HRH - USF/IOA/WDW 3/8 - 3/12 great!!!!!


Earning My Ears
Feb 27, 2001
Just got back from the best vacation with my 2 sisters and their families. Bottomline: staying at the beautiful, convenient HRH and FOTL at USF/IOA made this vacation one of our best. Crowds at WDW/MK were unbearable during spring break. Made FOTL worth every penny and bargain at HRH. We'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Cast of characters:
3 families:
Mine- me(49), DH(48), DS-1(18), DS-2(8), DD(13)
Sister1 - sis(47), DH(50), DS(19)
Sister2 - sis(39), DH(40), DS(6), DD(7)

Time: just at spring break for many colleges and schools in the area

Note: Big, big thanks to everyone from this board and the USF/IOA board for their invaluable hints and help. Without your info, this vacation would not have been as fun, cost saving and enjoyable!

Reserved 3 rooms for our 3 families at HRH at entertainment rate of $117. Originally garden view but upgraded to pool view at checkin and view was spectacular! Hotel is gorgeous, music quality spectacular, rooms clean and absolutely brand-new. Our rooms were adjacent, with 2 connecting. Though we were told that we couldn't get our welcome baskets as loew's first members because we didn't pay rack rate, after a phone call from our room, they arrived soon after. Loved the contemporary, mission decor and 2 queen beds with plush duvets. The extra sink made the room feel bigger and when we ordered a rollaway bed for my older teen, the room did not feel overly crowded. But the deluxe room would have been nice.

Pool was combo sandy beach area and regular cement top. The kids just begged to go everyday. Water temp. was perfect at 82 that you didn't want to get out and underwater music makes it very special. Lunch/munchies and drinks at the pool restaurant were a little pricey but the ambience is great. Water slide was the best and plentiful noodles and floating loungers made it even better. Photo shots with models were happening on different days which made it feel like "hollywood."

The best part of our vacation were morning walks with my sisters everyday. We did Citywalk/USF a couple of mornings and saw hs bands warming up and early risers for the parks. The other mornings we walked to Portofino and got a taste of the other hotel. My sister even went to their Sunday Champagne Brunch ($38/pp) with her family, drank herself silly and said it was spectacular. My other sister and I went to WDW/MK and ate hot dogs that day. The walking paths are convenient, pretty and easy. We walked every morning with a cup of coffee in hand from the breakfast bar downstairs. Our sister walks will be a cherished memory forever.

Our days were well planned to visit WDW for 2 days and USF/IOA for 2 days. Bought our tickets from Mid-Atlantic AAA which turned out to be the best deal. Got the AAA Diamond pass to park at WDW for free and front rows at Epcot and MK. Parking was so close to the front gate, we couldn't believe it...right next to handicap.

Here was our schedule:
Thursday: arrived around 2:30pm. swam in pool, dinner at Chef Mickey, Contemporary, WDW. It was my nephew's birthday.
Friday: Epcot (test track,body wars,imaginiation, honey i shrunk.., living sea), boat to mgm, MGM (indiana jones, mulan parade, tower of terror, backlot studio, honey I shrunk playground), boat to beach club resort, Cape May Clambake, Epcot for IllumiNations fireworks
Saturday: IOA (spiderman, hulk roller coaster, jurassic park -river ride, pterdactyl, nursery, etc.,lost continent-sinbad, posiedon,dueling coasters, flying unicorns, brother-in-law won gigantic bulbasaur stuffed animal in ring toss (bucket of rings for $5), suessland-1 fish,2 fish, cat-in-hat, USF - Mel's Diner for diner, earthquake, mardigras parade - tons of beads, b52's rock group, citywalk
Sunday: WDW/MK - crowds were so bad it was like walking in NYC/5th Ave. at Christmas time to see the Rockefeller Center tree. Spring break crowds were unbearable and wished I had my FOTL. Got fastpass for buzz lightyear and caught Space mountain between the wait. Got fastpass for splash mountain and rode runaway train between the wait. Saw 3pm parade at 2 different crossings and crowds thinned out by 5 pm. My family went back to HRH to swim. Returned for Villians character dinner at Grand Floridian (service and food were disappointing). Watched MK fireworks from GF marina/pier. Fireworks were great with piped in music.
Monday: USF - breakfast in bakery, T2, Back to Future, MIB (2 times), Jaws, more beads from character parade at noon, Lunch at Margerittaville (great drinks and burgers), IOA - spiderman (the best effects and ride for everyone!), ice - other half of dueling coasters. --- return home

Covered alot in 5 days but FOTL and HRH really made this vacation work. If your kids are older, this is the only way to go! :cool: ;) :cool:


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