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Old 06-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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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 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

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 .
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

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.

Last edited by April2012; 06-16-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Lovely start to your TR....

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

Can't wait to hear more x
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:15 AM   #3
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Can't wait to hear more which block were you in?
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:07 AM   #4
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lovely photos looks a really nice apartment. I think our next trip next year will be in a villa what was the weather like ?
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:45 AM   #5
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fab start cant wait to hear more
Me 5 trips to dlp. 2 trip to WDW
Mum (Tinkerbells Mum) 6 trips to dlp 3 trips to WDW
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by princess_ariel_85 View Post
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

Originally Posted by jtlover View Post
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 View Post
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!

Originally Posted by tigger17 View Post
fab start cant wait to hear more
Thanks so much for reading. Going to get my next day up very soon x
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:28 AM   #7
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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

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.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:59 AM   #8
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Great trip report so far.

I'm loving hearing about you experiencing everything for the first time.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:35 AM   #9
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sounds like your having an amazing time the first few day look fab
Me 5 trips to dlp. 2 trip to WDW
Mum (Tinkerbells Mum) 6 trips to dlp 3 trips to WDW
Mushu the catpurrr
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:59 AM   #10
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Enjoying your trippie, thanks for doing it. Is that the new Paddock pool? Kade's a real cutie.

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Old 06-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #11
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loving your trip report from the eyes of first timers. The photo of Kade eating the snow crab legs made me laugh, they were so HUGE..pretty sure some 4 yr olds would have been scared of them!

Yes you made some rooky mistakes but that so adds to your holiday...and its something you look back on and laugh. I think all of us have done the 'buying shoes for the holiday' mistake. Its one that you never ever ever make again. I think on my first time I did that, so ended up buying another pair while there and then another pair because they became uncomfortable etc etc..cost me a fortune. Loving all your photo's and Kade is just adorable.
Vanda xx

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Old 06-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #12
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loving your TR so far and your lil boy is so cute! :good vibes looking forward to reading more

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Old 06-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #13
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Aww well done you for giving another family your fast passes - a great bit of pixie dust
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Aww well done you for giving another family your fast passes - a great bit of pixie dust
Thank you Linda :good vibes

I have just seen how many TR's you've done then I did a stupid thing and started to read one......well you had to drag me away as Kade wanted putting to bed, the cat wanted feeding and Marcus wanted a brew

As soon as I've done writing mine and get a bit of spare time back, I'm going to read the whole of them. Yay
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #15
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Day 15 – Cruise Day & Leaving Disney – Sunday 29th April 2012

There wasn’t much to do this morning apart from pack up the rest of our belongings and make sure we were leaving everything clean & tidy.
We still had a refrigerator full of juices, some beer etc so when we left a tip for mouse keeping, I put a little note with it in the hope they might be able to take it home. It seemed such a waste to throw it away!!

The bellboy came a little too early to collect our luggage as I wasn’t ready yet but he was happy to give us an extra 30mins till he returned.
Once we were all packed up and done we finally left our room for the last time at 9.20am. Goodbye….sniff, sniff!

We decided we would take a walk to Downtown Disney and pick up some sandwiches from Earl Of Sandwich as we hadn’t been there yet. We stopped on the way to browse in the shops and Kade had a go on a Train-go-round type ride.

EOS was fairly busy when we arrived. We got two Swiss’n’ham sandwiches and a Brownie & Cookie the headed back to catch the boat.
Once we arrived back we stopped by at Artist’s Pallate and bought Kade some Mac’n’Cheese and a couple of sandwiches in an effort to use up some of the leftover meal vouchers.
I think we ended up getting it down to 5 left over in the end.
We finished up using our remaining snack credits by buying some candies then went to wait in the lobby for our cruise coach!
There were four other families/couples waiting to board the coach too and we were all gathered together before going to queue outside.

The coach finally arrived about 12.35pm and we all got on ready to set off for port.

We passed the time by watching the video’s they played on the small screens. The journey took about an hour and 10minsbefore we caught the first glimpse of the Disney Dream!! It looked HUGE!!!!!
It was soooo exciting to see it and I could hardly wait to get off the coach and onto the ship.

Check in was fairly straightforward with the usual security process but thankfully didn’t take too long before we were boarding.
As we approached the entrance of the boat we were so surprised with the greeting you got as they announced each family’s name before applauding to welcome you aboard! :good vibes

The ship was just AMAZING! I just couldn’t believe it was a ship really.

We thought we’d go up to our room first before having an explore around.
Our luggage was already outside our door when we got there.
The room was fantastic and although it was small we were very pleasantly surprised at how much storage space you got!

We got settled into the room and I unpacked and put our things away as it was announced an emergency drill practice would take place at 4pm so we thought we’d hang around here before going down for that.
At 4pm on the dot, the alarms went to signal the drill so we made our way down with hundreds of others to our assembly point.
This done we headed off for a look around before making our way to the top deck.
A few drinks were in order to celebrate so Marcus ordered a gin & tonic for me, a beer for him and an apple juice for Kade.
We kicked back and relaxed for a bit taking it all in and watching the crowds start to build ready for the show on the deck below.

After getting another drink we made our way down to join the party. All the characters came out on stage and danced with a big celebration countdown when we were ready to set sail.

Once we’d set off we went for a look around before popping to guest services to see if there was any chance of changing our dinner reservation time as we were down for the later times of 8.15pm and with Kade, we felt it was a bit too late for him. They said we would need to speak to our head server this evening to see if they could change it for us.

After this we went down to the theatre to watch ‘The Golden Mickey’s’ show as that was about to start.

Once we were seated and waiting for the show, two cm’s approached us and asked if Kade would like to participate in tonight’s show as 1 of the seven dwarves!!! Of course he agreed straight away and when the show began, one of the cm’s came up and motioned for Kade to go and join them and six other little ones that had been chosen.
I was so proud when when Snow White came out holding Kade’s hand with the others in tow and they all paraded round the stage wearing false beards
When they were done he came running back up the aisle to join us and got some high fives from the people sat close to us
Now I am kicking myself as we only got a video of this and no pic's and as I don't know how to put a video up I can't show you.....sorry!

After the show we headed to get a pic with the mouse and his mrs then made our way slowly to Dinner which was being held in Animators Palate.

We were introduced to our servers and shown to a table for 6. It was then we realised we were to be seated with another family (again) which included mum, dad and a little girl a similar age to Kade from Atlanta. Luckily I was feeling a lot better than the last time this happened and we were all happy to chat away.
I skipped starter and had Black Cod on a Corn Mash with Almond cake to go.
Marcus ordered Ravioli to start followed by 3 way veal for main and a Sweet Goodness for dessert. Kade had Cod & fries with peas but didn’t eat too much.
During the meal, our head server came over and said he would try his very best to rearrange our time to the earlier slots for the rest of our stay.

The meal and service was faultless although it was a little overshadowed as Kade got very tired and a bit grumpy because it was way past his bedtime at 9.45pm and had been a long day for him.

After our meal we made our way back up to the room at about 10.30pm. Kade had his bunk bed all made up for him which he was excited about and I think he’d actually got himself a little overtired by this point as then he couldn’t sleep and was bouncing around like an idiot!

We eventually all settled down and tried to get to sleep although by this point I couldn’t help noticing how much I could feel the ship moving!
Outside the wind was really gathering pace!!!
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