WOW!! A Fabulous Fall Trip to HRH Sept-Oct '18-& Live TR's 8/5-8/7, 9/7-9/9!!Plus Bonus TR 11/1-11/3

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by pattyw, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Hello everyone! So excited about our fall trip to Universal! This will be the longest trip we've taken to Orlando in a while! Nine wonderful days!! So excited to have a leisurely trip. Also, most of the time it will be just the two of us!

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    Before I go any further, allow me to introduce ourselves. I'm Patty- I'm an accountant by day and trip planner in my spare time! DH, Joe, is a maintenance coordinator. He's a gem and is happy to work extra overtime to support our travel habit! We've been married for 30 wonderful years!

    We have two amazing sons, Kyle 25, and Troy 21. The Orlando theme parks have always been a family favorite!



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    The boys are grown and times they are a-changing! Kyle has been accepted to medical school at Barry University in Florida and he is engaged! They will move to Ft. Lauderdale in August. Troy has been in Orlando doing the Disney college program since January. He will return home in August to finish his last year of college. He hopes to move down to Orlando upon graduation.

    The nest is emptying!!

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  2. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    So, our vacation dates are Thursday, September 27- Saturday, October 6. We were going to do split stays at HRH, SF, and the new Aventura hotel. But, the best thing happened today when I was playing with the dates on the website.....

    I put in all the dates at HRH and pixiedust: a Stay More Save more rate came up for the entire nine days! a savings of 35% off rack rate!! So, now we will stay at our most favorite place the entire trip!! :cool1:

    We are regulars at the Hard Rock- they truly treat us like royalty! As Hard Rock rewards members, we get points for hotel stays, Hard Rock cafe dining, and Hard Rock souvenir shop purchases. To date we have accrued 4 FREE nights. After our fall stay, we'll have enough points for another free night!:jumping1:
     
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  4. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Flights are all purchased! We're in Buffalo, NY and Southwest is our airline of choice for value and NO CHANGE FEES!! That's big as our schedules seem to change and then the flights must as well. I confess that sometimes the schedule changes because I tend to add on days to our vacation:rolleyes1 but mostly because of work and school schedules!

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    So happy that our flights are a good price- $203 round trip!:thumbsup2

    I check the flights every day and I was paying more than the $203 but they've had a couple of price reductions! I'll still be checking to see if they go down further.

    Southwest credits = money towards another flight= another vacation!:cool1: Yes I am an accountant!
     
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  5. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Woot!

    I know where you will be on the 5th........


    You can't beat that deal for HRH.
     
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  6. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Yes- I was so excited to get the SMSM at HRH for the whole time!! I checked this morning and it wasn't available anymore!

    Oct 5 will be the highlight of our trip! We're saving the best for our last day!!:woohoo:
     
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  7. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Following! We are booked at HRH for October 2019. Our first Universal trip.
     
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  8. Monykalyn

    Monykalyn DIS Veteran

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    Following along!
     
  9. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for reading!! Yay!! First UO trip! :cool1:and at HRH!!:thumbsup2 You will have an amazing trip!! I have lots of pictures of HRH ahead!!

    So glad you're reading along, Monyk!!:)
     
  10. ckmiles

    ckmiles Mouseketeer

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    We will be there the same time (Ok for 2 days!) YAY! Cant wait to hear all about you trip!
     
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  11. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    I know many people here want to know more about club offerings and the value of the additional cost of a club room. We've stayed club at Portofino, Royal Pacific, and Hard Rock. Over the years,I have made a spreadsheet of all of our vacations and track costs. I've found that as a family of four(3 men!), food is a big part of our vacation budget. We average about $175-$250/day for food. This includes purchasing water, drinks,wine, snacks, and some breakfast items at the grocery store. The additional fee for a club room vs a regular room is about $110/night. Can we save that by staying club??? ....Yes!! When we stay club, we don't go to the grocery store. We have breakfast, snacks, water & soft drinks, appetizers and beer and wine, and dessert daily.

    Here is the daily schedule at the HRH club:
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    We find that we use the club for breakfast and then have a nice table service lunch at the hotel, City Walk, or the park. We have snacks in the room from the club- chips, Doritos, trail mix, granola bars, fruit. We return from the parks about 4:00 to freshen up and head to the lounge for appetizers and drinks. Many nights this is dinner for us. Then we'll head back to the park until close and then have dessert when we return to the hotel. Some nights we'll get pizza from the Emack & Bolio's for a nighttime snack or order a snack from room service. We will also plan a nice table service dinner during the trip. Overall, we do find value in staying club!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  12. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    That's right! Our dates overlap!! Nice if we could meet up!!

    Looking forward to reading about your trip, too!!::yes::
     
  13. Lynne G

    Lynne G DIS Veteran

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    Woot! Will be at RPR from October 4 to 12. So, will be happy to say hi anytime 4 to 6 October. Though will be at Disney on the 4th, so may not get to RPR until dinnertime.

    Big YAY for the SMSM rate. Only got that for August at PB, but that's okay. Found a great TA rate for RPR, and it's already paid for, bonus, and then booked next October 2019, at RPR at SMSM rate. Nice when you get a discount. Makes your day, indeed.

    Enjoyed seeing your pictures.

    Follow on.
     
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  14. tink1957

    tink1957 Proud Redhead

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    Glad you started your ptr...but sad we will miss you by a day since we're leaving on the 26th.

    We really enjoyed HRH club level and scored it for $50 per night upgrade on our first onsite visit.

    Looking forward to hearing about your plans.
     
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  15. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Yes- I was so happy to get that rate! It was gone the next day! I've learned to check and keep checking!! You're good! already booking 2019!! that's the way to ensure a great rate!

    I'm so looking forward to getting together!! :woohoo: we'll make time on the 4th, 5th or 6th- whatever fits in with your schedule!!:)

    Thanks so much for following along!!:)
     
  16. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    :sad1: So sad we'll miss you by just one day!!!

    $50 upgrade is VERY NICE!!

    Thanks so much for following along!:)
     
  17. tink1957

    tink1957 Proud Redhead

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    That was way back in 2009, pre HP...it will never happen again. We also got a deluxe room ...those were the days :cloud9:
     
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  18. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Good old days, indeed!! We have been lucky enough to score a deluxe club room a few times- love the extra space!
     
  19. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Here's a few pictures of the club lounge. It isn't a huge lounge so seating can be difficult at times. Breakfast is very busy but as people are anxious to get to the parks, if a seat isn't available when you first arrive, you will probably find one by the time you get your breakfast. They will also provide you with a tray if you'd like to take your food back to your room. For evening appetizers, we usually arrive about 4:30- the lounge is pretty empty. Prime time is 5-6pm. The food and bar lines will be fairly long and the table are full. If you come after 6, it thins out considerably. There are times from 5-6 that the food empties because the staff are trying to keep up with the crowd. But, they keep replenishing food until 7pm. If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, they are happy to provide you with alternatives to the food served. We have also ordered room service to be delivered as our son, Troy is a vegetarian. His favorite food is mac & cheese and The Kitchen restaurant serves an amazing mac & cheese!! The pictures below were taken at about 4:30pm when we arrived to relax before appetizers.

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  20. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    The hotel is just beautiful and it has the most amazing ladies room in the lobby! It's huge with a makeup table and booths! You could have a

    party in there!

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  21. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Our plans are to keep it relaxing for this trip! With moving kids to and from Florida this summer, we will be in need of some R&R!! That's what we like best about a UO vacation- it IS relaxing! Not much planning involved! The most crucial planning stage is booking your desired hotel and at the best rate available! Checked that off our list!:thumbsup2

    One splurge we'd like to add is a cabana rental. We've rented one twice before and really enjoyed it!! You don't need to rent a cabana- we always see plenty of lounge chairs available at the pool, but we like to have the reserved spot for the day! The cabana has four padded loungers, a table with four chairs, and a large sofa. You get a fridge stocked with soft drinks and water, and a fruit basket as well. The best perk is the locker! We like to go on the pool slide, but hate leaving our valuables unattended. The locker fit our phones, my purse and chromebook. We truly make a day of it with the cabana. :)

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