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Old 10-01-2008, 09:08 AM   #1
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Sans Friends (a pre-trippie)

As it's now only a month until our trip, I thought I'd venture a pre-trippie in an attempt to release some of my pent-up excitement. Based on previous form, promising a full trippie on my return would lack integrity to say the least. I'd like to think I'll take notes, but my good intentions invariably peter out after the first few days.


Sunday, 2nd November - Sunday, 16th November


Deb: Aged 47. Reformed control freak who now just likes to go with the flow (well, to a point ). Foodie.

Matt: Aged 36. "It's five o-clock somewhere". Nuff said.

Here are a couple of really flattering shots of me indulging in my favourite pastime:

(At the bar in Brio Tuscan Grill, Mall at Millenia)

(At the bar in Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe, Pointe Orlando)

And a couple of Matt doing likewise:

(Sosa Cigar Bar, Downtown Disney)

(Heads Up Bar, Castaway Cay)


In 19 trips this will be only the second without any friends or family along. During the first (back in May, 2003) we rented a villa, but having bought into DVC in 2006, we have planned our first ever entirely onsite stay.

As has become our usual MO, we'll be staying at the Gatwick Sofitel the night before the flight. We like this hotel, although it'll seem strange not to have company as we get our holiday underway in the lobby bar.

Gatwick Sofitel atrium:

The timing of our trip was carefully planned to take in the International Food and Wine Festival, as well as some of the Christmas season, whilst avoiding the worst of the crowds. We were also keen to spend a couple of nights onsite at Universal in order to take advantage of our 2 year AP deal, and to enjoy the delights of CityWalk in the evening without having to worry about taxis.

The first week of our trip coincides with the last 7 days of the IF&WF which works out perfectly. We can spend the first 5 nights (Sunday - Thursday) in DVC accommodation, then move to Universal for the Friday and Saturday nights avoiding both the expensive weekend DVC points and the final weekend crowds at the IF&WF. We had hoped to book those first 5 nights at one of the Epcot resorts, but we weren't able to get availability at the 7 month window. As things stand we are booked for 5 nights in a studio at our home resort of Saratoga Springs (and are waitlisted for either BoardWalk Villas or Beach Club Villas), then 2 nights at Universal's Royal Pacific (having stayed twice at all three Universal resorts, this is now our top pick simply because it's the cheapest option), and finally 7 nights back at Saratoga Springs in a one-bed villa.

Our studio at SSR in August, 2007:

Grandstand pool:

Here are a couple of photos of our room at RPR during a previous stay:

And this is a library shot of a remodelled room - I think it looks lovely:

And just a couple of shots of our two-bed at SSR from January of this year. It was a dedicated two-bed, but our one-bed will be pretty much identical:

As it's just the two of us, our plan is to mooch around, taking lots of photographs and soaking it all up. Epcot is our favourite park and we adore the IF&WF, so we're very much looking forward to that. We've pre-ordered the PhotoPass CD, so we'll be doing our best to make the most of it.

Although we've stayed at SSR twice previously, we've never really had an opportunity to have a good look around, so we plan to do that during our second week and we'll also be taking a stroll over to Old Key West as that's one of the few resorts we've never visited. We're also sure to be taking the walk to Downtown Disney on more than a few occasions and T-Rex is on our list of new places to try.

We've eaten at all the MK table service restaurants over the years and we're not fanatical about any of them, so we occasionally head out to one of the resorts for lunch. Even then the options are limited, so we're going to try The Wave at the Contemporary this trip. From the reviews I've read, I'm keeping my expectations fairly low, but it'll be nice to do something different.

We're planning an evening of bar-crawling at CityWalk, although whether we make it beyond Margraritaville remains to be seen Having peered through the window of the Red Coconut Club during the daytime on a couple of occasions, I think we'll pop in there for at least one drink - it looks quite swanky. Ditto Rix Lounge at Coronado Springs. I'd like to take a look at that if we get an opportunity.

Rix Lounge:

As well as T-Rex and The Wave, we have quite a few restaurants which we plan to try for the first time - Village Tavern at Mall at Millenia; Cuba Libre, Oceanaire and Maggianos at Pointe Orlando; A Land Remembered at Rosen Shingle Creek; and maybe Tokyo Dining at Epcot and Elephant Bar at Mall at Millenia. Whether or not we'll fit them all in remains to be seen - we've got quite a few old favourites on the list too including Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe, Capital Grill, Seasons 52 and several onsite). We're also looking forward to sampling the delights of the new tequila bar in the Mexico pavilion.

We've got tickets for MVMCP which we haven't done for 7 years, so that should be fun. I can't wait to see the castle all dressed up in its twinkling lights. There will undoubtedly be some rounds of golf squeezed in there somewhere and we may make a trip to the Cheyenne Saloon in Church Street Station - a place we didn't ever get around to visiting during its glory years. Oh, and shopping! How could I have forgotten that?

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Old 10-01-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Great pre-trippie Deb

I am sure you will have a fantastic time - even without us

Fingers crossed you get the Epcot DVC for IFAWF as it will be easier for you to stagger home of an evening!!

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Old 10-01-2008, 10:13 AM   #3
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sounds like the trip I'll never get to ... my time is spent riding Dumbo and suchlike with the kids

agree with you on the Sofitel - its my favourite hotel to stay in at Gatwick - infact probably one of my fave hotels anywhere as we love the views over the runway and the beds are ..... FANTASTIC!!

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Old 10-01-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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Great reports Debs, fab photos too The resorts you are staying at look lovely. Can't wait to hear what you think of T-Rex
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:26 AM   #5
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Great start Deb im looking forward to this one !
April 2003 DLRP, November 2004 WDW and Barbados, September 2005 WDW, September 2007 WDW,October 2009 WDW

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Old 10-01-2008, 11:29 AM   #6
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Great pre-trippie Deb - I hope you and Matt have a wonderful holiday.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:48 AM   #7
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Great pre-trippy Deb, it sounds like you're going to have a fab time. I look forward to reading all about it when you get back

Have a great time
Mandy xx

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Old 10-01-2008, 11:58 AM   #8

I am sooo proud, happy, relieved and impressed - it's a great day...
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You guys are going to have such a fab trip, Deb - and I love the taster photos!!! Can't wait to hear all about it - don't worry about keeping notes, I never take any but it all comes back to me somehow...
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...
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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sounds wonderful
Andrea xxx
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:39 PM   #10
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A question, oh light of my life...
If you're a foodie am I a drinkie?

At least I now know what we're doing on holiday! Now if only I could find some pesky spending money we'd be all set

Karen - like your idea of remembering after the event, but having tried that before I find my memory starts to fail around lunchtime and gets progressively worse throughout the rest of the day - not sure what the cause is though
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:43 PM   #11
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Sounds wonderful Deb,just my sort of trip, chillax and to a point go with the flow. I bet you have an absolute blast. Rix Lounge looks lovely, I think we may have to venture there in December, thanks for sharing the piccies. The Wave has been getting some good reviews recently. Great start.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:07 PM   #12
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Sounds like you have a great trip planned Your photos are great!
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:24 PM   #13
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It all sounds great!
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:41 PM   #14

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sounds great
Rachel "Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up"

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Old 10-01-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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Your trip sounds fantastic!

Thanks for sharing the pic of the Sofitel - I have booked it for our December trip on the recommendations of people here and hadn't seen what it looked like until now....it looks lovely.

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