Just a few thoughts on our most recent trip to UOR last week:
Hard Rock Hotel
HRH was awesome. The walk to the parks cannot be beat. I have a pretty strong preference for the walk from HRH rather than the walk from PR. The HRH walk is faster but also more direct…less winding around the river. Also the Unlimited Express pass means that virtually no planning is needed.
The music in the lobby when we checked in was so super loud. I could barely hear the agent behind the desk.
We booked a suite that would sleep 14 people. Turns out it is a room with one king bed and a sofa bed, with 2 connecting rooms (each with 2 queens). It’s fine. It’s just not what I expected. Also what’s with them saying the set of rooms would “sleep 14” but then to actually make that happen you have to add 2 roll-aways for $35 each bed each night? Or I guess you could put 3 people in 2 of the queen beds. Just annoying. But the hotel was very pretty and the staff was friendly and accommodating.
I loved that we could text in when we needed something. So much easier than trying to find a quiet place to make a phone call while in the parks.
Most of our group did one night of HNN. I had read about the advantage to being in the park before they kick all of the day guests out at 5pm, so we planned on doing that. At about 4:40 half of our group went to MIB and the other half to Jimmy Fallon. When we got out of MIB they would not let us go straight to the exit. We had to go all the way up by Fast n Furious and then down to the exit. And we had the hardest time meeting up with the rest of the group because they were also being blocked from heading our way. We finally found a worker who helped us figure out a place that both groups could go to (on the corner near Shrek). Also, it’s good to know that none of the restaurants serve day guests AND HHN guests during the limbo hour (5pm to 6pm). My small group of day-only guests left the park and found food on the way back to the hotel, while the HHN guests were able to find food in their holding area.
I wasn’t super excited about attending the party, so I took my 9 year old nephew back to the hotel to swim. My 25 year old niece ended up coming back early, and with tears in her eyes told me about how scary it was. She really did not enjoy it at all. She did figure out that as long as she stayed on the sidewalk, the scary people would leave her alone. If she stepped onto the street she was considered fair-game, apparently. I was just happy that there was some kind of safe-place for people to be if they needed a minute. She had done the Stranger Things house, and then waited while the group did the Yeti house, and then she bugged out. My brother offered to walk her back to the entrance, but she felt like if she could just stay on the sidewalk and walk with purpose, she would be fine. Poor thing. She was a little traumatized. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone for this. HHN is not advertised as being friendly and happy. I just wanted to get it out there that it is pretty scary, and also the fact that being on the sidewalk means you want to be left alone. My brother, brother-in-law and 16 year old nephew enjoyed the event very much, and wished they could’ve stayed longer. To each his/her own.
Park Tickets: buy 2 days, get 3 days free
My sister and her husband ended up going to Universal on our first Saturday at WDW (they were on military tickets and wanted to use their 5 park days on other days). Since we had purchased the 2+3 deal, it was a no brainer to go to Universal. When they checked in the first day, the worker told them they only had 6 days to use the rest of their tickets. I kinda blew it off because it’s usually 14 days. So on the last Saturday of our trip (7 days later), they tried to get into the park and the worker told them their tickets had expired. My BIL explained that they thought they had 14 days from the first day of use, and then they were let in with no issues.
Hagrid’s new ride:
AMAZING!!! I’ve posted a bunch about it in the wait-times thread. Basically, don’t miss it. If it’s open, get in line because you never know when it will go down. No screens, just fun.
Did you guys know that the chilled (but not frozen) butterbeer has caffeine, but the frozen kind does not? Also, what is it about the frozen butterbeer that produces such intense brainfreeze?? I drink frozen drinks…virgin daiquiris, slurpees, milkshakes, etc, but NOTHING will produce brainfreeze as quickly or more intense than butterbeer. Thoughts?