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Old 11-11-2018, 07:22 PM   #11
MinnieMomofOne
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We stayed sapphire falls and liked the convinence of the boat to the parks. Pool was ok. Resturant was good. We watched Christmas decorations go up which was nice. Otherwise itís just a hotel. There are more details & pics in my TR from that trip is you are interested.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:21 PM   #12
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Portifino boats are regular. Thatís one difference from Disney. The hotels have dedicated boats. Much quicker.
The walk from Portifino is a little long, maybe like yacht club to HS? But it is a beautiful walk. A must do once.
Portifino is more spread out, three pools, one with nice activity. We have stayed 3 times. Every time we were near the boat dock, so it was easy.
Last time we stayed we thought it was more tired, but that could be because we had just left the Grand Floridian maybe?
It is a beautiful resort!
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post
Hey,
Sorry to bring up old thread, and need to change title,
but we are going ahead and last minute planning this Thanksgiving trip.

When I booked Friday night, Hard Rock was all they had for the 2 nights we needed, so I got that. we've stayed there before, and love the location, but not necessarily the whole vibe of the hotel, but we still like it fine. We've stayed there before.

Today, Portofino is available.....We love being able to walk to/from hotels,
but also I think it would be fun try Portofino, bigger rooms, etc.
How is the boat transportation? very reliable/constantly running.
For reference, I do not like taking the Friendship boats when we're at BWV...very slow and no guarantee you'll get on one, and again, SLOW .

Google walking maps look like about 1 miles to the Universal entrance from Portofino
how walkable is the route??? you think it's about a mile or more?
We drive, so from your experience, is parking a PITA? We tend to bring up our own luggage, or at least at the end of the stay, bring it to car.

I need to decide today! as we only have until tomorrow to cancel.

Thanks!
Sorry I was traveling today. Hope you decided to go with Portofino. Hard Rock is much closer, at most half the distance, but Portofino is a beautiful walk of roughly a mile, if anything a little less. If it's raining, take the boat! Parking is a minor PITA; the hard part is getting there, but the signage is pretty good. They have a gelateria on site!! A place that sells gelato -- very welcome since BC ditched their gelato.

The boats are great if you choose to use them. They don't seem to spend as much time at stops as the Epcot-DHS boats.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:39 PM   #14
MinnieMomofOne
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Sapphire falls TR with tons of pics & opinions.

http://www.mouseowners.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=115910
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:50 AM   #15
Redhead58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieMomofOne View Post
Sapphire falls TR with tons of pics & opinions.

http://www.mouseowners.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=115910
I will definitely read your tr. We are going next year and probably staying at Sapphire Falls. We are HP fans and may not do any other sections. I have never stayed at US but have been in the parks. I will have to remember, itís not the Mouse. Ssssh!

Did you do the dining plan there? It sounds like the QS is worth it.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:49 PM   #16
MagicJourneys
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We almost always stay at the Hard Rock because we love the very short stroll to Universal Studios and Citywalk. We did try the Portofino once and it was beautiful but far enough away that we got into the habit of using the rickshaws instead of waiting for the boat or walking. (The rickshaws are free but we tipped $5 per ride).
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:56 PM   #17
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We almost always stay at the Hard Rock because we love the very short stroll to Universal Studios and Citywalk. We did try the Portofino once and it was beautiful but far enough away that we got into the habit of using the rickshaws instead of waiting for the boat or walking. (The rickshaws are free but we tipped $5 per ride).
Just came back from our trip to USO. We normally stay at Hard Rock but decided to stay at Royal Pacific. We decided next time we go to stay at Hard Rock. We just liked it a little better, including the food and the ice cream shop.

I did want to comment on the rickshaws. Still free but at least for the one rickshaw that DW, DS, DD used, the tips amounts were recommended to be $10 to $20 per person. Didn't use them again.
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:25 PM   #18
Jedimom3
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Thanks for all the info, recommendations, and TR from Sapphire Falls...

By the time I went to book the Portofino room, it was gone....bummer, I was really excited about trying it...

However, we'll be happy with Hard Rock and excited to stay so close. Next trip though, we'll be looking at Portofino and elsewhere...

Checking in as soon as we can Sunday morning. You can check in at 7AM to get the room key/express pass. But doubtful we'll be pulling that off, since I couldn't find anything do-able close, so we'll be about 15 mins down I-4 Sat night

Sat is DH's birthday. he's hoping to eat at Giordano's , although I'm hoping he'll change is mind and want to eat somewhere at Disney Springs, but we'll see. Giordano's would be yummy!

Thanks again and looking forward to casting spells and enjoying a butterbeer or two..or three

Last edited by Jedimom3; 11-15-2018 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:17 PM   #19
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I believe you can check in as early as 6am, though most likely your room will not be ready.
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:40 PM   #20
MinnieMomofOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead58 View Post
I will definitely read your tr. We are going next year and probably staying at Sapphire Falls. We are HP fans and may not do any other sections. I have never stayed at US but have been in the parks. I will have to remember, itís not the Mouse. Ssssh!

Did you do the dining plan there? It sounds like the QS is worth it.
I hope you have a great time! I'd happily go back to US. They are not Disney and it shows at times, but they are great parks. We skipped the meal plan as my family's eating habits are erratic. If we try a plan in future, it will be QS. I'd be interested to hear what you think of it QS meal plan at US if you try it.
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Cast of Characters:
Me (Amy) DH (Craig) & DD (Samantha, age 6)

Quick Links:
Amy's Disney books: Camping Disney and A Year of Disney. Both books were inspired by my Mouseowners Trip Reports. For more on the books plus blog posts, photos and videos, check out my new blog: ThemeParkBooks.
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