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Unread 30 Jan 19, 03:01 PM  
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Jules32
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The Disney Five do Florida for the first time Aug 19 ~with a little bit of clearwater thrown in~

Florida 2019 pre trip report

The Disney Five do Florida for the first time Aug 19

A bit of an introduction:
Theres
Me Jules 36 chief planner, Disney lover, list writer, Mum to Ruby who will be 12 and Scarlett 8 ,
Darren 36 probably a bigger Disney fan than me but shh dont tell him I said that, easy going pretty much goes with the flow, doesnt believe in rest days in Florida ha ha. Dad to Elisha 9.
And that is our blended family, we have been together for nearly 7 years and have holidayed all over but this will be our first long haul with all the girls. We live in a little town near to Blackpool and both work full time In stressful jobs so this will be a very much needed holiday by the time that countdown gets to 0.

Im starting this pre trip report very very early, so I probably wont publish it until next year but it will be nice to have a record of what we booked and when in our very long run up.

Weve been to Disneyland Paris probably 6 times, Darren has been to Florida around 4 times and Elisha went as a baby, but for me and my two girls its our first time. We have been wanting to go for many many years and finally bit the bullet and booked in April 2018 when the free dining came out.

Wow that count down looks huge
474 days
We went back and forth for ages deciding what we wanted to do, we looked at Villas, onsite , offsite you name it we looked at it but in the end decided with it being our first big long haul holiday all together to just go for ease and stay on site with a meal plan. If we are ever lucky enough to come back I would love to stay in a villa I love the idea of our own space and a pool to nip back to.
So we have booked two weeks at Caribbean beach resort in a standard room on the 11th august with Disney dining plan included just the quick service one as we dont want to be tied down too much with table service meals we have done this in paris and found it took so much of our time up, who knows we may change our mind nearer the time but for now this is plenty for us. , were currently tracking flights even though I know its far too early, I want to wait until the Christmas sale but Darren wants to book on release date he gets twitchy if we leave things too late. Were hoping for direct flights from Manchester to Orlando for around 3600 but I think we might have to up our budget a bit. Were just concentrating on Disney alone this time ( no universal ) much to my sadness as I love the look of universal but it just means we will have to come back again one day. Were currently saving like mad and forfeiting the family holiday this year , but we still havent told the kids. Not sure quite how we are going to reveal to them where we are going. One year we did a reveal at the Airport , they thought we were going to haven when in fact we were going to Disneyland Paris and they were all gutted we werent still going to haven ha ha .
418 days to go
So the time definitely does seem to be moving quite fast we have spent our time watching all the usual Disney you tubers, avidly reading and joining all the Disney forums and pouring over the DIBB for hints and tips. Ive just got back from Barcelona which was an unexpected trip for me and very last minute but it was lovely. Its almost school holidays and I am getting kind of worried about 3 weeks off with the kids with no holidays booked and being on a tight budget but Im sure we will manage somehow as long as the weather is nice there are lots of things to do where we live. Weve been watching some flights as some seem to have been released early this year but I think theyre still so overpriced but interesting to see.
I keep seeing lots of Disney related items that would be perfect but Darren keeps reigning me in saying we have ages yet, I swear ill kill him if theres nothing next year.

365 Days to go Nothing much has really happened but I thought we should mark the 365 day point as it has been such a long wait that surprisingly has gone very quick. I wont mind if the next year goes this quick.  were off to DLP this weekend as a little warm up for next year weve been several times but my annual pass runs out in November and for the first year were not renewing  so I wanted to get one last trip in.

339 days out and some flights are starting to filter through at reasonable prices, so tempted to book it but we know we should wait really arghhhhh its so difficult this bit knowing what is the right thing to do. Anyway time seems to be passing quite quickly Im keeping myself busy reading every single blog and watching all our fave Disney you tubers. MNSSHP is starting right now so Im watching all those in preparation for next year.
So after days of watching the flights go up and up for our Sunday dates we decided to call Disney to see if we could bring it forward a day as the Saturday was pricing within our budget, Disney waived the upgrade cost and just charged us 50 which we were super happy about, but you have guessed it as soon as we had changed it the Saturday dates rocketed. I swear these airlines link into your IP address as we wiped all the cookies and history etc , never mind its done now were not changing again, so will have to just wait and see what happens. On the plus side the countdown is now a day less and at 311 days . This makes me happy ha ha
October 2018

So BA just had a flash sale on flights and we could have flown from Heathrow -Miami direct for 2100 including bags seats etc. we didnt book arghhhhhhhhhh I was at a kids party and stressed and not fully reading my texts from D properly ah well I think were going to wait for the xmas sales and hopefully we can get Manchester-Orlando for less than 4k , this flight business is really consuming though its all we think about all we talk about, constantly searching its driving me up the wall I cant wait for them to be booked.,
Oh my goodness were booked BA had another flash sale last night but into Orlando and weve got a great deal only snag its flying on the Sunday not the Saturday, the Saturday that we have only just changed our booking too, we couldnt not book so we had an anxious wait for Disney to open this morning to ring and see if we could switch our booking back to the Sunday luckily after a sleepless night they changed it back we are so lucky. So finally I can confirm our journey will look like this
Saturday 10th travel up to Glasgow by train and stay at the premier inn at the airport
Sunday 11th fly from Glasgow at 7am to Gatwick where we have a 4 hour wait and then fly into MCO and land at 17:45 pick up the hire car and drive to Caribbean beach
Return journey is
Sunday 25th and the same journey but less of a wait at Gatwick this time.
phew Im so relieved that its finally booked and I can stop looking at flights ( who am I kidding ) honestly though its literally taken over my life constantly looking at flights Ill be glad to get a bit of normality back now. It does mean my countdown has gone back up a day though ha ha were now at
303 days almost In the 200s it really is going quick

279 days were finally in the 200s cant believe we booked almost 200 days ago it really does go quick. So a list of things still to do
Book hotel for airport the night before
Book train tickets
Register for Avis preferred
Book ADRs
Book fast passes
Book MNSSHP tickets
Fax room request
ESTAS


253 days out and we finally managed to sit down together to do the ESTAs wow that was stressful, weve done them before and nothing has changed but I think with all the recent events in the news its put us on edge as we were so nervous, luckily they were approved almost immediately. No were trying to plan how to reveal to the kids on xmas day where we are going. Were thinking some sort of video and treasure hunt possibly.

XMAS DAY REVEAL
It went so well they cried, I cried they were so grateful and now we can all chat about it and get excited planning together. Managed to pick up some Disney bargains in the sale also for our trip. A few bits of clothing hats Disney bags that sort of thing





215 days to go we have picked our magic band colours yay

195 days to go we started to think about our day trip to Clearwater and what we wanted to get out of it, after watching lots of videos we decided a day trip wasnt enough and we have booked a night at the pier 60 hotel , really impressed with the look of this hotel and super excited now we get to spend more time at Clearwater.
List of things to do still
Book hotel for airport the night before
Book train tickets
Register for Avis preferred
Book ADRs
Book fast passes
Book MNSSHP tickets
Fax room request
Change money when a good rate appears


LITTLE UPDATE


180 days out ADR DAY
Wow that was stressful the dates didnt open up on the desktop so had to load up the APP on my phone and do it all via that luckily we got pretty much all we wanted but really frustrated it didnt open up my dates. Still now an hour later they are not showing on the desktop ( they never did for some reason)

25.04.2019 free dining released today I waited in a que for over an hour to look at boking for next year arghhhh what am I doing were not even going next year this is a once in a life time trip ( yeah right who am I kidding) it was interesting to see prices have risen for almost the exact same holiday by around 1000 wowsers

99 days out
Wow I cant believe we are at double digit day , it really has gone super fast its all starting to become really real now and we have built up quite a collection of Disney clothing ha ha we went to the new primark at Birmingham last weekend and had a trip to the Disney caf it was so good and made us even more excited to be eating real mickey waffles soon. We still have a couple of things to do and we have had a few logistic problems getting to the airport. We had originally planned to get the train from Preston to Glasgow ( DH works on the trains so costs us next to nothing to travel) but logistically 3 kids and numerous cases was not going to work for us plus we travel back on a bank hol and the trains are a nightmare and will most likely be cancelled so we have bit the bullet and borrowed my mums mini van and decided to drive which means a little more cost but slightly easier journey I think. Remind me of this when when were two hours in and the girls are squabbling singing or both ( god help us) its a 3 hour drive which isnt too bad. We just have the issue of will the luggage fit in the SUV the other end ( probably not) were not worrying about that though until we get there we did ring AVIS and they wanted quite a lot more to upgrade so we will try and do it there. If all else goes wrong Ill get on the magical express with the luggage and DH can drive to the resort . Next update will probably be fast pass day which is causing me great anxiety I may book the morning off work to get it done ha ha

60 Days Fast pass day
Wow how did we get here so quick time is flying by. Today was a day that has caused me sleepless nights and worry ( stupid I know) it didnt help that the day before we were unfortunately victims of bank fraud and had most of our life savings cleaned out so I did not sleep a wink worrying about that. Long story short we have it all back thanks to HSBC being such a great bank , it was awful though really truly awful. So thankfully the fast pass gods were shining down on us and we got everything we wanted apart from a couple of times that are a bit later than planned but hey Ill take that for the 3 FOP fast passes we managed to book  we havent been doing much other than picking up a few more holiday clothes, holiday Skechers for all ( got to done hasnt it) and watching Tim Tracker and other Disney you tubers. Its all starting to seem very real now and I cant quite believe how fast the time has gone from when we booked. This has been the biggest countdown for a holiday we have ever had. Next update will probably be at 30 days when we pick our BOG food choices.

Edited at 09:52 PM. Reason: updated
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Unread 2 Feb 19, 12:25 PM  
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Kat11
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Sounds like you guys have a fab trip planned. 😃

Following along.

Kat
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Unread 8 Feb 19, 04:29 PM  
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thank you
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Unread 8 Feb 19, 08:14 PM  
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I love the diary countdown.

We stayed at CBR on our first trip when the kids were 9 and 7. We also had the QSDP. It was perfect for a first trip.

I loved CBR it was a beautiful resort then, in fact we loved it so much we went back 2 years later!

I'd love to go back now that it's been upgraded. It's my guilty pleasure to be the biggest fan in the world of CBR! I totally love it and I hope you all have a magical time together.
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Unread 3 May 19, 11:30 AM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I love the diary countdown.

We stayed at CBR on our first trip when the kids were 9 and 7. We also had the QSDP. It was perfect for a first trip.

I loved CBR it was a beautiful resort then, in fact we loved it so much we went back 2 years later!

I'd love to go back now that it's been upgraded. It's my guilty pleasure to be the biggest fan in the world of CBR! I totally love it and I hope you all have a magical time together.
Sorry I totally missed your reply , thanks for commenting we absolutely fell in love with the resort just from videos and pictures we cannot wait to stay there, even with the ongoing construction it hasn't put us off
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Unread 3 May 19, 11:31 AM  
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Updated with our reveal video to the kids
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Unread 13 Jun 19, 03:42 PM  
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Small update
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Unread 13 Jun 19, 04:53 PM  
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So sorry to hear about your bank nightmare but glad you are all sorted. Interesting to read your fastpass update as it is my 60 days on Sunday and so hoping to get those all important slinky and FOP FP!
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