Brunch & Stay Like a Rock Star!
The month of May was unreal for me! I got engaged and then was able to celebrate at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando while also enjoying Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. Even though I have grown up in Orlando, FL, I have never gotten sick of the theme parks. In fact, they become more exciting!
I felt like a Rock Star during this event. Friday night we checked into the hotel and to my surprise there was a hand-written note from the staff at the Hard Rock Hotel as well as a guitar made from chocolate. How did they know chocolate is my favorite food? We had a garden view room and it was so nice waking up to a view of fresh flowers and a colorful landscape. We woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed due to excitement of what both the hotel and parks had to offer! On our way to our first stop, we could not get over how nice the pool looked. There was a fun water slide at the pool, a sand beach, a sand volleyball court, cabana rentals, as well as games, such as ping pong! I quickly discovered that I am no longer decent at ping pong. We then continued straight to Universal Studios Florida to explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. First stop, candy! I had to get my chocolate wand aka a pretzel dipped in chocolate. Lucky for us, we were provided with fast passes and immediately went on the “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts” ride. This is by far my favorite ride at the park due to the attention to detail and feeling like I am a character in one of the movies. My excitement grew even more when I saw that the “Fast & Furious Supercharged” ride was open! On this ride, you sit in a bus and feel like you are a part of a video game, so cool. Fun fact, if you are a guest at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, or Loews Royal Pacific Resort, you will also receive Universal Express Unlimited passes (aka fast passes). This is especially great for Orlando because it can get HOT waiting in lines.
Back to food talk. My fiancé and I experienced Hard Rock Hotel Orlando’s all-new Acoustic Brunch at “The Kitchen”. Obviously, I wore a “Grateful Dead” t-shirt to fit in with the theme. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE themes. This brunch was buffet style with bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and most important to me, coffee. What could be better? Oh, LIVE music! This brunch is $39 per adult, $17 for children ages 10-14, and $13 for children ages 3-9. If you bring a baby with you, they eat for free because they are so cute.
Obviously I kicked-off the buffet brunch with sprinkles doughnuts because you should always eat dessert first. I then created my own omelet and combined that with some of the delicious meat from the carving station. Just when I was starting to feel full, I saw that I could get pancakes made to order. My dreams come true by having them prepared with chocolate chips. Altogether, you can eat anything from a traditional breakfast, to a salmon platter, sweet parties, and more! I enjoyed that some of the food was already prepared while there were also options to create your own waffles, pancakes (please do chocolate chip), breakfast pizza and omelets (cheese, please!). The service was exceptional during the brunch and we had a great time relaxing, eating, and listening to live music. We also found out that if you are not staying at the hotel and would simply like to attend this new brunch, you can either self-park at no cost to you or valet park for only $5! What a deal.
Are you interested in booking a reservation for brunch? Is that even a question after seeing what all is offered!? Visit here to book your reservation through OpenTable: http://po.st/pjlczP
You thought I was done raving about this experience. But there’s more. For our first time ever, we went to Universal’s Volcano Bay! We took a free shuttle from the hotel over to the theme park and brought our big smiles with us. We were each given a TapuTapu, which is essentially an electronic watch that allows you to skip lines and fully take advantage of your time at the park. This is not an additional charge and is included in your Volcano Bay admission. You reserve your place in lines at rides with the TapuTapu and you can see your wait time diminish on the device. Once your wait is over, you can enter that ride at any time! It does not need to be right away. What I thought was cool was that a lot of the water slides did not have a wait, so I went on those first, tapped by TapuTapu for a ride with a wait, and then spent time in the lazy river until it was time for me to go onto the next ride! I have never experienced any sort of theme park where I was not spending at least 1/3 of my time simply waiting in lines. Since this is a water park, you should store your personal belongings in lockers. What is also nice is that the TapuTapu provides you with the ability to make in-park purchases through the device.
Here are my suggestions for Universal’s Volcano Bay:
· Bring your own towels with you
· Do not bring too many personal belongings; remember it’s a water park and you are there to have fun and enjoy the rides!
· Wear your bathing suit and clothes that you do not mind getting wet
· Wear your flip flops
· Come ready to spend ALL of your time having fun, enjoying the sun, and eating some yummy treats! You will feel like you are on a whole different island!
Overall, we had a 10/10 experience. One month later and we are still speaking about this magical weekend and telling all our friends! When can I go back?!