Hilton Grand Vacations at Tuscany Village is in Orlando at 8122 Arrezzo Way Orlando, FL 32821. I love Orlando and all it has to offer. I can’t wait to check out this resort because I love Orlando and I prefer to be in a resort that is close to the big attractions but not on site.
Video by Rix Flix
Day One Travel and Arrival at Hilton Grand Vacations at Tuscany Village
I like the drive down I95 to Florida. I do not understand why. It may be because I have made that same trip with family and loved ones so many times. It is literally a trip down memory lane for me. It is just one long lane.
The 11-12 hour trip is a long drive from Virginia Beach, Virginia. It provides hours to reflect and to remember. There are also a few spots that are still the same to stop at along the way.
Most are gone now. Those that survived the passage of time suffered and closed during all the madness of 2020 and COVID-19. Those that made it are still fighting hard to come back strong.
Once I made it to the resort 11 hours after my start. I was tired and ready to check in. The resort itself is only a few short exits from Universal, so I thought if I got something to eat and went to bed early I could get up in time to be at the park when it opens. An early start at Universal gives you a chance to hit the most popular locations first before the heavy crowds later in the day.
Checking in was easy and fast. My room here was a 1 bedroom suite and was large at 855 sq ft. 1-bedroom/1-bathroom suites with a screened balcony or patio feature a primary bedroom with a king-size bed and bathroom with a free-standing shower and separate whirlpool jet tub. The suite also includes a generous living room with a separate dining area, large TV with cable and DVD player, and a queen-size sleeper sofa, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, and washer/dryer.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
Check out the walkthrough images here.
Once I was settled in, it was time for dinner. I chose a chain, but it was just because I had not tried it before. Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak Burgers. It was fast and tasted great. I have always preferred the old-style custard.
The meat was good and clearly cooked fresh on a griddle. The meat was cooked thin like they use presses to compress the meat. In most places that do that, it kills the flavor, but here it seemed fine. They must have a spice mix that is put on the meat while cooking.
Day Two at Universal
My first trip to Universal happened almost by accident. I had driven down for a last-minute vacation, and Universal had just opened a few days before I arrived.
In its first form, it was just the main park. No Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, or CityWalk. It was still neat in those early days, but now there are many more options.
Universal Orlando is made up of three different theme parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, & Volcano Bay. There’s also Universal CityWalk, where you’ll find lots of restaurants and shops. Universal Studios features classic movie-themed rides and attractions. You’ll see things like the Simpsons Ride, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the Revenge of the Mummy. From the Harry Potter world, you’ll find Diagonal Alley and the Escape from Gringotts’ ride, as well as other rides and attractions based on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The Islands of Adventure is more about thrill rides and fantasy than other parks. It also houses some of the newest rollercoasters, three of the new wizarding world rides, Jurassic Park attractions, and a couple of water slides. Volcano Bay is Universal’s water park which opened in 2017.
The best rides at Universal Studios, Florida
Universal Studios rides are great! There are lots of them, and they’re really fun! Some of them are even scary!
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a ride at Universal Studios that simulates a roller coaster. It’s not a real roller coaster, but it doesn’t pretend to be either. It’s a fun experience that takes you into the world of Harry Potter.
This is an elaborate queue system. Once you enter the queue, you get to watch a movie about dragons. After the ride, you must wait 10 minutes before you go outside to see the dragon.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Adventure is an outdoor rollercoaster located at Universal Studios, Florida. Riders sit on motorcycles while being propelled forward by gravity. There are several tracks, including the Forbidden Forest, where riders encounter magical creatures. Fog banks obscure the ride’s path, and riders plummet down a hill.
Revenge of the Mummy – This indoor roller coaster is very scary. You’ll be running away from evil Imhoteps who chase after you. Your car will run into a swarm of insects, warriors, and fire. Be careful when you go down the drop because you might hear the voice of Brendan Fraser saying, “Ooh, that feels really good”.
The new ride at Universal Orlando is called Jurassic World Velocicoaster. It is the most thrilling roller coaster at Universal Orlando. It is designed to take riders into the world of dinosaurs. The thrill comes from the fact that it is a real dinosaur ride. Riders get to experience what it was like to be in the presence of a dinosaur. The ride also includes many other thrills such as inversions and twists.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster is a wild roller coaster that takes you around a lot of loops. You’ll be up high in the air and down low in the dark. You’ll feel like you’re going fast enough to fly!
Men, In Black Alien Attack, is a great ride that’s easy to overlook. There are some secrets that help you get a better score than your friends. You can score more points by shooting the aliens hiding in windows or behind trees, and you can earn an extra hundred thousand point bonus by pressing the red button when you see the big monster. Unfortunately, you won’t be rewarded for knowing all the words of the Will Smith song.
When you start early in the morning when they open the gates, you should hit the Harry Potter areas first because they get so busy later in the day. Since my very first trip to Universal most years, I have purchased the annual pass. Unless my year is crazy, I will at least make it down to Orlando 2 times (the benefits of travel writing). I also have several clients in the area for my marketing agency. This means I do get to travel to the area several times every year. The season or yearly pass here provides great value and good savings.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just fun. Pure, fun. Especially if, like me, you read kids the books, read them yourself, or even have seen all the movies over the years. My Harry Potter experience began during family vacations around Thanksgiving when we took all the nieces and nephews to see the movies several years in a row. I think we did that for the first 4 movies. Until the kids, all were much older that they were not as excited to see the movies with the whole family. We also had some loss in the family one year that broke our family gatherings up around Thanksgiving time. That kind of stopped us all from getting together every year for a bit. Tough times. But those years we did not all gather made the ones where we had even more memorable.
I am a guy that does not make connections with others well. So, when I have great experiences with family and friends, I develop strong mental connections with locations and the events that take place with those special in my life. It is funny but the Harry Potter movies and characters almost have that level of mental connection for me.
I am 51 and a single straight male, not your ideal marketing demographic for Harry Potter, but I do like the fun of it all. I get to the area and walk around, grabbing more Butter Beer than I should. Butter Beer here is like a Slurpy on a sugar high. The rides are fun, and the environment truly makes you feel like that world almost exists.
I just love all the childhood connections offered by Orlando these days. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Avatar, Disney, and even the cartoons of yesterday. They now really cover more than 50 years of memories, all in just a few amazing theme parks.
Day Three Last Chance
When you plan out your final vacation day at major parks like Disney or Universal, it always seems to be two parts. One, make sure you get to items you promised yourself you would, and two, make certain to ride or see the things you enjoyed most one more time.
I hit the park at an opening time again with a few of those must-ride-again items on my mind, and several more items on my want to see on this trip list. You can never seem to see it all, so you do have to set goals for what you want to do and see.
I knew as soon as the carts opened up I wanted another Butter Beer, and also that the sugar would give me an instant (if not lasting) boost of energy.
I wanted to ride the mummy again, and afterward hit the transformers 3D experience that I had not seen yet. The transformer franchise is something I watched,, but it never was huge for me, kind of like the men in black which I rode next. But all of these were great.
I went back to Diagon Alley and Escape from Gringotts again, and grabbed that Butter Beer I was ready for. I then went to Louie’s Italian Restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, it was time to change parks and go back to the Islands of Adventure. This meant a ride on the Hogwarts Express the second time on this trip, and it was still fun. I wanted to see some things in Hogsmeade again. But first, it was time to ride the Jurassic Park Ride. It is really fun but does expect to get wet, it is going to happen so plan on it.
I dropped into Hog’s Head for Butter Beer but stayed for the Hog’s Beer. It was tasty on a hot day.
I could regale you with my exploits for thousands of more words, but let’s just say if you want a vacation and experience like mine, make sure you book with TZort.