15 Days, 6 Parks and 1 Couple- Our June 2010 Trip Report and Dining Review in One!


When you wish upon a star!
Jun 8, 2005

Welcome everyone to my first real trip report! :woohoo: This was my first ‘real’ holiday with my boyfriend (e.g. more than a long weekend), and his first ever trip! He has always known about my Disney obsession, although it has gotten worse in the last few years, and I finally wanted him to be able to experience my happy place. We have been together for 5 and a half years, so this holiday is long past due! :cutie:

This is us:

Apparently we look a lot younger than 21, blessing or curse? :rolleyes:

We are staying at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios first for 4 nights, then moving to Pop Century for 7 nights, then Beach Club Villas for the last 3 nights. The nights at Beach Club Villas were a gift from my parents for my 21st Birthday, and for Christmas they gave us dining plan for our time there, so we were very excited! :yay:


Me: princess: My name is Kate and I am 21 years old, just graduated from University with an undergraduate degree in History (I actually found out my degree results whilst at Disney, so you will have to wait ‘till later to find that out! :rolleyes1) I have been a Disney obsessive from a very young age since we won our first trip when I was only 4 years old. This is now my 6th time to Disney, my last time being in September 2010 with my mother. (You can click HERE to read that trip report written by my mom Suzycute). I was most looking forward to showing Murray my happy place, and enjoying the rides and atmosphere.

DBF: :earboy2: His name is Murray, also 21 and just graduated from University with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He also got his results whilst we were in Florida, and I was very proud of him! He has never been to Disney before, but went with me to Disneyland Paris in September 2008, and really enjoyed it. I kept trying to tell him how different they were, but he just couldn’t believe the scale of difference until he saw it! He has high expectations, but was most looking forward to the food and spending some time together before he takes his new job up north.

The Itinerary:

Day 1: Finish packing, travel to the airport hotel, sleep!

Day 2: Fly to Orlando International, transportation to Universal Studios, check in at Royal Pacific

Day 3: Islands of Adventure/ Wizarding World of Harry Potter :wizard:

Day 4: Universal Studios

Day 5: Sea World

Day 6: Last bits of Universal, transport to Disney’s Pop Century including grocery trip, check in :thumbsup2

Day 7: Epcot

Day 8: Hollywood Studios, Lunch at 50’s Prime Time :goodvibes

Day 9: Magic Kingdom

Day 10: Florida Mall

Day 11: Animal Kingdom

Day 12: Hollywood Studios/ Epcot

Day 13: The DisUnplugged Meet, Check in at Beach Club Villas, Blizzard Beach, Start of Dining plan, Diner at Whispering Canyon Cafe :woohoo:

Day 14: Epcot, Lunch at Le Cellier :thumbsup2

Day 15: Magic Kingdom, Breakfast at Cape May Cafe

Day 16: Last day, Epcot and Return home! :sad2:

Sorry for that long introduction and onto Day 1!


When you wish upon a star!
Jun 8, 2005
Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of photos in this post, due to the stress of the day we didn’t take any at all! Secondly, on reflection, this post is rather long with bits not particularly related to the holiday at hand. Skip to the bottom or the next post if you aren't interested. (Don't worry, I won't be offended! :laughing:)

Anyway on to day one:

Today was meant to be a fairly relaxing day of last minute packing, having a manicure and pedicure and taking a gentle saunter up to the train station to get a train to Gatwick in the early evening, then settle in for the night at Sofitel ready for the flight the next day. I decided that as I am not a great traveller (this is a serious understatement), it would be a lot easier for me to stay at an airport hotel so I wouldn’t panic about not arriving on time on the day of the flight, and get a bad night’s sleep. This had worked well in September with my mother, so we decided this was the best course of action. I was feeling a little nervous whilst planning this trip, but I had a lovely folder all divided out into sections to remind me of what to do each day:

Isn’t it pretty? :lovestruc (This is the point when you oooh and ahh over the precision and wonderfully labelled organisation! Or in the case of my boyfriend say 'Bloody hell! That's organised!' I took that as the highest of Disney planning complements! :goodvibes)

With this folder in hand, nothing could go wrong, right?


Rather than the nice relaxing day before my holiday, suddenly it all became filled with worry and stress!

The first problem was that I was still recovering from a nasty case of food poisoning from a week before, coupled with stress for the weeks before that due to University exams meant that I hadn’t eaten properly in about a month! :sick: I had lost about ¾ of a stone, and generally wasn’t feeling my best. Secondly, I had been applying for jobs as a teaching assistant in local schools after the end of my exams, unfortunately a lot of the interviews had clashed with my holiday dates! A few days before leaving for Florida I got a call from one of the schools asking if I could interview on the day I was leaving, and that was the only date they could do! :eek: Now not only was I needing to get beautified and pack but also go for a job interview for a job I really, REALLY wanted! Plus since I had only just come back from University, my room and all my clothes were in an absolute mess! I felt like I was packing in a disaster zone! :sad2:

*calm breaths* It would be fine, just make sure I was all sorted before the interview, then get Murray packed and we could still to the leisurely trip to Gatwick. It would be fine! :rolleyes1

The morning of our departure for Sofitel I have to admit I felt really nervous! I was really glad I had booked in the spa appointment for the manicure and pedicure, since the moment I sat down in the comfy seats and had that first hand massaged, I started to calm down and feel better. :cloud9: Luckily I got Murray to drop me off and pick me up, so save ruining my nails whilst driving.
However as soon as I started doing the last few bits of packing, the phone rings! It was from one of the other schools I applied for, asking for me to have an informal look round that afternoon in case they wanted to interview me after I got back from holiday! So one formal and one informal interview in one day! :scared1: Of course I said yes and arranged to go straight from my first interview, but suddenly the packing, especially of Murray’s clothes, which were still in the wash, suddenly needed to be sped up! Luckily he said he’d man the fort, and pack my last bits whilst I went to the interviews. He also tried to get me to eat something, with minimum success, with just under half a packet of crisps being eaten all day! :guilty:

Both interviews went ok, and I drove home to find my suitcase packed and ready, and Murray’s clothes just coming out of the drier. So we drove to his house to finish his packing, and have dinner with his parents (although I couldn’t eat a thing!). They then dropped us off at the local station to take the train to Gatwick.

Next problem! No trains to Gatwick!!! :faint: All of them seemed to be going another way! Luckily we found a guard who explained that there had been an issue on the line, and hopefully the next train will come in about 20- 25 minutes on platform 3. Crisis averted! Now this station is notorious for changing which platform it would be at the last minute, which I well know! We decided to stay on platform 1 until 5 minutes before hand, since we had 2 heavy suitcases and Murray’s had no wheels (silly decision! :rolleyes:). Luckily my intuition paid off, and it did get diverted to platform 1, which saved us a bit of huff and puff! We finally got on around 7.30pm and took around an hour, of which I spent most of it listening to music and Disney podcasts.:music:

When we arrived at Gatwick, we decided to take the lift to go to the main airport, only it decided it didn’t like the look of Murray and I, and decided to not close its doors, then tell us it was out of order! Murray was not impressed as he huffed his way up the stairs with his suitcase whilst trying to help me with mine! :( Then we had to do the long walk through the south terminal, take a bus, then arrive at the north terminal where Sofitel is located, and eventually our flight would be tomorrow.

Sofitel, as always, was fantastic! Very posh hotel and the service is always excellent, plus I booked this through Quidco so it was only around £80 rather than £88 for early booking or the extortionate prices if you just turn up! Yes, for one night this isn’t a cheap choice, but the rooms are beautiful, the location is superb and the runway view is fantastic if you request it at no extra charge.

These are the photos from my September trip

We basically got the room 2 up from the one this was taken in, on the 7th floor (although the lifts didn’t like us again, but luckily seemed to agree when another guest entered the lift!). The room was lovely as usual, although I wasn’t a big fan of the feather mattress topper as I ended up with some sticking into me in the middle of the night! :mad:

At that point I just crashed! A stressful day, and a lack of food and sleep had left me exhausted! So it was straight into bed and to sleep, ready for the flight tomorrow! :hyper:


Nov 8, 2006
Yay Kate, I'm SO glad that you're doing a trip report! :yay:

Write quickly, please?

(also, seriously, Murray didn't take a suitcase with wheels? I didn't even know you could still buy suitcases without wheels!)
  • wickesy

    <font color=royalblue>Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love y
    Apr 2, 2006
    Great start. :thumbsup2 We always stay at the Sofitel too, even though we normally fly out of the South terminal.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 30, 2005
    Great start to your first trip report Kate - I'm proud of you!! (Now all you need to do is finish it!!) :lmao:


    <font color=red>We're having a mini party!<br><fon
    Mar 17, 2007
    Wow, what a stressful start :scared1: I hope to read further and see that you become more relaxed once in your happy place :goodvibes

  • Becx N Gav

    DIS Veteran
    Nov 21, 2007
    We found they checked id the first couple of years we were there - I take it a compliment (as long as you don't forget your id!)

    Sorry it was so stressful but it sounded like you coped ok - makes the holiday even more special after going through all that :hug:

    Can't wait to hear more, the Sofitel rooms look lovely :lovestruc We're gonna try the yotel for the first time - the room rate wasn't much different to yours though :eek:


    DIS Dad #412
    Dec 22, 2006
    Hey Kate,

    Thanks again for organizing the meet and I was glad to meet you and Murray. Looking forward to reading the rest of the trip.

  • wishspirit

    When you wish upon a star!
    Jun 8, 2005
    We found they checked id the first couple of years we were there - I take it a compliment (as long as you don't forget your id!)

    Sorry it was so stressful but it sounded like you coped ok - makes the holiday even more special after going through all that :hug:

    Can't wait to hear more, the Sofitel rooms look lovely :lovestruc We're gonna try the yotel for the first time - the room rate wasn't much different to yours though :eek:
    Actually Kevin and Julie didn't believe we were 21!!

    Apparently I will appreciate it more as I get older! :rotfl:


    <marquee><font color=red>I'm a huggin' fool</marqu
    Sep 2, 2006
    Excellent Kate! Can't wait to read more. :)

    disneyholic family

    disney on my mind....
    Jan 31, 2002
    yes, Kate you DO look young!!!!! not to worry....you'll thank your lucky stars when you get to be MY age!!!! :goodvibes

    loving your report so far!!

    (you're a better man than i am....wish i'd made some notes...
    no chance at a trip report now....i don't remember about 95% of it already)...


    <font color=green>I couldn't figure out why people
    Jul 17, 2005
    Trip sounds fab, looking forward to reading more and finding out about your degree - many congrats :cool1:


    When you wish upon a star!
    Jun 8, 2005
    Just a quick note to thank everyone for their wonderful supportive comments so far! I hope I won’t disappoint! Again, today is a bit low on pictures, sorry! :headache:

    We set our alarm at Sofitel the night before at 8am, ready to be up and out by 8.45/ 9am so we could get to the airport check-in with time to spare. In fact we had already packed and checked out before 8.30, not before I took my travel sickness tablets for the flights. Now, I know I am not particularly travel sick, it is the anxiety more than anything that creates the problem. However the wonderful thing about Stugeron is that it makes me calm and drowsy, perfect for the airport and to fall straight to sleep when we get on the plane. It worked like a charm again, for which I am very grateful, I would never fly without it! :thumbsup2

    Anyway after checking our bags, collecting our travel money from Travellex (Quidco again!) and passing through security, we ended up in duty free for an hour and three-quarters. We set up a base camp so we knew where to find each other, then Murray went off to find breakfast somewhere away from me (when I am anxious I don’t even want to smell food, let alone eat it!) :scared:. I just kept plugged into my Disney podcasts, one which was about how to deal with summer crowds which were particularly helpful. :music: Both Murray and I shopped intermittently, always leaving someone at base camp. I had realised whilst I was packing that my sunglasses were nowhere to be found, so I was glad of a tax-free Next where I picked up a pair and a vest top for the other end of the flight (I realised a long sleeved top in Florida weather was just asking for trouble!). Murray, of course, found the alcohol and sweeties! :drinking1

    Soon the flight was called, and we made our way to the gate, then onto the plane. I was a bit dubious about this flight, as we had issues with BA and their customer service beforehand, but all the cabin crew were very courteous and polite, and we departed on time We also had a spare seat next to us, so I spread out as soon as the seatbelt signed turned off, which gave us some extra room. We were both very impressed with the selection of movies on board (although I didn’t make my way through a single one! I kept falling asleep half way through!) :blush: So I watched half of Toy Story 1 and 2, in preparation to see the third in America, and some of Alice in Wonderland. I didn’t write down what Murray watched, but it kept him entertained, even though he barely slept. The food was also pretty good, although both Murray and I went for the chicken option and we got completely different things! I got roast chicken with mashed potatoes, whilst he got chicken curry and rice! Odd but both nice enough for airplane food accept the nasty ‘banoffee pudding’. The only bad bit was when I lost my headphone cover down the back of the seat, and found a squished, sticky harribo! Yuck! :crazy2: Apart from that, and a bit of turbulence, the flight went fine.

    We arrived at around 4pm Florida time after a 9 or so hour flight, and made our way through immigration (only just for me since I forgot to fill in the back until the last minute! I seem to make a habit of this!) and baggage claim and got onto the monorail (the first of the holiday!). :woohoo: After we got off, both of us headed to the bathroom to freshen up and change into our summer clothes, even in the monorail, our jeans and jumpers were way too hot! We then went to meet our Florida Tours transportation to Lowe’s Royal Pacific Resort. :drive: However since we were earlier than expected and Murray’s bag didn’t have wheels (again, why oh why?!?) I decided to see if I could find our driver by the secondary baggage claim, then come back for Murray later. Well one round trip on the escalator later, and we met our driver (I feel terrible for not remembering his name!), who was lovely and friendly with a very well maintained and spacious car! Definitely luxury service! Apparently he had been tracking our flight online, so knew to pick us up a bit earlier, which was fantastic! Plus he gave us a lot of insight about living in Orlando on the journey. Florida Tours in general were fantastic! We asked for a ‘round-trip’ which includes a complementary 30 minute grocery stop, but asked if this could be from the airport to Royal Pacific, then 4 days later to Pop. They were fantastic about this, and was no problem at all. They even allowed us to move the grocery stop to the second trip, where I wouldn’t be so tired and could enjoy it more, going out of their way to go to a decent grocery store! I would highly recommend them! I was a little worried about paying for the round trip upfront, but they were excellent, I always felt safe and taken care of. :goodvibes

    After a short, and very interesting, drive we arrived at the Royal Pacific!

    Ok I admit, this isn’t a picture we took, but we completely forgot to take any pictures of the lobby! :headache: It was lovely though, with a ukulele player and girls doing the hula in the entrance and very prompt staff. On check-in we got some information about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP for the rest of this report, otherwise it’s too many words!) and its opening times for the next day, which was for resort guests only for two hours in the morning. We also got our room keys, which to Murray’s surprise had my surname on both cards! I told him it was a sign that feminism was on its way forward and that he should take my name when we get married. :rotfl: Murray was not amused! We also went to go get our park ticket for the next few days, where all you had to do was pop your credit card in, and out popped the tickets! Fantastic!

    We then headed up to the room on the third floor (I think, my memory isn’t what it used to be) which was lovely! We had a king size bed, large bathroom and a large flat screen TV.

    Here are some of Murray’s attempts to photograph the room...

    I knew I shouldn’t have let him do it! ;)

    We then headed out to City Walk to find something quick and simple to eat, as I was getting tired and the stress of travelling kicked in again. We decided to walk, not knowing how frequent the boats where and wanting to stretch our legs a bit more. It was a short and pleasant walk to City Walk, even passing this view on the way out of the Royal Pacific.


    So we stopped off at the Burger King Whopper Bar, as has become tradition in our family to go to a fast food restaurant that you could of eaten in back home on the first night as the familiarity is kind of comforting in a strange place.

    Murray had a Bourbon Whopper meal and Sprite and I had a small fries and some of Murray’s drink (I wasn’t that hungry, I didn’t even finish the fries!).

    (You can tell we are new to photographing food right?)

    It was ok, Murray said the burger was tasty, but most importantly it filled us up in a familiar way. Plus wasn’t too unreasonably priced for right next to a theme park. Murray said it was one of the better burgers of the trip, and the fries were pretty decent too. We would say a 5 out of 10

    We also stopped at the Coca Cola Refreshment point to ask about their refillable mugs. Universal sell quite large refillable mugs for $6.99 plus tax , which you can then top up for 80 cents a refill. We then asked the cashier how long these mugs are valid for and his response was: ‘Officially it’s for the day of purchase, but you could use it for a couple of days and no one would ever know’. To me, this was a clear sign that it would be ok to use for the rest of our stay- plus with the cost of all the refills we paid more than for a Disney mug. So no flaming me, I was just doing as the cashier suggested!! This worked out really well for us, we shared it between the two of us (it was that large, it would of been a waste to buy one each!). Plus since we paid for refills we didn’t waste any soda at all, we drank every last drop! Ok, I still feel a bit guilty, but no one ever questioned it! :blush:

    Here’s a photo I found on Disboards of said refillable mug by Violet Crayon (unfortunately it doesn’t really show scale)

    Anyway we then headed back to the room to chill out and watch the sun go down, then get a well deserved rest :cloud9:

    This was the view from the window, isn’t it great?

    Tomorrow: Harry Potter and the Revenge of the Front of the Line Pass!


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 30, 2005
    . We also got our room keys, which to Murray’s surprise had my surname on both cards! I told him it was a sign that feminism was on its way forward and that he should take my name when we get married. :rotfl: Murray was not amused!
    LOL :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

    Great second part of your report Kate! You have a great way of writing that is very entertaining (PS Don't tell everyone I am your mom!!)


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