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Old 23 May 14, 08:24 PM  
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MrsWoody
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Let it go... No Disney parks anymore! May 2015 - Pre Trip Report

Let it go... No Disney parks anymore! May 2015 - Pre Trip report



Update 1:Saving the £'s and losing the lbs!
Update 2:Rough Itinerary
Update 3:Tickets
Update 4:Accommodation & car hire update
Update 5:Another and hopefully final accommodation update.
Update 6:Universal's Photo Connect
Update 7:Thank you Mr Tesco, car hire part one booked
Update 8:Cruise Update - Making a start on our fish extender!
Update 9: Car hire 2...and 3 and 4!
Update 10: APD Scrapped £213 back! Thank you kindly
Update 11: Yay Mummy is joining us!

Update 12: Cruise update & FE gifts

Hi everyone,

I've been dying to start a pre-trippie for my trip! But I've been mega busy the past few weeks finishing off my dissertation, but it's all handed in now so can get into full blown planning mode.

I still have 355 days to wish away but as I've started to book things I need somewhere to record my thoughts, keep track of what I've booked, what I've yet to do and of course get some invaluable advice from all you dibbers

I've never done a pre trip/trip report before but did a planning thread and report of our wedding in Orlando last May. In fact a year ago today we were in Hollywood studios on the first day of our amazing three week wedding holiday.

Suppose I'd better introduce we!
Roll call

Me - I'm Emma, The full on Disney fanatic of the family - Love everything Disney always have, always will! But am also a big fan of big rides and the Universal parks too. This will be my 5th visit to Orlando.


Seb - The Hubby. He's an Orlando convert and although he likes Disney would take a day on the golf course over the parks any day! He's a big fan of the coasters too though. This will be Seb's 3rd visit.


Bethany - Our first born! Bethany can be a little madam sometimes hence why she was a 'Disney Diva' last time when we went to BBB. She likes some big rides like Rip Ride Rock it but is petrified of Tower of Terror - perplexes me that girl. This will be Bethany's 3rd visit.


Georgia - The middle child. A little princess. Proper little girly girl, but not sure if that will be the same come this time next year. This will be Georgia's 3rd visit.


Harry - aka Haribo. The baby, our little prince. Harry loves Mickey, Toy Story and Frozen. Harry has some difficulties with speech but can sing 'Let it go' perfectly.




Anyway back to our plans. We decided we wanted to do something a little bit different this year. We were considering other holiday destinations but nothing seemed to encompass each of the families' likes quite like Orlando does. I for one cannot sit on a beach and lounge about all day, I get bored far too easily.

So it was always going to be Orlando. But for our honeymoon we went on a 3 night mini moon on a Disney cruise. We had an amazing time and when we came back and told the kids about it there was no doubt about it they wanted to get on one of those ships asap! We had seen the transatlantic cruise for this year at very reasonable rates and thought if a similar cruise was released with similar prices we would do that with a week before at Universal to see the Harry Potter extension. What, no Disney parks? I for one never thought I would go to Orlando without visiting a Disney park but if we were only going for the week, with Seb's golf and my shopping we would have no time to do them. I made my peace with this as after all we would be spending 2 weeks aboard a Disney cruise ship, right? Wrong! We waited patiently for 2015 itineraries to be released and when they did; WOW what amazing itineraries but WOW, how expensive? !

So back to the drawing board. We couldn't afford the transatlantic but could afford a shorter 4 night cruise. So we booked it, basically the same Bahamas one we did last time but with an extra night. Looking forward to eating more of this





I had kind of come to terms with the fact we wasn't doing the Disney parks so we have decided to stick with this. There's always things we plan to do when in Orlando but never have time, so hopefully we will this time.


With the cruise booked I was anxious to get the flights sorted. We were hanging on for Virgin as a member of Seb's family is a crew member and had offered to look into getting a discount. But one night was reading a thread about Thomas Cook flights at amazing prices. I check Man-MCO and the prices were good but still not worth booking over Virgin. Someone then mentioned they had got some bargain flights to Miami, so thought I'd check out dates. I was shocked to see prices coming in at £400pp direct covering the May school holidays. We wanted 21 nights and had the exact dates we wanted Fri 15th-Fri 5th June. We had to get greedy though as flights returning Sunday were the same price, and we'd get an extra 2 days in out happy place So booked it not thinking the girls would be back in school the Monday whoops They are having a week before the holidays so we know we'll get a fine but hope we don't get 2!

Anyway so we are booked 15th May - 7th June, 23 nights

We thought Flying into Miami would fit in with our plans to do something different. We plan to spend a couple of nights at the beach - DVC Vero beach if we can find points and then drive on up to Cape Canaveral to get our cruise on the 18th May.

We arrive back on the 22nd where we have booked a Dibb villa for the week. In this week our must do's are golf for Seb, shopping for me and swimming for the kids! We also want to go to a drive in movie and visit Celebration, but other than that don't have much planned - I'd love to hear your must do's and tips for places to go.

We want to eat at Manny's again and the cheesecake factory, which we have planned every trip but never got round to going. Recommendations welcome for other places to eat.


Our wedding anniversary is the 30th May so wanted to do something similar to our wedding day. On our wedding day we got married at Cypress Grove, then went onto the Boardwalk for piccys, then Citrico's for our meal and on the Grand 1 yacht to watch the fireworks. We had looked at how much Taxis would be back to the villa and it would have worked out about the same as a hotel. I was going book DVC at Animal kingdom lodge but had a thought about seeing if Avios had any nearby hotels as I still had my points gained for last years flight. I was surprised to see that the Swan and Dolphin were available to book for my dates! and I almost had enough points - a quick transfer of some clubcard points and voila a free night booked at the Dolphin. This way we can spend some time at the Boardwalk before heading up to watch wishes later. I was going to book Ohana's and watch wishes at Poly beach, book looks like only Poly guests can watch from there now, so thinking Narcoossee's and watch from there or do a wishes cruise - may not quite live up to the Grand 1 however.

Which leads us to our final week Universal, which is also booked! We'll the hotel part is. - Can you tell I was distracted by holiday planning A LOT whilst doing my dissertation, hence why I ended up having to stay up all night Wednesday trying to finish it for submission Thursday morning

We are booked in Royal Pacific resort club level after getting a fab price from Hotels4u with 11.5% topcashback which has been confirmed. We thought best to book early in case the new Harry Potter extension bumps up the prices. We are so looking forward to Diagon Alley.

We also plan on doing either Wet n Wild or Aquatica and Busch gardens and possibly Seaworld depending on what ticket deals/combos we can get. We still need to buy tickets.

Even though we get some food included at club we plan to do Bubba Gumps again as we really enjoyed it here, but need recommendations for other restaurants.

I booked meet and greet car parking too at Manchester after someone posting a code on here. £49 for 23 nights, not too shabby and no catching shuttles as I'd planned to use Tesco cc points to book APH. So I got to thinking what else I could use cc points for and saw that you can exchange clubcard points for Affordable car hire for 3 x the value. As I need 3 lots of car hire 1) Miami - Port Canaveral 2) The week following the cruise and 3) Universal to Miami I should be able to book one of these using CC points.

Sorry for the looooooooong first post but want to get it all down to keep track of things just 355 days to go...
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September 2010: 1st family visit.
May 2013 - Our dream wedding & the boy's first visit.
Wedding pre trippie & Wedding report

May 2015 - Planning:Vero beach, 4nt Disney Dream, Dibb Villa @Westridge,WDW Dolphin & RPR Club level

Edited at 10:23 PM. Reason: Added index
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Old 23 May 14, 09:52 PM  
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Wow Emma all looks fantastic! You'll have a blast! And some bargains there! ☺️
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Old 23 May 14, 10:29 PM  
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It all sounds amazing, we went to Florida once and didn't go to the disney parks although we did go to DTD a couple of times- enjoy!
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Old 24 May 14, 04:38 AM  
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Originally Posted by NatsyNoo View Post
Wow Emma all looks fantastic! You'll have a blast! And some bargains there! ☺️
Thanks, I'm really enjoying researching other things outside of Disney. Hopefully we'll pick up some more bargains along the way

Originally Posted by LFlorida View Post
It all sounds amazing, we went to Florida once and didn't go to the disney parks although we did go to DTD a couple of times- enjoy!
I will not lie the thought of not doing the parks scares me a little. I keep wondering if we go to the Disney area and I see the castle etc will I end up having a tantrum and paying though the nose for one day tickets

We definitely will be going DTD, the boardwalk and will probably go to Art of animation so Harry can see the cars, we had a photoshoot there the day before our wedding last year. We will also probably go to AKL Sanaa for lunch one of those days, Seb and I love the food there and the kids can see the animals
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September 2010: 1st family visit.
May 2013 - Our dream wedding & the boy's first visit.
Wedding pre trippie & Wedding report

May 2015 - Planning:Vero beach, 4nt Disney Dream, Dibb Villa @Westridge,WDW Dolphin & RPR Club level

Edited at 04:43 AM.
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Old 24 May 14, 06:53 AM  
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Hiya Emma!

Really loved your wedding report so glad you're back with a pre-trip report Those 2015 cruises were so expensive weren't they?! We were gearing up for a Europe one but it was a few grand more than I thought it would be - sad times!

That said you've got some bargains on your booking - those flights are brilliant!

Looking forward to more updates (and i know I said at the time on your wedding report - but I love the pics! ) xx
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Old 24 May 14, 08:27 AM  
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Loved your wedding report so glad to see you've started another. Your plans look great
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Old 24 May 14, 08:44 AM  
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LOVE your plans . We are doing our first non-Disney trip this August, and actually, like you, once I got my head round that fact, I'm actually really looking forward to having the time to do different things. We looked to see if there was short cruise too but couldn't find anything to fit.

And, like you, to scratch the coaster itch, we're also spending 4 nights club level at RPR - every cloud has a silver lining, right?!

It's a shame about the Poly beach Wishes view, that was something we'd considered too, but we'll get a Disney fix at DTD and perhaps Boardwalk too

Great report, cute kids, looking forward to the report x
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Old 25 May 14, 01:31 PM  
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Originally Posted by Bobsledwheels View Post
Hiya Emma!

Really loved your wedding report so glad you're back with a pre-trip report Those 2015 cruises were so expensive weren't they?! We were gearing up for a Europe one but it was a few grand more than I thought it would be - sad times!

That said you've got some bargains on your booking - those flights are brilliant!

Looking forward to more updates (and i know I said at the time on your wedding report - but I love the pics! ) xx

Thank you, I know was sad about the cruise prices, keeping my fingers crossed on a lotto win, would love to do a Europe cruise one day - only thing is it has to be Disney now!

Originally Posted by yellowrose78 View Post
Loved your wedding report so glad to see you've started another. Your plans look great
Thanks for reading

Originally Posted by JoJo88 View Post
LOVE your plans . We are doing our first non-Disney trip this August, and actually, like you, once I got my head round that fact, I'm actually really looking forward to having the time to do different things. We looked to see if there was short cruise too but couldn't find anything to fit.

And, like you, to scratch the coaster itch, we're also spending 4 nights club level at RPR - every cloud has a silver lining, right?!

It's a shame about the Poly beach Wishes view, that was something we'd considered too, but we'll get a Disney fix at DTD and perhaps Boardwalk too

Great report, cute kids, looking forward to the report x
Shame you couldn't find a cruise to fit in

I'm looking forward to club level RPR though, have you stayed there before?
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September 2010: 1st family visit.
May 2013 - Our dream wedding & the boy's first visit.
Wedding pre trippie & Wedding report

May 2015 - Planning:Vero beach, 4nt Disney Dream, Dibb Villa @Westridge,WDW Dolphin & RPR Club level
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Old 25 May 14, 02:04 PM  
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Saving the £'s and losing the lbs!

Two major factors that will influence how much I enjoy my holiday are how many dollars I have to spend and how much I weigh.

The picture above may be a slight misrepresentation of how I look at this moment. I had lost 5 stone to get to the weight I was at my wedding. After our wedding holiday the post disney and wedding blues took hold quite badly, and how did I deal with it? I ate... LOTS. I put a shocking four and a half stone back on in less than a year. Last month with the motivation of planning our next trip I started to be good again. I started eating healthily (hairy dieters) and exercising (Jillian Michaels) and managed to get a stone off within a month. However, with the stress of finishing my dissertation and not having the time to cook I've reverted back to old habits and have basically ate fast food for the last week. I have yet to get on the scales as I know this week will be a bad week food wise, with our wedding anniversary and being off with the kids, but next week I fully intend to get back on it. I found it so much easier in Orlando last year with less weight on me. I'm sure any curvier ladies will appreciate what I mean when I say I didn't miss the chaffing Plus I do get very self conscious and I can't see me being able to relax in my bikini on castaway cay if I look like a beached whale.

So my approximate target (won't know for sure until I brave the scales again) is to shed 3 & 1/2 stone and I'll keep track of this with each update.

The second factor is spends. As most of my expendable income will be paying for the holiday itself, I am on a mission to save up some spends by selling on the Dibb, ebay & carboots etc.

I want to try not to depend on Seb to contribute if possible as it's the first year our balloon and party shop being open and want him to concentrate on improving that. Saying that any excess silver he takes he is popping into one of our terramundi stylee pots. We have a gold and notes pot and a silver pot on the go.



I'm really looking forward to cracking these open!

The red (silver) pot feels quite heavy and I think it's about half full. The gold is nowhere near lol but I am hoping to fill it before our trip.

So, I plan on keeping track on my approx spends total on each update. I'm off to get started on my clearout, have a good bank holiday everyone
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September 2010: 1st family visit.
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Wedding pre trippie & Wedding report

May 2015 - Planning:Vero beach, 4nt Disney Dream, Dibb Villa @Westridge,WDW Dolphin & RPR Club level
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Old 25 May 14, 04:18 PM  
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Hi,

I have just had a chance to catch up with your pre trippy and that is some brilliant plans. I think i could survive with no Disney if i had a gorgeous Disney cruise to go on, you will have a blast. I loved your wedding trippy so i cant wait for this one.

First off can i say a massive well done on loosing 5 stone for your wedding that is just amazing just goes to show you can do it and you know how amazing it feels to be there! Goo Luck with your plans to loose 3.5 Stone i am aiming to loose about 4 - 5 stone myself for our up coming trip so i will be keeping an eye on your progress! Please keep us updated!

Gemma xxx
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