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Old 18 Dec 17, 02:37 PM  
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VeryexcitedH
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A birthday at DLP - Pre-Trip Report

So, this is my first attempt at a trip report after many good reads on TheDibb. I thought I would try it out on a short trip to DLP to see if I could manage it. Thanks for reading!

Quick introduction to the cast members of this trip…

There’s me Heather, aged 38, avid planner of all things Disney related. We first visited WDW back in 2013 and it was to be a once in a life time affair…oh how wrong we were!
Dh, Dave aged 37, doesn’t claim to be as obsessed as I seem to be becoming with Disney but goes along with whatever I suggest and plan!
DS, Jack aged 10. He has ASD, ADHD and Anxiety and upon reflection to our trip 4 years ago (pre diagnosis) we did too much and he was far too overwhelmed, little did we know it at the time. Loves Disney and fearless when it comes to rollercoasters!
DD, Libby aged 8 although she actually turned 9 on this trip…more to come on that! Libby was very much into Disney Princesses when we visited with her aged 4 but now she absolutely loves Disney Villains – Kylo Ren, Cruella De Ville and Malificent to name but a few!
And how did this trip come about…?

After our initial trip to WDW in 2013 we returned with a new found obsession. Not just for Disney but for Universal Studios, Florida, America and theme parks. As soon as we came back we hatched a plan to return in 4 years time and started saving small amounts each month so that there was spending money for the next time. We should have gone in Summer 2017 (I’m a teacher so limited to the school holidays) but unfortunately dh didn’t get his holidays for 2017 until April 2017 (thanks to a new rota system at work) and when they were released he was given the beginning of July for Summer leave and the beginning of September for Autumn leave. So we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not be returning that year as planned and spent some of the money on new carpets for the living room and hallway and stairs and also on building decking at the back of our house. Well, we weren’t getting any Florida sun so had to make the best of the British summer didn’t we?!

We did book a short week long holiday to Cyprus for the end of August as dh did manage to swap a leave block but despite the prospect of some sun I was still hankering for Disney. At the beginning of July I started looking at visiting DLP. This continued and when I asked DH if we could go he said yes, I thought he was humouring me but he was serious so I started looking into it in more detail. When I looked into it the October half term for both my children and myself was quite late this year and it also fell around the time of dd’s Birthday (1st November) and although DH didn’t have any leave booked for this time of year I thought we could box clever and fit it in on his 4 days off between his shifts (he’s a firefighter). He demanded to be back by Bonfire Night as his first shift on but said he could swap his last night shift on 31st Oct. I initially looked into staying at the Santa Fe or Cheyenne but when I spoke to a friend she suggested the NPB and when I looked at it, it was only slightly more expensive than one of the others (but I can’t for the life of me remember which!)

So a plan was hatched. Looking at the Disney offers we could get the 2 nights free (I think) starting from 1st November with a late flight out on the 31st October at 17.30 (which would allow dh enough time to get home from the end of his night shift at 8.30 that morning and enough of a turn around to get to the airport), we could stay somewhere on the Tuesday night before heading to the hotel first thing on Wednesday morning to check in and get our park tickets and have 3 full days and nights at the parks before heading home on the early flight on the Saturday. This meant losing the 4th day in the park but the flights were the best price I could find and I figured arriving the day before would ensure we got the best use of our time.
Hotel was booked on the 31st August whilst the kids were at a summer camp (naughty mummy!) at a cost of £934.36, flights with easyjet were also booked at a cost of £360 from Manchester to Paris Charles De Galle. I then booked a hotel at the airport for our arrival. This was Novotel Suites and by becoming a loyalty member I got it at the price of £65.86 which I thought was reasonable.
Nothing was said to the children as I wanted it to be a surprise treat for both their birthdays (although as I mentioned DD turned 9 on our first day there.)

September came and, still hankering for my lost WDW holiday, I spent some time on the Dibb researching the BA Sale and found 4 indirect flights from Man-Phl-Mia 24th July 2018 Return Mia-Hth-Man plus an SUV for £2,000.00. It would have been quite rude not too and dh said he could sort his leave and I had to book it at that price. Which I did. Oooops! In the end dh was able to find out that he was on leave for one of the chosen weeks anyways so thankfully only has to swap 4 shifts which should be relatively easy to do.
So I now had 2 Disney holidays booked. Oh dear!

As time ticked on and I realised that I had to be quite frugal on our upcoming trip to DLP thanks to our trip to WDW I spent some time researching food at DLP and realised it was expensive! Eeek… I hatched a plan and decided to take brioches from Aldi in the suitcases which we could have as a breakfast on our way to the park and I bought 2 vouchers from Earl of Sandwich for 4 American breakfasts at a cost of £17.00 (these were a bacon, egg and cheese muffin with a hot drink and cost 5.95 in the parks so a slight saving.) I would then pack snack packs to nibble on throughout the day then we would have a proper meal in one of the restaurants in the Disney Village at night. I bought these tickets from 365Tickets and just downloaded the vouchers when they were emailed to me.

A friend that is going to DLP in February (NellieSavage75!) recommended Buffalo Bills Wild West Show and mentioned that there was an offer for category 2 tickets on Attraction Tickets so at the end of September I bought these at a cost of £124.00.
The only other things I booked were the Lounge (£83.96 through Quidco) and Airport Parking (£36.00 through Holiday Extras I think.) I also sorted out a transfer from the airport hotel to NPB on 1st Nov and NPB to the airport with RS Transfers. These guys emailed me back very quickly and answered all of my questions (As originally I had considered going into Paris for the night so that we could visit Hard Rock to collect a pin as we are Hard Rock obsessed. In the end, with the cost of taxis and the time we would have had we decided against it.)

So that was it! The only thing we had to do was to wait to tell the children then head to DLP!

Edited at 10:31 PM.
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Old 21 Dec 17, 12:43 AM  
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Nellie75
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Thanks for the reference! The dibb told me about it! Looking forward to the rest of the report preferably before I go in Feb!
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Old 1 Mar 18, 09:54 PM  
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Gill H
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theDIBB Guidebook
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Great start! I look forward to finding out how it all went!
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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