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About Monkee

  • Rank
    Professional Idiot
  • Birthday 02/05/1940

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    The pit lane
  • Interests
    Stuff n' thangs

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  1. A girl I work with was wearing a Slayer T-shirt today. I said "Oh, you like Slayer?" She stared at me blankly. No idea who they are...
  2. Steph, you look fantastic in all those photos so well done to you! *high five*
  3. Disney don't do the return times. My friend has never managed to get anything like that at Disney and was told the only alternative is a wheelchair or ECV.
  4. Realised I put U-Bot instead of Q-Bot so I just edited the post. Edit: looks like there's confusion over the name. I thought it was U-Bot and that's what Universal called it but, looking online, some sites seen call it a Q-Bot. So, the last time we went to Universal my friend had a card that let us virtually queue for rides as she had a letter from her doctor saying she was unable to stand. The member of staff wrote the time on the card then added the current wait time so we knew when to return. When this time came we just joined the Express Pass line and in we went. However, they no longer offer this and advise you to get a wheelchair instead. Not suitable for us as walking isn't the problem, it's the standing still, and we'd have to push a wheelchair around all day. They did suggest though hiring a Q-Bot for the day at Islands of Adventure and sent us to the kiosk where you hire the strollers, wheelchairs and ECVs. When we got there we were explained the following... The Q-bot is similar to the Express Pass - it's like a little Tamagotchi that lists all the rides available (those that offer the Expess Pass - not all do such as the Forbidden Journey and Gringotts) and how long the wait times are. You can book a slot for the selected ride and then after the wait time it will vibrate to tell you you're ready to ride. You can only book one ride at a time. There are two purchase options - single ride which means you can only use the Q-Bot once per ride then it's removed from the list; or unlimited which means you can use it over and over. You have to pay per person but you can have up to 6 people on one device. Once you've booked a ride (you can cancel if you change your mind) and it's time to go on then you go to the Express Pass line and they 'scan' the Q-Bot. It gives a little vibrate to show it's connected then in you go. It was great for not having to stand in line for ages but it still meant waiting in the Express Pass lines which can still be a while. Even with the Q-Bot we waited about 30mins for Skull Island but I'm so glad we didn't wait 90mins+ in the regular line for such an utterly shit ride. However, the main downside to it was that quite a few members of staff had no idea what it was which was mind boggling. When we used it for Dragon Challenge I walked up to the Express Line entrance, showed the woman and she actually said "What's that?!" with a laugh. I said "Are you serious?!" then another woman appeared and said "Oh THAT. I hate those things." Then she told us that we could use it however it needed to go in a locker because you can't take loose items on Dragon Challenge. We'd already put our stuff in lockers so I had to go back to the stupidly long queue, unload everything from that locker, put the Q-Bot in my bag then queue to rent another locker. Brilliant. We did eventually ride. Although a few other members of staff didn't know what it was it did mean that they just waved us through without buzzing it so we got to ride more than once. At the end of the day when we had to return the Q-Bot the guy at the rental place laughed and said "Ah the only Q-Bot in existence has returned!" because we were literally the only people who had rented one all day. No surprise really as I'm sure no-one else knows about them! There are no signs anywhere about them, no prices, no promo, no nothing. I asked if they were new and he said they've been around for years! We told him about some of the issues we'd had and it was only then he told us that we shouldn't even have been standing in the Express Lines. The whole point of them is that you shouldn't have to queue AT ALL. We should have been taken straight to the front of the line by a staff member and shown straight onto the ride. So even that was wrong. We mentioned we'd definitely be renting one a couple of days later for Universal Studios. He said that he would be working there on that day so we should find him and let him know how our experience of using it went and he might look into refunding us. **Point to note before going further - the Q-Bot is cheaper than getting the Express Pass by around $15 AND you're meant to be able to walk straight onto rides rather than queuing. I can see why they don't want to advertise this but at the same time they're still offering the service. We couldn't work it out but definitely weren't complaining on that point!** Anyway, 2 days later we went to Universal Studios. We went to the rental kiosk inside the gates to rent another Q-Bot. We paid, got the paperwork signed then the woman went to activate the device. She was gone for ages. Then about 20mins later she appeared and was extremely apologetic. She said that each night the devices are meant to be reset but, for some reason, they hadn't and all the rides were showing as closed. She said she had called the IT people who reset it and they said they were about to do it so she was just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. After about 45mins she was really annoyed and took us to Guest Services where the manager actually gave us both unlimited 2-park Express Passes instead because we'd been left waiting and they couldn't get the Q-Bot fixed. Bargain! We've never bothered with Express Passes before but they are really annoying to have to keep getting out and putting away. Plus, I had mine in my back pocket and it was getting a bit bedraggled half way through the day considering the humidity! Universal really need to get up to the same speed as Disney with their ticketing - Disney have plastic credit card style tickets or the Magic Bands (which I am in love with - I got a Star Wars one!) whereas Universal still have paper tickets for everything. And I'm not wearing a bloody lanyard all day. When we were done at Universal Studios we went to find the guy from Islands of Adventure who took our feedback on the Q-Bot. He laughed when he saw us and we told him what had happened as he said the IT guys from Q-Bot had been that afternoon and taken all the devices away to be reprogrammed. He was glad we got the Express Passes to compensate us but he'd previously mentioned about refunding us from the IoA mixup so it was a bit annoying that we didn't get the device that day or we'd have had it for free. Never mind. And I didn't get any photos which was also annoying as I was going to take them at Universal for a blog post. In the meantime, I did find this - Anyway, if you're going to either Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure then I highly recommend getting the Q-Bot. Just make sure you know how it's meant to be used so you can explain it to the ride staff!
  5. I got home yesterday evening after a 5-hour delay and nightmare traffic from Gatwick. I feel as if I've been away for a month because there was so much packed in! I'm already planning the next trip though - decided on 2020 so I can save up extra money, go for 3 weeks and squeeze in a few days at the Star Wars hotel which will be open by then. On a side note - has anyone heard of Universal's Q-Bot? We hired one but we'd never heard of it, never read anything online about it and even some of the staff at Islands of Adventure had no idea what it was. Before I go into it I wondered if any of you knew about it.
  6. We went to Animal Kingdom yesterday and didn't really know what to expect from Pandora. The area itself looked fantastic. It was very impressive to see the theming and the flora and fauna there. I've never seen the film so have no idea if it's anything like that. While we were in the area both the Flight of Passage and Na'vi River Journey went down. We had a FastPass for the River Journey later in the evening so weren't worried about that and we'd resigned ourselves to not getting on Flight of Passage as there were no FastPasses available and it always had 3-5hr stand-by time. However, while we were sitting there, Flight of Passage opened up and only had a wait time of 60mins so we decided to go on. We did end up queuing for about 90mins as there were further technical difficulties but OH MY GOD it's amazing. We'd heard it was like Soarin' at Epcot and we both hated that so we had pretty low expectations of Flight of Passage but it is absolutely phenomenal. You sit on a motorbike-like seat as your meant to be riding a banshee so it's like a saddle. You have goggles on (not 3D) and there's a huge screen in front of you. You really do feel like you're flying and the banshee is breathing between your legs. There are even different smells for the areas you fly over or land on like some luminescent caves or through waves and you get the wind through your hair and splashed by some of the water hence the goggles. I was genuinely in awe and I wish there was a ride photo to have seen the expression on my face. Everyone getting off sounded like they'd had this spiritual awakening or something because they were all just saying about how amazing it was. I'm so glad we got to experience the ride before we left and I wish we could have done it again! Side note - the Na'vi River Journey was a shite water ride for toddlers. Not doing that one again that's for sure. Also, the stand-by time when we got off Flight of Passage had gone up to 340 minutes.
  7. So, we're almost done for this holiday... we've done Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay. Still to do Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. Tonight we're doing the Star Wars Dessert Party. I'll probably do a longer post when I get home but a quickie on Volcano Bay... I loved it. I think it's great. The park itself is very small but doesn't feel cramped. There are a lot of slides and the virtual queuing with the TapuTapu is great too except there isn't a central tapping station, you have to walk to the ride, tap, go away for how long, go back, queue then ride. And the only way to see current wait times is via the app but the wi-fi is very sketchy. A central post where you can see/book everything would be good. Maps! Maps would be amazing to know where you are, where you've been and where you want to go. We saw ONE map board for the entire park. The only other way to see everything was via the app and that meant going back to the searing area and dodgy wi-fi. We had premium seating but regular would have been fine. We went on a Sunday a week after it opened and thought it would be busy but it really wasn't. We rode Krakatau the aquacoaster twice and it was fantastic. First time we waited 10mins with the TapuTapu, the second time later in the day was a 50min wait I think. Food was OK but nothing special. Being able to pay with the TapuTapu was really handy too. Would be good if the TT also had the time on it though just for reference. I might write a proper review on my blog when I get back as I'm sure there's stuff I've forgotten to mention but overall Volcano Bay is great and Disney really need to up the stakes in their water parks.
  8. We climbed Currahee Mountain yesterday as featured in Band of Brothers. It was hard going considering the heat and incline but the views were incredible. So proud to have walked in the footsteps of legends and on Memorial Day too. This is me at the top and one from the bottom to show the elevation.
  9. That's a whole different show.
  10. I've been to Senoia today - the location used as Woodbury in The Walking Dead - and totally fangirled at everything. Saw Alexandria, the coma house, the pudding house and a few other locations on a tour hosted by Chandler Riggs' dad. Also got to play with Lucille in The Waking Dead café!
  11. Just checked in - we fly tomorrow!
  12. I had an endoscopy for a hiatus hernia and it was brutal. I have a very sensitive gag reflex anyway and sometimes even heave when I'm brushing my teeth so this was just hell for me. I burst all the blood vessels in my eyes from having it done.
  13. Thank you so much! I'll definitely be taking lots of photos and maybe some videos too. We're on Twitter if you want to follow -
  14. I can't believe he took the time to sign it and actually put my name on it too. I was shaking when I realised who it was from. Also, it's just a week until I fly to the US and will be climbing Currahee a week Monday. If anyone can donate a little something please visit my JustGiving page at Thank you!
  15. Just wanted to share this... I got a delivery today of a 3ft-long poster tube. I'd not ordered anything that I thought it might be so quickly opened it up. Inside was a huge Band of Brothers poster. As I unrolled it I saw that it was signed but couldn't make out the signature and there was no note or anything with it. So I checked the shipping label on the tube and saw it was from the US. Then the ball dropped as I recognised the address. It's from Tom fucking Hanks! I wrote to a bunch of celebrities about 2 weeks ago telling them about my Currahee climb and asked if they might donate something that could be auctioned. Tom Hanks was one of the ones I wrote to. Only thing is, I can't really auction it as it says "Go Jo!" on it 😁