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September 17th 2009
Published: June 6th 2017
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Steve and I decided that since we both had Universal Orlando tickets from the Super Bowl that we would take a long weekend with just the boys in Orlando. Steve's flight arrived in Orlando in around 10 am and he picked up the car and went to the Hard Rock Hotel to check in. He then spent the next few hours walking around Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios taking photos. When I arrived around 4:15 he picked me up at the airport Our original plan was to go directly to Walt Disney World for dinner but Steve told me that we would need to exchange my voucher for a ticket and that the line to do so was very long when he exchanged his. So, we decided to take my luggage to the hotel, exchange my voucher and ride the new roller coaster at Universal Studios called the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. We got to the queue at about 5:40 and there was a 20 minute wait which was perfect since the park closed at 6:00. It actually turned out to be a 40 minute wait but we rode it and had a great time. It has a vertical hill for the first hill and then several new moves never before done on a coaster. You also get to pick your own soundtrack to listen to during the ride.

After riding we decided to go tour the Portofino Bay Hotel and then went back to the Hard Rock Hotel, got the car and drove over to Disney's Polynesian Hotel to have dinner at Kona Café. Our reservation was for 8:00 but we asked if we could be seated early. They told us they probably would be unable to do so but actually did seat us in about 10 minutes. That was great because both Steve and I were starving. We had sushi for an appetizer and Steve ordered Shrimp and Scallops and I had Tuna Oscar. The food was really good and we were both glad we tried the restaurant. We decided to go to the counter service restaurant at the Polynesian and get a Dole Whip for dessert.

It was time for Wishes to start so we walked out to the beach to see them but ultimately decided we didn't want to watch so we got the car and went to Downtown Disney to shop for a while and then back to the Hard Rock. We did work for a while before turning in for the night.

Additional photos below
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22nd September 2009

I told you You two boys need to separate! This is from a mom's point of view too much of each other could be trouble. Oh wait isn't that your middle names?
22nd September 2009

Re: Okay I was really surprised when the operator told me that the guests party hard at the Hard Rock! The hotel manager, AJ, was great about resolving the issue - I just wish I had talked to him the first time. The hotel also needs a b
it of a refurbishment - our room had a bit of unexpected wear and tear. Overall, though, we had a GREAT time at the Hard Rock and at Universal with the front of line access (which we didn't need on many rides given it was off season).
22nd September 2009

Re: I told you Oh yeah, we can find the fun in everything! And, pack in a ton of fun in it all too. Just be glad that we didn't break any attractions this trip.
23rd September 2009

Kona! Yes, Kona Cafe is known for their breakast, and yes that breakfast is wonderful. But, I have to say it ROCKS for dinner! (And can't beat you are just a few steps away from Dole Whips!)

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