It's a dog with a stick on its head
Our sense of purpose was given to us, or rather to Ellie, by a Universal employee who handed Ellie a card as we walked through the Port of Entry area towards the attractions. There was some kind of competition going on in the park to celebrate the release of the Cat in the Hat movie. Oh this was right up Ellie’s street. You had to locate 5 Cat silhouettes, located in different parts of the park and when you had found them you got your card punched. When you had them all you took them to the big store by the entrance and got a prize. That’s it, we were on a mission. We reached the top of the Port of Entry and everyone, and I mean everyone, was heading left towards Hulk and Spiderman. We turned right and had the rest of the park to ourselves. It was devoid of all non-Universal employee life.
We stop to take a few photos of the emptiness then chug up to the Cat in the Hat ride. The employee on the entrance appears somewhat surprised to have customers at this time of the morning but manages to pull herself together enough to show us where to park the buggies. A quick spin around the ride, where Adrian spends most of the time panicking that Steven will fly out of the car every time it spins, which of course he doesn’t, and we are turned out into the gift shop. The gift shop is also the first location for spotting the Cat silhouette. I had studied the competition details and noticed that of the 5 Cats you had to find, 4 were in shops and the other was in a restaurant. Is this a cynical attempt to get you into more shops and buy more stuff? Well it didn’t work with us. We walked through the shop and eventually found the Cat – stuck to a light – got the card punched, and left without buying a single darn thing.
After this the girls and Harry took a spin on the Carouseussel thing. I don’t know what it’s called, I just guessed that name. Steven watched from the safety of his buggy, while Adrian and Big Steve attempted to photograph the riders.
After this Adrian volunteered to sit with Steven while the rest of us tackled One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Big Steve rode with Ellie, Nanny Lesley rode with Harry, and I rode with Lisa. Of course myself and Lisa were the only ones that got it all wrong and got wet. We were listening to the song instructions and were doing really well but just at the point where we had to go from down to up we whizzed by Adrian who had his camera poised and we were too busy smiling and waving to the camera to go up so instead we stayed down and got wet.
As we got off of the fish ride we noticed an ice slide thing tucked in a corner. We’ve never seen this here before. Maybe it was just there for the festive season, I’m not sure, but Ellie wanted to try it out anyway so we walked round to check out the details. It was a 2 person ride, designed for either 2 children, or 1 child and 1 adult, with an overall weight limit of 300lbs. Ellie dragged Big Steve on there first. You sit in an inflatable raft thing and go down a slide that’s about 50 meters long I guess. Only lasts a few seconds but the kids liked it. After this Harry took Lisa on there, and then finally Ellie got Nanny Lesley up there for a go. We were all slid out after this so we headed off in search of something less slippery to do.
As we were walking through Seuss Landing we noticed a sign pointing us in the direction of Grinchmas, where apparently you could get your photo taken with the Grinch in his grotto. Well we had to check it out and see what this was all about. We entered the line area and it took us out into a small garden like area where there were ropes and poles snaking round. The line was not reaching back this far so we started to make our way through the ropes. When we had walked about 100 miles round this we noticed where the rope had been dropped so you could cut out the line and walk straight into the grotto. We walked right round for nothing. And even funnier, all the people who came in behind us just followed us around like a flock of sheep. It was funny, but I guess it’s another ‘had to be there’ funny.
Anyway we entered the grotto and there was a short line in front of us so we slowly made our way through the exhibit. There was all sorts of Grinch-like stuff in there including a rope hanging down with a sign saying, “Do Not Pull.” Of course everyone was pulling it and it set off a loud airhorn which Steven was totally unimpressed with and proceeded to cry until we were well past this area. We reached the front of the line after about 15 minutes and were escorted through a black curtain into a room where the Grinch man waited for us and proceeded to insult us as soon as we stepped in. “Come on, let’s get on with it, get here and get your picture done.” “What, you’ve queued for 30 minutes and you don’t know who’s going to stand where?” That kind of stuff. We were in hysterics. Then we spotted the dog. A real dog, with handler. “Yes,” Grinch yelled, “it’s a dog, a dog with a stick on its head.” Eventually we got ourselves together and got in position for the photo. Grinch stood behind me and gave me a full face breath and asked whether he needed a Tic Tac yet. It was really funny, and we giggled and skipped all the way out of there – and into a gift shop.
That slide looks like a practice run for the Jamaican bobsleigh team!