Sorry it's been such a long time since the last instalment but life has been hectic lately! Trip planning, various illnesses, sick bunnies, school work etc etc!
I really wanted to get my previous trip report completed before we go on the next trip in July (only 5 weeks to go!!) but it's looking unlikely now. Next time I think I'll just do food report and photo highlights. I'll keep my holiday journal so I still have that to look back on. I'm also thinking about doing some periscope videos and vlogging of our trip.
I'm doing all the remaining days from memory now so they probably won't be as detailed as the previous days anyway, so maybe I'll get through them a bit quicker!
So today was day 8 of our honeymoon, and today was the day Robert was most looking forward to - Hard Rock Hotel!! If you don't know already, a one night stay at one of the deluxe Universal hotels gives you TWO days of unlimited queue jump passes, which are valid for all the rides except Harry Potter area, and probably the new Kong ride (although I don't know that for sure yet!). As i'm a teacher we go in the school holidays and so the express pass is invaluable, and so worth the money that it costs to stay at Hard Rock.
We had aimed to be up really early, but as per our usual selves by this point in the holiday, it was all a bit slow and stop, and it was about 10 by the time we arrived at Hard Rock Hotel for check in. Our room was ready already even though check in should have been 3 or 4pm, so that was good. WE headed straight up to the room, but the room key wouldn't work! I went right back down and she sorted it out, and we were right into our room. We hadn't paid for any kind of view but we had what I suppose you might call an obstructed pool view, as well as being able to see some of the rides over in the parks. We then went down to the lobby and used our room keys to get our fast passes from the self service machine, and then it was straight out to the park.
We were so amazed by how close we were to the park, it was literally a 5 minute walk via the Hard Rock Pool to the gates of Universal!!
This is where my memory gets a bit shaky so i'm relying on photos to tell me what we did in the park that day, however i DO remember that we were like a pair of kids in a candy store with our fast passes! We loved being able to swan on and off every ride at our pleasure without worrying about queues.
One of our absolute favourites was the Transformers 3D Ride and i'm pretty sure we rode it 2 or 3 times in a row! The Mummy ride is in the same area so if I remember correctly we went on there a few times too and as always I loved this. Each of these rides we had queued, ridden and were back outside in about 10 minutes time. Like i say, the Express Pass is invaluable.
By this point it was about 12ish and we decided to head over to the Simpsons area, ride the Simpsons ride, then head for food in Krusty Burger. We loved the Simpsons ride too, but this was probably our longest wait time up to this point in the day. Only about 20 minutes, so not too long but you can imagine what the regular queue was like! Part of it was outside as well and we were melting in the heat! It was here in the queue that we already started to discuss the idea of coming back to Hard Rock for a second night the following week.
Right after this we headed to Krusty Burger for lunch. This was tasty, and we enjoyed the experience of eating in Mo's Tavern! There was a really strict queue then find a seat system which was good, and when you had your food they would show you to a table. We asked for one inside Mo's and they happily obliged!
When we ordered lunch we didn't ask for a large drink each but for some reason we each were given one (or should I say charged for one) anyway, which was a total waste as we wanted to get going right away and half of each drink went in the bin outside ET because we wanted to ride it.
Robert thought ET was a bit ridiculous, and I suppose seeing it for the first time as an adult after hi-tech rides like Transformers etc then it probably is.... but it's a classic! I enjoyed it for the nostalgia factor.
I think at this point we went back round to get on Mummy and Transformers a couple more times. before heading round towards Despicable Me. On the way there we came across a wee kind of parade / dance party type thing, so we stopped to pose for some photos.
When we got to Despicable Me we were a bit confused - the line was HUGE and we thought that surely couldn't be the express line. But it WAS! It was mobbed, hot, sweaty, noisy and never ending! We couldn't really complain coz we had barely waited in a line all day, but it was still annoying that the express line ended up taking us about 50 minutes! I really enjoyed it though, but I think we'll remember for next time to head there when we enter the park instead of leaving it til the afternoon when lines are typically much longer.
We decided then to head over to Islands of Adventure so we headed out and in that direction, only to be caught by a sudden thunderstorm just as we were passing Hard Rock Cafe. I took that as a clear sign though, and decided we should head for the bar. No complaints from Robert!
Straight to the Velvet Lounge and drinks ordered! During happy hour a selected few drinks are cheaper ( about half price if I remember right), and my favourite margarita was on the list, and Robert had a Yuengling. We ended up spending a good couple of hours in here, enjoying a chat with the barman and chatting about the classic rock ballads that were on the TV screens. This is one of my favourite memories of our honeymoon, we were just so relaxed and happy, and I cant wait to spend that time there with Robert again in a few weeks!
By about 6.30 we decided it was time to get up to the room, to try and chill for a wee while before we had to head out to Blue Man Group. We both lay down on the bed, I think I planned to nap but once I actually lay down I worked out that I only had 25 minutes or something before I had to get up and ready, and I would end up feeling worse so I ditched that idea. I just got up and took my time getting ready.
By the time we were leaving it was still a bit drizzly, but it was really brightening up and some beautiful rainbows were appearing in the sky. A nice man took some photos of us in the lobby and by the water feature outside. I took a cardi and poncho with me, but I didnt actually use either in the end.
At the end the Blue Men were outside and you could join the scrum for a photo with them and I managed to grab this selfie with one of them. He's giving me a look like that because throughout the show there was a bit of an anti mobile age / selfie message... then I leave the show and take a selfie with him! Whoops!
When it was finished it was coming up for 11pm, and I couldnt believe how quiet City Walk was! I dunno if it was the drizzly weather or what, but I remember City Walk from years ago as bustling and buzzing but it was like a ghost town tonight! We headed into Margaritaville but they told us they stopped food at 11 and kitchen was just closing. We debated swanning around City Walk to find something but in the end we just headed back to the hotel bar and got some bar food there, plus a couple more drinks.
After this Robert decided to do some posing around the hotel pretending he was a rock star, but I think I would be in trouble with him if I shared those photographs hehe!! After his "rock star" behavior it was straight off to bed as we were both absolutely shattered!
Thanks so much for reading, Disney lovers! I hope to get the next day up really soon, because I would really love to get this mostly finished (at least written if not published) before we go back.
See ya real soon!