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Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Lansdale, PA
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Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Hi there - we're looking for a true "dream vacation," as we only do a big trip every 4 or 5 years. We're planning to stay at the Hard Rock at Universal for 7 nights in May of 2011 (2 rooms for 4 adults on the Club Level - free breakfasts!), and are die-hard Harry Potter fans, so the Wizarding World appeals to us. I've read that we can explore that in a day, two at most...

We're also going to spend a day at Discovery Cove, get some massages at the spa at the Portofino Bay Hotel, and possibly do a cabana rental at the Hard Rock and go on a Kennedy Space Center tour while we're there. Any feedback about the hotel, the park(s), restaurant ideas, Citywalk clubs, etc. would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Katy

Gray Line Orlando
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1. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

At Citywalk, we loved the dueling pianos at Pat O'Brien's.

Kissimmee, Florida
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2. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

hi,when you do the discovery cove do the trainer for a day program as you will get a lot more. you will get your own trainer and you will get to swim twice with the dolphins and you also get a 7 day pass for seaworld.we did this for our sons 18th birthday and it was great. hope this helps... have a great time

Lansdale, PA
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82 posts
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3. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Thanks - very helpful! One more question, about Discovery Cove specifically: since you have to book in advance, what if the weather is yucky the day you book? And beautiful on another day? It's pretty expensive to spend the day there, so I want to make sure we don't get rained on! We were planning to do the "swim with the dolphins" package - is that the same as "trainer for a day?"

yorkshire
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4. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

We stayed a week at the HRH on club level a couple of months ago and it was great, although it was very busy for breakfast and the hors d'oeuvres at 5ish. So much so that we often took our food back to the room. One tip is that you can ask for bottles of water from the concierge in the club lounge as they have stopped putting it out. We did the Velvet session at the last Thursday of the month which was great. The Kitchen in HRH is fantastic (pricey, but it is a 4 star hotel) brilliant breakfast, great steaks in the evening.We ate there a couple of times and had a breakfast and we were never disappointed. You HAVE to try the loaded nachos poolside, they are awesome. but we shared between 4!!! We also ate at the Beach Club which is also good. Pick your cabana carefully as some seemed in the shade all day.

You get access to Harry Potter one hour earlier which is worth it's weight in gold. It meant that we had been on Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge (old Duelling Dragons, no change) etc by 9.30. In fact, you can do HP in half a day as it's not big at all, the longest queue is at Olivanders, although they do have a wand stall outside FJ. The Bertie Botts beans in Honeydukes are not to be missed, although you can drop on some weird flavours!!

We love the HRH and plan to return again next year, the atmosphere is great and made us want to spend more time there than in the park. Have a fabulous time, am soooooo jealous!!!!

Lansdale, PA
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5. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Thank you so much! I must admit, I'm a little disappointed by hearing you can do all of Harry Potter World in a day... I can't do rides (boring medical thing/dizziness). From what I read, it seems like a lot of the fun details are on the lines to get on the rides - will I miss a lot, do you think? Also, isn't there a kids' ride? As long as my head doesn't get jerked around and I don't turn upside down, I should be fine... I really want to experience as much of it as possible!

One question about the HRH - I was originally looking at staying at the Portofino Bay, but it's a lot more expensive than HRH, so we decided to go there... I'm not a huge rock and roll fan - is it a thing where Motley Crue is piped in everywhere you go?

Those nachos sound amazing - we'll definitely check them out. Any recommendations on which cabanas to ask for? Or should we just look at how they're positioned before we rent one?

Yeah, we're looking forward to it - our last big trip was in 2006, so this will be great! We work like the proverbial dogs - so we want to be spoiled for a week!

Warrington, United...
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6. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

motley crew!!! . no. its only hard rock by name, not nature.

we arrived to dexys midnight runners, come on eileen. later heard roy orbison ' cryin'. blondie was on many times. there may be some motley crew, but it seems it has to be a classic before it gets played there.

its like the best juke box in the world is continually on in the background. you will love it

Edited: 17 October 2010, 16:34
yorkshire
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7. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Sorry about the delay in replying!!! You will not be disappointed in HP at all, it is amazing and a fantastic experience, although not huge. FJ ride is a simulator (bit like Spiderman but more adventurous), you don't go upside down, it may jerk you around a bit - depends on your tolerance. BUT you can go all the way through the castle and experience that and then take an exit before you get on the ride itself. The Hippogriff is a little rollercoaster, and you can see the Hippogriff and Hagrids hut from there. It's just great to soak up the atmosphere of the area, I won't tell you more because I don't want to spoil it for you - you will LOVE it!!!!

The music at the HRH is varied and I don't think too intrusive, except when there is a band on, usually Saturday evenings around the pool, again fantastic atmosphere!!

I can't speak highly enough of our experience, it speaks for itself when we keep going back!!! ENJOY!!!

Lansdale, PA
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82 posts
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8. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

No worries at all on the delay - after all, you're in the UK! I'm thrilled to hear you speak so highly of HP world - the whole reason we started thinking of doing this trip in Orlando was to go there. We're huge fans of the books, and were beside ourselves with excitement when we heard about this park.

I'll definitely do that in the castle - go all the way through and then bail right before the ride. I'm bummed about Forbidden Journey - would love to see Hagrid's Hut, but I don't think I should take a chance on anything called a rollercoaster, even if it is for kids. I went on swings recently (just to test my tolerance) and got off them pretty quick.

Oh well - it still sounds like tons of fun - and I can't WAIT to experience that hotel! (I used to be a corporate meeting planner, so I'm pretty picky as far as hotels go!)

Discovery Cove should be terrific as well - and you can't really go wrong with a "spa day" either!

Thanks again.

pa
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9. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this or not but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is only a small area of Islands of Adventure, it isn't a whole Park by itself. An hour or two is really all you will need, not a day or two. It is amazing tho, quite unique :)

Maryland, USA
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10. Re: Hard Rock Hotel, Harry Potter World, Discovery Cove, etc.

Just FYI people who can't do roller coasters and people who can't spin (like the swings) are very different from people who can't tolerate simulator rides. I can't spin, but I'm so so on simulator rides and i ride roller coasters easily. I plan to give it at least a shot.