PDA

View Full Version : My first ever pre-trip report, single mum with two boisterous children. Am I mad?


madmumof2
05-04-2009, 11:41 AM
I'm being pressurised to write a pre-trip report so here it is! lol

Cast;

Me; Mummy, 24 year old, Disney nut, third trip but first time as an adult!

Cameron; Son, will be 6, first trip.
http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs001.snc1/4141_91311539776_581604776_1649183_7436487_n.jpg

Alyssa; Daughter, 3, first trip.
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs001.snc1/4141_91311529776_581604776_1649182_2875935_n.jpg

We are booked for 2 weeks in POP Century! I've never been onsite before so I'm very excited!

I've never been able to take my children on holiday, I'm not exactly on a good income, so I've had to save long and hard for this holiday. I started saving about 2 1/2 years ago, and finally paid off my holiday last month!

I've had the kids' passports sent off, so now I just need mine sorting and to save up our spending money!

We got our park tickets through the post a few weeks ago, suitcases ready and waiting to be packed, Disney backpacks for the kids, lanyards and 11 pins each so far, bum bag for me, photopass CD and book pre-purchased, a night at the Sofitel the night before our flight, booked and paid for and I'm part of a stroller swap that includes all the accessories we'll need which will be handy!

Here's my plan so far, although I bet it will change in the next 5 months, especially if I can't get the ADR's and times I want.

Day 0, Thursday 8th Oct
Pick Cameron up from school after getting Alyssa and drive straight to Leicester
Train or lift to the airport
Check in at the Sofitel at Gatwick airport
Have dinner in their resturant
Early night, early start tomorrow

Day 1, Friday 9th Oct
Breakfast at airport
Flight at 10:20am
Lunch on plane
Arrive at 15:05
Check into POP
Have a mooch, maybe bite to eat.

Day 2, Saturday 10th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Bus to Epcot
Collect passport and get stamps at each country
Lunch at Coral Reef
Illuminations fireworks

Day 3, Sunday 11th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Shopping at Downtown Disney (Bus)
Disney Quest
Lunch/Dinner at T-Rex
Chill by POP pools

Day 4, Monday 12th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Seaworld
Dine with Shamu for lunch
Shamu at night

Day 5, Tuesday 13th Oct
Breakfast at Donald’s safari breakfast at AK (bus)
On to Animal Kingdom for the day
Dinner at Boma at AKL

Day 6, Wednesday 14th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Get picked up and taken to Clearwater
Arrive at 11:30am
Board the Dolphin Encounter boat
See amazing views and dolphins racing you alongside the boat
Arrive back at the beach 75 minutes later
Have lunch (provided)
Spend the day relaxing, shopping, exploring Clearwater
Leave at 5:30pm. Getting back to Orlando at 6:30pm
Dinner at 1900 Park fare

Day 7, Thursday 15th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Bus to Magic Kingdom
Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern
Wishes fireworks

Day 8, Friday 16th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Bus to Typhoon Lagoon
Taxi/bus to I-Drive for some shopping
Dinner at Sizzlers/Ponderosa/Denny’s

Day 9, Saturday 17th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Bus to Hollywood Studios
Lunch at Mama Melrose
Fantasmic (preferred seating with MM dining)

Day 10, Sunday 18th Oct
Taxi to Islands of Adventure
Breakfast with Spiderman
Dinner at Café Stoo-pendous

Day 11, Monday 19th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Spend day at POP, possibly Downtown Disney
Lunch at Earl of Sandwich
Back to POP and chill at resort
Dinner at Teppan Edo (bus)

Day 12, Tuesday 20th Oct
Breakfast at POP
Taxi to Universal Studios
Lunch at Mel’s Drive-in
Evening at POP

Day 13, Wednesday 21st Oct
Taxi to I-Drive
Breakfast at Denny’s
Visit Wonderworks, Ripley’s, Gatorland,
Congo River golf
Lunch at Bahama Breeze
Evening in Kissimmee
Dinner at Taco Bell

Day 14, Thursday 22nd Oct
Breakfast at POP
Tying up loose ends, finish any rides/attractions we’ve missed
Dinner at Hoop de Doo at Fort Wilderness
Drop stroller off and enjoy the show

Day 15, Friday 23rd Oct
Breakfast at POP
Back packs, leave at luggage at reception
Last day/favourite park/attraction
Lunch at the park
Leave park at 1pm
Get back to POP in time for airport transfer
Flight at 5:05pm
Dinner at airport/on plane

I have to show you the hotel we're staying in the night before our flight. It's absolutely stunning.

http://disney-magic-plan.blogspot.com/2009/05/got-to-show-you-hotel.html

My goal for this trip is to show the kids what an amazing place it is, to see their faces on their first every holiday, and to revive some lost memories of my Dad.

I really hope we get all the ADR's listed, I've had such a struggle picking and choosing, and will most likely change them again before the 90 day cut off! lol

Like I said, I'm now saving my spending money, and since paying of the holiday I have put $550 on my fairfx card! I want at least $3000 for all the ADR's I want, shopping, treats, taxi's etc without having to watch every cent all holiday.

I hope you all enjoy my ramblings in the months to come! lol I'm sure there'll be a lot! lol

Lots of pics will follow lol

Natasha&Matt
05-04-2009, 11:48 AM
Bout time girly :rolleyes1

Haha u r such a mad for it planner!! And u doing a great job!! Defo a MADMUM!

Really admire you going it alone to Disney with ur 2 babies, they r gunna have a magical time!

Well done hun in paying it off so proud of ya done a great job! xxx

wickesy
05-04-2009, 12:04 PM
Looks like a great trip but I spotted something that you might not have realised. Gatorland isn't on I-Drive, it's back out near the airport so that is going to be another taxi ride for you.

We always stay at the Sofitel - it really is going to be a great start to your holiday. :thumbsup2

Look forward to hearing all about it when you get back. :goodvibes

madmumof2
05-04-2009, 12:12 PM
Oh thanks for that! Never mind, we'll skip gatorland lol.

wickesy
05-04-2009, 12:13 PM
Oh thanks for that! Never mind, we'll skip gatorland lol.

Well you need to leave something for next time. ;)

scottish mum
05-04-2009, 12:15 PM
Great pre trip. You will love the boat ride in clearwater, that was one of my favourite parts of our holiday

irisheyes123
05-04-2009, 12:16 PM
Sound like you have a great trip planned you and your children will have a wonderful time :)

CustardTart
05-04-2009, 12:37 PM
Mad Mum? Maybe... Lovely Mum?? DEFINITELY!!! :hug::hug::hug:

Sounds like Cameron, Alyssa and you are in for a wonderful time and I like the way you've mixed it up with the trip to Clearwater... Your photos of your babes are gorgeous BTW... I shall look forward to reading all about it and looking at all your pics when you return... :goodvibes

natalielongstaff
05-04-2009, 12:54 PM
I love reading about kids 1st trips, it always makes me remember the look on my kids faces when they 1st went

Your plans sound fantastic :thumbsup2 take lots of pics for us x

Pinky166
05-04-2009, 01:26 PM
Your trip sounds lovely. I am looking forward to reading more. :thumbsup2

DCLMan
05-04-2009, 02:57 PM
You are there the same time we are.

Pegasus928
05-05-2009, 12:08 AM
What busy and fun filled days you have ahead. So pleased to see that you have stuck a couple of relaxed days around the pool in there. They are always welcome - especially by the little ones.
One thing that stood out to me - we have only been to Clearwater once before and I am pretty sure it took us more than an hour to get back - and we were staying on the H27 turn off on I-4, so probably about 20 minutes closer to Clearwater than Disney resorts.
I don't know what time you were thinking of booking for your dinner for that night but you might want to bear that in mind.
Great pre-trippie though
Looking forward to reading all about it and seeing some great pics.

jackieleanne
05-05-2009, 02:09 AM
Great pre-trippie I love your plans so far. :) Your kids will have such a wonderful time as will you im sure. :goodvibes

jjk
05-05-2009, 04:12 AM
great pre trip report, all your plans sound lovely, really looking forward to reading all about it :thumbsup2

madmumof2
05-05-2009, 04:40 AM
Thanks for your replies everyone.

Kenny, we were going to have dinner about t8-half 8 anyway just in case. I always over-estimate how long it'll take lol. I'm guessing about 2 hours.

I'll be adding some more pics and details later hopefully!

wicket2005
05-05-2009, 06:39 AM
What beautiful children you have and they will have a fantastic time. Well done on managing to save all that money, it is expensive but you will give your kids a lifetime memory.

The only other thing I saw was that you are planning to shop on IDrive, there isn't really that many shops there, the mini golf if good and your kids will like that. At the very top of IDrive is the Prime Outlets but I think it is a fair walk to the restaurants you mention for little legs, so a taxi drive would be in order there.

I am looking forward to hearing more of your plans. That hotel looks fantastic for the night before and such a relaxing way to start a holiday.:goodvibes

irongirlof12
05-05-2009, 03:47 PM
wow sounds amazing - go for it and love every moment :cloud9:

jockey
05-05-2009, 04:03 PM
Lovely pics of your DS & DD. Your plans sound fab, I see that you are planning dine with Shamu, we loved this meal it was great, the food was nice and the experience was great!:)

raph_b
05-06-2009, 03:30 AM
Sounds like a great trip you've planned, your kids will love it, they are very lucky to have a great Mum like you :)

thelittlemermaid83
05-06-2009, 03:58 AM
Cant wait to read more, you and your kids are going to have a magical time :)

madmumof2
05-06-2009, 08:14 AM
Aww thank you for all of your comments! Made my day. :)

Bev, I was planning on mainly the 99c stores and that sports place for I-Drive lol. And then get the I-trolley to the Prime outlets. Can I not do that?

I admit to being lost about directions and what is where, I didn't have to pay attention to any of that the last time I went lol.

Beth__WDW23/6/02
05-06-2009, 08:19 AM
Great start.
Sounds fantastic,glad your all paid off this is where the fun starts,saving spends etc :thumbsup2
You've done a grand job of organising it all but you don't need me to tell you that..Look forward to reading more :goodvibes

wicket2005
05-06-2009, 09:51 AM
I would presume the itrolley would run up to the Prime Outlets but I have never done it. It would make sense for it to do so.

madmumof2
05-09-2009, 09:01 AM
Just thought I'd add to my pre trippie.

On the 8th, we're getting a lift to the Sofitel and staying there for the night. :D

I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and I wish I could check in later, but I have to wait until my son finishes school, then spend around 3 hours travelling down there. :(

I might be tempted to take him out at midday that day, it won't make much difference lol. He'll be too excited to concentrate anyway!

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t280/growingpainsmod/sofitel_hotel_restaurantbig503739.jpg

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t280/growingpainsmod/sofitel_wall.jpg

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t280/growingpainsmod/01184.jpg

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t280/growingpainsmod/sofitel_hotel_barbig503740.jpg

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t280/growingpainsmod/Image3.jpg

Natasha&Matt
05-09-2009, 09:14 AM
:cool1: that looks lovely Gem let me know if its any good hehe x

wicket2005
05-09-2009, 09:35 AM
It looks fantastic, I think I would be tempted to travel down earlier and make the most of the hotel. He wouldn't miss much in an afternoon and is going to be way too excited in any case.:goodvibes

islandmum
05-09-2009, 10:25 AM
Great sounding trip:thumbsup2

we do the Sofitel too when we visit the UK and are on our way home - we like to get there before 3pm so we have time with the kids. I see you've planned to eat dinner at the hotel - we always take the kids into the terminal to eat, its a 2 minute walk and theres lots more variation at about a quarter of the price compared to Sofitel restaurant! The kids loved being in the terminal as its so busy and they can find much more food that they like.

hope you have a GREAT trip - and big well done for saving up and paying it all off before you go. You'll enjjoy it so much more knowing theres no bills to pay once you get home:cool1:

madmumof2
05-09-2009, 10:35 AM
Aah, good idea! I'll have to have a look at what restaurants are there lol.

I haven't got the option of paying anything after, I don't have a cc. Which is why I'm taking lots of spending money! As soon as that runs out, we will not have a penny and no way to get any more lol.

$4000 should be plenty though I think, hopefully with enough left over for a deposit for the next trip! lol

wicket2005
05-09-2009, 10:37 AM
You should have plenty of money. The food is so much cheaper over there in any case.

gemmybear83
05-09-2009, 11:26 AM
Sounds like a brilliant trip - I will be there 30th Sept - 14th Oct, wave if you see me there :wave: the sofitel looks lovely! You and the children will love Pop Century we stayed there last year and had a great time!

Food is much cheaper over there too - so fingers crossed you have enough for a deposit for your next disney holiday!:goodvibes

Tillybud
05-09-2009, 12:52 PM
wow, there's planning for you ... I've read your ptr and thought I'm going to need some help when we finally book our first trip !!!

I've loved reading your plans and you have two beautiful children, who are going to have a holiday full of beautiful memories

Can't wait to read some more. Happy Planning :goodvibes

florida sun
05-09-2009, 01:33 PM
Wonderful pre trippie, I was a single mum when I took my daughter then 8 on my own for the first time in 2000, and never looked back, have been 5 times since and love it, you will all have a wonderful time:goodvibes

mark&sue
05-10-2009, 01:29 PM
you should be so proud of yourself to have been able to save for this trip and have worked so hard making it the perfect holiday. Not only the children but you too will have such a wonderful time staying on site especially as you have not stayed before.

looking forward to reading more. well done on making this trip a reality for your two wonderful children.

I read your blog and think you are truly amazing and inspiring (it bought a tear to my eye).


susan

madmumof2
05-11-2009, 07:09 AM
Awww thank you! It does that to me too lol

We're into the 4 month countdown now, not too long to go!

jamjar84
06-08-2009, 08:57 AM
Your PTR sounds great, well done you for getting it all booked and paid for, your children are going to have the time of their lives. :)

I'm already planning my little girl's first trip to WDW and she's only 4 months old, hehe, we're not planning on taking her until she's about 4 or 5 so she will remember it and we've had time to save for it, but I sometimes dream about how happy it will make me to see her face when she sees the castle. :laughing: I don't even know if she will like Disney or not yet, but I think I will be strongly encouraging her. ;)

I'm pretty sure that you can take the I trolley to Premium outlets. :)

Can't wait to see your TR. :)

BRobson
06-08-2009, 05:23 PM
Great plans :goodvibes You have put me to shame - we fly out on 11th and I havent even started planning :scared1:

wideeyes
06-09-2009, 05:39 AM
your plans sound wonderfull Gem, its a shame I have had to change my dates as would of been nice to meet up.

madmumof2
08-21-2009, 08:18 AM
Well I think it's about time for an update!

7 weeks to go! It's gone so quickly.

The kids passports were done a couple of months back and are safely in my folder, and I've finally been able to get mine sent off today, so hopefully I'll have mine in a week or two.

I've added on 5k each for our luggage each way so I don't have to worry as much about the cost of coming back as I know I'll have loads of stuff coming home!

I've also ditched the transfers and got a hire car! It only worked out £100 dearer in total than the transfers, so though what the heck! It'll save me paying for taxis and being limited and I can do as I please with no waiting either.

http://www.automedia.com/NewCarBuyersGuide/photos/2006/Chevrolet/Cobalt/Coupe/2006_Chevrolet_CobaltCoupe_ext_1.jpg

Unfortunately, I've had a lot of unexpected things to pay the last couple of months, added to the fact I haven't been working as much, so I'm going to have to try REALLY hard to get the $3000 spends I wanted to get. I've got $1900 right now with 7 weeks to go!

I have had to cut some of my ADR's off, and they're really good ones as well!

I booked my ADR's a few weeks ago, and did have Coral Reef, T-Rex, Princess Storybook meal at Akershus, 'Ohana's, Donald's breakfast safari, Boma, 1900 Park Fare, Crystal Palace, Le Cellier, Sci-fi dine in theatre, Teppan Edo, Mickey's Backyard BBQ (paid for).

I've cut out Boma, Sci-fi, Crystal Palace, Le Cellier and 'Ohana's.

I might re-book 'Ohana's if I have enough but I had to make some tough choices there! It's probably saved me about $600 odd, so that helps a lot with spending money.

I don't really need to get much now. I have a big suitcase, and a small one, although I know my mum has a nice one if I need it and a hold all for the plane.

I'm just waiting for my passport to come through so I can do ESTA, then I can relax a bit. Still have £300 to pay for the car, which I'll do in the next few weeks hopefully. It's pretty much just spending money I have to worry about now. Everything I haven't got can wait till we get there anyway (shorts, sunglasses etc)

So, here is my final itinerary, which includes my ADR's and emh hours, so shouldn't think I'll be changing anything around now!


Day 0 Thursday 8th Oct
Pick Cameron up from school after getting Alyssa and drive straight to Leicester
Lift to the airport
Check in at the Sofitel st Gatwick airport
Have dinner
Early night, early start tomorrow

Day 1, Friday 9th Oct
Breakfast at airport
Flight at 10:20am
Lunch on plane
Arrive at 3:05pm
Check into POP Century
Check out resort, grab a bite to eat

Day 2, Saturday 10th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Day at Epcot
Collect passport and get stamps and each country
Dinner at Coral Reef-Epcot: 7:20pm

Day 3, Sunday 11th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Day at Seaworld
Dine with Shamu 12:30pm
Dinner at T-Rex; 7:30pm
Magic Kingdom for fireworks and rides in the dark

Day 4, Monday 12th Oct
Breakfast at Akershus Princess breakfast-Epcot: 8:10am
Day at Hollywood Studios

Day 5, Tuesday 13th Oct
Breakfast at Donald's Safari breakfast-Animal Kingdom: 9am
Day at Animal Kingdom

Day 6, Wednesday 14th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Get picked up and taken to Clearwater
Arrive at 11:30am
Board the Dolphin Encounter boat
See amazing views and dolphins racing you alongside the boat
Arrive back at the beach 75 later
Have lunch (provided)
Spend the day relaxing, shopping, exploring Clearwater
Leave at 5:30pm. Getting back to Orlando at 6:30pm
Dinner at 1900 Park Fare-Grand Floridian: 8:00pm
Clearwater Dolphin Encounter

Day 7, Thursday 15th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Day at Typhoon Lagoon
I-Drive for some shopping
Dinner at Sizzlers/Ponderosa/Denny’s

Day 8, Friday 16th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Day at Magic Kingdom
Wishes fireworks

Day 9, Saturday 17th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Shopping at Downtown Disney
Disney Quest
Dinner in Downtown Disney

Day 10, Sunday 18th Oct
Day at Islands of Adventure
Breakfast with Spiderman-Confisco Grille: ….am

Day 11, Monday 19th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Spend the day at the resort, possibly Downtown Disney
Resort day
Dinner at Teppan Edo-Epcot: 7:30pm
Evening at resort

Day 12, Tuesday 20th Oct
Breakfast at POP century
Day at Universal Studios
Lunch at Mel's drive in
Evening at resort

Day 13, Wednesday 21st Oct
I-Drive
Breakfast at Denny’s
Visit Wonderworks, Ripley’s, Gatorland,
Congo River golf
Evening in Kissimmee
Dinner at Taco Bell

Day 14, Thursday 22nd Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Tying up loose ends, finish any rides/attractions we’ve missed
Dinner at Mickey's Backyard BBQ-Fort Wilderness: 6:30pm
Drop stroller off and enjoy the show

Day 15, Friday 23rd Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Pack bags, load car with luggage
Last day/favourite park/attraction/shopping
Lunch wherever we are
Leave park at 1pm
Flight at 5:05pm
Dinner at airport/on plane

I'm so excited now!! I really can't wait!:cool1:

The only downside is that a couple of months ago I met the perfect man, :dance3:who has already changed my life and now I have to leave him for 2 weeks lol.

Me and the kids have never been so happy, and to top it all up we'll be in Florida in just 7 weeks!!!!!:banana:

Natasha&Matt
08-21-2009, 08:32 AM
Hello!!! There you are hahaha!!

I bet your so excited Gem! u still got time to get Ben to come LOL!!

Beth__WDW23/6/02
08-21-2009, 08:56 AM
Sounds good to me.

I don't blame you for removing some of the Character meals,there was too many to do and if you ask me I don't feel they are worth the extra expense..the odd couple are enough..but sounds like your all sorted. :)
T-Rex is fantastic! :thumbsup2

Just a thought all the breakfasts in Pop will mount up..I'd recommend venturing to Buffet breakfasts with the kids more value for your money and you'll be fueled for the day just a thought we are all different though.
I just thought it soon tallied up eating onsite. :goodvibes

Not long now,soon be there :dance3:

madmumof2
08-21-2009, 09:13 AM
Yeah, I've put breakfast at POP most days, but now we'll have a car we'll most likely be eating at Denny's or Ponderosa most days. Got to go to Sizzlers again and IHOP. Loved them!

Beth__WDW23/6/02
08-21-2009, 10:18 AM
Yeah, I've put breakfast at POP most days, but now we'll have a car we'll most likely be eating at Denny's or Ponderosa most days. Got to go to Sizzlers again and IHOP. Loved them!

Definately..it's more filling..especially for the younger members :goodvibes

wicket2005
08-21-2009, 10:28 AM
Sounds good and glad you have managed to cut out some things to save money. We usually now just stock up on stuff at Walmarts and eat what we bought in the room for breakfast it allows us to get up a bit later to reach the parks for opening.

Beth__WDW23/6/02
08-21-2009, 10:32 AM
Sounds good and glad you have managed to cut out some things to save money. We usually now just stock up on stuff at Walmarts and eat what we bought in the room for breakfast it allows us to get up a bit later to reach the parks for opening.

Yep we do this also..
This has made us look at villas next time purely for this reason eating what we like and cooking it ourselves giving us more freedom etc...the children are happier.
Its amazing how much it soon adds up eating onsite/etc.

Pinky166
08-21-2009, 12:31 PM
Your plans are fab Gem....sounds like your pretty much sorted now. :thumbsup2

Pegasus928
08-21-2009, 12:45 PM
Some good planning there. Bet you will all have a great time.
I did notice though that on Day 3 you are Dining with Shamu - which is a buffet lunch - then T-rex for dinner, which has really huge portions.
It seems like a lot for one day - is there no way that you could juggle it rather than going to T-Rex (which to be fair is one of the more expensive restaurants) and wasting a lot of what you order?
I also know from experience that Clearwater is more like a 90 minute to 2 hour drive so it would be worth bearing that in mind for your 8pm ressie.
All in all it looks as though you have a lot to look forward to :thumbsup2

Danwell
08-21-2009, 03:41 PM
Heya,

I haven't read all the replies so someone may have already mentioned (or you may be aware already) if your under 25 at the time of hiring a car you will probably (almost def' unless the rules have changed) pay extra insurance locally.

I was 24 when I hired my first Orlando wheels and paid all the 'normal' insurance upfront then had this to pay when I collected the keys (it couldn't be paid before, only locally) I wasn't expensive as such but if you aren't aware before hand I didn't want it to shock you.

Great trip plans btw.

madmumof2
08-21-2009, 04:56 PM
Yeah, that's a good point. I'll see if there's a T-Rex ressie for one of the days where I don't have one instead of having that and Shamu. No biggie if not though, I think we'll be booking the 11:30 one so will treat that as a late breakfast probably.

Danwell, I got my hire at carhire3000.com. It includes the under driver surcharge. I had almost given up as quotes were coming out at £800 for hire and insurance, but I got this one for just over £300 all in. :D

That's one thing I forgot to add, I still have dine with shamu and the breakfast with spiderman to book as I can't do that yet. Will look tomorrow for a different ressie for T-Rex. :D

Pegasus928
08-21-2009, 11:55 PM
If you have a chance to look at our PTR Here (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2249130) you will see that we were also waiting for a 60 day window to book Dine with Shamu - until someone told me that you could do it at 90 days. We called Seaworld and was told 60 days (that was the second time we had phned them) but the website was showing our prefered date as available.
We booked it (or rather DW did) then called to confirm and was told by a new CM that the person you are speaking with has to do something on the screen to make the 90 day dates appear :confused3
Anyway we are done now - and I hope you manage to get yours too :thumbsup2

Danwell
08-22-2009, 10:50 AM
Danwell, I got my hire at carhire3000.com. It includes the under driver surcharge. I had almost given up as quotes were coming out at £800 for hire and insurance, but I got this one for just over £300 all in. :D


Wicked price and excellent to get the surcharge included and paid up front

madmumof2
09-05-2009, 07:59 AM
Ok, getting closer and getting stressed now!

All sorts of money issues are appearing now which is stressful on it's own, but I've had to use some of my spending money on blimmin bills so I'm getting concerned about spending money at the minute. :S

I've cancelled Teppan Edo to cut down on costs a but :( I've booked Shamu and will be booking breakfast with Spiderman soon so that's less to spend when I'm out there.

I've cancelled the car, not only due to costs, but also because I haven't got both parts of my licence (moved 3 times since I got it, absolutely no idea where it is lol) and I've just booked a return taxi from Sanford to POP and back for £90 total! So that's me a bit chuffed. I'll have to get a couple of taxi's when I'm out there, but I doubt I'll be spending over £200 on them, which is what I've just saved.

And I no longer have anything left to pay for upfront. All of the money is now going towards spending money.

I'm awaiting my passport which should be here on Monday! Yay! Just need to get sorted with what to pack, what to take etc. I've got a horrible feeling I'll forget some paper work or something and be screwed when I get there lol. Don't let me forget to do my ESTA when I get my passport!! lol

34 days to go! I can't believe it, it was 412 when I booked it! It's gone so fast and no doubt I'll be cacking myself at the airport, ready to go it alone for the first time in my life (well, with the kids lol), in no time!!!

Pegasus928
09-05-2009, 08:11 AM
Once you get to the airport it will all seem real and you will start to relax and enjoy it - at least I hope that is the case :thumbsup2

If I were you I would get up in the attic and sort out a load of stuff for a car boot sale while the weather is still nice (at least I think it is still nice). We are planning on doing one when I get back to stick some more money in the Florida fund - every little helps as they say ;)

Lizzybear
09-05-2009, 10:06 AM
Sounds like you're pretty much sorted :cool1:
I think cancelling the car was a good idea, not only for the money saved but also as you'll be the only adult with 2 kids which is a lot of pressure to be the driver AND navigator (i'm the only one of me and my bf who can drive but he takes a lot of the navigation responsibility, it does help a lot!) Although it's nice to have the freedom of a car in Orlando it's certainly not necessary, you'll be fine using buses and taxis i'm sure :goodvibes
Also, I wouldn't worry about the ADRs you've had to cut as there are so many other options for meals even onsite. The likes of Sunshine Seasons in Epcot and Cosmic Ray's in MK have some really nice 'dinner' type meals like chicken and mash and stirfries for CS prices :) Obviously offsite you have even more choice.
I second the car boot idea, it's amazing what people will buy ;)

Dylan_&_Blake's_mom
09-05-2009, 01:59 PM
Just found your PTR and am loving it so far. I will have to go check out this dolphin encounter that you talked about. We are doing an afternoon at Clearwater as well and dolphins are my favorite so I will look into it. Things look great for you as far as your itenerary and congrats on the great man. Hope everything is still going well.

madmumof2
09-05-2009, 02:48 PM
This is where I got my tickets from http://attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk/attraction-ticket-prices/clearwater.htm

Can't wait, I've got a feeling that will be one of our best days this trip. I couldn't find anywhere with cheaper prices and had already got all my other tickets from this site too, they are brilliant.

Yeah, everything is going fantastically with the new man, I'm going to miss him like mad. Next time, he'll be coming too so no downsides at all then! lol

Snowy-girls
09-05-2009, 03:24 PM
Hi Gem,my you have got a lot sorted :thumbsup2,well done you :cool1:.
I also remember when your countdown was over 400 days :eek:,gosh it has gone quick,there's no doubt about it.
Sorry to hear that you have had to use some of your spends-i also recommend a boot sale now,me+Hubby done our first ever one last Sunday and made a whopping £216.40 :banana:,we was utterly shocked+never thought we would make so much.
Glad to hear things with your man are going well :hug:.It will al soon be here Gem+the 3 of you will be having a wonderful time :banana:.x.

madmumof2
09-07-2009, 07:17 AM
Ok, my passport arrived today! Yay! So I've filled in my ESTA now and that was approved so we're all set now!

I've bought a few little things today, suitcase scales, bumbag, a couple of cans of that mist spray, travel pillows and some adapter plugs. If anyone has a list of things to take, please let me know! I'm lost, I don't know where to start with the packing lol

The kids both have a mini back pack for the parks and plane (they are allowed to take them on aren't they?) and their autograph books and pins.

I need to ring the TA to find out the details of our bags, what is and isn't allowed on the plane, measurements of cases etc, and how many bags we're allowed to take.

I've got three cases here, little, medium and big, and I'm going to pack a few things in the small case and put that inside the medium one, which will go into the big one. I obviously won't be able to do that on the way back with all the stuff I'll be bringing back, but with me on my own and two children to handle, I can't be doing with carrying 3 cases too, I don't think it's even possible! lol

I'm getting excited again now the main stresses are sorted. :D

madmumof2
09-11-2009, 11:51 AM
My flight tickets arrived today! So I can now officially go to Florida!

Everything is booked, all my meals are booked, my itinerary is done, lifts all sorted, all I need to do now is save as much spending money as possible. I have $1500 as of now, will be getting paid while I'm over there which is another $500. Plus anything I add on from now until we go, so we should have a decent amount.

I've written out my luggage tags and just need to get our packing sorted now. I'll probably be buying a few bits but not much, so I can now just be excited and look forward to going!

I think it'll be a little bit harder being on my own for 2 weeks, in a new country with a different routine etc but I've just got to leave my stress head at home and remember it's a holiday, rules can be a little bit more lax!

My flights home have also been changed so I now have an extra 2 hours in Orlando which is brilliant. I'm just about to email about the transfers and tell them to pick me up a bit later, and once that's done, there's nothing left to do!

So excited now, we've waited so long for this trip and it's finally here!

Start of the holiday is a night at the Sofitel which I can't wait for either.

The only bad thing is I'm going to miss my man so much, but I guess I'll just have to pay a little bit extra for internet access and get some phone cards too!!

Pugsly
09-13-2009, 07:26 AM
Your plans sounds great! All the best for the most magical of holidays!

madmumof2
09-21-2009, 07:18 AM
.

madmumof2
09-21-2009, 08:28 AM
Ok, so those of you who haven't seen my other post, I've had half my holiday money stolen! Someone got my card details and bought loads of stuff online with it! Luckily, the transactions were in Chinese yen so Fairfx know they were fraudulent transactions and are getting me my money back.

Unfortunately, they cannot get it back before my holiday! So I've been working hard to get enough spending money to go. I now have $1200 on my card, which isn't enough, but also have $150 cash so far and about £400-£500 coming to me when I'm out there. I love payday! lol

So hopefully all will be fine. I just hope no more big massive blips happen to me, I think I've had my fair share now please! lol

Anyway, on a good note, I've booked Spiderman, Shamu and re-booked 'Ohana again, I just had to! lol It's for our last night so the kids get to say bye to their favourite characters and I get to enjoy the resort too.

I've called the clearwater trip team to confirm pick up and drop up times. I'll have to get to the CBR in the morning and the coach is picking us up at 8:20. The lady on the phone said we should be back for half 6 but I'm not so sure. I hope so as I have to get to the GF for 8pm for our 1900 Park Fare ressie! I tried to get a later table but there's nothing at all available for this ADR for my entire holiday that would suit me!

I've sorted out my daily notes now for ADR/phone/taxi numbers etc that'll we'll need each day and a little plan brief on each one too.

I've got most of the stuff we need sorted, some of it already in the case, and just have a few little bits left to get now.

The school has allowed me to take Cameron out for half a day on the day we leave for the Sofitel so we're not rushing about and hopefully don't hit rush hour in London! Also so I can give the kids a massive lunch at about 2, since we probably won't get to London until about half 7, 8pm.

I've got all paperwork I need in my folder, and all tickets/vouchers/passports etc in my bumbag, which will stay firmly attached to me at all times! lol

I did order a calling card online the other day but haven't received an email so I'll have to check that out so I can ring the bf! lol

I've changed the T-Rex ressie to another day (thanks pegasus!) so we're not dining with Shamu and T-rex on the same day! lol It's for a much better time too.

So...my new completed itinerary is now;

Day 0 Thursday 8th Oct
Pick Cameron up from school after getting Alyssa and have a big lunch
Drive to Leicester
Lift from mum to the airport
Check in at the Sofitel at Gatwick airport
Have dinner
Early night, early start tomorrow

Day 1, Friday 9th Oct
Breakfast at airport
Flight at 10:20am
Lunch on plane
Arrive at 3:05pm
Get transfers to POP Century
Check out resort, grab a bite to eat

Day 2, Saturday 10th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Bus to Epcot
Collect passport and get stamps and each country
Dinner at Coral Reef-Epcot: 7:20pm

Day 3, Sunday 11th Oct
Taxi to Seaworld
Dine with Shamu 12:30pm - Bring voucher
Magic Kingdom for fireworks and rides in the dark

Day 4, Monday 12th Oct
Bus to Epcot at 7:15am
Breakfast at Akershus Princess breakfast-Epcot: 8:10am
Bus to Hollywood Studios

Day 5, Tuesday 13th Oct
Bus to Animal Kingdom
Breakfast at Donald's Safari breakfast-Animal Kingdom: 9am
Day at Animal Kingdom

Day 6, Wednesday 14th Oct
Quick breakfast at POP Century
Bus to CBR at 7:15am
Get picked up and taken to Clearwater at 8:20am
Board the Dolphin Encounter boat
See amazing views and dolphins racing you alongside the boat
Arrive back at the beach 75 minutes later
Have lunch (provided)
Spend the day relaxing, shopping, exploring Clearwater
Leave at 5:30pm. Getting back to Orlando at 6:30pm
Dinner at 1900 Park Fare-Grand Floridian: 8:00pm

Day 7, Thursday 15th Oct
Bus to Typhoon Lagoon
Bus back to POP for the rest of the day

Day 8, Friday 16th Oct
Bus to Magic Kingdom
Lunch in the park
Wishes fireworks

Day 9, Saturday 17th Oct
Bus to Downtown Disney for some shopping
Disney Quest
Dinner in Downtown Disney

Day 10, Sunday 18th Oct
Taxi to Islands of Adventure 7:30am
Breakfast with Spiderman-Confisco Grille: 9am

Day 11, Monday 19th Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Spend the day at the resort, possibly Downtown Disney
Lunch at T-rex: 2:30pm
Evening at resort

Day 12, Tuesday 20th Oct
Taxi to Universal Studios
Lunch at Mel's drive in
Evening at resort

Day 13, Wednesday 21st Oct
Taxi to Denny's on I-Drive
Walk to Tiki Island golf
Walk to Ripleys
I-trolley to Wonderworks
Taxi to Kissimmee
Evening in Kissimmee
Taxi back to POP

Day 14, Thursday 22nd Oct
Breakfast at POP Century
Ring transfers to confirm pick up time for tomorrow
Tying up loose ends, finish any rides/attractions we’ve missed
Dinner at Mickey's Backyard BBQ-Fort Wilderness: 6:30pm

Day 15, Friday 23rd Oct
Quick breakfast at POP Century
Pack bags, leave luggage at reception
Bus to Magic Kingdom, the monorail to the Poly
'Breakfast' at 'Ohana's: 10:50am
Be in POP lobby by 3pm for tranfer
Flight at 6:30pm
Dinner at airport/on plane

Can't wait now!!!!!!!!!!!! 17 days to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

binkytell
09-21-2009, 09:12 AM
looking forward to hearing about your boat and dolphin
encounter, quite fancy doing that next year:thumbsup2

Hodkys
09-23-2009, 04:43 PM
Hubby and I we're sat on the couch watching the news thinking we should be getting to bed, but you know what it's like with kids - you want to stay up later than 30 mins after the kids go to bed. We were talking about our outstanding actions for our trip in just over 4 weeks and we thought about 'that young single mum with the credit card fraud problem'. So we searched the threads to find you and found this thread.

So pleased to hear that you appear to be on track with the planning. We're like you with the planning - Hubby's pride and joy is the colour co-ordinated plan he draws up using Excel :surfweb: - his job involves working with numbers and so he's in his comfort zone).

Pics of your kiddies are lovely. Just realised that we'll need to update our signature as our little girl Niamh princess: has just turned one. Roll on with the planning. And when we wake up tomorrow it will be one less day to go!!!!! :yay:

madmumof2
09-24-2009, 07:32 AM
Awww thanks for thinking of me. Been extra nice and tried a bit of a guilt trip on a nice man at Fairfx (not nice I know but I'm desperate!) and he says he'll look into it more personally and try to speed things up but don't get your hopes up. :(

Anyway, another snag today with a big bill in the post (debt) that I could do without. Not really sure how I'm supposed to pay it and I really don't want to take any more from my fairfx card! Up until this month all this debt stuff was under control, I must have been slacking or something this month. :S

I've got us all snorkels now, swim wear, (sarongs for me of course, a must with thunder thighs! lol)some extra batteries and a few clothes.

I must get another SD card or two, and maybe a few disposable ones for the kids to take pictures with. I have such a bad feeling I'm forgetting something and I know I won't remember until it's too late! lol

Jets fan
09-27-2009, 07:43 AM
Just read the whole post from start to finish. Think you are right to lay a guilt trip on Fairfx as they know that the money on your card was for a holiday.

Hope you all have a brilliant time.:banana::banana::banana::banana:

Tina

madmumof2
10-07-2009, 08:03 AM
Right, almost ready now! I've got our cases packed and ready to go!

We had a big scare last week with chicken pox!! But everything is ok now (at least today, fingers crossed nothings comes of it before friday).

I've measured and weighed our cases and we're well under the limit. Starting to regret paying £105 for 5kg extra each, but we may just need that on the way back lol.

We'll be leaving here about 3pm tomorrow to go to my Mum's, and she's taking us to the Sofitel. Then I'll be treating her to some grub and a drink, and we'll be going to bed. Up at about 6am (yawn!) so we've got time to wash, get ready, last minute check etc and get to the airport for 7am so we can be one of the first to check in, hopefully getting a window seat.

The kids are excited now. They'll be going to pre-school and school tomorrow morning, so I can sort out the last few things and spend some alone time with Ben lol. Going to miss him like mad. :( Then picking them up at 12pm, getting a massive lunch down their necks, since we probably won't get to the hotel till 8pm.

I'm excited and nervous. I've never been and adult abroad, always the child (or teen lol) so this is a first for me, and I've also got to make sure I don't lose the kids somewhere on the way. lmao!

I think I'll be able to relax when we're at POP and have spoken to Ben for a bit lol.

We've got a long car journey tomorrow, even longer plane journey, then the pretty long transfer to the hotel to get through before I can chill. Not to mention trying to get the kids to sleep in the hotel when they're excited lol.

I'm going shopping tomorrow morning to get a few last bits, disposable cameras, batteries, magazines and little toys for the plane, snacks for the car, baby wipes etc.

I'm in total stress head mode at the minute, always thinking I've forgotten something really important, or I'll forget my folder or something!

Can't wait now!!! In 24 hours time, I'll be getting ready to leave for the airport. In 48 hours time I'll be on the plane! Woop!!!!!!!

natalielongstaff
10-07-2009, 08:42 AM
Have a great trip, hope we manage to bump into each other at some point :thumbsup2

thelittlemermaid83
10-07-2009, 09:21 AM
Have a fantastic trip Gem!

Kirsteen
10-07-2009, 10:22 AM
Just read your whole thread - have a fabulous time honey - you deserve it and can't wait to read all about it when you get back :goodvibes :cheer2:

jjk
10-07-2009, 12:26 PM
have a wonderful time Hun x

jamjar84
10-07-2009, 02:56 PM
Hope you have a fabulous time, I'm sure it will be fantastic. :)

poppie123
10-07-2009, 04:26 PM
Have a fantastic time :goodvibes

Beth__WDW23/6/02
10-07-2009, 04:29 PM
Hope you all have a great time :)
The kiddies will have the time of their lives,you too :wizard:

whenyouwish....
10-08-2009, 06:11 AM
I can't believe how quickly your holiday has come around :eek: it just seems like yesterday you were saying how you had over a year to wait, and now here you are on the day to leave :banana:

Sounds like your all organised and set to go - i'm so excited for you.

Have a FANTASTIC time, :goodvibes enjoy every minute and I can't wait to hear all about it when you're home.

wicket2005
10-08-2009, 06:35 AM
Have a lovely time Gems.

madmumof2
10-08-2009, 07:29 AM
Thanks everyone! Thank you to everyone on this forum, you've all made this holiday happen. I've packed all the cases and they're in the car. Picked the kids up from school and we're about to have a very big lunch (won't be at the Sofitel till about 8pm) then we'll be leaving here about 3pm to go to my mum's, then onto the airport!!

We'll be up bright and early tomorrow morning and will be in Florida tomorrow!!!!

Not quite as excited as I could be, but I'm well aware that there are still a lot of things that can go wrong, so until I'm sat in our room at POP I won't relax fully. As soon as I'm there I can relax and enjoy our holiday!!

I'll have internet access throughout my holiday so may be posting live from Orlando, but no promises as I have no idea how much free time I'll have to do that lol. I plan to edit my photopass pics as we go along so I don't have to have a massive job when we get home, so that's probably what I'll be doing when the kids are asleep lol.

See you all soon!!!

natalielongstaff
10-08-2009, 10:37 AM
Have fun :cool1:

jamjar84
10-08-2009, 02:13 PM
I was thinking about you earlier, and how excited you and the kiddies must be. :)

Again, have a great time, can't wait to hear about it when you get back. :)

thelittlemermaid83
10-08-2009, 02:15 PM
Have a fantastic time!