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Old 09-01-2014, 09:40 AM   #1
jenseib
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Solo and Unleashed!

Welcome to my newest Trip Report.
This was just a quickie trip down to Florida…Aug. 22-25, 2014….and by the title you can probably guess…..I went solo!

So who am I? Well I am Jennifer…many people call me Jen.



I am a self-proclaimed Disney-aholic! And I have been very fortunate to take many Disney related trips over the years.

I am also a wife to a resister…Skip! And a mother of 3 children, Michael who is 25 (yeah I know, the math doesn’t add up, I must’ve had him long before I was even born), Paige, 22 (again the math doesn’t add up right?), who is also having a baby girl of her own in Oct. and Claire, who is 9. Many of you probably know Claire from many of my other Trip reports.
I was a stay at home mom for many years after I had Claire and I loved it. A few years back I was presented with a work from home option and I jumped at the chance. It really has worked well for me and I love my job. Of course there are days I scream and rant about it, but for the most part, it is the best job I have ever had.

This job is really what led me to this trip, as it was a business trip.

I am working towards a particular certification in my field of employment. There are several things I have to do and meet to get all the credits required for this certification. I actually did what I thought would be the hard part with flying colors and fairly early on. BUT I still had to do a few other things to fulfill everything on my list. In May I took a trip up to Detroit Michigan for the day (about 1 ½ hours away) to attend a seminar. This seminar gave me many of the credits I needed for this certification, but I still had 3 things I needed to check off that list after it was done.
I knew there was another seminar in Orlando in Aug. and I threw it around in my mind a bit, but didn’t pull the trigger. I still had to do one other thing that would require travel as well even after attending this seminar. I really tried to get both things to magically coincide with each other…so much so that it made my brain hurt, but I just couldn’t do it.
I finally decided two trips were going to be needed to finish this up and approached Skip with my plans. Surprisingly he didn’t seem to mind. I hope that means he is finally becoming less of a resister….but I am not holding my breath on that just yet.

So I booked this trip, to arrive on Aug. 22, a Friday and to leave on Aug. 24, a Sunday. My seminar was most of the day on the 23rd. I planned to make it a cheap trip, I had air points with Southwest and I could get a reduced rate at a Disney hotel while staying for the Seminar. I decided All Star Sports would be it. I have absolutely no desire to ever stay there really, but I am trying to stay at each resort at least once and this would be the perfect time to stay…right?
Well, you know how when you quote a Disney resort it lists on the side other resorts and their prices….I fell for it! It listed Caribbean Beach and the price wasn’t too much more…I haven’t stayed there yet…so I took the plunge and booked my 2 night stay there.
And surprise, surprise!!!! The Villains Unleashed party was announced and also going to take place on the 23rd. Well that works out just nicely! So a ticket was bought for that.
OK, everything is set for this quickie trip.

BUT WAIT!!!!!

I am a Harry Potter fan and I have been watching and reading up on the info about the new Diagon Alley opening some time in 2014 at Universal Studios. It was finally announced to open in July. Now I had just been to Universal Studios in April on a spur of the moment decision my husband had made on our last day of our Spring trip and I had longed to see Diagon Alley while we were there. This is the best I could see at that time.







It was such a tease!
So I looked at my air and I could change my day of departure to Monday instead of Sunday and it was actually slightly cheaper.
I then decided I should stay onsite that extra night and went to look for a hotel there. Cabana Bay is the newest resort there and I really wanted to stay there….but it does not offer Express pass, and being this was only going to be a 1 day whirlwind I thought it probably would be wise to stay at one of the resorts that offered it. In the end I chose the Royal Pacific. The price wasn’t too much higher and since I haven’t stayed at any onsite resorts there yet, this would be a new experience as well for me.
Another perk to my job is that I can sometimes obtain discounted or free 1 day tickets to different places. Sure enough Universal was on the list and I put in the request for that ticket and it arrived a few weeks after.
One last detail was how to get to Universal from Caribbean Beach. I looked at getting a car from the Swolphin Alamo, but the price was still kind of high for just 1 day…and picking it up would be later than I wanted it to be. I looked at getting one from MCO and just keeping it the whole weekend….and BINGO! That ended up being cheaper than the 1 day rental….and a few weeks before my trip I double checked it and it went down a few more dollars as well. YAY!

Everything was all set and I was excited.
Day 1, drive to Columbus, fly down, arrive at 5:50PM, get rental car perhaps go to Downtown Disney.
Day 2, drive over to the Dolphin for the Seminar, after seminar walk over to Hollywood Studios and go to Villains party. Come back to Dolphin and get car to take back to CBR.
Day 3, Get up extremely early and head over to Royal Pacific and get checked in and do early entry for Universal Studios and get in line for the new Escape from Gringotts ride.
Day 4, drive back to MCO for a 11:05 AM flight. Land in Columbus at 1:15 and drive the 2 ½ hours back home.

Sounds fairly easy and simple right? Well, there were a few wrenches in the plan….some were good wrenches and some not so great, but I just went with the flow and made the best of it. And the good wrench was REALLY worth it!
I hope you will all join me as I relive this quick weekend getaway.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
jenseib
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Aug. 22, 2014, Friday, Day 1
The Long Journey
My Newly Refurbished Room
Food Court, Shopping, and a Look at the Pool
More of the Pool and Time to Call it a Night

Aug. 23, 2013, Saturday, Day 2
Early Morning at CBR
Breakfast and Arriving at the Dolphin
The Dolphin
Captains Grille
Are We Done Yet? It's Time to Drop
Rockin' & Villain
Villain Delights
Evil Girls and Some Villains
The Last of the Villains and the Heat
Falling Asleep to Fireworks

Aug. 24, 2014, Sunday, Day 3
Change of Plans and Magical Mines
7 Dwarves Mine Train
On My Own in the MK
Mountains and Pirates
Royal Pacific
Margaritaville
Universal Studios
London and Diagon Alley
Gringotts
Escape From Gringotts
Diagon Alley
Transformers and Kings Cross
Platform 9 & 3 Quarters
Hogwarts Express
Hogsmeade
Forbidden Journey
Islands of Adventure
Circling Back
Train Back to London
Diagon Alley at Night
Calling It a Night


Aug. 25, 2014, Monday, Day 4
Time to Head Home

Last edited by jenseib; 10-12-2014 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
wvgoofyfan
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I'm in too

looking good
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
JanaJohn
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I'm in and it looks like I've made the 1st page! I've never read any of your TR's but have seen many of your replies in others. I think I'll go back now and read your last one.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #7
mickeystoontown
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I'm here Jen! Looking forward to hearing about the great times and even the not so great times.
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 09-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #8
dizneeat
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Caught this one early! And even made page 1! Now going back to read!
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TR Feb 2014: Did you feel pressured ... TR 2013: Get off the ship ..... Pre TR 2014: DREAMing, some MAGIC and a little bit of Paris! Visit my other TRs/dining reviews here:

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Old 09-01-2014, 08:08 PM   #10
scottny
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Here
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:19 PM   #11
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Joining the party.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:36 PM   #12
wiscbugs
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Awesome...in for another great report!
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:00 PM   #13
JKSWonder
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Sounding great so far. Looking forward to the Unleashed review. I actually decided not to ditch the family and go, though I totally should have since the kids were HORRIBLE on this trip. Like, we are never taking them again horrible. Should have left those little monsters in the dust and joined you and the villians!
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:45 AM   #14
jenseib
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Yeah! I'm in!


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I'm in!


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Originally Posted by wvgoofyfan View Post
looking good
Thanks for joining!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanaJohn View Post
I'm in and it looks like I've made the 1st page! I've never read any of your TR's but have seen many of your replies in others. I think I'll go back now and read your last one.
Welcome! I am still working on my other "latest" one too. But that one is a few days along at least!

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I'm here Jen! Looking forward to hearing about the great times and even the not so great times.
Hi Lisa!

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Caught this one early! And even made page 1! Now going back to read!

Woohooo!
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
jenseib
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I am here.

Corinna


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Here


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Joining the party.


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Awesome...in for another great report!
Thanks!

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Sounding great so far. Looking forward to the Unleashed review. I actually decided not to ditch the family and go, though I totally should have since the kids were HORRIBLE on this trip. Like, we are never taking them again horrible. Should have left those little monsters in the dust and joined you and the villians!
Oh no!!!!! I tell you back when my son was little he was the worlds worse child and so unappreciative. I wouldn't let him buy the Terminator VHS set at the over priced price they had at Universal and her literally cried about it for 2 hours. I swore I would never take him anywhere again. I even told him he could buy it at home at Target, but that wasn't good enough...and it wasn't like he would even watch it TILL we got home anyways. I can laugh about it now....but it was so awful then....so I feel your pain.
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