Trip Report #4 IOA


DIS Veteran
Mar 23, 2001
Sons- 8 & 10

We were really glad that we decided to spend three days at Univeral/IOA, mainly because we loved it so much. After going to Univeral on our second day we went back to IOA in the afternoon. My boys wanted to go on the "water" rides. Little did I now what I was in for. Nothing can prepare you for the Popeye ride, except, perhaps, about three garbage bags (the heavy duty kind!). To say I got soaked was an understatement. I took my shoes off as I waited in line because everyone was getting off the ride in bare feet. As we approached the loading area (Express wait about five minutes) a very rude older gentleman who was manning the ride screamed at me "You're not gettin on that ride until you put your shoes ON!" I pointed to the hoards of people exiting in bare feet and he told me he didn't care what they did, I was not going on that barge unitl my shoes were on. I should have run for the exit but I was trying to be SUPERMOM, so I put my shoes on, got in the fast moving boat and promptly took off my shoes and put them in the water safe storage area. (this would be my only saving grace)As I looked around the barge and saw our fellow passengers I knew trouble was ahead. One duo to my right was covered from head to toe in garbarge bags, I mean you could only see the whites of their eyes and hear their snickers of contempt as they eyed us in our full street clothes attire. Across from us was three pre teen girls in nothing but bathing suits. We were doomed! I must tell you that I did not enjoy this ride because I was getting soaked and everyone was laughing at me, including the two stinkers that I gave birth to! I landed under each and every waterfall. I was spared nothing! Plus the whole time I was being humiliated I was thinking that Mr. Meaney at the loading docks was going to have me arrested when he saw me get off the boat without my shoes on. As we came to the docks I saw the shoe policeman leaving his post to go on break, so I gave a sigh of relief. Since the damage was done we decided to go immediately to the Ripshaw Falls ride. This was not as bad, but the final plunge was very scary and I was cold and tired by then. Since we were all completely drenched we went back to the HRH to change. (that was the longest walk, let me tell you).

We went to dinner at NASCAR. There was a line and when I showed my room card I was told that they did not participate in priority seating. My boys rode the nascar simulator downstairs ($4 per person) and enjoyed it. We were seated fairly quickly and they loved this place. We sat right under a full size car and they "rev" the engines every so often, very exciting for young kids. The food was very good and reasonable. We shared onion rings and they each had a kids meal with drink. I had the chicken tender appetizer which came with four tenders and fries for only $6.00. ALl of it was very good, total bill was only $32. We then went back to IOA and rode the Hulk and then made our way to Dueling Dragons. My younger son finally got the courage to give this a try but they said he was too short, although he had made it on the Hulk. He waited in the baby swap room and the young man working the ride gave him a certificate which entitles him to come back when he is 54 inches tall and go to the front of the line with six friends. He was so pleased with this, it really took the sting out of not riding. We went to the little rollarcoaster (I forget name) and although this was the shortest ride ever, it was a lot of fun in the dark. On to Jurassiac park and it was much more dramatic at night. We tried to ride the Ptendon Flyers but the wait was 35 minutes and the park was closing in 25. We stopped near the front gates and had fried dough with ice cream. The night was cool, we had had a wonderful day and the lights of the park were so beautiful, it was a magic moment that I will remember forever, (even when my sweet boys turn into sarcastic teenagers).
Back to the HRH and had a wonderful nights sleep. I think the beds there are soooo comfortable.

Woke up the next morning and it was early opening at US. We had a breakfast at the Sunset Grill because the club lounge was late getting the breakfast ready. The hot food buffet was wonderful downstairs, nice selection, no wait. Total was about $30. It was very cold so we purchased three sweatshirts at the HRH store, two adult sizes on sale for $25 and a kids size for $22. Went to US and the boys wanted to ride Jaws again and MIB. No waits with Express. They wanted to try and win stuffed animmals again, they managed to spend $15 to win one small pokemon character. Back to IOA and on to our favorite rides again. Rode Spiderman and it broke down with us in it. It is very weird to be in the middle of New York and all the action and then everything goes blank and all you see is gray walls with no sound. We were put in the front of the line while they fixed it. The Express line got longer and longer, I don't want to think about the regular line! We gave up and exited the ride and the Express line was out the door. Rode the Hulk and Dueling dragons again. Went to the Sinbad show. Used our HRH cards to recieve priority seating. As we were waiting to enter an older man waiting with his family told me that the priority seaating was only for those who had special tickets. I explained the FOTL access and he told me that I was wrong and you needed the "special" tickets. I don't know why he approached me and asked if I had the tickets, but he did. I held my ground and we were admitted along with the ticket holders. The priority seats are great, by the way, and we were literally right next to the action. We loved this show. After that we went to Mythos for lunch. It was awesome, my favorite. I had the lobster/corn bisque and the shrimp tempura sushi. The boys had the kids meal, barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and drink. Lots of warm bread with butter also. We sat outside and overlooked the Hulk and lagoon. Another magic moment. The service was slow but friendly.
We went back to the HRH, picked up our luggage as we had already checked out, and drove back to Palm Beach. It was a super time.

Some final thoughts: The club rooms as they are now, are not worth it. I hope that they improve the services because there is the demand. The HRH was great, beautiful rooms, pool, friendly service. They messed up my credit card though and kept charging for days after I left. This has been cleared up, but if someone is on a budget and needs their available credit or I had been traveling to other places, it would have been a huge problem. I charged $260 and they tied up over a thousand with holds and erroneous charges. Very nice about fixing it. We are going back in August with entire family. I can't wait.
I enjoyed all four parts to your report, thanks for sharing your experience. As for your son being too small for DD. I noticed that they allowed many children too small for the ride pass the entrance, wait on line and get ready to board only to be told they were too small for the ride just before they took their seat or be taken from their seat!!! I found this horrible for the youngsters as they had already revved themselves up for the ride and waited in line. Why were they not stopped at the entrance? Anyone else see this happen?

Hi Looking forward,
Just wanted to say "great reports". Your posts made me remember my vacations when my sons were 8 and 10. Really not so long ago. I just love those magic moments, and know exactly what you mean. I often tell my sons to "put this in your memory bank so you will have it forever." Nothing like vacations to make special memories! :)
Wonderful report. I love the fact that you didn't let some snags get you down. Bravo!
Lookingforward, Loved your trip report. Can you tell us more about the breakfast buffet at HRH ? We will probably grab a bagel/ muffin most mornings, but would like to try the buffet at least once! Can you remember if the selection was good? Did they have an omlet station? and, what was the cost? If we don't do the buffet, do they have a "carry out" for coffee/ bagels.? Many thanks !!! M
I don't know about taking a quick bite out from the hotel, but there is a great bakery/sandwich place right inside the gate at IOA that had wonderful breakfast sandwiches and muffins.
The HRH buffet did not have an omelet station. It had a very extensive fruit, muffin,danish etc. area with cereals etc and bacon, sausage, hash, scrambled eggs, eggs with cheese and peppers, mushrooms, etc. potatoes, hot cereal, bagels, toast, english muffins and other things I can't remember. The best thing about the buffet was no wait, quiet, relaxed and very good quality. Good service too. Enjoy your trip! We are going back this summer.


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