Quick Trip Report - Aug 16-20 & 22


Nov 21, 2017
This will be a short report all in one post. Participants are me (41), wife (41), older son (13) and younger son (9).

Friday Aug 16th - We were set to arrive into MCO around 7:30pm. Flight was delayed 1.5 hours, so it was a little after 9:00pm when we landed. I booked a ride to the Hard Rock with Happy Limos, getting the stretch limo for the ride there so the vacation starts off the right way. We get to the Hard Rock, and get checked in no problem, but just miss the club lounge as it was closed. Pretty much right to sleep. We hit the club lounge quite a few times, but were always very disappointed with the offerings. Staying club level is definitely not worth it for us going forward.

Saturday Aug 17th - Hit the Hard Rock pool around 10am. Had lunch around 1pm, and we were all very happy with the food, and had quite a few buckets of beers. The cheesesticks appetized in particular was enjoyed by all. It poured from around 1:30-3:00, and the pool was closed cause they couldn't see the bottom. We waited it out until it reopened around 3:30, then ended up staying until around 6:00. The wife wasn't feeling great, so she stayed behind to nap while me and the boys went to US. We rode Minions, Transformers, Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious. Then we met back up with the wife for a late dinner at the Palm. We have eaten at other Palms before, and maybe we were just hungry, but we all got filets and we all loved them.

Sunday Aug 18th - Kids were not fans of the Hard Rock pool because its so shallow, plus younger son was mad he didn't get to ride Spider-Man last night. So around 10am, wife and older son head over to Portofino Bay to check out that pool, while I take younger son over to IOA. We ride Spider-Man twice, and then head over to Portofino pool to meet them. We all like the Portofino pool much better, even though the pool games they play are really stupid and take waaaaay too long. The pool chairs are much superior here. We also had a few buckets of beer here too, and I found it funny that the buckets cost $6 more here than they did at the Hard Rock for the exact same thing. Anyway, we head back to the Hard Rock around 4:00, and that is when disaster strikes. We are on the walking path with a curve up ahead of us, when suddenly one of the surrey bikes containing a couple of passengers comes flying around the corner. I quickly step to the side to avoid being run over, and hit a wet spot on the walking path and completely lose my footing, with my right foot slipping straight forward moving my body towards a front split. Now I am not the most flexible person, so I twist my body however I can, and long story short, I ended up breaking the second toe on my left foot. Nail split right down the middle, blood everywhere, not a pretty scene. I've broken my right big toe twice before, so I was familiar with what to expect, but needless to say it was very painful. I screamed a few obscenities, and also noticed that the surrey bike driver did not bother to slow down. Now I have to walk another 3-4 minutes to the Hard Rock, then 3-4 up to my room, where luckily I travel with a small first aid kit. I was covered in dirt (when I slipped I ended up going down in the wet mulch) and it took a long time to clean up and bandage up my toe. It was now completely purple and about double the size of the same toe on the other foot. Anyway, I was determined to not let this slow me down, so we got changed and headed out to the parks. Walking at all was extremely painful, but I've convinced myself I need to do what I have to in order to minimize the effect of this on our vacation. So we want to do some things in both parks, so we start in US. Older son and I ride Rip Ride Rockit while wife and younger son do Minions. Then we all do Jimmy Fallon (wife's favorite) and Gringotts. Then we make the mistake of taking the train to the other park which takes forever. Once there, we just have time to ride Hulk and Spidey and call it a night. We had dinner at the Mexican place in City Walk and it was very good, especially the margaritas which were needed to help me forget the toe pain.

Sidebar - This wasn't the only surrey bike driver we saw that was completely out of control. In my instance, it was a younger, smaller woman riding 3 or 4 people who clearly was trying to build up speed to make it up the small upslope ahead. I can't believe that Universal lets these bikes on here. I'd like to send an email complaining to someone, but not sure where to send it and I will probably just end up not sending anything.

Monday Aug 19th - We were going to head to Volcano Bay, but I am unable to handle that with the toe pain. So we go to the Hard Rock pool for most of the day, and then head back to get all the rides we missed and/or wanted to ride again. We did Hulk, Spidey, Kong, Gringotts, Jimmy Fallon, Transformers and probably a few others. Rides of note that we completely skipped were Forbidden Journey, Simpsons, Men in Black, and all the water rides. Nobody was interested in any of them. We did ride all of them while we were here this past November, and this trip was more about spending time at the pool and just enjoying our favorites.

Tuesday Aug 20th - We had Happy Limos pick us up at 11am and transfer us over to the Swan for the Disney part of this trip. I usually frequent the Swan/Dolphin thread in the Disney Resort forum, so that is where I will probably post a similar short trip report for the Disney piece if anyone is interested.

Thursday Aug 22nd - My toe pain level had dropped from 10/10 to 8/10, so we figured we would try Volcano Bay. Took an Uber each way from the Swan for about $15 each way. We absolutely loved it. The TapuTapu is a phenomenal perk, making it so easy to get in the virtual lines and also to not have to carry any cash or credit cards with you. We really enjoyed VB and would definitely come back on future trips. On the last day of our trip we did the Typhoon Lagoon H2O Glow Party, and Volcano Bay puts that park to shame.


It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
May 15, 2007
At the bottom of the page I`ve linked below there is a Contact Us.

Send a message and give them your contact details and someone will get back to you.

I hope your foot is much better, or will be soon. Sounds very painful.

As for your trip, I`m glad you managed to enjoy some of it. I agree with you on the Hard Rock CL. It seems to be the one with a high dissatisfaction rating. I read a review from a few days ago where folks couldn't get a seat in the lounge and found the food lacking.

Glad you enjoyed The Palm, one of our favourite restaurants.

I hope the rest of your trip went well.


Proud Redhead
Apr 21, 2003
I’m glad you were able to continue doing the park with the injured foot/toe

Did you file a report at the hotel or guest services in the park?

If you did not, you can email guest services and tell them what happened to you and let them know pedi cart drivers need to be retrained.

Most peeps really enjoy Vbay
Sounds like it was a win for you and your family

Hope your toe and foot are mending and you are doing better!


Jul 6, 2000
While Hard Rock is our favorite Universal property you are right about CL. We did it once and said never again. We prefer to spend the money on a larger room and just bring wine and granola bars from home. That's interesting about the PB pool bar being more expensive. We love the bar and pool at HRH but were thinking of wandering over there our next trip.

That's horrible about the bike. They were always good about ringing their bells coming around any corners when we have used them. I'll definitely be more careful.

Lynne G

DIS Veteran
Mar 29, 2009
We were at the Portofino the same time, from 16 to 21. Weather was mostly nice, and we too are VB fans. We also did the H2O, and enjoyed our Saturday night there. Went a little early, had a late lunch at Disney Springs, then drove across the street to TL. We also like to go to VB at night, as lines tend to be a bit shorter, and the park is just as pretty with all the lights.

Yeah, those bikes can be annoying, and thankfully, we usually hear their bells loudly as they come near. I hope you do send an email or talk with Guest Services. And I hope your toe is healed now.

Thanks for this report.

We have, for whatever reasons, never wanted to stay at the Hard Rock. My teen and adult kids have always enjoyed the Portofino the most, but will stay at RPR when I say, I'm paying, and the price difference is such, we are staying at RPR.


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