This resort is in lovely Orlando and I was happy to be back in the area for another run at Universal Studios.
Video by AllEars.net
Day One Travel & Arrival at Diamond Resorts Cypress Pointe Resort
Most of the time when I travel to Orlando I like to drive down. It is part of my vacation process. Recently I started flying down on trips to Southern Florida and it has been so nice that I thought I would fly into Orlando this time as well and try it out.
This means you also like to want to get a rental car and I am trying a new provider for the car on the trip as well. The price was almost half of what Enterprise was we will see if it is worth the savings.
I am fairly loyal to brands but almost 50% is a lot to not at least give a newer competitor a chance.
My rental car looked nearly brand new, and they had it ready, cleaned, and fueled up. It was a newer Toyota Camry so a midsized car and it was only $44 a day. Since I was using my business credit card with the rental car insurance included I did not have to pay the extra fee for insurance which saved me even more. Check your credit cards for their feature before you rent it may surprise you what is covered with some cards.
The airport was only 16 miles from the resort so you could easily take a can or uber if you wanted to. I like to feel more in control so I had the rental car. Also, I will be changing resorts in 3 days to another location so I wanted to be able to do that easily as well.
It took around 25 minutes with traffic and one wrong turn and then I was at the resort. The appearance of the resort is a great Caribbean-like feeling with a giant pool area that has a volcano water feature in its center. They offer studios, and 2 and 3-bedroom villas here. I opted for the 2 bedrooms for the added space and when I checked in, I thought they gave me the honeymoon suite. Not that there was a heart-shaped bed it was normal but there was a hot tub in the main bedroom or jetted tub, and it had a fun bow chick a bow wow feeling. Kind of the romantic getaway touch if you are looking for that. The other room was a more typical room for a guest or kids. I could see a couple here reconnecting for sure.
The rooms to might feel dated, but to me, they worked perfectly with the Caribbean theme of the entire resort. Everything was clean and well-maintained. It felt very beach other than the jetted tub.
After checking in, I toured the resort and I really enjoyed what I found. The pool area was insane with the volcano water feature and large layout. There is also a giant hot tub outside, a kid’s pool area, and a full playground area too. Fun water slides go into the pool and on the other end, there are great stairs into the water. I prefer to jump in myself so I might try to sneak a plunge feet first on the low, low. Kind of like walking along minding my own business than just disappearing into the water. Since I wear my shirt into the pool these days (so I do not scare folks, Santa with the shirt could ruin a Christmas) I might get away with it barefoot.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- Concierge Services
They also have tennis on site, half a basketball court, and a few other outdoor games. There is also a snack bar on site near the pool and other places of interest as well.
As much as I love Disney for all my fond memories, I really enjoy the mood, pace, and fun at Universal Studios.
All theme parks now are costly but Universal still offers more value and a lower price point which is nice overall. There are several big draws to the parks here but Harry Potter fans will absolutely love the two main areas in the parks that are over-the-top amazing Potter experiences. With so many books and movies about that world out there being able to step into that land of imagination is something special.
I myself am a fan. I do not have a wand I take out weekly or anything. But I did enjoy the books and movies with the nieces and nephews over the years. I think I saw all the movies with the oldest, and most of them with the rest of the crew. Altogether, it is a big bunch since everyone has kids but me at this point and there are 5 siblings. My sister has 2 step sisters and my stepbrother. We did not grow up, but we did spend holidays together including a string of Thanksgiving, for about a decade where we would rent a giant place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and get all the nieces and nephews together.
I started my day at the older side of Harry Potter adventures in the Islands of Adventure park. If you or more likely your kids want to be sorted into a house of magic, or find your special wand, it is best to hit the park early and fast for those things. That happens on the Island of Adventure side. You can then take the Hogwarts Express from one park to another and check out Diagon Alley as well. Note you need the pass that allows you to go to both parks in a day to do so.
I waited to go to the other side and first went and rode the Jurassic Park river ride. It reminds me of the Pompei ride in Bush Gardens just longer and with that same kind of log flume drop that is so fun near the end.
Enjoy a virtual ride here to get you ready for your trip.
Video by DLP Welcome
You will get wet on this ride so be ready and plan it into your day so you are not too cold. It was an amazing ride as you can see. I rode it several times. Once I was wet I was, like why the heck not, and there was not a line. I knew it was going to get hot today so I would dry off fast. I also brought a couple of zip-to-lock bags for my cell phone and wallet, so I was ready.
Be ready to meet the raptors, and more on your trip through the park’s waterway. Great fun!
After a few trips, I walked around and checked out the Jurassic park area more, then headed to Hogsmeade when I was dry. I did not hit the Velociraptor coaster because I am not a fan of coasters. Seems silly to say as a new senior (according to AARP) but I just never liked coasters much. I have done a few tame ones, but not the big guys.
You can check out a front-row seat ride on that here.
Video by Chasing Dreams with Mike
That high-speed launch looks fun though. Check it out for yourself in person when you go to Universal. Let us know what you think.
After I rode on to Diagon Alley, I was ready for a snack and a butterbeer. The butter beers are like a Slurpy that had a close relationship with some whipped cream. It tastes like a frozen version of what you thought a butter beer would be, and they are great. Just prepare for a sugar high, and one from the kids for sure. So, you might want to let them get one earlier in the day versus late. That way, the kids can burn off all that sugar energy in the park.
After checking out Diagon Alley again, I went to Louie’s Italian Restaurant for dinner. I often go to the Irish pub but I am saving that for tomorrow.
Day Three Universal Part 2
Today I am going to reverse my park flow and try to catch some early rides before the crowds. This means a ride on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts first thing because this is such a popular ride.
If it is a busy week when you are on vacation and coming to Universal for those with deep pockets, remember that they have their own Express Pass options. These start at $80 per person per day and go up depending on how many times you want to hit the rides available. For a family of 4 that can add up, but it may be worth it for 1 day in the park where you want to ride the most rides. If you are rolling in the money, you can certainly do it more. There are also special options available for the well-monied guest. Not as many as Disney, but they do offer upsells for a fee for sure.
For our great Military Families also offer special discounts and benefits which I like to see. The discounts available are worth checking in to for Active Duty, Retired, and Department of Defense Civilians too.
The offer is a good one at $199 per ticket.
2022 Military Freedom Pass Promotional Ticket
Available for use every day from Nov. 11, 2021 – Dec. 31. 2022.
No blackout dates.
Purchase by Dec. 27, 2022.
Choose from 2-Park or 3-Park options.
Eligible Service Members can purchase and activate up to six (6) promotional tickets.
Must present a valid Military photo ID at any Universal Orlando theme park front gate ticket window in order to activate tickets.
In this park, there are 14 major rides and attractions, so there is a great deal to see. They were smart to make the Hogsmeade connect to both parks and only for multi-park pass holders because otherwise, I might just go to one park a day. There is just so much to do.
Check out the ride here:
Video by A walk around the world
I have fallen into the sugar trap and after the ride grabbed another butter beer; they are that good guy.
Next, I went on the Fast and Furious ride which is a motion ride experience. After that, it was the Men in Black then on to the Transformers Ride. Finally, I tried the E.T. Adventure just to say I had done it. It was fun, and I did not want to phone home afterward.
Want your own ideal vacation at Universal, Disney, or Sea World? You can certainly stay at this. the resort just book it through Tzort to save.