We have nothing planned for today, except meeting Dori and her family for dinner tonight at 1900 Park Fare. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to that! I have had at least a half dozen reservations at 1900 Park Fare and have yet to make one of them for various reasons. Plus, it will be nice to see Dori – I haven’t seen her in ages!!
We decided to try and get up a little earlier than we have been getting up and head over to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We get there just as the park is opening, and make a quick decision to do Universal Studios first, since we don’t know how much time we’ll have to spend. As soon as we go in, we find that there are no lines and no waiting for Jimmy Neutron or Shrek, so we do both. I’ve never done Jimmy Neutron, so it was fun to try something new. Outside of Shrek, the kids get in line to meet the big guy and the Mrs. while I go grab the stroller.
We actually manage to see a good bit of Universal in a relatively short period of time, and Brighid even gets asked to do a taste test of some french fries, in exchange for $15 in Universal Dollars (we didn’t even know there was such a thing! What will we do with all the Itchy and Scratchy dollars we bought???). Then came the turning point of the day. We are breezing by the Fear Factor Live stage show theater when they make an announcement that they are looking for two teams of two to participate in the show. I love the show Fear Factor, and I ask to get in line and see the show. As we’re waiting in the line, they are still calling for these teams, and I tell Jim and Brighid they should go and see about doing it. Jim jumps right on it, but Brighid is hesitant. I tell her it’s a theme park. OBVIOUSLY they are not going to serve you anything nasty – you’ll get sick, leave the park, and won’t spend money here anymore. She finally agrees, and the two of them head off to join the show.
Once in the theater, my little Eilis gets selected to participate in the show as well, and she is very excited! She gets to turn the wheel that raises and lowers some of the other contestants. She is excellent at it, and we are looking into colleges that offer this as a major. She was so good, she could make it a career. We soon find out that Jim and Brighid have been chosen for the eating portion of the show, and their challengers are two big, muscular, manly men with foreign accents. Remember Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live? This could have been them. I am still convinced that there is no way on this planet that Universal Studios would accept the responsibility of these guests getting sick and puking all over the theme park, all the way up to the point where they are dumping awful, nasty things into a blender. They start with fish parts – lemon juice containing oysters, clams, mussels, and squid, followed by meat scraps, and sour milk. Then they add the piece de resistance. On top of the already nasty mess, they give them live bugs – crickets, meal worms, cock roaches, and other nastiness. Part of me is still looking for the out – like they are going to switch the smoothie that they’ve created using Dr. Frankenstein’s recipe with a regular old milkshake. Then it’s time to drink. Hans and Franz pretty much gulp theirs down, swallowing it in about two swigs, high fiving each other, and acting all victorious. Jim has put his cup to his lips, made an awful, creepy, nasty, I’m gonna puke face and then puts his cup down. And there’s my little Brighid, one hand daintily holding her nose, the other hand wrapped tightly around the cup of doom, drinking as fast as she can. What a proud Mommy moment that was for me 🙂
So Jim and Brighid lose the challenge, and lose out on the fabulous prize – a plastic cup that says Fear is Not a Factor for Me. Brighid walks out of the show crying because her father, at the last minute, decided to fake her out and never actually drank any of the drink. She is soon recuperated from the trauma of the deception and now she is answering questions from her adoring fans, most of whom also assumed Universal would never give them something so awful to drink. While her five minutes of fame eases the pain of having her father fake her out at the show, food is not on her list of high priorities.
We plug on through, finishing most of what we wanted to do at Universal. Brighid rewards herself with a Fear Factor t-shirt, using those fabulous Universal dollars she was offered when she ate the other experimental meal of the day (those french fries), and we move on over to Islands of Adventure. As we visit some of our favorite parts of this park, we come to realize that dinner at 1900 Park Fare is not going to be in the cards. Something about sour milk, mixing with the lemon juice and the fish parts probably has a hand in this. We do as much as we can at Islands of Adventure, then head back to the hotel. Since, regardless of what Brighid has eaten today, the rest of us still have to eat, so the decision is made to just stay pretty local and have a light meal, so we go to Olivia’s at Old Key West.
I have never eaten here, and it’s a very casual, fun environment. The restaurant is smaller than I imagined, but because we opted to eat so late in the evening, it’s not terribly busy. I am disappointed again by the extremely limited, exactly like every other restaurant kids menu. Eilis likes some more grown up things, and I am trying desperately to get her into a healthier eating pattern – and these foods stick to kid basics. Granuaile doesn’t eat much of a kids meal – she’s not big on burgers or chicken nuggets – so for her second meal in a row, she ends up with the fruit and veggie platter, less the veggies, because they are served raw, and she doesn’t have enough teeth to truly appreciate raw veggies at this point. But it seems as though everyone else enjoys their meals, and we are soon back at the hotel relaxing.
Tomorrow is a busy day. We are going to try to do some of Animal Kingdom, and then head over to MGM so we can see the Osbourne lights. If luck is on our side, we’ll catch up with Dori and her family at MGM before the lights, so we can at least see them for a little while!