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Old 3 Jan 19, 04:36 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Charlie’s First WDW Adventure - Sep/Oct 2019 - Pre-Trip Report *Updated 19th September*

So here I am, back again for another trip report… and this time I am super excited to say that after nearly 3 and half years away we are returning to Orlando!

For those of you who have been following my reports over the last few years will be more than familiar with our faces but for any newcomers I will do a quick introduction to our cast… which includes some new additions this time around!

First up me! Loud, excitable, curly-haired and the excessive planner!



Next up, my partner in crime Paul! The laid-back, spontaneous, navigator of the gang!



Then comes by far the cutest member of the party… Charlie! This little man will be 23 months when we travel and this will be his first visit to WDW (hence the title of this report!)



Along for the ride will also be Paul’s Mum Joan. Kind-hearted, loveable and the most caring woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! And last but by no means least, Joan’s partner John. America loving, space enthusiast and wannabe cowboy!



So there is our dream team! We visited Orlando back in 2014 with Joan and John (which was both mine and John’s first ever trip) and had the most amazing time. It’s going to be fab to all be out there again together and wonderful that Charlie can share his first trip with Nanny and Grandad (and lets face it, two extra pairs of hand when holidaying with a toddler are always going to be welcomed!). Just for nostalgia’s sake here is a little trip down memory lane of our 2014 trip…











Last year saw us all getting a Disney fix together as we traveled to Disneyland Paris as a family in August for Paul’s sister’s 40th birthday. Charlie was 9 months old at the time and was an absolute superstar! He was mesmerised by all the sights and sounds and truly was a joy to be away with… it was the perfect introduction to the magic that is Disney! (For anyone wanting to read more about this trip the full report can be found HERE - apologies for the shameless plug there!)











So that’s enough reminiscing… lets get down to the exciting stuff of sharing the details of our upcoming trip!

FLIGHTS

This is all very fresh as we only booked our flights yesterday… which was what spurred me on to get cracking with this pre-trip report! We had been eagerly tracking Virgin prices since flights were released back in October. We have flown with Virgin on all our previous trips so they are our airline of choice but on first releasing the prices were eye-watering high so we did debate on jumping ship and trying BA but our patience paid off as eventually prices started to fall!

As Charlie will only be 23 months when we travel he is not required to have his own seat. That said I was working up quite a sweat at the mere thought of an 8 hour flight with an energetic/wriggly toddler (and Charlie really is the definition of energetic and wriggly!) so we decided that if the price was right it really would be more enjoyable all-round if he could have his own seat for the journey.



On my regular stop by the Virgin Atlantic website yesterday afternoon I saw a price that I was excited by and after conferring with Paul, Joan and John I was given the green light to get booking! So after a lovely chat with Justin on the phone (it’s not possible to book an infant seat online) we were all set! We will be departing from London Gatwick on Saturday 28th September on the 10:10am flight direct to Orlando seated in economy and then returning home on Saturday 12th October on the 5:35pm flight seated in Premium Economy. And I am very happy to report that Charlie will have his own seat on both legs of the journey! Hurray!


ACCOMODATION

As with previous trips to Orlando, we will be staying in a villa. On starting the search Paul came across a new complex in Kissimmee called Story Lake which immediately grabbed our attention as the villas were lovely and modern. After showing Joan and John we snapped up this gorgeous three bed property that has it’s own little pool, very handy for afternoons back at the villa with Charlie! We have stayed in Kissimmee on all our previous trips and find this location perfect for accessing the parks.













One of the main selling points of Story Lake is the amazing swimming pool, lazy river and splash park. We don’t plan on visiting any waterparks on this trip so this is the perfect way to get our water fix! Charlie absolutely loves swimming so he will be in his element having all of this right on the doorstep of our villa! I am quite excited at the prospect of cocktails at the bar too!











So with villa booked and flights secured we are ticking things off the to-do list! There is still lots more to be sorted including car hire, restaurant reservations and airport hotel but there is plenty of time to sort those things and I will of course update you as things get sorted! I have of course already started shopping for this trip so no doubt there will be a haul coming in the near future too!

Thank you for sticking with me if you got this far, I hope you enjoy my ramblings as this trip comes together!



Update 1: New house, airport hotel booked and shopping!

Update 2: ADRs and Charlie's first UK theme park

Update 3: Hard Rock Hotel, car hire & a trip to DLP

Update 4: ESTAs, park tickets and more shopping!

Update 5: Villa balance paid and the last of the park tickets sorted!

Update 6: FPs done and a few other bits and bobs

Update 7: Single digits and my must-do list

Edited at 04:16 PM.
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Old 3 Jan 19, 05:19 PM  
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MinnieMrsA
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You must be so excited! So happy you are taking Charlie - it will.be such a magical trip x
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Old 3 Jan 19, 08:30 PM  
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Redrach1903
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Eeeep this is too exciting! It’s going to fly in now!

Charlie has grown so much since DLP! Can’t wait to read about his first WDW experience! I bet he will adore it!

Your villa looks amazing and that pool looks so lush too!

Excited to follow your plans!

Xxx
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Old 3 Jan 19, 08:33 PM  
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Eccle
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Very exciting to have the flights booked, and the villa looks lovely, did you book it direct with the owner?

Having the grandparents on hand will definitely be helpful too
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Old 3 Jan 19, 10:28 PM  
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smithlane
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Ooh really looking forward to this, Charlie is just an absolute cutie pie!
Storey Lakes looks amazing, brand spanking new villa and that water park. Wow!
Can't wait to read more
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Old 3 Jan 19, 11:16 PM  
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Unexpectedpenny
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So excited for you all! That villa looks beautiful 😍
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Old 3 Jan 19, 11:48 PM  
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clochette
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Looking forward to reading a!ong. Enjoy the planning!
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Yay, I've got a countdown!
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Old 4 Jan 19, 01:08 PM  
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So exciting! The villa looks amazing! I'm not a waterpark fan but the pool looks so good.

Looking forward to following along with your plans xx
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Old 4 Jan 19, 02:26 PM  
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Looking forward to reading along!
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Old 4 Jan 19, 03:37 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by MinnieMrsA View Post
You must be so excited! So happy you are taking Charlie - it will.be such a magical trip x
I'm so excited to be going back after a few years away, getting to take Charlie is absolutely going to be the icing on the cake!

Originally Posted by Redrach1903 View Post
Eeeep this is too exciting! It’s going to fly in now!

Charlie has grown so much since DLP! Can’t wait to read about his first WDW experience! I bet he will adore it!

Your villa looks amazing and that pool looks so lush too!

Excited to follow your plans!

Xxx
I can't believe how much he has changed looking back at the photos from DLP! He is going to be so different come us actually going on this trip!

Thank you for joining me... you of course had no choice! xxx

Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
Very exciting to have the flights booked, and the villa looks lovely, did you book it direct with the owner?

Having the grandparents on hand will definitely be helpful too
We booked the villa through HomeAway, it was a complete random find whilst searching complexes in Kissimmee and the reviews all seem good!

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Ooh really looking forward to this, Charlie is just an absolute cutie pie!
Storey Lakes looks amazing, brand spanking new villa and that water park. Wow!
Can't wait to read more
Aww thank you so much, he is rather yummy (which is lucky as he is also a very cheeky little monkey too!)

I'm so excited to stay at Story Lake, the photos are just stunning!
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