Ever once in a while, us “Disney” people make it over to Universal Studios to see what other adventures are within the Orlando area. For my husband’s and my 12th anniversary we decided to take an adult weekend to enjoy the Hard Rock Hotel and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
My husband and I loved the resort. Compared to Disney you will notice the lack of small children. To be honest I wouldn’t take my small children there either. It is on the deluxe end of the resorts and not small kid friendly. Hard Rock likes this more adult atmosphere and families with small kids are not their demographic.
The main lobby is decorated in over the top themed rock’n’roll art and prints of rock n’ roll icons like Steven Tyler, Mic Jagger and Jimi Hendrix. There are small exhibits around every corner with memorabilia, instruments and fun trivia. We spent about an hour just exploring the resort and viewing the treasures.
We stayed in a King bed garden view. It was quite large and could accommodate four people with an optional fold-out couch. The mirror reflected the heights of different musicians so you could see how you measured up. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m the height of Lady Gaga. The art on the wall was modern, all with an instrument twist. For our anniversary they gifted us with a treasure hunt that ended with a campaign toast. To be honest, we did not participate—we were too busy.
The pool is a party scene, with servers taking drink and appetizer orders accompanied by loud music. Hard Rock Hotel boasts an underwater sound system, playing classic rock and dance music. You will find the pool laced with old rockers, edgy young punks and your fill of tattoos and body piercings. The DJ while we were at the pool was hysterical and kept saying off-color comments and would follow the comments with, “This ain’t no Portofino.” [These are Universal Studios more classy and refined deluxe resorts.]
The main reason we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel was because of the onsite complimentary theme park benefits:
Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter [The biggest reason]
Skip the regular lines with Universal Express Unlimited ride access [Starts at $69/person/day]
Complimentary water taxis
Priority seating at select restaurants
My husband and I had a great couples weekend at the resort. We found it to be cool and edgy, while staying clean and modern. The staff was friendly and attentive, and some of them may stalk the grounds late at night looking for an off-site host, but were very kind and nurturing to their guests. Not to mention the Hard Rock Hotel has the shortest walking distance to Universal Studios. This is a great place to have a weekend adventure!