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Old 15 Sep 19, 02:58 PM  
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Milpston
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Thumbs up The 5 of us in Florida - Take 2 - July 2020 - CANCELLED BY COVID

So I know it's very early but we are already about half way through what feels like a mammoth countdown to our second family trip to Florida.


The introductions

me - Paul - I have recently hit the big 4 0 which is a bit depressing and I will turn 41 during this trip. I live for holidays and am the main planner, Dibber and trip report cobbler together from scraps of notes. I love any thrill rides, steaks and seeing the kids enjoy everything Florida has to offer. I have had 3 previous Florida holidays with the last being in October 2018 as a family. Have flown in and out of Miami/Fort Lauderdale on a few cruises but that doesn't really count.

Sally - The long suffering Wife that puts up with my Dibb obsession. On our last trip Sally started to be interested in the planning about a month before we left. She used to regularly enjoy moaning about me being glued to The Dibb. However, since our last trip she now gets it and gives me free reign with Dibb research as she saw the benefits last time out. 2 previous Florida trips not in including cruises. A roller coaster junkie and converted to being completely Disney mad. I have created a monster !



Chloe - Has to put up with me winding her up. She will be 18 and only 4 months short of 19 on this trip. Like her Mum is more involved in the planning this time. She will have finished her A levels just before we go on this trip.

This is Chloe with Emma before their first day back at school/sixth form recently.



Emma - This will be Emma's 2nd trip to Florida having loved every minute of our October 2018 trip. She has also been with us to DLP once. She was nearly 4 on the last trip and will be about 5 and a half by the time we go. Still Disney and Princess mad. We hear all about our last trip and the rides she went on pretty much daily. She is now tall enough for the likes of Splash and Soaring which she wasn't able to do last time. She has just started reception at school and is settling in well having just completed her first full week. She will be missing some time at school at the end of the year but at that age I know we can catch up whilst we are away and during the rest of the summer holidays.

Obligatory 1st day at school photograph





Benjamin - Benjamin will have turned 3 about 6 weeks before this trip. Will be lovely to be paying for his theme park tickets this time He was 17 months on our last trip so won't really remember much about that one. We have thousands of pictures to remind him of it though. Still loves his Disney films and I'm thinking he will be the adrenalin junkie. However, with both the kids being quite small for their age we are just hoping that he is tall enough for 7DMT and slinky by the time we go. I think he has about 4 cm to grow.





We can't wait to get back out there for some more quality family time.



The plan

So how did this trip come about? We were about half way through our trip of a life time when I started tentatively mentioning going back and I wasn't hit with the brick wall I was expecting. In the lead up to that trip Sally saw it as a one off and couldn't quite get on board with a similar cost for another tip. I didn't bring the subject up again for a while and we arrived home early November 2018.

The trip report for that trip can be found here if you want to see what we got up to.

By the time December came round I popped the all important question! We were stood in the kitchen and I said, "Shall we book to go back Summer 2020?", and to my surprise got a, "Yeah, do it" .
We decided that it would be more of a budget trip than the last one but we still wanted to do three weeks. I spent the next few days hunting for a villa. I soon decided that I couldn't find anything better that Hibiscus Ridge that we stayed at for the second week of our previous trip.

It is a Dibb villa so I dropped the owner Debra (username Tetrarch on The Dibb) an email for a quote. I was happy enough with the price so we set about getting our annual leave authorised at work. We are not allowed to book leave more than 18 months before but managed to get it earlier with a bit of begging. We had to make some of the holiday pre-school holidays or we would have no chance getting more than 2 weeks.
Just before Christmas I transferred the deposit so the return was on Debra kindly held a couple of days either side for me to give us a little bit of wiggle room on flights. We are really looking forward to a longer stay here next time as we really didn't feel like a week was long enough last time especially with a Universal stay in the middle. Debra is so helpful, easy to deal with and I would recommend this villa unreservedly.









So we were all done with our accommodation and a much simpler trip this time having had 5 different places to stay in Florida on our last trip. Just the 19 months to wait and only abut 8-9 months to wait until our flights would be released. I wasn't convinced I would do a trip report again. However, I have read my last one a few times since we have been back and really want to have one to look back on in the future again. So I have promised myself I will make better notes this time and even proof read them before posting so that I don't look quite so illiterate.

Anyone who read my last pre-trip report will probably remember that I'm not very good at keeping to a budget and cannot stop myself from adding things as I go. This one will be different! ... mostly


The shape of this trip has changed a few times since then. We were seriously looking at doing 2-3 days in New York on the way out to Florida. We went a fair way down the road of planning our hotel etc. However, I just that nagging feeling in the back of my head that the kids wouldn't get much out of it. Sally, Chloe and I have all been before and loved it but just felt that Emma and Benjamin would get a lot more from it if they were a bit older.

Our thoughts turned to adding a couple of nights at Disney through our stay by renting DVC points. Eventually we decided that it would be best to add 5 nights at a Disney moderate resort whilst upgrading to DDP. After lots of research we decided that we would go with Caribbean Beach Resort. Our options were a little limited due to needing a room with a fifth sleeper.


I took the laptop to bed with me the night before the dining plan was released and not long after midnight I was in the queue to get on the website with, no doubt, hundreds of other nutty Dibbers. A friend of ours was doing the same as we were messaging on WhatsApp as she was looking to book an October 2020 trip. Well it wasn't too successful as there were pretty much no moderate rooms with a 5th sleeper showing as available on release night. I even closed the computer once and then sat back in the queue just to double check that I hadn't missed anything. It must have been about 3am by the time I was ready to give up. Sally was laying snoring next to me. I had a decision to make. I either hold fire and see if more rooms were released at a later date OR I just book a deluxe with a view to possibly downgrading later. I decided not to wake Sally and accidentally ended up booking 5 nights at the Beach Club with the DDP Next morning I woke to face the music but Sally and Chloe were both chuffed to bits.

Over the next few days I made contact with Debra to alter our dates with her slightly and, by chance, found that there were now CBR fifth sleeper rooms available. I mentioned this Sally and Chloe and got a look of disgust at the idea of changing our booking to CBR, I then noticed that The Yacht Club was now showing with availability. I was straight on the phone to Disney to get it changed. I changed our booking from a Standard room at BC to a Garden View room at YC. This was only a few quid more and avoided the amendment fee. I'm very happy with the booking now. We loved the location and are very happy to be trying YC rather than repeating BC again. It gives us a guaranteed balcony and is a slight change if not much of one. We look forward to our 5 nights here.









I had made the decision that I wasn't going to book flights on release this time. I could have saved £200 if I had waited a few weeks last year. I was tracking the flight prices each week they were released for the 6 weeks leading up to our BA flights being released though. The night before our BA flights were due to release I was working a night shift. It was a pretty busy night so it must have been 4am by the time I had a chance to take a look. We had kind of thought our limit was £3.5k-£4k for return flights and a 7 seater for the whole holiday. We had no preference as to whether we flew into Orlando or Tampa. I was happy to consider Miami too and was bit gutted when BA pulled the plug on the Fort Lauderdale route earlier. Anyway, when I put the details in the best option was direct flights LGW to TPA with a Chrysler Pacifica or similar for 26 nights at £2969. It was actually less than we paid back in October 2018 and Benjamin was on our laps on that occasion as well as the car hire being slightly shorter. The Suburban was about £500 more and as much I would like one the Pacifica is plenty big enough for us. I will keep my eye out for a decent upgrade price at a later date. I may have saved a little if I'd waited but I think that's a very fair price. If you take out the 7 seater for 26 nights I'm sure the flights are only about £400 each. The same deal with BA has been sitting around £900 - £1100 more ever since so I'm glad I took the plunge at a price I was happy with. We have not pre-booked seats. I'm not concerned about this. If BA want to split the kids from us then good luck to them





That's us almost up to date.

We will fly BA LGW - TPA 1st July returning 27th July 2020 with a 7 seater minivan for the duration.

5 nights at YC with DDP
21 Nights at Hibiscus Ridge.
21 night Disney Ultimate Tickets booked as part of our Disney package.


The day after I booked the flights I have secured our airport parking. I used a 10% discount code I noted from the Dibb and have booked the Gatwick Official onsite valet. This came to £90.90 for 28 nights parking which I am more than happy with. We will drop off the night before as we will stay at Gatwick but I haven't booked a hotel as yet.

We will be adding on the SeaWorld 3 park ticket. We will NOT be doing Universal this time. I said this last time but I do mean it this time As much as we love Universal we don't feel the need to do it again until the kids are a little older. It's a lot of money for what will be two days out and I would inevitably add on a night at the HRH and or RPR too.

Anyone who read my last trip report knows there is likely to be additions but they will be much more few and far between than last time.

We still have a fair bit on the to do list:-

Likely upgrade to DxDDP this time
SeaWorld tickets
New passport for Emma followed by Estas
May be a beach trip but this is dependent on savings levels later on
Airport hotel
Any extras that are felt absolutely necessary

This holiday feels like a long way off but ADR day is only 110 days away so lots of studying and deciding on whether to upgrade or not. I think we will as I'll have no trouble picking 5 signatures for evening meals and character meals for breakfast/brunch/lunch.

You are all welcome along for the ride where there will be lots of Disney, lots of swimming, lots of alcohol hopefully and no injuries this time!

I'll update as when anything else occurs.
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2011
DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report

Edited at 03:12 PM.
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Old 15 Sep 19, 10:02 PM  
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Eccle
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Looking forward to following along again, it all sounds great, and the flights were a good price.

What are you thinking about for ADRs at the moment?
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Old 16 Sep 19, 01:57 PM  
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Milpston
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Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
Looking forward to following along again, it all sounds great, and the flights were a good price.

What are you thinking about for ADRs at the moment?
Hi there,
I am a little in limbo with regards my ADR's until I make a final decision re whether to upgrade to the DxDDP. I think I will which means we will do 5 character breakfast/lunches and 5 signature meals.

The ones I am most certain about are
Breakfast: Cape May, Trattoria El forno and likely O'Hana.

Evening meals I would like California Grill (July 4th), Narcoosees, CRT and I may give The Yachtsman a second chance... maybe Tiffins too.

I think I will Struggle to get it down to just 5 signatures and 5 single credit meals let alone just 5 credits if we don't upgrade... I only have 109 days to decide
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2011
DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report

Edited at 02:43 PM.
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Old 17 Sep 19, 09:56 AM  
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Eccle
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Originally Posted by Milpston View Post
Hi there,
I am a little in limbo with regards my ADR's until I make a final decision re whether to upgrade to the DxDDP. I think I will which means we will do 5 character breakfast/lunches and 5 signature meals.

The ones I am most certain about are
Breakfast: Cape May, Trattoria El forno and likely O'Hana.

Evening meals I would like California Grill (July 4th), Narcoosees, CRT and I may give The Yachtsman a second chance... maybe Tiffins too.

I think I will Struggle to get it down to just 5 signatures and 5 single credit meals let alone just 5 credits if we don't upgrade... I only have 109 days to decide
Sounds good, and definitely sounds like you need to do the upgrade to do everything you want! I found it so hard to prioritise what to do with out 5 credits.

Trattoria Al Forno I really liked when I went last year. Cape May I wished we had done as it would have been so convenient, but lost out to my familyís loyalty to Chef Mickey. I canít remember if you did Garden Grill last time? Thatís another nice one that would be easy to get to, and you can get a ride on Soarin too if you get an early reservation
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Old 17 Sep 19, 12:31 PM  
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Milpston
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Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
Sounds good, and definitely sounds like you need to do the upgrade to do everything you want! I found it so hard to prioritise what to do with out 5 credits.

Trattoria Al Forno I really liked when I went last year. Cape May I wished we had done as it would have been so convenient, but lost out to my familyís loyalty to Chef Mickey. I canít remember if you did Garden Grill last time? Thatís another nice one that would be easy to get to, and you can get a ride on Soarin too if you get an early reservation
Yeah, I think the upgrade will happen providing I can raise the extra funds. It actually works out a fairly cost effective way of doing some signatures rather than paying OOP for them once we are off site.

We like the look of trattoria El Forno having seen a few Vlogs covering it. The only thing I have to put some thought into is timings and the locations of restaurants. Whilst it would probably work best to do some breakfasts I don't want to miss out on the relatively quiet times in the parks first thing in the mornings.

We did a Garden Grill dinner last time and we enjoyed it. The only negative for us was that we got an inside table rather than one of the booths so maybe didn't get the most of the experience. I've read some really good reviews of Cape May so would like to give that a go. That with Trattoria El Forno means I probably wouldn't want any more breakfasts in the Epcot area as it would mean then spending time travelling to parks and missing out on the first hour or two when you could maybe get a few attractions done with smaller queues.

Can you believe how much thought has to go into eating?
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2011
DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report
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Old 23 Sep 19, 08:27 PM  
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I've joined the July 2020 social group, so I knew you were heading back, but I hadn't realised you'd posted a pre trip. This is going to be epic! We don't fly until the end of July so I'll be really jealous of you when you jet off!

I hope Benjamin grows the extra couple of cm, fingers crossed, but of course if he doesn't then you'll just have to go back

We loved NYC with the kids and tagged on 4 days prior to Orlando in 2017, the kids were 11 and 13 then and could cope with all the walking so i think you're right to leave it for another year.

Oh and what's not to love about CBR ? I hope the ladies weren't dissing it We're back there for our 3rd time next year!
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Old 25 Sep 19, 02:51 PM  
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Really looking forward to following your adventures again, loved your last report. We are not returning until 2021 so it's great to get my Disney fix vicariously through trippies 😁Thank you
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Old 26 Sep 19, 12:00 PM  
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Milpston
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I've joined the July 2020 social group, so I knew you were heading back, but I hadn't realised you'd posted a pre trip. This is going to be epic! We don't fly until the end of July so I'll be really jealous of you when you jet off!

I hope Benjamin grows the extra couple of cm, fingers crossed, but of course if he doesn't then you'll just have to go back

We loved NYC with the kids and tagged on 4 days prior to Orlando in 2017, the kids were 11 and 13 then and could cope with all the walking so i think you're right to leave it for another year.

Oh and what's not to love about CBR ? I hope the ladies weren't dissing it We're back there for our 3rd time next year!
I think it's bit early but I don't think there will be all the changes and additions that we had last time. I never expected to be planning a second big trip as soon. When I first joined The Dibb our plan was first family trip in 2021 so to be doing our second one in 2020 has come as a bit of a surprise

Haha there hasn't been any dissing going on and everyone seemed very happy with our original CBR plans. I think it was a mistake booking YC thinking they'd then let me ditch it. It's definitely on the radar for future plans though... if there are any future trips of course!

I noticed you were on the July 2020 group. What are your dates? I'm sure we will get a look at CBR on our next rip as I intend to have a mooch around the skyliner at some stage.
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2011
DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report
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Old 26 Sep 19, 12:04 PM  
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Originally Posted by Hel22 View Post
Really looking forward to following your adventures again, loved your last report. We are not returning until 2021 so it's great to get my Disney fix vicariously through trippies 😁Thank you
Thanks for following along. I intend my notes etc to be a bit better and for this one so hopefully it will show... famous last words.

I know what toy mean. I can lose hours reading through trip reports and watching Vlogs. We are all so looking forward to this trip now that we know a little better what to expect with our previous trip under our belt. It should be so much fun with Benjamin and Emma being 3 & 5 by the time we go.

Lots of saving to do as we are a little behind due to some recent unexpected expenses We only have 99 days until ADR day
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2011
DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 YC, Dibb Villa & Cape Coral - Pre-trip report cancelled ☹️
Aug 2021 Post Covid Blowout being imagineered! Pre-trip report
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Old 26 Sep 19, 12:32 PM  
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Sounds like a fantastic trip! Will be following along- the YC looks lovely !
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