The Good and the Bad.
Airline food has NOT improved in the last 4-5 years.
Airline comfort has NOT improved at all.
Don't bother packing socks or anything heavier than cotton – waste of space.
Don't expect the shade to be any more comfortable than being out in the blazing sun.
No kettle/teabags in the room. Just coffee. The local idea of tea is quite different anyhow. Ended up smuggling English Breakfast Tea bags from the nearby Pizza Express.
Wheelchair hire is $40 + per day. I did it once then relied on my stick after that. It's slower to get around but you get to afford other stuff.
Don't lose your mobile on the first day out – more to the point, don't wear it around your neck (down your shirt, even) on The Hulk ride at Universal. (Didn't get to collect it till the last day).
Don't get a foreign cold/sore throat/cough bug from going in and out of air-conditioned buildings and/or swimming in the hotel pool. (Especially when you have a gig soon after your return).
Don't think you'll get any time to listen to the aforementioned gig set on your iPod in preparation.
Don't expect to understand the infrequent road signs.
Don't expect much in the way of veg in the local cuisine. Average fare consists mostly of meat and starch. There also appeared to be quite a lot of salt content in most foods (I guess it's a climate thing).
Very friendly locals and very nice staff at the hotel.
Even with my natural cynicism, I have to confess that The World of Harry Potter was very good. I did feel sorry for the staff who had to wear thick felt/cord hats and full HW uniform in that climate.
Best rides were The Hulk, The Dragon Combat and The Spiderman.
Universal was, overall, a better park than Disney.
Floating in the hotel pool in the warmth of near-midnight with C after the kids had settled.
Enjoyed a free, all-you-can-eat breakfast courtesy of a timeshare company (Driftwood). In return we had to endure a presentation and heavy-handed sales pitch for half an hour before being told that timeshare wasn't for us. Kind of them to let us know, tho'. (And we got the free tickets to the water park they promised us in return so, I think we made on the deal).
Really nice steaks!
Really nice coffee.
IHOP 24hr 'cafe' less than a minute up the road.
Talking of roads, you get to turn right on a red light so long as the lane's clear AND there are dedicated, regular u-turn lanes on just about every road.
I got to drive a Dodge Nitro for a week.
The local orange juice is especially nice.
The kids had a great time.
Overall, a very pleasant time was had and I'm glad we did it.