clubhouse's DIBB Photo Blogs

After our late night last night, we had a bit of a lie in. I was getting ants in my pants as I wanted to get out for some sunshine and spent a couple of hours bashing about, doing laundry and hoping the rest of the gang would hurry up and get up! They surfaced around 10.30am and first order of the day was for the kids to sort out the candy haul. I was amazed we managed to bring it all home - but we did. My waistline continues to expand as a result!

We had a quick breakfast of cereal pots we’d procured from Hard Rock. We are heading to the Amway Centre tonight to see the Orlando Magic play the Charlotte Hornets so Scott decided he wanted to see if he could track down a Magic T-shirt beforehand. Although I fancied a browse round the shops I couldn’t be faffed with sports shops and I REALLY wanted to get out in the sun. It’s like I can feel my batteries recharging and with the Scottish winter to look forward it’s essential!

Abbie decided to go with her dad, so Daniel and I headed down to the pool. It didn’t take him long to get bored. He wanted one of the pool toys so I sent him back to the room to get Lobby the Lobster. There was no pump to blow it up that I could see but it turns out I had enough hot air to blow him up.

By 1pm we were getting a bit hungry, so snacked on pringles.

Scott and Abbie messaged to sat they’d pick up Chipotle for lunch. We got 2 kids meals, one with barbacoa and black beans, one with pulled pork and red beans - both come with 2 wraps, rice and tortilla chips. I had a rice bowl, though it’s topped with lettuce so looks like salad and Scott had a burrito.

This was very yummy. Abbie is slightly obsessed with Chipotle, I think a YouTuber must be a fan, so now she’ll hopefully shut up up about it.

Scott and Abbie has been away for hours but only managed to come back with a pair of trainers for Abbie and no Orlando Magic gear.......rubbish shoppers!

We all had a couple of hours by the pool. No photos as I needed to charge up my phone. We did play bingo by the pool, the prizes were more candy, as if we needed more! Grande Villas seem to have a couple of activities on every day which helps pass the time.

After double checking I had the tickets downloaded and the parking ticket on my phone we set off. It was an easy drive and before long we were parked up in the Amway Centre parking garage. We had to go up one level where we headed to security, unfortunately we didn’t get far before we were told we couldn’t take our backpack with water and snacks in, so Scott had to run back to the car with it. It was pretty straightforward after that, we got through the metal detectors, showed our tickets and made our way into the arena.

First stop was the Magic store were the kids picked up some giant hands.

I wanted them to go for the classic foam ones a la Gladiators but they wouldn’t listen. Scott got an Orlando Magic T-shirt for the bargainous price of $10. As we passed the store we were given some branded noisemakers, we were all a little excited but still had a bit of time before taking our seats. We had a wander round some of the exhibits they have to pass the time.

Abbie couldn’t believe the size of these shoes!

We decided to have something to eat before the game started. We got a pizza, grilled cheese burger, chicken tenders and fries.

It was all a bit greasy and meh. We got a ginormous refillable soda too in a souvenir cup. We decided to take our seats as they had a few dance acts and kids choirs to pass the time beforehand.

We had pretty good seats, the kids were impressed. Before long the sun pass crew were handing out bam bams. We had no idea what these were but soon got the gist.

They are blow up noise makers and boy they are loud. We brought them home so I can torture the kids when they won’t get up in the morning.

We even managed to get on the big screen. We missed the kisscam though!

The game started quite well but the Magic ended up getting beat 120-88 and lots of the fans left early. I’d really recommend going to anyone, even if you are not a basketball fan. I didn’t have a clue what was going on half the time but the atmosphere is great, the crowd get so involved, you really get sucked in. They had lots of entertainment on for each of the breaks and the music and cheer leaders kept us all engaged. The kids loved Stuff the Orlando Magic mascot, a very cheeky dragon (I think it’s a dragon anyway). At the end they were shooting T-shirt’s from a canon but we didn’t manage to catch any. We made our way back to the car and headed home. There were a few diversions in place and we found ourselves in a pretty dodgy looking street for a bit but before long we were on the highway and soon back at Grande Villas after another exciting day!

Ocean Florida

We were in no hurry this morning so hada bit of a lie in while watching the local news and weather and chuckling at the pharmaceutical adverts with all their dire warnings of death and disbelief at how horrible the political adverts in the Gillam/De Santos Campaign are.

When the kids got up we decided to go for breakfast, Denny’s was first choice as a family favourite. We started with coffee and juice, I had to ask for the french vanilla creamer when I saw our server gave some to another table - I thought maybe they’d stopped it but I think the server assumed we wouldn’t want it and had only given us plain half and half.

The kids both had the chocolate chip pancakes with bacon and sausage.

Scott had a Super Slam, which was on offer at $5.99, I think, he also got pancakes, bargain!

I had the Ultimate Omelette and an English muffin.

We all enjoyed our breakfast here, we always do.

We settled up the bill and headed off looking for glow sticks for Mickeys Not So Scarey Halloween Party tonight.

Dollar Tree had what we needed, but the selection was not as good as last year and the kids were a little disappointed they couldn’t get the glow glasses they had before. I picked up a small bottle of tide and we got a couple of larger candy bags too as the ones at MNSSHP are quite small.

Next stop was Walmart.

I had been full of good intentions before coming away that I’d make us costumes and I’d had lots of good ideas but work and family life got in the way and I didn’t manage, in fact I didn’t even manage to locate our matching T-shirt’s from last year due to lack of time! I did find 3 out of 4 so we are looking for an orange T-shirt for Abbie to complete the set.

Once we got in we saw some Jack Skellington T-shirt’s we preferred so got them instead. I also picked up a few other bits and pieces like a bottle of the night time sleep aid gels that help me get over jet lag last year. Mission accomplished we headed back to a Grande Villas to get a couple of hours by the pool.

It was lovely to just sit and relax for a while. The weather was lovely again but our time here was all too short as before long we had to head up and get ready.

It didn’t take to long and we were on our way to the Contemporary for lunch at The Wave.

Our reservation was 1.50pm so we were almost the last table to be seated and our server was lovely, he told us all of tables were heading to the party.

I had the soup, turkey sandwich and salad. It was seafood chowder so I gave this to Scott. Sadly there was no alternative soup and I don’t like seafood. The sandwich and salad were good though.

Scott had the Rueben Sandwich. He said this was good too.

Daniel had the kids burger.

Abbie had the grilled cheese sandwich. They both ate it, but it was just ok. Scott had a beer and the rest of us had Diet Coke. We had no room for dessert and were saving room for candy!

We paid the bill and headed off to have a look in the resort shops.

Abbie was quite sold on these ears but didn’t want to part with her cash so we left them. We did pick up a nice collar and lead for Frank Dog though. It was about 3pm now so we headed for the monorail. It was pretty busy and we didn’t manage to get on the first one.

We did make the next one though and were outside our favourite place around 3.45pm.

I had bought our party tickets from Attraction Tickets Direct and linked them to Our old Magic Bands, but I wasn’t sure if that would work or if we’d need the plastic tickets. I was happy when we got through the tapstiles no bother with our Magic Bands. There was a bit of a hold up getting through as you also needed a wrist band.

Properly tagged and back in my happy place at last!

I’d managed to get us 3 fast passes to use before the party, first up was Space Mountain. It was really busy, but we didn’t have to wait long.

Scott isn’t loving this is he? Well not as much as Mr Incredible behind him!

Next we headed to a Big Thunder Mountain.

When we got off we had a quick look at the wait time for Splash Mountain, it was 50 minutes, too long for us so instead we jumped on the Railroad and rode round to Fantasy Land. Abbie couldn’t resist getting wet as usual.

We went on Dumbo next, it was almost a walk-on.

Next we had a walk round the Big Top, the kids fancied these Lotsos but again wouldn’t part with the cash.

We noticed the line had formed for the 7 dwarves, it was only 5.30pm and the cast members told us the line was already 90 minutes! Daniel and I waited about 40 minutes last year, we won’t be waiting this year! We decided we would go to Gaston’s for a Le Fous Brew. I was surprised to get a seat inside.

Someone got brain freeze!

Despite that we all agreed Le Fous Brew beats butter beer hands down. Our last fastpass was for the Jungle Cruise so we wandered over there next.

It was funny and thrilling as ever to see the backside of water and when we got off it was just after 6pm and they were starting to get ready for the party with the normal park guests leaving. We walked round to Splash Mountain and the queue looked awful - however as there were no fast passes now it moved continually and we were on in around 15 minutes. There was a family trying to get on who didn’t have party bands, they were pretty upset when they were refused. I felt a bit sorry for them.

I think Daniel is acting scared here.

Daniel is the only one who remembered the thumbs up this time.

Last year we didn’t manage the Haunted Mansion as it went tech then the lines were too long so we decided to head there now. It was all lit up and looking very spooky.

It was 7pm now and the trick or treat stations were open so we hit the one near the Hall of Presidents, this was our longest line of the night. Candy obtained we walked round to the Haunted Mansion. There was some dramatic screaming in the pre show. I think the spooky atmosphere got to someone. When we got off it was getting dark and Carlotta was in the garden holding court.

There were some other ghosts you could have a photo with and lots of photopass magic shots but we didn’t hang about as I wasn’t coughing up for photopass this time as it’s meant to be a cheapie.

We had a magical boat ride on it’s a Small World, I love this, everyone else tolerates it. Daniel and I got our names on the screen at the end. Don’t know why it ignored Scott and Abbie this time. The line for Peter Pan was ridiculous so we skipped that and headed for the tea cups which had a special overlay. It appeared to be different lighting and music. We had a drink while we waited, we’d brought some water and Diet Coke with us in a backpack.

Scott did his best to make us all feel sick.

All the Alice in Wonderland characters were out but we didn’t want to stop and wait. We decided to head round to the hub as the Sanderson sisters were due on stage soon. We got a fairly good spot. Scott and I could see but Abbie complained she couldn’t. This was because a few families lifted smaller kids onto shoulders or had iPads in the air filming. Not much we could do, neither of us could lift our Abs!

Great show, I really enjoyed it, we really should watch the film again.

Now I’m not sure it what we did next was genius or daft. As we were right on the hub, we backed up a bit and turned round, ta da! Perfect viewing location for the parade but we’d have to wait a bit and the parade starts in Frontier Land so it turned out to be a long wait than we thought.

When ever I looked down small children magically appeared squeezing into the small space we had. I missed having the double buggy to lean on and give a few boundaries! Never mind the kids seemed to be ok with getting squished as at least they could rest their legs. The headless horseman came round first.

Then the parade got underway.

I couldn’t get Oogie Boogie in focus! The parade was brilliant, my favourite bit was the grave diggers making sparks with their spades.

After the parade we stretched our legs a bit. Scott and I were tired from standing for so long, but there was more standing on the agenda as Hallowishes was due to start. We couldn’t decide where to go for this and it was very busy. We ended up just to the left of the hub and the view was ok but some of it was obscured by trees. We saw it last year so just stayed where we were. If we hadn’t seen it before I’d have looked for somewhere better. It was lovely, Disney fireworks have ruined every other firework display for us as they are never as good. Apologies for not having any photos, I just wanted to watch them rather than try to get pics.

So now all that was left was to get as much candy as we could and that’s what we did! Because we’d left the trick or treating till later the lines were short so we hit some of the stations twice. We also rode Pirates of the Caribbean and saw the live actors. We all decided we didn’t like the new Red Lady scene and preferred it as it was. Daniel was desperate to ride Space Mountain as it also had an overlay- turns out it was pounding music and complete darkness. I wasn’t keen on that, it’s bad enough when you can just about see and predict when you’ll be thrown about, but pitch dark you’ve no idea, no likey.

We also managed a go on Buzz Lightyear and Abbie had a dance with Sully, Mike and Boo.

Our feet were aching and I made everyone ride the Peoplemover for a sitdown, by the time we got off the trick or treat stations were closing and it was time leave. We walked along to the Contemporary, jumped in the car and headed home. Both kids were asleep before we were even on the main road.

It was only a short drive to Grande Villas and we all went straight to bed, shattered after another busy day!

This was our candy haul, we managed to bring it all home surprisingly!

We woke around 7am this morning though as usual the kids slept on a bit. Before long I was up and about as I hadn’t done any packing. We were using packing cubes so to be honest all I really had to do was sort out the dirty stuff and jiggle some of them around to condense them a bit then zip them up. I’d not bothered hanging anything up and it made it much easier. We also had a bag of wet stuff after the water rides yesterday so I pinched the laundry bag from the wardrobe for that. I struggled a bit to fit in all the souvenir glasses (5 from HR & 2 from VB, oops), but I managed.

We nipped along to the club lounge for a bit of brekkers, we had the usual cereal, bagels, donuts, coffee and juice and lifted some water and Diet Coke for the park. We also were a bit naughty and grabbed a few extra cereal pots for the next few days.

Scott and Daniel took the first couple of bags down to the car and before long we were ready to check out. I settled up the bill and we stowed the rest of our stuff in the car as we thought it would save faffing about with bell services later and then we were on our way to the park for our final day of express passes and getting any photos we’d missed.

We were on our way by 9.30am and were a wee bit sad to be leaving HR, we’d enjoyed our stay here. We liked the walkway to the park, the gardens are lovely.

Of course Abbie had to jog past the sign, she is a wee wide-o sometimes!

It didn’t take us long to get to the park. First up was Minion Mayhem, the line looked long, but with the express passes it was only a short wait.

Does anyone else think the screen doesn’t line up properly? I always seem to be looking in the wrong place or the film is a bit cut off. May be it’s just me.

We got our official photo with a minion. Here’s the one from years ago - ha ha the kids were so small! Abbie had no front teeth! Abbie was dancing around, flossing as usual, I almost caught her flossing with the minions.

It’s 10.30am now and we head round to Rip Ride Rockit as we need to get the ride photo. I stowed the bag and we headed through the metal detector, as usual I set it off, no idea why. It was almost a walk-on and the kids were delighted to be in the front row. Only problem was the guys in row 2 couldn’t get out, so Scott and I couldn’t get in. They moved us off the walkway and were about to take the kids off too, but we asked then to leave them so they could be in the front row. Eventually the other people got out and the ride started as normal again. The kids didn’t seem too bothered and had a great ride, when they got off they had to walk over the raised gantry to get back to the loading side and we all rode again. Looks like we’d figured out where the photo is taken!

I retrieved the bag, Scott got the photo sorted. It’s worth noting the give you a receipt with a code you need to add online, they can’t just scan your card for this ride so it takes a bit longer.

We stopped off in the “Tribute” store which has been set set up next door to the Mummy. The kids weren’t keen on being in here, it seemed to be merchandise from Halloween Horror Nights. Scott couldn’t resist trying on one of the masks.

Maybe it’s an improvement?

We saw Jake and Elwood had just arrived so stopped for a bit to shake our tail feathers.

It doesn’t matter how often I see this show, I love it seem to be able to embarrass my kids. I think I get extra mum points for that. Anyhoo they wanted to escape but I told them they couldn’t unless they joined in and I got evidence for the trippie, mwahahaha!

Next we headed into the Mummy, I really like this one. The kids don’t like the bit with the beetles......never mind, they are not there for long.

Daniel asked the ride attendant where the photo was on this one so we all managed a thumbs up.

We made Abbie do a spot of modelling afterwards.

When we came out, there was a sing off going on so they sat down to watch it and refused to move. It was ok, but the Blues Brothers were better, kids disagree of course.

We walked round the park and passed the Beat Builders, but didn’t stop.

The kids wanted a picture with Kreacher at Grimmauld Place.

With that mischief managed we headed round to Men in Black to see if any of us could spot Frank the Pug or hit the red button and score the bonus. I used to be able to do this, but I’ve obviously lost the knack and I’ve not googled when to hit it unlike some others in the family.

We all liked using Express Pass for this to skip the perhaps bit. Scott managed to hit the red button in ride number 1.

Daniel managed on ride no 2. They insisted on having their photo taken next to this idea why?

I wasn’t caring about the shooting and managed a thumbs up, go me! After MIB they had a bit nonsense in the Coke shop.

There was worse than this one. I still cant work out what’s so offensive about my name, but I still cant make a personalised bottle! The kids headed off on the Simpsons ride next, us grown ups sat it out. The we got bored so went on Kang & Kodos TwirlnHurl, as you do.

We still had to wait agggges for the bambino’s to emerge from Krustyland, we were getting a bit worried, but just as I decided to go find them they headed out. We were all a bit hungry now so decided to go for a Bit of lunch. Daniel was desperate for a Flaming Mo too as someone in his class had got one and told him about it and we’d promised to get him one since Abbie had her butter beer the other day. It took ages as usual to pick up the food in here even though the queue is managed pretty well. We got a meatlikers pizza, a clogger burger and fries and the Flaming Mo.

Daniel did love his flaming mo, when he’d drank some we added more water and it reactivated the dry ice making it bubble and smoke again.

Next we headed over to ET for the photo, but the girl was taking an an age with another family so we gave up as the Animal Actors Show was about to start so we went to that instead.

Scott put up his hand to volunteer at one point and was picked.

A big cockatoo came and took a dollar bill from his hand and even brought it back. We all enjoyed the show, but seeing the wee pug at the end made us all miss Frank Dog!

We headed back and got our ET photos after that.

Next up was the Horror Makeup Show, the kids loved this in the summer and wondered if it would be the same.

It was more or less exactly the same even though it was different hosts. We all enjoyed it, the kids are desperate for me to be picked as the volunteer one day! It was just about 2.15pm now and we were done but we spotted the parade coming so waited for that, well it would be rude not to eh?

It’ll never be as good as a Disney parade but it was ok. On the way out we stopped to go in Shrek 4d as we’d forgotten about it, I thought it was pretty rubbish but I think I was a bit tired by now. We said hi to Shrek, Fiona and Donkey before we left.

After that we headed back to HR to pick up the car. We were a bit cheeky and went to see if our room keys would still take us to the 7th floor so we could grab a drink In the lounge. They didn’t. Boooo! Undeterred I went to the Rock Royalty desk and asked if they could be reactivated so we could get a drink while we waited for Scott to bring the car round. That was not a problem and we were taken up but the kids were disappointed there were no snacks out. They asked a staff member and they gave them a few bags of crisps each. All happy we went back down the front and Scott was there to pick us up and we headed on our way to Grande Villas at Lake Buena Vista.

We’ve stayed here twice before and love the location - close to Disney Springs and walking distance for the restaurants at Crossroads. Also we love the space, separate bedrooms, the kids get their own bed, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen including washer/dryer and sitting room. It’s great value and the pools and staff are good too.

We got checked in, a bit disappointed not to be On the top floor (level 5) as requested but we are on level 4. I unpacked and got hotter and hotter. We eventually twigged that the air con wasn’t working! Phew it was boiling. Scott called and someone was with us within half an hour, another half hour it was fixed. As we didn’t know if we’d be moving rooms we hadn’t got changed or anything and now we couldn’t be bothered. We decided on Millers Ale House as our park clothes would be ok! We walked along around 6pm, the kids stopped for a photo at the Halloween display outside our room.

We started off with nachos, they were giant as usual.

I had a pitcher of electric lemonade, not sure why the server tried to put me off this, it was nice and had loads of ice in it so it wasn’t as much as it looks!

Scott was on Lagunitas but said it didn’t taste great. No picture cos it’s beer and you know what that looks like. The kids were on Diet Coke.

Scott has his usual Big Red sandwich, I had steak and chicken fajitas and the kids both had quesadillas.

We all enjoyed our food here and I even managed most of my fajitas. The kids got an ice cream as part of their kids meals.

We settled up the bill and headed back to Grande Villas for showers and bed. We couldn’t wait to spread out and enjoy the space and we were all happy when we felt the cool air con when we got in. Before long we were all fast asleep.

I’ve not added any photos of our accommodation since it was the same as before - have a look at my last trippie - it’s all in there! Thanks for reading, it’ll get easier from here as there are no more parkdays, but we’ve still to go to Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party and go see the Orlando Magic!

We all had a good nights sleep but Scott was awake at dark o clock since he’d nodded off so early! He watched some Netflix on his iPad to kill a bit of time. We were up and organised by 7.30 and hit the club lounge for a bit of breakfast. It was pretty busy when we got there but it soon emptied out and we got a table. It was cereal, bagels and donuts all round.

We grabbed some water and Diet Coke for the park bag and we headed off. We believed Daniel when he said it was early entry at Islands of Adventure. He was wrong.

As usual we picked the wrong queue and it took ages to get in even when the park opened at 9am. We headed straight to Hulk via the lockers. It didn’t seems as jerky as yesterday and we even managed thumbs up, yay for us!

Next up was Dr Dooms Fear Falls. I didn’t bother this time. You can see the weather is still great, not a cloud in the sky.

Once they got off we paid a visit to Spider-Man.

Daniel and Scott managed spidey hands, Abbie and I were oblivious to where the ride photo is on this one. Then we went to meet the man himself......I really am trying to get my moneys worth out of this photopass deal!

Spidey had surprisingly good chat and kept the kids amused even though they are really getting too big for this. Daniel was keen to go over to the Raptor experience again after he and I met Blue in the summer. I’m not going to lie I was a bit terrified so I was definitely not getting involved. I’d be the photographer this time! As we got closer Daniel decided he wasn’t doing it either.....even though it was his idea to come here grrrrr!

Abbie seemed pretty confident to start off with......that soon changed!

Turns out only Scott was willing to get close to Blue this time. The handlers patter was good but not as good as the guy we had in the summer.

There were tears afterwards. She cheered up by the time we got round to Hogwarts for the Forbidden Journey. Another crappy photo. I really do think they hate this ride.

After this Scott and I decided to be mean and insist we all ride the Hippogryf.

When we got off Abbie wanted a butterbeer so we headed into Hogsmeade to get one.

Despite only Abbie liking butterbeer (we all prefer Le Fou’s Brew) we all seemed to get brain freeze. We decided to walk round to Poseidon’s Fury since we had given up on this in the summer when it went tech.

It was only 11am and we’d already done loads! Poseidon’s Fury was good, I’d forgotten how cheesy it was. The kids liked it but didn’t think the water tunnel was real. We spent almost an hour in here between waiting for the show to start and it ending.

We were just about done for the day but before leaving the park we had to do the water rides (it’s the law). We had a disagreement about the quickest way to Dudley Dorights Ripsaw Falls so we split up. Daniel and I went one way, Scott and Abbie went the other (via Hogsmeade).

We both stopped for photos on the way.

Scott and Abbie seemed to get a bit lost as we were waiting for them at Dudley Doright for ages!

We all managed the thumbs up and we all got completely drenched. Only one thing for it.....over to the Bilge Barges!

We reached full saturation. So we decided to go for it again.... why not eh? Daniel wimped out of the second ride. Boarding took longer then it should as there was a couple on our boat faffing about with their plastic macs and taking off their trainers, pah! They obviously thought we were mentalists as we looked liked we’d been in a bath with all our clothes on and were going for more. I was quite happy when they still got wet mwah hahahaha hahahaha. Totally soaked we decided it was home time.

The Marvel Superheros were out so we stopped for a chat and a few damp photos.

We strolled along to Hard Rock.

We popped into the club lounge for a couple cans of juice and some crisps. I managed to get some photos to show you the size of it.

A bit dark but this is the fridge with all the soft drinks.

I thought the lounge would have been a bit more luxurious- it was pretty basic and not really comfortable - maybe that’s on purpose so you don’t spent too long there?

We decided to head to the pool/beach bar for a bit of lunch since we weren’t planning on going out for dinner.

We ordered nachos and a chilli dog to share - I’m glad we didn’t order more as it was massive! Of course we also ordered would be rude not to, wouldn’t it? I got a Lithium Sunset this time, Scott got one of the local beers.

The kids got iced water pah hahahaha cos it’s good for them, I’m saving $ for cocktails and we have lots of juice in the room.

They were delighted.

Sorry food pics are pretty rubbish - we were all starving so they were taken in haste.

Then we enjoyed pool time for the next few hours.

I even managed to try out the slide!

Of course there had to be another Tiki cocktail - the hurricane - yum!

They have loads of cabanas and none of them were occupied - they looked pretty comfy though.

We headed back to the room to get changed for the evening snacks and drinks. We had a couple of glasses of wine but to be honest we weren’t enjoying it and we left it. The snacks were satay skewers, mini corn dogs and a cheese selection.

There was also crudities and coleslaw. It wasn’t as good a selection as the night before. The lounge was rammed and we couldn’t get a seat so were perched at one of the high tables. Not really interested in the drinks offering (I think we must have been ill or something - hindsight tells me it was tiredness) we went back to the room to chill out. When it got dark Daniel decided he fancied the pool movie - Ironman 3, so he and Scott went down to the pool.

Abbie was chilling with her new ET cuddly (which she’d talked her dad into buying on the way home) and didn’t want to go so I stayed with her......she really wanted to go to the Lounge as she knew they were serving churros!

At 8.30pm we trundled along and she got her churros.

We got a hot chocolate too and picked up some cookies and churros for Scott and Daniel too.

Another busy day and we are all knackered! We were all out for the count by 10pm. We need to be up earlyish tomorrow as we are checking out to move to our last accommodation but want to make the
most of our last day of express passes.

Thanks for reading along - apologies for the break in posting - I’ve no idea how all the live posters manage it! I will try to get the report finished off over the next week or so. It helps with the post holiday blues!

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 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 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!

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The One With No Pretrip And A Better Chance Of Finishing - Day 15 - Moving To St Petes
The One With No Pretrip And A Better Chance Of Finishing - Day 14 - All Things Universal
The One With No Pretrip And A Better Chance Of Finishing - Day 13 - Move To RPR
The One With No Pretrip And A Better Chance Of Finishing - Day 12 - Golf & Yellow Dog Eats
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The One With No Pretrip And A Better Chance Of Finishing - Day 10 -Seaworld & Outback
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The One With No Pretrip And A Better Chance Of Finishing - Day 8 - Shopping & recovery
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Park Hours - Tuesday 25/02/2020

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
~to~Extra Evening Hours
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Extra Morning Hours~to~
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
Extra Morning Hours~to~
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
Legoland Water Park
Legoland Water Park
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
Extra Morning Hours~to~
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 9:00am
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
Extra Morning Hours~to~
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
Covent Garden FX  $1.2766
FAIRFX  $1.2605
John Lewis  $1.2744
M&S  $1.2545
Post Office  $1.2480
Sainsburys  $1.2646
Travelex  $1.2614
Updated: 02:02 25/02/2020

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Euro Rates
Covent Garden FX  €1.1757
FAIRFX  €1.1650
John Lewis  €1.1781
M&S  €1.1604
Post Office  €1.1471
Sainsburys  €1.1699
Travelex  €1.1611
Updated: 02:02 25/02/2020