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-   -   Back to the magic take two! November 2022 Pre-Trip report (https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1194056)

katebush95 3 May 21 07:44 PM

Back to the magic take two! November 2022 Pre-Trip report
 
Yay we have a new countdown! After our November 2020 trip was obviously cancelled it was a bit up in the air as to when weíd be able to go back again. However we have gone for it and even thought itís a LONG countdown at least it is a countdown and I canít wait! November 2020 was going to be a 10 day mother and daughter trip staying in AoA, but for our November 2022 trip the cast has been added to a little 😆

A bit of background
Weíve been twice as a family to Orlando. The first time was Easter 2009 where myself, DH and DD plus my two sisters booked a package through Holiday Genie. We had great flights with Delta and an amazing villa at Glenbrook. We did all the Disney parks plus Seaworld and BG, plus a day trip to Mount Dora. We all loved it and even though I didnít know much about WDW planning then we did pretty well with the fast pass system and managed to get on all the major rides. My love of Walmart and everything American began and after we returned I was desperate to get back, which we managed in June 2011. This trip was just me, DH and DD, and we had a flight, car and villa at Highgrove package with Thompson. This time we didnít do Disney, but did Universal, Seaworld and BG. My main priority for that trip was anything Harry Potter related! We also visited Celebration for the first time (I want to live there!) and went to lots of offsite restaurants such as iHop and Bahama Breeze. Again it was great and Iíve been desperate to return but my DH is really not bothered at all and much prefers his summer chilled out Greek/Canaries holidays. My DD did go back in June 2019 with her DBF and his family. They stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and I was not jealous AT ALL 😫!

So after quite a few discussions about whether to try for 2021 and aim for another mother and daughter trip we decided in the end to leave it another year in the hope that all restrictions will have been removed. Our DDs DBF and his family were also keen to come and we managed to persuade my DH that a Disney holiday would be a good plan and he wouldnít have to spend all day in the parks 😆

Cast

So the SEVEN people going on this trip are:

Me: katebush95; longtime Dibber even though I donít post much. Iím hoping with this trip booked Iíll be posting a lot more and I would LOVE to get a gold ear by the time we go 😆; Iím a little bit over 50 😫 and I love everything about Orlando, Disney and Universal. My favourite Disney movies are Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid. I love Harry Potter and am excited to see all the new developments since I was there in 2011. I have been known to be a bit of a stress head, but couldnít possibly comment 😆. Iím so happy just to be going I donít really mind what we do! I have ordered several dozen travel guide books though plus a planning and a trip writing notepad 😆

DD: twenty something; Dibber, although posts even less than I do; loves all things Disney and Universal; generally much more laid back than me; not sure what her favourite movies are currently, but when she was little she must have watched Aladdin over 100 times, plus she had all the Lion King and Winnie the Pooh cuddly toys!

DH: Fifty something non-Dibber, but very used to me spending hours dibbing and telling him all about new developments at Disney and how much I need to go back 😆 His favorite Disney movie is the Jungle Book and he is quite into Star Wars so Iím sure heíll love DHS this time. Heís most looking forward to playing golf and finding some decent American real ale!

The final four members of the trip are my DDs DBF and his family (mum, dad, brother). DD lives with her DBF in a lovely house in Leeds that they have bought together this year and his family live in London. They have all been to Florida a number of times before and usually stay in a Disney hotel to take advantage of the Disney transport.

Plans for this trip
We did think about booking flights, accommodation and everything separately, but as flights so far ahead would not be out for a while and also for the peace of mind of having a package in the current climate we have booked the following with Virgin Holidays and have paid the deposit, with the balance to be paid in August 2022:

4 x economy flights from Manchester (we might upgrade to economy delight when this is available in October/November this year)

3 x premium economy flights from Heathrow

1 x 5 bedroom villa on Highlands Reserve for 14 nights

7 x Disney park tickets

8 seater minivan

We wanted a golf resort as all the men like to play a few rounds and Highlands Reserve isnít too far away from the parks and I like it that there is a Publix and a few restaurants within a walkable (ish) distance. We wonít know the exact villa until we go so thatís not ideal, however we did the same the two times we visited previously and it worked out fine so fingers crossed we get a nice one!

The two flights land within about an hour of each other so that should work out ok for meeting up at the other end although we may not (probably wonít) be able to fit all the people and luggage into the car so some of us may have to Uber to the villa. Weíre not getting two cars as at the moment only DH is planning to drive, unless anyone else changes their mind between now and then.

Weíre also planning to book a night or two at a Universal hotel so we can take advantage of the early entry and FOTL passes, but will leave this until nearer the time.

Even though weíre all staying together and will probably do plenty together especially going for meals and to the parks, there are definitely some things that weíll do separately. For example the men will all have 2 or 3 rounds of golf Iím sure and most of the party want to do Busch Gardens, but Iím not bothered and so Iíll probably do a solo Disney day when the others go. Iíd also love to do one of the backstage tours such as keys to the kingdom, but not sure if everyone will do that. Some of us might want the odd chilling/sunbathing day and I definitely want to do some shopping at some point.

To do - a lot!

Weíll all need to do our ESTAs.

Myself and DH have recently got new passports so weíre fine, but not sure about the others.

Check travel insurance is valid - I have an annual policy with my DH.

Decide whether to do an overnight stay at the airport the night before the flight and look at airport parking options.

Wait in anticipation for what the procedures will be for Disney by then e.g park booking days, fast pass etc

Book Universal hotel and tickets.

Book BG tickets for those that want to go.

Book backstage tour for those that want to do it.

Decide on any onsite dining we want to book - at the moment just thinking BOG for lunch and Sanaa for dinner.

Decide on offsite eats - iHop, Bahama Breeze, Millers, Longhorn, Olive Garden, Outback, Cracker Barrel...

Decide on evening entertainment - we will mainly go back to a park or out for dinner, but Iíd love to do Jellyrolls one evening plus possibly see what bands are on at the House of Blues.

Decide what shopping trips to plan - Walmart of course, plus what are the best malls and outlets to do nowadays?

Lose 3 stone!

Buy some suitable footwear for the parks - Sketchers maybe?

Buy a new suitcase.

There will be loads more to do, but that will do for now! Iíll update again soon and Iíll be asking loads of questions in the planning forums!

Thanks for reading!

jools1302 3 May 21 11:26 PM

This sounds great you must be delighted to have made the booking! Look forward to following your plans xx

katebush95 4 May 21 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jools1302 (Post 14946517)
This sounds great you must be delighted to have made the booking! Look forward to following your plans xx

Thank you and yes Iím so happy that we have got something booked at last 😍

Goldia 5 May 21 07:33 PM

This sounds like it's going to be a fab trip. I love the look of your to do list...wait in anticipation ;) this is on my to do list as well :tongue: along with lose weight and decide what onsite and offsite eats to then put the weight straight back on :D

I hope you have fun planning your trip and that you earn all your gold ears :wavey:

katebush95 5 May 21 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goldia (Post 14948788)
This sounds like it's going to be a fab trip. I love the look of your to do list...wait in anticipation ;) this is on my to do list as well :tongue: along with lose weight and decide what onsite and offsite eats to then put the weight straight back on :D

I hope you have fun planning your trip and that you earn all your gold ears :wavey:

Thank you and yes lots of planning to do, but plenty of time to do it 😆

HakunaMatata 9 May 21 10:30 PM

Cannot wait!

Disneycraft 10 May 21 06:02 AM

Sounds wonderful I shall be following along ,youíve got me excited now :grin:

katebush95 10 May 21 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disneycraft (Post 14954728)
Sounds wonderful I shall be following along ,youíve got me excited now :grin:

Thank you 🙏🏼 it seems such a long way away and I donít want to wish my life away, but I canít wait 😆

Disneycraft 10 May 21 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katebush95 (Post 14955735)
Thank you 🙏🏼 it seems such a long way away and I donít want to wish my life away, but I canít wait 😆

Nor me ,weíre going (hopefully) next Aug ,Iím already planning it:wavey:

katebush95 10 May 21 07:18 PM

Walt Disney history
 
Iíve not been doing any real planning for the holiday as such, but Iím finding myself getting much more interested in Walt Disney and the history of the parks. Iíve started listing to a podcast called connecting with Walt (starting at episode 1 from 2015) which so far has talked about Walt and his brother Roy and how Disneyland came about and then how it took years for them to find some land in Florida to start building WDW. Iíve also bought a book that was recommended to give a good introduction to the life of Walt:

Iím going to start reading it at the weekend when Iíve caught up with the last episodes of Line of Duty 😆 If anyone can recommend any other good books on the history of the parks and the rides/shows that would be fab 👍 I think there is a new show coming onto Disney Plus about this soon so Iíll look out for that.

Although we donít know as yet how the parks will be operating when we go i.e. fast passes, park reservations, itís hard not to be impatient as at the moment I believe you can reserve your park days if you have paid for your tickets in full? Not sure if this would cover up to November 2022? Weíve paid our deposit with Virgin Holidays but werenít intending to pay the rest until the balance is due in August 2022. So does this mean we canít reserve our park days until then? Will this be too late to get what we want? Weíve never been in November before so not sure how busy it will be compared to Easter and June when weíve been previously? 2022 could be extra busy anyway I suppose with all the 2020/21 disruption. We might actually consider doing a night at a Disney hotel (depending on prices) if that will get us a couple of days of early entry, early fast pass booking etc if they are back? Would this be worthwhile? Weíre already planning a couple of nights at a Universal hotel to get all the benefits that come with that 😆

Golf
The boys are all keen to play some rounds when we go so hopefully Highlands Reserve where weíre staying will be a decent course. Are there any others they should try for? Also got to decide whether itís worth taking their own clubs or hiring some over there.

Restaurant sign ups: Iím going to sign up for loads just before we go to get some money off vouchers so I was having a quick look and some of them say this website canít be accessed from your location. Not sure why this is? Do you have to have a US IP address? Iím sad that Sweet Tomatoes has closed as we loved it when we went previously, but Iím sure theyíll be loads of other good ones.

Better go now and finish watching LoD so bye for now 👋


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