HRH April 22-26 (Day 1)


Mar 16, 2001
Trip Report HRH 4/22 – 4/26

(My fiancé and me)

Day 1

Took 7:30 am flight on Continental from NY. Checked into room and entered IOA by 11:57 am (pretty good time). First: The standard garden view room at HRH is more than good enough for me. Although smaller than your average room at a Disney resort the bed is comfy, the room clean and well maintained and the bathroom has second sink with counter just outside the door so that two can dress and refresh comfortably and with privacy. Next: IOA: Upon entering POE I was impressed with the atmosphere. Having read this board I went straight for Marvel Super Hero Island to tackle the Hulk. My fiancé loves thrill rides as much as I do so there was no need for coaxing. We flashed our room cards and were strapped in within no time at all. Let me say that the acceleration at the start of the Hulk came as no surprise to me since I have read countless reviews describing it in detail. However, the first time on the hulk, that initial acceleration was simply unbelievable. I lost my pink Rosie cap about 10 seconds into the start. I found the hulk very smooth as well, no bumping your head against the restraints or pounding your bottom on the seat. Simply put, the hulk is fantastic and is one of those rides with which you simply do not tire. After a second FOTL quick ride we decided to wait it out the 30 minutes for the front row. The 30 minutes became only about 20 and the wait was worth it. The front row of the Hulk is unbelievable (although any row will really do). After one more quick FOTL Hulk ride we hit Spiderman. I was in great anticipation as the Hulk had fulfilled all my expectations. How good must Spidey be? The best word to describe Spiderman is unique. There are coasters, simulators and 3-d shows, etc. but Spidey has really created a whole new genre of Theme Park Ride. I would like to say I knew what to expect but it is difficult to pass along the effects with words and even more difficult to decipher them. Spiderman flat out floored me. We had to ride three more times before moving on to Dr. Doom. Each of the four times were somewhat unique as you notice many different things with each additional ride.

So I am two for two and going for the hat trick with Dr. Doom. I love Tower of Terror at MGM (My favorite Disney ride) and I also loved Big Shot at the Stratosphere in Vegas so my expectations were once more quite high. Alas I miss. Dr. Doom is good but it is not as good as ToT or Big Shot. After the initial launch and first drop the ride is essentially finished. No continuos launch and drop sequence follows. I enjoyed the ride but not enough to want to try again right away.

After a quick spin on Storm Force Accelerator (Tea cups like ride that is not worth more than one spin) we were not quite ready to get wet so we backtracked and headed to Seuss Landing. The design here is marvelous. I absolutely lost myself just wondering around. I adored The Cat in the Hat ride and after a twirl on the Car-seussal we passed on One fish Two Fish and headed to the Lost Continent. Once again the theming was amazing. Universal really got it right with IOA. The walk through the Castle to Dueling Dragons was marvelous. We saw there was a wait so we back tracked to the FOTL entrance and were seated promptly. First was Ice. This is a very fast coaster and, although smooth, will jar your head a bit more than the Hulk. I loved the speed and the near misses. We quickly slipped over to fire and I loved this even more. Fire seems a bit faster and smoother. I know many will disagree but I have to give the nod to Fire. In any event we decided to give each one a second twirl but this time in the front row. Unlike at the Hulk where you have to wait on the regular line to access the front row, at DD the Express line merges with the regular line before you decide if you want to wait it out for the front row. I loved this since we ended up waiting only about 15 minutes for the front row when the wait for the ride was easily 30 minutes. The front row of both Ice and Fire are very much worth the wait. I would suggest that the difference between the front row on DD and a regular row on DD is far greater than the difference between the front row and regular row on the Hulk (Did you get that?). I wouldn’t mind hearing others opinions on that topic. After DD we walked around the Island a bit more. We thought about Sinbad but there was still more than an hour to the next show so we moved on the JP. I won’t bore you with my praise of the design and theme of the Island. Let’s just say that you will not be disappointed. After walking through Triceratops encounter (no wait, worth a look one time but no more) we headed for JP River Adventure. I had read conflicting reports on this attraction so my expectations were mixed. You start in the raft entering through the gates to see a giant Ultrasaur in the river to your left. I must say it isn’t nearly as life like as the Triceratops but I am not sure it needs to be. After passing some smaller dinos and a few springs strategically placed to spray you a bit a Hadrosaur appears from the depths and knocks the raft off course into the Raptor area where there is obviously a problem.. The ride is quite tame and even boring to this point but the excitement picks up. As you enter a building a crate containing a Raptor almost falls on your raft (small children beware). Once you enter the building the ride is dark and therefore the Dinos are more frightening and realistic. You rise upwards and hear the screams and growls of many Dinos on the prowl before you head for T-Rex. She awaits you at the end of the ride but just before your raft enters her space you fall precipitously into the river below. The front row gets pretty wet but all other rows are comparably dry. I enjoyed JPRA very much and recommend it highly even if the beginning is a bit boring. We rode one more time before we attempted to ride Pteradon Flyers. After being told we were too old for them we headed to Toon Lagoon. I left JP satisfied with JPRA but clearly not satisfied with the Island. Someone had mentioned that JP needs another attraction and I must agree. I can only trust that Universal has something wonderful in store for us in the coming year or two.

Toon Lagoon. First stop was Ripsaw Falls. I am glad we did this before Popeye because the waiting area is quite cool when you are wet. The log flume ride is pretty tame until the final drop but very enjoyable. The final drop is every bit as good as any water ride can offer. It is much faster and steeper than I imagined. It immediately leaves you wanting more so it was off for round two. You only get slightly wet unless you are in the front but BEWARE because you will get soaked on Popeye!!! I know, everyone has read this before but I must say it again. There is no ride that will get you any wetter that Popeye. Having braved JPRA and Ripsaw falls and only getting marginally wet I was both eager and ready for anything Toon Lagoon could give me (or so I thought). I dressed accordingly but was just not prepared for the soaking I took. Of course, once soaked there was no need to worry any longer so we took on Popeye four consecutive times. There is probably more thrill and joy watching other people get soaked than actually riding Popeye but boy is that joy intense. I was ROTFLMAO watching unsuspecting parents inappropriately dressed for the occasion getting soaked while their children screamed with laughter. Popeye is easily my favorite water ride. Thoroughly soaked we exited Toon Lagoon and headed for our second go around at Marvel.

At this point it had been hours since my last ride on the Hulk so, as you may imagine, I was suffering through withdrawal symptoms. After riding the Hulk twice we hit Spidey two times before one last Hulk ride. We were now ready to go but as it was only about 5:30 we decided to stop at Universal Studios to look around on our way to HRH. We passed Twister, Kongfrontation (closed) and Earthquake before stopping at Jaws for a little boat ride. The ride was enjoyable and I can see small children getting frightened. Jaws makes several runs at your boat before biting an electric line and frying to his death. You may get a little splash or a bit hot during the explosions but nothing too uncomfortable. I give Jaws a thumbs up but it wasn’t calling me to ride again so we continued to MIB. I have read all about MIB and knew exactly what to expect but I just did not realize how much fun it would be. Using tips I read on this board I scored 190,000+ points on my first run. I was so excited at beating my Fiancé that I insisted we ride again and this time I scored over 240,000! But for more time I would have loved to take one more twirl but it was near closing and we wanted to try Back to the future. Overall, I liked BTTF but I was a little bit disappointed because my expectations were so high. It is really a very good simulator but that is all, nothing special. I think after riding Spidey all day BTTF just did not stand a chance. Exhausted we left the park and headed for HRH. A long shower and change landed us at City walk close to 9 pm. We walked around a bit before gambling on a table at Emerils. To my surprise we were seated immediately. I had the Emerils Salad (Nothing special) and the Texas Red Fish. The Red Fish was unbelievable. It was very spicy though so beware. My Fiancé had the Lobster Cheesecake and Special Catch of the day (I think). I tried the lobster cheesecake but I found it was just too much for an appetizer. We passed on dessert and called it a night. I practically passed out and I am glad I did because I would need plenty of sleep for our big day to follow. (Day 2 to be posted shortly).

I've only stayed at the CBR, but I must be totally misinformed about Disney resorts in general if the HRH rooms are "smaller than your average room at Disney". <IMG SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif" alt="confused">

I can only say thay're not smaller than the average CBR room ...
Hey JB - Great report. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. It took me a minute, but I finally figured out what ROTFLMAO stands for. Good one!

Thanks for the report - looking forward to more.
Great Report. Your descriptions of the rides are right on. We enjoyed ICE better do to the near collision with the Wall. I agree that the near collisions are enhanced greatly with the Front Row which just seems to make the Coaster Ride a different expierence. Look forward to your other reports.

Thanx again

I don't know what I'm doing when I'm on Fire and Ice, but my eyes are open, yet I always manage to not see the near misses ... always looking the wrong way!
I am sorry for the frown I may have caused in your reply. I have stayed at Disney 4 times (poly twice, Boardwalk and Contemporary). This obviously doesn't make me an expert nor does it give me the knowledge of the "average Disney Room" so I retract my statement with all apologies. I will say that although the room at HRH is smaller than any of the rooms I had at Disney it was nicer as well. Plus, the convenience of walking to the parks can not be over stated. I can not imagine anyone being disappointed with HRH even thought they are still getting their act together as evidence of the following:

1. Since room safe was locked when I entered my room on day 1 I requested they come and unlock it. (never did)

2. I was never given the key to the mini bar and when I requested it they once again never showed.

3. You can not open the windows! (at least in my room you can't). The weather was nice but not too hot. I would have loved to open the window and turn off the AC but had no choice.

Even with these flaws HRH is great. Did anyone else run into similar problems? Incidentally I received my Loews First member bottle of wine.


ok- I figured out the LMAO, and I think I know what the f stands for - so what is ROT?

Gotcha ... I think those are all ... whatever they call them, upscale Disney resorts, so the rooms would likely be bigger, and the PBH would probably be a better comparison to those hotels ... the rooms at the PBH are noticably larger than the HRH, especially the bathrooms.
Did you use the "entertainment rate" when you booked your room? Wondering because I see you got a Loews First welcome gift which is supposedly not included if you get a discounted room.

Also! Did you enjoy Emerils? I could not figure out if you did or not from your report.


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Beckles - try the first row on both fire and Ice and I think you will get a better feel for the near misses. It is worth the wait.

Rash - ROTF (rolling on the floor)

Amie - I did not get the entertainment rate even though I am a member. I used Universal Vacations and got a package. I do not recommend UV to anyone as it appears I may have paid more than a little bit over what I could have if I had planned everything myself. I will do my own planning for my next visit for HHN this October.

I did like Emerils. The menu made it difficult to choose as there were so many wonderful choices. The Red Fish was unbelievable but very spicy, the shoe string potatoes that were mixed in were incredible. My salad was good but not great. The Lobster cheesecake (appetizer) was delicious. It is served cold and has a good amount of bell peppers mixed in, I just thought it was way too heavy for an appetizer. The service was wondeful. You have no single waiter but rather a slew of people that continuous tend to you. The muffins and focaccia bread were also delicious. I will definitely go back but it is pricey. Expect to Top $100 for a dinner for 2.

Jelly beans,
Good report, too bad you have totally given away the entire Jurassic Park River Adventure ride. What's the point in ruining it for people who haven't done it before? Getting to the top and seeing the Rex is part of the surprise!!! I know I had no idea what would happen, and this ride was my favorite. Too bad for all who have read your post who have yet to experience the JPRA.
:( No suspense left here.
Jelli, I have been on the flume ride in Busch Gardens and survived, but not excited to go again. Think I can survive the JRP ride? Also can you describe the "Twister"? is it a ride? and since I get motion sick easily, what does it do? do the seats move? thanks M

Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed your trip reports. Thanks for taking the time to post them. Let me next say that I am very sorry that a couple of people have given you a hard time for expressing your honest opinion and detailing your observations. I have never rode the JP River Adventure ride and I was completely aware of the T-Rex before you go over the fall. It is not a secret and has been well documented in a least two of the books I purchased for my upcoming trip. Third you should not have to apologize for your OPINION that the HRH room is smaller than the "average Disney Room". I really hope that we all realize that anyone that takes the time to post a trip report is doing us all a FAVOR by sharing their experiences with us and please try to respond appropriately. I will step off the soap-box now.
Great detailed report. You actually made me feel like I was there. I can't wait till we get to use fOTL in August. HOw were crowds?

I for one do not think you gave anything away on the JP ride. You must be living under a rock if you do not know the outcome. It was on TV when they introduced it in CA and everyone on these boards has spoken about it.

Would you consider taking kids (10&11) into Emerills. Or do you think it is too expensive?
Thank you all for the replies.

Patti: I am sorry for spoiling JPRA for you. I probably should have written a warning before my description. I assumed everyone knew about the T-Rex.

Minijeani: Emerils is probably too expensive to bring your kids but if cost is no object I am certain they would find something they liked on the menu.

Mabelette: The great thing about the JPRA is that it is always under control. Ripsaw falls and most flume rides tend to be a little wild on their drops while JPRA provides the same type of steep drop but with the large raft and restraints you never feel as if you are going to fly out of the seat. I prefer JPRA to virtually all flume rides I have experienced and encourage you to give it a try. As for Twister, it is a show more than a ride. I described my experience in pretty good detail in day 2 of my trip report - check it out.


thank you for your great trip report, i booked my upcoming trip this august through UV also, did you get a coupon book with your package, i guess it has a $250 value, just wondering what kind of coupons they are, 2 for 1 deals or what...


I found the package I reveived from UV to be a bit confusing. I remember the tickets were in a separate small envelope while there was a coupon book with a coupon for a supposed free meal (many restrictions, used for two free entrees at HRC, note that $5 extra for full rib or fresh catch of day order), two free tickets to a movie at Cineplex (no restrictions) and a ticket for early entry and FOTL which had no use since your Hotel Room Card providedes these perks. There may have been more, I kept everything so I will check it our for you and let you know. Your package may be different then mine though. I believe mine was an adventure package.



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