The return of Barney
Across the way from Shrek was the new Jimmy Neutron ride, which we headed for next. I think Ellie was the only one who actually knew who Jimmy Neutron is but, hey we’ll give it a go anyway. There’s a height restriction here that Harry just failed to make. Now, the sign outside the attraction states clearly that there are special non-moving seats for the short guests, and those with back, neck problems etc. Standing next to this sign is a Universal employee telling us we’d have to do the baby swap as the boys weren’t tall enough to ride. We ignore this incompetent and get into line. When we reach the entrance the nice lady there directed riders to the back rows and the short people and their Mummies to the special row at the front. Ha, in your face, guy standing by the sign telling us to baby swap. Go back and get some training. Sorry I briefly lost control there. Anyway, the doors opened and Nanny Lesley, Big Steve, Adrian and Ellie sat in the moving seats, while Lisa, Harry, Steven and myself went to the special non-moving front row. Not to the baby swap.
To those of you who enter this attraction and do not know who Jimmy Neutron is, I suggest the following. Sit in the non-moving seats at the front, ignore the movie on screen in front of you, and turn round and watch all the moving seats. It’s wicked funny. Harry was engrossed in the cartoon, but Lisa and myself spent the whole time watching these seats go everywhere. It was great. Even Steven joined in the fun. He was standing on the non-moving seat and jumping up and down with the moving seats. Great fun. You exit here into a small interactive area that was aimed at around 5 and over. Ellie played with the stuff: Harry and Steven crawled around the floor.
There was only one thing left on our to-do list for the day and that was the Terminator thingy. All I can remember of this from our last trip was that it made me cold and wet so I opted out and opted Steven out with me. I explained what the show entailed and it was decided that Harry should opt out too, and Nanny Lesley decided that a hot cup of coffee sounded much better so she opted to stay with the opter outers. We got two large coffees and found a bench outside the shop where the Terminator theatre exited and made ourselves at home while the 4 non-opters went in. While we drank our coffee Steven shared his baby carrots with Harry, after which Harry decided to take off his shoes and socks. He did this a lot. Ask him why he’d taken off his footwear and you’d just get a blank look. Anyway we’re sitting there chatting away when suddenly out of nowhere Princess Fiona is in front of Harry saying, “Young prince, why do you only have one shoe on?” Harry looked up astounded and then looked at us for help but all we could do was laugh.
The princess had arrived on a small bus-type vehicle, which drove round and deposited about 4 characters in the area for meet and greets. I noticed Curious George, but didn’t recognise any of the others. Maybe one was a Flintstone but they didn’t really look like any of them. Anyway the second time they came round I noticed that Princess Fiona’s shoes were really scuffed. Hmmm, wouldn’t get that if you were a Disney princess, I thought to myself. My self-thinkings were abruptly stopped by the sight of Harry climbing up the inside of his buggy, followed by the sight of the buggy, still containing Harry, tipping over backwards and crashing to the ground. Harry was unharmed, but Big Steve had told us before they left us, that his digital camera was in the bag on the back of the buggy. Oops.
I think we were there for about 45 minutes in all before the Terminator crew returned, deeming the show far too gairy for Harry so it was a good job he was opted out. Now, we’ve done everything we want to do and there’s still an hour before the park closes. Where do we go? Barney! Yep, back to the Barney area we go. There’s no more shows on today (shame ) but the play area is still open so we head back there so Harry can have another run around. I decide to venture inside to see if it would be ok to let Steven loose in there too. Well, I have to say, despite Barney being in my opinion the most obnoxious creature on this planet, he does come up with one heck of a playground. If you have pre-schoolers then you simply must spend time in here. Harry of course had a great time, but Steven absolutely loved it here too. There was tons of stuff that he could crawl in and out of and under and over. There was a train with all sorts of buttons and things to play with. There was a little sand play area. And there was even a little water play area with a shallow trough of water with little toys and stuff in it, and splashing Mummy with the water was the best game ever. There’s also a big climbing area, which Harry liked, but was just too big for Steven. Anyway it was fabulous in here; by far and away the best play area we found for Steven. Actually put this with the If I Ran the Zoo attraction in Islands of Adventure and Universal seriously win the competition for best under-5s play areas in all the theme parks. Disney should seriously take a look at what they’ve got here.
While all this Barney-related activity was going on Big Steve took Ellie on the Woody Woodpecker Nutcoaster several times before coming back to retrieve us from the Barney area as the nice Universal people were waiting to close the park. Yep, we were having so much fun in here we’d lost all track of time and all around us the park was closing. Of course the shops were still open so we made our necessary purchases before heading back to our cars.
After an uneventful drive we split up at The Crossroads for dinner. Big Steve and his family wanted burgers so they ended up in Jungle Jims, which apparently they liked very much. The rest of us did not want burgers so we went to Perkins. Don’t discount Perkins as a dinner choice if you’re after something cheap and cheerful. Nanny Lesley had something from the 24-hour breakfast menu. Adrian had a gammon steak and I had a very nice chicken salad. Steven had a jar of baby gunk and we ordered him a plate of steamed broccoli from the side order menu. He really enjoyed his broccoli and ate most of it before smashing the rest of it to a pulp with his hands. We rounded off our dinner with 3 pieces of apple pie before paying our less-than-$40 check and heading back to the hotel. After a quick flurry of bag sorting for the morning we were off to the land of nod.