This is Skull Island. This fortress housed a great 3D-augmented simulator/thrill ride.
Jurassic World was fun for some photo ops. I didn’t get any pics of the water ride we took, since I had to have my camera put away so it wouldn’t get wet.
That big coaster is the featured attraction at Islands of Adventure.
The coaster is themed around The Incredible Hulk. It makes a lot of noise, goes really fast, and we didn’t go on it. We’re not a roller coaster family. I don’t think I would survive such a thing.
Here’s what Barish and Handan were looking at. Smart fish – they know where the food comes from.
Here are some close ups I got of the Hulk coaster with my zoom lens. People love that ride!
Going into the twisting loop…
…and coming out. Everybody is smiling, but that little girl may be re-evaluating some life choices.
A glimpse of Harry Potter World through the trees while we were walking through Jurassic World.
Walking towards Harry Potter World.
The building below houses the most technologically advanced ride in the world. It is a motion simulator that has a fair amount of real motion thrown in as well. One of the best rides we took.
That’s the last photo I have of Day one. After that, I was feeling pretty bad from the heat. My head felt like someone had driven a stake down through the top of my skull, behind my eye and into the base of my neck. The motion simulator cranked the headache from a dull roar to a skull-splitting tsunami.
We left the park around 6 pm, just before the daily thunderstorms hit and drove back in torrential rain. When we arrived at the hotel, we went to the front desk and got the keys for our new suite – the one we paid for in the first place.
Our first room – the temporary one – was in a building far from the main hotel. It overlooked the pool but seemed rather empty, as some floors were totally given over to construction. On the floors with guests, certain rooms were being renovated. There seemed to be a lot of empty rooms, judging by the small number of people we saw in the halls and coming and going.
Our new room was also in that detached building, this time on the first floor. That could be cool. Maybe they gave us one with a patio looking out onto the pool. We walked in and searched for our room.
Huh. Not overlooking the pool, then. But hey, right next to the “Hotel Staff Only” room. That’s cool, though. I’m sure they gave us a view.
I pulled back the curtain. Oh hey, look! The handle of the sliding door to the patio was broken – snapped off at the top and hanging from a piece of twisted metal at the bottom. I unlocked the security bolts (first floor room and all) and carefully slid the door open.
What a view! The crumpled soda can was a lovely touch!
And every morning…
Wow, they really hooked us up, those wonderful folks at the Hilton Buena Vista Palace. This is what you get when you complain.
Oh, I forgot to mention the construction. Yeah, that was going on in the room directly above us.
C’mon Hilton Corporate HQ – tell me how this was just a happy accident and not revenge for making a stink about your failure the night before.
This brings me to my final thought about the Hilton Buena Vista Palace. It is situated in one of the most heavily-visited tourist areas in the world. The reality is, even if they offered complimentary face slaps upon check-in and a fresh goose turd on the pillow each night, the hotel would still be booked solid year-round. They don’t have to try anymore. It is less a hotel and more of a Holiday Human Processing Plant. They don’t care what comes in, and they don’t care what goes out. They don’t need to. And that is sad, because the lack of effort and the “I don’t give a shit” attitude tarnishes an otherwise decent hotel. I couldn’t help but compare the overall attitude there to hotels we’ve stayed at in Turkey, Vietnam and India. In those countries, hotel staff go to the ends of the Earth for the comfort and joy of their guests, and they do so gladly and without reservation.
Do better, Hilton.
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