Another Poole adventure is about to begin

So finally I have started to put pen to paper, well fingers to keyboard anyway. We go in a week and I have been thinking about starting this pre trippie every since we booked our flights all those months ago! I am definately going to do the trip report so now is the time I must start!

This year things are going to be a little different for those who have followed along before, so I will start with introductions for those of you who don't know us and then tell you all about this years plans

I am Angela, now 48 (can't actually believe this number, we are all still 18 right?) I work in a school 5 minutes from our house and another 5 minutes from our DD's school and I work in the admin team there, I absolutely love it. I have been visiting Florida for years now and love everything about it. I am chief planner and organiser which is thrilling,stressful and satisfying all at the same time. I love making the best possible holiday for my family wherever we go and try to make the best of everything.

Mick is my DH,he is 42 and he is in the haulage business and works in London, he works really hard and is a happy chappy, looks forward to his holidays and trusts me implicitly when booking them. I introduced him to Florida the minute we met and took him out there just 5 months after that and of course he absolutely loved it Mick always works nights and has a knack of going to sleep at any time of the day so is not really affected by jet lag which makes me very jealous! It also means he slips right back in to his work routine when we get back...I know annoying!!

Grace is our DD and turns 9 a couple of days before we go. Last year we flew on her birthday so this year she is delighted to actually get a birthday ha ha. Grace will tell you she hates flying and spending time on a plane (she loves it!) she is a great little traveller and I do believe that this comes from actually doing it since she was small. Grace broke up from school a couple of weeks ago (I had to do 3 more days than her) and is now at the fever pitch of excitement.

So, we usually travel with Mick's Mum and Dad but they are giving it a miss this year, so we decided to change it up a little this year. If you read my previous reports (see my links below) you will see that the last couple of years we have stayed in a Dibb villa in Rotonda West. I absolutely LOVE staying in this villa, it's beautiful and the area and beaches are stunning, it's a completely different place to Orlando and I would urge everyone to try it, even if it's just a night. We did decide that the villa is just too big for the 3 of us and it would be odd being there without my in laws so with a heavy heart started to look at other options.

The other thing is that Grace is getting older now and basically spends 2 weeks with 4 old fogies and needs a little something more so this is when Orlando's name came up. We haven't been to Orlando since 2015...at all...no Disney, no waterparks, nothing, so we felt a split stay of Orlando and the beach could be an option? The reason we started to give Disney a miss was because Grace is absolutley terrified of character interaction. She just finds them way too scary (read my 2014 trip report to see the extent of this) so we were never going to get the shot of her giving Mickey Mouse a big hug...absolutely gutted about this! So we decided it really wasn't worth spending a fortune for her to be that scared. Don't get me wrong she loved the parades and waving from a far but we decided to try the beach and thats where we have stayed, as we all fell in love with that and the way of life over there.

Anyway! I went on what I call flight watch in September, and started the game of looking for flights ...I find this the most stressful part. We won't pay more than 500pp and are happy to go direct or indirect. I am also happy if I have booked by the end of the Christmas period.≈

To cut a painful memory short, I missed the bargain flights through to Tampa as Mick's holiday had not been approved...we never wait for approval usually, we just book, but at the time there was yet another redundancy threat so we decided to wait....mistake no1!

Those flights came and went, which meant my stress levels also increased...alot! Everyday, trawling through...Christmas came and the sales started and options came and went! I always came back to the BA flydrive option, I had been looking at it for what felt like months and then one cold January Sunday after putting in every option and combination I could think of we went and booked. The sale was ending and I needed to end the pain and start looking at accomodation etc!

We ended up with direct flights, Heathrow to Miami, with a group D car and a hotel at Miami ariport the Hilton at blue lagoon for 500pp. I was over the moon with this as we have not flown direct for a little while now, so we are super excited about that. We do love the indirect option and last year we flew with Lufthansa, indirect, which was amazing, but when I saw this year's prices I realised this was not going to happen.

So, we were off Next was where to stay? I did look at smaller villas in Rotonda but didn't really find many options, they are all huge, so I then started my search for 3 beds in Orlando to see what was available then. I found a lovely Dibb ≈villa in westridge that looked perfect and was free for 11 nights of our dates so I booked it I then had 2 nights to fill at the beginning so looked at the beach for those 2 days and we ended up booking the Sandpiper Resort on Estero Island in Fort Myers where we had stayed last year for a night. We enjoyed our stay here last year and it has great facilites, full kitchen etc, so are looking forward to getting over the jet lag with a little beach time before heading to the big time ha ha..

A couple of days after booking the flights there was a problem on the M11 and it was closed for a few hours...nothing unsusal I hear you cry...this is true. Now usually we would book a Premier Inn for the night before but we are not flying until 16.40 so I was like OK fab we can save that bit of money. Well all I heard all day that day was about people missing their flight due to the motorway which send me in a right tizzy! So I booked the Bath road Premier Inn at Heathrow where we have stayed before. I really see no point in having paid all that money to miss your flight and I cannot take the stress so it's booked and the holiday just starts a day earlier

I booked some parking for the car at a very attractive price, so we will drop that the day we fly and we were all organised

we have obviously talked and talked about what we want to do and will absolutely sit on the beach this year as we were plagued with a bit of red tide last year. So we are looking forward to sinking our feet in to some lovely white sand and also doing some shelling on Captiva Island as we have not been there before. It would be rude to not eat or go shopping so we will be doing that too.

We plan to hit the Miromar Outlets near the airport at Fort Myers...love it here and always get some good stuff and we may pop in to Ellenton on the way up to Orlando, though we are also thinking we may do a day trip over to St Petes Beach and do Ellenton then.

Once in Orlando we have the villa which also has the community pool so we are planning some lengths in the big pool one every day and a trip to the gym every now and again (I've written it in black and white now so I am going to have to go at least once ha ha )≈

Lazy days, trips to Aldi and Walmart, well and everu other shop we can think of, luckily Grace is a very happy shopper so we usually pool it for the day and then go out for a late lunch/early dinner and hit some shops.
We are excited about visiting all the places in Orlando we have not seen over the last few years.
I would like to do a morning visiting a couple of Disney hotels just to get in the bubble briefly, so plan to park at Disney Springs and bus it over to the Grand Floridian and get the monorial round from there. We also have an ADR for Sanaa which I am really excited about...that bread, I cannot wait!!

I got some tickets for us for Aqutica from Groupon, I was really happy about the price and we had decided already that we wanted to do a water park for the day, so we will do that in the second week, once our skin is only likely to turn red, instead of bright red
I need to book some parking for that too, I have just remembered.

I will just quickly mention the BA strike threat, I am glad now that our plans at the beginning of the holiday are "safe" I was following it quite closely and soon realised once the threat for us had passed that I was actually fairly anxious about it. Whatever happens at the end happens and we have a couple of credit cards we can use so whatever will be will be and we will sort it out when we return if needs be. I really hope they sort it all which I feel they are trying to do and that all of us are not disrupted at all.

So today we will get the suitcases out and start getting organised!
I will write my trip live as it's the only way that works for me, the one I started to write when I got back has never been finished but a bit of time everyday works for me and I like to think that Grace will read it in the future.

So we will see you once we start our travels

Bye for now


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Park Hours - Sunday 25/08/2019

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
9:30pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:30pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
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5:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
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5:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
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9:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
9:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
9:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
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9:30pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
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7:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
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6:00pm
Legoland Water Park
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10:30am
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5:00pm
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Extra Evening Hours Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
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Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
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8:00am
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12:00am
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 8:00am
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9:00pm
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Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
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11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
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8:00pm
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US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.2002
CaxtonFX  $1.1991
Covent Garden FX  $1.2115
FAIRFX  $1.2000
John Lewis  $1.2053
M&S  $1.1784
Post Office  $1.1960
Sainsburys  $1.2000
TESCO  $1.2011
Travelex  $1.1915
Updated: 23:30 25/08/2019

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Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.0838
CaxtonFX  €1.0745
Covent Garden FX  €1.0846
FAIRFX  €1.0765
John Lewis  €1.0885
M&S  €1.0664
Post Office  €1.0795
Sainsburys  €1.0845
TESCO  €1.0855
Travelex  €1.0710
Updated: 23:30 25/08/2019