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Unread 18 Apr 16, 10:34 PM  
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CreakingStool
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Join Date: May 11

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PreTrip - The five-year plan May 2017. UPDATE 01/05/17. 18 days to go :)

Pre Trip Updates Index

The Plan So Far
Disney Booking
Update and To Do List
Catch Up and New Bookings
Plans and ADR List
ADR Bookings and Other Important Stuff
12 Weeks to go, BIG update
Daily Plans
Aahhhh 37 days to go!
18 days to go - ears, autograph books and update!
2 Days to go - Packing and last minute stuff!

Where did it all begin...

I joined The Dibb in 2011 when my children were 5 and 2. I really wanted to take the family to Florida at some time in the future, I knew that this was a few years away and joined really for a bit of a nosy but I was soon hooked and Ive become a regular visitor over the years. To think that my first thread back in the day was panic over confusing terminology and everything I thought Id never understand - Im now fully capable of having a lengthy conversation in 3 letter acronyms after becoming familiar with all the Disney jargon! I've listened to the entire Dibbcast back catalogue and the voices of Geoff, James, Mel, Rob and Grant are as familiar as family! In fact back all those years ago I think Geoff kindly sent me a copy of a Florida marketing video on DVD to show the kids

Fast forward to September 2014 and I jumped up to a 4 day week at work, dreams of Florida were coming closer but what did I do first I booked a cheeky Feb 2015 weekend to DLP and it was amazing - Link to Trippie Index. Once this was out of the way though I began to save 2016 would be the year I booked almost 5 years from my initial jaunt into the world of The Dibb. At least after all these years reading threads I knew when the flights went on sale and, more importantly, when the free dining would be announced!

So who are we?

Me Jules - currently 39, 40 later this year and I love to plan holidays which is probably one of the reasons a Florida trip appeals so much. I wouldnt say I was a Disney fanatic when I was younger but I do remember the rare occurrence of a school friend visiting the mysterious world of the Mouse and thinking it sounded like quite good fun. Some Disney faves are Wall-E, Inside Out and the Toy Story films and I do love a bit of Harry Potter. Ive been to America once before with DH (boyfriend at the time) in 2002 when we had an amazing and very budget trip to San Francisco, Hawaii and Las Vegas on the back of some overdue holiday back pay of DHs back then I recall the flights were much cheaper and we ate a lot of McDonalds LOL! My only Disney experience was DLP last year and I loved it, and planned the living daylights out of it.



DH Gav almost 39 and will be 40 just before our Florida adventure begins. We were teenage sweethearts meeting when we were 16 and in the midst of the dreaded GCSEs. Hes not a massive Disney fan but he knows a good holiday plan when he hears one and he also appreciates I am the Queen of holiday organisation so hes in for a great trip. Im wondering if I can get him in some sort of Disney t-shirt at all during the trip well see. He loves Star Wars and is disappointed that our DS doesnt seem all that enthralled by it. Hoping to have some special birthday celebrations on this holiday for my lovely hubby.



DS Zach 9 about to turn 10 and will be 11 for our big holiday. Zach is just a lovely lad, he can be a proper giddy kipper and he never sits still, were trying to divert his energy into his love for athletics and cross country running but it just seems to give him more! Loves kicking a ball about and playing minecraft, often melts our hearts with unexpected kindness, sometimes drives us mad winding up his little sister. This holiday will come a couple of weeks after his year 6 SATS, great timing I think. Zach loves a Disney film even if he sometimes acts like hes too old for them, he also loves the Minions and Marvel.



DD Immy 6 about to turn 7 and will be 8 for our big holiday. Immy is a really lovely little girl, she can be very shy but thanks partly to her bravery and partly to excellent school teachers the past couple of years she is really coming out of her shell. Dancing is becoming a big part of Immys life having plucked up the courage recently to join a dancing class she absolutely loves it and Im sure itll help even more with her shyness. She is all about princesses and fairies and shopkins and my little ponies!



Neither of the children have been on a long haul flight, weve been on a few trips to Greece though and spent many hours in the car towing our caravan from Manchester to Devon and other places so this sort of travel experience isnt new to them, I know theyll be super stars on the flights. Im just hoping they both get a bit braver for the rides but if they dont then itll be fine too.



Next Update : The Plan So Far

Thanks for reading 

Edited at 08:53 PM.
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Unread 18 Apr 16, 10:46 PM  
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Eeyore14
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Your family looks really cute, your kids will love Florida and they are a super age for going and enjoying it. Are you planning on staying all the time at Disney or are you going to do universal as well?
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Unread 19 Apr 16, 09:09 AM  
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CreakingStool
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Originally Posted by Eeyore14 View Post
Your family looks really cute, your kids will love Florida and they are a super age for going and enjoying it. Are you planning on staying all the time at Disney or are you going to do universal as well?
Hi, thanks for reading yes we are planning to visit Universal and have some beach time too. xx
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2017 is our Year of the Florida Mouse

Feb 2015 - Disneyland Paris. Cheyenne Hotel. School Holidays Link to Trippie Index
May 2017 - Walt Disney World Florida Link to Pre Trip
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Unread 19 Apr 16, 09:20 AM  
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Twinkle-Dolphin
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Looking forward to reading more
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Unread 19 Apr 16, 06:57 PM  
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Yay a 2017 trippy! Sounds like you will have an amazing holiday. It's true what they say, good things come to those who wait 😃
Looking forward to reading more!
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Unread 19 Apr 16, 09:53 PM  
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CreakingStool
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Originally Posted by Twinkle-Dolphin View Post
Looking forward to reading more
Thanks

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Yay a 2017 trippy! Sounds like you will have an amazing holiday. It's true what they say, good things come to those who wait 😃
Looking forward to reading more!
They certainly do, and the time went quite fast really
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2017 is our Year of the Florida Mouse

Feb 2015 - Disneyland Paris. Cheyenne Hotel. School Holidays Link to Trippie Index
May 2017 - Walt Disney World Florida Link to Pre Trip
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Unread 19 Apr 16, 10:49 PM  
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CreakingStool
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The Plan So Far

So hopefully youve read my introductions. Our party is 2 adults and 2 children (1 classed as a Disney adult) and weve not been to Florida before. This holiday is a big change for us mainly because its a lot more expensive than anything else weve done before!

After a lot of thinking the plan will be something similar to the below,

Fly MAN to MCO on Saturday 20th May 2017
10 or 11 nights onsite (Old Key West)
4 or 5 nights cottage at Anna Maria Island
3 or 4 nights Royal Pacific Resort
Fly MCO to MAN on Thursday 8th June 2017

19 night holiday

Flights - I decided to book Thomas Cook flights about a week after they were released which was March 4th 2016, the costings were well within budget. This is where it slips a little though, my thoughts quickly changed from economy both ways, to upgrading to PE coming home (very good price), to upgrading to PE both ways (expensive!) at the insistence of DH - I didnt take too much convincing! Weve booked rows 6 and 7 on the right side of the plane both ways (Rows 7 I believe is now affectionately known as Dibbers row ) and assuming we have no plane changes (Im 75% sure were safe but never say never) well be sat in a seat like this in approximately 13 months;



Disney - Now, Im currently (im)patiently waiting for the Disney offers to come out, as I type this we are 2 days away from Free DDP day - 21st April 2016. Free dining is confirmed but what Im waiting on is possible discount for OKW, hoping for 25% discount so well then be looking at a 1 bed apartment which would be fantastic. If this doesnt materialise were looking at a studio at OKW or a room at POR with upgraded dining to the DDP.



Dining Plan - I do want the full dining plan at Disney, I think it will work well for us as we dont plan on having a car for the first week or so and there are some Disney restaurants I would really like to eat at which the DDP will cover. I like the idea of dining being all but sorted for the first half the holiday and the planning of ADRs is fine for me, Im looking forward to it.



Disney Tickets Not decided yet about the 14 day or 21 day. I have a feeling Ill book the 21 day tickets as the price difference isnt that great and it gives us some flexibility for the last few days if we want to revisit anything.



Anna Maria Island - I have a couple of cottages in mind on AMI its a bit tricky as many of them have a week as a minimum, I think wed like to stay at the North End and have a place with our own pool. This is going to be a complete chill out time and we do love a good beach and a bit of a BBQ. Once Disney is booked I will move onto this element.



Universal - We will end with a stay at a Universal resort, I think Royal Pacific Resort. Id quite like a Jurassic kids suite but this may well be pie in the sky unless a good deal comes up. I love the look of Cabana Bay, the pool and the family suites look great, but I really want to benefit from the unlimited express pass. There is the possibility of booking unlimited express passes with Universal so I will do some number crunching when the time comes.
Reading a few trip reports the club room does sound quite good so thats in the mix too. This will be the last thing we book though once I know how we are splitting the days up.



Car hire we will use the magical express from MCO to Disney and then use Disney transport for the first week before hiring a car. I have no idea what sort of car we will need and no set plan of if we will keep the car right through to the airport or drop it off once we are at Universal need to have a think about it.



Other items The more Ive thought about it the more I think well go over to KSC for the day, maybe over memorial day weekend but will research busy days etc before making a decision. I also would like to do an airboat ride and have seen a few good reviews in peoples trip reports on here. A boat trip or 2 from AMI is in the plan too, hoping to see dolphins. I was considering Discovery Cove but currently Ive discounted this, maybe itll come up again as the months move on. Park wise though we will be sticking with Disney and Universal and we are all happy with that. I dont want to squeeze too much in



Thanks for reading Ill be back soon with some Disney Accommodation excitement Im sure

Next Update : Disney Booking

Edited at 09:44 PM.
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Unread 21 Apr 16, 09:57 PM  
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PixieBoot
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Sounds fab! Excited to see you've now booked the Disney part. Happy planning x
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