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Old 20 Sep 19, 05:26 PM  
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k4ti3-x
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Katie & Mick take Florida! Pre-Trip Report

Long time no dibbing! I've sadly not had a Florida trip in a number of years so took a little break from here but now (hurrah!) I have one in the works for 2020

If you have read some of my other trip reports you'll maybe remember me, if not hello I've been to Orlando 4 times (2011, 2012, 2014 & 2016) with my ex-partner and also in 2014 with a group of my best friends. I've done a mix of staying on & off-site and in 2016 we took a trip to the coast as well for the first time and I loved it!

First up is myself - I'm Katie! I'll be 28 when we go and I love Disney, all things American, a good cocktail and just generally being on holiday. This will be my fifth visit to Florida & my tenth to the states in general.


Next up is - Michael or Mick as he prefers to be known! He'll be 31 when we go and it's his first trip to Florida. His first ever trip to America was in June 2019 when he went to Las Vegas and he loved it and can't wait to go back. We're managing a sneaky Christmas trip to New York in Dec 19 so this will be his third US trip when we go. Mick loves being on holiday and relaxing with a beer. He adores the beach and is a mad Celtic fan.


We've been together a year and a half and not long bought a cottage in the countryside together. Trying to visit as many places on our bucket list before we need to settle down and be sensible.

Trip Details

Flights - Mainly the whole reason that this trip came about was because I found some insanely cheap flights. I signed up to Jack's Flight club a few months ago so I could be notified when cheap deals came up. One came through for direct flights on VA from Manchester for £253pp! I couldn't believe it. When you get onto the booking page you need to add on an additional £90 for your bags but even at £343pp it was still a great price. We actually live in Glasgow but the company we work for has an office close by the airport so we plan on leaving the car at work and getting the train to airport to save on the parking fee's. I drive the M74/M6 once a week anyway so it's not a big deal having to travel but we will likely stay the night in a hotel as I've been stuck in traffic collisions too many times to chance it!


Accommodation - We are staying at Rosen Inn @ Pointe for the first 7 nights of the trip. I've stayed here before and really liked the location for getting out for dinner & drinks in the evening. I also managed to get it for the bargain price of £350 for the 7 nights through Travel Republic (If you can't already tell I love a bargain ) Rooms are basic but we will only be sleeping there.





We will then be hiring a car after the first 7 days (I'd love a SUV or Mustang) but realistically I think we'll just go for the cheapest option.
Alamo allow us to pick up from Hyatt Regency hotel on Int Drive so we'll collect from there on the Saturday as we have a shopping day planned and I like to visit the malls and outlets then on the Sunday we are heading up to the Emerald Coast! We'll be away for 5 nights.

I've decided on Panama City Beach as we wanted somewhere relatively affordable, to be on the beach and have a lively atmosphere with plenty of bars/food options and this seemed to fit the bill. I've done Destin before, and it's lovely but more for families.







We haven't booked it yet but will likely go with an air bnb condo by the beach. Roughly £600 for 5 nights. It has free parking, balcony to enjoy the views, easy beach access and pool and walkable to all the bars and restaurants - a nice way to end the holiday.

Tickets - This was probably one of the hardest parts to sort out as ticket prices are absolutely through the roof! I really wanted to do the Disney 14 day & Universal 14 day but it was way too expensive to justify. When I added up the cost of Disney tickets & the extra week in a hotel in Orlando we could go to the coast for less than half the price.
As it's Mick's first trip I want to make it as amazing for him as I can so Universal was a must do. I know he'd love all the rides and especially the Harry Potter area.
We've decided on the three park Universal tickets - £289pp (still a fortune but oh well!) and then i'm going to get a two day Disney ticket and do a day in the Magic Kingdom and a day in Hollywood Studios. I'm not a big Epcot fan and the only thing I really wanted to go to Animal Kingdom for was Expedition Everest & to see Pandora so they got cut.
They have discounts on at the moment meaning you can't enter the park until mid-day but hopefully with the use of fastpasses we should manage ok & it's a big saving. I'll wait and see closer to the time though. They'll roughly be £150pp






We'll then drive back down on the penultimate day of our holiday to Orlando (about a 6 hour drive) and spend our last evening back at Universal enjoying the last of the rides before flying home on the Saturday evening





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Old 25 Sep 19, 02:34 PM  
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k4ti3-x
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Our Daily Plans!

Daily Plans!

Sun 26th - Arrival We arrive in at 2pm but from experience it can take a while to get through immigration etc so haven't made any major plans. We'll get an Uber to our hotel - Rosen Inn and once we are settled we'll likely head to Walmart for water, drinks and snacks for the room and have dinner across the road at Millers Ale House and an early night.

Mon 27th - Universal Studios Early start, we'll grab some snacks in room for breakfast and then take an Uber to Universal early doors and grab a coffee from city walk. Hoping to be there before opening to try and beat the queues. We'll pop out of the park at lunch for Panda Express and i'm wanting to try a Voodoo donut on our way out. Dinner will be at Bahama Breeze also by the hotel to keep it nice and easy, as I can imagine we'll be feeling it today.

Tue 28th - Volcano Bay & Disney Springs We'll head to either ihop or Denny's for breakfast then spend the day at Volcano Bay. This will be a first for me so i'm quiet excited although I only go on the tame water rides as i'm scared We will just grab some lunch at the waterpark and spend the evening in Disney Springs - I really love it here and depending on how we feel we'll either have our dinner here or go to Texas Roadhouse / Longhorns for steaks.

Wed 29th - Island of Adventure Today will be another early start to do IOA. Once we are done here we will likely pop back into Universal to go on anything we enjoyed from the other day. Head back to the hotel when we are done and we'll head to Rocco's Taco for dinner.

Thurs 30th - Magic Kingdom! The day i've been waiting for this will be a full on day. I want to try and get there for opening, or if we can get a breakfast reservation at BOG or Crystal Palace before opening i'll take that too. Had originally planned on doing the mid day start tickets but to save £40 it's not worth it. We'll break late afternoon and head to DS for a drink and Blaze Pizza and then head back up, maybe pop into Trader Sam's for a cocktail then back into the park for the fireworks!

Fri 1st - Hollywood Studios Another early start for this park (sorry Mick!) This was one of my favourites so i'm excited to see the additions of Toy Story land and Star Wars. We'll see how tired we are if we stay until Fantasmic or leave once we are done!

Sat 2nd - Chill day I'm sure Mick will be relieved we have a lie in today - I think we'll need it! We'll head to the outlets then to Mall at Millenia and have lunch at the cheesecake factory. Come back and chill by the pool and have dinner at Miller's Ale House again

Sun 3rd - Head to the coast So today we'll look to pick up the car hire at 9am and we'll have a long 6 hour drive ahead of us to Panama City. We'll hopefully only have to stop once for lunch and due to time zone changes we'll gain an hour. Have got an air bnb for our stay here so we'll drop our stuff off and go for a wander around and to the beach.

Mon 4th - Beach Day Will spend the day at the beach chilling!

Tue 5th - Drive to New Orleans! Crossing Alabama, Mississippi & Louisiana a 5 hour drive to get to NO. Unfortunately mostly all the hotels charge $40 a day to park the car but will be easier to just pay than stay further out and taxi everywhere. We'll just do all the touristy stuff and spend the night in the french quarter.

Wed 6th - New Orleans and then back to the beach We'll have an early start and see the rest of NO that we didn't get to yesterday. Once we are done we'll head back to Panama. Stopping off in Fairhope, Alabama for a wander if we have time.

Thurs 7th - Panama City Beach Another beach / pool day relaxing.

Fri 8th - Panama City Beach Our penultimate day will be spend on the beach again then we'll need to start the long drive back to Orlando - will likely leave 2pm - ish. Will check-in to a cheap hotel on IDrive

Sat 9th - Heading Home We need to head to the aiport around 3pm so we have until then to do what we please, I suspect breakfast somewhere then maybe head over to Celebration or Outlets for any last shopping we may want. Flight leaves at 7pm back to Manchester
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Old 1 Oct 19, 09:54 PM  
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smithlane
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Ooh sounds like a fab trip planned!
We are hoping to go to the Emerald Coast next year, it looks stunning. Destin is our first choice but until flights are booked we can’t choose anywhere yet.
I’ve also got the crazy idea to drive to NO too, always wanted to visit so as it’s not a million miles away it seems like a good idea.
Looking forward to reading all about it 😃
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Old 5 Oct 19, 10:29 PM  
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Sounds like a great holiday. Can’t wait to hear more.
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