Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Universal Studios Bound!

The day arrived... we had to be at the airport by 6:45 a.m..  Our flight left at 8:35 a.m. My kids were excited as ever.  The last time they flew on an airplane was when we took a 10 day trip to all of the Disney Parks.  You can visit that trip by using our search box, on the homepage of our blog! Lilah and Jax had their birthday shirts on and they were already receiving all kinds of attention from the airport employees and attendees.  
As previously mentioned, sadly Lilah's shirt was spelled wrong, but we have since gotten a NEW one that she can wear on Friday when she has a few friends over to celebrate her milestone birthday.
For more details on these two photos and the awesome birthday attire click here.
We did get up very early. I woke up at the normal time of 4:00 a.m. and the rest of my family woke up between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., so taking a small cat nap on the plane was a must. I love seeing that all of my gifts, in the Thing 1 and Thing 2 box, were being put to good use.
The boys sat together and the girls sat together.  
The plane ride to Sanford Orlando Airport was a quick 1 hour and 30 minutes so, we were in Florida by 10:00 a.m. Sweet!!  We were going to take an ubber to our resort, but we have never taken one before. We didn't feel like dealing with downloading the app and waiting on someone else to get us to where we needed and wanted to go. We decided to rent a car, which in the grand scheme of things, considering where we needed to go and how long it would take us to get there, renting a car was much more convenient even if it was about $35 more. At least if we had to go somewhere outside of our resort, during our stay, we had the luxury of doing so. I am primarily referring to Walgreens for medication, a med express, etc. You never know. We rented a nice Nisaan Ultima.  Zooooooom! Off we cruised to our resort.  
We were surrounded by the most gorgeous palm trees, the second we stepped off of the plane. The weather was equally as amazing. One lady at our hotel said, "You guys got lucky because we have had the most miserable weather the last few days! This is perfect park weather!"  We chose to stay on the grounds of Universal Studios. There are only a few resorts that are within walking distance of the parks and Hard Rock Hotel was ONE of them. Staying on the grounds of the park locations provides you with easy access into the parks, early admission into the parks, complimentary transportation, and your hotel stay includes Express Passes to ALL OF THE RIDES ALL DAY LONG. Express passes are NOT something I would have "passed" up (no pun intended), no matter the price. Staying at the Hard RockHotel and receiving these express passes for FREE saved us $129.00 per person, PER DAY! WOWZA! It was so stinking amazing walking right passed people who had already been waiting in line 20-40 minutes for a ride and we only had to stand in line for 1/4 of the time they would be standing in line for in total.  
The room we chose was a pool view room, which included two queen size beds. 
We originally ordered a roll out cot, but my mini me fit COMFORTABLY in the two accent chairs offered. We just pushed them together and loaded her up with soft blankets and pillows.  It saved us $25.00 PER night for a cot (highway robbery after spending $374.00 per night for a room). By day two, Jax and Lilah were arguing over who got to sleep on the chairs.  Hehe.  
These were some of the views of our hotel in the daytime.
If you look closely in the above photo, you will see a ton of hula hoops.  This hotel has a plethora of activities that can keep your children busy without even ever stepping foot in the parks that you are surrounded by.  There are hula hoop contests, ping pong tables and tournaments, dance contests, waterslides, GIANT connect four games, all different types of pool floats for everyone to use, and a live DJ.  At night, there is always a UNIVERSAL STUDIOS kids' movie playing.  So, you can swim and watch a movie on the LARGE movie theater screen all at one time.  It's simply an amazing resort.  This is just the beginning.  Check out their website to learn ALL that they OFFER.

The photo below was LITERALLY taken from my hotel window.  So, even if you weren't at the pool or didn't want to go to the pool, you still got the most beautiful view. The only other option is Garden View and although I didn't see the Garden View, I personally would rather see the Pool View.
This was the view of our Hotel at night.  
The bathroom was pretty standard, but nice and clean! The main vanity area was separated from the shower and toilet. I like that a lot because I can do my makeup while someone showers or uses the bathroom.  The shower/toilet room did have a small sink as well.  I guess this would be good for a man to shave or a child to brush their teeth, while mom applied her makeup.
I mean, after all, I have a very intense skincare and makeup routine, so this girl needs her space.  
I loved ALL of the detail throughout the room. I'm not even sure my family members truly noticed, but I did. Check out this colorful collection of drumsticks hanging on the bathroom wall.
I was so pleased with the Hotel Lobby.  The staff was OVER accommodating and beyond friendly.  The gal who checked us in surprised the twins with Happy Birthday buttons then she said, "IF you wear these buttons, I promise you you will almost be annoyed at the amount of attention you receive!"  Every staff member that saw their pins would make a really big deal over their birthday and then of course when they realized it was not just one birthday, but two... forget it! There was all kinds of excitement in the air.  She also gave them a gift card to get ONE free dessert on the grounds of Hard Rock and then she was so kind to bless Darren and I with (6) free adult drink tickets.  That saved us a ton of money because every time we treated ourself to a drink, it was easily $25+ (again, highway robbery). I also LOVED the artwork and celebrity attire (similar to the HR Restaurant if you have every eaten there) that was scattered all over the place. It was like a mini museum filled with celebrity momentums. I had to capture Gwen Stefani's art since I will be seeing her perform LIVE in April.  
We began our first day of vacation living it up with CARBS and CALORIES!! We decided to eat on the grounds of Hard Rock Hotel, to make things easy. Plus, our hotel room wasn't quite ready yet, so we were hoping by the time we ate, we could get our room key and unpack. The hotel has a few restaurants on site. We chose to eat outside at "The Kitchen" The menu had a nice selection. You could eat inside or outside.  We chose to eat outside since the weather was so amazing and the tables were close to the pool.  Darren and I BOTH got yummy burgers. It was accompanied with french fries and a fried pickle.  
This LipBoss was so impressed with the LIPS detail.  
Jax got a kids' burger and Lilah got a kids' mac and cheese: both were accompanied with a yummy, sprinkle, sugar cookie. 
 Below: Ty got the grown up mac and cheese.  It looks AH-mazing.
Darren and I weren't quite finished and the kids were already anxious to blow some money, so we sent them to the on-site arcade.  We met up with them after we finished and paid our bill.  
Check out the arcade's carpet.  OH.MY.GOSH.  That carpet might totally be in my next house, FOR REAL!
The kids surprised me with these adorable photo booth photos.  It now hangs in my car. I told them, "Aside from the obvious, which is good behavior and grateful hearts, ALL I ask on this trip is that when I ask for a photo, you give it to me with ZERO complaints!" They started that request off right! Only the photos below were granted to me without even asking.
When we entered our hotel room, LOOK what was waiting for my twins!!!! This was definitely a VERY special touch. We didn't ask for this. I told Darren, "This is seriously the MOST DELICIOUS CAKE I HAVE EVER EATEN!" 

In the beginning, we thought we would start day 1 at City Walk and possibly International Drive. BUT we were SURPRISED to find out that our tickets were BOGO. So we purchased (2) day passes for each of us and received (2) days of passes for FREE. Who knew? That meant, we were able to head to the parks on DAY 1.  Yahoo!!!!! I will post about our first day in the parks tomorrow. I also plan to alternate our vacation posts with posts about the kids' birthday gifts (that they received when we arrived home!).  This way it breaks things up a bit and I don't bore you too much if you aren't too interested in all of the details about our trip.  I hope you enjoyed the details of our hotel, just incase you are looking into hotels to stay at, if you are planning a trip to Universal Studios yourself.  Oh by the way, we loved the other hotel as well, but it is under construction right now. I already have enough construction going on in my neighborhood, so I wanted to stray away from hearing pounding and machines.  

In closing, I didn't meet ONE ugly, hateful, miserable, unkind human at the Hard Rock Hotel.  From the front desk, to the maid service, to the bellman, to the waitress, to the bar tender.  Everyone was positive and happy!!!

P.S. I forgot to mention ANOTHER service that our hotel offered that I found SOOOOOOO COOOOOOOL is if you buy something in the parks, such as a souvenir or you win something (Jax won like 12 things, hahah) then you can leave it at the register or carnival game (at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure) and they will bring it to your resort.  Once the front desk receives it, the hotel staff sends it up to your room and leaves it on your bed.  This was an amazing feature because no one wants or needs to be carrying all of their purchases around the park, all day long! The only stipulation is that you have to be residing at the hotel for a minimum of 24 hours past the request to have something delivered to your room, to ensure they have time to get the item from the parks to your hotel to your room BEFORE you check out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome and enjoy all comments by those who read my blog!! So please dont just withdraw...
Deposit a little something too :)