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Old 07-04-2016, 10:32 AM   #31
lindawdw
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I enjoyed seeing the beautiful walking path from Hard Rock over to US! I love all the theming for the Harry Potter Land
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:45 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandsdennis View Post
Looks like staying here and getting in early is the way to go. Pretty empty compared to other pictures ive seen.
I have not tried Portifino yet, but Hard Rock is really awesome if you want to stay at one of the 3 that have Express. It is so close so that makes it better than Royal Pacific to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
I enjoyed seeing the beautiful walking path from Hard Rock over to US! I love all the theming for the Harry Potter Land
That path is really pretty and you don't even feel like you are right next to a theme park.
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My Countdown Counting down to: Cruise World In Ft Lauderdale
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My Previous Trips1974 off sight; 1995 off sight; 1997 off sight; 1999 off sight; 2007 Pop Century; 2008 Pop Century; 2009 Pop Century; 2011 DCL Dream, Pop Century, AS Movies, Yacht Club; 2012 DCL Magic, DCL Dream, Beach Club Villas,Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation; 2014, Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, POFQ, Marriott Grand Vista, Disney Magic, OKW, CBR, Royal Pacific; 2016, Cabana Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, Poly, AS Sports. Coronado Springs; 2017, SpringHill Suites at Flamingo Crossing, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Sapphire Falls, Port Orleans Riverside, All Star Music;
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:47 AM   #33
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Heading out of Diagon Alley we had a few other rides and attractions we wanted to hit.

uni47 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Left from the old Jaws ride.

univ13 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The Simpsons!!! Cass rode it back when it was Back to the Future and I think she agrees that that was one awesome ride. This would be her first Simpsons experience.

univ16 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I believe she liked it but commented that it was exactly the same ride just with Simpson theming…and that is true. This is a huge hit with my family though. One of our all-time favorites.

I did not take tons of pictures, but my guess is we hit Men in Black too.

A little lizard visitor. I can remember on my first visit to Florida as an adult I thought these were so cute and strange to see them all over. When I took my older 2 for their first Disney trip, my son chased these all over, sure he would catch one and bring it home as a pet.

univ17 by Jenseib, on Flickr

univ18 by Jenseib, on Flickr

univ6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We saw Betty Boop out, so I stopped for a quick picture.

univ7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And then on to Dispicable Me.

univ8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Cass and I talked about the previous rides in this building. I remember going on when it was a Hannah Barbera themed attraction. It was then Jimmy Neutron after that I believe and I don’t think I ever went on it then….a TM overheard us and told us we didn’t miss much on that one. Hahaha.

They did a great job with this ride. It is basically still the same ride machine, but has a better theming and I think they may have tweaked it to make it better. During the ride someone either stood up or took their seatbelt down so the whole thing shut down. Then the announcement was made how you had to stay seated…I think they started it back up from the beginning, but I can’t remember for sure now.

I believe we headed to Transformers and the Mummy ..or they were fit in there between other rides…as well before moving on to take the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade and Islands of Adventure.

univ9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hog6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

To be able to ride this back and forth to me is worth the hopper ticket price alone. It is so well done and if you are a Potter fan, it’s a must do.

hog1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

EEEK..Dementors are coming.

hog2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hog3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We made it safely over to Hogsmeade.

hog4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And found the crowds.

hog5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hog7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I think we headed off and rode Forbidden Journey. We may have used the single rider line? I can’t remember. I rode it several times this trip and did both lines so I can’t remember which I used when.

Time for lunch. They were having a fish special today and we both decided that sounded good. I was getting another butterbeer and Cass mentioned she would get a diet coke. When she said that, I told her she couldn’t as they only serve Wizarding World drinks in the Harry Potter parts of the parks. I kind of assumed she knew that and was saying it as more of a reminder…she on the other hand thought I was kind of joking with her. When we got to our seats, she said I was right and hadn’t realized that. I am sure she did know that at one time and kind of just forgot about that. I think she tried for water and of course they only Gillywater, which was like $5. So I think she got some tea of some sort.
I did mention that I forgot to use my AAA card to get a discount and then she told me something I didn’t know…AAA discounts are no longer accepted with your AAA card like they used to be. Bummer.

My lunch.

hog8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

It was just ok. Not the best fish, but still ok.

After lunch we headed over to Spiderman and rode that. Transformers and Spiderman are pretty much the same type of ride, if you like one, you will like the other. I personally like the story on Spidermans better, but both are nice rides.

Cass was feeling worn out now and was ready to head back to the room. I was going to keep going for a little bit longer, but we walked to the front together.

They were redoing the Hulk coaster and took down the track and that is what was left of it…Death Trap! LOL.

hog9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands11 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hog10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We made a bathroom stop at the front of the park. When I went in, the bathroom was completely empty. So I went to a middle stall and did my business. Someone comes in while I am in there and goes to the stall next to me and her kid on the other side of me. Seriously? You have an empty bathroom and you go to the stalls next to the only person in there? I know that is no big deal, but I just found it weird and a theme this trip. I am one that unless the bathroom is full, I will go in a stall that is not next to someone else…give them any extra privacy, etc. But even though I follow this code, many others do not. I just found it strange.

I think after I came out, Cass headed back to the room and I did some shopping.
After looking around a bit (not sure if I bought something, but I did bring home stuff from Universal, so at some point I bought things) I headed out.

islands12 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands13 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands14 by Jenseib, on Flickr

These are the will call kiosks where you pick your tickets up at.

islands15 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I did stop at the ticket window as I had to redeem my 2nd days ticket. I had 2 one day tickets, one I got for free and I had to pick that up at an actual window and show credentials for it.

I then walked down on the Hard Rock side of City Walk and went back into Universal Studios. Of course my thumb no longer worked and they basically had me bend over backwards, stand on my head and chant before they over rid the system to let me back in.
I wanted a snack and I had seen a place earlier today that sold cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake so I stopped in and got one to go.

uni48 by Jenseib, on Flickr

uni49 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I can’t remember what kind I got, but I took it back to the room and it was pretty good…not the best, but it did hit the spot.

After I had my cheesecake I left the Studios and walked back to the Hard Rock Hotel. My feet had already started getting a blister and it was hot and my body was already sore. Boy I am out of shape!! I slowly walked back and even stopped at one point and sat on a bench to rest my aching feet and I called home and talked to Claire.
I wasn’t sure where the faster entrance through the pool area was, but I did see a different path, but chose not to take it in case it led me nowhere and I would have to walk even more. I should have as it was the right spot. Instead I went the long way around and then headed back to the room.

I ate a bit of the cheesecake and then saved the rest for later. Cass and I were just chilling out and resting and I felt the need for a nap. I told Cass if I fell asleep to wake me at a certain time and she said ok, because she wasn’t going to go to sleep. Sure enough I was out like a light and slept for a while and when I woke the room was quiet….and there was Cass fast asleep. LOL!

I decided to head out and take some pictures around the resort.

hr25 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr26 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr27 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr28 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr29 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr7.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I walked back in and over to the courtyard area for a bit.

hr30 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr31 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And then back over to the pool again. I seemed to wander all over the place according to the order of my pictures. LOL.

hr32 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr33 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr34 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr35 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr36 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr37 by Jenseib, on Flickr

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hr41 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr42 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr43 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr44 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr45 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr46 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This is when I found out that that path had been the right one.

hr47 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr48 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr49 by Jenseib, on Flickr

They have Cabanas for rent here as well.

hr50 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr53 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr54 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr55 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The water slide

hr56 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr57 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr58 by Jenseib, on Flickr

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hr60 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr61 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr62 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr64 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr65 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr66 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr67 by Jenseib, on Flickr
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My Countdown Counting down to: Cruise World In Ft Lauderdale
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous Trips1974 off sight; 1995 off sight; 1997 off sight; 1999 off sight; 2007 Pop Century; 2008 Pop Century; 2009 Pop Century; 2011 DCL Dream, Pop Century, AS Movies, Yacht Club; 2012 DCL Magic, DCL Dream, Beach Club Villas,Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation; 2014, Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, POFQ, Marriott Grand Vista, Disney Magic, OKW, CBR, Royal Pacific; 2016, Cabana Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, Poly, AS Sports. Coronado Springs; 2017, SpringHill Suites at Flamingo Crossing, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Sapphire Falls, Port Orleans Riverside, All Star Music;
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:49 AM   #34
jenseib
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They have a fabulous pool area.

hr68 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr69 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr70 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr71 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr72 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr73 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr74 by Jenseib, on Flickr

They were setting up for some event over to the side.

hr75 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr77 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr79 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Love the view.

hr76 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This motorcycle was fun looking.

hr78 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr80 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And I love this water feature.

hr81 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I went back in and took a quick peek in the grab and go place, Emack and Bolio’s.

hr82 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr83 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr84 by Jenseib, on Flickr

These little stools were down one of the hallways on our way to the elevator. I don’t know why or exactly what they were for.

hr85 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr86 by Jenseib, on Flickr

A look in the Hard Rock store.

hr87 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr88 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr89 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And a walk through the lobby.

hr90 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I loved the look of the plastic chairs.

hr91 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr92 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr93 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr94 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr95 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr96 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The light fixture is a drum set.

hr97 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr98 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr99 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr100 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr101 by Jenseib, on Flickr

These are the express pass kiosk.

hr102 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr103 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr104 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr105 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr106 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Back to the room I went, and Cass was up. We joked how she wasn’t going to take a nap and how she was totally out when I woke up. Obviously we both need our beauty rest!

A look at our view.

hr107 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr108 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I told Cass I was going to head back to the parks for a bit. She wanted to know if she should wait for me for dinner and I told her it was up to her. I didn’t want to make her wait if she got hungry, but I kind of did want to eat with her. I told her to text me when she was getting hungry and we could make the decision then.

hr51 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr52 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr9.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I went over to Islands of Adventure.

islands16 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands17 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Once again my finger would not scan.

I played with the settings on my camera and took a few pictures.

islands18 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands19 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands20 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands21 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands22 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands23 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands24 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I headed to Seuss Landing to ride the Cat in the Hat.

islands1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The ride did not spin this time around. I know several years ago I read they stopped the spinning for some reason, but I had ridden it since and it did spin. This time no spinning, so I guess they stopped it again.

ioa1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands7 by Jenseib, on Flickr
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vpsjen@gmail.com Vacation Specialist
My Countdown Counting down to: Cruise World In Ft Lauderdale
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous Trips1974 off sight; 1995 off sight; 1997 off sight; 1999 off sight; 2007 Pop Century; 2008 Pop Century; 2009 Pop Century; 2011 DCL Dream, Pop Century, AS Movies, Yacht Club; 2012 DCL Magic, DCL Dream, Beach Club Villas,Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation; 2014, Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, POFQ, Marriott Grand Vista, Disney Magic, OKW, CBR, Royal Pacific; 2016, Cabana Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, Poly, AS Sports. Coronado Springs; 2017, SpringHill Suites at Flamingo Crossing, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Sapphire Falls, Port Orleans Riverside, All Star Music;
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:52 AM   #35
jenseib
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This whole area is so cute and I just love taking different pictures of it.

islands8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands25 by Jenseib, on Flickr

A look over at the Lost Continent.

islands10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands26 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands27 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands28 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands29 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands30 by Jenseib, on Flickr


islands31 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I just walked through the Lost Continent without stopping to do anything.

islands32 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands33 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands34 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands35 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands36 by Jenseib, on Flickr

On to Hogsmeade!

islands37 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands38 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands39 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I stopped off for a Butterbeer.

islands40 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And after I drank that, I headed off to Forbidden Journey.

islands41 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands42 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands43 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I did the single rider line and was on and off pretty fast.

Then I headed to the Flight of the Hippogriff.

islands44 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands45 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands46 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands47 by Jenseib, on Flickr

That’s such a fun ride but it is way too short.

I then tried for some night shots of the castle, but it was hard to get anything good with my point and shoot camera and phone.

ioa5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands48 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

island1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Now entering Jurassic Park.

island2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands49 by Jenseib, on Flickr

island3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Let me tell you that walk through there alone was scary. Very little lighting at all and it was DARK!.

Somewhere along the path I saw this wait sign.

islands50 by Jenseib, on Flickr

island4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands51 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I tried to take a picture of this drink sign because someone at home had asked for it, but it turned out bad.

island5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

See how creepy this is? Of course they had part of it walled off to make Kong, so hopefully it is better now.

islands52 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I felt a bit safer once I got to Toon Lagoon.

islands53 by Jenseib, on Flickr

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islands60 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And on to Marval Super Hero Island.

islands61 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

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islands64 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands65 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I think it was in here that I got the text from Cass that she was ready to eat. I told her I would like to eat with her but was working my way to the front. If she couldn’t wait, to go ahead without me, but if she could then I would be coming soon. She said she would wait. I kept working my way up front, but I did want to stop back at Seuss Landing as I saw some things I wanted to buy, but didn’t want to carry them around all evening with me, so I quickly made my way there.

islands66 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands67 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands68 by Jenseib, on Flickr

islands69 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Now I thought I was going pretty fast. I knew where everything was I wanted to buy, but I guess when you are waiting on someone the time ticks slower and while checking out Cass asked how close I was. LOL.

With purchases in hand, I headed out of the park.

islands70 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I made my way back to the Hard Rock and Cass told me to let her know when I got to the pool area and I did and she was right there when I walked up. Perfect timing!

We headed into The Kitchen and were seated right away.

kitchen5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We made our orders and this was brought out.

kitchen4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I got the quesadillas. They were awesome!

kitchen1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I believe Cass got a burger.

kitchen2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The food was awesome and we had a very attentive server.

They brought the dessert tray around…..It was so darn cute…and as much as I wanted something, I really was full and decided we both decided to pass.

kitchen3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hr10.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

After dinner, we went and got changed and headed out to the pool. Cass swam and hot tubbed and I hit the hot tubs. There were 2 nice ones and in the 2nd I got to talking to a couple and we had a nice conversation. Cass preferred the other hot tub because it had a beautiful Palm tree over it so she stayed in that one more.
All too soon we were kicked out and we headed back to the room and got ready for bed.
Our night view.

hr1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Tomorrow we were meeting up with Ellen, Katie and Wendy for lunch and we were also moving again. Cass was feeling worn down and decided that she was going to skip going to the parks with me in the morning and just would meet for lunch. In the end she decided not even to come to lunch and just rest up.

I went out to look for a diet coke and Emack & Bolio’s was closed. So I went off to find a vending machine. A Team member asked if they could help me and I said I was looking for a vending machine. He told me they didn’t have any in the hotel. Now I thought that was the strangest thing. He told me if I hurried I could get a drink from the Hard Rock store, so I did and just made it before closing. I got a chatty team member checking me out. She was nice, but I really just wanted my diet coke and to go to bed and she was telling me her life story.

I headed back to the room and went to bed then. I really liked the Hard Rock hotel, but my one complaint would be not being able to find a vending machine or a place to get a drink late at night. This is actually my complaint with Royal Pacific too. They seem to have fancier places to eat and not much for the quick service meals or grab and goes, though Hard Rock did have Emack’s & Bolio’s, it closed much too early.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:20 AM   #36
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Sounds like an awesome day of Universal! I agree with their "deluxe" resorts having limited quick/easy options. Makes it a bit tough for sure!
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:57 PM   #37
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Wow, what a great day you had - you certainly packed a lot in! I'm loving all the photos of the resort, as you don't often see them in trip reports and I don't recall ever seeing night-time shots from the park, so that was very neat to see!
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:45 PM   #38
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Love the pictures of Seuss land
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:45 PM   #39
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I enjoyed seeing all your pictures of the parks and resort! It's sounded like a fun but exhausting day!
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:42 PM   #40
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It loos like you had a great day at Universal. I've never seem either park in the dark. Whenever I've been there it's been light out when they close.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:22 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xwewhisper View Post
Sounds like an awesome day of Universal! I agree with their "deluxe" resorts having limited quick/easy options. Makes it a bit tough for sure!
That is the one bad thing about those resorts. People really need some sort of quick server/cheaper options right at the hotel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Wow, what a great day you had - you certainly packed a lot in! I'm loving all the photos of the resort, as you don't often see them in trip reports and I don't recall ever seeing night-time shots from the park, so that was very neat to see!
I have seen a few, but most of the time the parks close so early that it is just turning dusk, especially in the summer. I was excited to get to see it in the dark finally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benchley View Post
Love the pictures of Seuss land
Thanks. That place is so fun to photograph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
I enjoyed seeing all your pictures of the parks and resort! It's sounded like a fun but exhausting day!
It was. We really got a lot done. Express pass is so awesome for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clio View Post
It looks like you had a great day at Universal. I've never seem either park in the dark. Whenever I've been there it's been light out when they close.
Liz
It was so neat to see it dark. My goal was to get Hogwarts lit up. I didn't get the best pictures but it was sure neat to see.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:26 AM   #42
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Feb. 4, 2016, Thursday

Plans were today to head to the parks for early entry and then meet up with our co-workers later. Last night Cass had decided she would just meet up for lunch, but today she decided she better just skip it altogether and rest up as we still had several days to go and she needed to be in tip top shape for our cruise and other activities.

I was up early and headed outside for a bit. My weather app said this….

hard5.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I am pretty sure that was wrong. LOL.

I got ready and took a few last pictures of the room before heading out.

hard1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hard2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I had used the blow dryer the Hard Rock supplied this morning and it was the best blow dryer I have ever used. Cass took a picture of it and the brand name. I looked it up and of course it cost around $130. I won’t be getting one anytime soon.

I kept smelling this lemon grass type smell throughout the resort. I mentioned it to Cass a few times as she is sensitive to some smells. She didn’t seem to notice it till after I mentioned it. It wasn’t really bad, but it is just not a good smell to me. I found that the shampoo and conditioner has the same smell, so it must be a Hard Rock signature smell and they must pump it out in the main areas. I am not personally a fan of it, but I am sure others love it.

hard3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This mirror picture is bad, but they showed the heights of different singers on it.

hard4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Hello morning view.

hard4.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hard3.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hard5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Cass was going to ask for a late check out so that I could still do lunch with the girls and then not rush back and worry about getting all our bags down. I was all packed and had them ready to go.

I headed out and had to take the longer path since the pool wasn’t open yet.

hard2.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hard1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

It was another nice day…slightly cooler than the past 2, but it still was decent.

hard6.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hard7.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Bag check ahead.

hard8.8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

It was crowded as we waited for them to start letting us in. I have seen it worse though.

hard8.8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I took a little video of them opening…nothing too exciting.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yg-MG9gBYtQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

https://youtu.be/yg-MG9gBYtQ

I headed back to Diagon Alley once again.

studios2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios11 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios12 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios13 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I got right in line for Gringotts. Actually I think I rode the regular line once and then single riders line. I rode it like 2 or 3 times in a row.

dia7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia13 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia14 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia15 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia16 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia17 by Jenseib, on Flickr

After I rode it several times I went and got my bag in the locker area.

dia9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I started texting with Ellen or Katie then. They were at the park entrance but couldn’t get in yet. I wandered around a bit and took pictures.

studios14 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios15 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios16 by Jenseib, on Flickr

dia18 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I decided a butterbeer for breakfast would be the perfect way to start the day.

studios17 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios18 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios19 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios20 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I just kind of walked around and when the girls had entered they texted me they were on their way in.

I stood near the dragon waiting for it to blow fire but I either just missed it or it was not going to blow on schedule. I looked and saw Wendy and Ellen walk by. I sputtered trying to find words to get their attention and said “Hey….you…ah Ellen!” LOL. Yah that was such a sweet welcome. LOL.

Katie wasn’t too far behind (I think she stopped to take pictures) and we all chatted a few minutes and headed off to ride Gringotts together. Some of the pictures I posted earlier may have been taken then.

I did take a video of the elevator ride.


video

The line moved fast and we were seated in a first row. Katie is really tall and the bar wouldn’t go down over her long legs. She was going to bow out and we said no way. They told us that back row had more leg room as the seats were up higher. Well then why don’t they pay attention to tall people and seat them in that row in the first place. They had us get off on the exit side and give them our 3D glasses and go to another spot through some doors and then back to enter on the exit side and handed us new glasses. It was a long process for just switching rows, but we were soon back on and in the last row.

It was great fun and fun to hear Katie scream as she doesn’t like any thrill rides at all.

After the ride we got our bags and headed over to check out the money exchange and that was kind of neat.

dia19 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I took a few small videos of it.


video

I hadn’t realized that he actually interacts with you.

video

video


We then walked around and took pictures and talked about different things.

dia20 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios21 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios22 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios23 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios24 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios25 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios26 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios27 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios28 by Jenseib, on Flickr
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:30 AM   #43
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We went inside Shutterbuttons to check it out. Many packages come with this experience and we asked the price. It was high and I can now see that having a package with this is a good deal.

studios29 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios30 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios31 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios32 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios33 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios34 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios35 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And then of course we had to check out Knockturn alley again.

studios36 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios37 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios38 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios39 by Jenseib, on Flickr

At one point Katie took a picture of Ellen, Wendy and I.

ellenwendyandi by Jenseib, on Flickr

We then headed out of Diagon Alley and headed to Kings Cross to take the train over to Hogsmeade.

studios40 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios41 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I took a video of the girls going into Platform 9 ¾.


studios42 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios43 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The train ride is fun and it is done so well.

A little video from the ride.


Soon we were in Hogsmeade…and so was a Brazilian tour group.

hogs1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Ellen said she had to get a bite to eat as she was getting Hangry. I thought she had been a little quiet this morning and now I knew why. She said she had had nothing to eat all morning and had planned to get something when they arrived but nothing was open at that point.
We broke apart so that she could get her food, I think I may have gotten another butterbeer and I think Katie and Wendy explored a bit and maybe hit the bathroom.

After we all met back up, Ellen was in a much better mood and said it really did the trick and we all headed to Forbidden Journey. Someone sat out I think, but I can’t remember if it was Wendy or Katie.

hogs2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

hogs3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Ellen and I rode the Flight of the Hippogriff after FJ and then I think we walked around a bit. I am not sure if we did any other rides or not, but soon it was time to head to Mythos for lunch.

ioa1.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa2.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

ioa3.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This is supposed to be the #1 theme park restaurant so I was excited to try it out.

The bread was darn good.

studios44 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Butter was cute.

studios45 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Ellen’s salad.

ioa4.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And my burger…which was amazing!!!!

ioa5.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Katie’s burger….I can’t remember if we got the same one or not.

ioa6.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Cass had been texting me off and on. She had decided that her ankles were in pretty bad shape and she was going to cancel her Atlantis day adventure excursion for the cruise. Her and Brook were planning on doing it together. She asked if she thought Brook could join in the tour that I was doing at Atlantis. Ellen and I and 2 other girls had planned to go to Atlantis and tour the Dig and also arranged for room tours. I was sure there would be no problem so Brook said she would just come with us instead.

studios46 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios47 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This place is really neat inside.

studios48 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios49 by Jenseib, on Flickr

studios50 by Jenseib, on Flickr

After our meal it was time for me to head out. Cass was waiting on me and we were making our transfers over to Disney today. Yes it would have been nice to stay a little longer, but between yesterday and today I had rode most of all the good rides I wanted to.

I said goodbye to the girls and told them I would see them tomorrow.

studios51 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This little show was going on as I walked up front.

ioa7.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And I took a little video as well.


ioa8.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I hobbled slowly back as my feet were hurting. I also got a little slowed down in front of the Hard Rock Café as the Brazilian tour group was there trying to do a big group photo on the steps. Which is fine…but as they were lining them up, several girls were just standing in the way of through traffic. I think they were just clueless and other than that they seemed well behaved.

I cut through the pool area to get back this time.

hard9.1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I found Cass in the lobby. She had had bell services come and get our bags and was just chilling and waiting for me. She had gotten some bad/sad news from home earlier so she was feeling a bit down.

We got our bags and headed out front and Cass helped me use the Uber app to get a driver. She told me that you text them once you see their info and let them know where you are at. I seriously had barely clicked on the app to get a driver and my phone started ringing….what do I do? LOL. I was in a panic. It was the driver and I could hardly understand him. I told him where we were and he didn’t take too long to arrive. We loaded up the bags…again we had to use Uber X …and hopped in…Next destination….Disney World and the Polynesian!

poly32 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I don’t know what the deal was, but it was like we entered a new country…It had been sunny and fairly nice all morning and as soon as we hit Disney property it got grey, cold and rainy. ICK…and that was the trend for the next several days and even the cruise was chilly.

And this ends my Universal Orlando review. I have an upcoming one night stay at Sapphire Falls in Oct. At this point in time we don’t plan to do the parks. I just can’t justify the cost for us for not even a full day and if we went, we would do hoppers as there are things at both parks I would need to take Claire to see and do. Things may change as we get closer though. I am famous for adding stuff on.

I really loved our stay there and I would like to do another split stay some time and have a couple of resort days and then 2-3 park days. Staying on property makes it nice and easy to go back and forth. The Hard Rock was a hit for both of us and it is so close to the parks. I do think I actually preferred Cabana Bay for theming and what it offered. The down side is they do not offer Express pass. But if we do do a Universal vacation in the future, I will probably do something similar and stay a night or 2 at Cabana Bay and then head to one of the 3 resorts that offers Express Pass.

Thanks for sticking with me and the Disney portion will be starting soon.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:56 AM   #44
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Thanks so much for sharing your Universal trip with us - I've loved reading all about it and seeing your photos!
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:53 PM   #45
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That was so much fun traveling along with you. Can't wait for the Disney part, as you always do so many things and seem to have so much fun!
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