We had a very busy day yesterday. We had to get up early to finish the last bit of packing and check out of Old Key West. Then we drove to the Hard Rock Hotel and checked in there. Our room wasn’t ready of course that early, but we parked the car, left our luggage with bell services and got our precious room keys. With those we could use the express lines in the two theme parks.
Then we walked down to Universal Studios. We’d decided to go there first instead of heading straight to Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter, as we knew by then it’d be rammed in there. Universal was fairly quiet. Most rides had only a 30 minute standby time but of course, armed with our room keys we walked straight onto them all. The only time we had to wait was for the show type of attraction.
First we went to Terminator 2 3D and it was just as brilliant as the first time we did it. I love the way they combine the live action with the film. It’s so clever. Super in fact.
From there we went on a ride that we hadn’t been on before featuring some of our favourite characters. Who doesn't love The Simpsons?
Then on to Men in Black, an old favourite of ours. We love this one and had great fun zapping aliens. From here we carried on round to Disaster and decided to take a look to see what was different. Oh boy, they’ve made a few changes since we last went on this and it was excellent. We roared with laughter at the end. The gardening granny was fab.
Then it was time for lunch. I was drooling a bit at the selection of cheesecakes and other desserts but I was very good and had a turkey croissant instead. It even came with potato salad and a bit of melon so that was rather healthy, wasn’t it? Stephen had a chargrilled chicken melt, also with a bit of melon. I had an iced coffee with some chocolate syrup, which was delicious. I haven’t seen the chocolate syrup at home. I usually have gingerbread or vanilla. Sadly I didn’t have room for cheesecake after that. Maybe tomorrow.
Next ride to be tackled was The Mummy. This one is great fun and the express line was so quick that we did it twice.
We were pretty much done in Universal by now and it was after 4pm. We decided to go over to Islands of Adventure and just take a wee peek at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. C’mon, you knew we wouldn’t be able to resist, didn’t you. It was incredible. As you come round the corner you can see the Hogwart’s express through the archway and then as you go in it’s all there. It’s just amazing. The detail! Wow. Just wow.
We didn’t go on The Forbidden Journey as that did have a 45 minute wait posted but we did get to do Ollivanders as that only had a 25 minute wait. Yes, I know I said I don’t do queuing but that was probably my one and only chance to see the wand thing as it’ll be rammed in the morning. Late afternoon is about as quiet as it gets apparently. The wand selection was very good. The setting was amazing – everyone was looking up and all around them. We saw a clip from the film on the TV a few minutes ago and what Universal have done is so similar to when Harry gets his wand in the film. Definitely worth checking out.
We had a bit of a look round, took a few photos and I had a chat to the conductor. He asked me what it was like living with a muggle (Stephen), and how I managed him. I told him hard work and training. And occasional use of the under-stairs cupboard. He agreed that that was a good plan and told me to keep it up. I thought he was quite a sensible chap.
I think the photo of me with the Conductor captures my "I'm so excited to be here" expression rather well.
We made our way back to the hotel via the Hard Rock Café, where we bought a bear; the Fresh Produce shop, where I bought some shorts; and the hotel launch so we could rest our weary legs. We got our room number and went there via Starbucks for portable refreshments, and then got our luggage sent up.
The reason I didn’t post this from our room last night is that although I had internet access, wired and wireless, you had to click to ‘add to room bill’ without there being any indication of how much it was going to cost. I could have phoned down to ask, I suppose, but common sense kicked in telling me it was probably going to be at least $15 and I was only going to get an hour’s use from it.
This post has got quite lengthy so I'll start a new one on our short but sweet stay at the coolest hotel in town.