit with the lands.

It wouldn't be that hard. And especially with how good they are at coming up with this [00:35:00] super over the top, emotionally manipulative holiday decorations to have appropriately themed decorations throughout the parks like universal does. It's amazing. I'm looking at

Heather: really is in the magic kingdom. It's. It's always really sticks to main street USA in the hub. It doesn't really carry over into the rest of the 

Jeff: And it would be cool to see that sort of retro future vibe stuff, real iridescent and crazy looking like the new paint job in tomorrow land. If they had Christmas decorations that 

were 

themed to that, I guess I've 

Dan: Like aluminum, Christmas trees, or like those sixties 

Jeff: is weird because 

it 

Dan: you know?

Jeff: at Hollywood Studios there it's all over the place. 

Dan: until you get back into the more fantastic areas. The whole part. That's actually realistic 

Jeff: story land is fully Christmas and,

Dan: right yeah all the time. 

Heather: And back in the beginning of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they didn't decorate for Christmas and it always bugged me [00:36:00] 

Jeff: yeah, cause they had the Yule ball and everything 

Heather: In the movie. Yeah. And when they finally got on board with that, and I dunno if they, if it took a while to get JK Rowling to okay. It maybe. Yeah. But it's it is spectacular back there now.

Jeff: Especially in islands of adventure, cause it's already snow-capped and everything in hogs made. So it was just made for that. 

Heather: So every little, if you look at the, every little arch, those really pitched triangular roofs are covered with lights and

Dan: Garland's and

Heather: so pretty. So specially go and visit there at night because that's when you get all of the, really all of the 

Jeff: You don't have a seldom in the Wizarding World at night anyway, but man, is it beautiful when you're... Hogs meet at night is awesome. 

Heather: And they have a special Christmas show on. The on the castle projection show. Yeah, it's really good.

Dan: Yeah. I was looking at pictures of that. That looks beautiful. And you know, there's a themed Christmas tree [00:37:00] for each, not each, but for many of the attractions somewhere near the attractions and they might just be tucked away, but there's a Jurassic Park tree and a Men In Black tree.

Jeff: Wouldn't it be cool. If the Jurassic Park tree, like the other tree has the hidden squirrels. This one had a hidden dead lawyer on the toilet, 

Dan: Nothing says holiday cheer, like a dead 

Jeff: like a half eaten. The lawyer's still on the John. 

Dan: I don't know if this is relatively new. I don't really remember hearing about this spot before maybe the past year or so. This tribute store that they that they have, and this looks amazing.

It's like a mini theme park in a store in itself. It's like you go through and each room is themed to different characters and has holiday merchandise and snacks and stuff, theme to the

Heather: that's relatively. new they 

Jeff: was 

Heather: change 

Jeff: up. 

Heather: yeah,

Dan: okay.

Heather: they change out the theme of that tribute store

Jeff: The tribute store I think just started when Halloween horror nights didn't happen. So they turned it to the Halloween horror [00:38:00] nights, tribute store in 2020, then this year, it was also the tribute store from past Halloween horror nights. But I think this may be the first year they did the Christmas thing 

in 

Dan:

think so. I know they did the Velocicoaster tribute in the summer when that opened and yeah, for Christmas, it looks incredible. There's a Harry Potter room and

Heather: Yes. And that's where we can learn a little bit more about his name is Earl the Squirrel. Yes. See what he's up to in a delightfully nut scented room. a nut scented

Dan: someone needs to take a shower

Heather: yuck. 

Jeff: It's just smells like a karate dojo. 

Heather: Yuck. Let's see. To be more specific. The room is where you find the treats like Whoopie pies, gingerbread cookies, and fresh roasted nuts. I'm suspecting. It's like those almonds that are coated and

Jeff: Oh, I love 

that 

Dan: Oh, dear Lord. I, my, you know, like in the cartoon when the pie is sitting on the shelf and the scent [00:39:00] wafts out and he does like the come here fingers and then the guy floats. That's what those 

Jeff: Yeah. 

Heather: those nuts do to 

Jeff: That's how he reacts to the smell of 

nuts 

Heather: you should head to,

Dan: The cinnamon almonds.

Heather: mall right now. Dan, they have those fresh roasted nuts in the middle of the mall.

Dan: yeah,

Jeff: Well, Buc-ee's stores also are constantly roasting, fresh, 

nuts, and 

Heather: oh, 

Jeff: all different sorts of nuts in there. That smells amazing. 

Dan: yeah. Nothing like a good set of nuts.

Heather: Oh, there's the Harry Potter section. You can purchase your own Yule ball garb. Very nice.

Dan: Let's see let's speaking

Heather: Their holiday tree hunt. I like that. It's in the parks instead of being at Disney Springs because the. 

Jeff: Why would they do theirs a Disney 

Springs. 

Heather: right. Well, you know, they could have put it at city walk. You know what I mean? Disney has a similar thing with cool themed Christmas trees, but they're all just shoved into one little section [00:40:00] at Disney Springs.

Dan: Yeah. Universal. There's 15 trees and they're scattered throughout City Walk and both parks, so it's more of a scavenger hunt.

Heather: I love that. And you can purchase a holiday tree hunt brochure in the parks, and then you can get them, get it stamped at every spot that you see a tree.

Jeff: And do

Dan: And if I get all the stamps, do they let me buy a prize?

Heather: Yeah, probably,

Dan: That's my favorite, one of my favorite innovations in the theme parks.

Heather: yes, you, if you get all of it stamped, you get a special holiday ornaments.

Dan: Ooh,

Jeff: purchase with 

purchase? 

Heather: $10 for the thing. And then you get the ornament for free, but

Jeff: I'm glad to see this year too. They had the Mannheim Steamroller concert series is back, which is most definitely not my 

jam, but my, I grew up with my stepmother. May she rest in peace? She loved man. I'm steamroller. It's just the cheesiest music, but

they're huge. They're hugely popular. 

And, 

Dan: ah, [00:41:00] you know, I love 'em I can't help it. I don't know why my dad loved 'em and so I think it's just one of those. It's the sound of Christmas and their version of good king Wenceslaus gets me every time

Heather: I don't. And here's why back in college, I worked in the mall and the store that I managed in the mall, we were required to 

Jeff: let's be real. This was a 

Hooters. 

Heather: It was not a Hooters. It was a Laura, Ashley, thank you very much. 

Jeff: welcome. 

Heather: were required to play holiday

Dan: that is.

Heather: but all of our holiday CDs, someone kept stealing them. So we had only two Mannheim steamroller and Harry Connick Jr.

And that's what I had to listen to on repeat from the beginning of November to the beginning of January. And I cannot stand them, but I know a lot of people really like them and I love that. I've always loved their concerts

Dan: Yeah, 

They've got [00:42:00] four dates. Unfortunately we're missing most of them. The fourth, the fifth, the 11th and the 12th at 7:00 PM. The music Plaza stage.

Heather: can still make it to the 11th and the 12th by the time this podcast airs.

Jeff: you know who Mannheim I'm steamroller is? 

Heather: I don't.

Jeff: So it's a composer Chip Davis. He, before starting Mannheim Steamroller went by the fake name of CW McCall and he did the song Convoy. 

Dan: yeah.

Heather: Oh, 

Jeff: Yeah, that breaker one niner we convoy that. was him with a vocal distortion 

Heather: I had no 

Jeff: playing the part of an old trucker 

Heather: Huh? That's fascinating. 

Jeff: yeah. Fun facts 

Heather: like those are good 

Jeff: With Jeff facts, with Jeff, 

still working on the theme 

Dan: We'll put some music behind it. It'll be a real bop as the kids 

Jeff: that will slap 

Heather: Some of my favorite decorations at universal at Christmas are back in the Dr. Seuss area because they're 

Dan: Oh 

Heather: and Seuss-y and it's [00:43:00] Grinchmas.

Jeff: that whole area is just really cool. Anyway, cause there's no straight lines. It's just all wacky and the Christmas decorations are no exception. They're all weird as hell.

Heather: They really

Dan: is perfect. And the Grinch man, that's like the hottest character meet and greet in Orlando 

Jeff: He's so good. 

Dan: yeah. He's just the Grinch. 

Jeff: I wound up on Grinch tick-tock recently, somehow it was just, Hey, kept coming up in my feed, where

everybody 

Dan: I like, he'd say 

Jeff: interactions with him at universal. He looks 

amazing. He's always a ton of fun and he'll come up and mess with you

while you're talking to the cat in The hat or whoever he'll come up and row.

What are you doing over here? Talking to how so good. 

Heather: The great news is last year, the Grinchmas Wholiday spectacular. Was not on offer because of COVID, but it is back this year. Universal does live entertainment really well, and they have great wacky characters and it's I think it's about, isn't it about a [00:44:00] 30, 40 minute show, something like that.

And they it's held back in the space that blue man group used to be in

Jeff: Ah, 

Dan: theater

Heather: the 

Dan: now it's the green man show instead of the blue man show. And

Heather: it has max a real live dog performer.

Dan: I betcha he's a good

Heather: I bet he 

is. 

Jeff: boy. 

Dan: He's a good doggo oh yeah. And that's another thing too. Just looking at pictures. Obviously, I've never actually been to universal for Christmas. I need to start visiting theme parks more often, but it looks like there's characters that's is true. It looks like there's like, you know, just like they have their kind of streemosphere for your characters wandering around in the regular seasons.

It looks like there's characters all over the place. I see. Who's on stilts. I see Radio City, Rockettes in tin soldiers. And I see robots

Jeff: Yeah, they do all kinds of fun, stuff like that. And they always did like, universal has tons of like the little Marilyn pop-up show and all different things and Rockette style 

Heather: there live [00:45:00] streetmosphere live entertainers are so good. Even not during the Christmas season. We were just there this summer and had, we were there for one day and had amazing interactions with some of my favorites are always with Shrek and Donkey. 

Dan: Doesn't love a donkey show?

Jeff: I guess that's going away with 

the Shrek show leaving. 

Heather: The Shrek show is going away, but they are keeping Shrek and Donkey because that's super popular.

The Blues Brothers, Doc Brown was wandering around. It's also that they, the shrunken head on the Night Bus back by. The entrance to Diagon Alley it's they really do 

Jeff: well.

they've got the frog singers at Hoggsmeade and I liked that show. They do on the stairs in Diagon alley and they do a special Christmas version of that with the ladies sing. 

I can't 

Dan: Sell Celestina Warbeck

Jeff: sure. 

Dan: Yes. 

Jeff: It's always flew to MENA flubbery blossom or 

Heather: Yes. Straight from the pages of the books.

Dan: Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees get in the holiday [00:46:00] spirit with a special show four original songs, including "My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas".

Heather: That sounds like a personal problem.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. 

Jeff: That's an episode of Maury Povich. 

Dan: so we've got the spectacular decorations, we've got some of those live entertainers we've got I think we mentioned parades. They do a heck of a

Heather: Their parade is great. Have 

Jeff: Yeah. Just their normal daytime parades are super fun. But during Christmas, of course, the Macy's day Macy's what is it? The Thanksgiving Extravaganza parade featuring Macy's or 

whatever they 

Heather: something like that, but

Dan: it's Thanksgiving every night.

Heather: they have some of the actual balloons from the Macy's parade.

Dan: Yeah.

Heather: Seeing those up close and personal is pretty over the top. It's very cool. 

Jeff: And in the wintertime hot butter beer is available back there 

Heather: Hot butter beer.

Jeff: That's my favorite iteration. 

Heather: Another great thing I love about universal at Christmas is they have kind of a European style Christmas [00:47:00] Market in CityWalk. So they have all these little booths that will do stuff, you know, handmade crafts and caricatures and you know, personalized ornaments.

Dan: is that the Mistletoe Pines

Heather: correct. The Mistletoe Pines Village.

Dan: candy cane fudge, and a cup of delicious nutty nog. I can go for some nutty

Heather: nutty 

nog. 

Jeff: a minute, but I can make you, some

Heather: No thank you.

Jeff: is your Eddy. 

Dan: crops. So gross. I also,

Heather: And you could get hot butterbeer and hot chocolate. They have, they've gotten on that hot chocolate bomb trend. This is all the rage where you buy this giant ball and drop it into steaming hot milk. And it turns, it 

Jeff: not aware of this 

trend. 

Heather: it's all the rage everywhere. We've I see the listings in like our neighborhood, Facebook groups of ladies who will make you hot chocolate bombs.

Dan: If you've got a local cookie lady, [00:48:00] she probably also makes hot chocolate bombs. Kendra made them last year. They're fun.

Heather: Yeah. It's it looks like it's like a baseball size chocolate and you drop it in hot milk and it melts and

Dan: You know, that chocolate sphere at month's year Paul or not. What's the fancy French restaurant at Epcot. Does that

Heather: Mr. Papalia.

Dan: Yeah. That fancy chocolate sphere that they like melts 

or break it's like that, but it's got hot cocoa mix them like marshmallows in the middle of it and you drop it in your hot milk and it is fun.

I also see a picture that really has caught my attention. It's a cup made out of a chocolate chip cookie.

Jeff: that's what I'm looking at 

too. 

Heather: it's looking at that

Dan: I really want that chocolate chip

Heather: You get a little, 

Jeff: is going to leak but I don't care.

Dan: Yeah. 

Heather: you get it. You get the little carton of milk. Like you used to get in elementary school and you pour it in your cookie cup.

Dan: yeah. And you've got a straw, it comes with a straw that

Heather: Cookies and cream

Dan: cream flavored milk.

Heather: Oh. 

Jeff: Yeah, I'm going there now. 

Heather: Oh, they [00:49:00] also at that same booth where you can get that, which is back in it either production central food truck or back in San Francisco they have a holiday leftover sandwich.

It's artists in cranberry bread filled with Turkey and Brie. Oh 

Jeff: Whoever 

Bree leftover. 

Dan: I know what I'm making for a midnight snack. As soon as we're done recording and it's going to be a leftover sandwich. Cause I got a little bit of Turkey, a little bit of stuffing.

Heather: Well, some of that 

Jeff: that's good. If you have a, do you have a press? 

Heather: Ooh.

Dan: got a waffle iron. 

Jeff: There you go. 

Dan: Yeah. 

Jeff: Oh, 

Dan: Ooh. And they don't need the bread. I can just use the stuffing for the bread.

Jeff: Make 

Heather: Yeah, cause 

you're stuffing had cranberries in it. 

Jeff: bra. 

Heather: we finished up all of our leftovers days ago. Aiden was eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Dan: yeah.

Heather: Like what you have

Dan: got a lot 

Heather: a bowl of Thanksgiving.

Dan: this is the most wonderful time of the year. It

Heather: It really is.

Dan: Yeah. The resorts look [00:50:00] beautiful too,

Heather: They really do.

Dan: The hotels are all dressed up.

Jeff: yeah, the only one I've actually seen in person at Christmas time is the

Cabana bay beach. And it's very that kitschy fifties, sixties 

Heather: I love it. It's that is, is another one that has inspired me to want a funky colored 

Jeff: That's silver 

Heather: Yes. Either silver or I would love a teal Christmas tree. 

Jeff: I have a teeny tiny teal one back in 

my office. 

Heather: I love it.

Dan: you can get them at hobby lobby.

Heather: I that would that's needs to go in my, I have a little mid century modern vibe going in my living room and that needs to happen.

And it's funny because I remember thinking those were so corny and cheesy looking, you know, they're 20, 30 years ago and liking the classic red and green Christmas tree with white lights, but 

Jeff: had a silver one. It was like a whitish, very light silver, [00:51:00] metallic. And it was on a turnstile. And It had a light that had a 

Dan: a light with the gels.

Jeff: the light itself had three different color gels.

It would go from blue to red, to green. And while this thing rotated my granddad, anything that was like technology, he loved. 

Dan: a special kind of mid century classy 

Jeff: Oh yeah.

They were that he grew up so poor. And when he got a little bit of money, he had no taste and it was awesome.

Heather: Love 

Jeff: The shaggy is shag carpets and the biggest butterfly collars on his shirts and 

Heather: Oh, 

Jeff: so much polyester 

Dan: That's the way to live.

Heather: I, you know, what I haven't seen decorated for Christmas is Sapphire falls. I'd love to go in and check them all out. I'm actually going to be in town Christmas week this year. So I may have to go do a little visit to all of the universal

Dan: there. See what the resorts look like. Well, here's the other while we're talking about it. Here's a great thing about the holidays at universal. All of this stuff that [00:52:00] we've been talking about. Daytime, nighttime, all of the. Nighttime parade all the special shows and stuff. Doesn't cost you an extra dime.

Jeff: yeah. Now the cookie cup full of 

yummy, 

Dan: Well, 

Heather: Well, 

Jeff: but Yeah. but like the parades and everything else, they don't have a special, 

Dan: There's not a separate party. This is all you can celebrate Christmas every day.

Heather: and you just need a park to park ticket and you can see all of it. 

And you could hop on the boats in CityWalk to go check out the decorations at most of the resorts, just via the water 

Jeff: city walk itself has nicely done.

Heather: It's a very walkable and sort of compact experience that I really love

Dan: Yeah.

Heather: Hard Rock is very cool.

Decorated for Christmas. It's a little bit edgy. 

Jeff: Yeah. they're huge Christmas. I have seen that one. Their Christmas tree is really cool And it's got little miniature records 

Heather: And 

Jeff: CDs 

Heather: hot pink 

Jeff: things and Gramaphones and all kinds of cool rock and

roll kind of stuff on the tree. [00:53:00] It's rad 

Heather: it's rad, man. And each of the resorts, the Christmas decorations are themed to that resort and they fit well, Royal Pacific is kind of that South Pacific vibe. 

Dan: There's probably a lot of frogs on their trees.

Heather: Yes. 

Jeff: They love a frog over there. What's going 

on? 

Heather: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I got to go check out where else I can see Earl the Squirrel, because how fun is that? 

Jeff: I'm more interested in that weird robot that's wandering around 

Heather: Yes, that is also true 

Dan: Yeah. 

Heather: really you got to stay in Hogsmeade at night for that projection show on 

Jeff: I had never seen the normal projection show til when were we there this summer 

so 

Dan: Velocicoaster

Heather: When we to the Velocicoaster opening. Yeah. 

Jeff: That shows amazing. 

Heather: And they throw in some pyrotechnics for Christmas time, there's some fireworks involved. 

Jeff: Oh, it was when we [00:54:00] were there for Travel Leaders Edge.

Heather: Oh, yes, that's right. Because we

Dan: I've never been in a Universal theme park after dark. Every time I've been there has been parks close early.

Heather: Well, yeah, they

Dan: except for Halloween Horror Nights. I was there for Halloween Horror Nights. But other than that, because of the parks closing, so early due to 

Jeff: Yeah. In the summertime they're closed before it's dark. 

Heather: Yeah. They close early because they want you in. They want to drive you into city walk to enjoy the nighttime entertainment there,

Dan: No,

Heather: which they do have great evening entertainment at CityWalk. 

Jeff: Yeah. There's always some kind of band or bands playing or DJ 

or 

Heather: When you they've got that live band karaoke. That's fun.

Dan: Yeah.

Heather: I got to check out Mistletoe Pines, Christmas Market too,

Jeff: 

That's better than the original camel toe 

pie and 

Heather: some nutty nog.

Dan: Yeah, you will. We'll make sure that you do a trip report and you can tell us all about the next

Heather: Yeah. 

Jeff: did not even that he 

[00:55:00] dog. 

Heather: They also have a very cool New Year's Eve party that happens in CityWalk.

Dan: oh yeah.

Heather: It happens on New Year's Eve. That's on December 31st 

in case you 

were wondering. 

Jeff: the Eve of the new year, 

Heather: Yes. And actually all of the resorts have each resort has their own new year's Eve either meal or party or some, something that happens on that day, which is pretty cool.

There's an event called the New Year's Eve spectacular at Cabana Bay and it's just for Cabana Bay guests. And they have like a DJ that we'll be playing all night and a balloon artist and a face paint. Portofino and Hard Rock also have their own parties just for their guests, which is pretty cool.

And that's like Disney World doesn't ever really do that much of a big thing for New Year's Eve. They have special fireworks that they mean they have in the past. They didn't last year. But not really like a full-on rocking New Year's Eve type party.[00:56:00] 

Jeff: Not since they closed pleasure island and it was New Year's Eve Every night.

I think they got tired of New Year's Eve 

Heather: Yeah. 

That's the one thing at Universal that is a separate ticketed event is City Walks, New Year's Eve party. It's only for people 21 and older and it's you do need a ticket, but 

Jeff: Yeah, I've heard that's a good time 

too. 

Heather: Yeah. And it includes unlimited food and a champagne toast. So that's kind of cool. 

Jeff: it should be a food,

toast and unlimited champagne 

Heather: There you go.

Dan: no unlimited cuisine access to all five clubs and an outdoor dance floor, one drink ticket, and one glass of

Heather: So, so all of the foods you can eat and two drinks and then the rest of them you pay for 

Jeff: that's

Dan: there's no cover at the clubs, 

Jeff: That's still a good deal though.

Dan: Yeah, 

Heather: For sure.

Dan: not too shabby. Well, it sounds like universal should be on everybody's wishlist for Christmas time.

Heather: Yeah. And fun tip. You [00:57:00] can still get into universal for Christmas and New Year's Eve right now. Whereas the park down the street is mostly sold out of park reservations for that whole week.

Jeff: the chotskies beer garden, 

Heather: Yes. That's the one

Crow Krush Brau. There it 

is. 

Dan: Well, thanks for hanging out with us again this week. If you're excited to experience the holidays at Universal orlando Resort or explore anywhere else around the world, Key to the World Travel has Earl the squirrel's Nutty Nut Barn full of travel advisors, ready

to make your vacation dreams a reality head to www dot key to the world travel.com to get started with the no obligation quote. Don't forget to catch up with our friend, the theme park professor for all the latest theme park news and tips at www dot theme park professor. Word of mouth is the best way to help us grow our show.

If you have a friend or two who you think would appreciate our special brand of globe, trotting, jacksasery tell them what makes our show so great and send them our way. You can find links to subscribe to the show on your [00:58:00] favorite apps and all the latest updates at www.goldkeyadventurers.com! We can't wait to hang out with you again next week and we'll see ya real soon!

Jeff: Goodbye everybody. 

Dan: Bye.