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Old 28 May 17, 05:11 PM  
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onion2803
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*Aloha!* September 2016 Trip Report...Intro & Travel Day(s)

Inspired by another Dibb thread on how helpful trip reports can be (although, probably not this one), I’m going to attempt to write this in full before I try to start another pre-trippie. I think i’ll attempt to get all my words down first before I upload as there’s nothing worse than becoming invested in someones holiday, only to find it’s never completed…tsk!

A little disclaimer…am crap at photos. I begin well, and have the best of intentions, but would rather eat my food the second it graces the table than line up an instagram worthy picture. I’ll most likely be using Google to fill in the blanks, save you dying of boredom when all you want is an artful picture of a dole whip.



So i’ll start with introductions first…

Me, Onion, 28. I’m a civil servant so I must have committed some awful sins in my previous life! I’ve worked there for 10 years now, and have just welcomed 5 extra days Annual Leave which I plan to blow on 4 weeks in Orlando this Sept

I love Disney...don’t we all. Sometimes I wonder if I should, you know, actually be an adult and stop eating lunch off Disney crockery aimed squarely at the under 5s, and, more importantly, buy my pj’s from somewhere grown-up like M&S rather than bedazzled princess ones from Primark. But then I fire up the Dibb and realise I’m not alone.

Everything about Orlando makes me happy…the heat, the smell, the people, the food, the sound of the crickets at night. But seriously, it’s almost mostly about the food. I’m a big snacker. A Shamu sized snacker, if you will. So of course, I’m doing SW, trying to shed some poundage so I can pile it back on again in September and be fat and warm throughout winter Here’s hoping for a bout of gastric flu in August then as I’m wolfing Aero Bubbles as I type.



My fiancé, Bear, also 28, is my side-kick in life and Disney. Not a big fan to begin with, he soon learnt the error of his ways and now insists we return every year…probably in fear of his life if he didn’t suggest this, but I won’t ponder too much on that.

Bear is especially fond of the Orlando heat, the prickly grass, the gators (I don’t think he’s ever met a full sized one…all talk and no trousers) and the full fat food. Bear, unlike Shamu over here, is precious about his fitness and protein intake…his body is a temple and all that *zzzzzzz* To be fair to him, he isn’t one of those tanks at the gym who bores everyone to death with tales of shakes and juicing etc, because I’d happily end his life if he was, but he does have the willpower of a saint throughout the year and hardly eats anything bad. Woe betide you get in between him and a Mickey krispie head once he’s off that plane though, it’s like a scene from Planet Earth.




So that is us! Moving on…

We travelled on 15th September 2016, with the following itinerary;
15th AoA, Little Mermaid room


16-18th Polynesian DVC (plus DxDDP)


18-20th Clarion Inn, LBV


20-24th Sapphire Falls, Universal (plus $150 room credit)


24-1st Animal Kingdom Villas (plus DDP)


A lot of moving around, I know…but frankly, it encourages me to pack lightly(ish) and suits us fine as we’ve no kids to wrestle about with.

Stay tuned for tales of onsite and offsite adventures, food, cocktails, Halloween Horror Nights (if you're thinking of going to this for the first time, don't), more food, definitely more cocktails, and shopping.

Travel Day(s) coming up next...prepare for the grumbles

O x



Edited at 10:18 AM.
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Old 28 May 17, 05:37 PM  
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So I’ll start with travel day, which was, in short, bloody epic and never to be repeated so long as I have breath in my body. What began as a ‘really good bargain with BA’ resulted in a few sharp words between Bear and I over the course of the 2 travel days (TWO of them…where were we travelling from, Mars? No. Liverpool, that place right next to Manchester airport ) and a vow never to travel with BA again.

I have since calmed down (honestly, nothing bad actually happened, it was just so LONG and generally crappy!) and travelled with BA again, albeit in club which was a dream, so I may relent on my threat to never grace their aircrafts with my presence again. I’m sure they’re simply thrilled to hear it too.

Travel Days to me are just the best…its like Christmas Eve, everything is yet to happen and you get fed every few hours. Dream. Of. Life!

Ours started on the 14th, with a trip to Boodles to collect our wedding rings…my hair was bouncy-blowdried to perfection, my tan pristine, my nails polished, my lashes unnaturally extended and I was decked out in my freshly bought Travel Outfit. I felt fab. No idea why I go to these lengths each year but there we go, my one day of effort! Anyone else shop specifically for a travel outfit?

Shortly after arriving home sans rings which had been sized incorrectly, we packed up the car and said our extended goodbye to the cat, Parsnip.



He hates it when we leave, as, like his mother, he frets about where his next meal is coming from. I hate to leave the little beast behind too so tend to make a show of myself weeping into his fur for no discernible reason. I was eventually dragged from the house and we made our way to Manchester Airport for our evening flight to LHR.

Now, riddle me this, how is it possible to heat a terminal to such a degree that people consider whether its best to just holiday right there in the airport? The bar in T3 had run out of ice as so many people were asking for glasses of it to cool down. You can imagine what this did to my still-developing self tan and suffice to say my bouncy blowdry was reduced to skullcap effect in minutes as well. I had to get changed into emergency clothes to prevent asphyxiation by the smell of digestive biscuit (don’t believe any fake tan bottle telling you it has a lovely floral scent - lies. Nothing floral or lovely about smelling like rubber for 24 hours once the heat hits your skin) and bulk buy the travel size cans of deodorant, the sweat was literally pouring out of me. Our flight was, naturally, delayed by an hour too. The biscuity joy.



We eventually boarded and the flight was quite pleasant…we got a very small packet of crisps and a cup of tea each before landing and it all went very fast. We then had to get a National Express across to LGW. Despite the song, nothing about NE makes me smile when my life’s in a mess. The terminal was empty but our bags took an age to come off the flight, surprising since we were the only ones at the carousel. We then had the usual ticket-buying-machine fight, and trying to locate the stop, etc, etc. I really don’t want to bore you further but do avoid this route at all costs if you’re from the North. You could crawl there faster.

We arrived at the North Terminal on time, which is the only positive thing I have to say about that journey. We decided to check in our luggage before heading off to find the Hilton. All very smooth sailing and the check in lady was lovely about my hideously overweight suitcase, much to Bear’s relief - the Great Re-Pack of Both Suitcases As Mine Couldn’t Be Lifted Off The Ground Without a Winch had kept us both up until the small hours the night before and I will admit I was sweating (again) at the thoughts of having my case ‘officially’ weighed.



LGW was a mess of building works and it was quite the schlep from North Terminal to Hilton so we arrived super sweaty again. Checked into the room, which was very pleasant…here, have some stock images from Google;




Crashed out after a long, cold shower and a bed picnic courtesy of M&S, with alarms set for 8am.

More travelling to come, brace yourselves...

O x
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Old 28 May 17, 05:59 PM  
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Woke up on the hour every hour, typical! Was exhausted but running on the fumes of Disney excitement by the time the final alarm went off so bounded out of bed and into the seventh shower of the last 24 hours to rid myself of any further association to a McVities. Bear thought he was being funny offering me a digestive with my morning cup of tea; he was graced with the look and wisely went back to packing up his carry-on.

As we’d already checked-in (our first foray into Twilight Check-in…it’s not widely available at Manchester Airport but I definitely recommend taking advantage of this if you get the chance!) we strolled through Security without a bit of bother. Once inside the main bit we were super surprised at the size of it…absolutely HUGE! Manchester T2 has some serious work to do! I went for a stroll around the two levels and lost about 3 hours of my life and a sizeable chunk of money.

In no time at all, we were called for boarding. Now, I’d managed to snag some cot seats right at the front of Economy so was relieved to find we were still assigned to them. Didn’t appreciate walking though Business to get to them, seething with jealousy at the champagne cocktails but there we go.



The plane was old. Real old. Not even sure I was alive when this fossil was built. It also felt a little dirty, truth be told…crumbs and things in my seat and sticky stuff on the arm rests…so I had a quick whip round with my baby wipes and we were good to go. The in-flight entertainment system is nowhere near Virgin Atlantic standards on this flight (coming home was much better though so definitely just a by-product of flying on this relic) and we could barely see the screen for the layer of grime and grease on it but we managed. I had a season of West Wing saved on my iPad and Bear napped a lot.
Food wise, I couldn’t tell you what we ate…which is a shocker for me as I love plane food. I’m going to hazard a guess it was something you might expect to be fed in space, if you had already run out of real food. And dust.

I do realise I’m moaning quite a bit about this day, but it truly was an effort…nothing at all like our previous travel days with Virgin, and I want to give an honest account to prevent both myself and other Dibber’s from booking this route unless it’s free and comes with a cheque for another flight with a different airline. Think the salt in the wound was knowing the VS flight prices had come right down in the weeks before, making our bargain BA flights not so bargainous.

We EVENTUALLY arrived; late, of course. Massive queues in immigration but you just get on with it, don’t you? We used the machines and Bear got a big X through his as usual - he panics every time but its always fine, they just take the fingerprints again and we’re off. Never had a problem with US immigration, they’ve so far been very polite and friendly.

As we’d checked in the luggage the night before our flight, and possibly owing to suspicions I’d packed a few bodies and some bricks into my very overweight suitcase, they both came off on different carousels. Does anyone else have The Fear when waiting for your bag that it simply won’t arrive? Or it will, but it will have burst along the way and your knickers will be strewn along the carousel?

Anyway, onwards we go through Customs and onto the monorail (best bit!) and into the terminal. I do try not to look smugly at the poor people queuing to go the other way at the end of their hols, but usually fail quite epically. Oooops!



For the first time, we were using the Magical Express to get to AoA…eeeeeek so exciting! I hate trying to locate things in MCO as it highlights how crap I am at reading signs…we were up and down levels…in Terminal A….in Terminal B. Eventually we arrived at ME check-in, Bear and I mightn’t have spoken a word to each other the entire journey over but once we passed under the big Disney sign, all was well again.



We were given a room in the Little Mermaid section, and the walk over was lovely, if a little long, as you go through all the other bits like Lion King and Finding Nemo. It’s such a fab resort, the theming is just insane. Lots of children of course but we hardly noticed and I’d definitely stay there again, sans small people. We didn’t get to use the pool unfortunately as we’d decided to eat at TRex so barely had enough time to brush our teeth before we were back out again and on the way to DS, but it did look fab.



TRex was heaving! Thank god we were using our Landry’s card and were seated straight away. I love the theming in here but can’t really get excited about the food…it’s nice enough but nothing special. Wouldn’t waste a DP credit or actual cash on it I don’t think, but love to pop in and see the shop and have a drink if there’s credit on one of our (many) Landry’s cards.




Not going to lie, I was almost asleep in my seat before the bill arrived so we made a swift exit and headed to the new bus stop section of DS - bit mind boggling at midnight on Travel Day, and we did experience a bit of a wait for the AoA bus but were soon freezing our bums off, heading home for our first night in two separate double beds…don’t get me wrong, I love Bear and hate to wake up without him next to me, with his gob open, drooling, snoring, etc. but God I love the two bed thing in the US…maximum starfishing potential!

O x

Edited at 01:49 PM.
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Old 28 May 17, 10:54 PM  
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Haha loving this! Its amazing how travel day stress just disappears ... mine goes as soon as I'm on the ME to Disney! Looking forward to the next instalment
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Old 29 May 17, 01:43 AM  
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Great report so far, a pleasure to read and funny, I like your style! Bring it on 👍
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Old 30 May 17, 12:44 AM  
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We flew out the day before you and also went to T-Rex for dinner on our first night, I was also falling asleep in my food, I was so tired I thought I was going to be sick!

Your holiday sounds absolutely epic, crazy jealous of your Poly stay!

Parsnip is so cute! Gorgeous name too.
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Old 31 May 17, 10:22 AM  
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Originally Posted by jools1302 View Post
Haha loving this! Its amazing how travel day stress just disappears ... mine goes as soon as I'm on the ME to Disney! Looking forward to the next instalment
Ah thanks I'm sure ours would've disappeared too had we been able to find it without a magical mystery tour of MCO!
O x
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Old 31 May 17, 10:23 AM  
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Originally Posted by YLL View Post
Great report so far, a pleasure to read and funny, I like your style! Bring it on 👍
Oh thank you for reading along...trying to find enough photo's for the next instalment! I must try to take more this year!
O x
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Old 31 May 17, 10:27 AM  
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Originally Posted by collybird View Post
We flew out the day before you and also went to T-Rex for dinner on our first night, I was also falling asleep in my food, I was so tired I thought I was going to be sick!

Your holiday sounds absolutely epic, crazy jealous of your Poly stay!

Parsnip is so cute! Gorgeous name too.
No way, how weird is that! I don't think we got to eat until 11pm so was definitely dead on my feet

Ahh the Poly was just amazing! We're going back for a week in September, nearly bankrupted me but it's worth it!

Parsnip is an absolute beast but shall tell him how cute he is hahaha O x
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Old 31 May 17, 10:52 AM  
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Fantastic trip report - looking forward to reading more
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