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Old 09-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bassaleg, Newport, South Wales
Posts: 142

We're here at last!!

Well at last we have arrived! Thought I would share some of my experiences so far and if anyone has any questions please ask away.

Travelled to Gatwick on Wednesday afternoon and took advantage of twilight check-in which was great. DH, myself and our 2 girls (age 8 & 5) stayed overnight in the Hilton attached to South Terminal which again was lovely. Had the evening buffet where the girls ate free and a few drinks in the bar after to start off celebrating the holiday!

Flew out on Thursday on the 1pm flight. We had booked the V-room and got there around 9.30am but were allowed in with no problem. I really like this lounge - the girls love the technology and games they can play with and I like the unlimited free food! While we were there, one of the reps helped us to price up some options for next year.....hmm where to go?!

Flight was on one of the usual planes, all went well though. IFE worked well, all on time too! Checked through immigration and went to pick up the car from Alamo where we given free range of the car lot! Got on our way to Sheraton Vistana LBV.

This is our first time staying here and I was a little worried until I saw our apartment. It's absolutely massive with a separate bedroom and bathroom for the girls and one for DH and me. We have a two-bed and the floor space is seriously massive! We are staying in Fountains and have a lovely pool just a stone's throw away. Managed to stay up until 9pm but then crashed in bed.

Woke up early on Friday, around 6am but was to be expected! We had CRT booked at 8am so it's not a bad day to be up early! Got to Magic Kingdom at 7.15 and were first car in the parking lot - a very eerie site! Had a lovely breakfast - there were lots more choice for adults than have appeared before. Our server was great and brought extra items with no problem when asked.

When we got out, the park was dead. We did so much in the first 2hrs t was unbelievable! We rode the first ride on Dumbo so no time to check-out the interactive area but we did like the new theming. Very excited to think that when we come next, it will all be finished! Rode Barnstormer 3 times without getting off and could have done more if we wanted! The park really was so quiet it was lovely. Left around 2.30 feeling like we had done around 3/4 of the park on our first visit. Managed to get DD2 on Space Mountain (she finally made the height restriction) but she didn't seem that keen when she got off!

Was raining as we left but after we got home and sorted out a few bits, the rain had subsided. Went to the pool for a few hours and then went for a quiet meal in the Olive Garden down the road. DH and I both had the chicken and shrimp carbonara - was really good. Popped to Downtown Disney on the way back or our first wonder and an ice cream! Was busy as usual but great to wonder around. Home around 9pm and put the girls straight to bed, although we weren't much later!

Been to Aquatica today but am shattered sitting here typing so will have to try again tomorrow night - didn't realise how long it takes to write these things! See you tomorrow!
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by yummymummywales View Post
didn't realise how long it takes to write these things! See you tomorrow!
Would take me ages to write all that, it would take DS a few minutes.

Sounds like a great start, thank you for posting
  • 1993Travelodge Maingate East,1997Holiday Inn Nikki Bird,1999Sheraton 4 Points/Clearwater Hilton, 2000(Xmas) Disney’s ASMo
  • 2001Travelodge Maingate East, 2002 NYC Crowne Plaza Times Sq./Orlando Sheraton World Resort 2003(Aug) La Quinta Lakeside
  • 2003(Oct) Disney Wonder +Raddison Parkway2004(Oct) Disney Magic + Homewood Suites, 2004(Xmas) Hilton DTD
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:17 AM   #3
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Great start to trip report.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:51 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing, its so lovely and to think you are there now......have a lovely holiday. 7 weeks today we will be at the Gatwick Hilton for our overnight stop......so looking forward to it......

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Old 09-16-2012, 05:57 AM   #5
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i've heard the sheraton vistana is really nice!!
i think it's time for me to look off property again..
massive space sounds perfect to me!!!
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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We stayed in room 1584 of fountains 2 in 2006 lovely resort and we could not get over the size of the two bed. If we had not fallen in love with staying at Disney we would go back there again. We ate at the flamingo in the resort and the food was lovely breakfast was massive.

Have an awesome time weather looking good for the next few days.
Me (33) DH (40) Bailey (5)

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
It's been such a blast with all the lurkers and fluffing
I seem to be whitering on in a constant stream of random thoughts
I think I'll just go with the small one
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what a great start, we're doing the V room for the 1st time this trip Can't wait to hear about more of your trip
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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an empty MK sounds fab! Great start, your really getting me in the mood for our upcoming trip in 6 weeks!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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Great start - thanks for posting
20+ trips to USA 1997 onwards including All Star Movies Dec 2009 with DDP, OKW Oct 2010 with DDP, Floridays Resort Oct 2011, Bahama Bay resort May 2012, OKW Oct 2012 with DxDDP, All Star Movies Oct 2013 with DDP, Cabana bay and Universal Oct 2014

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #10
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CRT then an empty MK perfect start to your holiday
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for taking time to post, have great holiday, sounds a fab start

May 2002 All Star Movies; May 2003 La Quinta 192; Dec 2004 Nikki Bird; April 2006 Holiday Inn & Dolphin Beach, St. Petes; Aug 2007 Animal Kingdom Lodge; Aug 2008 Coronado Springs; Aug 2009 Highlands Reserve & Animal Kingdom Lodge; Oct 2010 Best Western Lakeside; Oct 2012 Arcadia Gardens; Sept 2013 Old Key West;Sept 2014 Transatlantic on Magic

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:28 PM   #12
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Thanks everyone - it's nice to hear people find it interesting!

To answer some of the replies - we are staying in the Fountains section no. 1473, a 200yd walk to the Fountains food complex, pool and bar. It's a lovely location and I really am so pleased with the apartment - think it will be hard to give up on this space when we book again. I have toyed with staying on-site for ages, the dining plan being the main pull, but am now totally won over by the Sheraton.

Day 2 - relaxing day planned at Aquatica. Weather is predicted the usual morning sun, with afternoon showers so we decide to crack on and try it. We tried Aquatica for the first time last year and the girls absolutely loved it so this was their vote for today.

Up early (time difference still evident!) and ended up in the car park queue before the gates opened at 9.30am. Had booked the 3-park ticket through Virgin so went to pick up at Guest Relations before we went through bag check. When we were eventually left in, we headed over to the kids section - DD2 loves this part as she is allowed on everything (being under 48inches) but DD1 can't go on the slides unless she is with DD2! Can see the sisterly blackmail conversations now :-). We dumped our stuff and headed off to the toboggan racers - again a big hit as the four of us race each other! Then we head over to the rapid river - for me one of the stand-out parts of Aquatica. The rapids are basically a fast lazy river with strong currents through a circular path that takes you around the park. DDs and I put on the life-jackets to make sure we all have a good time and end up going around twice! We get off and try a few of the other rides including Taisie twisters and the family raft ride. DH and DD1 go off to try Dolphin Plunge while DD1 and I head back to base. Alternated the rest of the day by the kids part and back to a few more rides.

Left at around 3pm, which seemed pretty good timing as it starts to rain on our car ride back to Sheraton. After a quick change, head back out and drive up to the Mall of Millenia to the Cheesecake Factory. Arrived at around 4.30pm but still had a 30min wait for a table. I like the variety available here - whatever you are in the mood for, you can get it! Girls had pepperoni pizza and chicken tenders with chips, DH had a pulled pork sandwich and I had a shrimp carbonara with angel hair pasta. Food was outstanding, very impressed with the chicken in the kids meal and we agreed the adult mains were lovely too. Portions as always are large, DH and I have decided over the last few holiday visits that it's too much to eat three meals out here so have a game plan of a good breakfast and then an evening meal only. We do feed the girls, don't worry (!) but it lets me order whatever I like in the evening without so much guilt! After the meal we all decided to take home some cheesecake - the girls order a Linda's fudge cake between them, DH orders the Reese's cheesecake while I have the white chocolate caramel and macadamia nut.....all look lovely!

Popped into Downtown Disney on our way back (did I mention how much we like his place?!)..as DDs have some money burning a hole in their pockets. They do make me laugh - have been saving their money all year and now stressing about what to buy! Back home around 9, the girls crash out and we follow about an hour later!

Lovely day in all, it's great to chill a little in between the madness of the parks but still getting my Disney fix at Downtown! Off to Animal Kingdom tomorrow...
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:54 PM   #13
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Day 3 - Animal Kingdom...

Am going to try to catch up and post today's trip too - apologies if it's not that long as its starting to get late now!

Set the alarm for 7am this morning and to my surprise the alarm does wake us up! Must be starting to adjust to the time now...get to Animal Kingdom around 8.45am and get through the gate where we are held by the Discovery Island. DH and I split up here with one DD each - I head over to Expedition Everest with DD1 who adores this ride, while DH and DD2 head to get a fast pass for the safari. Crowds look reasonable for a Sunday in Disney but its always difficult to tell at the start of the day! DD1 and I walk on to EE and get on immediately, even holding out for front row seats. As soon as we get off, DH arrives with DD2 who is persuaded to try the ride out. It's the first time she has made the height restriction but she's not as daredevil as DD1. We walk straight on again with middle seats this time and ride again. DD2 is definitely not convinced - I won't be getting her on that again this year! Queues still very quiet so DH and DD1 go on for the third time as a walk-on - very good start to the day!

Decide to make our way over to the safari for our fast pass, but on the way Kali rapids call! As standby wait is only 5 mins we decide to quickly get this in. Pop and get ponchos for the girls as DD2 can be a bit grumpy if wet! This turns out to be a walk-on too and we ride straight away. DH and I got drenched...I mean head to foot soaked..the worst I have ever seen! DDs think it's hysterical as they peel off the ponchos and see us! We wade over to safari and fastpass is still active. Was a really good tour with lots of animals including two elusive lions making an appearance. They have stopped doing the Little Red stolen elephant speel which actually is better as we concentrate more on the animals. As we finish, realise we have finished our two must-dos by 10am.....not a bad start!

Spend the rest of the day at the usual sites, see the Lion King show (a family must-see for us), and visit a few character stops too. Watch the parade at 3.45 and then leave the park. Again a quiet day crowd wise, very bearable.

We head straight to Downtown on the way back today as the vote was for T-Rex for dinner. Allocated a table in the middle of the coral reef section but asked to move to an available booth with no problem. Had a lovely server, who knew all about Wales and the UK so good banter throughout the meal. Girls had pizza, DH had a pulled-pork sandwich again and I had the rotisserie chicken with rice. Adult meals were great again, standard looking pizza for the girls. Like this restaurant - although it can be a bit pricey, we stayed away from the really expensive options so total bill came to $65 for the four of us.

After we finished, came home for the girls to have a swim in the pool while we had a drink at the poolside bar! Was a lovely end to the day....

Off to Epcot tomorrow wih an evening reservation at Ohana's - first time to eat here so hoping it will be good!
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:24 AM   #14
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sounds like a grand day at AK!!
i always wear a poncho and i still manage to get pretty darn wet!

as for offsite, i think that disney is starting to price itself out....they've raised prices so much that even with free dining, i'm not so sure it's that great a deal anymore..

and all that room is really nice to have when you're there for a long time!
and the prices at the sheraton and other similar resorts are really tempting!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:14 AM   #15
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Lovely early morning reading before heading off to work :-)

Sounds like your having a great time

Thanks for taking the time to "talk" to us!

Katie x
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