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Unread 4 Jun 17, 07:26 PM  
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Wobbles
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Howlin @ the Horror 2017 - Pre Trip Report

Hello, Good [insert time of day] and Welcome to the pre-trip report for the 2017 Wobbles biennial trip to the Land of Horror.

Updates
Update One - The Story of our Holiday
Update Two - Tickets Tickets Tickets

So who are we?

We are the Wobbles, most often found in and around the Halloween Horror Nights Sticky, the October 2017 and October 2018 Social Groups or the Food Forum.



Mr W is a Civil Servant in Bristol, he is counting the days to retirement and has a list a mile long of stuff he doesn't do now but wants to.

I am also a Civil Servant but in London, slightly younger and I have just landed my dream job in the new Department of International Trade... changing jobs has delayed my pre-trip report.



So what is our Orlando Backstory? (Because we all have one of these) ... well, Once upon a time (about 10 years ago) a Dibber's husband humoured his wife with ONE visit... A year or so later the Dibber managed to persuade afore-mentioned husband to give Halloween Horror a go and the rest is history...

We now go every other year, and do another part of the world inbetween... (apart from next year, next year we are also doing Halloween to celebrate a special birthday so we are doing 2 years on the trot..)

We have hone our October Scarefest almost to the point that its perfect for us, a mixture of waterparks, Universal, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens. There is also some food, some (lots) adventure golf and chilling by a villa pool.



Our Plan:

We have our Halloween Hip Hip Holiday down to a fine art... here it is

Day 0 - Overnight at the Gatwick Hilton, Sundown Check-In and a chilled evening
Day 1 - Thomas Cook and Settling into the Bolton's Villa in Windwood Bay
Day 2 - Relaxing first day in Aquatica, with Cabana and Meal Deal
Day 3 - Halloween Day 1 - Howl-O-Scream (Busch Gardens), overnight stop at Holiday Inn
Day 4 - Safari Tours Busch Gardens, back to Villa and Adventure Golf
Day 5 - Halloween Day 2 - Off to Halloween Horror Nights, hopefully our first go on Kong
Day 6 - Down Day, chilling and golf
Day 7 - Discovery Cove (Happy Birthday Mr W)
Day 8 - Halloween Day 3 - HHN part 2 with Scareactor Dining
Day 9 - Chilled Day, Maybe some shopping, maybe HHN in the evening
Day 10 - Halloween Day 4 - Back to Busch Gardens for H-O-S part 2... another night in an Holiday Inn
Day 11 - Chilled day at the Beach
Day 12 - Halloween Day 5 - HHN with adventure golf at Universal
Day 13 - Back to Aquatica and chillded day
Day 14 - Another down day, maybe some shopping, maybe Disney Springs, maybe adventure golf
Day 15 - Halloween Day 6 - A night a RPR with HHN and water rides through the day and lots of nice cocktails
Day 16 - Halloween Day 7 - Behind the Screams Tours
Day 17 - Bye Bye Orlando, see you next year

This is our longest trip and we can't wait
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Trip Reports
Howling @ the Horror 2015 (Complete)
Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2019

Edited at 08:45 PM.
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Unread 11 Jun 17, 05:36 PM  
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Wobbles
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So why do we do what we do on holiday?

We have been going to Orlando in October since about 2011 and we have refined out holiday into something we really enjoy. This is what is important to us and why we book what we do

(1) "Down Time" = Villa. Like many other dibbers, we live very busy lives, I am out of the house from 6am to 8pm most days. So for us, we need our relaxation time so plan plenty of pool days and chilled evening, reading and chatting. We love the space, the pool and the peace and quiet which comes with a villa. Again this year, for the third time, we have booked Dibb Bolton's Villa on Windwood Bay.



(2) Water Water Everywhere. Both Mr W and I are water babies, we love swimming and splashing so Waterparks feature highly in our planning. We fell in Love with Discovery Cove 2 years ago and Aqauatica has long been our favourite waterpark. This year the free parking which comes with Discovery Cove Ultimate tickets means we will probably swap a couple of our villa pool days for part of the day at Aquatica



Our most important waterpark day is always our first day. We pre-book a Cabana and dining and get up early (who doesn't?) and head out for the day.

This means the out of pocket spends (with free parking) for day one is almost nil. I can read in the cabana and get use to the heat. Mr W could spend the day in Roa Rapids if he could

(3) Halloween Howls. Our main reason for going. This week I bought our Frequent Fear with Express Pass tickets. These will give us 6 or 7 opportunties to go to Halloween Horror and we will also do a couple of nights over in Tampa at Busch Gardens "Howl-O-Scream".



We also go on the "Behind the Screams" tour and the Scareactor Dining which we really enjoyed 2 years ago.



(4) "Food Glorious Food". We are not huge foodies in terms of high end food but we do enjoy good grub, lots of meat and salads and ice cream... we really like ice cream.



As this is our first year with Universal Annual Passes, we intend to eat more at CityWalk (rather than grab a bit to eat on I-Drive before heading to the park early afternoon). I am glad both Coldstone Creamery and Menchies give 10% of with season tickets.

(5) Adventure Golf. When we are not at Halloween events, our evenings tend to be spent playing adventure golf. We get very very competitive (running four seperate competitions over the two weeks - Most matches won, most holes won, least strokes, most hole in ones!)



Our current favourites are the ones at Universal and we will do them both at least once!

All of this comes together and means no time for Disney. We don't miss it, we will go to Disney Springs at least once and also at least one of the golf courses!

Next Update - What is already booked
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Emma and Steven

Trip Reports
Howling @ the Horror 2015 (Complete)
Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2019
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Unread 13 Jun 17, 08:04 PM  
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berniegroves
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Fab trip report.
Your holiday sounds awesome. It makes me think of the relaxing holidays we had in florida before kids. lol.

Although Halloween Horror Nights is just too scary for me. I think i'd literally have a heart attack with all those zombies!

Look forward to reading more. And we may see you there :-)
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Unread 13 Jun 17, 09:33 PM  
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disneyme
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Trip sounds great- a lovely mix of scares and relaxation!

I love HHN and we are planning to fit in 4 visits on this years trip
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Unread 13 Aug 17, 08:41 PM  
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Wobbles
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Tickets, Tickets, Tickets

Hello, remember me? I am the pre-tripper who has been neglecting her pre-trip report... work has a lot to answer for!

So I want to share the tickets we buy and why we choose the options we do.

Universal Annual Passes
This year we decided to give Volcano Bay a miss so we only needed two park passes.We get one of the cheapest level ($284) and one of the third tier passes ($384).



The reason we do this is only one of your party needs a higher level pass to take advantage of the "Offers". As we don't go when there are blackout dates, it's worth having the cheaper tickets, just remember that you need the ticket holder with you to take advantage of the deals.

Over the course of the 16 nights we are there we will go 7 times and when you take into consideration the savings we make with the free parking, hotel, discount of HHN tickets, discount on food and "Merch" it works out at about 130 per person. Our trip early next year then works out as "cost neutral"

Halloween Horror Nights - Frequent Fear with Express Passes
We have done HHN without Express Passes and we decided never again... The Frequent Fear tickets give you up to 21 nights, mainly Sun, Wed, Thurs but with a couple of Fridays and a Saturday thrown in too.



The Express Passes adds about $235 dollars per person on to the cost the of base ticket ($339 compared with $102, standard price, however we get an additional $31 dollars off due to our annual passes). As Express Passes are $80 per person per night, you only need to do three nights before you start to save. We do 6 nights so save ourselves about $240 per person with these tickets.

Howl-O-Scream Tickets
Currently a single night Howl-O-Scream Ticket is $29.99 per person but this goes up on the 16th August. Making it amazing value for the evening.



This paper ticket gets swapped for a wrist band and we also get a Freight Feast which gives us early access to all the houses until 8.30 as well as a very very nice buffet to fill the time between the park closes and Howl-O-Scream. This costs about $25 per person, so less than you would expect to spend on a meal in a theme park (includes main course, desserts and free soft drinks, but you can purchase alcohol to eat with it). Whilst you eat, enjoy the entertainment.



You can get express passes without freight feast which are valid all evening and they cost about $50 but if you have not been before their VIP tours work out great value too.



Discovery Cove - Ultimate Tickets

We go for the non-swim Ultimate Tickets, which even without the free parking for Busch Gardens, Seaworld and Aquatica we think is great value. We save about $70 on food and drink on the day we go to Discovery Cove. In addition we will go to Aquatica a couple of times and Busch three times (including our Howl-o-Scream trips) so we get our "value" out of the non swim days.



We get our tickets direct from Discovery Cove and I get a paper ticket for discovery cove, which is swapped for the lanyard Mr W is wearing here. In addition we get a paper ticket for Aquatica and Busch (I print a couple of copies out before we go.) Once you have been to DC you can swap you paper tickets and take your DC Lanyard.

The lanyard also has a map on it as well as ID for over 21s. This is very useful for ID at Busch Gardens!

So that is all the tickets we have, next week (or maybe the week after) I will update you all on the extras that I have booked.
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Emma and Steven

Trip Reports
Howling @ the Horror 2015 (Complete)
Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2019

Edited at 07:46 AM.
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Unread 14 Aug 17, 08:31 AM  
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Mortimer Mouse
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Sounds like a great trip. Some really useful info for those planning on enjoying some of the scarier Halloween events that Orlando has to offer.
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Unread 14 Aug 17, 11:26 AM  
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Sounds like a fantastic trip!
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Unread 20 Aug 17, 05:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by Mortimer Mouse View Post
Sounds like a great trip. Some really useful info for those planning on enjoying some of the scarier Halloween events that Orlando has to offer.
Thank you, I can remember how difficult it was working my way through HHN and HoS tickets the first tiem

Originally Posted by DisneyDreamer81 View Post
Sounds like a fantastic trip!
Thank you
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Howling @ the Horror 2015 (Complete)
Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2019
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