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Old 07-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
wishspirit
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15 Days, 6 Parks and 1 Couple- Our June 2010 Trip Report and Dining Review in One!

Introduction:


Welcome everyone to my first real trip report! This was my first ‘real’ holiday with my boyfriend (e.g. more than a long weekend), and his first ever trip! He has always known about my Disney obsession, although it has gotten worse in the last few years, and I finally wanted him to be able to experience my happy place. We have been together for 5 and a half years, so this holiday is long past due!

This is us:



Apparently we look a lot younger than 21, blessing or curse?

We are staying at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios first for 4 nights, then moving to Pop Century for 7 nights, then Beach Club Villas for the last 3 nights. The nights at Beach Club Villas were a gift from my parents for my 21st Birthday, and for Christmas they gave us dining plan for our time there, so we were very excited!

Cast:

Me: My name is Kate and I am 21 years old, just graduated from University with an undergraduate degree in History (I actually found out my degree results whilst at Disney, so you will have to wait ‘till later to find that out! ) I have been a Disney obsessive from a very young age since we won our first trip when I was only 4 years old. This is now my 6th time to Disney, my last time being in September 2010 with my mother. (You can click HERE to read that trip report written by my mom Suzycute). I was most looking forward to showing Murray my happy place, and enjoying the rides and atmosphere.

DBF: His name is Murray, also 21 and just graduated from University with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He also got his results whilst we were in Florida, and I was very proud of him! He has never been to Disney before, but went with me to Disneyland Paris in September 2008, and really enjoyed it. I kept trying to tell him how different they were, but he just couldn’t believe the scale of difference until he saw it! He has high expectations, but was most looking forward to the food and spending some time together before he takes his new job up north.

The Itinerary:

Day 1: Finish packing, travel to the airport hotel, sleep!

Day 2: Fly to Orlando International, transportation to Universal Studios, check in at Royal Pacific

Day 3: Islands of Adventure/ Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Day 4: Universal Studios

Day 5: Sea World

Day 6: Last bits of Universal, transport to Disney’s Pop Century including grocery trip, check in

Day 7: Epcot

Day 8: Hollywood Studios, Lunch at 50’s Prime Time

Day 9: Magic Kingdom

Day 10: Florida Mall

Day 11: Animal Kingdom

Day 12: Hollywood Studios/ Epcot

Day 13: The DisUnplugged Meet, Check in at Beach Club Villas, Blizzard Beach, Start of Dining plan, Diner at Whispering Canyon Cafe

Day 14: Epcot, Lunch at Le Cellier

Day 15: Magic Kingdom, Breakfast at Cape May Cafe

Day 16: Last day, Epcot and Return home!

Sorry for that long introduction and onto Day 1!
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Day one: The craziness commences!

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of photos in this post, due to the stress of the day we didn’t take any at all! Secondly, on reflection, this post is rather long with bits not particularly related to the holiday at hand. Skip to the bottom or the next post if you aren't interested. (Don't worry, I won't be offended! )

Anyway on to day one:

Today was meant to be a fairly relaxing day of last minute packing, having a manicure and pedicure and taking a gentle saunter up to the train station to get a train to Gatwick in the early evening, then settle in for the night at Sofitel ready for the flight the next day. I decided that as I am not a great traveller (this is a serious understatement), it would be a lot easier for me to stay at an airport hotel so I wouldn’t panic about not arriving on time on the day of the flight, and get a bad night’s sleep. This had worked well in September with my mother, so we decided this was the best course of action. I was feeling a little nervous whilst planning this trip, but I had a lovely folder all divided out into sections to remind me of what to do each day:




Isn’t it pretty? (This is the point when you oooh and ahh over the precision and wonderfully labelled organisation! Or in the case of my boyfriend say 'Bloody hell! That's organised!' I took that as the highest of Disney planning complements! )

With this folder in hand, nothing could go wrong, right?

WRONG!

Rather than the nice relaxing day before my holiday, suddenly it all became filled with worry and stress!

The first problem was that I was still recovering from a nasty case of food poisoning from a week before, coupled with stress for the weeks before that due to University exams meant that I hadn’t eaten properly in about a month! I had lost about ¾ of a stone, and generally wasn’t feeling my best. Secondly, I had been applying for jobs as a teaching assistant in local schools after the end of my exams, unfortunately a lot of the interviews had clashed with my holiday dates! A few days before leaving for Florida I got a call from one of the schools asking if I could interview on the day I was leaving, and that was the only date they could do! Now not only was I needing to get beautified and pack but also go for a job interview for a job I really, REALLY wanted! Plus since I had only just come back from University, my room and all my clothes were in an absolute mess! I felt like I was packing in a disaster zone!

*calm breaths* It would be fine, just make sure I was all sorted before the interview, then get Murray packed and we could still to the leisurely trip to Gatwick. It would be fine!

The morning of our departure for Sofitel I have to admit I felt really nervous! I was really glad I had booked in the spa appointment for the manicure and pedicure, since the moment I sat down in the comfy seats and had that first hand massaged, I started to calm down and feel better. Luckily I got Murray to drop me off and pick me up, so save ruining my nails whilst driving.
However as soon as I started doing the last few bits of packing, the phone rings! It was from one of the other schools I applied for, asking for me to have an informal look round that afternoon in case they wanted to interview me after I got back from holiday! So one formal and one informal interview in one day! Of course I said yes and arranged to go straight from my first interview, but suddenly the packing, especially of Murray’s clothes, which were still in the wash, suddenly needed to be sped up! Luckily he said he’d man the fort, and pack my last bits whilst I went to the interviews. He also tried to get me to eat something, with minimum success, with just under half a packet of crisps being eaten all day!

Both interviews went ok, and I drove home to find my suitcase packed and ready, and Murray’s clothes just coming out of the drier. So we drove to his house to finish his packing, and have dinner with his parents (although I couldn’t eat a thing!). They then dropped us off at the local station to take the train to Gatwick.

Next problem! No trains to Gatwick!!! All of them seemed to be going another way! Luckily we found a guard who explained that there had been an issue on the line, and hopefully the next train will come in about 20- 25 minutes on platform 3. Crisis averted! Now this station is notorious for changing which platform it would be at the last minute, which I well know! We decided to stay on platform 1 until 5 minutes before hand, since we had 2 heavy suitcases and Murray’s had no wheels (silly decision! ). Luckily my intuition paid off, and it did get diverted to platform 1, which saved us a bit of huff and puff! We finally got on around 7.30pm and took around an hour, of which I spent most of it listening to music and Disney podcasts.

When we arrived at Gatwick, we decided to take the lift to go to the main airport, only it decided it didn’t like the look of Murray and I, and decided to not close its doors, then tell us it was out of order! Murray was not impressed as he huffed his way up the stairs with his suitcase whilst trying to help me with mine! Then we had to do the long walk through the south terminal, take a bus, then arrive at the north terminal where Sofitel is located, and eventually our flight would be tomorrow.

Sofitel, as always, was fantastic! Very posh hotel and the service is always excellent, plus I booked this through Quidco so it was only around £80 rather than £88 for early booking or the extortionate prices if you just turn up! Yes, for one night this isn’t a cheap choice, but the rooms are beautiful, the location is superb and the runway view is fantastic if you request it at no extra charge.





These are the photos from my September trip

We basically got the room 2 up from the one this was taken in, on the 7th floor (although the lifts didn’t like us again, but luckily seemed to agree when another guest entered the lift!). The room was lovely as usual, although I wasn’t a big fan of the feather mattress topper as I ended up with some sticking into me in the middle of the night!

At that point I just crashed! A stressful day, and a lack of food and sleep had left me exhausted! So it was straight into bed and to sleep, ready for the flight tomorrow!
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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Yay Kate, I'm SO glad that you're doing a trip report!

Write quickly, please?

(also, seriously, Murray didn't take a suitcase with wheels? I didn't even know you could still buy suitcases without wheels!)
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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I'm in loving it! can't wait for more!
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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Great start. We always stay at the Sofitel too, even though we normally fly out of the South terminal.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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Great start to your first trip report Kate - I'm proud of you!! (Now all you need to do is finish it!!)
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:27 PM   #7
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Wow, what a stressful start I hope to read further and see that you become more relaxed once in your happy place
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:46 PM   #8
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We found they checked id the first couple of years we were there - I take it a compliment (as long as you don't forget your id!)

Sorry it was so stressful but it sounded like you coped ok - makes the holiday even more special after going through all that

Can't wait to hear more, the Sofitel rooms look lovely We're gonna try the yotel for the first time - the room rate wasn't much different to yours though
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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Hey Kate,

Thanks again for organizing the meet and I was glad to meet you and Murray. Looking forward to reading the rest of the trip.

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Old 07-15-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hooray, trip report! Can't wait for the rest Kate!
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #11
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
wishspirit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becx N Gav View Post
We found they checked id the first couple of years we were there - I take it a compliment (as long as you don't forget your id!)

Sorry it was so stressful but it sounded like you coped ok - makes the holiday even more special after going through all that

Can't wait to hear more, the Sofitel rooms look lovely We're gonna try the yotel for the first time - the room rate wasn't much different to yours though
Actually Kevin and Julie didn't believe we were 21!!

Apparently I will appreciate it more as I get older!
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
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Great start Kate!
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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Excellent Kate! Can't wait to read more.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:23 PM   #15
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hope the interviews went well
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