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Old 06-06-2011, 06:57 PM   #1831
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Very pretty nighttime view from your room. The pool area does look pretty cool AND very crowded. Nice pix. More!!!!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:12 PM   #1832
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As bad as it sounded, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise; albeit not a very nice disguise.

Soooo glad he felt better after a rest and good night's sleep!!

Score on the room. WOW! It really is a lovely resort for sure! AND FINALLY, FINALLY you got some extended pool time. YES!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:18 PM   #1833
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The Hard Rock looks like a lot of fun! And nice title, btw. Sorry your guy got sick. That's tough. But I appreciate the reminder about staying hydrated in the Florida heat. Cannot wait to hear how Harry Potter goes.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:44 PM   #1834
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Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
OOH, poor Eric! I'm glad he recovered quickly. Sometimes I enjoyed a little break from the family on those big group vacations too.
Seems like a pretty dang nice hotel! How was the service there?
He did. I mean the good thing is he wasn't burned on top of anything and he had liquids earlier in the morning so it may have been sunstroke, not dehydration but who knows.

It's a lovely lovely hotel and the service and staff were outstanding. One of them, on our last day, literally saved our return trip home.

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Such a cliffhanger!!! I'm really anxious to hear how the morning goes now! Don't leave us too long!
I'll try not to!

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Oh, I'm sorry that Eric got sick, but it's good you were able to get him to rest and take care of it before your big Harry Potter experience the next day. And, it didn't sound like you minded a more-relaxing evening in the room. Speaking of which, the rooms look really nice.
Definitely better to happen before WWOHP than during. Of the kids Eric was by FAR the most obsessed. The minute it happened I knew it was due to overheating, sunstroke or dehydration so I'm glad he bounced back quickly. Honestly, there could have been a cumulative effect of lack of sleep and too much sun and not enough liquid that all added up, who knows. Bottom line is his body said "rest" and he did.

The rooms are just lovely! I'll do a whole compare contrast of all 3 hotels at the end but they are very nice rooms.


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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Well, I'll be back to see your view and your other pictures, but I did enjoy your update. Poor Eric! Dehydration is really the pits. I remember not drinking enough one day at the beach (as a teen/young adult) and needing to drink about 6 bottles of liquid before I felt human again. It is actually rather scary, which is why I carry water wherever I go in Florida (as I'm sure you noticed). I'm a little OCD about that.
I can relate. I passed out at Mesa Verde as a teen. VERY scary.

Funny part is in the parks we are SO good about making them drink. That one uninterrupted pool time derailed us all. Everyone (adult wise) felt guilty, not just me.

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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
I am so glad he was fine and sorry that you had to miss dinner, but it could have been much worse.

Can't wait to see the pix and ready about Harry Potter. That's the part I've been waiting for.
It could have been much worse. Not to fear, there is NO shortage of pics.

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Originally Posted by mom3sonstt View Post
A little down time is good on a vacation with so many people. I'm just sorry it involved a sick kid.
Yeah, me too but I think we both needed it.

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My favorite day of vacation several years ago was when DH & our 3 boys, and my step-son, his wife and 2 boys all went to the water park and left me back at the resort to do laundry! We were all sharing a 2 BR unit at Old Key West, we had the master bedroom, our 3 were in the living room, and step son & family were in the 2nd bedroom - but usually hung out in the living room. I was so thrilled for the peace and quiet - I opened our patio door and let the breeze in, laid on the couch reading a book, getting up periodically to switch clothes from washer to dryer. For lunch I walked over to the counter place by the main pool and got some conch fritters and a tuna salad sandwich. The only sound in the room was the washer & dryer running and the curtain blowing in the breeze
Oooh, that sounds lovely, especially the lunch, I want to try that lunch!!!! that right there makes me want to stay at OKW. That's how I feel about unpacking alone...bliss in it's own way.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:45 PM   #1835
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Originally Posted by MRYPPNS View Post
Mystery of the FB comment has be answered! I had been worried that Eric was too short to ride something at Universal and that's what the comment was about. I think room service, a book and no one bugging you is a great way to spend an evening!!!
Oh that would have been BAD depending on the ride. I was just grateful it happened when it did and he was able to really bounce back quickly.

It was actually fine. I was bummed about Margaritaville though.

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Hard Rock looks really nice! Sorry E was sick. That is no fun, especially on vacation!

On the edge of my seat! Waiting to hear about WWoHP.
It is a stunning resort. Very modern and hip and a little edgy but not so much that it was uncomfortable with the kids. We were definitely not at Disney anymore though. I don't think I ever took a picture of the pool waitress outfits, really should have.

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Originally Posted by Native NYer View Post
HRH is just beautiful!
So sorry Eric got sick. Thank goodness he recovered quickly!
I can't wait to find out if you got to the WWoHP early and who actually got up and went with you.
It is beautiful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolrat View Post
Sometimes being dehydrated just sneaks up on you. Glad you took the time and enjoyed it to boot.


I'm glad you were able to fix that problem pretty fast.

Looking forward to the morning.
It was so easy to miss as he never got pink. Usually he looks overheated so quickly that we spot it before it even really happens but not this time.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #1836
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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Very pretty nighttime view from your room. The pool area does look pretty cool AND very crowded. Nice pix. More!!!!!
It was SO crowded that day. Definitely got better as the weekend went on though. Lovely at night and while you can't "see" the music, it was really fun to have it playing all night and go off just in time to sleep.

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Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
As bad as it sounded, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise; albeit not a very nice disguise.
It was and all things considered, could have been a LOT worse.

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Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
Soooo glad he felt better after a rest and good night's sleep!!
Me too!

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Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
Score on the room. WOW! It really is a lovely resort for sure! AND FINALLY, FINALLY you got some extended pool time.
YES!!
It's beautiful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
The Hard Rock looks like a lot of fun! And nice title, btw. Sorry your guy got sick. That's tough. But I appreciate the reminder about staying hydrated in the Florida heat. Cannot wait to hear how Harry Potter goes.
We are usually really on top of the water while in the parks but the extended pool time and a little boy (who usually turns bright red the minute he's over heated) who never even got pink, tricked us but good!
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:29 AM   #1837
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Yay! The Dark Side is beginning. What a great way to start it off. That was great planning to just spend time at the pool on the first day. We usually get somewhere and immediately want to rush out and do something.

The hotel is very nice! I think the lobby picture is my favorite one.

I'm so glad that Eric felt better after he woke up. Poor kid! I can see how you could easily forget since he was in the pool. It might end up being a good lesson because he will remember to hydrate himself (rather than waiting for you to tell him).
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:19 AM   #1838
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It is so nice to be able to finally catch up on your trip report, Cynthia.

Your last morning pictures at Beach Club are beautiful! Really makes me want to stay there even more than I did before!

Too bad about Jeff and his flying plans. Glad Taylor got a chance to go to the skate park.

The Hard Rock Hotel looks wonderful! What a nice way to transition to Universal, but what a bummer that Eric got dehydrated and wasn't able to go to Margaritaville with everyone.

I am very much looking forward to reading about Harry Potter!
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:38 PM   #1839
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Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
Yay! The Dark Side is beginning. What a great way to start it off. That was great planning to just spend time at the pool on the first day. We usually get somewhere and immediately want to rush out and do something.
We often do that too. It was a bit "forced" as we'd only bought 3 day one park tickets and didn't really want to use on up on a half day although honestly, it would have been fine if we had. Still, it was a better transition (other than Eric getting sick) than if we'd gone straight to the park, not to mention the fact that it was the weekend and the park was packed!

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The hotel is very nice! I think the lobby picture is my favorite one.
I think I have more hotel pictures later on, I know I have more pool and outside pictures.

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Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
I'm so glad that Eric felt better after he woke up. Poor kid! I can see how you could easily forget since he was in the pool. It might end up being a good lesson because he will remember to hydrate himself (rather than waiting for you to tell him).
That's exactly it. He never got out and everyone else did. I hope it's a good lesson.

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Originally Posted by Charleston Princess View Post
It is so nice to be able to finally catch up on your trip report, Cynthia.
Welcome back from the beach!

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Originally Posted by Charleston Princess View Post
Your last morning pictures at Beach Club are beautiful! Really makes me want to stay there even more than I did before!
It is so pretty, isn't it! I love it there and may be ruined now that I've stayed in the villas.

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Too bad about Jeff and his flying plans. Glad Taylor got a chance to go to the skate park.
Well, much as I hate to say it, it was his own fault for not calling them earlier in the week. The reality was he'd been on the fence about it, not wanting to really ditch his mom and Paul so I think he'd left it to the last minute on purpose. Problem was, as we learned when we got back, that they'd been emailing him at work, not the home email so he never got the messages since we'd already been gone a week while they tried to contact him.

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Originally Posted by Charleston Princess View Post
The Hard Rock Hotel looks wonderful! What a nice way to transition to Universal, but what a bummer that Eric got dehydrated and wasn't able to go to Margaritaville with everyone.

I am very much looking forward to reading about Harry Potter!
It is a very cool hotel. I'll be able to report on all 3 Universal hotels as we go through the next days and can honestly say I'd be happy staying any one of them. They are distinctly different though, that's for sure!

I was very sad about Margaritaville. Eric was less concerned with that but terrified about missing HP so he didn't even say a peep going straight to bed which really helped him recover quickly I think.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:05 PM   #1840
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all caught up last few days sounded good, and i liked all the pics from tappen edu thanks...most people only show a few, i enjoyed them all.

and a good transfer to a new location sorry to hear he got sick...happened to candi when she was in disney pregnant with parker, 4 on our 1 year trip.

we didnt eat breakfast or drink much and she almost blacked out while in AK...luckily i got her some water quick and she recovered twe didnt make that mistake again.

bad thing was a few CM's saw it happend and me help her to the bench, but none of them came to offer help
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:47 PM   #1841
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I read your post but didn't get a chance to respond, earlier! SO here I am back again. POOR kid! Least expected that, I am sure! But that heat can really sneak up on you. We all do pretty well, but when the heat advisories are going here in MD, I always worry someone is going to get too much sun! I am glad he bounced back.. Being dehydrated can really knock you out. I bet he was ready for WWOHP!!! I know I am!!!
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:20 PM   #1842
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All caught up !!I am interested in finding out about your experience at Universal, as next year we are doing yet another Free Trip and have asked for Universal !!!
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:55 PM   #1843
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all caught up last few days sounded good, and i liked all the pics from tappen edu thanks...most people only show a few, i enjoyed them all.
They weren't great shots but you do get a feel for the experience

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and a good transfer to a new location sorry to hear he got sick...happened to candi when she was in disney pregnant with parker, 4 on our 1 year trip.

we didnt eat breakfast or drink much and she almost blacked out while in AK...luckily i got her some water quick and she recovered twe didnt make that mistake again.

bad thing was a few CM's saw it happend and me help her to the bench, but none of them came to offer help
That's horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It happened to me in my teens at Mesa Verde which was scary as I could have fallen.

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I read your post but didn't get a chance to respond, earlier! SO here I am back again. POOR kid! Least expected that, I am sure! But that heat can really sneak up on you. We all do pretty well, but when the heat advisories are going here in MD, I always worry someone is going to get too much sun! I am glad he bounced back.. Being dehydrated can really knock you out. I bet he was ready for WWOHP!!! I know I am!!!
It's funny, thinking about it there must have been something that made me realize what it was but for the life of me, I can't recall what helped me connect the dots.

He was SOOO excited about WWOHP! I was SO relieved he recovered!


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All caught up !!I am interested in finding out about your experience at Universal, as next year we are doing yet another Free Trip and have asked for Universal !!!
It's a very different world but great in it's own way.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #1844
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We're off to see a wizard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday August 20th. Today was THE day. The day we went to see a Wizard!

Apparently months of repeating crowd warnings, line warnings, what time we needed to be up and out actually sunk in with the entire crew. Our goal had been to leave the hotel by about 7-7:15 am, to be at the gates around 7:30-7:45 hoping that they did in fact let resort guests in before 8 as we’d been told.

Amazingly, everyone was up. With enough time for Jeff and I to grab a cup of coffee from the quick service location in the hotel as we headed out to catch the boat. Somehow, I didn’t take a single picture. Who knows why, I know I kept my stuff to a minimum and I might have not actually been carrying the camera at that moment, or just been busy drinking my coffee and then figuring out where we needed to go to get in line. As I’d not made it to CityWalk the night before due to Eric’s illness I wasn’t positive of our direction.

I needn’t have worried. We just followed the herd.

We were in line at 7:30. Our first rope drop and it wasn’t even at Disney! Go figure. Sure enough at 7:45 they started letting folks in. Not only did you need your ticket but you needed that magic room key. They checked it at the turnstiles.

They checked it as you walked into the park. IOA folks were staged all along the route to directly people straight back to WWOHP. Nothing else was open and WWOHP was ONLY open for resort guests. They keep you in a certain path, herding everyone along the entire way. Even with all that, it really does rival or exceed any kind of TSM stampede you can imagine. People ran, speed walked, you name it. As you approached the entry, key cards were checked, AGAIN.

With the speed at which we were walking, not wanting to get out of the line, I did not get my camera out. Time was of the essence here. I did later in the trip so you will see pictures of the walk but…not right now!
I can’t begin to describe the feeling of walking back towards WWOHP, seeing Hogwarts rise up in front of you and entering Hogsmeade. I confess. I was probably the biggest fan of the group. I’d read all the books long before the rest of the gang, they borrowed mine. I’d seen all the movies. Of the kids, the E’s and K had read all the books but the rest, not at all. All had seen the movies. To say I was excited was an understatement. Having done my homework, we knew we really had 2 options upon walking in. Go straight to the Forbidden Journey or go to Ollivanders. The lines for both, even with the early entry, would get out of control, quickly. The decision had been made to go to the Forbidden Journey today and then if Eric wanted to, on Sunday we could do Ollivanders first as Saturday would be spent at Universal.

Upon entering Hogwarts you are asked to put all of your items into a locker. This is a recurring theme throughout Universal and IOA on several rides and is a bit annoying. But they are free and right there, it’s just an extra step. There is however a bit of a time limit on it though I can’t recall what it is. It does however limit the picture taking! That and the bazillion warnings that picture taking is NOT allowed. Items put away, we headed into the line. Which was moving quite quickly! The queue is absolutely amazing and I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. If you are a fan of the books, and the movies, you will be enthralled and entertained. You start out going through herbology, then into the Defense of the Dark Arts Classroom, the portrait gallery, Dumbledore’s office. We went through it so quickly the first time, I barely took anything in. The FJ has been decribed by some as Soarin’+Spiderman+ Haunted Mansion. It is a “dark” ride and I have to say, a truly amazing experience. I think all of those descriptions apply but somehow the sum of those parts is even more.

Getting off from our Journey you exit, of course, into a dump shop. Aka Filches. Which was already insanely busy with people looking at their ride pictures and buying items. With our locker window closing we elected to risk it and go right back on the ride!

Even MORE amazing the second go round. Partially due to a slower line but also the ability and time to observe and absorb so much more. Exiting the shopping behag. A very cool Dobby shirt for Evan, a black and gold sparkly T for Kendall. Eric however had something else on his list. Something he’d been wanting for months. We had been in the park for about an hour and a half at this point and all we’d done was FJ twice and shopped (and hit the restrooms lol).

It looked like this



Luckily, I knew there was a wand kiosk right outside of Filches so we could avoid (that day) the insanity that was Ollivanders

Choosing a wand is a very personal thing



Eric had a certain amount of souvenir money left. Just enough for a wand.
Which one would he pick?



Harry’s, Hermione’s, Voldemorts?

Or one that was just his..a “birthday” wand. There are about 8-10 different wands that are associated with your birthday. It’s not an exact month match so I can’t say I know how it lines up but they figure it out for you.
He was torn but ended up with a Birthday wand.

And given that his birthday would occur in two weeks…after purchasing his wand we looked at him and said “Happy Birthday!”. He wouldn’t have to use up all his money after all.

Check out the wait time (and your first peek of Hogwarts). At this point, the park had been open to the public for a whopping 39 minutes!





The crowds. It was 9:37am


Oh look, it’s butterbeer!



I love the detailing of Hogsmeade



It was looking to be another scorcher













The window at the Owl Post





The alley that heads into Dervish and Banges, the broom shop







This is a bit confusing as you see this huge line and think it’s for Dervish and Banges but a lot of it is Ollivanders line. Still, the line for Dervish and Banges was long enough on it’s own that we decided it could wait till Sunday after Sandie and Paul were gone and the crowds hopefully not as bad with many schools starting back the next day.

More snowy roofs



This is a covered area outside of Ollivanders, the Owl Post, Dervish and Banges



We could see the crowd heading into Honeydukes from there and several other shops and windows.







Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 06-25-2011 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #1845
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The butterbeer cart was busy!





The entry to the Three Broomsticks. We couldn’t go in there yet, it would open to the general public at 11 for lunch but for now was only open to those who had purchased a special WWOHP package that included breakfast at the Three Broomsticks.





Right next to the Three Broomsticks is Hogs Head



I hoped to check it out later.

We could have bought some of this to cool off, Pumpkin Juice but it sounded a little scary.



Instead, a few of us decided to go here while the rest sat in the shade and hid from the crowds



For those of you who’ve been to IOA before, this used to be dueling dragons which was one of our FAVORITE roller coasters ever. Some of my best memories from our 04 trip was racing through this with my sibling and spouses, half of us on fire, half on ice to see who could get back first and if we could face each other as the dragons raced.

Dueling dragons had been rethemed around the Triwizard cup and I was very curious to see what it would be like. This time, I hung on to my camera, despite the locker requirement.

Team banners





The locker area for the Dragon Challenge



A peek at the Hogwarts express





A look back



Entering the queue, who would we root for?












Another look back, you can’t have too many Hogwarts pictures







Continued in next post
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