Our HRH/Universal stay 12/4-12/18


Aug 18, 2019
After a year of planning (mainly from on the DIS Boards) we finally landed from the UK on 12/4 (Virgin flight was amazingly good in Premium).

Just the 2 of us, me 52 and my partner 44.

So - The Hard Rock Hotel. WOW, we were just in a standard room on the 5th floor but we checked in minutes after arriving, staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful and after dumping our bags had a good wander around the hotel and Citywalk.

The hotel itself was exactly as we expected, a wonderful base for our holiday, a fantastic pool and pool bar, great amenities and we felt very much at home.

Everything about it we loved and our only quibble was that when we asked for extra coffee pods they always took ages to arrive - but that is such a small quibble and didn't impact our stay.

The staff at the hotel were exceptional throughout, the pool bar staff especially, always friendly, always asking how our day was etc. We spend quite a few nights just chilling there having a beer or 2, watching the family movie and having some great food.

We really couldn't fault it and although the Velvet Lounge was being refurbished the pool bar suited us better anyway.

THE PARKS - I won't beat around the bush here, we rode everything with our UEP time after time, day after day, we absolutely loved it. In studios I couldn't tell you how many times we rode The Mummy, Gringots, Men in Black, Race through New York (very surprised at just how much fun that ride was). We dared to ride the RRR and although we liked it (especially with I Will Survive screaming into our ears) we only did it the once.

ET was fun, The Simpsons were fun, Diagon Alley was wonderful, Fear Factor Live was fun and overall, with the Christmas music and decorations it was just a wonderful experience.

We loved Mel's Diner and The Monster Cafe and also did the Desserts party with Macy's Parade and the concert.

Our one quibble - and for both parks - is that some of the lines for the rides were SO DARK...It was almost impossible to see where you were going on rides like The Mummy, Skull Island & FJ.

The Monster Make Up Show was great fun - very funny and would definitely recommend people to see it.

The end of the night show was great too, very atmospheric, as was the Hogwarts projection show.

At IoA we kinda just rode The Hulk, Spiderman & FJ all the time because we absolutely loved them. Sueuz looked amazing with it's Christmas decorations and Hogsmead was amazing too.

Mythos gave us our best meal - amazing food and service, we absolutely loved it there.

We didn't spend a great deal of time at Citywalk, what we did experience we really enjoyed but we are more stay at the hotel people, but we did eat and drink there and no complaints, it was all good, but the crowds were busier than the parks due to it's small size.

We did the Disney parks for 3 days (I've added a review in the Disney Trips section), we also visited the Florida Mall but virtually all our time was at US/IoA.

We got some great pics as well with Spiderman, (he even recorded a video for for me to send to my nephew & my nephew was SO gobsmacked by it),Captain America, The Simpsons, Scooby Gang etc etc - we just had an absolute ball.

I appreciate that many people will not understand how we could spend so much time in just 2 parks but with the UEP were were able to do exactly what we wanted to, when we wanted to do it.

We did also visit Volcano Bay and had a great morning there.

We also visited the other Universal hotels and they're just not for us - HRH was the perfect fit for us and that's where we'll be returning in 2 years time when we return. Next time we also plan to come for 3 weeks instead of 2 and get Busch Gardens and Seaworld in.

Then - in 4/5 years we hope to stay at the new Universal hotel at Epic Universe but we will see what it offers before moving from HRH.

We had a glorious time overall, most days were warm and sunny and we were very sad to leave.

But what a holiday....AMAZING!!!

We rode Hagrids twice and it was well worth it one of the best rides in all the parks and we only waited less than an hour both times.

We found staff in the park very happy and helpful, and just felt right at home - we now know that we are most definitely Universal people as opposed to Disney People.


DIS Veteran
Jul 22, 2017
Sounds like you really did UO justice. Makes me even more excited for our no-rushing, relaxing trip this fall.


DIS Veteran
Jan 26, 2011
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed HRH. We are visiting in January and I'm honestly a little apprehensive about this hotel because it's been getting some pretty awful reviews on Facebook. We were originally booked at RPR for a trip in October, but we had to reschedule.


Proud Redhead
Apr 21, 2003
Thanks for sharing!

HRH is so close to the Studios and such a short time to walk to that park

All my stays there were enjoyable


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