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Welcome to our trip report!! We are back in orlando for the first time in 3 years!

Lots has changed in the USA and for us! Both my hubby and my middle son have been diagnosed as having Coeliacs Disease this year, which means we are now Gluten Free.

I asked on the DIBB for food advice and decided to make this food trip report for any other Coeliacs or wheat allergy persons on the DIBB! I hope you enjoy!

DISCLAIMERS!!😀

1. This is my first ever attempt at a trip report! Be kind!!😂

2. I am using the app to make this and learning as i go! Sorry if i mess up!🤗

3. I have dyslexia and no patience! Which means i type fast and spell like rubbish so it means i might post and then have to re read to correct my mistakes! Forgive me😝

So here we go! We are a family of 5,

Me Emma disney and theme park mad feeling sad this year as i had a VP shunt fitted which means i cannot ride the rides but i am a very happy pram and bag holder while my boys enjoy them!

My hubby Simon, loves Florida so much, driver, bag holder, in Search of good gluten free beer!

Eldest son Ethan 11, crazy and theme park mad!

Middle son Luke 9, the dare devil nothing this kid will not do!!

The youngest Max 7, disney and character crazy!

So we are here now and aim to keep a record of our food finds! Enjoy 😀



Saturday 20th October 2018

Hooray its travel day, cannot wait to spend 9 hours on a plane, said no one ever! Unless your my hubby who loves all things aviation so the flight is the best bit for him!

We flew from Gatwick with Thomas Cook, nice plane lovely crew, hated paying £5 extra for premium TV just felt that for long haul it should be standard. Had to pay for all drinks if not at mealtimes but i was prepared and got a load of bottles from the WH Smith before the flight.



So happy faces all round in the flight!

I had pre booked 2 gluten free adult meals on the flight for simon and me as i dont tend to eat on flights so it ment he could share my food too.

I booked Luke a gluten free kids meal but turns out they only offer the same as the adults.



They arrived first and we were very impressed!



Lovely roast chicken meal.



Excuse the blurry pic!



Also came with a huge gluten free BFree brown seeded roll



A little compote which was not to any of out tastes but i am sure it might be to some.



Then a fab pudding of the Honeybuns gluten free brownie, absolutely lovely!

So over all very happy with the choices given in the main meal.

No snack for the gluten free people as the plane was served a little ice cream cone but i had packed other snack for us all to have.

Also the flight snacks to buy included haribo too.

So i missed out a pic of the next meal service but as the gluten free option we were all given a huge cheese and chutney sandwich which was not only very tasty but a lot more filling than tbe little diddy finger sandwiches that were served as the normal service , all this was served with a fresh banana and another Honeybuns brownie.

The flight dragged but finally we landed at orlando international, now for the last i think 5 trips we have flown in to Sanford airport which i love simple no problems! International airport is just the special level of hell i remember!

Over 2 1/2 hours it took most of that at immigration where 4 flights from the UK had landed around the same time, it was the queue to end all queues, it took forever! Finally it was our turn, done and passports stamped we headed to grab our bags, kept them with us on the monorail.

Then joined another huge queue at the Thomas Cook podium as we had universal tickets to collect. After we got to the front we were advised to join another huge queue at the actual Thomas Cook desk! Arrgghhhhh!!!

Anyhow much british tutting later we had tickets and used the computer kiosk at alamo to get our car! We always get a 7 seater its better for cases and we like the room!

Car picked we were on the road!

All checked i and food was on our mind, now it was late so we decided to head to super target and then grab a pizza for tea.

The supper target on the 192 had a small gluten free section in isle 5 and a small gluten free frozen section.



We grabbed a few bits, the bread on offer was a familiar named brand that we use in the UK.



A gluten free oreo type biscuit and some rice krispie treats by the same brand which are very nice and also come individually wrapped so great to keep in our bag for when out and about.



These bits grabbed as well as some Cherrios for breakfast which are marked as gluten free, we headed out of target and straight in to Flippers pizza.

We asked and were informed that the Gluten free bases only comes i a My Pie size (8 slices) but they can do any topping.

Luke had a pepperoni and ham while Simon had a BBQ chicken and me and the other 2 boys shared a large normal margarita.



Sadly i have no pics of the pizza! We were hungry tired and i forgot! But everyone agreed that this was the best gluten free pizza we have ever had, it was amazing!! Cannot wait to have it again!



Sunday 21st October 2018

So this morning jet lag woke us all around 5am although simon had been awake since 3am!

I thought i should mention the 2 apps that are helping me over here, firstly Find me gluten free which list restaurants with reviews and gluten free food finder which is a barcode scanner and lets you know if a product is safe and gluten free. Both these apps were free and i got then via the play store, they are both working well at the moment and i will keep you updated how i get on with them.

Seaworld🐬 was the plan for today but first it was a trip to walmart to grab all the stuff we were to tired to get last night!



More cereal, nice to find the chex one as it was very highly recommended when i was planning this trip.



More gluten free snacks



So today at seaworld it was the Halloween Spooktacular event, it looked really busy when we pulled in to the car park.

I asked at the main customer service about food options but they had no list as such, they had an allergy book but advised us that most of the restaurants had a gluten free option and to inform them when ordering.

The park was great, the boys hit the rides all apart from infinity falls which was a queue nightmare 120mins at one point and we were told the ride had gone down over 5 times during the day, we gave it a miss!!

It was disapointing that the kids area and rides are now closed to make way for Sesame street coming in 2019, the boys were really unhappy as this area used to be there favourite part.

I bought the boys £1.99 seaworld trick or treat bags, as from the seaport theatre right round to the bayside stadium the had candy stations!!

The boys were in there element!! Fantastic event!!!



Huge bags of candy collected! And a fab selection of gluten free goodies!

M&Ms
Airheads
Toosie rolls
Nerds
Pirate booty
Sour patch kids
Swedish fish

Luke coukd have them all the only other options were twix and oreo bars, which he got anyway and gave to his brothers.

Seaworld also had a dedicated allergy friendly candy station giving away strawberry krispie treats!



Seaworlds gluten free offering for lunch was this amazing burger from the spice mill resturant.

Spoke to the server at the counter who arranged with the manager to make these burgers separate with gluten free buns.

The resturant even had an allergy card that you can fill in to hand to the chef with all your needs on.



Here is lukes haul of candy all sorted! He came away with over 100 candies and treats!

And the other 2 boys had even more!!😂



So a quick stop after the park to the publix on vineland rd for gluten free beer!! So we did some research before hand and this Redbridge is the main gluten free beer supplier we were able to search there own website for stockists near us



Simon is not overly impressed!! Not bad but not the best gluten free beer he has ever had!



Tonight we were all tired and not really in the mood to go out to eat so i cooked in.

Couple of udi gluten free pizzas these both tasted really nice



A gluten free lasagna which while nice was very greasy!

As well as other snacks and bits.

All stuffed we all passed out early!


Discount Florida Car Hire


The day began early. 3am early. And no chance of getting back to sleep with a Doug bouncing around. So we read, watched TV, ate breakfast, then second breakfast, showered and finally left the house at 7.30 to get to the Duck Tour. Here are the boys being amazed at a real life fire hydrant!



We were on Red Sox Nathan on the first boat of the day. The trip down was fun as part of the orange line was closed. But the shuttle buses were brilliant! We stepped off a train, onto a bus, then onto the next train. The UK could learn from that rail replacement service! Back to the tour. Not many photos as the windows were down but the tour gave us a great intro to the town and a chance to drive the boat!



Concentrating.



Not concentrating.



Once off the boat we had a wander towards Boston Common as the boys had energy to burn off. Past Copley Square and Trinity Church (I think)



The Library. We’ll be going back to see the Singer-Sargent murals. And I’m a librarian so we have to. It’s the law.



The tortoise and the hare.



More Trinity Church.



And in to the park.



It was the walk through town, the park and the common that made us all start to love Boston! It’s a very lovely, friendly, easy going city and so very pretty.



And they have lots of statues of animals. Watch out for ducks!



Then it was onto the common for a wander to the frog pond and the tadpole playground.



Frog statues.



From here we headed towards Little Italy for lunch. Stopping for a quick photo by the Massachusetts State House.



And to Regina Pizzeria.



Hungry and happy.



Happy and hungry.



Happy.



The special - pulled pork.



Margarita.
Including tip this came to $51.



How many pizzas, Tim?!



We headed back for a rest in the afternoon and picked up a few bits in City Feed and Supply. I managed to confuse and amuse the staff by saying ‘cheers’!
In the evening we headed back out for a wander to Jamaica Plains lantern festival. Here’s a few of the houses around these parts.



This area is very pretty. There’s a plan for a local wander one morning to see a bit more of the area but so far we definitely like it here.






The sun was just setting as we arrived. Lanterns were being lit and the Boston Symphony Orchestra were just starting to play. We drank hot cider and ate popcorn and just took in the surroundings and friendliness of the people in the neighbourhood. Both the boys have already asked to come back soon. Yup, we’ve fallen for Boston!



It’s 3:30am and in the grand tradition of live trip reports I’m awake stupid early so making a start. Day 1 is travel day. Our flight wasn’t until 15:55 so it was a leisurely start to the day. We set off at 10:30 and then immediately got stuck on the M25 - joy! 3 hours later we finally arrive at Heathrow, already a bit late! However we whip through check in and security and get to most important part - the choosing of the flight Lego!



And then obviously onto lunch. Pete had been wanting to go back to Yo Sushi and I’ll never say no to Yo!



We had an array of sushi, tempura, chips, salad, chocolate pudding (the notes on exactly what we had don’t exist!). We did have the Japanese marble drinks that are quite exciting to open! Lots of pressure and sudden pffffzzzzz. This little lot came to about £37 with tip.



It was a really painless boarding experience despite being pulled over for an extra search. We boarded through upper class and got a little glimpse into life at the front. Maybe one day... We quickly got settled in and everything we might need for the flight organised. Then the nagging for the Lego started. Oh joy! They know it’s after take off once we level out.



So this is just as the seatbelt signs went off! They don’t know it yet, but we’ll be heading to the Lego centre this week.



The drinks came around soon after. I’ve had a bit of a packed and anxious year leading up to this holiday so it was nice to finally relax. Building work is finally finished and we’re on holiday! Yay!



Quickly followed by lunch. This is Doug’s child’s meal. Cheese spread, mini cheddars, cheese and tomato pasta, a chocolate pudding and a raspberry fruit lace thing. They played this meal just right for Doug!



The choice for the grown ups (and Pete) was chicken curry, sausage and mash or cheese and tomato pasta. I went for the pasta which was pretty good, although I was starving by now. It came with red wine, Boursin and crackers and a passion fruit gu pot.



Pete went for the chicken curry but didn’t really enjoy it. Or the gu pot. Not really a success for him! But he’d had massed at lunch. I didn’t get any photos of the afternoon tea as I might have been a bit tired and I might have been a bit arsy at this point! But it was a not bad cheese sandwich, chocolate square and crisps. I forgot to ask for tea which didn’t help my mood.



Are the runways quite short at Boston as the braking was super hard on the way in?! We all had our hands on the seat in front! Doug fell asleep 15 minutes before landing so I had to carry him through but Immigration was super fast too and quite pleasant really. I’d booked a taxi service a few days ago and I’m so glad I did! We landed at 6.30 and at the apartment by 7.45. Where we mostly fell onto the sofa and then into bed.



Daniel decided to wake us all up at 5am with constant sheet rustling. I normally wear earplugs for this specific reason but hadn’t been able to locate them last night as they’d all fallen asleep and insisted I put the lights out while finishing my trippie. We tried to doze for a bit but eventually gave up around 6am. We all got showered and dressed and I finished off the last bit of packing. We had a quick check round the room, I went to check out and then we were on our way to Hard Rock. We were all a bit excited about this, we enjoyed Cabana Bay but we hope Hark Rock will be a bit more special. We pulled up at 7.50am.



It didn’t take long to get checked in and the bags to bell services. We got our Rock Royalty stickers on our room keys and went off to the 7th floor to explore the Club Lounge. Apologies for the lack of photos I will try harder tomorrow - it was heaving in here!

We managed to feed our faces though, here is a selection












There was a good selection and the staff were great at refilling it and clearing the tables.

We grabbed some water for the park and went off to find the walkway to Universal.



We were all amused by this sign at the end of the path, wonder what happens if you dare to jog on?

We got into the park fairly quickly and I headed to the photo shop to redeem my photo package. I’d picked mobile delivery which stated I could just take my phone to the shop to redeem it. I could have printed it, but didn’t due to the instructions. Turns out that’s not true so after sending the email to the shop twice and it not working I had to go stand in line at guest services. I was pretty angry. It took about 15 minutes to be handed a new barcode then I had to go back to the shop to pick up the lanyard etc. I had sent Scott and the kids off to Rip Ride Rocket and they met me just as I was finishing up. I started to calm down at bit.

We headed to Transformers and had very little wait with our Express Passes.



The boys needed a bathroom break, so Abbie modelled her Hard Rock water, feeling all daring as she thinks she stole it.

We headed off to Gringotts next.



We stopped for a photo on the way to the vault.



After our ride we headed for the Hogwarts Express, Abbie was desperate for a photo going through Platform 9 and 3/4, I tried my best but it was quite busy.












Only trouble was now I had to do a lot of excuse me-ing to catch back up with them.



Express Pass saved us a lot of time in this bit, it seemed pretty busy today. A quick train journey later and we were at Hogsmeade.



I went off to say hello to Moaning Myrtle.



And the kids did some more spells, I think Scott ends up doing them all as he has more patience than the kids! If it doesn’t work first time they give up.






We stopped to watch the Tri Wizard Ralley for a bit, I don’t know how those Beau Batons girls manage to look so elegant when it’s so hot!

We headed off to the castle for our next ride. The lockers were carnage as usual.



Getting the ride photo at the end took forever, it’s a shame they haven’t got the great technology Disney have to automatically link your photos! After all that time it’s a rubbish photo.....I think the kids hate this ride, I don’t know why they insist on going on it!



See it is a rubbish photo.



The kids went off for a go on the Hippogryf while we waited for them.



Then we headed off towards Jurassic Park, stopping for a photo on the way......I need to get my moneys worth now, especially after all the hassle.



We also stopped for a dinosaur selfie.



We hopped on Jurassic Park, a walk-on with the Express Passes. We all enjoy this ride, we only got a wee bit wet.






Thumbs up is the ride pose for this holiday in case you are wondering. We like to have a theme. We walked round to Kong where the kids checked if there were any scarers in the queue, the attendant told them not in the Express line, phew. They had both been too freaked out by the scarer in the normal line in the summer that they didn’t ride and as we are naughty parents we rode without them. So far so good we were all in and express passes scanned, then a Daniel decided he didn’t want to ride so he went back out through the entrance. Abbie wanted to get one over on her big brother so she stuck it out. It was quite a wait! Maybe 15/20 minutes. I think this ride is just meh.



Here she is looking all smug in the queue, here’s how she looked before it.



Daniel was waiting for us at the exit. Tummies were rumbling so we went off in search of food.



We ended up here and had a footlong chilli dog and chilli cheese fries. I was too tight to buy a drink as I didn’t see the point of reactivating the mug at this point in the day and we had some water left from earlier.



This was surprisingly nice, much nicer than the last hotdog we got in Toon Lagoon in the summer.



After a quick photostop we headed for Doctor Dooms Fear Fall - Abbie had been going on and on about this all day, it’s her favourite.



We all like it but us grownups always say to each other it’s a shame you see all the mess behind the scenes. It’s no Tower of Terror, that’s my favourite!



Next up was Spider-Man, we all failed the thumbs up challenge. Then it was the Hulk.



Another photo fail, never mind we can try again tomorrow. After this we went on the Storm Force Acceleratron. Good fun, but I felt a bit sick afterwards. I was nearly 2pm and even though we hadn’t had a text from Hard a Rock to say our room was ready we decided to head back. We stopped in the gift shop on the way out and this caught Scott’s eye. I though he was going a bit soft in his old age.



Turns out he just couldn’t believe the price - $30! It’s teeny tiny too!



We stopped off for an ice cream, I can’t remember the flavour but it had cookie dough and fudge and was very nice, this portion was enough for all 4 of us. We also got an ice water, Scott’s turn to be tight this time.

We saw the Hard Rock boat pull in to the dock as we walked along so hopped on. A few minutes later we arrived and headed to reception.












Phew! Our room was ready, the receptionist said she’d arrange for our bags to come up.


















We had a great view over the pool.



The bags arrived really quickly and I did a wee bit of unpacking but before too long we were down by the pool....bliss!






The kids were off joining in the dance challenge before long and the adults ordered a couple of drinks....I have photos this time.



An Electric Ladyland for me and a Woodford Mule for Scott. I liked mine, he wasn’t keen on his, the ginger beer was too gingery. He still drank it though. We dipped in and out of the pool and eventually got another drink a hurricane for me this time (in a very cool tiki glass which you get to keep) and a boring beer for Scott. It took agggges to arrive this time.









After a bit of nonsense with the kids we headed back to the room to dry off and check of the club level offerings.



The bar was set up in the hallway and it was very very busy! There was a decent selection of wine and beer. I had a rose and Scott had a beer. We managed to squeeze into a table at the back. The food in offer tonight was crudités and hummus, mozzarella and tomato salad, olives and pickles, mini beef wellingtons and a cheese selection. We all had a bit and Scott and I had a few drinks. Then we headed back to the room to put our feet up.






Scott fell asleep and didn’t get back up! I took the kids along for hot chocolate and cookies at 8.30pm. Then I got them off to bed and did my trippie for a bit. I turned around 10pm after another long day. I’m going to need a holiday when I get home!



Our day began at dark o clock again. We were up dressed and in the move by 7am, those with bambino’s will appreciate this is quite an achievement. It helped that the bus stop was right outside our building. Abbie has some extremely healthy and luminous koolaid in her water today. We had cereal bars before we left the room so that we are not chewing the arms off goblins when we get to Gringotts.

The bus was surprisingly busy, but we got a seat.



Before long we got to parking garage and bag check, I did have a photo of it nice and quiet but it’s all steamed up so you’ll just have to take my word for it.....it was quiet ......we didn’t have to wait!

Once in we made it over to Universal as they had early entry. We though this meant the whole park and were surprised nothing seemed to be running. The kids went to ask the attendant at Jimmy Fallon what was going on?



Smart DIBBers will know that it’s only the Harry Potter area that’s open at this time, d’oh!

Gringotts was a 20 minute wait so we decided to make the most of it being quiet and the kids ran riot doing spells instead of waiting.



Here’s Abbie teaching a troll to floss.






Shame the sun is right behind the dragon here, never mind.



I’ve never seen Diagon Alley this quiet.



We got maps for the scavenger hunt on Twitter, but I don’t know if I’m too old or if I just could get the tech to work but it seemed like it was just a quest to get you to buy stuff and advertise the fact so we gave up......but i caveat that with I might have totally balls up the tech, I’m not great on twitter and really only have it to see what crazy stuff “The Donald” is coming out with and see the great pics that Wizzo posts of St Petes and his lovely wee doggies.

We got some great pics of the kids in Hagrids bike, we would never even try this normally as it’s crawling with people.

Spells cast, we decided to move on as it was getting busier by the minute. On the way the kids stopped to have a blather with Stan from the Knight Bus.



We walked round the park enjoying the sunshine and stopped off at a certain famous shark. Our kids have only got familiar with Jaws this year. Abbie was terrified of “the Heid”.........I think if we are honest, that is true of most of us, well at least those of us of a certain age!






Look at the blue sky......beautiful! It’s only 8.30am! Next we headed over to Jimmy Fallons Race Through New York. For some reason the kids love this but it made Scott and I feel pretty sick last time with both of us having to close our eyes or risk barfing. I’m now wondering if we had a heavy night the night before last time as we were both ok this time.



We also fitted in a wee trip to see the Mummy before we left the park.



We decided our tummies were rumbly and we wanted to try Teak Neighbourhood Grill as recommended by Scottish Nellie. They have a Sunday brunch from 11 am so we should be in good time after heading back for the car.

After all the moaning from the kids about walking yesterday we used a DIBBer tip and jumped on the water taxi to Sapphire Falls.






When we got off we had a quick look round, it looks like a lovely resort but I couldn’t pay those prices without Express Pass! We looked for a walkway to Cabana Bay....all we saw was a sign saying Do Not Cross! Scott was very naughty and made us all cross the road where we shouldn’t, promise I won’t do it again.

We picked up the car keys and a 10 minute drive took us to Teak. We got there dead on 11am and it was reassuring that there was already a line.



Abbie was missing Frank Dog so made up for it by petting the skeleton dogs.



Scott and Daniel had read about the secret menu so after we got ourselves seated outside, Daniel wasted no time telling our waitress the password to get the undercover menu.












Scott had a beer, the rest of us has diet cokes. I was tempted to have a real drink as they had an awesome Bloody Mary bar and $3 mimosas but that would be fair as Scott is driving and I’m not sure I’d stop at one! Abbie chose the pulled pork quesadilla then regretted it as her brothers choice seemed better when it arrived......



The Glazed Donut burger. We didn’t think he would eat this and let him get it for novelty value, but he proved us wrong and hoovered up the whole thing!



I had the Philly, peppers, onions and mushrooms in a cheese sauce on a burger in a pretzel bun.



Oh and fries.....it was lovely but very very messy! Scott had the Idaho.



This was an impressive looking burger. I’d ask for a description but he’s currently kipped oot. Looks like avocado slaw, burger, cheese, bacon, potato chips and Teak o naise on a pretzel bun with crispy onion rings. The food and service were great here, I’d highly recommend. Thanks to Helen, Scottish Nellie for the recommendation. The bill was $66.85, we paid up and added a healthy tip and were on our way by 12.15pm.

We decided to try the outlets on our way back as we’d not been to the ones at I drive for years as we’ve always been closer to Vineland. I wish we hadn’t bothered. We struggled to park, we didn’t think anything of this though as they are charging for lots of the spaces now. I think the only way to beat it is to come first thing. Boys and girls split up and gave ourselves an hours limit. Abbie and I found the shops rammed, Adidas even had a queue outside the door, we didn’t bother even looking. All the usual favourites had nothing to take our fancy, even the Disney Character Warehouse. We ended up getting a T-shirt and some socks for Abbie. Nothing else! Cheapest outlet trip ever. We met the boys, Scott got a few things from Under Armour and they agreed these shops were rubbish. We headed for the car and back to Cabana Bay.

We got changed into our pool gear and walked over to Volcano Bay. It was a 5 minute walk and we’d borrowed some pool towels from Cabana Bay. Daniel picked us some seats over by the Volcano and we were surprised how busy it still was. No photos as we didn’t bring anything that might need to go in a locker. We rode the Tonga tube slide a couple of times as it was ride now, then we tried the Fearless River for times, we were loving the tidal wave which we didnt think was on in the summer. The kids and Scott went off for a few more rides including Punga Ravers which they’d Tapu tapu’d. I retreated to a sun bed and made use of the payment facility on the Tapu Tapu to have a couple of drinks. Not cheap but very nice, really sorry about not having any pics! The rain came on around 4pm and I hid under a brolly. We retreated to Cabana Bay around 4.40pm and the rain had gone off. We grabbed a couple of sun beds and rescued a couple of cold beers from the room, making the most of the last few rays. When there was no more sun to be had we went back to the room but our early start caught up with us and none of us could be bothered getting ready to go out. We looked up online delivery options then opted for the simplicity of the food court. Scott and I went to the Bayline Diner. We ended up with a couple of pizzas and some chicken tenders, at $35 it wasn’t cheap but it was fairly tasty. Sorry no photos, it was all served in boxes and looked a mess. We watched a bit of Harry Potter on a tv, I did a bit of packing and before long everyone else was asleep! I wrote up my trippie and turned in around 10pm excited about moving to Hard Rock tomorrow.



I wish I could say we all slept soundly till 7am, but that would be lies. Abbie was up around 12.30am complaining of a sore tummy and hyperventilating.....I wish I could say I was sympathetic but I don’t think anyone would believe me. I think maybe Daniel was being a space invader so I repositioned him, instated a “line of no passing” and told Abbie to get to sleep as she just needed to rest.

Thankfully the kids and Scott did seem to sleep but I was restless until about 3.30am when I gave up on sleep. Scott was awake around 4.00am and iPads occupied us for a while. The kids stirred around 6.30am and we got dressed and headed down for our complimentary breakfast, we weren’t expecting much.


















We were wrong! It was a great breakfast in a nice bright breakfast room. There were bakery items including bagels, muffins, English muffins, biscuits etc and lots of cereal and oatmeal with different toppings. There was yogurt, boiled eggs, cream cheese etc and a pancake machine! They had fresh Cinnabon, sausages, scrambled egg, omelettes and loads more - it was all hot and fresh. Here are some of our selections












After breakfast we rolled ourselves back to the room, packed up, checked out and headed back to the car with the bags.



Here’s why we heard screaming yesterday when we got out the car! We’d come back to this hotel, especially if we were visiting Seaworld!

We programmed the sat nav for Cabana Bay and were on our way. It took about 10 minutes all in to get there.



We parked up at reception and it didn’t take long to check in. Unsurprisingly our room wasn’t ready since it wasn’t even 9am but they did tell us we’d be in the Americana building and they’d text when it was ready. We prepaid 2 nights parking ($14 per night) and went off to park the car. We were going to leave our bags with bell services but they’d disappeared and we couldn’t be bothered to wait any longer!

We get parked up in the covered garage and headed for the shuttle bus to the parks.



We hopped right on and before long we were going through security at CityWalk.



We decided to go right and head for Universal. Daniel managed to fit in a sneaky pic.



The lines were a wee bit bigger than I expected and I was a bit nervous as this was our first time using our seasonal passes and I’d already noticed the lady had wrongly labelled them, putting my name in Abbies child’s pass! There was a bit off faffing to register fingerprints, but we were soon in.



First up was the Mummy. I grabbed a locker and off we went, this one was a walk-in almost.



We walked round the park taking in all the Halloween theming, though we agreed we are all too scared for Halloween horror nights!



It’s a beautiful day and the kids forgot their sunnies, there will be lots of squinting and grumpiness.






Who knew pumpkins grew on trees?



The next stop on our list was meant to be ET, if you read my summer report you’ll realise this is because I gave up my ride choices for the kids, so they are letting me choose. On the way we spotted Squidward and Poppy so stopped off for a few photos.



Squidward obviously knows I have naughty children and made them stand in the corner!






Then they decided they wanted to meet one of the animal actors, honestly anything to delay going on ET!



A lovely wee Corgi, she made us all miss wee Frank Dog.

ET was fun, we each gave names from the tv show the kids like, The Goldbergs and had a chuckle when ET said Erica, Adam......but he didn’t say Bev or Murray.

From there we headed round to Springfield and ride Kong n Kodos’ Twirl n Hurl, the kids didn’t want to but we made them, mwhahahahaha, it’s about time we got our own back on them.









Next up was the Simpsons which was posted as a 15 minute wait.



Turned out to be a bit longer. I still don’t like this ride. The kids stopped for a few pics before we moved on, it was far too busy for anything like this in the summer!



Next we had a go at Men in Black, Daniel managed to hit the red button and I managed to beat Scott’s score! The MIB staff welcomed us to Earth.



We decided we’d take the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade.



We missed our express passes while we were waiting in line, I dont think weve ever waited this long and it could only have been 20 minutes!



When we arrived the kids decided they were hungry, so we had a look around for something to eat. We didn’t find anything we fancied till Circus McGurkus. We ordered fried chicken and a bacon cheeseburger and fries to share. We asked to reactivate our refillable mug too, but it couldn’t be done here, thankfully the girl filled it anyway so we scored a free drink. Though with the meal coming to over $30 without the drink I don’t feel too guilty!



The food was okay, but not great.



The restaurant as pretty quiet.



Next up Scott and I decided to keep torturing the kids so we went on One Fish, Two Fish where the kids had to admit they enjoyed as they got us soaking wet and the Caroseussel.















After that we tried to decide what to do next and were surprised when the text came in confirming our room number. We decided to head back and check it out as were were all tiring now. It was 1.30pm, we decided we’d walk. It’s quite a long walk. The kids were not happy. But I’d say it was around 15 minutes.



We had a quick walk through the resort.









Daniel needed a wee sit down.






Our room was on the 4th floor in the Americana building. We have a lovely view over the parking lot, but never mind we can see Hogwarts off in the distance and spotted the fireworks tonight.















I love the retro toiletries.



I got started unpacking and organising and Scott and Abbie went off to Walmart for some crisps and beers for me. After putting away the packing cubes Daniel and I got ready and went down to the pool. I bought him a rubber ring for the lazy river - $12.



Before long Scott and Abbie joined us and the grownups had a few sneaky beers in our pooljuice cups.






The kids inform me that their is underwater music here. We spent a lovely couple of hours here just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful blue skies.



Around 5pm we called it a day and headed off for showers. We were all showered and downstairs for the bus by 7.30pm and before long we were on our way to CityWalk. Scott fancied Red Oven Pizza Bakery.



We ordered a red pepperoni pizza and a white fennel sausage pizza. Both were delicious but the red one was better overall. It took ages for the food to come and the Diet Coke we ordered just tasted funky, even after we got a new one, we gave up and stuck to water.






While we waited on the food we watched the hoards of people steaming in for Halloween Horror Nights, I was surprised it was this busy, but it was Saturday night after all. The food cost around $30. We were all shattered and decided to head home and were on the bus by 9pm.



It wasn’t long before we all fell into bed exhausted, it had been a loooong day!



Ouch, this is our earliest start to a holiday. It’s still night time! We had done most of the packing on Wednesday night so I only had a wee bit to do after work. I got in around six and cracked on the kids were at their grandparents to I could get organised.

Scott went to get them around 7pm and drop off Frank, our pug as Gran and Grandad will be minding him while we are away.



They were back before long and I got the kids to check their travel bags and clothes as there will be no time for messing about tomorrow and sent them for showers. I got the usual protests. Is everyone’s else’s kids averse to getting washed?

Scott put 3 of the bags in the boot and left the other as it will need to go in between the kids. The kids marched off to bed at 9pm and there was just time for Scott to have a beer and I had a wee prosecco. Then we washed up, emptied bins, you know all the fun stuff and were away to bed by 11pm. We had multiple alarms set for 4am but I was awake around 3.30am and rather than excitement, I just felt tired.

We were up and organised quickly and we had the kids up and dressed by 4.25am and by 4.30am we were off. We had planned a taxi but when we called to book, they were pretty unhelpful advising us to call on the day.......for a journey at 4.30am! So we just booked the closest parking at the airport, a bit dearer than the taxi but no hassle and you stay dry too!
But not helping us pass this off as a cheapie.

Bag drop was no bother as we’d checked in on line, we were surprised at the number of people around us rocking up for US flights without an ESTA, can’t have been any DIBBers.

We had time for a couple of drinks at NERO, hot choc, tea, latte and OJ before the Gatwick flight, £9.97. Scott had remembered to bring some cereal bars, so we each had one to keep us going. We were soon boarded, it was a busy flight and it looked like there were lots of people flying on to Florida. We were delayed on board for about half an hour but the flight after that went pretty quickly. Anyone else miss the BA breakfast? I do. We disembarked onto the bus as usual then made our way back to departures and back through security.

My carryon was selected for random screening, I always think I’ve forgotten something when this happens. For the first time ever Scott and the kids had to go get searched while I didn’t. Any way after all that we were beginning to feel a bit hungry so we headed to Jamies Diner for breakfast.



Scott and I had the Full Monty, the kids had waffles with bacon, in the summer we made them share, this time they demanded their own. They had apple juice, I had tea, Scott had water.






The food was good but the service was rubbish. We had no cutlery and had to ask for it when the food came, the waitress threw 3 sets down on the table and swiped a fourth from another table. I had to ask for my tea which came 10 minutes after the breakfast. Never mind, it can only get better. We paid the £47.46 and headed off to our gate, no time for looking at duty free today!

There was no queue at the gate and our group had been called so it was straight onto the plane.



It was a new style plain and we were in standard world traveller, no free upgrades this time, booooo! It was a 3,4,3 configuration and we chose the centre 4 seats in row 24, fairly near the front.

It seemed to be a busy flight and there appeared to be a few seat dramas, once that was all sorted we took off about 10 minutes late. I was just pleased to be on my way. Scott and managed a quick nap but before long it was time for a drink, wine for me beer for him.

The kids were shattered but refusing to sleep. Lunch was served after a couple of hours, we all had the chicken tikka masala which was very nice, the rainbow grain salad was not too bad either. I didn’t really like the dessert, not sure that lemon caramel cheesecake really works for me.



Of course there was more wine.

The kids were very impressed with the new plane as the seat back entertainment was great, loads of decent films (lots of Disney films too) and games and best of all there were USB ports so they could charge their iPads. Heaven when you are 10 and nearly 12!

We all watched a few films, I watched Life of the Party, Unsane, Tully and Book Club, I think that’s a record for me.



With about 3 hours to go they came around with mini magnums. Each time Scott’s side of the plane got served around 10-15 minutes before mine!

After that we had some chicken sandwiches and tea, these were a bit meh! Although I did find out Abbie had eaten a whole tube or pringles herself so no wonder she wasn’t hungry and Daniel had managed a whole share bag of skittles so he didn’t want any either.



Anyways enough of my moaning we were surprised to see an empty immigration hall before us and our wait was under 10 minutes. No fingerprint scanning this time i noticed. I looked back to see a packed immigration hall now with the rest of our flight and the just landed Virgin flight, luck was on our side this afternoon.

Then we were off to find the bags. They started coming through just as we got there and we got 3 in quick succession but had to wait ages for the last one. They are doing a bit of construction (aren’t they always?) so there didn’t appear to be anywhere to hand in the customs form this time and we went a different route to the monorail. We were amazed at how quickly we got through.



The kids were pleased but looked shattered.

We made our way straight to the Avis garage as we are on the Preferred scheme, our name was in the board and our car was the first one in the row. It was a white one and it looks nice and new, it even has new car small. I’m just happy it’s not crusty, the last few have been a bit crusty and grubby, yuk! I’m such a girl, but in my defence I was very tired. I will have a look later and take some photos. It’s very big, a 7 seater so we folded down the back seats to make room for the bags and got buckled up and in our way.

We use the Here we go app but it wasn’t working, I wasn’t any help as I can’t work Scott’s Android phone and could get the built in sat nav to work either. Good thing Scott knows where he is going anyway, after a bit the app started to work though and we found our hotel for the night. Holiday Inn Express by Seaworld. We were all a bit startled when we got out the car and heard screaming.......but it was just coming from the rollercoaster across the road, I forgot to take a picture, come to think of it I’ve not managed many decent photos today. I will try harder tomorrow.

We got checked quickly and headed to our room on the 6th floor.












This was a reward night for us through the IHG program, helping justify the cheapie title. However the room is a great size and I’d stay here again. It’s a wee bit echoey though with hard floors and no curtains, just blinds.

We had wanted to head to Buffalo Wild Wings as it’s nearby but none of us were in the mood so we decided to nip to Publix for water, beer and juice and grab a couple of sandwiches.



We were there and back in under an hour. The skies were clear and the temperature was lovely but were were all too tired to stay outside.



We had our wee picnic of chicken tender sandwiches which came to $60ish due to the 2 cases of beer and got ready for bed. It’s only 7pm! We settled down to watch Despicable Me on the TV.

The kids struggled on till just before 8pm but when they noticed their dad was fast asleep they soon gave up and were off to the land of nod. I found my second wind and channel hopped for a bit. I gave up around 9pm and I was soon asleep too!


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Park Hours - Tuesday 23/10/2018

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~Extra Evening Hours
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
8:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Legoland Water Park
Legoland Water Park
Closed
~to~
Closed
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
6:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 8:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.2710
CaxtonFX  $1.2699
Covent Garden FX  $1.2845
FAIRFX  $1.2700
John Lewis  $1.2801
M&S  $1.2450
Post Office  $1.2492
Sainsburys  $1.2708
TESCO  $1.2740
Travelex  $1.2632
Updated: 17:30 23/10/2018

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Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.1094
CaxtonFX  €1.1057
Covent Garden FX  €1.1155
FAIRFX  €1.1100
John Lewis  €1.1155
M&S  €1.0871
Post Office  €1.0900
Sainsburys  €1.1088
TESCO  €1.1115
Travelex  €1.1027
Updated: 17:30 23/10/2018