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Old 09-13-2003, 06:46 PM   #1
BONZO
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Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Day 7. Check in to Hard Rock

Day 7 - Monday 25th August 2003


Cast list:

Shaun - 40 something 'If it's not alcoholic I won't drink it'
Alison - 30 something 'If it spins I won't even look at it'
Alexandra - 10 'If it goes upside down I won't ride it'
Laura - 8 'If it's not pizza I won't eat it'


Today we were to check out of WL and into HRH, so we had a bit of a lie-in this morning for a change.

I must admit that I felt a bit groggy this morning as I'm sure that I had a cold coming on - however, others have put it down to the cheap scotch I bought at Gatwick!

During the morning Alison packed up all the cases, I did something or the other…..like lounge around glamorously or count the empty beer bottles, whilst the kids had a last swim in the pool. By the time I had finished my extensive duties I gathered up the kids and we all had breakfast at the Roaring Forks. Alison then went to reception to check out while I waited for Bell Services to come and take the luggage down to the car. It was the first trip ever that we've used Bell services - usually we struggle with all the many cases and bags ourselves, not wanting to pay out the extra $$ for help with the bags. But we decided this time that there was no point saving just a few dollars when the whole holiday costs so much! I usually end up with an aching neck/back for a few days when I have to lug around heavy bags on holiday - but no more! I put my foot down and summoned a man!! Best decision we made!

Once we'd loaded the car up I re parked it and we set off on foot round WL saying goodbye, taking pics and doing some videoing. Lovely place - we'd definitely be back some time in the future!

Note here: Initially we were supposed to be spending the entire holiday on site at Disney, we had Animal Kingdom Lodge booked from this day on, but no AP rates were forthcoming and we did not want to pay rack rates for AKL (around $300 for a savannah view room). We looked at different possibilities - and Hard Rock was on our list for future stays - and wow! AP rate was $160 per night! It was booked before we could blink! Only problem was that there were no regular rooms left for the last two nights, but more of that later.....

Anyway at about 12pm we waved our goodbyes to WL and headed off to the Hard Rock Hotel. Initially it felt very strange driving "off site" away from Disney - it just didn't feel right at all and got worse the further we drove towards I-Drive.

As we drew closer the excitement came back as we looked for the entrance to HRH and WOW! And double WOW! - after clearing security you are faced with an impressive driveway up to the hotel, which is themed as a Rock stars mansion in a mock Italian style set somewhere like Beverly Hills, with a fountain made of bronze guitars.

As we drew up we were ambushed by a posse of bell services staff and valet attendants, all eager to open doors, help with luggage, and make your wallet lighter.
They took our luggage and loaded it on to a trolley and it disappeared out of sight. Alison went in to check in while I went and parked the car.

Once parked I joined Alison and the girls inside, and wow again! The lobby area and surrounds certainly added to the initial impressions - very swanky and it almost felt like we shouldn't be there at all. If I could only use one word it would be 'cool.' Check in was very smooth and we decided to use bell services to take our bags up to the room - I mean one doesn't carry ones own bags does one? - LOL

Oh - nearly forgot - the memorabilia was absolutely brilliant! - all over the place there were glass cases and cabinets with items such as one of Elvis's White jump suits (not for hire ), gold disks, dress from Madonna's "Like a prayer" video, etc etc.

But this was not all! - there were coffee tables that had signed guitars in them from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Paul Stanley (Kiss) and much, much more.

Oh - and another thing - the music! - so far I've already heard Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, Lenny Kravitz, The Smiths….

Blimey! - I'm in heaven and my reservations about leaving Disney property has long faded away as I absorb all the atmosphere this place can throw at me.

We arrived at our room on the 6th floor and as specified we have been located a quiet room - 6029. This means that it's a long way from the lifts, ice machine and no one above us. This suits us to a tee as we are light sleepers. Luckily the opposite is popular with the Americans, i.e. they want to be the lefts etc so that they don't have to walk too far. I don't think we had anyone either side of us the first couple of nights.

The room was MASSIVE! - I think that this is becoming a recurring theme - but all true. The room was clean, smart, very modern and full of lots of goodies. The only downside was that I had a photo of Bruce Springsteen looking down on me in bed, which was a bit offputting! - LOL

We dumped the bags and headed off to the pool area for a small bite to eat at the Beach Club - the girls had burger and chips, Alison and I had club sandwiches and fries and together with four sodas the total was $47. Back to the room and I collapsed on the bed feeling all in - I'm going down with a cold big time and want everyone to run around and pamper me for a change. (Note from Alison - pathetic! A bit of a sniffle and he gives up completely! We just ignored him and went for a swim instead!)

Apparently they all had a lovely time checking out the pool and slide (every time we went to the pool we had to get wristbands - apparently they were really hot on this as they had a lot of park guests coming back for a swim, so decided to tighten up on security). After I'd had a nap for an hour or so I felt a bit better and I was just waking up when they came back to the room. All refreshed we decided to head on over to Universal Studios (so quick it only took about 3 minutes to walk!) to get our tickets that we'd ordered on-line from the automated machine. Surprisingly this worked with no hitch at all - amazing.

We'd ordered the 2 years for the price of one deal with a Burger King voucher code - great deal!

We presented the tickets to the CM at the gate who said that yes, although they were a bland white colour, they were the actual tickets, although I can't see them lasting 2 years or how you'd deter any fraudulent activity? We didn't need to scan our fingerprints or anything like you do at Disney - but hey, let's get in to the park!

The girls wanted to watch Animal Planet Live (which we did) ride ET (which we did) and go on Woody Woodpecker (which we did). See we're not such bad parents after all!! A couple of shops later we headed back to the hotel by boat - because we could - although it would've been quicker to walk but not so stylish

Quick wash and brush-up and off to Sweet Tomatoes to check it out - more suffering for our art I'm afraid! -

Yes - this is well worth the visit for veggies and carnivores alike - although not as cheap as Chilis, but a welcome opportunity to get some vegetables in. $8.49 per adult, $4.49 for 6-12's and $1.49 for 3-5's. Soft drinks were $1.59 - and were refillable. Great value! There was a massive salad bar, with everything you could think of, and a hot soup bar - 6 types, jacket potato and topping area, 3 hot pasta and sauces, 2 different pizzas. For afters there was an ice cream 'factory', warm muffins, pastries, apple pie and fresh fruit! Phew - yummy scrummy - all in my tummy!!! Delicious!

Back to the room for some medicinal scotch although I do feel a bit guilty as I want to explore the hotel and surrounds in a lot more detail but I'm all in. Crashed out at about 10.30pm.

Brits Count - Only 1 family in HRH, totally British in Sweet Tomatoes!
Weather - hot and sunny until about 2.30 - then it rained til about 4.00
Rain impact - none - we were unpacking!

Tomorrow's plan - Islands of Adventure
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1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 09-14-2003, 03:57 AM   #2
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HRH sounds wonderful
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Old 09-14-2003, 05:38 AM   #3
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The Hard Rock Hotel sounds amazing, I'd love to stay there.
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:50 AM   #4
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Wonderful trip report ~ Thanx for sharing!!!
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Old 09-23-2003, 03:50 AM   #5
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:D Shaun - I'm definitely going to request a room near yours when we go, we too like peace and quiet (can't stand those blasted ice machines going off all the time - we had one opposite our room a few years ago ).
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:34 AM   #6
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Isn't the Hard Rock Hotel Fantastic!! Can't wait to get back there in December. They didn't have the swimming pool wristbands operating in May.

Hmmm, of course you feeling odd had nothing to do with the cheap bottle of Scotch Shaun!!

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Old 10-11-2003, 04:40 PM   #7
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Wow...the HRH sounds amazing! And how did you get the Burger King 2 years for the price of 1 voucher - I must have napping when that promo came out
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:50 PM   #8
BONZO
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Penny - I first saw the offer over on the Universal Boards - I'll track the link down later and post here for info.

Bargain! - just means we'll have to go back
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1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 10-12-2003, 05:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by BONZO
Bargain! - just means we'll have to go back
Gee - bummer huh?

Thanks Shaun
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