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Old 7 Sep 17, 07:22 PM  
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H_C-2017
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'Going the Distance' June 2017 - Travel Day - MAN-MCO, RPR Check in, Walmart + Citywalk

Friday 9th June


Travel Day


Welcome to Travel Day!

9th June was my 'actual' finish day from University, despite the fact we had finished our final placements 3 weeks earlier. I was too chicken to book any earlier incase they called me in for something.

I’m starting from travel day as we did nothing exciting on pre-travel day. I had finished Uni placements and Chris was off work (he works in sports graphics and the football season was over). We basically just packed our suitcases – both under 20kg so room for shopping... Watch this space!

We set off at 6:40. We live in Manchester so not too far from the airport although the M60 clockwise can be hell in the morning. My dad drove us, he is used to being my chauffeur for this sort of thing -
poor thing :P

We arrived at 7:10 said a quite sad goodbye to my parents (this is the longest I’d been away from them, ever and headed in. Check in was super quick and we were through security and choosing somewhere for breakfast by 7:30.



We went to the Spinning Jenny – which is terminal 3.
I had Eggs Benedict and Chris had a double breakfast burger.
Mine was better than his so I let him share some.



Chris had a Perroni and I had a tea as I didn't quite fancy an alcoholic beverage with my breakfast. Chris claims he always has to have a beer at the airport - his record is 5am when he was going to Milan last year for the football.



I sent Chis up to pay and he didn't keep the receipt. He said it was around £26. Great accuracy for the trip report 😂.

It didn’t take us long to have breakfast so with full bellies we went for a wander around duty free. I bought a benefit ka-brow in deep and Giorgio Armani - Sky di Gioia as my holiday perfume. We also got some water and chocolate/sweets from WHSmith.

Going to be completely honest with you all and disclose that I wasn’t very good at taking photos of everything/receipts and making good notes. :’)

It was only 9 o'clock at this point so we decided to have a drink and wait for the gate to be announced.

Chris went to the bar to order.



He had a Newcastle brown and I asked for a vodka and cranberry.



Most expensive vodka cranberry ever. I was like what have you ordered?! When he told me the total was £15



Turns out he ordered a double grey goose - that would be why then.
Gate was announced as we were finishing our drinks so we headed over there at about 9:30.



I was so excited. I'd been thinking about this holiday since we booked it in September - and to be honest i'd been doing crazy amounts of research before then too.

Our plane was TinkerBelle Little bit of Disney right there.



We were flying PE so boarded after upper class and soon got ourselves settled. We chose seats 19A+C – so we could be quick off the plane. We were really happy with the amount of room and found the seats comfy – good job too considering we were spending 9 hours in them.





I loved the little glasses of prosecco! Chris had a bucks fizz and then tried to ‘look posh’ whilst drinking it.



We were soon heading over to the runway.





We loved this. The amount of artwork with I Manchester and bee's in the design is amazing in Manchester at the moment.





Took off just before 10:40 and by 11:10 they were doing the drinks service. We both had vodka + orange.





At this point I realised that my IFE wasn’t working. The gentleman in front was having the same issue and so the hostess gave us ipads.



Chris declared that the quality of the screen was better on the ipad and wanted to share. He then spent about 20 minutes rummaging around for his headphone splitters which he literally had that morning. Unfortunately they were nowhere to be found so I got to have the ipad all to myself. Chris also spent some time taking photos out of the window - he really likes planes.





I watched Rouge One which I had already seen a few times and really liked. Chris watched House of Cards on his phone in the end.
We had some mild turbulence at ten to twelve and had to put seatbelts on for 10 or so minutes. Chris really likes turbulence for some reason… very odd I know. I think he finds it ‘exciting’.

As soon as the seat belt sign went off again food was served.

I had Chilli and Chris had the chicken dish, we both had wine – red for him and white for me. We enjoyed the food, although I wasn’t too keen on the salad. I’m not a huge salad person so that was to be expected. The garlic spread for the bread was lovely though – I could have done with more of that.







We spent the rest of the time watching films/tv and in Chris’s case, sleeping.



They came round with some hot drinks just before 1. We both had tea. Chris was a fan of the stirrer. Easily pleased. I liked the mug - and apparently some other people must do too as there were about 4 in the cupboard in the villa when we arrived there.



At 5:30pm (UK time) they served afternoon tea. I ate the sandwhiches which were perfectly fine. Only had bites of the cakes though. Found them too sickly in an artificial tasting way. I had a headache at this point and was feeling abit mleh. Think I just wanted to get there at this point. I’m a fidgeter so I tend to get impatient.





Towards the end of the flight I became obsessed with the map – loved seeing the minutes count down! Think I was getting slightly giddy.
We landed at 2:30pm Orlando time – bang on time. Taxi to the terminal took 10 mins.

I was so worried about immigration but needn’t have been. We were soon on the tram







I loved the main terminal building with the palm trees, fountain and flag. Everything was exciting to me at this point :’)





I spotted the Disney wall and so had to have a photo.



Even with my suitcase going through extra screening after we collected our luggage we were out of the airport, into a taxi ($45) and arriving at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at 4pm! We were very impressed.

Upon check in we were informed that they were slightly behind getting the rooms ready. They gave us a voucher for a free drink eat at Jake's Bar and said they would text when the room was ready. We also got some lei’s. We left our luggage with bell services and went for a wander to get our bearings round the hotel.



We situated ourselves at the bar in Jakes. Chris ordered a beer and I had a lemonade. They had some funky ceiling fans in here. The bartender was really nice in here, he and Chris had a chat about football – both the American and English kind.





We decided to use our drinks vouchers another time as a lemonade in my mind was a waste of drinks voucher when I could have a wine. I don’t have a receipt but remember leaving $12 including tip.

It was nearly 5 o’clock at this point so we went back to the check in desk to ask about the room. The lady said the room was ready (finally! ), we quickly nipped over to the express pass booths to have our photos taken. Not that it mattered – I was basically a black smudge.

We headed up to the room, I was so excited to get changed and freshen up. The room was gorgeous, nice and bright. Lots of storage room and the all-important empty fridge.











Chris was very excited to see the huge bed. We had a massive bed when we went to Prague a few years ago and we loved it. I mainly loved it as we were nowhere near each other and so Chris wasn’t always lying on my hair – anyone else with long hair have this issue?



Our view out of the window was quite nice. Lots of green. Somewhere to the left of this view we could see what I think was a theme park area on I Drive - there was a big sky sling shot thing that was lit up at night.



We called bell services and got them to bring the cases up, tipping $5. We sort of unpacked, leaving some things that we were sure we wouldn’t need ie Mickey ears, in the cases.

We decided to head to Walmart to get some supplies, mainly drinks (didn’t want to keep spending $3-4 dollars in the parks) and snacks for breakfast.

We decided against a car for this trip – young driver surcharge + hotel parking cost + parking at Disney meant it would have cost a small fortune. We basically used Uber and Lyft for the whole trip. It was very easy, we never waited more than 7-8mins for a car and we both had 3 feel at home for internet. I don’t have the costs for every trip we took as Chris used his account for some of them, but we both signed up for the $5 off 10 trips with Lyft which saved some money.

We left the hotel at 18:25 and went to the Walmart near Dr Phillips which literally took 10mins or less. Walmart was huge! I remember walking around Walmart when I was last in florida even though I was only 6. My mum and my cousin loved it and we spent a lot of time in there.

I didn’t take any photos in there as I think we just wanted to get in and out – easier said than done. We were leaving at 19:15 though so we didn’t do too badly!

We bought a selection of healthy produce such as huge apples, yoghurts, water, and juice. Followed by some not so healthy produce like muffins, sugar cookies, Twinkies and massive tortilla chips and cheese dip.











Chris declared himself ‘starving’ and started eating things despite us just deciding to walk to Citywalk for dinner.





We took some selfies for good measure before we left the room at 19:40. We (I) also stopped for some photos in the central garden off the lobby. I’m always of the mind to take lots of photos because inevitably I look awful in 70% of them and they get rejected :’)







We headed down the path towards Citywalk – we only used the boat once as we found the walk really lovely and it gave us the opportunity to burn what I assume would be about 20 calories off the thousands we ate every day.

A boat came past us and we waved – this was a Sapphire Falls boat though.



We soon arrived at city walk – the photo of the boat near the beach at RPR and this photo below were taken 8 minutes apart which shows how quick the walk is. Or it could show how hungry we were, tough call.





I seem to have quite a few photos of Chris taking a photo.



The atmosphere at Citywalk was lovely. The sun was just going down, there was music and everything was lit up. I was having majorly good feels.

We decided on NBC Brew and Grill for food – it was 8:15pm now. Chris loves sports and then have some pretty huge screens in there so it seemed like a good pick. We noticed at the podium that the total capacity for the restaurant/bar was 900 guests. How crazy is that?!
We were seated straight away on a raised area that overlooked the open kitchen. We did really well arriving at the time we did. The basketball was on at 9 and the place filled up really quickly. There was a fantastic atmosphere when the basketball was on though, lots of cheering.





I didn't do very well with the notes at this point! Completely forgot which cocktail I ordered it had lemonade and bourbon in it and was lovely. I’ve just had a glance at the menu and I think it could have been a Dixie Lemonade: American Born Dixie Moonshine, Fresh Lemonade – although that doesn’t have bourbon in. It was $10 anyway.

Chris had a beer flight called 'When in Rome'. This was also around $10.



We then shared some chicken wings. Chris is obsessed with chicken wings. He asked the waitress what exactly ranch was when she asked if we wanted ranch or blue cheese - they then had a really long discussion about this as apparently those from the northern states prefer blue cheese and ranch was more of a southern thing. She gave us both dips in the end.
These were $12.95



For mains I had smoked pulled pork and chris had bang bang chicken.





Both were lovely and very filling.
The sauce with the bang bang chicken was delicious.
The pulled pork was $18.25 and the bang bang chicken $14.95.

The total bill was $72 and we left $85.

We were so pleased with this meal. Exactly the kind of thing I had envisioned when dreaming about food on holiday for nearly a year. I think it really kind of hit that we were there and we had 18 nights of fun ahead.

We were back out into Citywalk at 9:30 and had a wander around taking it all in. There was quite a party atmosphere going on with all the lights and music.



We started to head back to the hotel at 9:45 and were in bed by 10:30 – considering that’s 3:30am in the UK we were really impressed with our stamina – although I think a lot of it was adrenaline and excitement. We set an alarm for 6:30 as we wanted to get to early entry for 8am at Islands of Adventure.

Steps: 7020. 5.7km
We hadn't done that much today to be fair.


So that’s Travel Day done! Sorry for the lack of photos and detail in places. Never done a trip report before, it’s a lot of work!

Day 1: IOA+US, Margaritaville

Edited at 07:59 PM.
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Old 7 Sep 17, 09:12 PM  
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Zomax25
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Great start. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing the rest of your holiday.
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Old 7 Sep 17, 10:04 PM  
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Great start to your holiday can I ask who did you use to transfer airport to rpr
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Old 7 Sep 17, 10:20 PM  
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Originally Posted by Zomax25 View Post
Great start. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing the rest of your holiday.
Thanks! It's taking me ages just to sort through photos at the moment!
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Originally Posted by darsch1982 View Post
Great start to your holiday can I ask who did you use to transfer airport to rpr
We just got a taxi - it was $55 including a tip.
All the private transfers were coming out at around $50-70 mark when we looked so we knew we wouldn't be saving much booking in advance.

You can also get Uber - at the time you could only use Uber select/black which is the more expensive type but I think you can get the normal version now. Which would probably be cheaper.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 11 Sep 17, 01:43 PM  
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Great start, well done on lasting so long, Im always exhausted on Travel Day!

Reading this has made me so excited for our stay at RPR next week! Food at NBC looks fab, Im off to search for their menu now

Looking forward to the rest!
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Old 11 Sep 17, 05:17 PM  
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Originally Posted by 2littleboys View Post
Great start, well done on lasting so long, Im always exhausted on Travel Day!

Reading this has made me so excited for our stay at RPR next week! Food at NBC looks fab, Im off to search for their menu now

Looking forward to the rest!
You will have a great time! It's a lovely hotel, so close to the parks and we found citywalk great for food.

Thanks for reading 😀
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Old 11 Sep 17, 11:47 PM  
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Your room is lovely and dinner looks fab, can't believe how much energy you had despite the flight.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 08:16 AM  
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Originally Posted by collybird View Post
Your room is lovely and dinner looks fab, can't believe how much energy you had despite the flight.
I think we were excited! 😂 Adrenaline kept us going. We had nights later in the trip where we were way less engergetic! Funny how much going round the parks tires you out!
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Old 21 Jan 18, 10:36 PM  
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Fab start - your meal looks great and a place that is on our 'to-do' list for a future visit. RPR is our hotel of choice for Universal, we've ended many a day at Universal with a drink at Jakes bar
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Old 22 Jan 18, 07:45 AM  
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Great first day. Impressed you made it to wallmark. Have made a note of the one near doc phil as last year sat nav took me miles away! 😣
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