Day 2 – Sunday 6/25
I wake up at around 6:00 am – I have packed my running clothes, but I have no desire to run (this soon becomes a trend, and what turns out to be a week-long vacation from running too). So, back to sleep and wake-up again at 8:00am. We decide to do the pool in the morning, and get dressed into our suits and head for the club lounge. Food was good, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, danish and muffins, and yogurt. DH heads with the kids for the pool, and I head to talk to the hotel manager again – I checked to folio on the TV on our way out and no $40 credit as promised. Also, want to warn them that the ratty bed-spreads are not going to satisfy us. I ask for a manager, and am told they are busy and one will call me back. Well, I have read enough reviews on Trip Advisor to know that at HRH this means there will be no call, so I tell the woman at the desk that I will wait until a manager comes to talk to me. This takes about 10 minutes during which the woman got very uncomfortable having me stand there and went back to check twice that the manager was coming. I explained the problem of the night before, and the delivery of the ratty bed-spreads, and the lack of the $40 credit and pointed out that the credit was their offer, not my request. I told the manager that the bed-spreads were not going to satisfy us and that obviously housekeeping was not taking responsibility for anything so I was holding him personally responsible for seeing that the duvets were delivered this morning and that the $40 was credited to our room. He assured me it would be taken care of and he gave me his card.
Off to the pool. It was drizzling slightly so DH grabbed a chair under what would become “our umbrella” (it pays to get to the pool early) right near the end of the slide and watched the kids slide for hours. We head back to the room at 11:30 to get ready for park timer and guess what – room is made up, but no duvets. DH opens the door and there is a housekeeper in the hall who barely understands English, but seems to know we were supposed to get duvets. She comes back 5 minutes later with duvets and tells us that she took them from a room that was just made up for new guests (wonder if they had the same problem we did). We stop at Emac & Bolios in the hotel for some ice cream before heading off to the parks.
Now – I have to say this trip was so relaxing in terms of doing the parks. Universal does not have Express Pass (similar to Fast Pass) unless you either buy it ($15 to $40 depending on what time of year you go – I think it was $40 while we were there) or you stay on-site. So, our hotel keys were a magic pass to get us into every express line – we never waited more than 5 minutes when lines were up to an hour (except for one day we waited 15 minutes in a line where the stand-by was only 30 – we decided they were probably loading the express line wrong). We would do a few rides we wanted at a leisurely pace and then head back to get ready for dinner. It was wonderful and worth every penny we paid to stay on-site.
So, today we decided to do Universal Studios. We rode Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, and Shrek 4-D and left DH off to do Revenge of the Mummy while we headed over to Amity to ride Jaws. We shopped a little on the way; DD bought a bracelet, and then did Jaws. Now, this ride can be scary for little ones, but both my kids have ridden it before several times, and I swear the shark is so un-lifelike you can see the screws. But DD10 was very tense and seemed afraid. DH called as we were getting off and we decided to see Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Review. DS did not want to see it at all, but admitted afterward that he loved it. Great music – a little corny – but overall a great show.
Next we headed for Men in Black Alien Attack and rode 2x. DD and I learned the secret of the Red Button (100,000 bonus points if pressed at the right time) and vowed not to tell DH who beats the pants off of us every time. DS and DH decide to do Back to the Future and DD and I decide not to (too jerky for us) and grab a lemon slush while we wait. Next it was off to ET Adventure, and we all made up fake names for ET to say good-bye to us – DH was Cameron, I was Lucinda, DD was Eloise, and DS was Bobio (we have no idea where he got that one).
After ET we decided to wander over to City Walk and cash in some Meal and Movie Coupons I had collected (one courtesy of Franco – Thanks, Franco!). Once we got there it started to pour, so we cashed the coupons and quickly ducked into a store. While browsing I got a call from the manager I spoke with that morning. He assured me he had checked the room and we had duvets (we knew that) and that he had credited to room 50% for tonight as promised. I thanked him and then told DH that he had heard me wrong and mentioned 50% instead of $40. (This room was $400 per night once you added in the tax!). We decide to see what showed up on the folio in the morning before we celebrated. We decided to take a water taxi back to the hotel, and just walking to the taxi port we got drenched.
Some pictures before we got drenched - Sponge Bob: