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Unread 12 Jul 19, 10:35 PM  
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KeepSmiling
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Keep Smiling - The Pre Trip Report


Keep smiling has become something of a motto, life has certainly had its ups and downs over the past 5 years but this isn't going to be a life story so you don't need to either scroll on or settle down for an hour or so. This is all about me and how in the past few days the realization has hit home….. I no longer have any other option……. I have run out of trip reports to read and need something to get me through these last few weeks before our trip.

To pre-warn you I have tried this before but have failed miserably. I even tried a trip report from our holiday to New York last November but only managed a couple of posts. This time I am determined! I have absolutely loved reading food and trip reports and they have gotten me through some rather difficult days. Thank you to all those of you that have gone to the trouble of writing them, particularly the ‘live' ones. I really do hold my hat off to you!

This is going to be a trip of two halves. Mainly due to the drama that we have had to live through over the past few years but that I will not be going into on here as we are after all visiting our ‘Happy Place' and life in the run up to this has been everything but…. But enough of that. Who are we, who is on which plane, and what will we be getting up to?
This is from our last trip, when we all went.



I am the Magical Vacation Planner. I was lucky enough to be taken to Disneyworld as a teenager and then made it my life long ambition to become a Disneyholic… am sure I am not the only one! When I visited countless years ago with my parents we never stayed on site but since I have been travelling from my late teens to my early forties (cough cough) I have never stayed off-site! Throughout my visits I have worked my way through the All Star Resorts, Port Orleans Riverside and then found my favourite – Disney's Beach Club.

My partner (Grumpy) and I have been back twice since we have been together and on both occasions we have stayed at Disney's Beach Club and bought all 7 teenagers with us. (I know – we deserve a medal or something!) This trip will be our longest yet, our most varied but will also see us leaving a couple of the kids at home. (Their choice, we don't have favourites!)

This is us with his youngest... Love this photo.



The journey is going to start with just four of us. Me and him along with my 16 year old daughter (DisneyKid) and his 15 year old son (GrumpyJnr). We leave our little rock on Tuesday morning, have a bit of a visit to the big smoke and then will do twilight check in with Virgin before having dinner and crashing at the Premier Inn North Terminal. So far I have booked tickets to the Sky Garden as his son has never been and thought that might be a nice thing to do for an hour or so. We will head back to Gatwick for dinner as it's become a bit of a tradition to eat in Giraffe as we don't have one at home.

Wednesday morning we are on the 10.10 flight so hoping for a prompt take-off so that we are first into the immigration hall. Have booked fast passes for Hollywood Studios on the off chance that we do make good time and fancy a quick couple of rides before our swim and traditional pizza from the Boardwalk pizza window.

7 days later, his son flies home (no more on that story but rest assured, he is already booked to come with us for 3 weeks next summer)



On the same day my son and his girlfriend fly out. That explains the two halves! Side note – the girlfriend has never been before so we are all very excited to be sharing our happy place and being tour guides for the 3 weeks that they are with us.



Grumpy, GrumpyJnr, DisneyKid and I (MVP) will be staying Club Level at Disney's Beach Club. Grumpy likes to partake in the odd glass of something / bottle and previously the kids have never all got up at the same time which made trying to get breakfast something of a nightmare. Teenagers, a lot of you have them so I am sure you know what I mean. I am a firm believer that holiday time is precious but I will not be spending it with grumpy kids and therefore if they should happen to choose a slightly later start then that is up to them. CL means that we can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and grab stuff to go for snacking on in the parks. We also love the mid-afternoon drinks and snacks that we often take down to the pool but I have digressed talking about food. Thankfully on this particular trip, both GrumpyJnr and DisneyKid are likely to be raring to go as it has been a few years since we were last here and DisneyKid is going to be celebrating her birthday on day 2. I guess we should watch this space and see just how that all pans out.



Plans have been made, dibb busy day guide was studied, menus were perused, MVP then booked the ADR's in her most favourite places (and a couple that the kids suggested), Fast Passes were booked and that is about where we have got to. Whilst GrumpyJnr is with us we are only doing Disney. (We have promised him a trip to Universal next year and HRH is already booked, as is a 4 night cruise on the Disney Dream). When DS and GF arrive we have 7 nights at Disney, 4 nights at the HRH CL (the boy can eat and I will be encouraging them to fully partake in the CL offerings so as to reduce my food bill for those 5 days) and then we are off on a 4 night cruise on the Dream and then end with 3 nights at the Poly where the GF will celebrate her 18th birthday.



Lots to look forward to but best of all, I will be in my happy place with those that mean the world to me. I am sure a few tears will be shed that my eldest has stayed at home but he is in full time employment now and has used his holidays having already been to watch Muse and was at Download so he doesn't need too much sympathy. Grumpys' eldest is also off to a festival so has also stayed at home.



There is just one more introduction needed and he too is staying at home. Teddy is our fur ball and given the number of teenagers we have, is my reason to Keep Smiling…. He certainly brings a whole lot of joy to some very difficult days and has been an absolute dream since we got him in December 2017. Leaving Teddy at home is going to be tough but he is going to spend his summer at doggy day care where he goes on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I know he will be well looked after. They have a hooman daughter (well two actually, but Teddy is quite attached to the youngest one) and he has already worked out that he can sleep on her bed if he looks cute so he is pretty much sorted whilst we are away.



I still have rather a lot to do before we go but I do have a good excuse as we moved house at the end of June so life has been pretty busy for the past couple of months. I have almost finished unpacking boxes and will be ready to start packing suitcases. I have to be honest I am usually packed by now but this house move has definitely gotten in the way of my usual routine.

Grumpy keeps on asking if I have decided what he is going to wear yet….. He can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to clothes and tends to overpack and then doesn't wear half of what he has taken. This time around I suggested to him that why doesn't he let me pack for him and surprisingly he agreed. I was quite shocked but it may be as a result of a recent weekend away that we had in London. It was just the two of us and we were away for 3 nights. Grumpy insisted on packing by himself. (I think you can see where this is going). As it was just the two of us we had a nice romantic dinner planned in the Shard. I packed a pretty dress. Grumpy intended on packing a smart pair of trousers, a shirt and a jacket. Unfortunately he had a major grump on the night that he packed and ended up packing 5 pairs of trousers, a casual shirt and only had the jeans and t-shirt and hoody which he travelled in. When he came to get dressed on our first morning he was not very amused but I may have been. J It's not the first time he has made a bit of a hash of packing and I am therefore hopeful that he will actually let me sort it all out when I get the suitcases out. Another watch this space….

GrumpyJnr is very happy for me to do his packing. Previously we have taken photographs of his outfits and labelled them daytime and evening so that he can easily put things together each morning. DisneyKid has been planning her outfits for months and has packing down to a fine art. She leaves plenty of space in her suitcase for extra purchases and this time around I have booked her an extra case for travelling back to the rock as she will have birthday money to spend so is likely to buy more than usual.
DS and GF will sort themselves out. I am planning on spending my weekend sorting out my outfits. I love trying to co-ordinate my tops with the different parks that we visit and each trip I order a few new t-shirts. This time around I have used Fairytale Sparkle again as the ones she did for us last trip were awesome. They haven't arrived yet but when they do I will post pictures.
I have also taken advantage of some sales and have been sending parcels (for quite some time… ) to the fairytale shopper. I'm pretty sure GrumpyJnr has most of his vacation clothes being delivered as soon as we arrive and I ordered DisneyKid and I a couple of tops from the etsy shop DreamLikeWalt. Cannot wait to wear those.

We are not commando style tourists that aim to be at park from the second it opens until it closes and whilst we like to have a plan of what we intend to do, those plans can be quite fluid and everyone is allowed to take a toilet break as and when they wish J

At the start of our trip whilst we are still adjusting to Florida time we will probably make park opening and will make full use of that to try and get extra rides on our favourites. For us, first park is always Magic Kingdom and whilst previously we have always booked breakfast at Crystal Palace for Park opening, this time I have booked brunch so we shall see how we like that. I thought given we have breakfast at BC it would make sense to eat slightly later. We will probably head back to BC early afternoon as we love to spend a few hours at the pool. GrumpyJnr and DisneyKid both enjoy the pool games and Grumpy and I just enjoy being on vacation and will quite happily sit on one of the many ledges in the pool and pass the time of day. There may or may not be a drink at some stage but we are on holiday.



Will try and keep this up as I tick things off my list and will update as I countdown.

Keep Smiling x



So today is one of the days I have been looking forward to. My parcel arrived from Tabitha Crest. (Fairytale Sparkle). She has been making some of our t-shirts for this trip. (She did the ones that we are all wearing at the start of my report and we got some great comments so this trip I may have ordered a few more... )

Grumpy was always of the opinion that he wasn't going to wear matching shirts... that didn't last long as the photographers loved them and he could see the benefits and is very much now on board.

I'm not the best of sleepers and I love The Greatest Showman so this one is for me. I think I'm going to wear it on travel day. You can't see from the photo but the writing is sparkly and has glitter through it. A girl can never have too much sparkle.



My DS and his GF are big fans of the tv show Friends so these two are for them.



I got the Advance Party (me, Grumpy, DisneyKid and GrumpyJnr) t-shirts for Toy Story Land. I figured we could also wear them to Magic Kingdom and go and play Buzz and then do a character meet with the guy himself. These really do look awesome!



I'm sure that we all do some interesting things to help pass the time in those final few weeks before we jump on a plane. Given the kids are now in their teens, social media plays a very large part in their lives. Sometimes I do wander if their phone has become physically attached to their hand but hey ho, just showing my age I guess.
In an attempt to keep up, we have ‘WhatsApp' holiday groups. One for the ‘Advance Party' and one for my son and his GF. My daughter and I also have one which we have entitled ‘Snack Goals'. I found this great picture online which I pinched as our group photo.



We have been adding to it daily. So far we have the following:



Num num cookie
Frozen lemonade
American red white & blue slushy from Epcot
Mickey cake pop
Cinnamon roll from Gaston's Tavern
Waffle from Sleepy Hollow
Mickeys shorts ice-cream sundae
Animal Kingdom drink

I've still got 13 more days to add to it so would welcome suggestions

We are on the dining plan so are looking forward to filling our boots !



Gotta love single digit day...

Suitcases are coming out today. I love packing!


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Unread 13 Jul 19, 10:11 AM  
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FloridaFairy
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What a lovely start... my goodness you certainly have a lot of heads to count there... I will be following along ... love reading trippies before we go... really gets me more excited as well as picking up useful tips...
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Unread 14 Jul 19, 10:07 AM  
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Great pre trippie sounds like a good trip I will enjoy reading along

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Unread 14 Jul 19, 07:36 PM  
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Great pre-trippie, cant wait to follow!
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Unread 15 Jul 19, 05:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by FloridaFairy View Post
What a lovely start... my goodness you certainly have a lot of heads to count there... I will be following along ... love reading trippies before we go... really gets me more excited as well as picking up useful tips...
Thank you! We definitely are in need of this vacation

I am determined that this report is going to happen this time so really appreciate the words of encouragement.

I too absolutely love reading them.
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Unread 15 Jul 19, 05:41 PM  
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Originally Posted by mick View Post
Great pre trippie sounds like a good trip I will enjoy reading along

Joan
Thank you. I have had plenty of useful tips from you guys over the years and have enjoyed your daughters trip reports.
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Unread 15 Jul 19, 05:41 PM  
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Originally Posted by Michyloulou View Post
Great pre-trippie, cant wait to follow!

Thank you!
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Unread 16 Jul 19, 09:23 PM  
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Great pre trippie! I cant wait to have someone to follow 😃😃😋
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