The Linus Trip to The Darkside or Our Family Vacation to Universal**UPDATED 5/16/07**

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by tlinus, May 3, 2007.

  1. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    I have never kept a diary or a journal or anything like that. I have never documented in writing our family vacations before so bear with me. I want to be thorough and may get a bit wordy, or verbose, so just skip what you want and read the rest. Please be gentle!!

    Plans for this trip popped up in late January. We had planned on going back to Universal in November right after Thanksgiving but DH needed to get away MUCH sooner than that - very stressed at work. So we figured we would go for bean #1's birthday in April. Bonus to find out it was a slow week as Spring Break and Mardi Gras were over so that meant we had a good chance of lower crowds! :thumbsup2 Where to stay???? Hmmmm - we know that we will not stay offsite again and in October we LOVED our experience at the Hard Rock. Due to some issues with our last stay, the GM emailed me after we returned our survey and said to contact him the next time we were going to come down. So I did, got a GREAT rate and there we have it - we were staying at the Hard Rock on Club Level again! Ok, so do we drive or do we fly?? DING Southwest came up with $49.00 airfare so we were flying!! This trip was all settled and ready to go by mid February.

    The Cast

    DH - Jim(39) - Hard worker, overstressed most of the time, travels to and from New York alot for work and loves him some Hulk and Dueling Dragons(ice please)!
    ME - Tracie(37) - SAHM, babysits 4 kids during the week in addition to my beans, loves coffee, trip planner and needed a vacation!
    Bean #1 - Kaitlyn(12) - Smart girl, great student, softball Queen of the house (this is her 7th year!). Like her Daddy, she loves Hulk and Dueling Dragons (ice for her please!)
    Bean #2 - Courtney(7 going on 22) - Very competitive for attention (middle child thing maybe?), very good student, addicted to the Flying Unicorn and Jurassic Park.
    Bean #3 - Frank(5) - What to say about Frank. Hmmmm, he is the jokester. He makes us all laugh, especially when we NEED a laugh. Loves his Spiderman and Cat in the Hat.

    Day 1 - Wednesday 4/25/07

    We got to the airport at 10AM to check in for our flight. I had printed out our boarding passes 24hours before and needed to checkin at the desk for preboarding because of bean #2's peanut dust allergy. We were boarded first on the plane and I did the complete wipedown of the seats, armrests, tray, etc. then covered her seat with her Phillies blanket and we were all settled in for our flight. We were on a very special SWA flight. It was the Capt.'s last flight due to the 60yo rule. (He was being forced to retire). The front of the plane, the cockpit and the first few rows were decorated and the crew was OUTSTANDING! Joking, jovial and they were wearing their pj bottoms over their uniforms. All of the planes leaving at the same time let our capitain go through first as a sign of respect. The kids were excited and the flight was smooth all the way to MCO! We even arrived 15 minutes early!! The Orlando FD had some trucks there to hose down the plane (apparently that is the sign of the Capitan's retirement) very, very neat! Roger (Sunray Transportation) was at the bottom of the escalator waiting for us and whisked us off to the Hard Rock Hotel (with a complimentary grocery stop first)!! [​IMG] blurry but bean#2 on the plane - I didn't use the flash, didn't want to bother anyone!


    Unfortunately early did not carry through as the theme this day. We arrived at the Hard Rock at 3:50pm. They had us in a deluxe queen (yay!) #7019 but the room wasn't ready yet. We were told 30 minutes MAX. Well by 5:10 we had had enough and took it upon ourselves to go up and get housekeeping finished and out of the room. She quickly finished with her business and beat it out of there! Ahhhhh - we were "home"! The room was great (with a few minor exceptions that were overlooked like a huge pizza sauce or spaghetti stain on the curtains, a bit dusty, outside windows were dirty) But everyone was really nice about it and apologized quite a bit.
    [​IMG] waiting
    [​IMG] and waiting
    [​IMG] and waiting
    [​IMG] finally! Room 7019
    [​IMG]
    View out the window!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lounge Offerings Wednesday: Spinach and Artichoke hot dip with all colors of nachos, Wing Bar with 3 different Sauces (they were meaty wings too), Pigs in a blanket, Cheese and cracker tray and a huge veggie tray with ranch dip on the side (yum!).

    Monday, Wednesday and Friday were dive in movie nights....this night it was School of Rock (I love that movie!!) So we watched that until the end and the kids swam then it was off to bed!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our Welcome gift was Beer (Budweiser) and Nuts (minus the nuts because of bean #2) and the aluminum bottles were cool they had a Hard Rock logo on them! We were going to bring home at least one of the empty ones, but the housekeeper we had the last day threw them out :mad:
     
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  3. thptrek

    thptrek DIS Veteran

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    Tracie, love the pictures. Looking forward to hearing all about the Universal vacation. Are there any pool hoppers at HRH? Are you able to use your refillable mugs? Can you wear Healies at Universal? Will you be able to sleep in the Castle?
     
  4. loribell

    loribell <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Love, love, love it! Great pics too! Looking forward to much more.
     
  5. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

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    :rotfl2: Did you fry some fish in your room and cook cabbage in your crockpot? Were you able to sneak 5 cousins, two aunts, one uncle and two sets of grandparents in your room? Did you tell the front desk that you lost 12 hotel keys so your relatives could also get FOTL? Did you get any towel animals?
     
  6. JMCDAD

    JMCDAD Mouseketeer

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    Great TR
    Looking forward to more
    :upsidedow
     
  7. JMCDAD

    JMCDAD Mouseketeer

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    Alos wanted to add
    we also have 3 kids and your families ages are very similiar to my families so I will really be able to relate, we even call one of our children, bean :laughing:
     
  8. BettyCv

    BettyCv DIS Veteran

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    A couple questions...

    The life vest that your son is wearing... Can you rent those or did you bring it from home?

    How deep is the pool? I know it is zero entry, but how deep does it get at the "deep" end?

    That had to be really neat about the pilot's last flight festivities.

    TIA

    Betty
     
  9. Melanie230

    Melanie230 Ready to retire in Florida. Trading my Mommy titl

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    Did you stay in a Club Room? If you did, did you love it? We are thinking of upgrading but not sure yet.
     
  10. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Off to a :thumbsup2 start......

    i think that's the first picture i've seen of the queen deluxe.....

    more please :yay: more please :yay: more please :yay:
     
  11. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    Hey guys!

    Thanks so much for your comments!! Day 2 Should be up tonight or at LATEST tomorrow!

    trek - as usual my friend, you are too much!!! :lmao: :lmao:

    phamton - same to you lady :rotfl2:

    JMCDAD - I started with DD#1, etc then called them beans #1, #2 & #3....mac liked it alot :thumbsup2 so it stuck !

    Betty - Yes, the life vests are provided by the hotel. They have a limited number so I would up buying him a pair of swimmies (bring them if you can, just in case)! The deepest end of the pool is 4feet 6inches. I think I forgot to mention the free mimosas they gave out as well :woohoo:

    Mel - We really liked having the club level. The breakfast everyday got to be a bit standard, we had a good late lunch each day and the 5-7 appetizers were enough to hold us over until breakfast in the morning.

    I will be happy to answer any other questions you all have!!!
     
  12. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    i have a question about the room :yay:

    was it queen deluxe or queen deluxe club? or are they one in the same?? :confused3 (DM is coming along next year, and i'm trying to figure out what to reserve for "space" w/o getting 2 rooms)....AND, i'll be "gold" LF next year too--so, have to consider upgrades..... And you got cont. breakfast?? Maybe this is the way to go vs. the Kids Suite? I dunno....we usually get a standard room for the 3 of us....so, i'm chartering into "unknown" waters here :confused3
     
  13. thptrek

    thptrek DIS Veteran

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    Hey, you didn't answer my questions!! Where is the moderator?
     
  14. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

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    I'm too busy making my ADRs and trying fo figure out how I can fix it so that two adults can use one child's free dining points.
     
  15. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    Nice pics! Room is very :cool1: ; lots bigger than the standard pool view we had...you'll be spoiled now & want it next time too.;)
     
  16. lindalinda

    lindalinda <font color=red>Pull off the mattress and throw it

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    Great pics! I want to go back! Was club level worth the extra$ at HRH?

    Cool about the pilots last flight. Did you notice if they did anything when he landed? At my airport they bring out the fire and rescue guys with their trucks and they make this huge water canopy for the pilot to taxi thru.
     
  17. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Where were you guys? I looked all over and walked around the pool yelling, "Bean family, where are you???" but noone ever answered.
     
  18. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    it was a queen deluxe on the club level ;) When you book club you cannot reserve a queen deluxe, you can only request it - that is the only down side to the whole thing (I requested ours 3 weeks out and they added the request to the reservation and we got it :rolleyes1 )

    I really enjoy having the club level because of the breakfast and "dinnertime" offerings. It really cuts down on the amount we would have to spend for food. My kids are big into breakfast and we had a good big lunch each day at the parks so the appetizers (which were plentiful in quantity - they kept everything full the whole time) was more than enough for a light dinner. Not to mention the free beer and wine from 5-7 :cool1:

    I would give it a try.....if it works out then you can thank me:flower3: - if not....well.....then......blame someone else :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
     
  19. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    :thumbsup2 Yup.....That is exactly what they did!!!

    Lets just say we got our $$ worth out of the club level (not just the food either ;) )
     
  20. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    Do you know HOW many women had flowered skirts on down there???!!?? :lmao: :lmao:
     
  21. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    so, i can reserve a queen deluxe...and "request" club upgrade (not guaranteed) ...and if we don't get the upgrade to "club", i'll still get the queen deluxe? :confused3


    :rotfl2: we'll have to see how it goes first :scratchin
     

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