Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Global Neighbours > UK Trip Reports Board
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-01-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 491

Ooo-de-lally Tour September 2007: The Adventure Begins!!

Me (We'll call me Fi) - Compulsive planner and worrier. Lover of all animals and an adrenaline junkie. Can't wait to swim with a dolphin!
OH (We'll call him M) - Same as really!

Details - 2 weeks starting 17th September 2007, our first trip to Florida.
See link for pre-trip report in my sig...

Friday 14th - Sunday 16th September: The adventure begins!

FINALLY(!) the day had arrived. Well, the day before the day had arrived. Either way it felt great and the adventure was underway at last…

Our holiday officially started at 3pm on Friday 14th September as we had both managed to secure an early finish from work and joyfully waved goodbye to the place until 4th October. We took the opportunity to celebrate by treating ourselves to a lovely carvery dinner - inclusive of a yummy ice cream sundae which had all the gooey chocolaty properties that I look for in a dessert! As I remember it I spent the rest of the evening being excited and nervous in turn, before progressing to full blown Fi Worrywart mode for bedtime. A sporadic nights sleep ensued which was unfortunate as we had to be up early to take the orange dude to the vet for his booster and annual prod and poke. Then again, I had no problem being up in time as I had in fact been awake since 6am - that wide eyed type of awake that you get when you are consumed with irrational thoughts such as “What if immigration don’t let me in??!”.

Spike (one of our moggies) soon took my mind away from its paranoid ramblings as he utterly loathes going to the vets. The problem is not so much the vets itself, but more so the journey to the vets. He hates being in his carry box, detests being in the car, and likes to make his feelings known by shouting for the duration of the journey. However we made it there and back again without serious incident and Mark even managed to get his haircut in between. The moggie maintenance was completed on our return home as we pinned Weasel (the other one) down and clipped her claws and applied the plastic cone in the hope that this would stop her digging holes in her own head - an ongoing problem as she has some quite serious personal issues!

With the moggies sorted out we were left with finalising the packing and checking the travel documents at least four hundred times… it is a miracle that the ink was not rubbed off of the tickets and I think my unnecessary worrying actually peaked when I started to ask the disboards packing questions - as if the decision whether to take a cardigan or not merit’s a serious discussion! Clearly the only course of action was to go to bed - so we did.

The wide eyed awake look was back with a vengeance on the morning of 16th September, and was only assuaged slightly at 10.45am by a successful foray into the world of Virgin Atlantics Online Check-In facility. This was surprisingly easy and was thankfully eliminated from my worry list! M's dad came to pick us up at 2pm and we were on the road by 2.45pm, having briefed him in where to put the re-cycling and how to keep the moggins alive for two weeks.

We arrived at Gatwick South Terminal after a short and uneventful journey and headed directly for the Virgin Atlantic Twilight Check-in desk. I have to say that this is a brilliant service - if only for the smug feeling you get as you waltz past the hordes of people waiting to check hours before their flight and realise that a) there is no queue at the Virgin check in desk, and b) after handing your bags over, all you have to do is find some dinner, drink some lager, and fall into bed… that is if you have booked the Gatwick Hilton, which we had! So no queues for us and no problems, with the luggage weighing in comfortably under the 23kg allowance and the boarding cards showing the desired seat numbers 63A & 63C. Everything was going so well that we opted for a beer stop at the “Village Inn” before heading back through the terminal to the Hilton. We encountered an objectionable man at the Hilton check in desk - the type of self important tosser who feels that he shouldn’t have to wait regardless of the fact other people are already being served. He struggled with directions such as “Wait Here to be Served” and required a map directing him to his room. Cretin.

Armed with our room number (2246) and completely map-free we somehow managed to locate our allocated digs for the night… it involved a lift and some corridors - real tricky stuff! Having done the obligatory bed jumping and rummaging through the free toiletries we headed back again to the terminal for dinner. We’d had a tip off from my mum that the prices in the Hilton were a bit OTT and frankly why choose overpriced nosh when you could be at Frankie & Benny’s stuffing yourself with their fine Italian American fare?? We shared some potato skins and a napolena garlic flatbread for starters and then Mark had the New York Chicken, and I opted for the Chicken Parmigana.

Too stuffed to have dessert at the restaurant but unwilling to forego a treat, we stopped off at Krispy Kremes for some takeaway goo and dragged ourselves back to the hotel. I had a lovely hot bath - much appreciated as we don’t have a tub at home, only a shower - and then ticked another thing off of the worry list by filling in the Visa Waiver forms that we’d picked up at the Twilight Check-in desk. Somehow we also managed to fit in a game of Yatzee (M won), watched an episode of Medium, and some other activities that I won’t go into! Had no trouble getting to sleep after all of that - alarm set for 7.30am with the intention of heading to passport control at 8am… went to sleep with everything crossed for no delays and keeping our chosen seats!

Monday 17th September: Leeeeaving on a jet plane!!

It was 7am and I had been awake for at least an hour, maybe more. Having admitted to myself that I was not going back to sleep I snuck into the bathroom to start writing my journal - I’d had some unfortunate dreams as an aeroplane had crashed in Phuket on 16th September and obviously it was splashed all over the evening news. Not great considering what we were about to do! Still I was thinking positive thoughts and did not have long to wait for the 7.30am alarm and the official start of “Flight Day”!!

We checked out at 8.30am and headed for passport control. When I saw the queue I was VERY happy that we had used the Twilight Check-In and stayed overnight at the airport - all those people that didn’t must have been up at stupid-O’clock to be on time to check in and join the big assed passport queue. Somehow there are also people in the world that don’t know that airport security is a bit tighter than it used to be, and can’t grasp simple ideas like not bringing all their toiletries in their hand luggage. Thankfully we were not in this group - the only problem we had was M leaving his mobile phone in his pocket and setting off the alarm… mildly embarrassing for him!

Even more queuing ensued after passport control - this time for brekky. We opted for Upper Crust as all the table service places were rammed. I was very good and had a fruit salad and water - M was not quite so good with a pastry, blueberry muffin and an Oasis drink. We managed to find a seat to eat our brekky, got some snacks from the WH Smith and by then it was 10am and time to get to Gate 17. On arrival we discovered that our plane would be Ruby Tuesday and we only had 15 minutes to wait before we started to board - wealthier people first (1st class & Premium Economy) and then economy passengers. We were on fairly quickly as they filled up from the rear and thankfully we had managed to keep the seats that we chose way back on 2nd January!

My wish was granted and we did not experience any delays - setting off basically on time at 11am UK time. The first order of the day was drinks and snacks in the way of diet coke and some sour cream and chive flavoured pretzels. Shrek the 3rd started almost immediately on the seatback entertainment screens and we both opted to watch it. A bad decision as it’s pretty poor. Lunch was served during the film - choices were meatball marinara, chicken tikka, or vegetarian cottage pie. I don’t know who’s idea it was to serve curry on a plane but it was a bad one! M and I both had the meatballs - it came with a pasta and mozzarella salad, small brown and white roll, crackers and cheese, and a mini GU chocolate pot. Drinks were a small bottle of water and tea/coffee for afters. You could have had wine but it was a bit early for me. I thought the food was fine - I liked everything, especially the chocolate pot! Mark professes to be a bit of a plane food connoisseur and he gave it two stars which isn’t bad as our Frankie and Benny’s dinner achieved three stars… I’m assuming he scores out of five although I have never actually asked.

Following the food I read a magazine, did some puzzles, listened to my music and watched the information thing on the seatback TV. This became a bit compulsive until I realised that we had been flying for about five hours and were STILL over the Atlantic… then it just got boring. For posterities sake however I can reveal that our flying stats were:

Flying time - 8 ½ Hours
ETA - 14.22
Altitude - 35,000ft - 38,000ft
Speed - 605 MPH / 498 MPH

We got higher and went slower due to turbulence bad enough to have the seatbelt sign switched on. Obviously at this point I realised that I need the loo…

On the up side, the stewardesses came round with the ice-cream. We both watched another film to pass some more time - I watched Reign Over Me which was very good and made me cry, and M went for Oceans 13 which he seemed to like. We also had a snack later in the flight in the form of sandwhich and cookie.

We finally landed (on time) at 2.30pm and joined the scrum for immigration. I really had not been looking forward to this moment… It took at least an hour and was a bit nerve wracking. Still, my online investigation stood me in good stead - my form was filled in correctly and I managed the fingerprint/eye scan thing without too much fumbling… even with a shaky finger and sweaty paws! The official asked my reason for travel, who I was travelling with, when I was last in the USA and when I was returning home. It is not a particularly pleasant process but we were both through and our bags were waiting for us on the other side. We did a quick tour of Orlando International Airport before locating the Mears transport desk and our shuttle - number 35, driven by Marcella.

Only a short journey later and we were checking into room number 912 and the Sheraton Studio City… a surreal experience having been planning it for so long! The room was as expected with two double beds, TV, and a plethora of towels - and we had a view of Wet n Wild.

Unpacked and settled in, we headed out for a bit of a nosey around. First impressions - the roads are big in America! We spotted Sweet Tomatoes which was my number one pick for dinner and then decided to have a dip in the hotel pool before eating. We had something very important to do first though - walk to Wet n Wild which was just over the road from the hotel and collect our four park flex tickets. This successfully achieved (another thing ticked off the worry list!) and we quickly got our swimming togs on. The hotel pool was quite dinky but deep and a good temperature although it was very blustery around the pool area. We were both hungry after our swim so changed and mooched back up the road to Sweet Tomatoes. Dinner was YUM - we basically ate everything and particularly enjoyed the bread and soups. Couldn’t resist the chocolate brownies and make your own sundae for dessert either!

I was still only about 9pm at this point and it seemed rude not to have a round of crazy golf as Congo River Golf was located right next to the hotel.

The course was great but sadly I lost to M 60/57 - booo!! It is also rude not to have a drink in your hotel bar on your first night - however we only managed a lager apiece before remembering that we had been up for at least 22 hours and tiredness finally kicked in. We went to bed supremely happy at the thought of SeaWorld in the morning…

Last edited by Daysleeper40; 01-02-2008 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Resize & add photos
Daysleeper40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 03:22 PM   #2

I am sooo proud, happy, relieved and impressed - it's a great day...
CustardTart's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South West London...
Posts: 15,478

Fantastic start! Love your style, Fi...
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - Christmas 1998 * Dolphin/Vero Beach - Easter 2000 * Polynesian - August 2001 * Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - August 2004 * Beach Club/DCL Wonder - May 2005 * Grand Californian Hotel - NYE 2005 * Polynesian - August 2006 * DCL Magic Western Caribbean - September 2007 * Yacht Club - October 2007 * Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa - December 2007 * Villas at Wilderness Lodge/DCL Wonder Double Dip - May 2008 * DCL Magic Mexican Riviera/Disneyland Hotel - August 2008 * Boardwalk Villas - October 2008 * Animal Kingdom Villas/Hard Rock Hotel Club - Easter 2009 * Bay Lake Tower/DCL Magic Eastern Caribbean & Tortola/Villas at Wilderness Lodge - September 2009 * Bay Lake Tower - June 2010 * DCL Magic Westbound Transatlantic - September 2010 * Old Key West - October 2010 * Sequoia Lodge/Paris - November 2010 * Boardwalk Villas/DCL Dream Inaugural Cruise - January 2011 * Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa/Villas at Wilderness Lodge - November 2011 * Boardwalk Villas - July 2012 * Animal Kingdom Villas/DCL Fantasy Western Caribbean - November 2012 * Boardwalk Villas/Bay Lake Tower - January 2014...
CustardTart is offline   Reply With Quote
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 01-01-2008, 03:49 PM   #3
Tammy Stringer
I love babies - all milky and baby powdery
Do you knit, Barbara?
Up for the marquee option
Tammy Stringer's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Gloucestershire, England
Posts: 1,503

Great start. You showed amazing stamina for your first night - crazy golf after dinner - you have got staying power!!

Tammy Stringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 04:43 PM   #4
Beavers is a dangerous place to be
I will just have to enjoy Food and Wine and skip the running
BRobson's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Elgin,Scotland
Posts: 15,346

A great start to your trippie - cant wait to read more

BRobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 10:33 AM   #5

The Original 'Free Spirit'
Who's Next??
Minniespal's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 52,288

Excellent start
Minniespal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 491

Thanks everyone - I'm really enjoying writing this... brings back all the lovely memories of how excited we were to finally be on our way!
Daysleeper40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 01:44 PM   #7
I need a cup of tea and a big bar of free chocolate now
Was born with my dancing shoes at the ready
I will be back later to stalk some more
natalielongstaff's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: leicestershire,england
Posts: 80,404

fab start
April 2003 DLRP, November 2004 WDW and Barbados, September 2005 WDW, September 2007 WDW,October 2009 WDW

natalielongstaff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 02:37 PM   #8

Pete and I wait and watch some lovely baby lizards
I have always booked myself
"Play Up Pompey"
jjk's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Reading UK
Posts: 21,508

great start,looking forward to reading more
Rachel "Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up"

2000 Disneyland paris 2003 Ramada inn 2004 Quality inn plaza2005 Cumbrian lakes2006 Emerald Island July and December2007 Emerald Island May and July2008 Emerald Island and Contemporary Resort2009 Saratoga Springs 2010 Animal Kingdom lodge2011HRH Animal KingdomLodge 2012Holiday inn Miami ocean front /Animal Kingdom lodge
jjk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 11:24 AM   #9
Who says these things pass you by.....
arieljasmine's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: England
Posts: 6,096

Great start, except that I am most disgruntled that you got a cookie with your sandwich - we flew from Manchester three days later and had fruit! Seriously though, thanks for sharing, really enjoying your report.

May 2001 DLRP Santa Fe/September 2002 WDW All Star Music/December 2003 DLRP Sequoia Lodge/September 2004 WDW Wyndham Orlando/Pop Century/May 2005 WDW Hard Rock Hotel/Coronado Springs/Disney Wonder/April 2006 WDW Pop Century/ September 2006 WDW Hard Rock Hotel/Animal Kingdom Lodge/September 2007 WDW Wyndham Orlando/Hard Rock Hotel/Polynesian/Pop Century
arieljasmine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 07:49 AM   #10
Would love a diet on Cadbury Flakes
Admits she's strange when it comes to eggs
wilma-bride's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 21,001
DISboards Moderator

Wow Fi, great start - I am amazed you had the energy for mini golf on your first night though. Normally, I am only fit for my bed once I'm fed and watered
wilma-bride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 04:53 PM   #11
Lost another competition
It's absolute bliss
DisneyJo's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 19,730

Great start but as everyone else has said I can't believe you were able to stay up that late
DisneyJo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 06:22 PM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 491

We were quite excitable!

...and also determined to stay up till a vaguely normal local time before hitting the hay. It worked pretty well - it was only when we stopped and sat down for a beer that the tiredness really kicked in.
Daysleeper40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
florida sun
Mrs Christopher Eccleston wannabe
Don't you know who I am ??? I was on Dr Who
I'm dizzy just reading
florida sun's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: wales uk
Posts: 17,048
DISboards Moderator

Brilliant start, looking forward to more

florida sun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2008, 08:36 AM   #14
PudseyChancer's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Leeds Leeds Leeds
Posts: 464

Enjoyed this report, off to read more!
PudseyChancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 05:23 PM   #15
I keep trying to convert everybody, but they just don't want to be converted
I can only get a tag if its near the weekend. a monday, tuesday and some wednesdays are definately no tag days
mark&sue's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London,England
Posts: 5,510

It is such a great feeling when you land in Orlando and get to your hotel after all that planning and worrying.

Sounds like the perfect start to your holiday.

Oct 1992: off site - April 1998: Dixie Landings - Oct 1999: DL California - Oct 2000: Grosvenor Resort - Oct 2001: POFQ - Dec 2001:Disneyland Hotel - Oct 2003: Davy Crockets Cabins - Oct 2004: Grand Floridian -May 2005: SSR (DVC) & HRH - Oct 2005: New York Hotel - Oct 2006: SSR and BCV (DVC) - Aug 2007: SSR (DVC) and 1st Disney Cruise - July 2008: Sequoia Lodge - July 2010: Treehouse Villas - Sequoia Lodge: Oct 2010 - April 2011 Treehouse Villas/Portofino Bay
2012/13: Several trips to our Dream holiday Home in Spain
mark&sue is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.