Disney Dozen Trip Planning
I've spent the last year planning our next trip to the land of The Mouse; as last year was the 1st in ages we didn't holiday in Florida. Now I'm at the 'nothing left to plan' stage I was wondering what to do with my spare time, so I thought I'd write a Pre Trip Report as I'm determined to write a live trip report this year. I always enjoy reading others so I hope you'll enjoy mine :goodvibes.
Anyway in October this year we are going on holiday with the dear friends who have holidayed in Florida for over 20 years, and gave us loads of advise and introduced us to 'The Brit Guide' etc for our 'Once in a Lifetime' trip back in 2001. You know the rest; like a lot of other people we enjoyed it so much we just kept going back. It'll probably be our last big family holiday for a while as DS is now 19 & DD will be 17 when we go, so not sure how much longer they'll want to holiday with Mum & Dad, or for that matter when we'll next afford at, as by next year we'll have them both at Uni (if exams go well etc).
I'll introduce you to the crew;
Myself, Shazzie B Forty something!
DH, Gaz Forty something too -and it has to be stressed older than me:rotfl2:
DS, Alex 19 & DD, Tori 16 (17 when we go)
Our dear friends :hug:
Baz, he wouldn't like me to disclose his age
Jacq, younger than Baz!!!
And their children
Alex, Rachael, Carl & James. Rachel's BF Tiz & Carl's GF Alex (yes 3 Alexs:scared1:) All in their 20s/early 30s.
So quite a crowd:grouphug:, but 12s a good number, splits nicely into pairs, threes & fours for sitting on rides
So after we decided that October 2012 would be the date, the planning commenced.
Woo hoo, another trip report to follow :dance3:
Looking forward to your PTR :thumbsup2
Where to stay?
We decided that staying in a villa would be best mainly as it would be more sociable, easier to organise everyone to leave at same time & I think it worked out cheaper. We prefer the Kissimee area along Highway 192, we stayed at Highlands Reserve 3 years ago, and whilst it was lovely we wanted to be closer to Disney.
Baz found a 7 Bedroom villa on the Arcadia estate; which is near Formosa Gardens, just south of the 192 and very convenient for our favourite 'sneak route' into Disneyworld - Sherbeth Road. As it was still 2010, 2012 prices were not on the web-site yet, but a quick e-mail to the owners solved that. We secured for two weeks commencing on Sat 13th Oct, so Tori & Baz (he's a Teacher) would only need to miss 1 week of school.
The web-site for the villa is great, lots of photos to show the kids and it even has a floor-plan/layout to help us plan sleeping arrangements.
The villa has 4 king rooms & 1 double room all with ensuite bathrooms, and two twin rooms that share a bathroom. The 4 couples were easy to solve we had the kings! As the double was downstairs and not near any of the other bedrooms it was allocated to Alex number 1; as apparently he is a terrible snorer and neither of his brothers are prepared to share a room with him.
So James & Alex number 3 will share 1 twin room, with Tori having the other twin, Pooh Bear themed room to herself. I've put me & her Dad in the next bedroom so she can share our batroom rather than roughing it with the boys!
The boys room is Mickey Moused themed, which doesn't bother my DS, I'm not sure James is overly impressed though:rotfl2:
I use photobucket and that makes it pretty easy :)
Oh wow that villa sounds just the right size and a great location. Sounds like you had a great trip is coming up and I look forward to reading all your plans. Yup PTR are very inspiring I need to write one of my own!
We've booked flights with Virgin, booked as soon as they were released. We worked out that with 12 of us flying that adding two extra days to our holiday would actually cost less than flying on a Saturday, so we're now going on the 11th October -:yay: Flying out on the 11:15am from Gatwick.
We decided to go with one 'bus' that we can all fit in rather than seperate vehicles. Baz & Gaz will be doing the driving and I'm chief navigator; well me & Homer (we take our own Sat Nav as we bought the maps for our Tom Tom a couple of years ago, it was cheaper than divorce:rotfl2:)
They'll be 8 of us travelling down from Bedford, by train and 4 from London area, so we're doing twilight check-in and staying the night before. We're in the Hilton & our friends are occupying most of the Yotel I think! 5 rooms as 3 couples and James won't share with Alex because of the snoring. We also booked the V room for breakfast.:thumbsup2
As we're a group booking with Virgin we discovered we can't pre-book seats like we normally would:confused: But thanks to friends on the Dis :hug: discussing the options on a thread I investigated pre-booking the extra leg room seats and discovered you could do so for £20 each way. Gaz read the web-site and wasn't convinced, but agreed to try (booking is in his name so he has to phone). Virgin confirmed we could but they only had 10 left (I think there's only 12 on each flight anyway). So he booked them, until I interupted from the background :rolleyes1 and said to ask about exit aisle seats, as they had 3 of those left we decided to have them at £40 each & 9 extra legroom seats. We should now be able to sit in 4 rows of 3, see told you 12 was a good number, the maths works:teacher:
As Baz & James are both over 6ft it was decided they were the natural choice for the exit aisle seats & Gaz is joining them. So although James has the luxury of siting in an exit aisle seat he's got to sit with the oldies:eek:
We had a mini get together (8 that live in Bedford) in Sept 2011 to decide a rough outline of the park planning. We wanted to do all 'Disney' parks of course and also IOA & Universal. We decided to give Busch Gardens & Seaworld a miss this time, because costs were adding up quickly and we were not sure how comfortable the bus would be for the trip out to Tampa.
After a BBQ & a few drinks we got down to planning using the 'busy day' guide from Touringplans (well adjusted 2010 data!).
We worked out that we had enough days, now there were 16:woohoo: to do each of the 6 parks twice, 1 day at Typhoon Lagoon, 1 day at Blizzard Beach & 1 day off:scared1:. Our last 16th day would be at Aquatica, as we have to be out of the villa by 10am, so we've booked Cabanas as a last day treat and we'll be able to shower & get dressed in our flight home clothes - probably including hats & scarves.
Now we're normally advocates of the 'get there for rope drop' and leave mid afternoon, going back later after a break if we want to see Fireworks/ evening parade etc. We didn't think this would work with 12 of us staying off site, getting everyone ready at the right time and into the bus will be challenge enough once a day. So we're going to mix it up a bit and have some lunchtime starts and stay for fireworks on those days. Kids would like a few lay-ins too; they wern't buying 'The water park days are your lay-in days, we won't have to leave until 9am':confused3
So using Touring Plans busy day guides, avoiding EMH (as we don't qualify) we,ve ended up with the following plan;
Weds 10th Oct
Down to Gatwick for Twilight Check In
Thurs 11th Oct
Flight at 11:35am, land 3:45 aprox, to villa & grocery shopping
Fri 12th Oct
Use Virgin early entry offer for IOA for Harry Potter, prob leave mid-day and then a spot of 'Trainer Shopping' for those desperate for new ones;)
Sat 13th Oct
Universal for opening, prob leave 3-4pm
Sun 14th Oct
Magic Kingdom for opening, breakfast with Pooh:woohoo: ,prob leave after parade
Hollywood Studios for 11am ish, stay for Fantasmic at 7:30pm
Animal Kingdom for opening, prob leave after parade
Epcot for opening, Future World day, disappointed Test Track closed:sad1:
IOA, rides missed on IOA day 1 & repeat fav rides
Day Off, shopping & evening visit to boardwalk - Surrey Bike Challenge!
Universal for about noon, 9 staying for Halloween Horror Night using Stay & Scream as advised by fellow Dissers. Chickens returing to villa in Taxi, Jacq, Shazzie & Tori :scared1:
Lay-in for those that need to recover & then Epcot for about 1pm to do World Showcase & stay for Illumi-nations
Hollywood Studios for opening - mad dash to Toy Story
Animal Kingdom - poss for only 1/2 day
Aquatica, cabanas booked, shower & change for flight home at 7:30pm:sad1:
Our 1st day on the way to MK in 2009
[IMG]<a href="http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/?action=view&current=Disney5.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/Disney5.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
You may have spotted from previous photo the 'Tour T Shirts' here's a view from the back (well a bit of one) Alex & Tori on Big Thunder Mountain
[IMG]<a href="http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/?action=view&current=TourTShirts2009.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/TourTShirts2009.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
Our 'bus' from 2009 - hate to think how big this years will be:scared:
[IMG]<a href="http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/?action=view&current=Tourbus.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/Tourbus.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
Did I mention Baz thinks he looks like Eric Idle:rotfl:
<a href="http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/?action=view&current=BazorEric.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/BazorEric.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
wow, youre going to have fun :rotfl2:
I dread to think the size of you 'bus' :thumbsup2
Like you said 1 is a great number, can be split in many ways.
When we got married there were 11 of us.
The 3 of us stayed in a hotel and our guests stayed in a villa.
we only spent 1 day in the park together but lost each other quickly.:rotfl:
cant wait to hear all about it. :goodvibes
We lost Jacq in 2009, we were taking it in turns to wait for the parade/visit shops along main street. When the parade started Jacq was nowhere to be seen, Baz said not to worry as she seen it loads - and there lo & behold at the end of the parade was..............[IMG]<a href="http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/?action=view&current=Jacqinparade.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg523/Shazzie66/Jacqinparade.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
OMG I am actually already looking forward to your trip report!
OK great job on those seats and pre-booking that #12 is working out for you!
Ummm he DOES look like Eric Idle... that's spooky LOL
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