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Unread 1 Jan 19, 12:03 PM  
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The A team
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Updated - 30 May. The 7 states trip - from Washington DC to New York via Orlando

This trip began with just Florida, plans started properly in early 2018 as we knew wanted to visit WDW in 2019. We debated long and hard over all Villa, all on site or split stay. We switched back and fore many times. Amelia wanted all on site, Niamh all Villa. We settled on all on site and decided to wait out free dining. The closer this got the more unsure I felt. In the end, we decided on a split stay, 1 week on site and 1 in a villa.


We began our villa search, we loved the location of Sunset Lakes where we had stayed before, but as we were planning on spending the Villa week exploring more of Orlando than just the parks, we broadened our search a little further and saw the beautiful Hibiscus Ridge, this is bigger than we need for the 4 of us, but it looks so beautiful, we couldnt resist. So we contacted the owners and very quickly (and friendly) we had it all booked up.

Now we had to wait for free dining, and decide where to stay. Having stayed in Beach Club in 2016 and having a fantastic time we were unsure whether to repeat this and risk not enjoying it so much, or trying elsewhere. We decided on trying elsewhere, ideally Contemporary. When booking opened, this was way too expensive for the rooms we wanted so we decided on Polynesian at the last minute. I could only get 6 nights originally, but a few weeks later got the remainder.

So all sorted 7 nights Poly, 7 nights villa. With this all booked, we then squeezed in a last minute 1 week in May 2018.

Here we all are on this trip


While there, we took a trip to Poly, and although lovely, it wasnt giving us the right feeling. We decided to sit on this for a bit as we were also looking at extending the trip to 3 weeks and adding in a road trip either before or after.

After lots of research, checking on leave etc, we decided that we would do a road trip first before heading to WDW. We also knew we wanted to fly home on a day flight due to Amelias travel sickness, we want to see if this will help, with all this in mind, we eventually decided on the following

2 Nights Washington DC (was going to be 3, but decided to leave earlier to split the 8hr drive to Asheville)
1 Night Roanoke, Virginia
3 Nights near Asheville, North Carolina from here we will also be visiting Tennessee
1 Night Savannah, Georgia having driven through South Carolina
6 nights WDW at Yacht Club
7 nights Hibiscus Ridge Villa
1 night New York

So in total 7 states (plus Washington DC).

All hotels are booked on a cancellation rate so if anything better comes up I can cancel as needed.

We are booked into the JW Marriott in Washington, nice and close to the White House and Mall as I expect we will be spending a bit of time there.


There is then a 240 mile, 3hrs 45 min drive to our next hotel in Roanoke. This is mainly booked to allow for a slightly shorter journey tomorrow, but looks lovely too.



We are then heading to the most beautiful cabin in Candler, North Carolina, planning to travel via a stop off at Grandfather mountain and travel a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway as well. This is going to be a long day, around 266 miles and at least 5 hrs of driving, but at least it will be broken up.
We have 3 nights in the cabin, plans for what we do here are still being made, I have some ideas, but need a little more research (and more fitness) before committing to them!



We are then off on route to Florida and WDW, we considered flying, but as we will have the car anyway, thought wed carry on the road trip a little further so are driving across South Carolina and stopping over night in a hotel in Savannah. This is just over 300 miles and should take around 4.5 hours. We are unsure whether to leave early and stop on route, leave later and see more around the cabin or leave early and just get to Savannah to spend a bit of time there, still researching this bit.



After a short stay here, we will be up and out early (I think) to head to WDW and the Yacht Club. This is another 300 mile drive, taking around 4.5 hours, we might stop for lunch around St Augustine, again this is still in the planning.



We have 6 nights at the Yacht Club, and I think Ive got a rough itinerary for these days (ADR day is on 28th Jan so getting ready for that) before moving on to 7 nights in the Villa we will be ready for a bit of relaxation time by then and this looks like the perfect place for that. There will still be some busy days while here, we want to head for a trip to Clearwater and might also look into an airboat ride and / or a state park as well.



We then move for the last time, this time we are flying to New York, it is only a quick visit, we are landing there are around 12 midday and then leave at 8am the following morning. We are hoping to just head into New York and soak up the atmosphere as there wont really be time for anything else.

Flights are all booked, we have a fly drive with BA from LHR-DUB-IAD going out and JFK-LHR returning. Ive used points and a bit of cash to upgrade our inbound flight to Club World and we should arrive back in London, well rested around 8:30 pm and as it will only feel like 3:30pm, we will hopefully have an easy drive home, were we will collapse exhausted but hopefully full of amazing memories!

I will be back to update as I fill out our plans for the trip, the plans for Washington are coming along nicely, so hopefully will have an update on them soon.
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Highlands Reserve May/June 2014

Trip report complete July/August 2016 - Beach Club and Sunset Lakes
Trip report complete - One week trip at two weeks notice - The Grove Resort May 2018
7 States Pre-trip (Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, New York)

Edited at 05:42 PM. Reason: Update added, post 5
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 11:06 AM  
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nickyjw
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Sounds like a fabulous trip Jen, I am currently planning the finer details of our trip which is vey similar to yours. Time is flying by though isn't it?.. we are struggling to decide on our ADR'S!
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 12:36 PM  
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The A team
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I think weve decided on ours. We are currently going with Tuskegee house breakfast, Mama Melrose, Beaches and Cream and Grand Floridian lunches and Crystal Palace and Trattoria al Forno dinners. It will probably change a little but its a start!
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Highlands Reserve May/June 2014

Trip report complete July/August 2016 - Beach Club and Sunset Lakes
Trip report complete - One week trip at two weeks notice - The Grove Resort May 2018
7 States Pre-trip (Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, New York)
The A team is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Gallery Click to view Members Trip Plans
First DLP trip
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Unread 3 Jan 19, 09:07 AM  
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nickyjw
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All sound lovely x
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Unread 30 May 19, 05:40 PM  
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The A team's Reviews
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Update - 30th May

Washington DC Plans

We arrive at Dulles (hopefully) around 3:30 and having done pre-clearance in Dublin, Im hoping for a fairly quick get away. We have now arranged to collect the car on arrival rather than trying to get back out a few days later to collect. So once we have the car, the plan is to get to the hotel ASAP and check in. Hoping to still have some energy for a quick freshen up before heading out to find food and hopefully view the White House and get the obligatory photos before heading to bed at a reasonable time.

We are assuming we will be awake early, so the plan is to start walking the Mall as soon as we are ready, hopefully before it gets way too hot. We are aiming to see at least Washington Monument, World War 2 memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial and Vietnam Memorial before getting lunch on the way to the Capitol Building. We then have a timed entry to the National Archives Museum for 1:00, this cost $4 to reserve a time, it is free to enter and we could just have joined the line, but with it being summer and lunchtime, decided that it was worth a small amount to skip any queue there is.

We will then head back to the room for a freshen up and then out for tea. Im considering going to Georgetown for this but we will see how we feel.

The plan for the next day is to visit Arlington. Ive also requested a Pentagon Tour and am waiting to hear if we get this. We will visit the outside of the Pentagon anyway and also Arlington Cemetery and watch the changing of the guard if its not too hot.

We will then leave mid to late afternoon to start the drive South. We are stopping overnight in Roanoke. Depending on when we arrive, we may stop off at the Mill Mountain Star to see it lit up.

North Carolina Plans

We will set off after breakfast from Roanoke and head towards the cabin which is near Asheville. We are planning to join the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way down and stop off to walk over the mile high bridge at Grandfather Mountain as well as taking photos of the Linn Cove Viaduct on the journey.

For our first full day we are currently planning on Lake Lure. There were a number of scenes from Dirty Dancing filmed her, the scene where they balance on the log, carrying of the watermelon and the staff cabins.

For our second day, we have are going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and have booked a zip lining experience. Im hoping the fact that there are side by side zip lines that I will need to do with the girls will mean I hold my nerve. It looks amazing so fingers crossed we are all brave enough.

We will also be visiting the town of Asheville and spending plenty of time enjoying the hot tub at the cabin.

Savannah

The next day we continue on the road trip and are heading to Savannah for a stay here. We are not sure yet when to head off or where to stop on the way. We would like to see a bit of Savannah so at the moment, I think Im edging towards leaving early and heading straight there so we will have a few hours there in the afternoon and evening as I think with Disney calling, we may be eager to leave in the morning.

Disney Plans

We next have 6 nights on site at Yacht Club. It was FastPass day earlier this week, and I managed to get FoP twice and Slinky Dog Dash once, just as my hoped for plans.
Weve decided not to do any extra morning hours as we will already be on US time, so will just head to parks for rope drop for the first couple of days and then later as the week goes on.

We currently have

Sat 27 - Arrival Day Arrive from Savannah and check in, we have FP for Epcot Spaceship Earth, Mission Space and Soarin (in that order) we hope to make all of them, but put Soarin last at 5:25 so hopefully even if we are running later, this will still be fine. We then have diner at Rose and Crown and are planning to wonder WS until Illuminations. Failing that, we may just head back to the pool for an evening swim.

Sun 28 Magic Kingdom for Rope Drop. We have FP starting from 9 for Buzz, Space and BTMR before a 12:00 reservation at Crystal Palace. Hopefully we will pick up more fastpasses for the afternoon after weve used the morning ones. We will return to hotel for an afternoon break and then go either to DS or Epcot WS for the evening.

Mon 29 Hollywood Studios for opening. We have RnR, Star Tours and TSM for our fastpasses, we will likely go to ToT at opening as the girls love this ride, I will get a drink and wait outside as we have a FP later in the holiday and this is a one time only ride for me. We will likely do some shows and see if the waiting time for Swirling Saucers is Ok before going back for a swim / rest in the afternoon. We have diner at Trattoria al Forno and will then wander the boardwalk and onto world showcase for the evening.

Tue 30 Animal Kingdom for rope drop. We have later fastpasses, so will look to do Navi at rope drop and enjoy a good look around Pandora before out Tuskar house breakfast at 10:40. We then have Dinosaur, Everest and FoP FastPass (the last one 1:20) so will again leave mid afternoon and freshen up at the hotel. The evening plans are Magic Kingdom for Happily Ever After, this will be the first time seeing this.

Wed 31 Later start to the day today as have evening FP. We may do the mini golf at Fantasia gardens because we havent done this one. We have lunch at Beaches and Cream and then will go to Hollywood Studios. We have RnR, ToT and SDD this evening and then plan to stay for the Fireworks.

Thur 1 A water park is planned for the morning, probably Typhoon Lagoon. We have evening FP at Animal Kingdom, FoP, Safari and Everest. We love AK in the evening so are really looking forward to just wondering and soaking up the atmosphere. We havent seen Pandora at night yet either so looking forward to that as well.

Fri 2 Magic Kingdom. It is our check out day today, weve planned MK and might do the EMH which start at 8, but will see how we feel. We have BoG at 10:00 and FP for 7DMT first and BTMR and Splash afterwards. We are hoping that we might be able to drop our luggage at the villa, or if not will need to take this with us as we have booked to see Why Dont We (the girls favourite band) in Jacksonville this evening, so will be a late one. We are hoping to be back to the villa by 1am so will be a long day.
Sat 3 Villa explore and chill day. After a late night and busy couple of weeks, we have no plans for this day. There will be a Target shop in there somewhere and lots of pool / napping time.

Sun 4 This is meant to be a beach day but is obviously weather dependant. We plan on a drive to Clearwater for the day and a dolphin watching trip.

Mon 5 This is an unsure day, we are thinking of maybe Seaworld, an airboat ride or a state park but we could just as easily change our mind and return to Disney.

Tue 6 Epcot day, hope to FP TT this day.

Wed 7 Final day and Magic Kingdom is the plan.

Thur 8 Today we fly to NY, we fly at 10:15 with an arrival in JFK at 12:50. Looking forward to trying internal flights for the first time.

New York

Thur 8 Planning to visit Central Park and Times Square in the late afternoon / early evening depending on arrival time and possibly top of the Rock as well.

Fri 9 This is our only full day in NY, we want to see the Statue of Liberty, either just from Battery Park or the Statton Island Ferry. We also want to visit ground zero, we wont do the museum, I dont think the girls are old enough to process all this as well as getting on a plane in the morning. Dave wants to go over Brooklyn Bridge so will do this while we are in the area. Other than that, we are just going to wonder, see what we see and soak up the atmosphere.

Fri 10 Leave very early in the morning, our flight is at 7:55 am! Not quite sure what time we will need to leave the hotel, but guess around 4:30 / 5 to be there by 6. We land at LHR at 7:45pm so are hoping we will still be awake enough for the drive home and that Amelia doesnt suffer from travel sickness as much on a day flight.
__________________


Highlands Reserve May/June 2014

Trip report complete July/August 2016 - Beach Club and Sunset Lakes
Trip report complete - One week trip at two weeks notice - The Grove Resort May 2018
7 States Pre-trip (Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, New York)
The A team is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Gallery Click to view Members Trip Plans
First DLP trip
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