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April2012 06-04-2012 04:32 PM

Memories Earned & Lessons Learned - COMPLETED
So after returning from our first ever family holiday to WDW, I thought I might make an attempt at a Trip Report seeing as I enjoy reading other peoples so much and it’s kind of nice to do it for myself too :).
But before I begin I just want to pre-warn you that I’m definitely no David Bailey when it comes to picture taking (lol) and thought I’d actually got a lot more variety of pic’s than I actually did :sad2: Also it might be a bit repetitive for some of you as I know the things that were new to us, you guys may have seen a thousand times before but hey ho, no harm in having a go I guess?
So enough waffle from me, allow me to introduce my little family:

Me – Louise (37) Main picture snapper & general dogsbody
DH – Marcus (43) My partner in crime and everything else!
DS – Kade (4) Star of the show and always centre of attention :rolleyes:

Day 1 - Travel Day – Sunday 15th April

The alarm woke us at 6am. Surprisingly I had slept much better than I thought with no excited wake ups in the middle of the night. Kade was still snoozing away when Marcus went in to wake him, which I was glad about as travelling with a tired grumpy little man is never fun.
We all got washed and showered and Kade & Marc had some breakfast while I did some last minute packing. (toiletries, make-up, straightners etc)
The taxi firm called to say they would be arriving at 7.15am instead of 7.30am as arranged. We guessed he was just allowing a little extra time just in case of heavy traffic.
As promised he arrived on the dot ready to whisk us away for our first ever long haul holiday to Disney World Florida!!
The journey to Manchester was a little more interesting than usual as it turned out our driver had just returned from Disney himself in Feb, so was more than happy to chat away and provide answers to our never ending questions :)

Once we arrived at T2 we got through security without any dramas and made our way to Duty free as we wanted to get Kade some new shades as he had lost his. After trying many pairs he settled on a pair of Disney Cars shades for £24.00! Well they had to be Disney didn’t they?
Popped into WHSmiths for some snacks and magazines before going to sit down and watch the planes. We spotted a VA plane that we thought might be ours so told Kade it was which he was mesmorised by.

Time seemed to pass fairly quickly and before we knew it, we were going downstairs to wait in the lounge ready to board flight VSO75.

Once seated it seemed forever till take off and as I’m not the best flyer in the world, my anxiety had started to build by this point but I had pre-mixed some calming essential oils which I had dropped on a tissue so I was taking slow deep inhalations on this to try and help. I think you could smell me a mile off :laughing:.
Once in the air I started to feel a bit easier and was able to relax a bit more taking my mind off things by flicking through the programmes on tv.
Kade kept us busy most of the flight too with drawing, playing and what not.
The food came before long and I was quite surprised when a flight attendant came over holding a meal and calling my name. I’d forgotten but when we’d been checking in, we were looking at the meal options and in my attempt to be healthy, I chose a ‘low fat’ option. It was ok though apart from all the yummy sweet stuff was substituted with fruit lol. Normally I’d be happy with this but I think my tummy had gone into holiday mode already, which kind of blows a raspberry at anything that isn’t loaded with calories lol.
So my meal was – A bowl of salad, chicken breast & potatoes with a mustard sauce and veg, a bread roll all followed by a pot of grapes & melon.
Marcus & Kade both had a bowl of salad, cheese & tomato pasta with peppers, bread roll and a nice, creamy, yummy chocolate dessert with caramel toffee…….of course I wasn’t at all jealous!!
As it happens I wasn’t too hungry anyway as when I’m nervous about anything my appetite is the first to go so I didn’t really eat much.
Marcus watched a couple of films, Kade was entertained by the Disney channel and I watched ‘Friends with benefits’ along with a few other tv shows.
Nothing much else happened during the flight and after what seemed like a fairly long time to me we were beginning our descent to Orlando airport.

As this was all new to us, I was quite surprised (although I don’t know why?) at how tight security actually is what with all the finger scanning, photo’s etc but anyway we got through unscathed and headed to collect our bags.
Once we got these we went off to find the magical express check in. We walked for what seemed like miles but only because Kade was insisting on helping with the cases so it took twice as long lol.
Anyway once we found it, a slight drama unfolded. We had forgotten to collect our pushchair from the carousel!
We checked in at the ME desk and the lady told him he could go back up and find it so Kade and I waited with the luggage.
20mins later, Marcus appeared looking flustered and empty handed. Apparently he had spoken to someone upstairs who had told him that to get the pram he would have to go through the whole security process again (getting to the back of the huge line of course) which could mean he could be there another 90mins!!
He said we would collect it on a later day or on our return so off we went to queue for our Magical Express Coach.

After a short wait we climbed aboard our coach and made the exciting journey to Saratoga Springs!!

It was so lovely to feel the heat and sit on the coach full of other high spirited people all starting their hols too.
It was exciting to see the ‘Disney world’ sign as we approached and that’s when I knew our holiday was now really about to start!
The coach made a few drop off’s then stopped at ours, Saratoga Springs.
Now, previously Marcus had understood that our bags would be delivered directly to our room however I wasn’t so sure?? In any case when we arrived at our stop we jumped off the coach, thanked the driver and trotted off happily to check in.
The lobby was really nice (sorry no pic’s…..not sure why I forgot that) and the CM’s gave us our first visit buttons and some stickers.
I couldn’t wait to go outside in the lovely warmth again so as soon as we were done we headed out to take a slow walk to find our apartment.
We hadn’t got very far when a young lad came jogging up to us dressed in his bell boy uniform clutching a piece of paper. He asked DH if we were (our name) then explained very politely that we had left the coach without collecting our luggage!! How embarrassing!! Marcus explained that we thought it got delivered and he replied something about us having to had done something online for this or something along those lines. So anyway, he said it was fine and he would have it go straight to our room but we left feeling a slighter deeper shade of pink than we had originally :laughing:
On our way to find the apartment.

So once we had found our apartment we were really pleased.
This was the only moan I had about the apartment as this was ALL the wardrobe space we had between us all!

Marcus went out to get us something to eat whilst I sat and had a cuddle with my baby. We were both feeling very tired by this point.
The bell boy delivered our cases and I tipped $10 as had no less but it was worth it for the hassle caused.
Marcus returned with some bread and ham & cheese from which we all had toasties and two refillable mugs filled with hot coffee. By this point we hadn’t given a thought to the DDP we were on so he bought them!!
As my title says….lessons learned ;)
Got to bed about 8pm.

princess_ariel_85 06-04-2012 04:52 PM

Lovely start to your TR....

Saratoga Springs looks nice. The apparetment looks lovely, very relaxing.

Can't wait to hear more x

jtlover 06-05-2012 03:15 AM

Can't wait to hear more which block were you in?

jonboy 06-05-2012 05:07 AM

lovely photos looks a really nice apartment. I think our next trip next year will be in a villa what was the weather like ?

tigger17 06-05-2012 05:45 AM

fab start cant wait to hear more:goodvibes

April2012 06-05-2012 06:14 AM


Originally Posted by princess_ariel_85 (Post 45083750)
Lovely start to your TR....

Saratoga Springs looks nice. The apparetment looks lovely, very relaxing.

Can't wait to hear more x

Thank you! Yes the apartment was great and the springs is so quiet so very relaxing :thumbsup2


Originally Posted by jtlover (Post 45088235)
Can't wait to hear more which block were you in?

I'm not sure the block but we were in room 4114 if that means anything? Seemed pretty central and close to everything :)


Originally Posted by jonboy (Post 45088357)
lovely photos looks a really nice apartment. I think our next trip next year will be in a villa what was the weather like ?

Thank you :) We really liked having the extra room in the apartment as it meant kade could have his own room. The weather was great most days. It did rain on a couple of days and some were overcast but it was always hot! :thumbsup2


Originally Posted by tigger17 (Post 45088439)
fab start cant wait to hear more:goodvibes

Thanks so much for reading. Going to get my next day up very soon x

April2012 06-05-2012 07:01 AM

Day 2 – Magic Kingdom – Monday 16th April 2012 (My birthday)

Kade had quite an unsettled night and got up quite a few times before finally climbing into bed with us at 4.30am. We didn’t get back to sleep so ended up getting up about 5.45am.
After my birthday wishes, Marcus & Kade got washed and dressed and went out for breakfast and a look around whilst I stayed behind and got myself sorted and did a little unpacking etc.
After I washed and dried my hair I plugged my hair straightner’s in and swear I had a minor heart attack when I discovered they didn’t work!!! ARRGHH why didn’t I think to check the voltage?!
I got straight on my phone to text Marcus just as they were coming through the door. The poor things wondered what the heck was wrong with me as I was babbling on 100mph about how my beloved GHD’s didn’t work and now I was totally screwed for the rest of the holiday, as I couldn’t possibly go out with frizzy hair! :laughing:
After Marc finally persuaded me I was way over-reacting, he got on the phone to reception to ask if they could help and they said they would send someone up right away with a transformer for the plug which I was very grateful for however when the lady arrived it turned out it was no good as was the wrong one. We thanked her very much for trying and tipped her a couple of dollars for the trouble but in the end decided we would get to Walmart tomorrow to see what we could get there and in the meantime I would wear my hair up, which is what I ended up doing most days as it happens :roll eyes:

Once sorted we headed out to catch the bus for the first time to the Magic Kingdom!!

We got there about 8.30am and waited outside with the crowds until the opening show began. It was so lovely to watch and even better watching Kade’s face for the first time. He was pointing and waving at the characters and I couldn’t help welling up a bit :love:

Once in we got swept along with the crowds and decided to head straight for Fantasy Land stopping along the way for our first photopass pic outside the castle. It was amazing to see the castle for the first time ever and I couldn’t quite believe we were actually here!

The first ride we spotted that looked empty was Snow White’s Scary Adventure’s. Now I have to say in our excitement we just saw the snow white bit…..the scary bit didn’t register lol, so our first ever ride at DW was spent with Kade covering his eyes, buried into my tummy, yelling he didn’t like it!! :rotfl:

The next few (tamer) rides were the Carousel, Winnie the Pooh, the Barnstormer and the Tomorrowland Speedway.

By the time we’d done these and had a wander round we decided to head for some lunch as we were having an early(ish) meal this evening so stopped off at a QS place (can’t remember name sorry) and had our first DDP meal.

Tummy’s nice and full we took a wander round, taking it all in, before catching the WD Railroad on a steam powered engine. This was really nice and we got off back at Main Street.
We were quite taken aback by how busy it was in the main street and Kade spotted the first characters of the trip, Donald & Pluto, but the queues were huge and as it was pretty darn hot by now, we decided to bypass these and promised him we’d find someone else soon!

Luckily we didn’t have to wait long as when we stopped for our next ride ‘Pirate’s Of The Caribbean’, Goofy was just inside the entrance and the queue was tiny! Yay!

I couldn’t stop grinning to see my lil baby smiling and hugging Goofy, then just when he was done he ran back and gave him a big smacker (kiss) right on the nose! Everyone laughed. Lol

We did POC ride, which I loved! It was my fave of the day so far even though we’d not done many really.

Next up was the Jungle Cruise, which was great too!

By this point, Marcus’s new shoes that he’d bought for our hol were giving him a lot of gip and his feet were really beginning to pain him so we decided to head back.
We caught the bus with no fuss and were pleased & surprised at how quick the transport was. This was the case for most of our stay.
As we made our way back to the apartment, the tiredness was really beginning to catch up with us and we were all feeling it but I soon perked up when we let ourselves into the apartment to find my lovely OH had had a big bunch of red roses delivered for my birthday! I’d already had my gifts before we left home so I wasn’t expecting anything.

He’d also ordered Kade a Mickey Mouse hat and an autograph book.
We got changed and freshened up then went out to catch the boat across to Downtown Disney ready for a nice meal at Fultons Crab House.
The boat ride is literally less than 10mins from SSR and is so lovely. It was always something I looked forward to doing during our stay.

To continue..

April2012 06-05-2012 07:03 AM

Day 1 continued

After a look round we went to Fulton’s, which was to use double dining plan points as it is a signature restaurant.

The service was excellent with two girls who looked after us very well and took a shine to Kade much to his delight, as he always loves being the centre of attention.
I had fish taco’s which were really yummy!
Marcus had a 12oz pork chop with mustard sauce & red skin potatoes.
Kade had Snow crab legs as he was insisting on Lobster lol, so we kind of fooled him with these! They kept him amused for ages!

Desert was a chocolate pudding of some description and a sundae for Kade but I think we devoured these before I realised about the piccy, which happened quite a few times on the trip I’m afraid.

As we were all tired we thought we would head back to resort and have a quick explore round before hitting the sack.

SSR is very beautiful and we were so pleased we picked it. We discovered a games room that had a couple games consoles, TVs’ and footy tables etc. We spoke to a lady there who told us they toast marshmallows every evening at 7pm at the back of the building so we hung on then joined them for a couple of warm squashy marshmallows, yum!

So after a fab first day we retreated to our apartment and crashed out about 8.45pm.

Ms Poppins 06-05-2012 01:55 PM

Enjoying this so much :thumbsup2 I'm looking at booking WDW for first time too, so seeing it from a newbies eyes is just what I need.

SS looks lovely and your ds is soooo cute too :goodvibes

Look forward to more popcorn::

Linda67 06-05-2012 02:35 PM

I am really enjoying your TR :goodvibes
It's so nice to read a report from a family visiting WDW for the first time
Looking forward to hearing more :thumbsup2

disney_princess_85 06-05-2012 03:28 PM

Great report so far! :)

darthtatty 06-05-2012 03:49 PM

great report :)

Its lovely to hear from a 1st timer :goodvibes cant wait to read more.xx

April2012 06-06-2012 05:08 AM


Originally Posted by Ms Poppins (Post 45092664)
Enjoying this so much :thumbsup2 I'm looking at booking WDW for first time too, so seeing it from a newbies eyes is just what I need.

SS looks lovely and your ds is soooo cute too :goodvibes

Look forward to more popcorn::

Thank you so much!! That's great that your going for the first time too. I really hope you might be able to pick up some tips as I found others helpful too :)


Originally Posted by Linda67 (Post 45093129)
I am really enjoying your TR :goodvibes
It's so nice to read a report from a family visiting WDW for the first time
Looking forward to hearing more :thumbsup2

Thank you :) I was worried it might be a little boring as most people have seen it all before but glad your enjoying it!


Originally Posted by disney_princess_85 (Post 45093718)
Great report so far! :)

Thank you :good vibes


Originally Posted by darthtatty (Post 45093932)
great report :)

Its lovely to hear from a 1st timer :goodvibes cant wait to read more.xx

Thank you!! I didn't realise it was so time consuming to do but it's enjoyable too at least :)

April2012 06-06-2012 05:28 AM

Memories Earned & Lessons Learned
Day 3 – Nothing much day – Tuesday 17th April 2012

Woke up this morning after a much better night at about 7.30am.
We had pre-booked car hire via a company called Alamo and it was scheduled to be collected this morning so Marcus went to collect it whilst Kade and I stayed behind.
It wasn’t long before he returned as it turned out concierge arranged for someone to give him a lift to the garage which was only a 15min walk away anyway!

The car was a white 4x4 Jeep and our first journey were to be a trip to Walmart to sort my straightner’s out!

Now as I have mentioned before that we learnt plenty of lessons on this trip and our visit to Walmart was about to be another, as we hadn’t quite grasped the concept of the DDP just yet in the sense that we would have enough food to feed a small army for the duration of our stay! So whilst shopping we piled our trolley with biscuits, snacks and provisions such as cereal etc.
It wasn’t all senseless purchases however as we ended up buying a new stroller priced at a bargain $14.00, a goofy soft toy ($10) about half the price you’d pay on Dis resort, a pair of comfy trainers for Marcus’s blistered feet (at $27) and last but not least a new pair of hair straightners (about $23)!! It turned out they were not a patch on my GHD’s but hey I wasn’t about to complain!

Once we got back to resort we went for lunch at Artists Palette which was 3 huge sandwiches with hand cooked chips and chocolate muffins.

We then went to get changed as we were to head downtown again for a meal booked at 3.30pm at the T-Rex restaurant.

Every time we caught the boat we seemed to get a new captain and on this occasion we got a nice man who entertained Kade by doing a magic trick with an oversized coin making it dissapear, which he then gave to him. It said ‘I was caught being good’. When we reached the other side Kade tried to do the same trick back to him but just ended up showing him the coin then hiding it in his pocket! Not quite the same effect :laughing:

It was hot again downtown but we kept cool by ducking in and out of the many shops and letting Kade play for a while in the big Lego shop.

T-Rex was great as it is filled with all the huge dinosaur animatronics that ‘come to life’ every 20mins when a meteor shower happens and the lights dim whilst everything moves and roars.

We were sat in the Ice age bit and all was really good. We got a nice friendly girl serving us and the food was great……huge portions!!
I had the Pterodactyl Salad followed by chocolate cake to share.
Kade had Shrimp popcorn & carrot sticks then shared my choc cake and Marcus had ½ rack of rib with garlic red potato mash followed by key lime pie.

Once done, we caught our boat back to resort and put our cossies on for a dip in the pool.

We were back in the apartment and tucked up in bed for 10pm.

jamjar84 06-06-2012 05:59 AM

Great trip report so far. :)

I'm loving hearing about you experiencing everything for the first time. :)

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