HHN 27 Weekend With A Dash of Disney-Completed 11/19

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by Raeven, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Nice wrap up........shame about those blisters........they can be so painful!!!

    Have enjoyed reading along though and glad it all worked out regardless of the blip with the hurricane......
     
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  2. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    I buy my athletic shoes (that I wear in the parks and use for exercise) one size larger than my normal shoe size. It helps to cut down on hot spots on feet due to swelling. You may want to think about that.

    Thanks for doing a re-cap.
     
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  4. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Thank you, oh yeah they were awful.

    That's an idea :scratchin I haven't bought new sneakers in awhile so I think I have to do some shopping around. The ones I got that didn't fit I thought about sizing up, but the back of my heels were sliding around quite a bit even though the front of the shoe was tight so I thought a size up would be way too big.

    :thumbsup2

    Also for anyone wondering about the next vlog, I decided not to do one of outtakes and extra footage from this trip. If you remember me saying we didn't do as much filming as we wanted to do, then you'll know why. We just don't have much extra useable footage. I was actually kind of disappointed of just how little we had of the F&W and the last day.

    But I am working on a hotel comparison vlog and post to wrap this up. I was thinking of doing vlogs every Sunday, but this will be up before then since I didn't do one last week. I just haven't done it yet because I want to write out my thoughts on all the hotels first so I know what I'm going to say and it's somewhat informative. After that it'll probably be weekend vlogs or short videos till we go next!
     
  5. thumper*

    thumper* Disney Dreamer

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    As usual I enjoyed your TR Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your Dec trip.
     
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  6. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Thank you, me too! :cheer2:
     
  7. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    Google athletic shoes with narrow heels to see if you can find a style that might work better for your foot. Having narrow heels is a fairly common problem.
     
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  8. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Typically my heels aren’t the problem, but those were different than most shoes because they were all wool. I just think the sizing on those was strange and since you can only buy them without trying them on I’m going to look for regular sneakers. Usually the problem I have is by the toes or just my pinkie toe. But not always either :rotfl: For this trip I might just try switching between some other shoes I have unless I find time to go shopping for new sneakers and break them in beforehand.
     
  9. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

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    Very entertaining review. Glad you enjoyed yourselves.
     
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  10. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    AHHHHHH!

    Yeah, that's awesome! A short weekend trip can be super fun! We felt the same way, despite a few minor glitches, about our Disney weekend back in May. Glad it was a good choice for you!

    Uggh! I'm still sorry this happened to you! I've been there on a smaller scale, so I can only imagine how bad it was for you. I hope your blister prevention techniques do the job next month! I'm so worried about this for our trip since we'll have the runDisney 5K at the very end of it. Uggh. Rotating through multiple pairs of shoes and regular good-sock-changing I guess.

    Looking forward to this :)
     
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  11. xlsm

    xlsm Snow White

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    Ugh, it was like this several times for us too! Like to the point where they had added extra chains and poles to rope off a larger area.

    It does have an extraordinary amount of teeth!

    Oh, to be in Diagon Alley with so few people!! Wow. When we went it was just sooo crowded!

    :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:
    The Ron Burgundy gif was too much, I snorted out loud

    I don't knooooowwww! I never manage to get buffet pictures, and just suck at food pictures in general, but buffets...how do people get nice ones??

    I didn't realize I was way behind on quotes, I came back and read after getting home from my trip and when I came to see the wrap up it took me back farther than I thought, but I got 'em all in now!
    We need to be in the parks at the same time again!! :sad:

    Ooh, next year they need a Riverdale scare zone at USO and we can go get stalked by Serpents or something :snail: <---Dis version of Southside Serpent, fyi :rotfl:
     
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  12. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Thank you!

    I know so exciting! :cheer2:

    It really does depend on the flight times, but it does look like it can work out. However I'm already plotting to extend it by another day if we do a long weekend next year so we can do MNSSHP too :scratchin

    Hm, I think I'll bring blister band aids this time (I've had them before and didn't love how sticky they are) but maybe you can try those? But for prevention, I saw on Amazon that they have these blister pads you stick in your shoes, and sticks that you can rub on your feet to prevent chafing. I also bought (supposedly) blister proof socks the other day, maybe you can find some good cushioned ones. As for me I never bought new shoes because I still have to drop the Allbirds off for the return. I'm not sure if I'll have enough time to pick new ones out and break them in. But I think for the first time I'll bring more than one pair, I actually tried it once and didn't think it made any difference, but maybe it'll help. If I don't buy new ones before this trip I have a pair of Coach sneakers that while not well cushioned or made for walking a lot (probably) have worked pretty well on trips to Chicago and NYC, and are pretty broken in since I got them years ago, and I have 2 pairs of semi broken in Vans.

    :thumbsup2

    It's just terrible when there's a line for the Peoplemover! :sad:

    He's smiling? :rotfl: Maybe?

    I wish we got to go on any rides at all. I really wanted to do more in Diagon, but we really didn't have time. If my feet didn't start hurting the first night we probably would've got it in then.

    Always classy :laughing:

    I feel like you have to tell everyone to get out of the way or wait till everyone leaves and ask if you can :rotfl: Neither one sounds appealing. I did decently at Boma, but there's no way that works if the food is covered.

    Yes! I really want to! Are you sure we can't take a girl's trip sometime? :scratchin

    :lmao: It would be the red circle/serpent gang war fight. Then Alice walks in dressed like the serpent queen. :rotfl2: It's the snail gang. Or the Southside Stitch gang :stitch2:
     
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  13. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Universal 5 Hotel Comparison

    So I tried to work on a video for the hotel comparison, but it ended up just being me talking at the camera for a long time; and those are my least favorite type of videos to make. I think they're boring to watch and to make. I also felt I was only giving information people could just look up online, because adding in my opinion was just making the video too long. After looking over what I recorded, I decided to scrap that idea and just make a post. Sooo I will be finishing this TR with a comparison post and continuing to post about our upcoming vacation in these 2 PTRs:
    Grinchmas @ RPR,
    "I'm Sorry I Ruined Your Life & Crammed 11 Cookies Into Your VCR"-A Christmastime PTR

    This post is going to be mainly my opinion on the hotels, but if you would like more general information about everything from pools to food choices etc I would recommend checking out the stickies for each hotel on the Universal forum. They have so much information in them that might help make a decision.

    I'm going to compare on these fields:

    Transportation: Every Universal hotel except Cabana Bay are on the water taxi system. We love taking water taxis, it's such a nice and beautiful ride. We found the buses came quickly at CBBR (and it's walking distance to Volcano Bay), but still prefer the water taxis because they drop you off closer to the parks. However all 3 hotels that offer EP (Portofino Bay, Royal Pacific, and Hard Rock) are all walking distance. (Technically you could walk from any they just might be a hike). However because it has both water taxis and is the closest walking distance to the parks I'd say in our experience Hard Rock Hotel is the best in this category.

    Pool: We aren't pool people and haven't used a single pool on property :rotfl: Although at Universal you can pool hop so you don't have to choose. I will say one of the more notable pool aspects is that CBBR has a lazy river.

    Food Choices: We haven't eaten at even close to all the restaurants at all the hotels (maybe someday!) but I'll go down the list of places we have eaten.

    Portofino Bay- We have eaten at Mama Della's twice the first time was an amazing experience, but the second time the waiter became very rude after we didn't order wine or appetizers and we didn't see him till it was almost time for the check. They weren't helpful in getting gluten free items for Josh, and the food was very disappointing. I also grabbed mozzarella sticks at Sal's Deli which were good, but it's hard to mess those up.

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    Hard Rock Hotel-We ate at The Kitchen and it was amazing! It's a really cool restaurant and has really good food.

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    Royal Pacific Resort-We ate breakfast at Islands, one of us did the buffet (which was very extensive), and the other ordered off the regular menu, and it was very good. We also tried the late night room service here, and it was overpriced, a hassle, and had a limited menu so I'd skip that when we stay in the future.

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    Sapphire Falls-We ate breakfast at Amatista Cookhouse, and it was a pretty bad dining experience. It was pretty new, and they hadn't yet got the word out that the a la carte breakfast menu ends at 9:30 am so to our surprise at 10 am they told us we could only order off the buffet. We found the buffet small and overpriced. They also promised Josh gluten free toast and pastries and the chef forgot and never brought any out so we basically paid about $25 for eggs and bacon for him. Eventually the chef came out and apologized (after we had left and were sitting outside the restaurant getting something out of our bag) he offered Josh his card but since we were leaving that day it wasn't like we could come back for breakfast and take him up on any offers.

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    (My plate)

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    (Josh's)

    Cabana Bay Beach Resort-We ate nachos at the Galaxy Bowl and they were amazing! However I don't see them on the menu anymore :sad:

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    Store: Each hotel has a store or multiple stores. There's many choices for Universal merchandise in the typical store, but some hotels have a little extra. The Hard Rock has The Rock Shop which has a lot of really cool rock music themed merchandise, I also have to give Portofino Bay points for having multiple shops and an indoor shopping area that looks like Venice at night. However I have probably spent the most money on basic Universal merchandise at Sapphire Falls.

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    Theme: CBBR has a retro theme, SF has a tropical theme, RPR has a Polynesian theme, Hard Rock has a rock n roll theme, and Portofino Bay is themed after Italy. I think all the theme's are really fun, but overall love the look of Portofino Bay.

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    (Portofino Bay)

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    (Hard Rock)

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    (Royal Pacific)


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    (Sapphire Falls)

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    (Cabana Bay)

    Decorations (Christmas): I haven't seen all the resorts at Christmastime and have heard CBBR is very well decorated. We've only stayed at PB during this time, and it was lovely.

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    Rooms: The only rooms I'm not a huge fan of the look of would be the ones at the Hard Rock, but all of them are really nice. I really like the looks of the rooms at SF, RPR, and PB.

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    (Portofino Bay)

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    (Hard Rock)

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    (Royal Pacific)

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    (sapphire Falls)

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    (Cabana Bay)

    Room location & view: Universal isn't really known for specific room views, but my favorites have been the view of palm tress we had at SF and the view of Orlando we had at RPR. I have never felt like any of our rooms are too far from the lobby or too hard to find.

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    (Sapphire Falls)

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    (Royal Pacific)

    Bathrooms: I love newer rooms because they have glass door showers which both SF and RPR had. However the bathroom at Portofino Bay was a full bathroom (toilet, sinks, and shower all in the same room which was huge) so that was my favorite.

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    Staff Friendliness: We've encountered friendly staff everywhere we've stayed. It's easier to list the exceptions and the only exceptions were our server at Mama Dellas the second time we went who was incredibly rude, and the woman at the concierge desk at RPR who seemed annoyed and was pretty short with me when I asked about getting a wheelchair at the hotel.

    Cost: Hotel costs can vary by time of year. Usually CBBR or Sapphire Falls are the best priced hotels, and RPR is the best priced hotel with EP. I have felt that each hotel was pretty reasonably priced when we booked there, and I always have felt compared to Disney deluxes that the hotels are quite reasonable at Universal.

    Complaints: I had one strange one that probably isn't a concern anymore, but the outlets at Sapphire Falls were incredibly hard to use when we went there. However it had only opened about a month or 2 before we went so I think over time that probably went away. We also were surprised to learn Portofino Bay didn't have laundry facilities despite all other hotels having it. And we had to do our laundry at the Hard Rock which was a time consuming process. However I noticed recently it lists online they do have a laundry facility? So I wonder if that's still correct.

    Cool things about each hotel:

    Portofino Bay-Chris Kirkpatrick of Nsync fame was married here and frequently stays here & they have an event throughout the year called Harbor Nights. It only happens 4 times a year but involves food and Italian music.

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    (This display is actually at the Hard Rock)

    Hard Rock Hotel-The last Thursday of every month (except Nov and Dec) they hold a small concert in the Velvet Lounge called the Velvet Sessions that ranges from $55-80 in ticket price. Last month's performer was Bret Michaels for example. The Kitchen also has a Kitchen Sink Challenge where if you eat the Kitchen Sink cake and burger and eat them in under 30 minutes then you get it for free.

    Royal Pacific Resort-The convention room hallways connect to Sapphire Falls, on Saturdays there's a luau (a dinner show), and it's pet friendly.

    Sapphire Falls-This hotel also has a dinner show called Caribbean Carnevale and is currently the newest on property hotel.

    Cabana Bay Beach Resort-They filmed parts of Sharknado 3 here :rotfl:,

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    they have volcano view rooms, and they also have a bowling alley and a lazy river.


    Overall each hotel is amazing, and I wouldn't hesitant to stay at any of them again, but I hope this (along with the Universal forum) helps someone deciding between them!

    So that's the end of this TR! Thank you for following along, and I'll have a new TR going up soon after our December trip.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017 at 1:09 AM
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  14. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Great reviews! I'd like to stay at Portofino Bay sometime. I have a friend who worked there on a placement from school, and she highly recommended it. The pictures are so nice! I've only stayed at RPR and Hard Rock so far, but maybe someday I'll reach your level of Universal prowess and stay at all of them! :)
     
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  15. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Thank you! Portofino Bay is so gorgeous you definitely need to stay there someday! I really want to stay there again, but we have to go during a time of year where it's a little cheaper. But they are all so awesome.
     
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