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Old 08-26-2009, 01:06 PM   #1
caz1712's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Scotland UK
Posts: 289

Disney Dreamin for Beginners - Pre-Trip Report

Hi everyone!

I have started to post this trip report over on a British Disney Forum and have decided to finally copy it on over here so here is the pre-trippie to get it started! Warning though the Pre- Trippie is LONG!

Hope you all enjoy!

Our First Holiday to Walt Disney World Florida Part 1 - 9th June 2008
Me – Carreen (28)
DH – Paddy (31)
DS1 – Kieran (9)
DS2 – Aidan (7)
DS3 – Aaron (2 – will celebrate his 3rd Birthday while in WDW)
Oh and not forgetting Granny!
Mum – Nora (Will not disclose age as its not polite )
Well where to start really? The beginning would probably be a good place wouldn’t it?
In March we had a little extra money in which we could have either re-decorated the whole house or book a once in a lifetime trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

It was always a dream to be able to take the kids here and we had always said we would wait until a time when at least the older two boys would appreciate it. Never being able to afford much more than a week in Majorca or the Costa del sun this was a huge deal for us. So the research began.......

After a lot of googling I came across the dibb and have to say without this website I would not have the knowledge that I do now. You guys really have been a wealth of knowledge.
I was getting so many tips that I bought a Pukka project book in order to write down tips/hints from the Dibb and to write down any questions that I thought about to ask. As well as that this book contains all my many “lists” of things to do/buy etc and to be honest I would have a meltdown if it were to go missing – its my little bible!

I also bought the Brits Guide and read it cover to cover and then cover to cover again! I also bought the recommended Mapman Map which is just fantastic by the way – lets just hope my navigational skills work on the day!

So when to go? We couldn’t afford to go high season during the summer holidays as that was just way out of our price range and to be honest I don’t think either me or the kids could cope with that kind of heat. So we looked into a few different times but with Paddy’s holiday’s being a difficult thing to arrange it could only be certain weeks, after a certain shift blah blah blah. So it was decided that November/December would be the best time for the kids heat and crowd wise.

I should also say that my two eldest boys Kieran (9) and Aidan (7) have ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD(Autistic Spectrum Disorder) respectively so a quieter time at the parks is also best for them.
The way Paddy’s shifts worked he could only go from the 23rd November so fly drive was booked through Virgin for 24th Nov flying from Manchester.

We did look at other carriers and options but Virgin came out the cheapest. When we booked the cost of the extra week car hire (why do they do that – free car hire with flydrive but it only the first week?) and the platinum insurance coming in at £490 extra for an intermediate car. We took the advice of fellow dibbers and decided to book separate car hire and not pick up the Virgin one. So we booked at 7 seater SUV with USRentacar for £297 with the Gold Insurance package (nearly £200 cheaper than Virgin- and a better car!).

Ok so thats the Flights and Car booked what next- oh yeah better find somewhere to stay!

I must have looked at hundreds of villas online and my head was beginning to spin at them all and my favourites list was becoming bigger and bigger and getting no-where in deciding. Again back to the Dibb and did a search through them. Found a wonderful 3 bedroom townhouse in Regal Palms through Simon Offord well under the budget I was expecting and decided to go ahead. This guy is wonderful to deal with via email and would highly recommend him. I must admit we were hoping to have a private villa with pool but with the time of year we were going the prices of pool heating was just taking it well over our budget and the resort at Regal Palms looks like it has a fantastic pool area with slides and lazy river so I’m sure the kids will be happy with that.

Ok so now onto book the tickets.
Although we would love to do everything possible, finances and time will not allow this so have decided that Disney is a complete priority. We want to have as much freedom with the itinerary as possible so decided to get the Disney 14day Ultimate ticket. Cheapest was through Floridatix.co.uk and the service was fantastic. The tickets were purchased on the Friday and we received them the Tuesday so thumbs up for Floridatix. We are also there for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and have decided we would love to do this also. We are planning on doing this for our last evening- a way of going home with a bang!

I would have loved to do Discovery Cove but just can’t justify the price it would cost so thats been put on a backburner and hopefully wil bel a definite for a future trip! See that - already planning the next trip before I have even had the first!!
So with that in mind we may well do Seaworld instead but we are leaving that until closer to the time to see how finances are.
I would also love to see Cirque de Soliel La Nouba but not sure if the kids would appreciate it so will wait and see.

Ok so we have flights, carhire, accommodation, main tickets all paid for whats left to do????
Oh thats right.........invite Mum to come!

I must be a bit mad and so must Paddy as we had been talking about how this holiday is costing a small fortune but I can’t help feeling a bit guilty talking about it in front of my Mum. You see, she has never been abroad or had a proper holiday and she is having a tough time of it, as my 17yr old sister had a baby at New year and mum has been left to do everything(as my sister is a selfish little- well I won’t say what really) and she is absolutely shattered.

So we got talking about it and Pad said well there is room in the Villa so all we would have to do is pay for her flight and she just needs to get her spends and park ticket money really.

So with that I decided to find out what Mum’s thoughts were on it. Could she afford to get the spending money together etc.
Well when I asked her I couldn’t believe the smile on her face – she was grinning from ear to ear and her whole face lit up I‘ve never seen my mum smile so much in a long time!

She said she was worried about leaving the baby but I said that my sister had to learn to do things for herself so this was a great opportunity for her. Plus her Dad (my StepDad) would be there to watch over them (he was invited also but as I knew he didn’t like flying I knew he would say no) so he told my Mum to go and enjoy herself.

So one more seat booked on the flight. We have a 7 seater SUV booked at MCO but being stupid as we are we never thought about how we would get Mum to Manchester Airport when we only have a Ford Focus C-Max!

So we looked into hiring a 7 seater MPV from up here on a boomerang service to Manchester Airport but the cost was just far too much on top of an overnight stay. We looked at taking the two cars down but with two lots of airport parking and two tanks of fuel (especially with the cost of fuel rising soo much) this was equally expensive. So we have looked into getting the train down. For all six of us it was working in at around £120 cheaper than driving – so more money for Disney! The only worry is how difficult it will be on the way down with three children and luggage in tow with two changes as its a Sunday. The journey back is easier as its a Tuesday so its a direct train from Man Airport to Edinburgh and then connecting train to Falkirk.

So at the minute we have two rooms booked at the Manchester Airport Travelodge for the Sunday Night but we still haven’t decided on how we are getting there?!

Now on with the Planning!
I was anxiously waiting for the November and December park hours to be published in order to plan properly – especially as the 180 day ADR mark was fast approaching but 1st May came and went and still no Nov hours, a week later – nothing –a whole month later and still nothing!

Finally on the 3rd June the park hours for both November and December were posted! Typically after checking every hour on the hour (well it seemed like that anyway!) for the past month they decide to post the hours while I was out at the cinema watching the highly anticipated “Sex and the City” movie but of course I just couldn’t come in and go to bed – I had to check and see if there was any change! Well at 11.20pm I couldn’t contain my excitement and proceeded to print out the hours in order to get started on my planning!

Paddy thought I was mad but after recent months of talking and researching anything Disney related, he has learned to humour me – Good man!!!
My preliminary plan wasn’t far off the mark to be honest and I only really had to re-gig a few things. I have to admit I was rather disappointed that it was Blizzard Beach that was open, I was hoping it to be Typhoon Lagoon but we only have one water park day scheduled anyway so it won’t make that much of a difference and I’m sure the kids won’t mind where they are as long as they can have a splash around!

So I never seem to have been away from the PC for the last few weeks. I’m forever updating lists of things I still have to do, buy and plan.
I have to say a special thank-you to BATS as she sent me an email with her park hours spreadsheet. I updated this with the hours for the two weeks of our holiday and then planned an itinerary around these details.
Another thank-you to Claire (claireemmalouis)) for sending me the Epcot Passports she made. These are going to be fab for the kids to use ( although I have yet to actually do anything with them!).

I booked all of our ADR’s (except Chef Mickey’s for our last night) last week and so pleased as I got everything I wanted. I had called twice before the park hours were released to book Planet Hollywood for dinner on Thanksgiving and was told they weren’t accepting any bookings, it was walk ups only for that day. But on Friday when I called to book other ADR’s I thought I would see what they say, and what do you know they were able to book a table for us no problems? Very very strange!
So here it is my itinerary for our First Trip to Walt Disney World!

Day 1- Sunday 23rd November
Travel to Manchester Airport Travelodge (mode still undecided)
Find somewhere to eat
Early night for early check-in in morning

Day 2 – Monday 24th November
Virgin Check-in 6am
Flight VS075 10.25am to MCO due to land at 14.35pm
Find Alamo desk collect hire car
Find way to Regal Palms resort
Grab a pizza for dinner
Walmart for essentials
Early night for our first day at Magic Kingdom

Day 3 – Tuesday 25th November – MAGIC KINGDOM
The Crystal Palace for Breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and Co at 8.15am
Plan to stay in Magic Kingdom as long as possible preferably until the Dreams come true parade but if not will see it another day
Grab dinner somewhere on 192
Have an early night

Day 4 – Wednesday 26th NovemberDisney Hollywood Studios today again plan to stay here as long as possible and to see the new Block Party Bash but if not will see it next time
Back to resort for a swim and dinner and then an early night

Day 5 – Thursday 27th November - Thanksgiving
Epcot Future World
Plan to get all of Future World covered this morning
Head to Downtown Disney and have a look around. Dinner booked at Planet Hollywood for 4.45pm
Back to villa for an early night.

Day 6 – Friday 28th November
Blizzard Beach – Spend the day here then back to villa to get changed and then find somewhere for dinner in Old Town Kissimmee and stay to see the Car Cruise this evening

Day 7 – Saturday 29th November
Animal Kingdom – Spend the day here as we don’t have another day planned. See the parades etc.

Day 8 – Sunday 30th November
Shopping – Today is the day we plan to cover a couple of shopping malls. We will have to get some things for Aaron’s birthday on Wednesday but not buy too much.
Plan to go to Bahama Breeze for dinner on way home tonight.

Day 9 – Monday 1st December
Rest Day – today is a day away from all the parks. Not sure what the plan is whether to laze by the pool – catch up on washing etc but will just take it as it comes

Day 10 – Tuesday 2nd December
Lazy morning by the pool or looking around the shops. Head over to Disney Hollywood Studios mid afternoon. See the Block Party Bash if we didn’t catch it the first visit. Dinner reservation for Hollywood and Vine Fantasmic Package at 4.05pm.
Stay to see Fantasmic then over to catch Osbourne Lights before heading home.

Day 11 – Wednesday 3rd December – Aaron’s 3rd Birthday
My baby turns 3 today! This morning will be spent with Aaron opening a couple of presents then we will head out somewhere for breakfast. Spend the rest of the morning chilling out by the pool.
Get organised to go to Magic Kingdom for around 2/3pm. Aaron’s choice We also plan to see the Disney Dreams Come Trueof rides as its his birthday! parade if we didn’t catch it on our first day.
Dinner will be at The Crystal Palace at 4pm where I will order a cake (probably with Buzz lightyear on it as he is really into him at the minute!). The plan is to stay in the park to see SpectroMagic parade and the Wishes Fireworks show.

Day 12 – Thursday 4th December
Another lazy/chill out morning by the pool.
Will probably have a late breakfast/early lunch out somewhere before heading over to Epcot World Showcasse.
Will spend the rest of the day here and hope to see Illuminations : Reflections of Earth.

Day 13 – Friday 5th December
Possibly another day of shopping or maybe see if we can find Celebration. Hoping to go to Olive Garden for dinner and Mum and I will go to see Cirque de Soliel La Nouba tonight. Paddy will either take the boys to Disneyquest or back home.

Day 14 – Saturday 6th December
Today has been left open to either go back to a favourite park, go to Blizzard beach just have a chill out day or the possibility of maybe a day at Seaworld but need to wait and see how finances are.
Paddy and I will be going out this evening as Mum has offered to babysit so that we can celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary on our own. We were going to make an ADR for somewhere special but have decided that we would rather just see where we end up for dinner and then go to Magic Kingdom to do some things on our own this evening as its open until Midnight.

Day 15 – Sunday 7th December
Last full day. So doing any last minute shopping/ pool time and packing before heading to Chef Mickeys for Dinner at around 4pm (still not booked yet). We are hoping to get tickets for MVMCP tonight so that we can finish our holiday on a high!

Day 16 – Monday 8th DecemberHome time
Up early tidy up villa before heading to Downtown Disney for Virgin Checkin.
Possibly have breakfast at O’Hanas with Lilo and Stitch. If we have enough time we may go back to another park but will see how it goes.
Have to be at airport by 3.30pm to drop car back at Alamo. Get some dinner before flight home. Flight VS076 at 18.30 from MCO to MAN

Day 17 – Tuesday 9th December
Flight due to land at approx 7.35am. Then begin the journey home from Manchester to Scotland.

So thats the plan – hopefully it will go that way but as we all know anything can happen!
So what do I still have to do?
Order MVMCP tickets
Order tickets for Cirque de Soliel La Nouba
Possibly get tickets for Seaworld
Book either the train to Manchester or Airport parking whatever we decide to do
Get Doctors Letter for Kieran’s Medication
Send for new passport for Aidan
Pre-order Photopass CD
Photocopy all documents tickets etc
Finish holiday shopping
So thats it - anyone think of anything I still have to sort out?

Part 2 - 13th June 2008

Booked our MVMCP tickets online on Wednesday so can't wait for them to arrive.
Also booked the last two ADR's. We wanted to do Chef Mickeys at around 4pm on our last night (before the Christmas Party) but unfortunately couldn't get what we were looking for. Took what they had which was 7.55pm but will keep trying to get something earlier.
Also booked for O'Hanas Lilo and Stitch Breakfast for after we check in at DTD. We have booked for 10am hope this is enough time to get there after check-in. So that will be a nice way to end the holiday.
We STILL haven't made a decision on how we are getting to Manchester yet! Just leaving it as long as possible really!
Got lots of ideas for things to make for the kids(and my Mum! ) so busy trying to get that all sorted as well.
But think thats about it for now really!

Part 3 - 16th June 2008

My Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tickets! SOOO excited! Needed to hide them from the kids though as want to surprise them with them!

Ok so today I went into town and I sent away for Aidan's passport - can't believe how much it is for a childs passport now! I was £53 and that included the Post office's check and send service - scandalous!

I was going to make up Activity books for the kids using disney pages that I found on the internet but figured by the time I printed and bound them it was just as cheap to get the one's I saw in the pound shop! So £6 lighter but I managed to get them two books each - the big two have a sticker/activity book and colouring book each and Aaron has got two colouring books.

So thats been put away in my "holiday" bag. Along with a couple of tubes of the sensitive toothpaste I use that I spied in the pound shop.
I also managed to use my Boots Advantage points and got all my suncream while it was on buy one get one free. I know I could have waited until we get there but being the control freak I am I just had to buy it just now while I saw it on offer and I used my points so it was technically free!:grin:

I also had to get a new supply of Clinique products that I use and they had an offer in debenhams that if I purchased the big set I got a toiletry bag with the travel size version free so that has now been put in the "holiday" bag.

What else??? Oh I got Kieran and Aaron some clothes as well. Just a few pairs of shorts and t-shirts and a couple of sun hats Aidan doesn't need all that much this year as he has alot of Kieran's summer wear from two years ago that hardly got worn (not a great summer that year!) so will only need a few bits and pieces for him. Also got the big boys some Bart Simpson and Spiderman Swim shorts on offer in Woolworths for £3 each.
Think thats about it from town today! Think that was enough really!!! Wait until DH finds out how much I spent!

Oh and we have finally decided on what we are doing about our travel arrangements to Manchester. After alot of deliberation we finally decided just to hire the seven seater from Europcar!

I got the quote back from Mini-bus company and wait for it £580! And he said it could possibly be more because of the rise in fuel costs! We thought about the train again but having thought about the fact that it will be Nov/Dec the weather won't be great. We would need big coats hats, scarves gloves etc as well which will give us more to carry onboard and it just doesn't seem like a great prospect with 3 kids, luggage and Granny in towe!:tounge:

At least with a car we can stop when needed and we will all be together. Plus Paddy and I can share the driving where as if we took two cars we would either both be driving - ALONE! Or I would have to rely on my brother to come up and down as well which isn't fair really.

On the plus side I didn't realise that a tank of fuel is included each way with the hire cars so we won't have the extra cost of fuel which we assumed we would have had. We managed to get the price down a little to £244. We have had to hire from Edinburgh Waverly on the Sunday (Stirling is closed) as the cost of hiring an extra day just to get Stirling was £80 extra which seemed silly as the car wouldn't get used as DH is at work that day and I will have loads to do in the house, and then on the way back we will drop off at Stirling.

So this week alone, I have managed to tick quite a few things off my list to do :
Hire car booked
MVMCP tickets booked and received
Aidan's passport sent away
Suncream bought
Activity books for kids got
Started holiday clothes shopping
Can't think of anything else as yet. But we're getting there!

Part 4 - 17th June 2008

Well after all the spending I have done of late my nice Mr Postman left me a lovely little surprise today. I got a letter from our solicitor that handled our Re-Mortgage back in November with a nice check for £150!!!!!
They had held back £150 for any fees or charges that may have been taken for releasing the property and as I hadn't heard anything from them I just assumed there had been. Never thought any more of it to be honest! But as it turns out there wasn't any so nice little cheque for us thank-you very much!
Mmmm...... now what to spend it on......... gig: gig: gig: gig:

Part 5 - 19th June 2008 - Virgin Special Assistance

Well after advice from the guys over on the special needs board I decided to call Virgin today to find out what they could do to help with the boys needs.

I got a very nice man on the phone and I explained about the boys - I really didn't have to say very much at all really as soon as I mentioned ADHD/Autism he said not a problem what can we do to help then?
Usually I would have to go into great detail to explain what that meant. SO big thumbs up for Virgin here!

So we've to check in through the Premium Check-in and we will receive priority boarding and we have put a request for Bulkhead seating in (which isn't guaranteed but at least they are willing for it to be a request!). He also asked about food and if the boys are fussy eaters - which THEY ARE BIG TIME! So I told him as long as they get Chicken Nuggets they will be happy and he told me that wouldn't be a problem!
So all in all a successful call to virgin - without any mis-communication!!!LOL

I also did more shopping - tut tut I hear you cry! I just can't help myself need to snap up some bargains while I can!
SO managed to get most of what the boys needed from the Debenhams sale and few bits from Next. Also got some rather nice 3/4 length trousers from New Look for myself and a Minnie Mouse T-shirt from Next - just tooo cute and I couldn't not! I got pool shoes for all the boys in Tesco tonight. Realistically I don't need to get much more for the kids but I don't know about anyone else but I find it really hard to go on a shopping trip without coming home with something for them!
So another successful day in the Walt Disney World Planning!

Part 6 - 27th June 2008

Ok well whats been happening lately on the planning front?
Well on Saturday Aidan's Passport arrived which was super quick as I only had ordered it the Thursday before! So thats all the new passports done!

I managed to get myself and Paddy some more holiday clothes!
I've ordered a set of Luggage scales online as I thought they would come in handy with all the shopping I have been doing both here and intending on doing while there!

We had already bought a couple of wheeled holdalls a few weeks ago so everything that is getting bought is getting put in them for safe keeping. We also got 3 for 2 on TSA approved luggage locks so thats them sorted out.

Oh Paddy was nosing on ebay the other day and has also ordered Aidan this sooo cute Mickey Mouse Head shaped MP3 player and it only cost £8.99 including delivery so can't wait for that to arrive ( will post a pic of it then). Kieran already has an MP3 player so will need to come up with something to give him. Was intending on wrapping it up as a little thing to open while on the plane. But knowing me will probably give it to him earlier!

Oh I have also been in touch with Memories by Betsy ( she is soo nice) and have ordered each of the boys a welcome basket from Mickey. Quite reasonable too. So instead of making epcot passports and autograph books I have got these put into the baskets along with an autograph pen, a Mickey plush ( Jedi Mickey for Kieran, Pirate for Aidan and Ordinary Mickey for Aaron) and a Disney Racer car.

I'm thinking of getting a couple made for Paddy and Mum also but couldn't order it at the same time as the boys' as Paddy was watching me! So I need to come up with some ideas for theirs.

Its our 10th wedding Anniversary so was thinking of getting it delivered for that. Need to put my thinking cap on!

I've also made a countdown calendar for the boys to start at the beginning of July. I'm working on a picture Itinerary for Aidan at the minute and a guidebook of whats where and what sort of things we are likely to be doing while on holiday. So will post some pictures once I get these things all done.

Think thats about it for now!

Part 7 - 1st July 2008

Just thought I would post a few pictures of the super cute Mickey Mouse MP3 Player we got Aidan it arrived yesterday!

Its soo tiny but totally cute! You can get them in silver, white, pink, blue and black!
I may have to get myself a little pink one even though I have a perfectly good Ipod!

Part 8 - 4th July 2008

Just adding on the countdown calendar I made for the kids! Nothing that special but its something to cross of the "no of sleeps left"

Part 9 - 7th July 2008 ( warning this may be long with lots of Pics!)

Ok so I went SLIGHTLY mad on the US Disney shop website last week. But in my defence I really couldn't help it everything was on sale and was selling for about a quarter of the price you would pay here even with shipping included!
So this is what I got:-
Kieran :
Red Mickey T-shirt
Check Pirates of Carribean Shirt (has huge Pirate design on the back)
2 x Power Rangers PJ's
Now the sizing is just too weird! I got him age 8-9. He is 9 but really tall and skinny so I expect things to look big on him but the t-shirt is like a dress on him! The PJ's are a completely different story. The americans make their PJ's tight fitting for the kids. There is a label attatched saying "loose fitting clothing is a fire hazzard" ??? So they are super clingy on them but not in a small way IYSWIM? The sizing was the same for the other two as well!
so here is a pic of Kieran's stuff:-

Aidan :
Green Buzz lightyear -shirt
Mickey PJ's
Toy Stoy PJ's
Power Ranger Check Shirt - huge power ranger on back
Aidan's stuff :

Green Buzz lightyear t-shirt
Mickey mouse clubhouse PJ's
Buzz Lightyear Pj's
Rocket from little einsteins t-sirt
Buzz shirt (forgot to put it in picture)
Aaron's Stuff :

Green Sparkle Tinkerbell T-shirt
Pink Mickey and Minnie PJ's in a gift set with a Mikey charm and personalised message
Mum's Stuff:

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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Blue Classic Mickey T-shirt
Grumpy Pj's
Paddy's Stuff:

I even got myself a t-shirt:

For each of them I got a Disney Drawstring nylon bag to put all their goodies in. I'm also making t-shirts and journals for them all along with a few other surprises hopefully! SO thought these bags would be good to put all their stuff in (at least they are re-usable! )

Was very pleased with the cost overall including shipping - until UPS turned up his morning and wanted another £37!!!!! I totally forgot about customs charges DOH!!!!
But I was under the impression it was over £145? Well it didn't even come to that? So still a bit puzzled over how that all works?
Anyway thats my news!

Part 10 - 17th September 2008 Some of the things i have made!

Well guys its been way too long and I really need to get into the planning mode again as you can see by my countdown there are only 67 sleeps left!!!!!!! Whoohoo!!

Life has just taken over recently. A week past Sat my Dad had a heart attack and so things for the few days after that were all over the place. Thankfully he is home and on the mend after having angeoplasty and a stent placed. Just hope that he is resting as he lives 60miles away from me its really hard just to "pop by". But I am informed that his wife is not letting him lift a finger !

What else has been happening? Well Paddy and his brother then went off last week to Brussels for a few nights and had a ball - well what they can remember of it really! :beer2: So glad they had a great time!

This weekend is the Cancer Research Relay for Life in which our family have entered two teams so preparations for that have been really hectic. We've been fundraising like mad and now we just need to get the costumes sorted out!

Our teams are called "The Steamie Bairns" and "The Steamie Bairns Too" . I know the Scots on the board will understand the team name! The Steamie is a well known Scottish Play which was televised and always shown at Hogmany on the TV and set in a 1950's wash house ( which the Scots referred to as a "Steamie"). Well the street that my Mum, Uncles and myself and my brother and sisters were all brought up in had a "Steamie" at the top of it so we thought it would be a bit of a laugh to dress up in this theme and well "Bairns" is a reference to being from Falkirk - "The Falkirk Bairns" - football fans will get it!!!!

So we will all be dressed in Aprons, Headscarves and rollers pushing our High Prams with oor washing round the track and those who aren't able to walk will be sat with the old tin bath and washboard doing oor smalls for us!!! gig: gig:

It should be a great 24hrs and we will be truly knackered by the end of it but if I manage to get any photos I will be sure and post them here - I don't mind folk seeing me as a numpty!!!

Anyway on with the Florida planning! Thought I would share some pictures of some things I have printed off. The lady who designed these is just a fabulous woman and has done lots of things for me and I can't thank her enough really. She has so many requests that I managed to figure out Photoshop and personalised most things myself after she told me what fonts she used - so I was pretty pleased with myself!

So there are quite a few pictures here but thought I may as well share what I have managed to do so far!

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:09 PM   #3
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So thats what I have done so far. I have all my t-shirts bought and the transfer paper and images ready to go but I am going to start them next week once this weekend is over. The lady that did the invites is also going to make me a special invite for Aaron's 3rd birthday dinner at Crystal Palace so just waiting on that and I am also have all her journal pages saved ready to make them for the kids but they are at least 150 pages each so leaving them until last at the minute!
Anyway I will post when I have any more updates and hopefully that won't be too long away!

Well I know its not planning related.....

but I did mention it in my update yesterday - the Relay for Life event!
You know how I told you about a lovely lady on another well known Disney board! that designed all the lovely invitations for me? Well the same lovely kind lady also designed me a team logo for our Relay on Sat and tonight I had the task of trying out Iron on Transfers for the very first time ( kind of like a trial run for my t-shirt project! :tounge: ). So thought I would share with you my efforts!
Mum made a few tabards for the individual team members to wear while on the track so I have ironed the design onto them so that we are easy identifiable(sp?), so here they are!

So the red from the material bled through slightly onto the white of the transfer but I still thought it wasn't a bad effort - not sure if the iron was too hot or what but hey we live and learn don't we! :grin:
Anyway not sure if anyone would be interested or not but just wanted to share!

Part 11 -29th September 2008- Relay and some of my t-shirts

Well guys thanks for sticking with me sorry its taking me so long to post an update things have just been hectic with the Cancer Research Relay for Life amongst other things!
Just thought before I get started with the update I would share a few photos from the relay! :grin:
First of all here is me:

Left to right - My Mum, My Auntie Celia and My Auntie Rosie:

Ready for the off:

My Aunt Celia, My sister Joanne, My Mum and Me:

The Nightshift team : My Cousin Matthew, My Uncle Manus and My Uncle Joe:

It was a great day with lots of money raised and lots of laughs and a few tears as well. I think the Relay in Falkirk raised over £67,000 alone which was just absolutely brilliant!

So on with the update!
I have been busy getting all the things together for the t-shirts I wanted to make and was very nervous about doing them to be honest as I had never done it before. I had a trial run on an old t-shirt along with the tabards made for the relay so was pretty confident on getting started.
I did alot of research on how to go about it and found that Dark transfer paper was the best although for the names I printed them seperately on light transfer paper as I am a bit of a perfectionist and if you print on Dark transfer paper where ever there is white it would show white on the t-shirt and I didn't want to have white around the names so the light transfer paper prints the white areas out clear.
Being the perfectionist I am I used a craft knife to cut all the transfers and names out.
Here is one of the transfers printed and ready to be cut out:

Here is it cut out:

I am very impressed with how they have turned out. The lady who designed these is just lovely and because she is so much in demand to make designs and personalisations I decided to have a go at doing the names myself and was pretty impressed with how they turned out. I'm not a photoshop expert yet but at least I know how to work it now!

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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So here they all are - there is alot of pictures!!!!

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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Part 12 - 30th September- New tumble dryer!

Well although it doesn't seem very Florida related it kinda is....
I have just had to shell out £200 of our holiday fund buying a new tumble dryer!
The motor totally burnt out of our old one and was very lucky that a fire didn't start with it!
I am soo annoyed to be honest as it has took me long enough to save what money we do have for Florida spends that £200 is quite a big dent out of it!
But as most Mum's of very messy boys will know keeping up with the washing of 3 boys and 2 adults is hard enough, I just couldn't do it without the aid of my tumble dryer especially coming into the colder months - not that we had much of a summer!! :confused2
Anyway just thought I would share that little bit of very useless information with my fellow dibbers!

Part 13 - 30th September 2008- More T-shirts, Gift Baskets and a Camcorder!
A few months back I wrote about how I had ordered gift baskets from Betsy at "Memories by Betsy" for the boys. Well they are now complete and she sent me the photo of them today so thought I would share with you all! I'm really excited to see their faces when they get them!

Each basket contains a Mickey Plush ( Jedi Mickey for Kieran, Pirate Mickey for Aidan and normal Mickey for Aaron), Epcot Passport, Autograph book, pen and Disney racer car!
So they will be delivered to the resort on the morning of our arrival.

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:12 PM   #6
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Now I had intentions of personalising the star designs as well, infact I had the names printed off on Light transfer paper like the other names were printed. Then I realised that I had bought the pink and blue t-shirts for Mum and I and I realised that the light transfer paper wouldn't work so well on the darker t-shirts. I tried it out on the inside of Mum's pink t-shirt and although the colour showed up OK the transfer paper went that kinda shiny way and I just didn't like the look of it really...just being picky. And I didn't want the white around the name with dark transfer so have decided to leave the names off the star t-shirts for us.
I am pretty pleased with the results but the perfectionist in me still thinks they could have been better.....silly really!
Anyway and last but not least last week Paddy decided that we needed to get a new camcorder for the holiday. Now the one we own hasn't really been used as much as what it should have been to be honest but Paddy insists that is because it couldn't be hooked up to the PC and it used the Mini DV tapes. So he went and bought a Hard drive Camcorder and to be honest its pretty nifty and nice and small and lightweight compared to our old brick!

To be honest we could have done without this expensive toy what with the tumble dryer packing in but he did buy it before that happened so got to let him off with it really!

1st October 2008

Well today is the first day that whenever anyone asks "when is it you go on holiday?" I can finally say............

"NEXT MONTH!!!!!!!!!"
How cool is that!
I think that deserves a wee boogie - what you all think?

Part 14 - 13th October 2008
Well People six weeks today at this moment in time we should have arrived in Orlando and hopefully be on our way to our accomodation! Whoohoo!
SIX WEEKS TO GO, SIX WEEKS TO GO!!!!!!!!! :mickeybou :mickeybou :mickeybou :mickeybou
Anyhow whats been happening? Well I have ordered Mum's Ultimate ticket and that came in the next day - again big thumbs up to Floridatix! So thats all the Disney Tickets bought both the Ultimate and MVMCP.
We're still swithering whether or not to pre-order our Seaworld tickets or just pay at the gate?
Mum and I are most definately going to do Cirque but we are going to just get tickets at the box office I think.
I am also trying to organise the Richard Petty Drive along for Paddy as a surprise. I know he would love to to the actual driving experience but that is just way out of our budget and he did say that he would love to just experience being driven around a track in a Nascar so think he would still love this. Was hoping to book Daytona and make a day of it but unfortunately it isn't on down there while we are in Orlando so it will have to be at the WDW speedway. Just swithering whether or not to pre-book or not? I did do a post and someone said it would be better to just turn up on the day but not sure about that as being control freak like to know things are organised so still working the details of that one out!
I still have our t-shirts to finish but it has taken me an age to find Red t-shirts for mum and I for our MVMCP designs. I still couldn't find t-shirts so have settled for 3/4 length sleeve tops. Not happy how much they were as all the other t-shirts have been out of Primark or Woolworths and no more than £1.50 each whereas I had to get ours from Newlook at a £5 each! I'l tell you there better not be any mess ups with the transfers on these ones!
We loved the little Mickey mouse MP3 player I had got for Aidan so much that couldn't help ourselves and ordered one for each of the other boys! :d:
I got some Disney readalong CD's and Paddy is going to convert them to MP3 so that will do Aidan and Aaron - hopefully! Kieran on the other hand thinks that is for babies and has a few novels to read! He wants his usual Motorhead and Guns and Roses added to his MP3 player before we leave! ( although he thinks it will be on his old one! ) He gets his musical taste from his father I have no control over this I hope you understand! gig:
Oh and the kids were well excited as we got a very lovely surprise on Friday morning with the postman!
The most wonderful Dibber Jodie, sent a fabulous Mickey Mouse Postcard to the boys from the main man himself. Kieran was a bit dubious about it all but Aidan really bought into it and was really excited! Aaron was just happy to see "Mickey!" and wanted to eat the postcard - but honestly thats a good response! gig:
So here a few pictures of the wonderful Pixiedust postcard. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you so much Jodie - it made the kids day and definately made mine!!! gig:

Well thats it for now folks!

Part 15 – 1st November 2008

Hi guys! I know its been a few weeks since I updated but guess what??? Today I can finally say – “We’re going to Disneyworld this MONTH!!!!!” I am soo excited three weeks tomorrow we will be leaving for Manchester! We are now finally on the last page of our countdown calendar and its great to see!

So what been happening? Well Paddy’s wee fiesta didn’t make it through the MOT so it had to be scrapped (all together now….Awwwww) and what did he go and do…..he went and bought me a Vauxhall Zafira and he has took my Focus CMAX. So we have now cancelled the 7 seater car hire up and down to Manchester but bad news is we did a trial run with the bags ( we just filled them with everything we had been buying for holiday and some dirty washing! ) and OMG its going to be really really tight! Between 6 of us we have 4 filled Holdalls and was planning on taking an empty case. This all fits in but it is going to be one uncomfortable car journey me thinks!! So we will probably have to curb the spending slightly! Don’t know how I’m going to break that news to my mother mind you!LOL

So I need to book airport parking now also – so that’s now been added to my “to do” list – which is getting longer by the day!
I purchased a lovely little Tinkerbelle notebook and pens from ebay so that I can write all my notes for the trippie in!

It was half term a few weeks ago and the boys and I had a Disney DVD day and we watched loads! Peter Pan, The Lion King, Lilo and Stitch, Cars, Monsters Inc and the favourite surprisingly enough was….wait for it……Sleeping Beauty!!!! Here s a picture of them engrossed in it:

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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As its Paddy and my 10th Wedding anniversary a few days after we get home I wanted to do something for him while we are away. I know he really fancied doing the Richard Petty Driving Experience but I just can’t afford that just now and after seeing him watch a couple of videos on You tube of the Drivealong I thought I would just go ahead and book this for him. Not quite the same but it will give him a little taster and hopefully he will be able to go to Daytona sometime in the future and drive himself!

So I printed off a little certificate that the lady who done the other invitations had designed and I put his name and date in the little box myself ( although you won’t be able to see it in the picture as its tiny. I then attatched the actual voucher to it. I’ve made a little card with a poem on it to go in the envelope as well:

The last few weeks my evenings have been spent printing out the journal pages for the two older boys! OMG the pages look even better on paper than they do on screen but it has cost me an absolute fortune in ink – 8 colour cartridges and 3 black later but they look stunning! I am waiting on the covers being designed so that I can then take them to staples to be bound and as soon as I have them I will be posting pictures! I think the boys will have fun filling them out, plus its something they can take into school with them to show everyone what they done!

I also ordered my dollars the other day! Having watched the slow demise of the dollar over the last few weeks I had been kicking myself at not buying sooner but hey you live and learn don’t you! So after it had took a nosedive to 1.49 and then the next day it went back up to 1.54 I decided to bite the bullet and order! So order I did through Tesco !

Typically though the next again day the rate jumped up to 1.60 – hey ho though its done now! My god its felt good having those dollars in my hand – they smell soooo good!!!!

I’ve also been watching the weather and it seemed to have turned rather cold in Orlando ( well cold for them – not nearly as cold as it is here in lovely Scotland mind you!) so have been looking at clothes and worrying about what to pack! I keep thinking we are taking too much but I really want to be prepared for all weather. I know we can buy out there but money is tight and we don’t have as much dollars with us as I was hoping for so can’t really afford to just buy clothes for the sake of it.

You know there is loads more proabaly to tell but I can’t for the life of me think straight so think I will leave it there and collect my thoughts properly and then update again!


Part 16 – 9th November 2008

Well we’re down to 15 sleeps!

Well I had a really nasty cold last week and was feeling pretty lousy but I had to get on with things. On Tuesday Aaron went to stay with his Papa and his wife for a few days so that Paddy and I could have a massive house clean before holiday. So took him down to his Papa’s on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the cleaning commenced!

We absolutely tore the bottom half of the house apart and was very pleased that we got so much done.

We had promised the boys’ that we would take them to the fireworks display at the local park. Didn’t really fancy it much as it was a horrible wet night but couldn’t really get out of it. So off we trotted all wrapped up in the rain down to the park. It was a good excuse to try out the new camera and camcorder at night and practice for Wishes!

The pictures of fireworks didn’t really turn out though as it was really damp and the fireworks were hard to make out as there was loads of smoke!

But here are a few from that night!

So we headed home and once the boys were settled I finished doing the t-shirts which were still to be done. I had a design for a t-shirt for the boys to wear on flight day which I’m going to put in there little goody bags and we will be giving them the night before we leave for Manchester!

So here they are:

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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We also got a design made for MVMCP. I wasn’t really sure about doing everyone in a matching t-shirt but thought this was quite cool so thought what the hell!LOL

Here they are, the boys all have t-shirts but if its cold I have long sleeved tops for them to wear underneath as well, and Mum and I have longsleeved versions:

Then on Thursday morning I woke very early with an awful stomach bug, won’t go into too much detail but you will get the idea that it wasn’t very pretty! I was really out of it and completely spaced out with it. Paddy was actually getting a bit worried about me as I was talking complete jibberish while coming in and out of consciousness at times! I still felt very rough yesterday but able to function a bit better so we managed to go get the Journals and autograph book bound.

I am sooo pleased with how these turned out. 8 Colour Cartridges and 3 black later but OMG they look stunning! When we took them to get them bound it was going to cost an arm and a leg to get them trimmed as well so we decided to leave them as they were – didn’t look too bad I didnt’ think?

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:15 PM   #9
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You will be able to see from these pics how thick the book actually is! I think we used in total 133 pages in each and that was leaving some of the designed pages out! I did the little intro page myself for the boys.

I think it will be a great thing to fill and use for their show and tell when they get back to school.

I also printed off the autograph pages for myself and got them bound. I plan on using them for scrapbooking when we get back. The boys have autograph books in there baskets from betsy.

Speaking of Memories by Betsy, I bit the bullet and decided to order Paddy and Mum a basket as well couldn’t resist!

So then Kieran gets sent home from school yesterday with this stomach bug and my Mum, Stepdad, Sister and Nephew have all had it so it seems to have been a nasty one. I was supposed to be picking Aaron up today but my Dad is going to keep him until tomorrow so that I can get Kieran better first. The last thing I need is an ill toddler as well!

How excited was I today though, the lovely postman delivered.........MY TICKETS!!!!!!!

Ok so they’re not really tickets as such but it feels so much more real when that big red envelope arrives on your doorstep with luggage tags included! How sad am I getting excited at luggage tags!

So I still have to print off Aidan’s social stories, and picture itinerary and sort out the packing but so far we seem to be getting there. My Mum is really nervous all of a sudden and she is starting to make me feel the same way. I don’t know why, I don’t feel worried about flying at all ( I do get really painful earache which I have bought earplugs for this time) usually but I think maybe because its such a long flight and the fact its going to USA that may be worrying me? I don’t know just feels so realy now its soo close!

Anyway thats us for now guys, thanks for staying with me!

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Part 17 – 13th November 2008

Well guys we’re down to 10 sleeps – nearly time for that all important single digit dance!
So what have I been up to? Well I got the invitation designed by Natalie for Aaron’s Birthday dinner:

I have also done a social story about getting to the airport and the flight for Aidan. I also had a bit of help from Teresa and Jack for this so thanks guys. It’s quite long so I have only took a few pictures of it!LOL

And also Aidan’s picture itinerary that I made for him so he has a general idea what we are doing day to day:

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:17 PM   #11
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Our seaworld tickets also came in!

And I made some luggage tags with another of Natalie’s Designs:

I finally started doing the ironing yesterday while listening to my Disney CD and watching the new “Tinkerbelle” Movie! I have to say I loved the film really enjoyed it and it made the ironing go a bit quicker and certainly got me in the mood!

So I have all the kids clothes ironed and placed in the suitcase ready for the final packing. I still have mines and Paddy’s clothes to sort – would you believe he is taking more clothes than me!

We had Kieran’s Parents night last night and it was a glowing report! SO was very pleased to have that over with before we went away. They also had the book fair on display and he was begging for a book for getting such a good report to read on the plane ( I couldn’t tell him about the mountain of goodies I had already got him) so being the soft touch I am I let him get a book. So I think the boy finally has enough reading material for the flight!LOL

Busy wee weekend ahead, I’m going to visit my Dad on Saturday as I haven’t seen him for a while as when I took Aaron down to stay he was working and it was just his wife so a visit and a wee Thank-you present is required. Kieran has his next grading for Taekwondo on Sunday so that’s more money to be spent right before holiday but hey ho!
I have also pre-ordered my photopass and have got the car parking booked! Paddy has been busy putting the read along stories onto the Disney MP3 Players we got the kids and Kieran has asked for us to put Jonas Brothers album on to his ( old – remember the Disney one is a surprise) MP3 Player. So he has been faffing around doing all that the last few days. He has also downloaded the map for the TomTom we need and inputted the points of interest – you know the important ones such as Walmart and Subway!LOL

I’m starting to flap slightly but I’l get there – I am so excited its unreal! Paddy is nearly having to scrape me off the ceiling!!!!
Hope you’ll all join me tomorrow in a Single Digit Dance!!!!


Part 18 - 14th Novmeber 2008

Ok Ladies and Gentleman would you like to join me on the dancefloor for a wee boogie...............................

A wee SINGLE DIGIT DANCE boogie!!!!!!!!! Whoohooooo 9 sleeps to go!!!!!

Part 19 – 19th November 2008

Well we are now down to 4 sleeps to go!

I am going through a huge range of feelings, excitement being the biggest! But I am also nervous, worried, stressed, I think you all get it!

The kids were off on inservice days on Monday and Tuesday and it was hard work trying to get all the ironing done and sort things out while they were around with constant interruptions! But they finally went back to school today and it was just slightly easier trying to get packing done with just Aaron around!

Ok so remember my dilemma about how we were going to fit all 6 of us plus luggage into a Vauxhall Zafira?
Well after yet another trial run there was absolutely no way we could get us all in to the car safely without taking next to nothing with us so my very lovely favourite kind Uncle has offered to drive down in our other car so he can take Mum and one of the kids and we will have two boots for luggage! Whoohoo! Crisis averted!

So with that in mind we are now taking two suitcases ( which aren’t even full but are nearly at the maximum 23kg weight allowance), Once half empty holdall, and another small holdall which will be full inside a larger holdall plus Mum’s holdall! SO think that will be plenty of space for all our souviniers – hopefully!

Anyway apart from panicking and packing I haven’t been up to much exciting really! I will post some pictures of the kids goody bags though. Mum, My Stepdad and my little sister and Nephew are coming over on Sat night. We’re going to have a takeaway and watch x factor and I’m going to give them their goody bags then along with Paddy getting his ticket for Richard Petty! Can’t wait to see what they think!

Anyhow here are the pics:

SO that’s it for now folks will try to get back on again and wave bye bye to everyone before we go!

Thanks for reading!

Part 20 - Saturday 22nd November 2008

Well this is it guys! The time has finally came its the "night before the night before!"

I have been cleaning and packing all day long and managed to make a quick trip into town for last minute bits and bobs!

Mum and everyone is coming round tonight for a takeaway and xfactor and I'm going to give them their goody bags so just thought I would pop on quickly and say a massive THANK-YOU for following me through this magical adventure that is my Pre-Trip report! I hope to be able to get the actual trippie quite soon after we get back but as there is only a few weeks until Christmas and I have still to do almost ALL of my Crimbo shopping I might not get a chance to do it so bare with me!!!

We're leaving a couple of hours earlier than first thought tomorrow as my Uncle will still have to travel back up to Scotland on his own and as there is forecast for snow we don't want him to be going back up to late!

So its a :wavey: from me!

And see you all when we get back!!!

Love and hugs
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