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Unread 28 Dec 18, 06:24 PM  
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caitlinsmummy
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Surprise we're going back to Orlando in May 2019!

As the title says this was a 'Surprise we're going back in May 2019!'

We first went as a family back in October 2018, it was the kid's first tripe to Florida. In September Virgin had an amazing sale on. I managed to bag us flights, transfers and accommodation in May 2019 for 10 nights at the Rosen Inn International for just over 300pp! It was too much of a bargain not to book so I booked it as a surprise for Chris and the kid's. I did intend on revealing to them all at Christmas, however, I had to tell Chris a few days later as he was trying to organise next year's holiday

A lot of this will be copied from my previous pre trippie,
a) because I'm lazy
b) because not much has changed

First I'll start off with a little bit about ourselves for those who didn't see the last trip report (which is still in progress )

So on our trip we have, yours truly, Kelly (31) my hubby Chris (33), DD Caitlin (12) DS1 Thomas (10) DS2 Noah (6) This is the ages at time of travel .This trip is going to be much more budget than the last one. We have no Disney this time and it's only for 10 nights. We will be doing, Universal (plus 1 night at HRH) SeaWorld, Adventure Golf, Kennedy Space Centre, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens, Aquatica and Clearwater or Cocoa Beach. I went to Florida with my family when I was 15 and Chris went with his family when he was 7. We all went in October 2018 and it was the kid's first time.

As you can see I have now crossed out the statement about not going to Disney ... I've now booked a sneaky trip to Disney which I'll detail more of below.





A bit about us:

Myself - (Nervous Wreck) - So I'm the booker, organiser and planner and general all round stress head. I love planning and hate surprises so this is the best of both worlds for me!

By the time we go I will have just finished my Business and Management Foundation Degree at a local college. This trip is also partly to celebrate finishing the course. I really enjoy cross stitching, crocheting and socialising.

Excited for: Discovery Cove, we've swam with dolphins before and I can't wait for the kid's to do it.

Chris - (Mr Grump) - He is the laid back one, he goes with the flow and as any hubby should, does as he's told He is no good with organisation and planning so he's happy to leave everything up to me ... as long as he's fed and watered he's happy! We nick name him Mr Grump as he's slowly turning into his dad who also grumps all the time!

He is a computer engineer and enjoys films and days out walking.

Excited for: Busch Gardens, he's a rollercoaster junkie and can't wait to try the big ones in Busch Gardens.

Caitlin - (Drama Llama) - Total and utter tweenager, nick named the drama llama in our house (DL for short!) the world revolves around her and unless anything is to benefit her, she isn't interested She does not like potatoes in any form what so ever ... chips, boiled, roasties ... you get the picture. If she so much as smells potato this is the face she makes



No exaggeration! Now you see where the name DL comes from!

She enjoys most activities, she attends girl guides and drama group which she loves, even bagging herself one of the star roles in Mamma Mia ... the drama llama act comes in handy sometimes

Excited for: Aquatica and Discovery Cove.

Thomas - (Cheeky) - He's exactly like his dad, he's so laid back he's almost horizontal. He can have his moments but he is a classic middle child, sometimes we forget he's even there, he's nick named the cheeky monkey as he's too smart for his own good!

He loves anything to do with Pokemon, he loves writing stories, especially his adventures of Tom series he's started making. My little writer.

Excited for: - The roller coasters, he's a total thrill seeker like mum and dad this one ... he just needs to grow a foot or so more (He's the smallest in his class by about a foot )

Noah - (Baby) - Noah's the baby ... need I say anymore? He gets away with way more than he should but his little face just melts your heart. He's a loving, funny clever little boy. He was diagnosed with Autism last year and it's a huge learning curve for us all. We're learning how to assist his needs as best we can as well as seeing how amazing he is in learning how to deal with the difficulties he faces.

Excited for: Discovery Cove and Universal.

We revealed the surprise to the kid's on Christmas day with a pass the parcel and a reveal jigsaw which they loved. At first Thomas started shouting;

'We're going back to Disney World Noah! '



Ummm no Thomas' it says Orlando, we're not doing Disney this time We gave them leaflets of the places we hope to visit which kept them entertained for a bit, but they were over the moon about it.

The Plan

Flights

So we're flying with Virgin in economy



Last time we used the special assistance as I had no idea how Noah would cope on the flight, as it happened he coped really well so this time we've just booked our own seats. Outbound we have:

Row 64 Seats A, C, D, E, F

When I booked the flight was 12.15pm from Manchester, however, it's now changed to 11.10am, which I'm much happier with.

Inbound we have:

Row 37 Seats A, B, C, D, E

Our return time was 6.30pm but this has now changed to 5pm.

Accommodation

As this was an unplanned trip I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible. The cheapest hotel was coming up as Rosen Inn International. I've heard good reviews about this hotel, even though it's basic. As it's just a place for us to lay our heads I was happy enough with that.



We have this for 9 nights.

Sneaky Universal Trip

So me being the planning freak I am I wanted to maximize the time that we have again. I managed to upgrade our Universal passes for free in October but I also wanted the benefit of the express passes because with only going for 9 days we have a lot to pack in and I wanted to do Universal in 2 days. I decided to book Loews Royal Pacific for 1 night again to make use of the express front of line passes as this was the cheapest option. I would have liked to have booked Hard Rock for a different experience but it was out of the price budget really. I did a bit of price checking after booking and I managed to find HRH for just 20 more the RPR so I decided to cancel RPR and booked HRH just so we have had the experience of both so now we're checking into HRH



An Even Sneakier Trip to Disney

I managed to bag us 1 day tickets from Musement with their 20% off, I got them for the bargain price of $480! The cheapest I'd found them previously was $600 so I booked them I then had a look at hotels and managed to find a Preferred room at Caribbean Beach Resort for 192 for one night which I thought was fab value so I booked it ... Chris and the kid's don't know any of this and I'm hoping to keep it quiet till we're there.



Shopping

This was one of the things I was looking forward too the most. I'd saved up from my birthday and competitions I'd won to have myself a spending spree in the outlets ... I did myself proud

This time it's not so much of a shopping trip. We will pop to the outlets but it will be a lot more reserved. I want a small purse and some stuff from Bath and Body Works but that's about it to be honest. We do want to go to Mall at Millenia and Florida Mall as we didn't manage to make it last time. Hubby wanted to try the Cheesecake Factory and I wanted to try Carlo's Bakery.

The Plan So Far

Saturday 18th May 2019 - Pre Travel Day - we haven't booked a hotel yet, but it will probably be a travellodge or a premier inn near the airport. Chris has a wedding on this day and probably won't be home till 8/9pm so it's going to be a late one for us We probably won't arrive till midnight. As there's 5 of us we will need 2 rooms again I think ... although I am tempted for the sake of 6 hours to just top and tail the boys as they will be fast asleep by the time we get there anyway. I've now booked Premier Inn at Heald Green and just got the one room so will need to top and tail the boys.



Sunday 19th May 2019

Alarm will be set for 6.30am as we need to be at the airport between 8am and 8.30am. We will probably get breakfast at the hotel as kid's generally eat free and it's cheaper than airport food. Flight is 11.10am. We should arrive in Orlando for 3.10pm. Hoping to be at Rosen Inn International by 5pm. Plan is to head straight to the hotel, drop the cases off in the room then head to McDonalds next to the hotel. After this we'll probably have a wander round I-Drive then get the kids back for bed whilst we unpack.


Monday 20th May 2019

Nothing is planned for this day so I'm thinking Aquatica. Will probably be a trip to WalMart later in the afternoon to stock up on snacks for the room.

Plan is Denny's for breakfast. Sign up to the Denny's mailing list and get a 20% off code. Then head to SeaWorld. Hopefully done by late afternoon and head to WalMart to get snacks/drinks etc for the room. Evening meal is planned for Longhorns Steakhouse, again if you sign up you get a free appetizer here.

Tuesday 21st May 2019

I have booked Discovery Cove for this day as I'm sure we'll probably be up early anyway. No need to look for breakfast as we get all food included. Hoping to be at DC for 7.30am. Plan to spend most of the day here till late afternoon. Evening meal will be arranged at a later date. After DC plan is to head back to RII get showers and changed, then head to Millers Ale House for food. At the moment there's a kid's eat free with each adult purchase, however, that may change before we go. After our food at Millers I plan to tell everyone where we're going. I'm going to make up an envelope for them all to open together, to say tonight we're staying at Caribbean Beach Resort and tomorrow we're going to Disney World for the day I can't wait to see their faces, I might even film it! After this we'll head to CBR and get checked in. I then plan to head to Disney Springs for a look around if we're not too tired.

Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Nothing planned as of yet but I'm thinking probably Busch Gardens. Plan is to head to CBR food court and get a couple of breakfast meals to share between us all then head to MK. I'm hoping to secure FP's for Buzz Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain and 7DMT. Hoping to start in Tomorrowland, head through to Fantasyland then an early lunch at BoG at 11.05am (currently have ADR but trying for a later one. Hoping to do Frontierland and Adventureland too and calling at The Plaza for Mickey and Minnie Pants ice creams before leaving and heading to Hollywood Studios. Once our FP's are used we will keep trying for others throughout the day.

At HS I plan on going to SD to get a return time before heading to hopefully a short ish walk queue for TSM although I doubt it if not we might stop at Woody's Lunch box for some snacks until the SD return time. Definitely want to do ToT too before heading in for Fantasmic at 9pm. It'll be a long hard day but I'm sure it'll be worth it.


Thursday 23rd May 2019

Plan is to head to breakfast at IHOP for around 8am. Check in at Hard Rock Hotel for 9am then head to Islands of Adventure. Spend the day in the park then heading to Toothsome for shakes to share. Grab some Donuts from Voodoo Donuts on the way back to HRH. Afternoon in the pool possibly depending how much we get done and how we're feeling. Evening meal at Friendly's with 25% off voucher before heading to the Premium Outlets for a bit of shopping.

Friday 24th May 2019

Breakfast in the room of Voodoo Donus, check out and head to Universal Studios. Spend the day there and leave late afternoon. Evening meal will be somewhere on I-Drive, I have Golden Corral but I'm debating changing it to Denny's ... still undecided. Either way we're heading to the cinema this evening to see the newly released Aladdin

Saturday 25th May 2019

No plans for breakfast so probably IHOP again I think then head to Aquatica for the morning, leave around 1pm and head to Mall at Millenia, Florida Mall and WalMart to stock up on the last little bits. Evening meal with be Olive Garden then we have Groupon Vouchers for Wonderworks this evening.

Sunday 26th May 2019

Breakfast at 8am at Perkins using 20% off voucher then heading to Kennedy Space Centre. Late lunch of Steak N Shake with kid's eating free. Afternoon at Cocoa Beach, before heading back to RII. Depending how tired and hungry we are we might head out for food and do Wonderworks if we didn't have time last night.

Monday 27th May 2019

Memorial Day so I planned Busch Gardens in the hope it won't be as busy. No plans for breakfast but probably either IHOP, Perkins or Denny's. Day at Busch Gardens before heading back for dinner at Outback Steakhouse on the evening. Possibly Disney Springs on the evening if we didn't manage to get there earlier in the trip.

Tuesday 28th May 2019

We need to head to the airport at 1pm so will be a leisurely morning sorting cases etc out in the room. Check out at 11 and head to Steak N Shake for lunch. Leave for airport at 1pm, drop car off at 2pm. May get some food in the airport, I still want to try Panda Express! Flight leaves at 5pm and we arrive in Manchester for 6.10am.

I will be using tips from Dixonsontour and signing up to restaurants and keeping an eye on Groupon for vouchers before we go to keep costs down

Those who read my previous pre trippie will notice the lack of organisation (so unlike me!) but it is meant to be a more chilled trip this time. I will add more details as they come to me Thank you for reading xx

Edited at 02:08 PM.
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Unread 28 Dec 18, 06:29 PM  
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loves2plan
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Wow, that's an amazing deal! Not surprised you grabbed it. Plans look great and I bet the next few months will fly by!
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Unread 28 Dec 18, 10:57 PM  
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Another great trip planned Kelly. Im really enjoying your trippie from October. Keep up the good work!

Kat x
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Unread 29 Dec 18, 07:18 PM  
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You've started your pre trip! I think this will be more of a laid back trip for you than the one this year.

We stayed at the Rosen Inn International on our trip in 2017, we did 4 nights in NYC and then 10 in Orlando and did everything apart from WDW! It was a great spot for us as it wasn't far from either the Seaworld parks at one end of I drive or the universal parks in the other direction. Plus there are fab restaurants within walking distance so you could both have a drink.

The hotel was ok...You are right it is more basic than the others we've stayed in. The beds were a bit smaller...have you got 2 rooms? We just had the 1 room for the 4 of us. The beds were standard doubles, so smaller than the lovely large Disney beds. There was a decent sized fridge and I'm pretty sure there was a microwave, but I don't recall if we used it so I may be making that up!

I hope you're having a lovely Christmas break. Good luck with the rest of your studies and the holiday prep, I'm sure the next few months will fly by.
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Unread 29 Dec 18, 11:12 PM  
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Originally Posted by loves2plan View Post
Wow, that's an amazing deal! Not surprised you grabbed it. Plans look great and I bet the next few months will fly by!
I honestly couldn't believe it, I ummed and ahhed about booking it and just bit the bullet and did it. So glad I did!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and thank you for reading x

Originally Posted by Kat11 View Post
Another great trip planned Kelly. Im really enjoying your trippie from October. Keep up the good work!

Kat x
Thanks Kat, I'm trying to get a few more done whilst we're off but not making very good progress with the kid's being off Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and thanks for reading again xx

Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
You've started your pre trip! I think this will be more of a laid back trip for you than the one this year.

We stayed at the Rosen Inn International on our trip in 2017, we did 4 nights in NYC and then 10 in Orlando and did everything apart from WDW! It was a great spot for us as it wasn't far from either the Seaworld parks at one end of I drive or the universal parks in the other direction. Plus there are fab restaurants within walking distance so you could both have a drink.

The hotel was ok...You are right it is more basic than the others we've stayed in. The beds were a bit smaller...have you got 2 rooms? We just had the 1 room for the 4 of us. The beds were standard doubles, so smaller than the lovely large Disney beds. There was a decent sized fridge and I'm pretty sure there was a microwave, but I don't recall if we used it so I may be making that up!

I hope you're having a lovely Christmas break. Good luck with the rest of your studies and the holiday prep, I'm sure the next few months will fly by.
Yes definitely, in a way I'm looking forward to it, but I do want to have some idea of what we're doing if that makes sense. We do want to fit in a trip to Disney Springs at some point too for our Disney fix.

That's fab to know, I knew it was near Universal but as we didn't do I-Drive this time we didn't really get our bearings.

No it's just one room again I expect them to be smaller than Disney, but again it's just a place to lay our heads for the night really. At least this time I'm hoping for more reasonable bed times for the kid's 10/11pm really took it out of Noah and I don't think it helped the meltdowns! Plus it'll be nice to have a little lie in haha. If you have any suggestions for restaurants we should try let me know! I'll add what we have so far in here at some point.

We're all having a lovely Christmas break thank you I hope you've all had a wonderful time, I have a feeling they'll fly by too, thank you for reading again xx
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 12:51 PM  
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There are loads of places I would recommend. If you have time then the NYC and Orlando 2017 link in my signature is the food report I did that year. Skip the first 4 days as that is all NYC but the rest of the trip could be useful as we didn't do Disney at all and ate on I drive and citywalk for the whole trip. That was my first trip report and I even did an index of sorts at the beginning with links to the main posts so you can avoid all the waffle.

Our top restaurants on I drive were Longhorns fantastic steak so good we went twice, Chili's Mexican food which was yummy and you can't beat IHOP breakfast I really could eat pancakes now.

Our top citywalk restaurants were Margaritaville and Cowfish both really tasty and no need to book up in advance as we just turned up and were seated pretty quick.

We ate at Sea World but it really wasn't great and just filled a whole. Also the hotel had a happy hour which was very handy and we enjoyed some pizzas in the bar one night. We didn't bother with the hotel breakfast buffet as we were always keen to get to the parks early.

On the corner opposite was a Walgreens and we shocked up in there for breakfast stuff and room snacks. But you will have a car and I'm sure you will be off to Wal-Mart for food and drink.

If I think of other stuff I'll let you know.
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Unread 5 Jan 19, 05:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
There are loads of places I would recommend. If you have time then the NYC and Orlando 2017 link in my signature is the food report I did that year. Skip the first 4 days as that is all NYC but the rest of the trip could be useful as we didn't do Disney at all and ate on I drive and citywalk for the whole trip. That was my first trip report and I even did an index of sorts at the beginning with links to the main posts so you can avoid all the waffle.

Our top restaurants on I drive were Longhorns fantastic steak so good we went twice, Chili's Mexican food which was yummy and you can't beat IHOP breakfast I really could eat pancakes now.

Our top citywalk restaurants were Margaritaville and Cowfish both really tasty and no need to book up in advance as we just turned up and were seated pretty quick.

We ate at Sea World but it really wasn't great and just filled a whole. Also the hotel had a happy hour which was very handy and we enjoyed some pizzas in the bar one night. We didn't bother with the hotel breakfast buffet as we were always keen to get to the parks early.

On the corner opposite was a Walgreens and we shocked up in there for breakfast stuff and room snacks. But you will have a car and I'm sure you will be off to Wal-Mart for food and drink.

If I think of other stuff I'll let you know.
I'll definitely have a read once the kid's are back at school and I can do it in peace just taken me half a day to write 1 day report with them

I have a few lists of things we would like to do so I will get them up.

Thanks for the tips Going to try and update this next week sometime xx
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Unread 5 Jan 19, 10:07 PM  
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Such a good deal, I'd have had to snap that up if I'd seen it!

If we were to stay on I-Drive the Rosen Inn would be my choice. I'm especially looking forward to seeing where you eat!
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