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Old 02-01-2013, 07:45 AM   #1
zummerzet66
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One Last Big One! 6 months to go pre-trippy

So, with 6 months to go, I thought I’d lay down a few thoughts and plans.

Firstly, who are we? Well, in age order (!), we are:

Me, Matt, 47, lover of all things Floridian
DW, Claire, ditto, and ditto
DS1, Samuel, 16, lover of American food, but not so keen on Tower of Terror
DS2, Tom, 14, Coaster Daredevil, can’t wait for Rip Ride Rockit

This will be our fourth trip, having been previously in 2006 to the Staybridge Suites, LBV, 2008 to a friend’s villa in Indian Ridge, and 2010 to Cane Island. Our first trip was a bit of a taster session, with 5-day MYW tickets for Disney, 2-day 2-park Universal tickets, 1-day Seaworld tickets and a day out at the KSC. Subsequent trips have been exclusively Disney (albeit with plenty of shopping trips and days out to the coast). This time, Disney is kind of taking a back seat, and here’s why….

Last time we went, we had a few issues with Disney, mostly little things but, when added together, enough to sour our experience. The worst part was in the Festival of the Lion King, when two cast members insisted on talking loudly to each other at the end of our row of seats, carrying on even when we asked them to keep the noise down as we were trying to enjoy the show. We rang Guest Services from our Condo, and went through all the little things we didn’t feel were quite right, and they agreed to call us back when they had looked into things. They did ring back, but they said that they were still looking into it, so we returned home to the UK without hearing any more from them. It was several weeks later when the phone rang at home, showing “International” on the caller display. When the voice at the other end said “Hello” in a high-pitched American accent, my immediate reaction was “Bloody Hell, it’s Mickey Mouse!” I was nearly right, as it was Guest Services calling to say that they were sending us 3-day tickets, with a 20-year life on them, to use when we decided to return. Not bad, we thought, and enough to rescue our opinion of Disney.

And so, now that we are returning, we’ve decided that the three days will be enough. We will plan meticulously around Park opening hours, avoiding mornings when EMHs are on, and we intend to make rope drop one time each at Animal Kingdom, Epcot and DHS, going on to Magic Kingdom later in the day when we decide we’ve done what we want to do in the other parks. And that will be that for Disney. We don’t intend making any ADRs, though we will be seriously tempted by a Boma breakfast in the second week if the money is holding up okay and they can fit us in when we ring up.

We’ve bought 14-day tickets to Universal, and intend dipping in and out whenever we feel like it, rather than committing to whole days there. The kids will no doubt want to see the Harry Potter thing….

Dining-wise, it’s going to be all off-site. We have some old favourites, like Smokey Bones and Market Street Café, and some new ones we have read about on the forums, such as Teak Neighborhood Grill, 4 Rivers Smokehouse and Santa Fe Cattle Co, which we intend to try, plus our favourite breakfasts at First Watch and Perkins.

We also plan plenty of going out and about, visiting both coasts, including Vero Beach on the Atlantic side, and St Pete’s Beach on the Gulf side. We also plan to head a bit further down to Sarasota so that we can visit Yoder’s, which I have been itching to try since Adam Richman showed it off on one of his many shows!

Oh, and LOTS of shopping…..

I dare say I’ll add more as the holiday gets nearer (especially as August Park Hours are now available!), but that’s kind of where we’re at at the moment.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #2
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Well done to Disney for trying to make it right for you. We, too, felt there was a lack of 'magic' at Disney last visit. Nothing that either of us could put our finger on but it just didn't seem the same.

Sounds like you have a fun-filled, jam-packed trip planned nonetheless. We tried 4 Rivers Smokehouse back in August and it was incredible. Another place we tried for the first time last year, which you may want to consider, is Keke's Breakfast Cafe. The food was amazing! The new(ish) Texas Roadhouse on the 192 was a winner for us also.

I look forward to reading more about your plans as the departure date draws closer.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:10 AM   #3
Tink2312
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Sounds great. We love driving to the coast and spending the day relaxing on the beach. Shame about the problems you had with Disney but I'm glad they sorted it for you. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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sounds like a great plan!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:38 AM   #5
zummerzet66
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Thanks for the Keke's breakfast Cafe recommendation - it's now on the list! We've also given in and booked an ADR. I'm adamant it'll be our only one, though! We've booked breakfast at Captain's Grille on the first Sunday. We went there in 2008 and 2010, and it was brilliant (a fair bit cheaper than the other Disney buffet breakfasts, too )
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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Sounds like a great plan.
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