Michael Myers returns..and so do we....19 Fabulous nights of HHN, RP & SF Sept/Oct 2018

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by schumigirl, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Yep, another trip report from Carole n Tom...…….

    This one is starting a little early...….rather unusually for me. I never do a pre trip report as I always like to surprise myself and have no definite plans for our trips...….but, time is of a premium this year so wanted to get a head start on this one...……

    So, for anyone who doesn't know us......there must be some...…..::yes:: we are indeed Carole and Tom.

    This is our fourth of five trips to Orlando this year, and our longest one at 19 nights. We usually spend this length of time in September as we adore HHN and September is one of our favourite times to go anyway...…….Tom took early retirement last year, can`t believe it`s over a year now since he left the big bad world of work, it has gone so quickly.....of course Kyle reminds us if we weren't travelling so much it might slow down a bit...…..gotta love him!!!! But, now we can take advantage of travelling anytime we choose we are certainly taking advantage of it.

    Kyle isn't with us again this trip, but we do look forward to 10 nights in December where he will join us again...….apparently in the UK it is acceptable for our adult kids to join us on an Orlando vacation without being teased!!!! Not that he would bother anyway...…..we went for a week last December and loved Universal at Christmas, so as we felt a week wasn't long enough.....it`s 10 nights this time.

    So that's the reason for so many trips now, instead of our once a year trips up 2015.

    Early retirement has been wonderful...…..easily the best decision ever...….and as I more or less retired a good few years back through choice.....I preferred being able to travel to Scotland or anywhere else I liked when I liked...…..so we both took to it like a duck to water...……

    Everyone told us we would need a hobby once Tom retired...…...so we got one. Visiting Orlando more often. Can`t get much better than that. We tried golf and hated it......almost did a man an injury with a golf club......oops :duck:so thought better of it!!!

    This is us if you don't know us...…..in one of our favourite bars in Citywalk………..



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    We do like to visit a few bars on our trips...…..and we do enjoy a cocktail or three...…..but mostly we just love Orlando and the surrounding areas...…….there is so much to see and do outside of the Universal parks...…..of course if you know us at all, you`ll know we don't visit Disney or SeaWorld at all. Universal all the way for us...….



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    This trip was booked before we even left last September...…..as is our way, we do like to have it arranged in plenty of time. It`s especially easy now we don't have to fit between certain dates, although to be fair Tom never had any issues with vacation time...….he suited himself. But, we just liked it booked first.

    So, 19 nights at our favourite hotel...……..Royal Pacific Resort...……



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    We have stayed her many nights since 2009 when we began to stay here exclusively...….and we love it as much as we did, if not more than our first stay. We never get bored here and so many people now genuinely feel like family...…...we know a lot of folks so well and of course the business it is, staff do change, and meeting new members of the team is always lovely.

    I think they are fabulous at making everyone feel special of course, but there is such a warm and welcoming feeling when we enter the hotel, it really is like being home. And when people you have known for a long time are delighted to see you back and welcome you as family, that is a very special feeling...…...and one of the many, many reasons we return every year......now numerous times a year. And we feel incredibly lucky to be able to do that.

    So, once we are home from our October trip last year, jet lag hasn't even cleared and I`m on the websites getting flights booked and paid for...…...this is so easy...….it`s like buying a book from Amazon...….couple of clicks and it`s done...……..

    We go between Virgin and Thomas Cook for flights to America...….not really a price consideration, but more convenience of flight times......they are both excellent to fly with and we have no problem with whichever we choose...……flight crew and service have always been top notch on both carriers. Thomas Cook gets our pennies this time.



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    We usually book Premium both ways, but the plane we are on going out doesn't have a Premium area, but the seats are extremely decent on these flights. The planes for America and long haul are decent...…..so we get the first row booked going out and add in Priority boarding, so we are on first.....sounds crazy but, as we have no seats in front of us we can`t put our bags under the seat in front, so we need to put our cabin bags above us...…..some people have cabin luggage that are huge......so space is a premium......but the advantage of being in row 1 is no one reclining on to you.....during the day flights most people don't though....but some can. Their privilege of course. And having extra space in these seats means it`s not an issue if someone does recline.




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    We do however have Premium on the way home......so no need to add Priority as it is already included with premium seats.

    With flights sorted almost immediately we were practically done with planning...……..

    Although I say we never plan, we do of course look forward immensely to our trips.....every one of them is special and we treasure every second we are there. We do look at menu`s, a lot!!!! Food plays a big part of our trips......so many restaurants we just don't have anything like them in the UK. Some we go to are chains of course, don't quite understand the hate that some chain restaurants get from certain people...…….The Palm is a chain and every single meal we have had there has been beautiful. Guess some people must go to pretty poor chains as we have loved almost every meal we have had in America...….except Bongo`s in Downtown Disney...….truly awful and never went back. But it was in 2007......I have a long memory though.

    We also plan where we might travel to for the day...….there are so many places round about and a little further afield......we are spoilt for choice some trips.

    Which brings us to the car rental.

    We exclusively use Alamo and have done for several years...….so far no complaints about the cars or service from them......they used to try and sell us all kinds of upgrades, but soon realized they couldn't sell us anything we knew we didn't want or need. Although last time we got the best car ever......if you read the July Trip Report, you would see we got a Maserati Levante......which was so much fun to drive...….we loved this car. Wouldn't have one in real life as they can be so unreliable.....but this one was fabulous!!!!!



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    Thing is, this had spoiled us for rental cars in the future.

    For this trip we had booked a full size SUV. Last time it had been a Premium I believe, but the option wasn't there, so we would see when we arrive if we can maybe get an F Pace as an upgrade.....no way would get this again for such a bargain price as we only added around $100 for the week!! Bargain.

    This booking was only $650 for 19 nights. But, it was booked and paid for now too. Another box ticked off in our planning, limited as it was. Whatever the car ended up being I`m sure it would be fine.

    We stay overnight at the airport at the same hotel we have stayed at for years. Radisson Blu Manchester Airport. We just like it here. Its convenient for both Terminals whether you are flying Virgin or Thomas Cook...…..one airline you turn right out the doors and the other you turn left down the Skywalk. Rooms are clean and quite pretty......and we usually book the Executive Lounge as an extra treat...……the contoured glass windows on top is the location of the lounge...…..great airport views!!!



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    The lounge is on the 9th floor and they have snacks and non alcoholic drinks out all day. At 5pm the alcohol and appetizers comes out...…..

    Wines and liquor are left out for people to help themselves...….and there is beer in the chilled cabinets then. The apps are pretty good and last couple of years we have enjoyed them and didn't feel the need to go down to the restaurant to eat dinner. And the lounge is very nice...

    You do have your own check in area on the 9th floor for Executive rooms which is a little quieter and more convenient than main check in desk.



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    Food stops being served around 7.30pm and alcohol at 9pm. Although we never really have a lot as flying the next day we don't want to feel sluggish.

    We usually book a room with parking included for our entire stay...…..but this time we thought we might do something a little different this time. We were going to travel to the airport by train.

    There is a train station attached to the complex too, mum and I had arrived by train when we stayed overnight here before we flew out to NYC. We had enjoyed it. And this was really a bit of an experiment...….more so for the way home.

    We have a fairly long drive back down the country to get home...….and after a night flight that you probably haven't slept much, driving isn't fun. I know you can book a day room at most of the bigger hotels, but we would rather just set off for home as soon as we can. So, we got our entire journey booked and managed to get First Class seats on both trains to and from the airport. It will take longer than driving, but Tom just felt he`d like to give it a try just once...….if we don't like it we can still go by car on our other journeys. We will also be going by car in December when Kyle is with us.

    We have a cab booked to take us to the station on Wednesday morning. Friends offered, but one is notoriously unreliable...….and others are a little bit away or working, so cabs are easier. It`s only 30 minutes to the station. Then 4 hours or so on the trains.


    More plans including HHN and other changes coming right up...…..


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  2. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    Woot

    Let the fun begin
     
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  4. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

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    I like how you put your main squeeze picture to start this report
     
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  5. JaxDad

    JaxDad DIS Veteran

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    Only 19 nights? Are you sure you’ll be able to squeeze everything in?

    I didn’t see your travel dates. I think we’re going to Orlando the weekend of 19 October. It would be fun to meet for a drink or something. Or if you come up to St. Augustine, let me know.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of the report!
     
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  6. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    :welcome:

    And you made it first again...……..:rolleyes1

    Glad to see you along for this early bird special...…….yep....let the fun begin!!!!!! :wave2:
     
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  7. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Couldn't leave him out of this trip report could I...…..

    Man of my dreams...…….:hug: :laughing:
     
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  8. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    :welcome: along again......and you made the first page!!!!

    And thank you...….I realized I hadn't put our departure and arrival day in :duck: I will amend that asap in the next post!!!!

    We do indeed arrive September 13th and leave Oct 2nd...…...but we do plan to drive to St Augustine one day......it will probably be a Sunday at some point, but not sure yet, but we are quite flexible in that......will let you know by pm or on the boards and we would love to meet you there....sounds like a plan :thumbsup2

    I shouldn't really complain, but I did say earlier we didn't have enough nights to do everything we wanted to...….one of my friends looked at me like I had 3 heads!!!! :blush:

    But, glad to have you read along, and although this one will take a while to complete as we`re away next week, I do hope you enjoy it...….::yes::
     
  9. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    It has seemed such a long time since we got everything booked right now.

    But, we have been back four times since last September/October...…..and I think sometimes it seems longer between trips, although that is blatantly not the case...….

    Thanks to Jaxdad I realized I omitted our arrival dates in opening post...……:rotfl:

    We stay overnight at the Radisson on Wednesday September 12th and fly on the 13th around midday...….so hoping for no delays due to weather or any other reason...…..we should arrive MCO around 4.20pm. Departure day is Tuesday October 2nd.

    Of course HHN is the focus of this next trip...…….if you`ve never been, HHN is an amazing event held every year. The quality of the houses and Scare Actor performances have never disappointed...…..well, last years was marginally poorer than previous years that we have visited.....but still an amazing atmosphere and was still a lot of fun. We still wouldn't have missed it!!!!

    Just a couple of pictures from previous years as well as last years...…….



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    I`m sure this mask will make more than one appearance this year...…..Kyle did genuinely want to buy this mask...…..I quite easily convinced him it might not be the best idea......if he wanted me around a few more years :rotfl: He did however get the tee shirt in the background with the full Michael face on it!!!!! Freaks me out every time he wears it...…….



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    We always buy the Rush of Fear ticket with Express Pass. It covers the first 3 weeks of the event, and this year we could go 12 nights in that time period if we wanted to which makes excellent value for us. I think it was around $600 for both of us with these tickets. I think we bought them in June and we picked them up when we were there in July at Will Call.

    It does get busy even on so called quiet nights, but, we just hate queueing with a passion!!! So standing in line with the heat and crowds just isn't for us...….so we always have EP. And this years event looks to be amazing!!! So we do plan to utilize it as many nights as we can......


    When we were staying at Sapphire Falls in July we suddenly thought why didn't we have a few nights back here in September...…..we genuinely did enjoy Sapphire, it had so many things we loved including excellent food options...…..so we were soon sorted with that and now we are staying our first 15 nights at RP and then moving over to Sapphire on the 28th September...……..which is ideal as the lovely Keisha is going to be around then so we have arranged to meet up then...….exact place and time that day to be confirmed......but it`s one thing crossed off the list as we have missed each other last few years by a few days at times...….we were happy with that in the plans!!!!



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    We are so looking to this trip for many reasons and Sapphire is one of them...…..we really did fall in love with this resort as soon as we were shown around the first time after it just opened.....and when we finally managed a stay there in May we truly loved every second...…...so it`ll be like having two little trips...…

    Things were falling into place for this trip….now again, once we were home from our July trip, we just had to wait...……….bit like Michael Myers waiting for Halloween :scared1:



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    More plans and ideas coming up...…………….off to watch Trick R Treat tonight...……..::yes::
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  10. DisneyLifePapioNe

    DisneyLifePapioNe DIS Veteran

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    Hello looking forward to reading about your fun!

    It’ll help the time go by faster til our next big one also..........hopefully!!!!!

    75 days til it starts!
     
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  11. tink1957

    tink1957 Proud Redhead

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    Yay :yay: you started your report...just what I needed after a long day at work.

    Thanks :thumbsup2
     
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  12. jessicag13

    jessicag13 Mouseketeer

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    I’m so excited to be following along with one of your trip reports in real time! I was doing research for my first HHN and came across one of your previous ones, and marathoned reading 3 or 4 others of yours in the past couple of weeks. And I’m actually going to be at universal 9/16-9/18, so I may end up being one of the random people who yells hello at you at some point :)
     
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  13. Threeboysandachickie

    Threeboysandachickie Make a Wish trip mommy

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    Wow! I never expected you to start a new report so early! I am excited to read along.

    I am hoping the weather is beautiful with few evening showers :) .A dry hhn season is being prayed for in our house!

    I hope we get the chance to say hi! We will be at Uni until the 23!!

    Safe travels to you and your Tom!!!
     
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  14. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    :welcome: to another one DLPN...…...glad to have you here...….

    And yes, I`m sure your wait will pass quickly......I`m always amazed how quickly time does go by...…...sometimes!!!!
     
  15. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    :welcome: back too Vicki...…….I hope you enjoy this one too......and you`ll be in this one too!!!!

    Looking forward to our meet up :thumbsup2
     
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  16. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    :welcome: jessicag……...I`m so happy you posted and will be joining along...……

    Oh love how you read them all close together!!!! Wow...…..I hoped they helped a little...….

    Oh you HAVE to say or even shout hello if you see us :thumbsup2 ...….we`ll be around those days I`m sure...…..so, please, I`d love to say hello in real life......don't be put off by the red scary face......I`ll just be hot...…..:rotfl:
     
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  17. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    :welcome: back to you too...……:thumbsup2 Glad to have you along too...…..

    Yes it is rather quick to start a new one...….but, I don't update while we are there...….I leave all the pictures and stuff till we get home...….we never seem to have time to post pictures while we are there...…..too busy having fun!!!! So, thought I`d give myself a head start...…..

    Yes, good weather would be wonderful......HHN in the rain isn't a lot of fun...…..so will say an extra one too...….and yes, hope we can get a chance to say a big hello to each other too...…..:wave2:
     
  18. jocelyn6

    jocelyn6 Mouseketeer

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    Hi Carole!! I just finished reading the New York/Orlando report and was thrilled to see that you have your next report on the go! Can't wait to follow these adventures!
     
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  19. jump00

    jump00 Mouseketeer

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    What a day - just finished your last trip report and now.............a PTR!!!! Woo hoo!!!:flower1: Grabbing my coffee and sitting on the comfy couch :flower:
     
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  20. I-4Bound

    I-4Bound Mouseketeer

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    I'm here!:thumbsup2
     
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  21. tlinus

    tlinus Forever a Proud Redhead

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    Checking In!!

    Cannot wait for more.....:thumbsup2
     
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