Orlando theme park hotels


I was supposed to be on an airplane to Orlando and Disney World right now, but sometimes life has other ideas, so I thought you might enjoy this story from one of my previous trips.

(May, 22, 2005) For the most part I enjoyed all the rides at Disney World and most of the people who rode them with me and my family were well behaved and considerate. I was a little disturbed by the 40-ish woman who went on Splash Mountain alone, sat next to me, and seemed to chuckle at every thing the robotic cartoon characters did.

In 1976 when my parents took me to Disney World they, for some unknown reason, elected not to take me on Pirates of The Caribbean. Maybe they were fearful I’d run off to join the merry hooligans as they wreaked havoc on the seven seas. Or maybe they, like most parents, didn’t give a rats ass what their kids want towards the end of 10 hours walking around Disney and just wanted to get back to the hotel bar for a beer. Either way, I’ve spent the last 25 years feeling cheated that I missed out on that ride.


On this trip I felt that finally justice would be served as I proudly marched my kids into line for Pirates of The Caribbean. Then I noticed 4 young adults in line in front of me. They were “skinheads.” I say this not just because the three young men had shaved heads. It wasn’t the knee high leather boots they were all wearing that gave away their political leanings. Using my brilliant powers of deductive reasoning I concluded that they were “skinheads” because one of them had a tattoo on the back of his neck. It said, “skinhead.” I’m thinking that you’d better be pretty damn sure about your political affiliation to have it tattooed on your neck. What if in ten years he decides to be a Republican? Nevermind, bad example.

I just never imagined that skinheads would choose Disney World for vacation. Don’t you think they would want to visit Alcatraz or perhaps the jail cell that Mr. Howell locked the Brady’s in when their Grand Canyon trip went awry? Although I don’t agree with the skinheads’ political and social beliefs I do have to say that this group was polite and well behaved, unlike my friend from Pittsburgh.

Have a great Saturday! ~Phil


Picture courtesy LoewsHotels.com

Have you ever wanted to stay in a small seaside town in Italy, but don’t want the hassle of flying all the way over there? If you answered yes, the Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando might be just what you’re looking for. Although it’s part of the Universal Studios portfolio in Orlando, it doesn’t have the feel of a theme park hotel.

View from lobby.

From the moment you enter the lobby you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Portofino, Italy. Inside and out, no detail was overlooked. Of the Universal affiliated hotels, Portofino Bay is the furthest from the park itself, but it’s not so far that you couldn’t walk there. In addition to the garden walkway, there are the convenient water taxis and shuttle buses.

The rooms are nicely appointed and are perfect for a romantic getaway, or…

If you’re bringing the kids along you could get them one of the Minions Suites!

If you feel like dining out without having to go to Universal CityWalk, you can choose from several excellent restaurants on property that cater to anything from noshing on a quick snack at the pool, to a grab and go hot sandwich at Sal’s Market Deli, or a high end dining experience at world renowned Bice Ristorante.

Another option while you’re there, if you like the nightlife, is Universal’s CityWalk. It’s a great place to shop the day away, soak up the sun and eat like you’re on vacation. At night a variety of bars and restaurants await those that don’t have an early bedtime. Even if you don’t crave the limelight, it’s very entertaining to see others strut their stuff on stage at the Rising Stars karaoke bar. (I’m not saying I took the stage, but I’m not saying I didn’t)

In summary, this is a hotel that has a bit of everything for everyone. I love that it’s walking distance to everything related, such as the theme park and CityWalk. Although it does have the Minions Suites, the Italian seaside theme gives it more of an adult resort feel. I stayed there for a week and I think it’s a perfect getaway for those that want to thrill seek at the theme park during the day and wind down at night with a glass of wine and relaxing stroll around a charming Italian village. I would happily stay there again.

Safe travels and have a great day! ~Phil