May 22, 2023

Universal Orlando Resort Extras

Universal Orlando Resort Extras

Universal Orlando+
We can’t let Disney World have all the fun! This week we’re taking a look at Universal Orlando Resort, to find all the ways you can “plus” your stay and make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck! “Plussing” is a ter...

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Universal Orlando+


We can’t let Disney World have all the fun! This week we’re taking a look at Universal Orlando Resort, to find all the ways you can “plus” your stay and make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck! “Plussing” is a term used by Walt Disney and his Imagineers to describe the process of taking something that’s already great, and making it even better. The concept can be applied to your vacation as well, and we know all the best ways to have the best stay possible, no matter the size of your budget.Topics we cover include:

  • Hotels- which from each price category gives most “plus” feel? Sapphire Falls, Premier hotelsfor free Express Pass, kid suites, upgraded room categories,Spa at Portofino.
  • Outside the theme parks, including Volcano Bay, experiences at City Walk, etc.
  • Experiences inside the theme parks- VIP tours, Harry Potter package, HHN VIP experience, Express Pass

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0:00] Music.

[1:07] Welcome back to another meeting of the Gold Key Adventurer's Society.
My name is Dan Leonard. Howdy Dan.
And joining me this week in the studio is Heather Strait. Hi guys.
And Mr. Jeff Williams. Hey, that's me.
Still, after all these weeks. Our show, as always, is brought to you by Key to the World Travel.
Key to the World Travel is a full-service travel agency specializing in theme parks, cruising, and destinations around the world.
Head to for more details.

[1:39] No obligation quote on the vacation of a lifetime. While we can't let Walt Disney World have fun, this week we're going to take a look at Universal Orlando Resort to find all the ways that you can plus your stay, make sure that you're getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Plusing is a term we've talked about a few times already this spring.
It's used by Walt Disney.
It was used by Walt Disney. Walt Disney and his Imagineers.
I was thinking about making a Frozen joke, but I decided not to.
Plussing is a term that was used by Walt Disney and his Imagineers to describe the process of taking something that's already great and making it even more better.
The concept can be applied to your vacation as well. We know all the best ways to have the best day possible, no matter the size of your budget.
We're going to start off by taking a look at where you're staying around Universal Orlando Resort.
Thing and maybe we could first think about in each of the price categories that they have there, which gives you the most plus feel.
Those deluxe resorts. Yeah, actually right there. The most bang for your buck. I usually say if you don't want to pay the highest price for your hotel for the their top tier deluxe resorts, go with Royal Pacific because it's still a deluxe and you still get the express pass included in your stay. But it's a lower price point than the Hard Rock or Portofino Bay.

[3:05] And it's my second favorite of the deluxes. This is...

[3:10] Yeah. I think it might technically be the closest. No, I guess Hard Rock is the closest.
And if I want to be able to walk, truly walk into the parks, I stay at the Hard Rock.
I also really love the vibe there, but it's definitely the shortest walk.
Royal Pacific is a little bit of a longer walk.
Pacific recently had a maybe two years ago or so had a three years ago just before the pandemic whenever that was like time is weird now time is had a remodel and it's gorgeous now the rooms are really nice and it got the 90s taste out of its mouth and it's really pretty now and it has a beautiful lobby bar with a sushi restaurant right there in the lobby great pool area public areas are gorgeous. It really transports you.
Boat that takes you right into the city walk, which has the entrance to both of the parks, soon to be. Well, no, I guess the other park won't be there, but there will be three parks.
Yeah. It kind of is like how we talked about at Walt Disney World, the Grandestino Tower is kind of like the moderate way, but kind of like moderate plus. It's like the deluxe feel with moderate in the moderate price category, kind of the same way that it's definitely on the lower end of the premier price range. So it's kind of like their moderate plus kind of deal.

[4:38] CM- For the whole vibe and the rooms that I personally, my favorite is Sapphire Falls.

[4:44] It is definitely a deluxe feeling resort, but they don't give you the express pass included with your stay. And that's, I think that's purely because of how many rooms it has.
They can't include that in the sapphires. Yeah. Because there's just too many people, too many rooms available and it would overwhelm the.
Lobby is beautiful. There's a great rum bar in the lobby. Got a nice like coffee shop, quick service thing in a nice restaurant downstairs with an awesome breakfast.
Mm-hmm. I'm a tea stuff in there strong water tavern like you said strong, great spot nominal drinks the rooms are light Absolutely gorgeous. I love them, pretty bad really comfortable and.

[5:34] Kind of an insider tip you can get a really great suite at Sapphire Falls for much less money than you could get at Hard Rock or Royal Pacific or Portofino Bay, and really plus your room if you're staying at Sapphire Falls. They have some excellent one and two bedroom suites, hospitality suites with a full kitchen, and they're really not that expensive.
Sapphire is really their only moderate, they call it, I guess. And it is connected also by boat, so you can take the boat right into the parks.
I love that water taxi system, yeah. And I mean, technically you can walk from Sapphire to the parks.
It's not a terrible walk if you're the type that likes to walk.
It is doable. Yeah. And then if you're too tired, I don't mind it when it's not central Florida, humid, 100 degree season.
I don't mind the walk. That's my favorite week of the year. Yeah.
Yeah, and speaking of those suites, that's kind of, that can be tricky when you're staying at Universal Orlando is if you've got a larger family or party with you is fitting everybody into a room.
A lot of their standard rooms don't hold more than four, or if they do, you have to pay extra for a rollaway bed.
So you've got the suites there, but that's also a good way.

[7:04] That's kind of where they shine at their uh at their lower what do they call, They're not values there Or are they they are value? Yeah, there's okay. I can't remember. I thought they had a different name for that category, but anyway, um Is what they yes The only ones that they truly call value are endless summer, Value plus would be cabana bay and aventura And you can get you can get the family suites at the values and value pluses in Cabana Bay.

[7:42] They do a great job of fitting six people into those. Oh yeah, Cabana Bay is, I love the whole vibe at Cabana Bay. It's a really great resort. Oh yeah, I love it.
Because of all the kitschy mid-century modern things anyway and then that just nails it.
It. The whole atomic vibe. The fact that even the toiletries that they give you are old 60s, V05 shampoo bottles and all that stuff. Yeah, it's great. I love it.
And there's a bowling alley. And the family suites there are very affordable and you can get, a two-bedroom family suite for a really reasonable price there.
The pool area, they have two pool areas. There's a main feature pool, the cabana, what do they call it, cabana something, and then there's a lazy river court, Commander Courtyard, Lazy River Courtyard.

[8:34] Uh, food court, there's so kitschy giant screens or whatever.
I don't know. That has a real resort feel for, uh, definitely a value price.
And they do, they do keep to the theme in the food court. Even you can get things like tuna casserole and meatloaf and that, yeah, that, that wholesome seventies American feel to it.
And it's really good food. Actually. I like their food court a lot and they have a Starbucks.
Than I like any of the food court style places at the values. Oh, for sure. And they have a star, really big Starbucks right on site, which I love. And a great lobby lounge, lot lounge and bar area. Yes. It's excellent. They do have some many hours there. Many. There are some cool sweet options at the, at their deluxe properties that are definitely going to be a significant price bump. But if you do have a bigger budget to work with, they're super fun for kids.
If you want to plus it for the kids, especially staying deluxe, you can really go.
Especially at Royal Pacific and Portofino, because the theme on those two are really great.
At Portofino Bay, which is really kind of their premier top tier of the price level, their property there. It's their Minions suites and the beds in them are, they look like bombs.

[10:02] Yeah, they're bombshells. Essentially bombshells for the beds.
Like what the girls sleep in in Despicable Me.
Yes. And the best part about it, I got to tour one of those rooms a couple of months ago when I was down there and it threw me because our tour guide said, okay, we're going to see one of the kids' suite rooms.

[10:21] Open the door for me to go in and make a video and I and I walked in I looked around I'm like wait a second which room are we in I was so confused because the door the side of the door in the in the parents main entrance into the room there's no external door to the kids room right and and the kid the parents side of the door into the kids room isn't themed in any way it just looks like a.

[10:44] Door I was just where's where's the kids and then you open up the door and it's it's minions all over the place. They're hanging from the walls and there are a couple different layouts. Some of the rooms the the bomb beds are side by side and in some of them they're stacked like the girls in in Despicable Me into bunk beds depending on which one you get assigned. To be honest I saw the the bunk bed stack and that's fun because it's like the movie but uh I the the other one looks nicer it's it's kind of small and dark are they what what size are these beds are they twin size it's a twin or like for little kids yeah they're twin it's a twin but it's not an extended length twin so yeah it's i could fit in one but yeah you you wouldn't be able to fit in one of them your feet would be hanging off the side when oh yeah that's it fit a reasonably size i've seen one of those or if I have I was drunk. The the minion ones are really hard I mean they're super popular and they don't have a lot so they book up really fast so it's really hard to not we saw we were able to tour and saw the other ones at uh royal pacific that were the jurassic park ones those ones are super cool the beds in that one look like the transparent roly ball from Jurassic World.
I can't remember if I did.

[12:08] That's the scientific term for those. I think that's what they're supposed to be, right?

[12:14] Yeah. The gerbil ball? Yeah. Yeah, they look like, yes. Human gerbil ball.
They look like the gerbil ball from Jurassic World. My wife's going to be so upset with me that I don't...

[12:23] She is a really big Jurassic Park fan. She just watched it last night, Jurassic World, again.
That does not surprise me. I didn't see the most recent one of those.
Did I? She did. Of course she did.
It's a little odd. The Minions theme doesn't necessarily fit in with the whole Italian Riviera theme at Portofino Bay and Royal Pacific is supposed to be in the Pacific, beautiful islands of Fiji and such.
I suppose that one does fit because Jurassic Park isn't supposed to take place on an island in the middle of nowhere. But it's really cool that they did take what IP they have and do something with it.

[13:09] They're really fun rooms. They're great. They're really fun.
And Hard Rock also has kids' suites, but they're not, there's no movie theme with them.
They're just rockstar, royalty, kids' rockstar kind of theme.
Yeah. And they're very nice.
Yeah. One's like a Taylor Swift room. Yeah. And that's a recent thing.
They've had a couple of different themes. Before, they were just an extra room tacked on.
Oh, I haven't seen it since they did that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
They were just like rockstar suite. with like two double beds in a kid room and like a mom and dad suite.
The one thing that I, the one quibble I have with some of them is that there's not two bathrooms, especially at Hard Rock there is you're still sharing a bathroom.
Jeff has stories about a kid suite at Hard Rock. Yeah, the walls are thin there.
And the toilet is right next to the bed. Well, it's a split bath, so you've got a sink and shower in one room and then a sink and a toilet in the other.
And so the toilet is literally about five inches from one of the twin beds.

[14:16] And so if someone's peeing, they're peeing very, very close to the bed.
Which some of our listeners might enjoy.
Maybe people enjoy that, yeah. The kids' suites at Portofino are the same way, at least the one that I saw.
There's just the one. Yes, and I believe the same for Royal Pacific as well.
It's not two bathrooms, which you do get you're staying at Endless Summer or Cabana Bay you get two bathrooms which is nice.

[14:41] That is nice. Speaking of Portofino, man, there is so much you can do. I mean, both there and Hard Rock. There's a lot that you can add on to plus you stay there, but especially Portofino with their spa is a gorgeous spa.
The Mondara Spa. Very nice. Very nice. Yes. They also have like six pools.
There's so many pools and different vibes with each pool. There's the main feature pool, that they call the family. I think they call it the family pool. It's intended for families.
It's a great family name. I think it's familia.
That's it. They put it in Italian.

[15:15] But there are also just like really chill, quiet pools that are all still themed, but, But just, it's a beautiful, beautiful resort.
And it really does look like portofino and when you pull into that Bay area restaurant down by me, Yes Exactly like it Have you all seen the el presidente suite there? I have not, Okay, so so, you know how at night and if you're listening and you don't know at night most nights. Um.

[15:49] They have balconies that are overlooking the courtyard at portofino bay, which kind of looks like, like a port and there's boats and stuff floating around, and they have that outdoor restaurant, and at night, opera singers come out on a balcony and they serenade you.
The El Presidente suite is massive. I think it sleeps somewhere between nine and 13 people, but it has one of those balconies overlooking the courtyard that you can go out on.
It's right there. I like it. You have to be willing to let the opera singer pass through your room.
I mean, there's trade-offs.
They also have, we got to tour, we got to see the club lounge area.
They have a club level there.
The club level at all three of their top tier properties, Royal Pacific, Portofino, and Hard Rock, are great options because the breakfast and the dinner hours, they serve a lot of food.
Really, all really great, hot food items.
The rest of the day is typical of what you find in a club lounge at Disney where it's just kind of snacks.

[16:59] But I know a lot of folks who stay club level at those properties use that as their breakfast and their dinner, and then they're not paying extra out of pocket for that.
Heck yeah. Over at Hard Rock, there you have some fun add-ons for the rooms that you can get. They.

[17:17] Can have a guitar sent up to your room, you can have a record player set up to your room.
Which the guitar is free, right? I don't think you have to pay extra for those things, do you?
Unless you do now, but you didn't have to before. I may be remembering it incorrectly.
They'll also deliver yoga. Oh, sure at least to make sure you don't go full rock star and smash the guitar, Like the the guy in the wall. Yes. Yeah, they'll also deliver a yoga mat and some like, Box or a yoga kit to your room that you can go and I do this to you Yoga, wherever you feel like around the resort. I love to yoga. I can tell you're very flexible There's one word that describes Jeff Williams, it's supple.
I like that. Yeah.
I'm trying to think of other things that you can avail yourself at the hotel.
Well, most of them, it's actually all of their on-site properties except Endless Summer and Aventura, they all have pool cabanas you can rent. That's right.
And they're very nice. They're posh.
Very posh. They all have a TV and a little fridge and a ceiling fan.

[18:39] And then you get dedicated service. And they usually will start you off with a little bucket of some waters and soft drinks.
And some sody pops.
And they range, it depends on which property you're at and the time of year, but they range from as low as $199 up to $400 for a whole day, depending on the time of the year.
Like I was saying, people can share it with you, depending on who's looking.
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

[19:07] And if you are going to Volcano Bay while you're on your universal vacation, they have cabanas at Volcano Bay and they have several different levels, tiers of cabana options there and they are great because it's a dedicated shady place that you have to go to and they have service and it comes with breakfast and I believe we even had sunscreen and hand sanitizer during the COVID times, provided in the, in the.
They have a little button you press and the server just comes right over, right? Yes.
Or can you order even from there and they just bring you what you.
Yeah, the server comes and you order whatever you want from their food menus.
And the cool thing at Cabana Bay is, or sorry, Volcano Bay. I'm always mixing those two up.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort is right next to Volcano Bay.
There is, they have that tapu tapu virtual line system. And when you have a cabana, there's a tapu tapu unit right in your cabana.
So you can get in line for the bigger attractions without going and having to actually tap your wristband over at a ride, which is kind of cool. You just have to tap your private unit.
Yes, your private unit. I do that a lot.
Just tap it and it'll put you in the line. So they're really, those range in price as well, depending on which.

[20:35] How many people and which one you choose and again also the time of year is they have a surge pricing, That's what everybody's going to the old surge pricing. Yep, of course there We briefly mentioned it but it's worth being more explicit about it So you say at the premieres and those include express pass? Yes in the price of your state Which is past Dan tell us that is a it's a fancy card that lets you get into a shorter line on most.

[21:04] Attractions at both. Kind of like ye olde Fastpass. Yeah. Kind of like Lightning Lane. Right. But you don't have to schedule it ahead of time. You just go to the line and tap your thing and again and get inside. Yeah, in public this time. And yeah, head right into the that line. And and that can be pricey when you're adding it on because that one again is. Yes, purchasing it directly individually without it being part of your hotel stay. It gets very, very expensive.
I am a huge proponent of staying at the nicer hotel and getting the express pass for every day of your stay. And when you stay there, you get it for unlimited for each one of the rides.
So if you buy the express pass, it can be ungawa expensive for each day. And then also, it's only once per ride. But if you are staying at the hotel, you could ride whatever, Jurassic park or whatever you want to what's the new VelociCoaster. VelociCoaster. On your Express Pass.
Those things can run like 300 bucks a day or something. Per person.
Yeah. At peak times.
At peak times, if you didn't purchase it ahead of time and you waited until right before your trip, it can get up to around 300 per person per day.

[22:23] So I mean right there, the added expense of the... That's much more than just staying at the nicer hotel. Exactly.
And a great way to, if you are trying to control the cost and keep it down a little bit, is doing a split stay there, staying maybe at Royal Pacific for, you stay at Royal Pacific for two days, you've got three days worth of Express Pass because you can use it on.

[22:45] Check-in day and check out and then stay at maybe Cabana Bay or Endless Summer for a few days and do some of the non-theme park parts of your vacation.
Yeah, so Express Pass, definitely worth it for that hotel stay.
Ways we can plus our package there's you can add on a VIP tour for your theme park days there's private and non-private. I like that they have those those non-private options that yeah and when and those VIP tours are come with depending on the level of VIP tour again they have different tiers but there's the full VIP tour comes with all your meals for the day which is fantastic. I've never done a non-private one but that private one at Universal is to me much better. It's killer Disney. Yeah, right, Those meals or yeah, Disney doesn't include your food.

[23:41] The one thing about the non-private one to be aware of is you don't get to pick what you do on that tour, You're gonna show up and there's gonna be other people there And so your tour guide is going to size up the group and kind of get a feel for what everybody, Enjoys and wants to do and then they'll pick.

[23:59] I think it's like eight attractions that they take you to throughout the day.
Whereas the private VIP tour, you can tell them, we want to do this. If you want to ride Hagrid's four times, they'll take you to Hagrid's four times. But they also do cool things.
We did that. Yeah.
There's also some, you know, they'll show you some cool behind the scenes stuff, but, the priority on it is on the rides. But I've heard of people getting to go underneath the track of, The mom see how that runs. That's cool So you do get a little bit of that behind the scenes, uh tour type stuff with so.

[24:38] Um Does the non-private one also include meals?
The non-private one does include at least Two, I believe it's breakfast and lunch, Um, and it's at they they have that buffet breakfast buffet was in like where you start, they had a buffet meal at that Copacabana or whatever that place is.
And then they took us for a meal somewhere else, like at the restaurant.
I forget where it was. When you do the private one, you can choose where you wanna eat lunch and dinner, both.
You can eat at any of the City Walk or any of the restaurants in the parks.
The non-private ones, I believe that's all of your meals be done in that that buffet restaurant.
Oh, yeah. And it was really good.
Yeah. Breakfast and lunch and dinner is just the private. That's right.

[25:30] You do get the unlimited express pass for the full day.
So after your tour is over, your express pass still works.
And it's the unlimited version.
So you can still do all the rides you want.
It also scores you discounts on merchandise Uh, at the shops and you get complimentary valet parking parking, by the way, there is awesome.
Cause it is just right there, right by the entrance to the, uh, CityWalk, the Escalator.
I hadn't really taken into account how great it was, um, until, so I have an annual pass for universal and the level of annual pass I have includes nice to be, uh, but it includes parking, and it is considered the preferred parking, but the preferred parking is still a really, really long walk from the gates.
And I've used it a few times, and it's, yeah, you're walking along, the parking garage is huge.
I can't imagine what the non-preferred parking, you need to take a bicycle to get to the gate.
But with VIP, you're just right up the escalator and there you are in CityWalk, it's fantastic.

[26:50] It's awfully nice. You can also do VIP tours during Halloween horror nights And they have a couple of different options that are alright be tours. Those are yes the RIP to it and many of those include stops at bars.

[27:04] Yeah And they they also do a tour for the chickens They do a lights on during the day tour so that you can see what the houses look like without, I'm not a chicken, but I'd love to go do I used to see the construction and.

[27:21] Today and or do the next day after I saw it with all the effects and Oilers Halloween horror nights. That is a way to plus your universal vacation in the fall in the Halloween season I've got to take my son there my.

[27:37] Grown ass man of a son who loves horror. He would love of event. It is a really fun event and it took me a while before I was willing to try it out because I startle easily. But it's so fun. Spoiler alert. It is a ton of fun, and they've got scare zones in the parks and they really go all out and it's the haunted Houses are the most elaborate haunted houses I've ever seen. I mean, they're working with professional set designers to construct those things. They're very cool. They bring Hollywood folks out to set those out. Yeah, an awful lot of people. The director of the movie that the IP is based on itself will come do it. Jordan Peele designed his own spook house for the... Was it Nope. Yeah. No, no, no. Oh man. Yeah. That house was terrifying. There was one long gauntlet run of scary that I didn't care for that. But in a good way. He designed the whole thing himself and came and the Halloween house from the last one we went to that you walk into a room just full of.
Of yes, 100 Michael Myers, some of which were humans and some weren't.
And you didn't know which ones were going to get you.

[29:01] Yep. Right. So you got more fans in your family. Go do that to plus your vacation.
Yeah. And if you've got Harry Potter fans, you can book the Harry Potter exclusive vacation package, which is a great way to plus your stay for them.
And that comes with all kinds of stuff that kind of priority or maximizes your Harry Potter experience. Before you even go, you get a.

[29:28] You get like a gift box that looks like a chest and they've got lanyards, super cute Harry Potter lanyards and luggage tags for everybody in your party.
So the Harry box comes with your Harry package. That's right. That is correct.
That's right. And once you arrive, you get a, it includes breakfast, one breakfast at each of the two, each of the main restaurants at the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks, which that is, normally you have to, you can't just walk up to those, or at least you're not guaranteed walk up space.
You have to book them in advance. So doing it through that package is a great way to be able to have breakfast there.
And the food at those restaurants, I'm always shocked at how good that food is for like theme park food and especially like a theme park take on British like pub food. It's so it's good.
They've got some delicious shepherd's pie that I ate way too much of before getting on the VelociCoaster. Alcohol. And the shepherd's pie. Okay. Right. That's true. And the shepherd's pie then the three rides on the park. That'll do it. The shepherd's pie almost came back up all over Jeff. Yeah. Close call. Those those restaurants both of them are kind of an experience unto themselves. You want to kind of really take it in there. There's a lot to look at.

[30:54] Yeah. Um, and so on top of, on top of those meals, you also get a, uh, a magical portrait session at shutter button studio, where they do kind of a green screen and put you in front of.

[31:09] A lot. Actually there's, you get several, several shots in various magical ways.
And then you have like the moving photos like they have in Harry Potter, correct?
Yeah, you get a DVD with all those magical shots plus you get a printout of one picture.
I'm trying to remember, I feel like there's something else that's included.
Maybe that's it. Yeah, the breakfast plus shutter buttons, but I mean, that's so it really kind of gets you immersed into.

[31:36] And if you really want to be immersed, you can buy one of their interactive wands and.

[31:41] Go around and do the all of the interactive spell magical quality that they call them.
I don't know if there's a name for them, but basically, are you taking your wand and you're learning a spell and it makes stuff happen around the park.
Yeah. And it really is magical. It's amazing.
It's so much fun, especially watching kids get it for the first time.
But everything in the Potter land is really kind of, they give you so many options for increasing your level of immersion and plussing that experience to make it as wizardy as you want.
They have, you can dress as whatever character you love the best and just.
And you can buy all that stuff. You can buy wizard robes and...
For their opportunity to purchase some of these costume items.
Yeah, and they're realizing now that everybody's bought all of their costume items that they might want to also have them personalized.
So they've been rolling out a whole lot of embroidery options and other personalization options for the merch. But only if you bought there that day.
Correct. That's right. You bring your old crap in here to get.
But Jeff, where else are you going to get Gryffindor Quidditch robes with your name appliqued on the back so that you're a member of the team?
Ah, good point. Only at Universal Studios Orlando.
That is correct.
But yeah, that's I mean that's definitely a lot of people plan their whole trip to Universal specifically for.

[33:08] I was the chance to be a wizard harold potter, No Not not heard of them movies were books for the minions, Well, good news. Is this going to be even more?

[33:21] I'm just going there for the shrek ride next Oh, sorry Yeah, i'm just there for jaws And back to the future.
Then you might want to go out to Universal Studios Hollywood.
And King Kong. King Kong's still there. King Kong's still there.
And Twister. King Kong is still there. Twister is not. Oh, that's right.
He just moved. Yes. How do you feel about Fast and the Furious?
Don't get me started. When you hear your family. Oh, wait. That's Olive Garden.

[33:51] Well, what else is there to do beyond the park, Dan? Should we talk about City Walk?
And head on out to City Walk. You got some fun things you can do there.
Uh, they have some, a pair of really great mini golf courses.
I have not experienced those myself. Yes, but my family loves those too many golf courses and they are a cool, kitschy, 1950s theme. Bee movies, sci-fi. Yeah.
One half is, is alien invasion sci-fi and the other half is, uh, horror movies.
Horror. Dracula's Castle and, and Frankenstein and whatnot.
Kendra and my wife and son loved that too. It is super cute.
It is a really, really good mini golf course.
Yeah, I always look down in there and think that'd be super cool if I had any desire whatsoever to play mini golf.
You should. Didn't they just add an escape room to City Walk? Yes.
There's a pair of escape rooms. You can go and one is themed to Jurassic World and one is themed to Back to the Future.
Oh, it's fun. And they look incredible because they're amazing.
Yeah, it's like the Halloween Horror Nights. They add professional set designers.
Oh, cool. I would love to try those. They're really amazing looking.
So, yeah, that's something. And you can book those ahead of time.
That is good.

[35:15] Yes, that you make those reservations before you head down because it's popular.

[35:22] Those are those are there. So they have two of them. Are there multiple rooms of each, do we think?
It seems like a huge building for only two rooms.
And if there's only two, it seems like only 20 people can be doing it at one time. I feel like.
They had to have been smart enough to do like four in the back of the future and four of the, surely I mean just because they have to make you know make sure they make their money back there.
Um yeah that's what I wish they had done with the basketball thing at city.

[35:57] Disney Springs. Yeah. And you know it's just sitting there empty. Maybe. Maybe.
Yeah. There's still yeah, we had a long discussion about that. Yeah, we had the perfect plan for that You know who listened to it?
Universal. Exactly. John Universal heard it and picked up the phone and got it done.
The whole City Walk area is a lot of fun.
There's great restaurants, cars. There's a world class movie theater right in there.
You can take the fam to a movie when you would like to get off your feet.
Or if it's raining going on, you know, do you like air conditioning live band karaoke?
Yeah, we have a lot of our travel advisors are big fans of the rising star karaoke bar, Yeah, yeah, you can you can see a concert at hard rock. It's got.

[36:52] When you're cool and they have some great bands that come and play big The big venue pretty man's play there. I think it holds like 2,000 people pretty big. Yeah Oh, yeah, I mean, it's a major concert venue.
It's nice. And then this is a hotel blessing, but they have smaller concerts that happen in the lobby of the Hard Rock, and they get some great names there too.
Jeff saw the Psychedelic Furs in that lobby. Purely accidentally.
I didn't know they were playing and just saw the ad in the elevator and like, yes, I'll go down to the lobby of my own hotel and watch the rest.
Yeah. Why would you not? Yeah, so, um...

[37:35] It is a multi-day vacation destination. It really is. It really is. There's tons to do for everybody regardless of your ages. I know that a lot of people kind of think of Universal and only think of the thrill rides that they have there. But they do really have a lot for the younger kids as well. It is a whole family kind of stay. That's true. And it is really nice, like you said, there's plenty of stuff to do outside of the theme parks.
And they really do have an amazing range of levels of resort.
All of their resorts are beautiful and wonderful properties, but the endless summer is an incredible value.
The per night cost of endless summer is very affordable, particularly for the- It's like $27 a night.
I think it's a little more than $27. Not quite, but they are.
But- They are, they're the cheapest hotel rooms in New Orleando.
You really are. And you're especially for what you're getting in up to a two room suite, for like one ninety nine a night.
It's crazy affordable. All the way up to the presidential suite at the Portofino Bay, you could spend a lot of money for a night.
Yeah. And Hard Rock has some ridiculous suites, too. Oh, I love the suites at Hard Rock are great.
They have some that have full kitchens. And yeah, they are a rock star suites.

[39:01] Oh, yeah. They have a big one that has a a fireplace that is in the master bedroom and in the bathroom.
But it's in the wall that separates the bedroom from the bathroom.
I'm going to need to know the name of that suite.
Yeah, I'll find it for you. Feels odd that I haven't stayed there.
Right. Well, we'll work on remedying that situation.
Talk to your travel agent, Jeff. I will. Speaking of...
That means it's time for me to say thanks for hanging out with us again this week.
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[40:13] Can't wait to hang out with you again later and we'll see you real soon.
I'll come back now, ya hear?
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[40:58] Music.

[41:03] Thanks to Outer Vibe for the use of their song Hoka Hey for the intro and outro of our show.
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[41:16] Music.

[41:25] We'll see you next week for another meeting of the Gold Key Adventurer Society, and until then remember, life is short and the world is wide So go have an adventure.