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Old 04-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
Sweet Pea UK
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16 nights with the inlaws - success/failure - an August 2011 TR

I'm Late, I'm Late said the White Rabbit - and that's how I am with this TR.

We got back last September and I don't know what has happened but I have just never got it started! I realised that as we are only 189 days away from our next trip and I hadn't started a PTR that I really needed to get cracking. The PTR link is in my signature - and this my friends is the TR. There were many many highs and really not that many lows so read along.

Here is the link to the PTR that goes with this trip

Sweet Pea and Family are heading to SSR

but to be honest I didn't really get it started to well.


Me (Sara) – 36 (!!)Total Disney addict, complete and utter planner for everything I do and when it comes to holidays I am even more obsessive. My first “Disney” trip was to Anaheim in 1979 when I was 4. I can remember snippets and keep meaning to get my parents slides out to see if it jogs my memory any further. First trip to “the world” was April 1982. EPCOT had not long opened and my love affair with all things Disney became apparent. Looking back I obviously get my strict itinerarys (planned months in advance!) from my Dad. He had a strict plan of where we were going every day – in those days it was Circus World, Seaworld, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT – and I think we made a trip to Busch Gardens – how things have changed. We then took a break for several years while my Dad tried to establish his business. My family makes all types of sugar confectionery but in particular lettered rock. From 1992 we went every couple of years – staying in a mixture of hotels and complexes. I loved it – every minute of it – from the smell as you arrive at Orlando International – to the feeling you get as you pick up the hire car and know you are truly on your way! Nothing however compares to the feeling I get as I enter the Magic Kingdom and look straight up Main Street – that is truly my happy place!

DH – Jonathan. My wonderful husband. Loves me more than words can say and puts up with my Disney addiction. Although he visited Orlando in 2001 for a golfing trip he had never been to Disney!!!!! We made our first trip together in November 2003 – DD stayed home with DM and DF as she was only 2 and we felt too young to appreciate it. We had a wonderful time and Jonathan fell in love with the place. He warmed to the characters (something I didn’t think would happen) loved the magic of the Magic Kingdom and the thrill of the other parks – I had met my perfect match!!! He has visited three times more with me since.

DD – Amber. The light of our life! Amber will celebrate her 10th birthday on our trip and went for the first time in 2005 and then again in 2007 and 2010. She is a true princess and the characters love her. She is so polite with them and tells every one a different story. She is being more of a help this time with the planning as she has more experience of what she wants to do.

DMIL – Penny and DFIL - Martin. Came with us in 2007 which was their first Disney experience. It was not all perfect then but things have moved on hugely since then and we are all looking forward to spending the holiday together.

And then ... we had a surprise guest. We invited Ambers BFF to come with us about 6 weeks before we left. This is the moment I picked Amber up from school and told her she was coming ..

Her friend is called Lourdes and she lives round the corner from us. We were a little worried about taking somebody elses child but it was the best thing we did.

And here we all are ....

Coming up .... Leaving Day
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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Thursday 25th August 2011 - Travelling to Airport Day

I had slept in Ambers room the night before and she had gone in with Jonathan. I woke up at 5am and only slept on and off from then on. Jonathan came in about 7 and we all got up. Amber and I went to Tescos about 8am as she had been given a kindle as a birthday present from my mum and dad the night before and she wanted to get a case for it. We also needed rabbit food and hay for thumper while we were away.

We were there and back within 30 minutes so Amber went out and sorted all thumpers things in his shed and I sorted the rest of the money so we could get the rest of the dollars, which had typically lost a cent over night!! Jonathan then got the cat box ready in the hall and we got misty in it. She didn't like it but I predicted she would like the cattery even less! We drove out there, it is only 10 minutes from our house. It was really sad leaving her. She had her own little room that was split level with a nice view of a courtyard. Amber had packed her bed and lots of her toys but it was still really sad to leave her.

From there we went to town. We changed up the dollars and I had a sunbed. We then took some flowers to the lady in the shop next door to ours as Amber has spent a lot of time in there this summer and I wanted to say thank you. We then said goodbye to my Dad. Mum had gone to golf for the day so we said our goodbyes last night.

We then went home. Jonathan was getting really stressed out. I don’t see the point in panicking!! We finished the cases off and had a sandwich. Jonathans 96 year old Gran walked round to say goodbye and then his Dad popped in to drop his and Penny's cases off. We all live within 2 minutes of each other (cosy!!). At 1pm the mini bus arrived to take us to the airport.

Lourdes and her mum had walked round at the same time so after loading up and saying goodbye we were on our way to collect the inlaws. The journey to Gatwick took about 3 and a half hours and was pretty uneventful. Well ... except for when we stopped for petrol and I asked the girls if they wanted anything. Lourdes wanted a Lucozade which I got her. Within 5 minutes she was staring out of the window with her head going from side to side saying "Why are the cars going so fast, why is everything moving so fast, my Mum doesn't let me have Lucozade - it makes me go funny" - that information may have been more helpful before I bought it!! Luckily the sugar overload didn't last long!!

Once at the airport we did twilight check in and there was no queue at all. We breezed through. The only problem we had was that they had downsized the plane to an airbus so the seats I had pre booked were no more. The four of us were together on row 55 and the inlaws together on row 38. Worth it though to have a newer plane. From here we walked over to the Hilton and checked in. We had a similar room to last year which was great as there is so much room. Penny and Martin were next door. We only dropped the hand luggage off and went back over the airport as we were all so hungry! We had all set our hearts on “Frankie and Bennys” but it had closed and there was a “Giraffe” in it's place. Amber was really disappointed and as many of you who read last years trip report will know she doesn't take disappointment well. When she eventually picked something off the menu that she liked they didn't have it!! Still at least we can blame the fact she is only 9 (for 3 more days)!!

Once the food arrived the moaning went to a whole new level and it wasn't by Amber! I could hear mutterings of the portions were small, the large wine was small, the food was cold. After exchanging a knowing glance with Jonathan I switched off. I wasn't letting it spoil my holiday this time and was going to ignore it! We paid the bill and then walked back to the Hotel. We stopped at WHSmiths on the way and then got a Ben and Jerrys ice cream to eat in the room. It was only 7pm but we each went in our own rooms and read etc. The girls were excited and eventually we all went to sleep about 10pm.

Coming Up - Day 1
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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Sounds like you got off to a good start! We are going to Disney World this August so we can't wait to hear more about your trip.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by daisy8869 View Post
Sounds like you got off to a good start! We are going to Disney World this August so we can't wait to hear more about your trip.
Hi daisy8869 - thanks for reading along. We love going in August. You will get a great idea of weather, queues etc by reading this report.

Sara x
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Friday 26th August

Jonathan woke at 3am as he had a hypo but luckily after a couple of glucose sweets we were able to go back to sleep. We woke up about 6:30 and all got ready. We met outside the rooms at 7:30. Guess what ... More moaning ... Hadn't slept. The room was cold, bed uncomfy!, but ... I'm still laughing it off. We went and had breakfast in the hotel which was very nice and then walked over to the terminal.

We fastracked through security as a perk of the v room. We made our way up there and Jonathan stayed up there with the bags and the rest of us went to look round the shops.

Me and the girls went together and they got some bits in Dixons and that was it. We went back up the v room where the amused themselves. I went on the Internet and we peacefully watched the planes coming in and out. In no time at all it was time to board. We walked to gate 13 and got straight on the plane. All was going well. Then ... The captain came on and said there was a problem with the refuelling and we would need to sit on there for an hour before we could go anywhere!! The girls were really good and didn't moan once. The cabin crew came round with drinks and we were allowed the entertainment system on. I watched an episode of TOWIE. I had never watched it before and can't say I am keen to ever see it again!! The hour passed quickly and before long we were up in the air. The girls amused themselves with games and films.

I have to say the new entertainment system on the airbus is excellent. I read and then watched "just go with it" which I really enjoyed. The food was sausage and mash which was actually OK. I then read my kindle and typed up the events so far on the iPad! How technical have I got. Before long they were coming round with the sandwiches. It was ok. I had a tuna one. It got a little turbulent but nothing how I thought it would be considering Hurricane Irene was still making the news. Before long the seatbelt light came on and we began our descent. The girls had been really good. We got off the plane and breezed through immigration. We had all our cases bar one and there didn't seem to be many more on the carousel. Luckily Jonathan then spotted someday walking off with it! Close one. It wasn't even anything like their case!! We then decided that we would try and manage our cases onto the shuttle! This was no easy task bearing in mind we had 7 large cases, 2 sets of golf clubs plus hand luggage but last time we had waited almost an hour for our cases to come back in the other terminal. It was a real struggle. The girls managed the hand luggage and the adults each pulled 2 with Jonathan managing 3!! We got outside to the Alamo desk and were soaked!! It was so humid! we picked our car from the full size suv section. It was a silver chevy Tahoe. You could tell by looking at it that there was no way the luggage was going to fit but we gave it a go. I asked about an upgrade but it would have been another $240 so penny, me and the girls went in a cab. It was much better. We got straight to Saratoga springs and checked in and then Jonathan and Martin arrived. The girls squeezed in with them and penny and I walked to the room. We had been given room 4535 in the paddock section. It was a lovely walk over and we arrived practically the same time as they had driven. We unloaded all the luggage and checked everything out. It was lovely we had ample room. We then all piled back in the truck and drove over to the springs. We had a 7:45 reservation at the turf club. We took about 20 minutes to be seated. Everyone was very tired. We just had a main course. I had a steak which was delicious.

Everybody enjoyed theirs. Lourdes was very tired. We skipped dessert and went back to the room. We were in bed asleep for 9:30pm. Completely exhausted but very excited about the start of our holiday.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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SIXTEEN nights with your inlaws??

I couldn't do that!!!!
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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Sara, I have been waiting to read your report. I first read your "3 Brits" TR last year and was anxiously awaiting this one! You have a lovely family! Your little Amber is such a doll! I cannot wait to see how your trip unfolded!
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:50 AM   #8
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all caught up Sara.. sounded like a pretty good journey to WDW!
Sorry to hear about the few moans already

I liked your comment about TOWIE I used to watch it, then finally decided I didn't actually like it!

Emma x
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sweet Pea UK View Post
Hi daisy8869 - thanks for reading along. We love going in August. You will get a great idea of weather, queues etc by reading this report.

Sara x
Thanks! We are really excited as this is our second trip. Our first was our Honeymoon and we went Easter week which was super busy and crazy. Hoping for a little less crowded trip this time.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:45 PM   #10
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Hi Sara! I'm working through your other TR (it looks like you guys had an awesome trip - Amber is such a sweetie! ), and I'm looking forward to following along on your most recent trip.

We're taking our first trip to WDW early this summer for our belated honeymoon (we go to DL frequently, since we live in California), and I love reading other people's reports to get ideas of what'll be different from DL. Your recaps have been really helpful and fun to read, so thank you!

Currently Planning: Jul '14 My Birthday Bash at DL, Jan '14 DL Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon,Dec '13 Mommy-Daughter DL Trip, Sep '13 "Girls Only" DL Trip, Dec '12 Mommy-Daughter DL Trip, Jun '12 Honeymoon at WDW! Sep '11 Married at DL! Jun '11 DL, Aug '10 DL, Jun '10 "Engagaversary" at DL! Pre-'10 Numerous Family DL Trips.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #11
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reading along!!!
You have a beautiful family!!!
xo Christina
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #12
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Am enjoying the updates so far!
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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Sweet Peak UK I've read your trip story completely I've enjoyed while reading it. aDN one more thing that This story is telling us so many things about your personality Especially like you're an Adventurous.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:36 PM   #14
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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well I'm in - a transatlantic flight with your in laws and someone else's daughter, now that pretty much makes you a Saint
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