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Old 08-11-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
Daysleeper40
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Ooo-de-lally Tour September 2007: Day 14 (You can't make me leave!)

Monday 1st October: I refuse to let this end damn it!

I have been putting this off for long enough.

Our last day. The magic is over… the grey mist descends and I have to tell you about the final moments of one of our best experiences ever.

In an effort to make this less depressing than it could be I am going to keep the description of our last day to a minimum - and then I am going to try to put into words why I still think about our first Orlando trip every single day, have a picture of M with Akai on my desk at work, and cannot wait until our return trip in 2011...

We had done most of our packing the night before so woke up in a leisurely way with M feeling a bit under the weather. The weather itself was also a bit poo - drizzly and misty. Much the same as my frame of mind.



We got up late and decided to take a trip to the Surf Warehouse and Adidas stores on I Drive. I got myself a few bits and then we ended up running into Burger King as the rain descended. Grabbed a burger and soda to pass the time and then headed back to the hotel to finish packing, have a shower and await the Mears transport to take us to the airport.

Checked out and played pinball for a little while before the shuttle turned up and we were on our way - on time at 3.40pm. Driver was called Bessie and it was one of the little shuttles rather than the bigger coach that had dropped us off. Arrived at the airport without mishap and our three bags (up from two on our outward journey) weighed in at 10k, 22.4k, and 24k. We didn’t get charged at all - let’s face it we could have just moved things around and been happily under the limit per bag so there wasn’t much point I guess. There was a funny guy marshalling the queue - couldn’t believe we weren’t married and was giving us the “Does the queen know you’re not married??” treatment.

Having got everything sorted we went to the departure lounge and got a slice of pizza, garlic stix and soda each. Food was fine and not too badly priced as far as I remember. Also had a last ditch shopping moment by visiting RonJon’s where I got a very funky top.





The plane took off basically on time and we settled in for the not very exciting flight back to blighty. We were on Barbarella and I don’t know if I was just in a boo, but it didn’t seem as nice as Ruby Tuesday. Everything seemed a bit worn, there was no games system to play on, and the seats appeared to be closer together. M also had the obligatory infuriating pillock sat in front of him - father and son, the dad couldn’t sit still and bounced his way through the flight. Maybe he was trying to simulate turbulence - who knows?!

Cabin crew came round with the drinks and pretzels and dinner followed shortly afterwards. We both opted for the beef & mash, which came with a salad, roll, cheese n crackers, cheesecake, water, and we both also got some juice. Tea and coffee for afters, and everything was ok. Can’t get any more enthusiastic than that - not a great meal but it passed some time so served it’s main purpose!

M was watching Rise of the Silver Surfer, and I was supposed to be seeing SherryBaby on channel 5 - but they were actually showing Waitress on channel 5 and by the time I had grasped that it was the wrong film it was a bit late to switch! I did think it was a bit odd when everything in the first ten minutes of the film seemed to centre around pie recipes… didn’t seem right for a film about a recovering addict just released from prison! The film was pretty good anyway - predictable but entertaining enough.

Once I finished watching the film and took the earphones out I realised that someone close by had their volume turned up stupidly high… so I put the earphones back in and listened to music on my MP3 player for literally HOURS. I was under my little blanket, with my flight socks on, eye mask on, and head buried in the little pillow. None of this helped and I got exactly nil hours sleep.

About 1 ½ hours before landing we got a bit of brekky in the form of a fruit salad and a blueberry muffin, with OJ and tea/coffee - which was actually very nice. Fruit was refreshing and the muffin was a little hint of the USA. Wasn’t a cinabon and OJ, but still good.

We arrived at Gatwick on time and were quickly through passport control. Had to wait for a while for the bags and then traipsed off to the train station to board THE SLOWEST TRAIN IN THE WORLD. Seriously - it cost £34 for the tickets and we would have got there quicker on a pushbike. RUBBISH!



This is where the scribbles in my notebook end. I know we caught a cab back to our little house after the train. I remember being happy to see our moggies again, and I know we had a day collapsed on the sofa before heading back to the grindstone. But I don’t want to dwell on any of that!

So that’s it. That’s the Oo-de-lally Tour 2007... and what a time we had!
Here is the fun bit - a quick run down of the highs, lows, and general mutterings of a first time trip to the magic:

First up - day by day basic itinerary:

Day -1: Travel to Gatwick, Dinner at Frankie & Bennys, Twilight Check In
Day 0: Leeeeaving, on a jet plane, Congo River Golf, Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes
Day 1: SeaWorld, Dinner at Bubba Gumps
Day 2: Shopping, Wet n Wild, Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes
Day 3: Busch Gardens, Dinner at Denny’s
Day 4: Universal Studios, Lunch at Hard Rock Café, Blue Man Group show
Day 5: Discovery Cove, Dinner at Ponderosa
Day 6: Islands of Adventure, Lunch at Nascar Grill, Shopping, Cinema trip.
Day 7: Animal Kingdom, Dinner at Rainforest Café, Dessert at House of Blues, DTD / Disney Quest
Day 8: Blizzard Beach, Lunch at Planet Hollywood, DTD, Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes
Day 9: SeaWorld, Dine with Shamu
Day 10: Islands of Adventure, Wet n Wild, Dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings
Day 11: Brekky at IHOP, Dayon International Drive (Crazy golf and shopping), Dinner at Bahama Breeze
Day 12: MGM (now Hollywood Studios), Lunch at Sci-Fi Dine In, Dinner at Sizzler
Day 13: Universal Studios, Lunch at Jimmy Buffets, Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes
Day 14: Shopping and caught the plane back home

HOLY MOLY - It’s no wonder we had a good time!

Now I’m sure I’m not going to do this justice but I would like to say a few words about each of the places we visited… I struggle to pick a favourite (FYI it’s between SW, BGT, IOA, and US… oh and Discovery Cove.. and I really enjoyed the water parks in a different way… but then the shows at MGM were fantastic. Ok, so that narrows it down to definitely not AK!) so in no particular order:

SeaWorld:



Can I get an “OOOO-DE-LALLY!” for this one! Our first proper Florida experience - we thought we would love it and by god we were right. Animal interactions were fantastic, and the shows actually made me cry (in a good way). Dine with Shamu was great value and a real treat to be so close to the beautiful Orcas. I can’t fault SeaWorld - we both had big soppy grins on our faces most of the time - with the slight exception being just after JTA and the damn tidal wave, foot, leg, and general body soaking we received!
Seriously - it is my happy place and I can’t wait to get back there, run through the gates, turn left and feed them dolphins! It’s going to be even better next time as Manta will be up and running and we have already decided we will be doing the Beluga interaction. Put it on the plan - it is a dead cert for day one, Florida 2011.

Busch Gardens Tampa:



What did I learn about Busch Gardens? I learned that one day is most definitely not long enough for this absolute behemoth of a park. We fought to fit it all in - from the thrills of Sheikra, to the beauty of the animal exhibits, and the simplicity of how much fun you can have feeding nectar to a lorikeet. I wouldn’t call the journey fun but it is more than worth it once you arrive. With the addition of Jungala we will be spending two days here next time and will probably pull an overnighter to make sure we ram as much in as possible. Awesome park - awesome fun, and more photo-ops than you can shake a stick at!

Universal Studios & IOA:





I’m not sure I could have been more excited as I rode the moving walkway ever closer to the entrance to CityWalk - one of the real “we’re actually here!!!” moments of the holiday. I don’t want to degenerate into a Disney vs. Universal debate - suffice to say our magic happened outside of Disney property. Loved the atmosphere of Universal, loved the thrills and spills, and thought the evening entertainment (in the form of Blue Man Group) absolutely rocked! An onsite stay on our next trip is a definite possibility - the sooner I am strapped into the big green scream machine again the better!

I often put Chad Kroeger’s “Hero” and Daughtry’s “It’s not Over” on repeat, lie back, close my eyes, and relive my highlights from US / IOA. It makes me feel very very happy…

Animal Kingdom:



Let’s try and stay positive shall we?! There were good elements here - the tree, the Bugs show, the dinner we had at Rainforest Café. Frankly though, it couldn’t touch Busch Gardens and I expected more. I don’t know - some kind of hit of this “Disney Magic” I had heard so much about. Sadly not to be. I don’t intend to revisit on our next trip unless something changes or we happen to have time spare and a hopper ticket that would get us in. Which is unlikely.

MGM Studios:



Now this is more our thing - some fantastic shows and a wicked ride in the form of the Tower of Terror. It is a shame we missed Rock n Rollercoaster but the good news is I had enough fun here to want to go back so we will get our chance in 2011! I still thought there were some dodgy elements - Sounds Dangerous is an obvious contender, closely followed by the Great Movie Ride. Come on Disney - out with the old (and lets be honest - rubbish) and in with some more attractions you can be proud of. Oh, and if you could teach the kids from High School Musical at least one other song I will be eternally grateful!

Blizzard Beach:



Oooh nice theming! No really, I liked it. I liked the rides too - could have been more hardcore but it is Disney so obviously family oriented. The busy-ness bugged us a bit - clearly we could not tolerate a high season trip to the Mouse - but we still got most of what we wanted to done. They sell great mini-dohnuts too… maybe we’ll try Typhoon Lagoon next time. Variety can be a good thing!

Wet n Wild:



Not nearly as pretty as BB but that is not my main concern. What we wanted were some thrills and Bomb Bay delivered that in spades. Goes down in history as the ONLY ride to ever make me really scream in an involuntary “I’m going to die” way!! Some might think that is a bad thing… not me!! It helped that we were in a great location for WNW - the fun was right on our doorstep which meant no long journey home after I had bashed my head, and we didn’t have to plan the whole day around taking a trip to WNW. Big thumbs up - whether we visit again next time really depends on where we are staying. We will also have to factor in Aquatica so I am not going to make any absolute statements!

Discovery Cove:



Need I really say anything? Dolphins, Stingray’s, as much food and drink as you want… what is there not to like? Well I suppose you do pay a pretty generous amount for the pleasure - but it’s worth it! Fantastic memories - our plan next time is to partake in a different interaction at SeaWorld (Beluga’s probably) so it is unlikely we will be back at DC in 2011... Depends how flush we are feeling I suppose!


And that my friends, really is that. My trip report is officially finished. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it - and I hope I have managed to give everyone a real sense of what made this holiday so special for us. I don’t really want to stop typing as that means our first trip to Orlando Florida has finally been put to bed. I guess I will just have to start planning the next one… only 2 ½ years to go… where the hell is my Brits Guide?! Lets get this show on the road!!
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:20 AM   #2
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Its ages before we go back and I love to read all the trip reports. Thanks for sharing yours. Even if the last day was ever so late!!!



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Old 08-13-2008, 03:44 AM   #3
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Great end of report!!

Cool pics too - esp the Jaws one!
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:33 AM   #4
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thanks for sharing your amazing trip with us !
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:22 AM   #5
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Great end(may i say at last ).I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip report.Being a lover of I-Drive+staying on I-Drive+eating on I-Drive(do you think i like I-Drive ),it has brought back so many memories of our stays there.It makes a change to read a trippie like this which is'nt centred around WDW only.Thanks so much for sharing.x.
Where will you be staying on 2011?.x.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
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Brilliant post, seeing the pics just makes me yern for our return in november.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:20 PM   #7
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Aww thanks people - I'm sorry it took so long!!

I'm blaming the denial factor - they tell me that if you don't write the last day of your trip report it's like the holiday never ended. And we all know that "they" are always right!

Seriously though - glad you enjoyed the reports. I think I have more vids that I could post but as my sister has just delivered us a new member of the family I am a bit snowed under with baby pictures / footage at the moment. Give me another couple of months and I might get onto it

Snowy-Girls - We are almost certain to stay on I-Drive, maybe even at the Sheraton again as it was a fab location. We might have to squeeze in a little onsite foray at Universal though - it would be rude not to IMO! I can't see us onsite at Disney at all - I don't think either of us could handle it!
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daysleeper40 View Post
Snowy-Girls - We are almost certain to stay on I-Drive, maybe even at the Sheraton again as it was a fab location. We might have to squeeze in a little onsite foray at Universal though - it would be rude not to IMO! I can't see us onsite at Disney at all - I don't think either of us could handle it!
Congrats on becoming an Auntie .
I agree with you about staying onsite-as much as i love WDW-onsite is not for me.Although never say never-as Hubby thinks we should try it 'once' but only if one of us ends up driving,as we could NEVER be without our IHOP,Golden Coral,Chilli's,the list is endless .
Does the Sheraton have free WDW shuttles?.x.
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NOV90Sheraton Anaheim CaliforniaSEP93Quality Inn I-DriveSEP95Holiday Inn I-DriveSEP97Castle Inn+Suites AnaheimSEP98-Best Western AnaheimAUG03Quality Inn I-DriveApr/May04Holiday Inn I-DriveApr09Embassy Suites I-Drive SouthApr11Quality Inn Plaza+Pop.Aug13Rosen Inn Pointe,HRH,CSR+AKL With Free QSDP.AUG15Rosen Inn Pointe,HRH,RPR+21 nights at OKW With Free DDP.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:27 AM   #9
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Thanks - she is of course lovely and the proud grandparents have morphed into the paparazzi!

The Sheraton does have free shuttles to Disney - there were 2 options for going and coming back. Either leave early (8.30ish) or late morning, and come back either late afternoon or at about 9.30pm. Shuttles were reliable and drop off / pick up was at Epcot.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for finishing your trip report, I have enjoyed reading them. For an onsite stay at Universal, I can highly recommend the Hard Rock Hotel

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Old 03-12-2009, 07:05 AM   #11
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Glad you had a fantastic time.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:34 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing your amazing trip.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:08 PM   #13
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Just wanted to say thanks to Wicket and Cap'njack for reading and commenting on my 2007 report - I'd say thanks on all the seperate threads but it seems a bit rude to bump them as they are so old!

Anyway - glad you enjoyed them
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