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Oconoc
11-18-2009, 11:54 AM
Before I make the next post, I will apologise for speling miztakes and poor gramer now and also for the length of the report. I do not have interent connection at the villa so have to go to the resort office to use it. I am updating the report dailt but not on this forum until I get connection, Sorry! :confused3
Also, the report has been done for 2 reasons, one is to provide my wife with memories of her birthday present and secondly for Kenny and Elaine (Pegasus928) *** without their help we would still be at Orlando airport and we arrived 5 days ago!....
So here goes!:cheer2:

Oconoc
11-18-2009, 11:58 AM
The Lowden family holiday report - November 2009

Day 1 - Thursday 12th November 2009
No rush today. We are booked in to the Britannia Country house hotel in Manchester after 3pm. Packing got done last night, just last minute details, cleaning pond pump, camera’s, memory cards, leaving contact numbers for the house sitters etc.
Everything done, we set off about 1.30pm for our 125 mile trip to the hotel. 5 miles later we pulled in to Alford’s Nursery for lunch! During this time we realised the Passporter’s book that Kenny and Elaine had bought us was still at home. So after lunch, we returned home and then we set off for the 2nd time.
Weather on route was appalling but we got to the hotel ok and went to check in. We stayed here when we went to Italy in August so everything should be straight forward. Well it would have been if I had not booked the hotel for Friday night as opposed to Thursday night. So several phone calls later (some in secret so Michelle could not hear) the hotels were changed without extra cost to the Thursday.
A few pints, a bottle of wine, some more phone calls in secret, we got to bed to be ready for the 6.45am taxi booked for the following morning.


Day 2 - Friday 13th November 2009
UK side:
Up bright and early, eager and ready for our first trip to Florida! Really looking forward to this. Had a bath (at 6am) to send secret text messages again, then with plans laid and everything sorted, off to the airport. (Got dried and dressed first)
We arrived at T2 early (did not need to check in till 7.20) I sent the first call, which was rejected as agreed. We walked in to the terminal and was immediately greeted by a member of staff and asked to scan the passports in to a machine in the start of the queue for check in. Oh dear, things have gone wrong already, a frantic 2nd call made (in secret) and it was rejected again as agreed. “SO Thomas IS coming then?” I heard Michelle say. The 4 months of planning, the forged travel documents and the last minute calls and texts were at an end! The final surprise had not gone to plan but Michelle finally had got her last surprise for her 40th Birthday.

(For those that do not know, Thomas is in the Royal Navy and is 19. This trip to Florida was birthday present to Michelle for her 40th. The holiday was a surprise for her birthday, along with the discovery cove trip. She got to find out about this on her birthday back in August. However, I knew she would have liked our son there, but been in the armed forces does not necessarily allow guaranteed time off. She would be gutted if he was coming, then something stopped that happening at the last minute. We therefore decided to make it a last surprise at the airport. Hence the secret calls (to rearrange his hotel booking as well) and texts to confirm what we would do at the airport itself. He had not got a lot of help from the airport staff , so he had got in to a place where he would see us walk up to the check in desk, then at the last minute sneak up and ask his mum, if he could “tag along”. The first call was to say we were at the airport, the 2nd to say we were at check in. Neither required an answer. Where we got stopped and got asked to scan the passport we were out of his view.)
So surprise over, I no longer needed to remember what I had said to who about what and could get on with out “family” holiday! We got through to departures, had a “mooch” around the airport and went to our boarding gate.

USA side:
We landed at 2.15pm (Local time) and due to us being seated in the little cabin just before premium economy, we were amongst the first off the plane. Remembering some advice, we kept to the right for the first security checks, (I had filled in 7 green slips for the 4 of us, so only 3 boo boo’s) and got to our bags off the carousel, walked through the next check, handed our blue form in, dumped our luggage at the next belt to be taken to the car rental area and walked to get our rental car. Again, due to advice given, (We really owe Kenny & Elaine for their help, advice and loan of equipment) we had joined Dollar Express and walked straight up for our car, signed the paperwork and we were in our car leaving Orlando Airport just short of 2 hours after landing.
Sat Nav, (Yep, courtesy of Kenny & Elaine) working we found where we were staying some 30 miles from the airport, unfortunately we had to go to the office first, so turned around, got our paperwork from the coded out of hours locker and back to he villa. Initially impressed, but the heated pool we had paid for was cold and non of the TV’s worked. A few phone calls made, bags unpacked and we were off to Walmart for provisions. A trip through heavy traffic to Downtown Disney (DTD) and a bit of searching, we found the Earl of Sandwich and ate our first meal on American soil…..nice! Danielle and Michelle shared an Hawaiian and a meatball , me and Thomas the same plus an Italian sarnie. Then a very quick route around before heading back to the car and the villa. Working it out, it was 11pm before we got to bed, allowing for the 5 hour time difference we had been up almost 23 hours, sleeping was not a problem!

Day 3 - Saturday 14th November 2009
We were up for 6.15, showered and at the Magic Kingdom (MK) for 7.45. We got to our Character breakfast just in time for our booking of 8.15. All went well until Tigger arrived, then Danielle started crying and shaking, really upset. So we got a few hurried photos, while she stayed her distance. Talking to her after, even she could not understand why she had done that. Pooh was next, Danielle got a little closer and due to Pooh’s patients, Danielle, (who had started crying again) touched his hand and agreed to a photo. With Piglet been a bit smaller, Danielle was ok and also managed Eeyore who is the biggest one of the 4! We tried Tigger again but Danielle (and she did try, bless her) just could not get near him without crying. Again, due to advice from friends, we got a guest pass, (as Danielle is special needs) and continued with our first day in the land of Disney!
We had a blast, got 16 autographs, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Princess Jasmine, Goofy, Buzz Lightyear (a stamp), Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Princess Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Fawn, Tinkerbell, Terence and Scrooge McDuck
We had a walk around Swiss Family Tree house, (did wonder, if they could build all that, why they could not have built a boat?) The enchanted Tiki room, the Haunted Mansion, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, (best 4d movie we have ever seen) Space Mountain, Walt Disney’s Carousel of progress, Stitches great escape and finally Thunder mountain and splash mountain. We also saw the celebration parade in the afternoon before making our way back to the Castle for the turning on of the Christmas lights….wow. Goosebumps and almost tears when that happened!
At 7pm we got the SpectroMagic Parade, again, Wow! Then we stayed there at the Mickey & Walt Disney Statue, for the Wishes Firework Display…..AGAIN….WOW! Sorry for repeating Wow! But Wow. We had been in park for 13 hours by the time we left and enjoyed it for 13 hours (Danielle was a little short of 13 hours enjoyment) but what a great first very full day in Orlando! For Gibbo, if you are reading this, the pineapple dole whip float is very refreshing!

Day 4 - Sunday 15th November 2009
Lazy start to the day, after yesterday we needed a late start. We were still up and about from 9am, with me updating this report and Michelle, catching some rays and Danielle trying to get in the cold heated pool. Michelle did get in the cold heated pool sometime before 10 as Thomas threw her in. Thankfully I was in the shower at the time, so even Michelle struggled to blame me for that one!
We got to Downtown Disney just after midday and headed towards T-Rex. (another recommendation) as we hadn’t made a reservation, we did not think we would get in, 10 minutes later, we were called through. Amazing place and good food. Boneyard Buffet for me and one for our son, (had to be done!) Danielle made a Dinosaur and we were on our way to look round the rest of DTD. A 30 minute boat hire and a few shops (inc the huge Disney Store) we headed for Disney Quest.
Michelle & Danielle made a virtual roller coaster, as did me and Thomas, however non of us realised that we really did ride our design, virtually! Michelle looked a bit iffy after coming off her 2 our of 5 rated ride, this did not look good for me and Thomas as we had designed a 4 our of 5 coaster, we survived and only felt a little sick! After battling aliens with a light sabre, galleons with cannon, riding the river rapids in our inflatable and a very poor attempt at guitar hero by me, we headed back to the villa and bed. Another late finish.

Day 5 - Monday 16th November 2009
Another early one today, need to be at Discovery cove for 8am, so we set off at 7.15 for our day at Discover Cove and our swim with the Dolphins. Our swim was booked for 9.55am and we got a Dolphin called Hutch. What a fantastic experience, Dolphins really are amazing mammals. We gave him various signals to do different tricks and even had a short swim with him. All too soon, it was all over and we had the rest of the day to spend in Discovery cove. A wonderful place and something we would love to do again, but not on this holiday. All of a sudden 14 days does not seem long enough! A walk around the aviary and a swim around the park in the heated fresh water pool before we had our lunch, then a few hours catching rays (the sun variety) before going to the Ray pool and then a swim in the salt water coral pool. Thomas had a bit of a shock with this one, as we swam to a shipwreck mock up, he swam down to a hole in the side of the sunken ship and came face to face with a very large fish with teeth, he backed quickly. Later he found that there was a glass partition built in to the side of the ship, so as you would expect, he was not in any danger! We enjoyed our day so much, we completely forgot it was the space shuttle launch which we were told we could have seen from where we were, so missed it if we could have done.
We left there about 6.30 and went to Orlando Premium outlet for retail therapy. (Who invented that phrase? Did not seem that therapeutic to me!) A couple of watches for me and Michelle, some Swarovski crystal, a leather jacket, wallet and hat for Thomas, plus our bargain of the day for Danielle. (A Disney Coat form the Disney outlet there for $25 instead of the original $189) and we decided to go for a meal and headed for the Villa, planning on stopping off on route. However a crash had closed the 192, 3 miles from our turnoff. We got sent back down the 192 so stopped off at Longhorn steakhouse for dinner. Not too bad but we have no plans to go back. The 192 was still closed when we left so got turned around again and kept going until Sat Nav gave us another option instead of do a U turn!

Day 6 - Tuesday 17th November 2009
It’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tonight, so a late finish (Midnight) Despite what we want to do (get up and go!) we start with a morning catching up (kids laying in) and me typing this, it may get put on the DIS, but it’s main reason is, as a memory report for Michelle’s 40th birthday present memories.
We set off for Epcot, deciding to park at MK, (using our diamond parking pass) we got the monorail and got to Epcot just gone 10.30am. We only got a couple of autographs in Epcot, Chip n Dale and Donald Duck. The park was fairly quite so we got quite a lot in. We went experienced, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, The Land, Mission Space, The Sea’s with Nemo and Friends, Soarin, Spaceship Earth, and Test Track. Michelle also got a passport and Danielle a mask that had various paper shapes attached from each of the worlds in the World Showcase. However as we had gone straight to Teppoa Edo in Japan for our lunch, we missed Canada, the UK and France for our stamps for the passport and the paper shapes for Danielle’s mask. We left Epcot at 6.15 and got the monorail back to MK ready for the 7pm start of MVMCP.
IT WAS SNOWING down MAIN Street, we were in our shorts and T Shirts and it was snowing, okay it was foam but the effect was spot on! We got a great photo, from the park photographers with the castle in the back ground and not many people in the background and got a spot near the Hub and watched the Celebrate the season show, then waited for Mickey’s once upon a Christmastime Parade, both were brilliant. Another couple of autographs (Woody and Lilo with Stitch) a few more rides, the magic carpets of Aladdin, Peter Pans flight, another look at Mickey’s Philharmagic, it’s a small world and Tomorrowland speedway and finally a photo with Father Christmas, we left the park just gone midnight and headed home. Our feet really were starting to ache now!

I will try and post photos, as soon as I work out how!

wicket2005
11-19-2009, 05:59 AM
Well done on doing such a lovely surprise both the holiday and managing to get your son along too. I know I would have wanted the whole family together too if it had been me.:thumbsup2 You are having a lovely time and are doing extremely well as newbies over there when I think back to our first visit I laugh as we were hopeless.

The castle lit up with crystals is my favourite sight, I cried last year. lol, thought it was funny Thomas coming face to face with a teethed fish and not realising there was glass between them.:lmao: I think that story is going to come up a lot in the future.

Hope the rest of your holiday goes well.

disneyholic family
11-19-2009, 07:08 AM
great report!

Looking forward to your pictures!!

have a great holiday!!!!!!!!!! :goodvibes

Pegasus928
11-19-2009, 10:10 AM
Sounds like you are having a great time Shaun & Michelle :) You seem to be fitting lots in too. Keep taking those pics. We have been checking them out on FB but we are really looking forward to getting together when you get back and going through your album :)

Have you got your pool heating fixed yet?

See you soon

Us

natalielongstaff
11-19-2009, 11:00 AM
Thanks for sharing your trip with us :hug:

Dizneemad
11-19-2009, 05:51 PM
Well nice to see you are enjoying it, after countless talks and hints on getting out there.
glad you liked the dole whip and yes if you are wondering it is me(gibbo).
Have a great 2nd week and see you soon.
What did you think of Teppon edo?

Oconoc
11-20-2009, 09:53 AM
Have you got your pool heating fixed yet?

See you soon

Us

Yep, we got the pool heating sorted Monday morning but to be fair we have not used it a lot, too tired when we get back from our very long days! Our minds want to keep going but our bodies say different!:yay:

Oconoc
11-20-2009, 09:58 AM
Gibbo, yep really enjoyed Teppan Edo, although we missed alot of what the Chef did, mainly because we were enjoying the food and due to talking to a couple we were sat next to. He worked 10 days a year for Disney (retired gent) poor pay but free annual passes for him and his family & 20% off everything. I know what to do after I retire now!

Oconoc
11-20-2009, 10:05 AM
Day 7 - Wednesday 18th November 2009
After yesterday, all the eagerness in the world was not going to get us an early start, so we did not even plan or try to get up early. We have had plans made by 3 friends that are “professional“ Disney & Universal visitors and have picked bits from each, but only in terms of what we would like to do. With the exception of pre-booked events or dinners, we played each day as we felt. We had nothing pre-booked today, so Michelle and Danielle, stayed by the pool, Thomas and I went to the resort office to use the wireless network. Thomas to use Skype to talk to Katie, his girlfriend and for me to upload photos to facebook and send my first DIS report. I forgot to mention, we got the pool heating sorted on Sunday, the TV’s on Monday and when we went to register at the villa’s agents, they gave us a basket of goodies and $50 for the inconvenience. Just like the customer service you would like to expect at home….I said expect, not actually get!
We left for Universal about dinner time, deciding to do Universal Studios first, So after getting a turkey leg to chew on, we went to Shrek 4D, to break us in gently. Coming out of there we saw Donkey with Shrek and went over for a photo, Donkey asked Shrek to stand in front of me, then said to Shrek, it’s like looking in a mirror! From there we got Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket (I picked, gimme all your lovin by ZZ top), Twister, Revenge of the Mummy, Disaster, Jaws, Men in Black and the Simpsons Ride done before the park closed at 6pm. (Michelle was not going on anything else that could induce motion sickness after going on the Simpson’s ride! We had also booked to see the Blue man group for 8pm so headed there after getting a bite to eat at NBA.
The Blue Man Group, although quite expensive, was a very quick and entertaining 2 hours of laughter and audience participation. We would really recommend them too anyone. Danielle could not understand a lot of the humour, she kept asking why we were laughing. A sketch with twinkies was so funny, we were in tears. We even managed to get a photo with one of the Blue man group, he was a Blue one!?!?
After all the late and long days, we headed back to the Villa, not bad, only out for 10 hours today! Island of Adventure tomorrow and a visit to IHOP and International Drive, we think.


Day 8 - Thursday 19th November 2009
We planned to set off for 9am to go back to Universal, but aching heels and tired bones slowed us down a touch. Regardless we were away again for the thrill ride side of Universal by 10, Islands of Adventure, personally, I considered Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket quite a thrill ride, screaming like a little girly on the drop after the vertical climb!
Anyway today we started on the Incredible Hulk Coaster, screaming started fairly early on and continued through the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Dr Doom’s Fearfall, Storm Force Accelerator, Ripsaw falls and 2 goes on the bilge rat Barges, the latter bringing new meanings to the advice, “you may get wet on this ride”! Non of us had a dry bit on us!
Unfortunately the day was not the best we had, somewhere between having photos taken with Spiderman and going on the Spiderman 3D adventure ride, we lost our waterproof camera, specifically bought for Discovery Cove and our upcoming trip to Seaworld. Thankfully, backing up our photos to the netbook saved us a great deal of upset. Took about an hour to stop sulking and not let it spoil our day, so with names etc left with lost and found, we continued our day. We did Poseidon’s Fury, Duelling Dragons and the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. To cheer ourselves up, we bought a Thing1, 2 and 3 T shirts for me, Thomas and Danielle and headed back to the Marvel Super Hero Island for our 2nd lot of photos to replace the ones we lost in the camera.
Got to admit, if we come back again, November seems an ideal time, we had walk ons on all the rides, the weather is spot on, lovely and warm but not humid and cool enough at night to sleep…..Did I say, if we come back again! I meant, when we come back again! Although the idea of coming back for Halloween does appeal!
IHOP and international drive was thrown out of the agenda for today, we were too tired and Danielle really needed to have an early night….and Michelle ……and Thomas ……….and me, so back to the Villa, a bit of pool time and a trip to Bamboo Wok. Still on :cloud9:

Anyone know how to post photo's it keeps taking me to a web site, can I not point to a folder on my HDD and upload from there?

Pegasus928
11-20-2009, 11:25 AM
Glad you enjoyed BMG - we also loved the Twinkie gag :lmao:

Sorry about your camera :sad2: We lost ours last year on the way back from WDW - at least you had most of the pics backed up.

I am with Michelle reference the Simpsons ride - did it once when it first opened but have never bothered again - yuck.

Shaun we use Photobucket to get our pics on here but not sure if that helps you at all ;)

It certainly is a shock to the feet once you start on the parks - hope everyone isn't too sore :hug:

Will look out for any further updates

Mrs Pegasus

wicket2005
11-21-2009, 08:52 AM
Thanks for posting, I am enjoying reading your report.

I use photobucket too. You upload there, then under the image is an IMG code, you copy that, then in your thread here you paste that code. Hope that helps.

joolz1910
11-21-2009, 10:40 AM
Sounds like you're having a great time. I'm enjoying your report.:thumbsup2

Oconoc
11-23-2009, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all your comments and help, I will try to upload them when I get home. In the mean time here is the public link to mme facebook photos....

er...link will come after next post, I'm not allowed to post links until I have done 10 posts, only done 9 so far!

Sorry the reports are not regular, I have to go to guest service centre at the Solana in order to connect to the internet, and always under pressure to get on with holiday when I do lol!

Enjoy

Oconoc
11-23-2009, 09:34 AM
Day 9 - Friday 20th November 2009
After updating Facebook with photos and the DIS with the last 2 days report, we set off for IHOP wondering why we had not managed to get there before. We looked through the menu and struggled to narrow down what we wanted from about 26 different options to 5, ok so there was only 4 of us but we really could not get lower than 5 options! Me with the breakfast sampler, Michelle with Strawberry and banana pancakes, Thomas with the Buttermilk version and Danielle with Strawberry Cheesecake and the Eggnog as a shared option. After a quick look around the gift shop next door we set off for Hollywood Studios, we had a 4.15 Hollywood and Vine Fantasmic package meal and had left ourselves 5 hours to work off the pancakes!
We got a few more autographs from Frozone, Mr & Mrs Incredible & Prince Caspian and a photo with Sorcerer Mickey, we headed for some Disney experiences. Obviously after seeing Prince Caspian, who mentioned that we had made his day, I think because he had not seen many visitors, we saw Journey in to Narnia, we then moved on to Toy Story Midway Mania, then Voyage of the little mermaid, then Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set, took a photo sat on the giant ant and headed out, we then got a phone call from Universal Lost and Found, our Camera had been handed in!! That improved our day a touch! We then watched most of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt show (before rushing to the Fantasmic show), and as it’s name suggests, it is fantastic!
We then drove over to Epcot and watched the Fountain of Nations choreographed water ballet before heading for the World Showcase to watch the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, from the U.K. After another great firework and light show we headed back to the car and an early trip back to the Villa. We need to be up early tomorrow as we are going to pick up our camera, then try and get Shreks Autograph before heading back to Hollywood Studios to finish the shows and rides we missed today.

Day 10 - Saturday 21st November 2009
Not as early as planned but we still managed to get to Universal for 9.30. We headed for lost and found before realising it was Islands of Adventure where we had lost it! Still as we were at Universal we thought we would grab some more autographs and photos. This time we got Scooby & Shaggy and The Simpsons, then headed for Seuss Land at Islands of Adventure but non of the characters were out there and we wanted to keep our time at the park down as we really wanted to get as much done at HS as possible. We picked up our camera and on the way out of the park, we got a family portrait done in caricature style.
After parking up at HS using the diamond parking pass again, which is a really good thing to have as you get close without having to be there too early for a good parking spot! We headed for a few more autographs and got Russell, Dug and Mr Fredrickson from “Up” then Sully and Mike W from Monsters Inc and finally Mystic Force, Pink Ranger.
Overall another good and packed day, getting in Muppet Vision 3D, another go on Toy Story Midway Mania, Beauty and the Beast live on stage, Rock n Rolla Coaster, The Tower of Terror, The Extreme Stunt Show and photos with the cars at Luigi’s garage. We then popped over to see the Osbourne Family Spectacle of dancing lights, another wow moment!
We then drove over to the Beach Club Resort and walked over to Beaches and Cream to tackle the Kitchen Sink (da da da da dar!!) As we felt really hungry we had a beef sub and a milk shake first. BIG mistake, one of the best meals we had eaten and left absolutely no room what so ever for even a small attempt at the legend that is the kitchen sink. Time to head back to the Villa and another early night. (12 hours after leaving this morning) We shall return for the Kitchen sink, only this time, only the Kitchen sink!

Day 11 - Sunday 22nd November 2009
We were greeted by our first bit of rain this morning, so decided to do a bit of shopping and headed for the prime outlet centre. Trainers, Smellies, earphones, jeans and few other bits that had saved us money….how does that actually work? We had spent money but saved loads! Surely, if we had not bought anything I would have saved even more! Anyway from there we headed for Animal Kingdom for a quick look see as we have booked Tusker House for Wednesday (Which would be or first visit to AK.) so wanted to check it out and see how to plan our time there on Wednesday. Even though we did not get there till just gone 4.15, we still got a fair bit done. We think, that due to the rain and that the parade had just finished, the amount of people on the park had reduced considerably.
We started with Kilimanjaro Safari (seemed to be a bad time, 4.45, there was very little to see, a couple of flamingo sand cows with really big horns and the back end of a lion as it disappeared behind a boulder! We then got Mrs Bunny’s autograph & photo before going to see the Festival of the Lion King. This was how I originally sprung the surprise on Michelle for her birthday. I gave her a folder which started off with, I know you want to go and see the Festival of the Lion King (implying that she was going to London to see the west end show) and as she turned the page, it said that London does not do it, so you are invited to join Danielle and me for 2 weeks in Florida…blah blah. Remember at this time she did not know Thomas was going to join us! The show was great, probably one of the best we had seen at Disney World. We then got Terk to pose for photos and sign our autograph book before going to see It’s tough to be a bug (in 3D), another very good Disney movie, with very different “special effects” We managed to get Pluto’s autograph and a go on Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl before the park closed. We then headed to Applebees for our tea before heading back to the Villa. Seaworld tomorrow and a booking to dine with Shamu. Service at Applebees was fantastic, the meal unfortunately did not match up to the service, with the worst steak we had eaten here. However, it was replaced with a ribeye, which was cooked perfectly and tasted wonderful. We will go back there for a 2nd go, because their service was so good and to see if the steaks were a one off. We will have to go back anyway, as Thomas has left his iPhone there, which at the time of writing as not been handed in. Like father like son eh?
Before we left for this holiday and right at the start of me thinking of doing this for Michelle’s 40th birthday, I got loads of advice to help me plan what we were gong to do. None of it prepared me to fully understand just how short a fortnight in Orlando really is. We are now in to our final week, with only 4 full days left here and wondering where the last 8 days have gone. We have done a lot so far but there is so much more to do, I really can see how and why people can come back year after year. Anyway, enough of what we have not done and how many days left, we still have 4 days to go and enjoy.

Oconoc
11-23-2009, 09:36 AM
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=126067&id=737502723&l=b8d74f44d4

Hopefully that will work! Not new photos for the last reports as I have run out of time and I am being called back to Villa so we can go to Seaworld!

Beep
11-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Yep, the link works! Brilliant trip report and photos. How stunning does the Castle look with it's winter coat on?!

I went to Orlando for 14 nights the first time I went and every time after that has been at least 21. It's amazing how quickly the time goes...

2 weeks today we will be 'back home' and your report and piccys have got us even more excited about being there.

Have a fab time with the rest of your trip and please keep posting when you can :goodvibes

Oconoc
11-24-2009, 10:18 AM
Day 12 - Monday 23rd November 2009
We got to Sea World about 10.30 and after paying a bit extra for preferred parking, went straight to the Manta ride. We had dine with Shamu booked for 12.30, so did not have a lot of time. We still managed to get Manta, Kraken & (mistakenly before our dining experience) Journey to Atlantis! What is it about these parks? This did say you may get wet again, but it should have said if you sit in the front 2 seats you will get drenched. Danielle wanted to go in the front and at least for the next 10 minutes, she liked Thomas, so wanted him to sit next to her. They protected me and Michelle very well and allowed us to enjoy our dining experience relatively dry, unlike Thomas and Danielle!!
We were surprised by the meal with Shamu, it was far better than we had hoped and felt very bloated when we left. We decided to go straight to the 2:30 show of Believe, featuring almost ll of the Shamu’s. We got 3 rows back right in the middle and watched a fantastic show. Thomas and Danielle topped up their wet patches and Michelle got a few more, I was saved again! Prior to the start of the show, there was a statement of respect for the Armed forces, including the UK, and members of these were asked to stand and show themselves. Bloody brilliant, it’s a shame that back home ours have to die to get the same respect and support. Thomas, being in the Royal Navy stood up and along with several others in the audience took their short lived fame well. Pride! From a brilliant Shamu show, Danielle got photo with Shamu, a considerably shorter / smaller one, we made our way to the Whale & Dolphin Theatre for another amazing show, Blue Horizons. After another ride on Manta (It really is a good rollercoaster), we headed off to the Villa. Michelle & Danielle for some pool time, me n Thomas to the resort office for insurance policy information for his phone, which he had given up hope of getting back.
We then set off for the boardwalk for a look at the acts on the walk and had dinner the Big River Grill, probably our best meal of the time we have been here. Thomas and I had another go at a New York Strip and found ot what they are supposed to be like. Loads of flavour! Back to the Villa just after 11.30, type up this report and bed.

Oconoc
11-24-2009, 10:59 AM
Photos updated at ....

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=126067&id=737502723&l=b8d74f44d4

No time to add captions though, will do that at the weekend.

wicket2005
11-24-2009, 11:17 AM
Thanks again, enjoyed reading your report. The Manta is good, though I could do with tieing my hair back. Never had a kitchen sink but looks like you need not to have eaten all day to do it any justice.

The time just flies by when you are in Orlando, I could stay there for ages.

Off to look at your photos now.

Oconoc
11-26-2009, 12:13 PM
Yep, we could have easily spent another 2 weeks here, but would have been very poor on our return. I see you have made contact on facebook and have accepted you. Last day today. :-(

Oconoc
11-26-2009, 12:14 PM
Day 13 - Tuesday 24rth November 2009.
As very relaxed day planned for today. We did not get to Blizzard beach till almost 11.30 and due to the weather being very cloudy, there were not many cars, allowing us to park very close. We were actually parked near the 16th of the Mickey’s Winter Summerland Golf. Michelle was not feeling too good, so she decided to sit by “Melt Away” wave pool, whilst me and the kids went off to check out the rides, well….. water slides. First up were the purple class of rides. Hitting the Toboggan Racers, Snow Stormers and the Downhill Dippers, they were pretty rapid and I won the first 2 and Thomas claiming he won the last one (which has a timer), I reckon his timer was wrong!
Next was the Green Slopes, which implies that they are easy and for newbies. One of them is pretty good for families, the Teamboat Springs, which claims to be the worlds longest family raft ride and I reckon they are right. Really gentle but long ride. However for some silly reason we decided to take on Summit Plummet, which is a 120 foot vertical free falling body slide. Danielle, bless her, did not realise just what it was, me and Thomas did and it would only have took one of us to say no and the other would have happily backed down. Whilst we were queuing we did not hear anyone screaming so figured it can’t be that bad. Thomas went first and he too was silent. Danielle went next and she screamed all the way down and declared there was no way she would go on that again! I did not scream either, I was too busy clenching my bum cheeks, apparently I hit 56 mph on the way down, water hurts at that speed! We finished the day off with Slush Gusher and it was Thomas’s turn to scream as he grabbed some airtime on the 2nd hump!
About 4 we left and headed to the Winter Summerland Golf, choosing to play the winter side, we then headed back to the Villa and grabbed some more pool time, we obviously thought the day did not contain enough water. We then add a bit of quite time until ready to head for Texas de Brazil. Without a doubt the best meal we have had but very expensive. Thomas and I did our utmost to get our monies worth and did sample all 13 types of meat, feeling a little ill, we headed for home, ready for an early start tomorrow. We still have not seen the Magic Kingdom opening ceremony, so our plan is to go there, grab some missing autographs and then head for AK for our Tusker House booking and Nemo show.

Day 14 - Wednesday 25rth November 2009.
Not the best weather we have had on this holiday, it was pretty foggy and by the time we got to MK, it had started to rain and within the hour it got quite heavy. You could spot the Brit’s a mile off, they were not wearing ponchos at $8 a throw! We got to the park for 8.30, well at the parking for the park at 8.30, unfortunately the monorail to the park was down so everyone had to get the ferry over, getting us to the park for 9.10, 10 minutes after the opening ceremony. We headed in to the park and got a couple more autographs, Snow White, Ariel, Pinocchio and Daisy Duck. We also took the train for the first time. (from the front of MK to Toontown to get Ariel’s autograph) Michelle and I decided to have a really special memento of our time here and our last holiday with our son, so we had a couple of 3D photos of me and Michelle and Thomas and Danielle taken to be etched in to a MM crystal ornament. Not cheap but special! As it was raining we went on Snow Whites Scary Adventures before heading back to the car (via the now working monorail) then drove over to AK for our Tusker House booking and Nemo show.
The rain had eased off a touch by the time we got there, so a change of T shirt, to replace the wet one and we were in the park ready to get a few more autographs and take in some more rides / shows. As for autographs we got Meek (Racoon), Flick (from it’s a bugs life), Rafiki (from the Lion King) and Pocahontas (she was hot…er… played a good part). We then got Rafiki’s planet watch done (where we got all of our autographs), then got very wet on Kali River Rapids (twice!) and then moved on to Expedition Everest, without doubt, the best runaway train we have ever been on! We then headed for Finding Nemo, the Musical, bleeding brilliant it really was.
I think the last 2 weeks were beginning to take their toll, it was only 5pm and we were really tired. However, it is thanksgiving tomorrow and we still need to shop! So Orlando Outlet for some Xmas pressies, then Walmart for a mooch, before heading for the Villa and and early night. Tomorrow (our last full day is going to be a flexible one. If we do get up early enough, it will be MK for the opening ceremony, if not, well lets see!:upsidedow:laughing:

Oconoc
11-26-2009, 12:19 PM
Nope, didn't make the early start today! Oh well, really good laugh in the pool this morning, started packing, then heading off for dinner at the IHOP, then MK, still got a couple of autographs and photos to get and then stay for a final Wishes fireworks.......next report will be from the UK!

wicket2005
11-26-2009, 12:38 PM
Yep, we could have easily spent another 2 weeks here, but would have been very poor on our return. I see you have made contact on facebook and have accepted you. Last day today. :-(

When you go for a little bit longer you can fit in a few more rest days which help combat the tiredness of doing parks every day which is what we do. I agree about the finance comment, can be expensive.

wicket2005
11-26-2009, 12:44 PM
Wow, summit plummet you were brave. Shame about the weather as I know, from experience, that you can start to feel chilled once soaked through even in July.

Always sad the end of the holidays but usually only more so when you have had a fantastic time. Is your son definitely not going away with you any more? My two are still with us (21 and 19) but then Orlando is their favourite place.

Oconoc
11-29-2009, 12:00 PM
Day 15 - Thursday 26th November 2009.
We did not surface till gone 8 so Magic Kingdom opening ceremony was not to be. We lazed around the pool all morning, then did a bit of packing (Well Michelle did, whilst me and the kids went to the resort office to play pool and update the DIS) Thomas also wanted to order a new iPhone, to replace his lost one. Nope, it did not return.
We then went to the IHOP for dinner before going back to Magic Kingdom for the Princess and the Frog photo’s and autographs. Not that long ago, I would have thought it strange to spend time queuing to get an autograph of someone that wasn’t really that person, yet here we were spending time doing just that. We then went off to Epcot to get Mulan’s autograph. Thomas’s girlfriend Katie, better be grateful for all this running around we were doing for her!
We then returned to Magic Kingdom for the 9pm lights parade and our final wishes firework display before we had to fly home! The fireworks were as magical tonight as they were the first time we saw them only a 2 very short weeks ago. We also went back to Magic Kingdom to pick up the Mouse Crystal with our 3D photos etched in to his ears and Cinderella’s Castle in the main part. However, despite ordering it the day before and being assured it would be ready, the base was missing and they could not get one until Friday. So sadly we will have to go back tomorrow to Magic Kingdom for it. As we have to up early anyway, we may make it for the opening ceremony! Lol
We got back to the Villa at 11.30pm and finished all our packing, the time to go home is getting far too close!

Day 16 - Friday 27th November 2009.
Our last day in Orlando, we fly back to the cold winter of the UK tonight! With the number of cases increased from when we arrived, all full, but within weight limits. Now is the time to see if all my training in my younger years with the fisher price shapes game has paid off. How many cases can I get in our 4 door mid sized rental? Which is a Hyundai Sonata, I would have preferred an American muscle car but hey, maybe next time!
Well we did get up early and after it bit of pushing, got 5 cases in the boot and the other 2 in the back seat between the kids. We went straight to MK and was ready to get on the ferry at 8.30. As we docked on the other side one of the crew mentioned that the 9am opening ceremony had started early, so by the time we got off the ferry to watch it, it was over……poo!
So we made our way to the Expo in town hall square for the Mickey Mouse base and asked the lady in the store. She knew nothing about it, after a few phone calls and another hour of waiting, they promised to get one from Epcot. So we went to see the Monsters Inc Laughter floor show, which was very funny, then a corn dog and hot chocolate later we finally got our base. So off to Downtown to check in our cases and have a quick mooch. We then trundled off to Hollywood studios to do the backlot tour. We really were going for it today!
Well we could not put it off any longer and made our way back to Orlando Airport, grabbed some lunch and boarded on time.

wicket2005
11-29-2009, 03:11 PM
Thanks for sharing your holiday I have enjoyed reading it and it helps to read about other people's holidays when you are stuck here and not there.:thumbsup2

Oconoc
11-29-2009, 07:01 PM
Did have a real good holiday and I would tell anyone that does not like amusement parks to do it. I was not looking forward to it at all. I did this for my wife as she wanted to do it. However, with a great deal of help from our friends that have been there....more than once, we had a great time. I would say to any newbie to the parks, 2 things..

1 Decide what type of holiday you want, busy or relaxing, then plan a holiday accordingly...with help

2 Look to go "off season", the last 2 days of our holiday were not the best. Everywhere was really busy and even with the fast pass because of our daughter, we got a little fed up with the crowds.

Actually 3 things and the 3rd is the most important....

Don't act your age if you are a "grown up", get involved, become a child and enjoy every moment.

I want to go back and I wasn't that keen on going

Pegasus928
11-30-2009, 03:47 AM
Thanks for taking the time out of your holiday to do the report. It made really entertaining reading and was a good insight into your first trip.

Some good advice there as well for anyone going for the first time - and I especially like the third one.

Some people are just far too serious to enjoy a Florida holiday and it is a good idea to forget your age once you get off the plane and just get into it. I could never imagine myself dancing in the street with Chip n Dale anywhere but MK. And even when I come back home and people see photo's of me with Mickey or any of the other characters I can see in some of their faces that they just don't get it. And most of the time these are the same people whose idea of a good holiday is to leave their kids with someone else for 2 weeks while they drink themselves into a coma all night and sleep all day. Each to their own I guess :lmao:

Anyway I am pleased you had a good time and are looking to go back, and I am looking forward to seeing some more of the pics :thumbsup2

Dizneemad
12-02-2009, 04:40 AM
Pleased to see you had a great time and look forward to catching up with you at work to discuss the place.
Hope your DW is not giving you grieve about not going sooner now, but you can always please here with the option of going again.
As you have stated the best advice I give to anyone who comes with us is to have the mind of a child when there and you should not go too far wrong.
Catch up with you later and Kenny nice to see you back home.

Pegasus928
12-02-2009, 10:51 AM
Catch up with you later and Kenny nice to see you back home.

Cheers Mate

Hopefully we can meet up sometime soon. :thumbsup2

Oconoc
12-31-2009, 06:39 AM
I have finally got round to posting some photo's from discovery cove from our holiday. Public link below:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=137313&id=737502723&l=2aa58e41da

We have decided to go back but for 3 weeks this time, saving started for Nov 2011!

Hope everyone has a great New Year tonight, :banana::banana::banana: all the very best for 2010.:thumbsup2

Shaun

wicket2005
12-31-2009, 08:22 AM
Lovely photos. Discovery Cove is fantastic, we celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary there, made a memorable day.

Nice you have decided to go again and have put the savings plans in motion.

Happy New Year to you and yours.