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wizzo 13 Sep 09 05:52 PM

"Watch the kids; we'll be back in a week!" December 2009
 
The Cast

Paul (39 Years young) ‘Your Narrator’, Keeper of Funds, Driver and Pack Horse.
Lynn "LoMaddy" (32 Years Young) Avid Dibber, Crowd Control, Shopper and Proof reader.
Lauren (5 Years young) My Soarin’ and water ride partner.
Madeleine (Maddy) (2 Years Young) Now a Nemo addict. Movie and Ride!
Alan (ahhhemm Years Young) Paparazzi and Grandad to our two.
Fay (ouch Years Young) Font of all knowledge and Grandma to our two.

Cast Photos


http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_2069.jpg
Paul and Lynn. We'll even try and get a drink in the queue for Goofy's Barnstormer!

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_1849.jpg
Lauren and Maddy

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_7524.jpg
Grandad (Good luck spotting a photo of him without his camera! )

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_2198.jpg
Us with Grandma (or "Cup Holder" as we like to call her)

Those of you who read our first trip report (Flying Solo) from May this year will already be familiar with the cast of characters. On this trip however we’ve got my folks riding shotgun again. This has two notable advantages:

A) Grandad splits Disney’s parking charges with me.
&
B) Lynn and I get to go on some rides together!

Don’t get me wrong, we loved it being just the four of us last time. In fact it was our first family holiday as foursome but it’s nice to let the old folk out of their cages once in a while and release them from the monotony of retirement. Seriously though, the kids love torturing their grandparents on holiday it’s traditional.

This will be our 4th trip in a little over 18 Months. We’ve been very lucky to discover Disney World in 2008 and are about to embark on our second trip of 2009 as we did in 2008.

So, just like the start of the last pre trip report………you find us having booked this holiday before we’d completed the last trip report. Although quite keen to book everything DIY style again, I stumbled across a bargain on First Choice’s website 2 days after returning and booked it right there and then. We paid less than £2000 for the four of us in a villa on Highgate Park (where we stayed 2 trips ago) including flights. The flights were £295 each making the villa £400 a week. You’d do well to beat that DIY. As well as the price, I’ve got to say that First Choice and Thomson’s planes operating out of Manchester are light years better than Virgin’s tired old Jumbos. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Virgin again if the price was right but the planes, in-flight entertainment and food are like Dan Air (for those of you that can remember 70’s package holidays to Spain).

Within days we’d asked my parents if they’d like to join us and they jumped at the chance! So a quick call to First Choice and they were added to the booking which brought the average price per person down slightly too. We then spotted a deal on the Radisson and promptly booked two rooms and 15 days parking for us. We will be meeting my parents at the hotel on the Sunday afternoon prior to us flying on the Monday morning.

This trip is my 40th Birthday trip. We go a couple of days after my birthday though, as my birthday was bang on Thanksgiving this year. Now although the thought of getting free Disney Dollars to spend on my birthday is appealing there was no point in going for one of the busiest weekends of the year for the sake of $75 of Disney freebies.
Dibb research suggests that the first 2 weeks of December are nice and quiet in the Parks before the Christmas rush with the bonus of everything already being seasonal.
So we arrive on 30th November (the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend).

Our last trip was a voyage of discovery to find out if we preferred a villa or a Disney Hotel. The conclusive answer was…..we liked both! There are pros and cons for both. We would do 2 weeks in a Disney Deluxe Hotel any day of the week and Animal Kingdom Lodge was fantastic. However when you have little kids like us it’s nice to have a kitchen to make them snacks or a proper kid’s tea rather than Disney’s never ending fast food. Being able to put nuked nappies in an outside bin is a major plus too! Although fingers crossed Maddy will be potty trained by then. As I write this sitting at the dining room table, she’s playing on Cbeebies website, her bare bottom fully exposed!

We’re deep into booking our ADRs now. So far I’m having a Birthday Dinner with my wife at Shula’s Steakhouse. I’m also having a Birthday Dinner with my wife at the California Grill. I’m even having a Birthday Lunch with the whole clan at The Brown Derby. As well as birthday meals at Teppan Edo, The Coral Reef, Rainforest Café amongst others! Every ADR I’ve booked online has had “Paul’s 40th Birthday Celebration” attached to it. I’m hoping for free drink of course, I would gladly be embarrassed in front of a whole restaurant to get a free drink.

We are not a family whose plan is set in stone. We very much go with the flow and will change a days activities at the drop of a hat if needs be. So we have tentative ADRs too that may be cancelled when we get there if the plan changes.

Our first day however, is always Magic Kingdom, even if it’s an Extra Magic Hours day and we normally start with breakfast at Crystal Palace. This trip we are starting with breakfast at 1900 Park Fare with Mary Poppins and chums. As well as our Disney ADRs we’ll doubtless be returning to Outback Steakhouse on the 192. This place always makes me laugh as it’s like a meeting place for British Ex Pats but has so much more class than your average Lineker’s Bar! We’ll be giving Appleby’s a try too as it’s so close to the villa and gets good reviews. We’ll also be sampling some of the now legendary fresh deli sandwiches from Publix! If you’ve never had them, you’ve got to try them. Countless slices of the fresh cooked meat/meats of your choice, fresh salad and big dollop of mayo all in the bread of your choice. Yummy!

We are going to Discovery Cove this trip for the first time. Lauren will be 3 months short of 6 when we go and although the age limit to swim with a dolphin is supposed to be 6 we have been advised by Discovery Cove that if she’s capable she’ll be able to do the swim. Busch Gardens will also be a first for us this trip. I have no idea how we are going to fit it all in!

We’re all looking forward to seeing Disney at Christmas for the first time. The adults are looking forward to the Osbourne Lights etc, while the kids are very excited about visiting Whoville.

So our countdown is well under 100 days now and the kids have even bigger countdown calendars than last time!

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_4574.jpg

Along the way, we'll have laughs...

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_2150.jpg

Tears...

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u..._1558-Copy.jpg

and the odd Falling Out!

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_2478.jpg

Our holidays are always eventful! I’m not paying for an extra week in Animal Kingdom Lodge this trip though, so that should keep costs down! I can guarantee even more photos than last time as my Dad is coming with us and he is surgically attached to his camera (he has to put a bag over it when he showers). Having my dad there is like being papped everywhere we go for a fortnight (to be fair, he loves it and it keeps him off the streets) I know exactly how Katy and Peter feel! I have expected Americans to come and ask us if we are celebrities in the UK!

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_8515.jpg
Careful he may 'Pap' you too!

Look how the Paparazzi even turn up in my photos!

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_7571.jpg
http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/u...p/IMG_7575.jpg

If needs be I’ll come back and add to the Pre Trip Report if anything else is booked or there are any other developments.

Not sure what the final title of this trip report is going to be. The working title for the moment is “Watch the kids; we’ll be back in a week!”

Roll on November 30th and thank you all for reading my ramblings again.

Update:- 22/9/09

Full ADR list is now complete and is Shula's Steakhouse (Dolphin), Supercalifrag Breakfast, Coral Reef, Teppan Edo, Rainforrest Cafe, Brown Derby, Donald's Safari Breakfast and two reservations for the California Grill!

Just ordered 14 Day Ultimate's for everyone from Floridatix today too.

Update:- 14/10/09

Just booked Dine with Shamu. A firm favourite last time. Their Blue Powerade Jelly is legendary! (See May's Trip Report for photos)

disneyfreak 13 Sep 09 06:11 PM

aww they are lovely pics

joanna23 13 Sep 09 06:18 PM

I love the Countdown photo, your girls are gorgeous. I'm off to read your other trip report now!

saranotts 13 Sep 09 07:17 PM

:wavey:Might see you in the airport. I will be the one wearing shades :cool2:in case the paparazzi try and photograph me.:d:

Sara

Ariel's Mum 13 Sep 09 07:33 PM

Sound great.

Love the photos :grin:

Guest 13 Sep 09 10:14 PM

Sounds fantastic... looking forward to reading more.

VickieMH 13 Sep 09 11:14 PM

Great Start, I enjoyed your last Trip report. Have a great Holiday xx

mkingdon 15 Sep 09 09:39 AM

Sounds good, although I hate you for having a trip booked when I don't. ;) ;) ;)


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