City Walk, Orlando – As you know, for a while our house liked to rotate annual passes for the theme parks. One of the perks of being a Florida resident is that most theme parks give Florida residents discounts for annual passes. When we had passes for Universal Orlando Resort, we not only learned the ins and outs of the park and the layout, but I also started to find out about the little unknowns that guest can enjoy. One of those is The Vibe Tour, the secret tour of The Hard Rock Cafe’ Orlando.
Where to start
When you walk into a Hard Rock, no matter where it is you can expect to see some amazing artifacts of Rock and Roll. But most people have no idea that there is just as much music memorabilia behind the walls as there is hangin in plain site.
The first thing you will want to do is approach the host area for the main restaurant and ask what the availability is for The Vibe Tour. They will be able to tell you what the tour times are and if there are tours going on they will be able to give you a tour time. For us we waited about 10 minutes for our Vibe Tour guide to start. And the tour was a private one, just me and the wife.
What’s so special
Besides the feeling as if you are getting that VIP treatment, you will get to wander the back halls of the Hard Rock Cafe and Concert area. The hallways behind the scenes are just as decorated with Rock posters and Pictures as the ones out in the cafe. At the start of the tour you head to the second floor and into the Woodstock Room.
This is where the tour guides knowledge and the experience begins. She went on to tell us details about the hanging posters that you would have never known. She also explained the gold circle in the middle of the room on the floor. The Woodstock Room is perfectly designed for acoustics, so when you raise your voice and sing a little tune you can hear your echo.
After a few more test, and a look from the wife, we exited the room and saw a large brick facade. Seemed out of place, so I of course had to ask. The bricks were from the iconic Cavern Club. If the name sounds familiar, well it’s where the Beatles performed more than 200 times.
See told ya pretty cool. But there is more!
The John Lennon Room
As you make your way down a few more hallways, and say hi to some of the working staff that is fulfilling orders, you come to the “AHHHHH” moment. The John Lennon Room. This room is amazing, and if you are a Beatles fan I think you might just be speechless from the overload of items to take in.
Right away you will notice that the theme color for this room is white, and with items that were donated by Yoko Ono –in addition to incredible amount of items Hard Rock curators have purchased over the years you are just engulfed in feeling of a 1980 ore concert “green room”. In one spot is a love seat that John Lennon himself sat in and wrote some of the well known Beatles songs as well as songs he performed solo.
There is a replica of the white piano that John used. I thought it was the real deal, but what do I know. Whats really cool is the signatures that cover the keys. Over the years well-known pianists including: Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Elton John and Paul McCartney have signed have signed it.
The tour guide was nice enough to grab a photo of us chillaxin on this amazing white couch that could fit a nice entourage.
There is a full size bar area and an amazing balcony the overlooks City Walk Orlando.
This space is available to rent. Yeah I had to ask!
Next we are heading to The Attic. We are guided through some more winding hallways and get into an elevator that will be our ride to the top!
Once exiting the elevator you are basically hit in the face, sorry best way for me to describe it, with just what seems like an overflow of Rock and Roll items. From the Voice – O- Graph booth Elvis made his first recording in for 35 cents to the overwhelming amount of signatures and messages left by past performers. To the crazy chair that also is coved in signatures. For a music fan like we are, we loved every second of it.
Behind the scenes
As you are lead out of the Attic we got to see the Stage in the concert area from the performers perspective. Walking the backstage areas and seeing the lights and the curtain. On this day they had a concert happening later that week and they were already prepping for the show. The Hard Rock is constantly hosting performers from all genres of music. So this is a working sound stage.
That’s all folks
As our tour came to a close, we followed our amazing Vibe Tour guide back down to the main level of the Hard Rock Cafe. We had a really fun time and learned a lot of interesting tidbits while exploring the “behind the scenes” of the Hard Rock
The tour is 100% free and is great for all ages. I did notice that the time we took the tour, and the availability was best at around 3-5 pm. But as with anything at the parks that can be different depending on day of the week and the time of year.
You can expect the tour to take roughly 45 minutes, unless you have someone who likes to ask a lot of questions(like me) and it may run closer to an hour.
Hopefully my secret tip has given you one more adventure to enjoy when visiting Orlando City Walk and Universal Orlando Resort.
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