RPR Club & HHN 10/28-11/2. With pics
We started off our trip at the GF Concierge. To read that TR, click here:
Mike – 35, my SO, takes our vacation money out of my engagement ring fund. Nonetheless, he is Mr. I-Don’t-Plan-or-Make-Reservations.-Just-Tell-Me-Where-and-When-to-Show-up-and-What-to-Bring.
Me – 32, Clearly takes advantage of the “Just tell me where and when to show up and what to bring” policy. Also known for hiding receipts and credit card bills so he doesn’t readily know how much this policy is actually costing him.
And just a bit older than us:
Mike’s big sis “M,”my best friend.
Mike’s BIL “B,”never smiles for pictures, but promises he’s having fun. He swears.
Resort Highlights: First of all, if you’re a regular on the board, you might know that Mike and I had a lackluster stay at the PBH in March, so we switched our October ressie to the RPR. And why not spring for Club while we’re at it?
This was the best decision I made (even though the PBH offered a free night to come back. Free night, schmee night. Ick. We may not stay at the PBH ever again. Well, maybe. If we had to.)
I **loved** the Royal Pacific Resort! Oh, and Mike did too. We pulled up to the resort and were immediately greeted by friendly staff. (Unlike the PBH who never even said hello to us.) The RPR porter chatted us up and gave us HHN touring tips. (PBH: a tired, “Checking in?” No, goofball, we just like pulling up to a resort and unloading luggage for FUN!). Our RPR check-in person was so nice and friendly and efficient. (PBH: no smile, she barely said two words to us, and had to ask for my credit card about 10x). At the RPR, I hadn’t even asked about our welcome gift since I had booked at the APH rate and we were told quite clearly at the PBH we didn’t qualify for a welcome gift with a discounted rate. To our surprise, the RPR asked us what we’d like for a welcome gift, and we even got to choose the type of beer. I knew we’d be out late that night and asked her if they could deliver it 4 o’clock the next day, Friday. She said sure. I half expected our beer and nuts wouldn’t come at all, but alas, it came right on time. Awesome! :)
I knew the RPR was sold out that weekend and asked our check-in person if they had any rooms left that didn’t overlook I4. She smiled and said that our room wasn’t ready yet, but she didn’t want to change it as we had a really nice view. Wow, was she right! Not only could we see the entire pool, we could see the waterway, Hulk, Dr. Doom, Dueling Dragons, Ripsaw Falls… it was awesome! It was room 3724, which is a King Bed, Club room. It is one full hallway down and around the corner from the elevators. However, it is very close to both the ice machine and the Club Lounge.
The caveat, of course, is that we liked the resort. Not necessarily the room itself. We, who aren’t **exactly** light packers, found ourselves a little crowded. I thought about you families of 4 and 5 who squeeze into those rooms, and I thought, “God Bless Ya!” You all must be very neat and tidy people, and don’t pack up your entire bathroom like we do. We liked that the sink was separate from the toilet and tub. But, there wasn’t a whole lot of room for toiletry stuff on the vanity. It would’ve been nice to maybe even have a shelf under the sink area. Nope. Or even hooks to hang our toiletry bags on. Nope. Also, we thought they could’ve used a throw rug or something in the sink area. Something to maybe break up the sound. With all the ceramic (I’m guessing it’s ceramic) in the hallway/entry way and bathroom area, sound carried in the room. However, we forgave these things because most important was that the shower pressure was awesome! I take showers at home now and feel like I might as well be showering in the rain. I miss that shower.
The small room was also mitigated by our having access to the Club Lounge. I promise we didn’t store our toiletries in there. We just used it to hang out if one of us was getting ready so we didn’t trip over each other or if housekeeping was in the room. (Please note that we never figured out how to put away our ironing board – it was stuck open- so this added to the clutter.) Since Mike’s Sis and BIL joined us, it was also a great place to meet up or socialize for a drink before heading out for the evening.
The Club Lounge staff was very friendly and pleasant, and always addressed me by name whenever I entered the lounge. If you’re staying Club soon, tell Shannan I said hi. Since people always ask, the breakfast offerings were fresh fruit and pastries, yogurts and cereals, warm cinnamon buns and toast and bagels. They had some potato chips and fruit out until evening appetizers. On Thursday night they actually had fried shrimp. That was the last we saw of that. From Friday through Monday, all they had was either a potato or pasta salad, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. That’s it. Nothing warm at all. They had beer and wine. You had to ask for it; it wasn’t out for the taking (which doesn’t matter to us, but might to others). If you wanted a mixed drink, this went by the honor system (it’s $5 a pour), and you were asked to fill out a card with your name and room # so you could be charged. Water, coffee, and tea were out all day. Juices were out in the morning (I think Orange Juice and Apple Juice? Sorry, I’m not a juice drinker.). Sodas were out for most of the day. Please note that bare feet and bathrobes are not welcomed in the Club Lounge. Fortunately, I don’t know this from first-hand experience. We all received a flier stating as much on our first day.
We were very excited to come back from HHN on Thursday night to find that Dale McDaniel (RPR General Manager) had sent a lovely bottle of chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to our room to welcome us to the resort and stating that if we needed anything during our stay that we should contact him directly. Awesome! M & B later saw on the housekeeping cart that our room was listed as a VIP room along with 2 suites and 1 other room. Don’t know how we got on that list. Don’t care either! Did I mention it was awesome?!
Now, before everyone goes out and changes his or her ressie to the RPR, please note that M & B did not share our great enthusiasm for the resort. They liked it fine, but alas, were not on the VIP list and it showed. Their room was 3737, which was at the end of the hallway from the club lounge and two full hallways down from the elevator. Please note that if your club room is on the same side of the hallway as the club lounge (as theirs was), you have a most lovely view of I4. Their room also included a view of the roof, a swamp, and fallen tree. There was a huge scuff mark on the wall where someone had obviously tried to move the couch and the thermostat didn’t work in that room either. They couldn’t get the room to cool down.
A call to Star Services wasn’t very helpful for them. It was after the club lounge closed or they would’ve dealt with the concierge staff. All Star Services kept asking them is if they were in the room all day. B couldn’t figure out what that had to do with anything since they were in the room then. Finally, Star Services agreed to send an engineer to the room but never did. M & B also had trouble trying to find their dry cleaning they had sent out. Star Services was once again rude and kept telling them to look in their closet. (I believe the conversation went, “Hi, I’m just trying to locate my dry cleaning.” Did you look in the closet? “Yes, I did, it’s not there.” Look again.) Honestly folks. The room is not that big. They promised it was not in the room; that’s why they were calling. They eventually did get their dry cleaning a day later. And, you guessed it. No champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for them, unless you count that we shared ours with them.
We, on the other hand, had no problem with Star Service when we were late getting out one evening and missed turn-down service. I called to order it before we left for after dinner drinks, and they were polite, pleasant, addressed me by name, and said they would send someone up promptly.
Mike and I got trinkets during turn-down service every night. We got magnets, a lei, a key chain, stickers, and a potpourri shell. M & B didn’t get anything. Ever.
10/28 – the four of us went, armed with express passes. This wasn’t fun for the rest of my crew because every house we went through, the scare actors knew I was the screamer. You scream once and you’re done for. I think they had radios to let the other scare actors know I was coming. (“Attention all scare actors, we’ve got a short unnatural blonde who’s a screamer. I repeat, a screamer. Last seen wearing a blue top and white shorts. Appears to be with 3 other people who are looking quite bored. The “blonde,” on the other hand, may have peed her pants.”) We tried putting me in the front of the line, in the back of the line, hiding in the middle. Didn’t matter. They were only after me. I was creeped out after a while, and had my fill of houses for the night. The one I hated most was Nightmares, because I hate clowns. In some houses, I scrounched down and waddled through pleading, “please don’t scare me. I’m not scared. Please don’t scare me.” Mike was wicked proud. It’s been reported before, but there had to be a beer stand every fifteen feet, and I think I’m being conservative here. B imagined all the beer stand workers hiding in the tunnels under the park during the day, just waiting to get out at night. He also wondered where in the world they had room to store all the beer carts. Nonetheless, we did partake in the beer (how could we not?), and we did enjoy the Bill and Ted Show. Although I have to say, this one really isn’t for kids. Side commentary here: as we were entering the park, there were families (plural) with strollers and one foreign family in front of us with small kids on harnesses. Mike and I gave each other the wide-eyed, “What are you people thinking” look. Honestly. Get a babysitter and leave the kids at home. This isn’t MNSSHP. It’s nighttime, it’s scary, and there’s LOTS of alcohol about. It’s not worth it for them just to see the parade.
10/31 - Mike and I went back on our own for Halloween. We mistakenly figured it wouldn’t be so crowded as it was a Sunday. Wrong! I didn’t think we needed express passes, but we did. We’d missed Hell’s Gate Prison on Thursday, and figured we stand in line for it. The sign said it was a 30-minute wait. Fine. After at least 45 minutes, we were hot, tired, and only half-way through the line. You know it’s bad when you pass several beer stands while you’re in line. We bolted and decided to leave and meet M & B for after-dinner drinks at City Walk. The express passes on Thursday were worth it. An hour-long wait to get into the houses on Sunday wasn’t. That’s just us. Besides, this was our last night with M & B, so we skipped the rest of HHN and spent it with them.
Where we ate:
Margaritaville – twice. We all gave this place rave reviews, and our favorite server Hank even made me my own special margarita that wasn’t on the menu. We still have yet to see the volcano blow though. We learned that when JBM has bands and it’s crowded, they actually have party motivators to get you to dance. Mike was a victim of them one night when I was not immediately near by, and the girl asked M if she were Mike’s wife or girlfriend. M said, “Nope, I’m his sister.” That did it. Party motivator girl dragged Mike out onto the dance floor. We all have a cross to bear. Fortunately, mine is having a handsome boyfriend! You’ll notice the party motivator people sitting at tables which have lots of food that need to be bussed. B heard one of them complaining that they’d only received one 10-minute break that night.
The Kitchen – we had Friday night ressies here. Dinner was good, not great. The service was great, and we were entertained by Doug the Magician. The chef came by to say hello and chat, and despite our drinks, dinner was only $175 for the 4 of us, including tip. Not bad since we had appetizers as well. I had the lobster bisque special as an appetizer. It was more like a puree, and if you’re ever there when it’s on the menu, it should be avoided. The baked mac & cheese received accolades as well as a special pizza they had on the menu that night. I had steak (it was a bit fatty) to which I added shrimp. I suppose dinner was great for everyone but me.
Tchoup Chop - Excellent as usual. God did we eat. B and I both had the saki sampler. Ick. I didn’t need 4 sakis to learn that I don’t like it. As it was $19, I forced myself to drink what I could and then made Mike finish it. We ordered about 4 appetizers, which we shared. I had the filet, to which I added scallops. Mike had the chicken to which he added scallops. M had the seafood special, to which she added scallops. B had some kind of lo-mein like pork dish, to which he did not add the scallops. Wow, were these scallops melt-in-your-mouth good. They were big too, and probably we could have shared two sides instead of three. You got 3 scallops, and they were prepared to complement your meal. Yum. M got the pecan pie for dessert and Mike and I ordered our favorite, Banana Cream Pie. We all shared. Excellent. Oh, and if there are any fellow Bloody Mary fans out there, may I recommend the Hoki Hoki Mai. This is made with wasabi instead of horseradish, and had a hint of soy sauce instead of Tabasco. Awesome! I should have stuck with those instead of the saki sampler. (Did I mention that was ICK!)
Mythos – this was good, but not as good as the reviews I’d been reading. Mike had some kind of wrap. M & B had burgers. I had a pasta primavera with shrimp. We were too full for dessert so we skipped it.
Louie’s Pizza – is this what’s catty-corner across the street from Finnegan’s at USF? We had a pizza and Miller Lites here before HHN. Whatever.
Pat O’Brien’s– oh wait, we didn’t actually EAT here. Excellent Bloody Mary’s though. Wished I skipped the Hurricanes. When you have a good crowd and good players on the piano, this is the place to be, and I think we went here at least 3 times.
Jake’s Bar– Oh, wait, we didn’t actually eat here either. We went for drinks after dinner at Tchoup Chop. We wanted to avoid CW because HHN was sold out that night, and we figured CW would be packed. Jake’s had a lounge singer that night that could put you to sleep. Leave it to my crew to egg her on and request every Carpenter song she knew how to sing. Mike even asked her for “Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head,” and told her to give it her best effort. For a $5 tip, she sure tried. When she didn’t know all the words, it was my crew who gladly helped her out. My apologies if you were with us on 10/30 at about 10 or 11 o’clock. We don’t get there often. I promise.
Bula Bar – Now here we actually ate. The burgers were good. I had the spinach and crab dip which was about 2 tablespoons of dip and 80-million chips.
Confisco Grille– I met Barry and Karin for a mini-DIS meet. It had good cinnamon French toast, but if you’re not much of a breakfast eater, and don’t have kids, and you’re not at a DIS meet, I’d save your bucks. Mike was mortified when I told him that Wolverine came up to me, and I asked, “Who are you?” Even more mortified when I pushed further, “Are you a good guy or a bad guy?” Mike was glad he slept in that day.
Capt Quints – our favorite fast food in any theme park, anywhere!
The Parks – Highlights
MIB – I hit new highs on MIB. That’s right, Jodie finally learned how to line up her gun. Look out! One time Mike and I were in the car with two other folks and we had an average score of I think close to 500K. Like idiots, Mike and I and the other couple all raised our hands in the air, and yelled “Galaxy Defenders!” You’d have thought we won the lottery.
The Mummy – this was the first time we were on it, and the consensus in our crew was the same as many people on the board: awesome but too short! I looked for the DM several times. I could never find the 5-year pin, and I felt like too much of an idiot asking random people, “Are you the Dark Marauder?” Although, I think I have it narrowed down to two people. Barry gave me one clue, which didn’t help me pinpoint him. Next trip.
BTTF- is this not the most slap yourself senseless ride in the world? Mike insisted our crew sit in the back row, so our heads would properly be bashed against the back of the car. Mine got slammed and as my head came forward, it ripped out a huge chunk of my hair, and I muttered something I’m not proud of. My apologies to the 3 children in the front row of our car. Probably need to extend that to the cars on our right and left too.
We got to ride in the front row of both Fire and Ice!! Awesome. You have not ridden Dueling Dragons until you’ve ridden in the front row. We had all of a 10-minute wait to ride the front row of ICE. Awesome. We immediately headed over to ride the front row of FIRE. More awesome. Fire is definitely better. Definitely Fire. Definitely Better. Only on Mondays. Never on Sundays.
Storm Force Accelatron – Mike is a woos and doesn’t really like to spin. Good thing I had my best buddy M to go on with me!
Even better: we skipped Poseiden’s Fury. Ever hear of the term “addition by subtraction?” Others will beg to differ. This is just Mike’s and my humble opinion.
Hopefully, this will work to see our pics:
Great report! Sounds like ya'll had great fun. And the VIP thing? Woohoo!
I hang my toiletry bag on their carved wooden screen.
Congrats on the Defender. Did you ask for a sticker?
Nice details and a good read.:hyper:
Bummer! I didn't know we could ask for stickers. How could I be a DISboard vet, and not know that?!
Check out Damo's signature for what they look like. You can get them from one of the 2 attendants at the end of the ride. I've seen it where the attendants didn't know where or that they had them and I had to show them that they are in the cabinet with the phone. It is pretty cool to ride in a car with a group that has never got Defender and you know that your score was what put the whole car over. I rode in a car like that where the family was happier than hitting the lotto so I made sure the kids got a sticker.
Great report. I'd love to be a VIP! I also love the front row of Fire and Ice. I also go right back there at park opening and ride the front row of both over and over and over... There's no one back there when the park opens.
Motherfletcher--I also hung my toiletry bag on the carved wooden screen.
Thanks for the wonderful report !! (and all the laughs ! - no wonder my family thinks I'm a bit bonkers sitting up here laughing at the computer screen :rolleyes: ). I'm heading back to RPR in a few weeks - can't wait ! - we had the same awesome view you did on our first trip (whatever summer it was they opened). Jan trip has to be back at HRH (for the teens!), but this trip is just my sister and I bringing our little nephew - I know he'll love the RPR pool. Also hoping to squeeze in lunch at Tchoup Chop - in August I took my whole crew of "20 somethings" and I was too sick with a sinus headache to eat - they all kept raving about the 'best meal we've ever had' and everything looked so fabulous - this trip I hope to actually taste some of that awesome food. My sis and I are both huge JB fans, so a meal there is also a must . . . "fins to the left. . ."
Just made my ressies for next Columbus day weekend for our first HHN ! - after reading your report, now I really can't wait !!!:smooth:
Great report and a much better exp for you than the GF
Thanks for the awesome report. You have me VERY excited for our trip...I want to go club if discount rates ever come out. VIP, that would be too cool!
Great pics too! Mike looks like quite a catch...very handsome!
Great report & excellent pics!
Congrats on the VIP status too. Glad ya'll had a great party there.
Thanks for sharing!
This is a great thread...I thought I would bump it up so newbies and those interested in seeing a photo of RPH clubroom could see it. ;)
The photo album link at the bottom of the thread is entertaining.
Great report ~ Thanx for sharing.
Thanks for your report, I enjoyed reading it and thanks for providing a link to your lovely pictures. :)
Here's a suggestion for where to put all your toiletries during your stay. A hanging shoe bag.....you know, the kind with a hanger at the top and lots of little clear compartments to put stuff. We used one last year for 2 adults and 2 teen boys. Each had one compart. for teeth stuff, one for deodorant, shave stuff, combs/brushes, "in case you need them" meds., you get the picture! Believe it or not, between the four of us, there was not one empty compartment! I just hung it on the inside of the closet door. That way, all our "must have" junk was out of sight unless being used. It was nice to approach the sink and never have to fight your way through everyone else's stuff!
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