Back where I belong - pre trip report *UPDATED - finally home!*

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by VailaTigger, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    I’ve been reading a few of the trip reports, and pre-trip reports, and have been inspired to… put pen to paper so to speak. Fingers to keyboard I guess would be the correct term.

    As I’m reading other reports and looking at the photos, I keep thinking “oh I’d forgotten about that bit!” and getting more excited about going back! (Listening to DIS radio at the moment, how sad am I!) :lmao:

    A bit of history…
    I’ve been lucky enough to have been 3 times before with DH, 2001, 2003, 2005. The pattern was interrupted rudely by a divorce, but hey, these things happen. Life has moved on and improved, and finances are finally getting back on track. Now living with DBF, and his two DS’s stay with us every weekend. None of them have been to anything Disney before, never mind WDW, and I’m trying to pass on my excitement! I just KNOW they are all going to love it.

    The cast:
    Me: 38 year old WDW fan. Trying not to mention the trip too much and be completely unbearable to the rest of the family. Will be 39 by the time we go.
    DBF: 41 year old, not a fan yet, but really likes the look of the water parks and some of the rides! Has wanted to visit since being a kid. Will be 42 when we go.
    DS1: 11 year old, excited but playing it cool. Will be 12 when we go.
    DS2: 7 year old, really doesn’t comprehend it all, just delighted that the hotel will have a pool. :lmao: Will be 8 when we go.

    We popped into our local Disney store last weekend, and I saw all 3 of them light up and go “oh LOOK!” at something, so that seems promising! :thumbsup2

    Our plans so far…
    We’ve booked with VH (yes, I know, I know – but it just seemed less hassle this time…). 2 weeks in April 2010, at the school holidays. Flying direct from Glasgow to Orlando return, and staying at Pop Century. I flew with Virgin the 1st time, and had no complaints, and since I’m going with 3 newbies, 2 of them rather young and who haven’t flown further than the middle of England, it just seemed much less hassle to fly direct, and with an airline which apparently has plenty of entertainment… I’ve not stayed at POP before, but have stayed at other value hotels, so have no worries about this, I think it will be fine. Not sure how we’ll all cope with being in the one room, I guess that will just mean early nights and early mornings! But then that’s good for getting round the parks before they get busy, and we can have a siesta or pool time in the afternoons. We have included the hire car in the package, even though we’ll use the Disney buses or Monorail most of the time, it’s nice to know it’s there for whenever we want it. I love the Disney transport, all feels like part of the fun to me.

    Have paid half of what we owe to VH, the other half should be saved up by October.

    Nothing else bought or booked yet, but planning on getting 14 day tickets for us all, and at the moment the Disney site itself looks to be the cheapest! Won’t have the ticket and excursion money saved until January, so just keeping an eye on prices in the mean time. I think the only other park we plan to do is Sea World (apart from the whole Disney shebang, including the 4 parks, 2 water parks, DTD, Disney Quest and the mini golf!!). I think the boys will like it at Sea World, they love animals. Also planning to take them to Cirque du Soleil, to Boggy Creek Airboats, to the Titanic exhibition (DBF will love that), to a mall or two, and perhaps some things on International Drive – can see what we feel like about ID once we’re there!

    Hopefully we’ll catch most of the parades and fireworks, they are in my plan, but I’ll double check times and dates in January. Fireworks make awesome memories, those will last a lifetime.

    At the moment, our chosen eateries are: Rainforest Café, Tusker House, House of Blues, Boma, Planet Hollywood, Mama Melroses, T-Rex, Nine Dragons, Hollywood Brown Derby, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Sci-Fi Dine in OR Rainforest Café again. Plus a few off-the-cuff visits to the likes of the Tangierine Café, the Noodle Station, Sweet Tomatoes, Ghirardelli’s etc. ADR time will be January, so plenty of time to research and change our basic plan if we need to. The three boys are all carnivores, but I’m veggie, which unfortunately limits our choices of restaurants a little. Will get a proper plan from the Disney Gods (Simon and Susan Veness) nearer the time!

    So, how do you guys think I’m doing so far? Think I’m doing DBF and the two DS’s proud for their first visit? It’ll take us years to be able to save up enough to do this again, I’m sure!! I’m saving as many air miles as I can, so perhaps DBF and myself will be able to squeeze in a cheap(er) trip a year or so after this one (assuming he likes it!). Not sure how it would go down though, if we didn’t take the boys, wouldn’t want to upset them…

    Just read back through this… nowhere near as good as Kevin Stringer’s trip reports!! They have me howling with laughter. I get really funny looks from my colleagues in an otherwise quiet office.

    I'll keep you posted on developments, although they'll be sporadic until that magic 90 day window opens up...

    Have a magical day ya all !! :lmao::goodvibes

    Edit - added a couple of photos from 2005. (I hope... if I've done it right...)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Pugsly

    Pugsly DIS Veteran

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    Doin' great Vaila!

    I especially like the 'twang you added at the end (ya'all!) ;)
     
  4. tony64

    tony64 <font color=blue>Should've been a Cowboy<br><font

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    Sounds like a plan to me.:thumbsup2
     
  5. florida sun

    florida sun Mrs Christopher Eccleston wannabe! Moderator

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    Great pre trip report, well done, it all sounds fantastic:goodvibes
     
  6. irongirlof12

    irongirlof12 <font color=blue><marquee>Am I the only one who lo

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    ahhh, great plans. looking forward to seeing how your trip evolves over time :cool1:
     
  7. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    Thanks guys! :goodvibes
     
  8. Pinky166

    Pinky166 <font color=deeppink>a little on the OCD side<br><

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    Your plans sound fab, I am sure the three newbies will love it! :banana: I look forward to reading more updates as you get nearer. :thumbsup2
     
  9. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    My planning was kind of put to one side for a while (apart from reading the DIS boards every lunchtime at work ;) ), because of summer holidays, and busy busy busy weekends. I don't know where the time goes...

    Anyway...

    Nothing else bought yet, still saving up to pay off the balance to VH. Summer holls and other things this year have been eating into the savings... :sad1: Now need a concerted effort to get back on track, or some things may need to get dropped from the plan. Sea World and La Nouba are probably the more expensive "extras" that I added to the plan. However, I wasn't planning on buying park tickets until we were in 2010 so I'll just need to see how the savings are doing by then.

    Good news though, I'll be able to book all my ADR's when the 180 day window opens up again on the 27th of October! :yay: That will be us 157 days out, so I should be able to just sit online until they are all done! A little worried that the online system will have a hairy fit because there are bound to be more folks like me, just poised and ready to pounce, but I guess I'll cope with that if it happens. Between now and then, I need to just double check with DBF that he's happy with my restaurant choices, and also project savings to see if we can manage to eat at Disney every day!!

    Oh well... back to work for now... Gotta do something to pay for my Disney fix! :lmao:
     
  10. suzycute

    suzycute DIS Veteran

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    I missed your report first time round but sounds like you have a great trip in the making! :thumbsup2
     
  11. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    To celebrate it only being 6 months till we go, all 4 of us had a "disney dinner" on Friday! Mickey head shaped pizzas, Mickey head shaped pasta, with extras like tomato & mascarpone sauce, garlic bread, and coke. :cool1::cool1: All 4 of us really enjoyed it!

    Below is the current draft of our plans... I'm afraid the finances have taken such a battering this year that a couple of things have had to be dropped. Things we can easily add back in once we're there if we have a bit more disposable income, or feel like putting the credit card into meltdown! :lmao:

    Friday - fly out
    Saturday - collect hire car / explore hotel, pools, monorail / DTD / Rainforest Cafe for dinner
    Sunday - AK / Tusker house for lunch
    Monday - Epcot / Kouzzina at the Boardwalk for dinner
    Tuesday - rest day - water park. Or mini golf, or explore other resorts. DTD and House of Blues for dinner
    Wednesday - Epcot or MK. Dinner at Boma, AKL
    Thursday - rest day - air boats, Titanic exhibition. DTD and Earl of Sandwich for dinner
    Friday - MK. Noodle station for lunch, Sweet Tomatoes for dinner
    Saturday - HS. Mama Melrose's for dinner, Fantasmic package
    Sunday 11th - rest day - malls or International drive or explore other resorts. DTD and T-rex for dinner
    Monday - Epcot in the morning, chill in the pool in the afternoon, then back to Epcot, Nine Dragons for dinner, and Illuminations
    Tuesday - rest day - water park. Or mini golf, or explore other resorts. DTD and Planet Hollywood for dinner
    Wednesday - MK in the morning, chill in the pool in the afternoon, then back to MK for Tony's Town Square Restaurant for dinner, and Spectromagic and Wishes
    Thursday - free day to return to either HS or AK. Sci Fi Dine In for dinner before packing cases in the evening.
    Friday - check bags in at DTD, then head to MK or Epcot till it's time to head to the airport for our flight home! :sad2:

    This is just the basic framework, I've included more of the parades and things in the parks for my own plan, which I didn't feel necessary to include on here. We have plans to head out for a bumper breakfast outside of Disney on some of our rest days too.

    Don't think our plans will change much, unless I don't get the ADRs I want - I'll find out at the end of this month! Main focus at the moment is just paying for it all... Should be OK according to my latest forecasting! :lmao:

    I've started a packing list, so I don't forget too much, and we found a website selling off crocs at a knock-down sale price, so 4 pairs of those have been purchased! DBF, DS1 and DS2 will get theirs as part of their Xmas presents.

    Still to get another couple of suitcases, but that's for next month.

    This month I gotta get passports for DBF and me! :lmao:
    Then contact the Venesses :worship: for our touring plan when I have my ADRs in place.

    It's all coming together...
    26 weeks to go! :cool1:

    Tarra for now...
    VailaTigger
    x
     
  12. Pegasus928

    Pegasus928 DIS Veteran

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    All sounds great so far. I can't wait to hear how your nebies find it all. :thumbsup2
     
  13. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I'm excited about that myself... ;)

    I've always started my WDW holidays in the MK, but the busy day guides don't work for this trip unfortunately... We might venture that way on our first Saturday on the monorail, see how busy it really is... :scared1:

    DD11 was leaping around the kitchen with joy on Friday evening when he found out there could be Mickey head waffles for breakfast :lmao:

    DD7 also keeps telling me he's going to do that "stream thing" with me when we go. He means the lazy river at the water parks, as I've told them I'm not doing the big rides in TL or BB, I'm not a big fan of water. Both boys have said they'd come on the lazy river with me instead. :lmao:

    DBF is trying to help with the planning and organising, and is doing fine. Although he did start to read the Brit's guide, but then got overwhelmed! However, he's been dipping in to it, and it was him who wanted to go to some big breakfast places, so that's now on the plan.

    179 days to go :cheer2:
     
  14. SusanEllen

    SusanEllen DIS Veteran

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    I think you're doing just fine. And about matching Kevin's Trip Reports, don't worry about it--none of us can! But it does give us something to shoot for (not that I'm suggesting anyone shoot at Kevin!!) Just a little aside: Pugsly, the first to reply to your thread, is the Stringers' friend Sharon in Kevin's reports and I am their friend Susan and we can tell you that even though Kevin's stories often seem outrageous they're usually fairly accurate tellings of what really happened! If you think reading about his adventures are fun . . .

    Have a great time introducing the World to your traveling companions, then tell us all about it.
     
  15. Pooh's-Honey-Pot

    Pooh's-Honey-Pot Disney Bride June 19th 2006

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    Ohh I am loving your planning! Good luck getting your ADR's - you have some great ones picked!!:thumbsup2
     
  16. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    I DID IT!!! I DID IT!!! I DID IT!!!

    Tried to book my ADRs online today, but the online system fell over this morning, and hasn't been back up since... Kept trying all day, and then finally gave in and called...

    Eventually got through on the phone, after trying for 30 mins to connect. Waited in the system for 25 mins to speak to a CM, and then spoke to a lovely lady. She found my resort reservation, and when we got to the first dining reservation, Disney IT in their wisdom bummed out all the CM's to update something! AARRGGHH!

    Called back 20 mins later, only 5 mins to get connected, and then a 10 minute wait to speak to a CM. Spoke to a different, but equally lovely lady, and 45 minutes later, I had all the reservations I wanted, for the times I wanted!! Awesome!

    :banana::banana::banana::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:

    Rainforest Cafe
    Tusker House (Nemo priority seating)
    Kouzzina
    House of Blues
    Boma
    Mama Melroses (Fantasmic package)
    T-Rex
    Nine Dragons
    Planet Hollywood
    Tony's Town Square Restaurant
    Sci Fi Dine In

    Cost me a ruddy fortune on the phone though :scared1:

    I also sent off our passport applications on Monday. :thumbsup2

    Now I can get a proper Itinerary from the Venesses :worship: Wonder how much it will match mine so far :lmao:

    Then next on the list is reorganising the hire car slightly, and calling to book the Magical Express.

    Stay tuned folks! Vx
     
  17. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    Dunno how to change the thread title to say update... but here's one anyway.

    Car hire pickup changed to the Dolphin, the morning after we arrive.
    DME booked online.
    Cat booked into the cattery!

    Two payments to go to pay off the holiday package :cool1:

    Can order our park tickets in Feb on the card, pay them off in March.
    Will order some dollars in March too on the card, pay them off JUST before we go in April. (Will be able to make up our Mousekeeping envelopes before we go, looking forward to that!)

    Our new passports arrived in under a week, which was rather impressive! ESTA and API will be done after Xmas, when I get my hands on the DS's passports...

    Just about to investigate, and probably order, a plan from Simon and Susan!

    Also considering calling the bank and credit card company to let them know my travel dates... too early?

    Just over 18 WEEKS TO GO!!! :cool1::yay::yay::yay:

    Vx
     
  18. natalielongstaff

    natalielongstaff <font color=deeppink>I need a cup of tea and a big

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    your trip plans sound great, we love staying at Pop :thumbsup2
     
  19. wicket2005

    wicket2005 <font color=deeppink><marquee behavior=alternate>H

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    Sounds exciting and fantastic showing the place to newbies who just don't know how good it is.
     
  20. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for all your replies and comments, it's lovely to think that there are people out there reading my ramblings! :thumbsup2

    One small payment to go at the start of January, then the package is all paid off!

    Hoping Santa will be good to me, and help me out by bringing me some travel items and guide books ;)

    There won't be much in the way of updates until Feb or Mar probably, when I will get park tickets, get some dollars, get even more excited than I am already, and get panicking that there's something I've missed!!

    Hope everyone has an awesome Festive Season!
    :goodvibes

    VailaTigger
    x
     
  21. VailaTigger

    VailaTigger DIS Veteran

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    :cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:
    Virgin package paid off! (flights, hotel, car hire)

    :cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:
    Bought my 14 day Ultimate tickets!!

    If you collect Air Miles (the real ones :) ) then you can use these to get a discount on Disney Tickets through Keith Prowse Attraction Tickets.

    Phone up Air Miles and tell them which tickets you want, they liase with Keith Prowse, and you get a £60 discount for each 1000 miles you use!

    I've just got a discount of £390 on 4x14 day Ultimate tickets for our April trip. :thumbsup2

    Used quite a lot of miles, but they've been sitting there for years just waiting for the right offer to come along (and it hasn't yet), so I had no worries about using them to get a huge discount on my Disney fun. The discount also REALLY helps us with paying for food etc when we're there!

    :cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:
    Santa also brought me the Brit's Guide 2010, The Unofficial Guide 2010, travel hair straighteners, and travel scales!

    :banana::banana::banana::banana::banana:
    The best bit though, is that DBF is now DF after he proposed on Christmas Day! :cloud9: A real reason for celebration when we're there.
    Keep it a little shhhhhh just now though, *** DS7 & DS12 (and their mummy) don't know yet!

    The plan now is to collect DS's passports from their mummy (this weekend hopefully) - then do ESTA and API - and buy some dollars, though that bit won't be till the beginning of March.

    Oooooo it's getting so close now, I'm really having to keep a lid on the excitement! 11 weeks to go!

    VailaTigger
    x
     

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