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Old 05-31-2005, 02:43 AM   #1
London Calling
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trip report May 2005

This will be more of a practical nature with the intention of informing others about issues pertinent to their holidays as opposed to a long yarn about how much I enjoyed my trip.

Travelled to Orlando last 2 weeks in may with Virgin, staying first week at All Star Movies, and 2nd week at Holiday Inn International Drive, with wife and two kids both aged under 4, without the use of a car.

Virgin - Everything to do with the flight was excellent. Used their DIY check in on the outward flight which meant that we didnt have to queue ( I hate queuing), had chosen seats myself which worked very well, and best of all was the check-in facility at Downtown Disney which meant that we avoided all the hassle at the airports.

worst thing about Virgin were the reps who were only interested in selling tickets and excursions to you and when they found out we had all our tickets they were very unhelpful. Looked decidedly peeved that we even asked for free meal tickets ( not that we used them) for Hard Rock cafe. Will not be bothering going to that meeting again, although admittedly we did arrive after the meeting had ended.

Accommodation - had chosen two different hotels because we had decided not to drive, and thought that this would give us the best option.

All Star Movies - perfect for kids, huge disney figures which the kids loved, rooms not bad at all, was worried from other reports that they were very small but our kids are quite young so wasnt an issue. Rooms were clean, and we got the rooms that we wanted in Toy Storu block. Major gripe with the report was the standard and cost of the food court which makwe school dinners here look good and healthy. Wouldnt be that much of an issue if we had access to a car as we would have bought bread, milk etc etc but a disadvantage without a car, and we didnt want to spend first few days buying groceries - perhaps a mistake in hindsight.

Would I stay on-site again, definitely. Advantages are huge especially around transportation and extra magic hours which was a huge plus as far as we were concerned, so would def stay on - site,however, would not stay at ASM as it wasnt upmarket enough for me.

Holiday Inn Int Drive - a lot of people are have booked this hotel and are awaiting my comments so please pm me for specifics. Stayed in the tower on the 5th floor, and the room was a good size which meant that my young kids could run around. Didnt eat at the hotel or take part in any entertainment they had organised, so cant comment on this aspect. Hotel is def not a 4 star and three star at best, lobby in the tower is shabby, although like i said I had a good room. Worse thing about this hotel I found was housekeeping and room cleaning in particular, which didnt happen until late afternoon, early evening on occasions. Best thing was location. would i stay here again, this is an issue as I prefer this side of I Drive ( i have heard it called sleazy), but I prefer to have a walk on an eveing and browse around some of the shops of which there are many unlike the south side which has the better hotels. There is a Trolly stop outside the hotel as there is a lynx bus too. However, the kids pool was too small to use which meant that kids couldnt really have as much fun in the pool as they would have liked. At the same time this seems to be the best hotel around in this area, so although I would prefer to go upmarket, it would depend on what else was available.

We did all the parks and had great fun, but there are plenty of people around who know far more about disney than I ever will, and I shall leave it to them to offer advice and tips on this aspect, but suffice to say that we had a great time, loved wishes, and thought Magic Kingdom was best park.

One notable thing to mention is that we were not able to use new
Please ask if tyhere any questions - we did all disney parks, plus the others at Universal and sea world. Spent too much money shopping at outlets, and not looking forward to going back to work !!
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:40 AM   #2
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Glad you had a good time. We've been back 2 months and it feels like two years!
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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Hi

Glad you had a good time.

I have stayed at All Star Movies and going again in October. I absoloutly loved it! The food in my opinion was little more expensive than planned, but to be honest its Disney and I am not surprised they will charge extra than eating out. Also I found all the food very tasty infact by the end of the holiday I was addicted to worms in dirt lol.

I also found the rooms ok and the staff were excellent. I couldnt fault them and just can not wait to go again.

Question I have is how did you entertain the kids on the flight? Were the cabin crew helpful? I am taking dh, 5 yr old and twin boys of 2 years. Mad I know, but I just can not wait. We are trying to get as many tips as possible. Any info on the flight would be great. Is the chairs in economy bigger than charter flights? Was the entertainment good? Is there any break in entertainment? We flew with My Travel and if the kids programmes finished we had to wait till the longest movie finished, as it was rotation.

Good luck going back to work. Again pleased you had fun!
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:41 PM   #4
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We loved All Star Movies too though I must confess I could not say it was not upmarket enough for me. I loved the colourful OTT Disney figures!
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:47 PM   #5
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Interested in your report.

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Old 06-01-2005, 02:52 AM   #6
MazdaUK
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We flew with Virgin and although the entertainment was on one loop (all starting at once) I think there was usually something for the kids right through as there was a choice of movies (including at least 2 Disney ones) plus a channel with lots of kids shows (e.g. Balamorey) which i think was timed to be as long as the adult programmes. However, younger DS just watched Spongebob Squarepants four times and channel-hopped as it finished so I'm not sure.

You can get certain channels switched off if you don't want little fingers wandering onto something which might frighten them (such as films involving plane crashes ). Make sure you order the kids meals - there was loads more than the adult meal (which DH and I did tidy up just so as not to offend the nice Virgin ladies ) and includes all sorts of nibbly things. The kids also get a nice bag with some goodies in with Virgin as well as the amenity kit (socks, eye-mask etc.) but there's not much for very little ones.

I packed some sticker books and colouring (crayons rather than felt tips ) but didn't need them on the flight. They did come in useful when we were delayed 4 hours on the way back though

I think you do get more room than a charter, but I'm not an expert
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Old 06-01-2005, 03:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for your report, glad you have a nice time.
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:34 AM   #8
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaUK
We flew with Virgin and although the entertainment was on one loop (all starting at once) I think there was usually something for the kids right through as there was a choice of movies (including at least 2 Disney ones) plus a channel with lots of kids shows (e.g. Balamorey) which i think was timed to be as long as the adult programmes. However, younger DS just watched Spongebob Squarepants four times and channel-hopped as it finished so I'm not sure.

You can get certain channels switched off if you don't want little fingers wandering onto something which might frighten them (such as films involving plane crashes ). Make sure you order the kids meals - there was loads more than the adult meal (which DH and I did tidy up just so as not to offend the nice Virgin ladies ) and includes all sorts of nibbly things. The kids also get a nice bag with some goodies in with Virgin as well as the amenity kit (socks, eye-mask etc.) but there's not much for very little ones.

I packed some sticker books and colouring (crayons rather than felt tips ) but didn't need them on the flight. They did come in useful when we were delayed 4 hours on the way back though

I think you do get more room than a charter, but I'm not an expert
Thank you for your advice really appreciated. Casey will be fine she loves telly and sometimes I have to force her into playing. The boys dont really watch TV, but hopefully by then they will be 2 they might start watching or at least now and then. We are worried about entertaining them more for people around us. We will be taking some little toys, paper, crayons, cars etc.. just something. Oh and snacks to keep them amused.

Entertainment sounds great. Once the flight is over we will be there wahoo. I am so excited cant wait. I am just hoping we can stay at the Toy Story part, we will be faxing and phoning them 1 month proir, 2 weeks prior, 1 week prior and the day before. My daughter will be so dissapointed if she doesnt stay there. Last year we stayed at Dalamations, which I thought was cute. We can only keep our fingers crossed and pray
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:42 PM   #9
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London Calling

Thanx for the trip report!
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:46 AM   #10
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Thanks for the report
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