May 26, 2001 The cast: Me (the 29-year old) I woke up at 5:30 am and headed out the door by 6:30. I checked out and a tough-looking Asian guy checked me out. He looked like he was with security. I woke up early because I wanted to do an early check-in to the Portifino. I wanted my keys for front of the line access. I was set to meet RhondaS (moderator of the Community board) and her family at Islands of Adventure at 10 am. They were staying at the Hard Rock Hotel and they had front of the line access because they were onsite guests. I did not want to feel left out, so I booked the Portifino. I tried to book the Hard Rock Hotel, but the room ended up being more than the one at the Portifino (the Hard Rock room had a better view, though). I figured that if I was spending $199 per night, I wanted to stay at the nicer place! I went to the Ponderosa on Kirkman Street, right across from Universal, for the breakfast buffet. I dropped over some postcards at the mailbox next door in front of Walgreens before eating. I got my table and buffet food, but I did not get my coffee until after 5 minutes of mass consumption. They put me in a table away from everyone else and the server could not find me! I did not get overly full at the buffet because I planned to ride Dueling Dragons first thing. I left Ponderosa at 7:30 and parked in the main parking garage. I took the garden path walk to the Portifino. The walk has a beautiful garden path and it is quite tranquil with the river to your right. The entire journey took around 15 minutes. I didnt feel tired until I finally stopped at the front desk. When I stopped, I began to sweat and pant. I could have used some water! The front desk clerk was very pleasant. I had booked through Travelscape and they couldnt find my reservation. All they had in their computers was my last stay in March (I booked through Hotel Discounts then and had no trouble). I had my confirmation e-mail to back me up. The last time that this happened was at the Hard Rock Hotel and they took around 45 minutes to check me in. This time, the front desk clerk checked me in after a few minutes. They had a copy of my confirmation, so they knew I had a valid reservation. The clerk said that she would call the company later today and straightened things out. If there were any problems, she would leave me a voice mail. Now this is quality service! I am glad they did not think I was a bum who walked off the street. I was wearing my DIS shirt again, so Im not sure if that influenced them. I wonder if Portifino employees say during breaks, Dont cheese off the DIS people! They will post something on the boards! I might have to wear plain shirts from now on! I was also surprised that my room was ready! I didnt bring my bags, thinking that I would have to come back for a key. The clerk even asked me if I wanted one bed or two. I had signed up for two adults, even though I had only one, so I was again surprised by the clerk. I dont want to know if she was thinking naughty! The wing my room was at was near the docks, so I could have dumped my bags in my room, oohhed and ahhed at everything, and rode the boat over. I was also thinking maybe I should have parked in the Portifino parking garage. No time to move my car now. It was time for some private time with Dueling Dragons! I took the boat over to Citywalk and walked over to Islands of Adventure.