Four Yorkshire folk on t'road - Pre Trip

PudseyChancer

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
How do! :thumbsup2

As it's four weeks today that we'll be making our way over the Pennines to Manchester airport ahead of our first family trip to Orlando, and the excitement level is rising to almost unprecedented levels, I thought I'd start our trip report and introduce me, my gorgeous better half, and the terrible twosome, Isabelle and Billy.

I'm Dave (PudseyChancer), and here en route with Caroline to DLP last year, which was our first holiday together. Some of you are my friends on facebook, and have probably seen my fixation with all things Florida, Leeds United, and booze. Facebook does have a downside in that it gives dorks like me an opportunity to bore others who've had the misfortune to accept my friend requests until they finally find the 'remove friend' option. The upside is that it got me back in touch with my gorgeous missus Caroline after almost twenty years, Caroline was my first girlfriend way back through the mists of time when I was 16 (seems almost elderly by today's standards!), we both went our separate ways only to get back in touch via facebook in May 2009, and the rest, as they say, is history.



Our motley crew is made up of Isabelle and Billy, captured here in one of their more sedate moments. Neither have any idea that we're going to Florida, to amuse myself I often show them photo's of WDW and the rides as Caroline despairs in the background, they're both desperate to go and have suggested going in a couple of years when the holiday fund has reached an acceptable level, though that in itself is a laugh, given how regularly we dip into it for essentials like car parking change, fish and chip money, and my £2 football accumilator... :rolleyes1 (Hmm... hope Caroline doesn't read this!!)



We all had a great time at DLP, and the next obvious step was to start thinking about a trip to Orlando. I've been fortunate to go several times previously, (this will be my fifth trip), and after staying onsite at All Star Sports last time, I knew that I'd want to stay onsite this time round. Caroline has never been to WDW before, but I'd bored her countless times about Orlando, WDW and Universal, so she just humoured me and left the organisation up to me. I initially looked at the moderates, specifically POR and POFQ, as the theming quite appealed to me, plus I liked the fact that there were the boats to and from Downtown Disney. That all changed when I clapped eyes on the offer at OKW, which given it was virtually the same price, but included free dining - Key West is a place that I'd love to visit, so this being the next best thing, it was a done deal, and we booked to go on the 14th August. :banana::banana:

It was at this point that I realised we had still to book flights, a minor detail I thought, and began checking flight prices with BA and Virgin on a regular basis. Despite the fact that TCD had gone bust the day after I returned from Florida on my last visit, it never crossed my mind that the flights would have been so ludicrously expensive. I was tied to buying flights through Thomas Cook as I get vouchers through work every month, and at that point, had saved £1000 - but the flight prices were coming out more than I had paid for the whole holiday the last time I went! As I monitored the prices rising even higher on a daily basis, we made the decision to change our dates to September, and go cap in hand to the school, who fortunately agreed to grant the kids absence.

We managed to get flights for just under £2k flying into Sanford, and booked a transfer through to OKW. We just about had enough with the vouchers to get flights, Universal park tickets, and a pre-travel day stay at Bewley's, where we also stayed before our flights to DLP.

I then started to look into ADR's and putting together some sort of plan for our two weeks. Having never really put too much thought into eating out on previous trips, it did strike me as being quite ludicrous trying to plan almost a year in advance, of where we would be on a given day, and even more ridonculous, where and what we would like to eat. Other challenges we faced were that whilst Isabelle would quite happily eat anything and everything placed in front of her, Billy would be considered adventurous if he ate anything with any flavour whatsoever, indeed, people were seen throwing their hats into the air the day he liberally doused his chips with tomato ketchup!


Food critics toast finishing the last meatball

So, it was back to the Dis to view reports, and to Allears to read the menu's and we came up with the following:-

Saturday 11th - arrival and exploration of DTD
Sunday 12th - MK with our first evening meal at Kona Cafe
Monday 13th - Animal Kingdom with OOP breakfast at Rainforest Cafe
Tuesday 14th - Typhoon Lagoon with evening meal at Raglan Road
Weds 15th - Disney Studio's with lunch at Sci-Fi Dine-in
Thurs 16th - MK again with breakfast at Chef Mickeys & evening meal at Whispering Canyon
Friday 17th - Blizzard Beach
Saturday 18th - Breakfast at CRT and then on to Epcot, evening meal at Via Napoli
Sunday 19th - Epcot with evening meal at the Yachtsman Steakhouse
Monday 20th - Disneys Studio's
Tuesday 21st - Kids to choose, with evening meal at Nine Dragons
Weds 22nd - Universal
Thurs 23rd - Universal
Friday 24th - spare day with evening meal at Hoop De Do Review

I'll have to be creative to fit in some shopping time, unbelievably Caroline can't stand shopping, whereas I feel duty bound in maintaining good trade relations with our American cousins, and regularly deposit large sums at Ralph Lauren, Levi, Lacoste and Nike whenever I cross the Atlantic. Whether or not I manage to stretch to an iPad is looking less and less likely, but like Martin Luther King, I have a dream.

The only thing left is to mention our rather childish plan in revealing the depths of our deceit to the kids - it's been an absolute killer keeping this trip a secret, it's been really tough with all the extra hours at work, there's been loads of times when I just wanted to blurt it out and let the kids in on it. To be honest, I'm really glad that we haven't, so we've told the kids that I'm working away from home and am staying overnight in Manchester. I'll be making my way over on the Friday afternoon, (train ticket from Leeds to Manchester Airport, an amazing £7!!!), and Caroline will pick the kids up straight from school and drive them over, to surprise me by visiting. We'll then give the kids a letter from Mickey inviting them to come see him and all his pals at WDW...

So there it is, the culmination of a good year of secret planning, hours and hours of overtime and lost Sundays, but with the end result of a holiday at WDW. So forgive me as I grow ever more excited by being just three weeks away from finishing work, and four weeks away from a fantastic holiday in WDW, and a chance to relax totally and spend a full fortnight with my three favourite people in the world...


The relaxation starts at Bewley's... :thumbsup2

See thee later! :thumbsup2
 

ely3857

<font color=ff3300>Would love to be a Librarian -
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Awww fabulous ~ Both the holiday and the suprise!

(I wanna be your FB ( Jodie Kilner) friend, you can bore me to death anytime!)
 

tashasmum

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Can't wait to hear more. well done for managing to keep it secret, I bet their little faces will be a picture when all is revealed.
 
  • chocolateMinnie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2008
    Excellent! I'm so excited for you all. Last October our 4th trip was only booked a couple of weeks in advance and we kept it a secret from the children until the Thursday night. DD jumped around and nearly wet herself in excitement. DS felt cheated that he hadn't been included in the planning.

    Perverse little devil this year he has said umpteen times 'do we have to talk about this again - can't you just sort it out....................' so we all tried and then 'we can't go to Disney without eating at........'

    Make sure you have a camera handy when you tell them with their letters!!!

    Have an amazing trip.
     

    jockey

    Runs for Wine!
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2004
    Brill your plans sound fab I bet the kids faces will be priceless when you tell them
     

    Eliza32

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2010
    We go 2 days before you....can't wait!!! We have no kids, but I've booked some meals to surprise DH with. He's at the KC at the moment, probably watching the Crusaders thrash Hull (Well it is Friday 13th!!!)
    Am really liking your choices for meals. We missed out on the free dining as we booked too early and Virgin wouldn't honor the free dining offer, despite my being very nice and pleading with them 3 times (can't blame a girl for trying) We're eating at Le Cellier and Biergarten, but lunches as it's cheaper OOP. We had free dining in 2007 when we went with TCD.
    Hope you have a really fun time, and I'm sooo jealous of you staying at OKW - Olivias was one of my fave places to eat in 2007, although it often gets slated in reviews for some reason. You must save up to go to the 'real' KW it's fantastic!!!
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    Awww fabulous ~ Both the holiday and the suprise!

    (I wanna be your FB ( Jodie Kilner) friend, you can bore me to death anytime!)
    Hi Jodie, can't find you on FB!?? My full name is Dave Hogarth, always happy to have more DIS friends! :thumbsup2

    Can't wait to hear more. well done for managing to keep it secret, I bet their little faces will be a picture when all is revealed.
    I know, it's the main motivation now for keeping it secret for the last four weeks!

    Excellent! I'm so excited for you all. Last October our 4th trip was only booked a couple of weeks in advance and we kept it a secret from the children until the Thursday night. DD jumped around and nearly wet herself in excitement. DS felt cheated that he hadn't been included in the planning.

    Perverse little devil this year he has said umpteen times 'do we have to talk about this again - can't you just sort it out....................' so we all tried and then 'we can't go to Disney without eating at........'

    Make sure you have a camera handy when you tell them with their letters!!!

    Have an amazing trip.
    We're going to try and take a picture, there's a lot of family who are looking forward to seeing their reactions! At 8 and 5 they're not so interested in the planning aspect, as they've never been it'll be a case of wanting to see anything and everything! We've kept a day free so if there's anything in particular they want to do or see they can, I'd imagine they'd have more of an input when we go back another time :thumbsup2

    Brill your plans sound fab I bet the kids faces will be priceless when you tell them
    I'll try to capture the moment and include it in the trip report! :thumbsup2

    We go 2 days before you....can't wait!!! We have no kids, but I've booked some meals to surprise DH with. He's at the KC at the moment, probably watching the Crusaders thrash Hull (Well it is Friday 13th!!!)
    Am really liking your choices for meals. We missed out on the free dining as we booked too early and Virgin wouldn't honor the free dining offer, despite my being very nice and pleading with them 3 times (can't blame a girl for trying) We're eating at Le Cellier and Biergarten, but lunches as it's cheaper OOP. We had free dining in 2007 when we went with TCD.
    Hope you have a really fun time, and I'm sooo jealous of you staying at OKW - Olivias was one of my fave places to eat in 2007, although it often gets slated in reviews for some reason. You must save up to go to the 'real' KW it's fantastic!!!
    To say we've got free dining we've got plenty of days when we'll need to go OOP, not that I'm bothered as there are so many fantastic options offsite. Really pleased to have got in at Via Napoli with it being new, and there are some meals that will really appeal to the kids. My only disappointment is missing out on Le Cellier as I've never been and probably won't waste 2 credits in future on a meal there - I can't see it being better than Yachtsman anyway. Hope you have a fantastic holiday too! :thumbsup2
     
  • Tinks1984

    <font color=red>We're having a mini party!<br><fon
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2007
    Brilliant - I can feel the excitement in your post :goodvibes I don't know who'll be more excited, you - or the kids when you tell them! :thumbsup2
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    Subscribing - can't wait to hear about your adventure :goodvibes
    Thanks - am looking forward to sharing!

    Brilliant - I can feel the excitement in your post :goodvibes I don't know who'll be more excited, you - or the kids when you tell them! :thumbsup2
    As the biggest kid in the family, I think that I will be the most excited!

    Nice one Puds.

    Looking forward to reading all about it. The children may just go ballistic when you tell them. :thumbsup2

    Kev
    Cheers Kev, the kid's'll be even more excited than when I said they could go on Ilkley Moor, without their hats! :rolleyes1
     
  • irongirlof12

    <font color=blue><marquee>Am I the only one who lo
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2006
    what a brilliant surprise for your young 'uns :goodvibes I am excited for you :banana: and to find your old flame on facebook and re-unite- how fab is that??" :love:

    can't wait to read your trip report.
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    great pre trip :goodvibes
    cant wait to hear all about it.xxx
    Just three weeks away now! :banana:

    Oh what a lovely surprise for your children:lovestruc:lovestruc

    Can't wait to hear morepopcorn::
    Looking forward to sharing! :thumbsup2

    what a brilliant surprise for your young 'uns :goodvibes I am excited for you :banana: and to find your old flame on facebook and re-unite- how fab is that??" :love:

    can't wait to read your trip report.
    Perhaps the worst thing about keeping it secret is the kids haven't been away in the six week holidays, we've been to the coast a couple of times and they've had loads to do, but they've not been 'on holiday' as such. Got a feeling that the surprise might make up for it though!

    As for getting back in touch with Caroline, I count myself very lucky! :goodvibes
     

    Eliza32

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2010
    Not long to go now Pudsey. Keep looking online for that elusive Le Cellier ADR. I've just got another restaurant that wasn't available last week, so they are coming up all of the time. Also, if you like Mexican, the new place La Hacienda at Epcot is doing a soft opening mid September for walk-ups only. Think I might give that a try.
    We got our tickets yesterday (if you can actually call them that these days!! I remember when tickets were really that, not just an e-ticket!!)
     

    PoppyAnna

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2006
    Nice pre-trippie Dave. I see Caroline is on here now:goodvibes

    I hope there's a bit more in the ipad pot as your accumilator must have come in today as you beat my team;)

    We've kept all our trips to WDW and DLRP a secret from the girls in the past, the eldest in particular gets over excited/worried/distracted and I think a surprise helps. Ours will be 8 & 5 when we go in April. Our surprise comes in the form of changing the sat nav voice in the car to Chip and dale - they now know where we're heading!

    Itinerary looks great - lucky so'n'so getting free dining and time off during school:thumbsup2
    Can't wait to hear all about it (not that I'm wishing it over already for you;) )
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    Not long to go now Pudsey. Keep looking online for that elusive Le Cellier ADR. I've just got another restaurant that wasn't available last week, so they are coming up all of the time. Also, if you like Mexican, the new place La Hacienda at Epcot is doing a soft opening mid September for walk-ups only. Think I might give that a try.
    We got our tickets yesterday (if you can actually call them that these days!! I remember when tickets were really that, not just an e-ticket!!)
    I definitely fancy trying the new Mexican restaurant, I was a big fan of the old one. Not holding out too much hope for Le Cellier now to be honest, though I might see what's available OOP when I get there.

    Nice pre-trippie Dave. I see Caroline is on here now:goodvibes

    I hope there's a bit more in the ipad pot as your accumilator must have come in today as you beat my team;)

    We've kept all our trips to WDW and DLRP a secret from the girls in the past, the eldest in particular gets over excited/worried/distracted and I think a surprise helps. Ours will be 8 & 5 when we go in April. Our surprise comes in the form of changing the sat nav voice in the car to Chip and dale - they now know where we're heading!

    Itinerary looks great - lucky so'n'so getting free dining and time off during school:thumbsup2
    Can't wait to hear all about it (not that I'm wishing it over already for you;) )
    Hi Jo :wave2: Unfortunately I didn't have the courage of my convictions, Leeds weren't on my accumulator as I wasn't overly confident before the game (shame on me, I know!) :rolleyes1

    Love the Chip and Dale sat nav idea! :thumbsup2
     

    mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Your plans sound amazing, and I can't wait to read your trip report. Have a fantastic trip ::yes::
     

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