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Unread 15 Apr 19, 03:47 PM  
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abiknox
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Join Date: Jan 10

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We are the Millers (again) - April / May 2019

Hey hey Dibbers! Here I am again with a Pre Trip report, a rather late one as we fly back to Orlando in... 9 days!

If you follow me on Instagram (@abiknox), you'll likely be aware of this trip already given that I posted all about the cheap flights I found on there. If not, read on for the thrilling tale of 160 flights

Cast

As per our last 2 trips, we are three.

Me, Abi 33. Main planner, lover of all things USA/Disney.

Husband, Aaron 33. Lover of beer, sunshine and time off work.

Edith, 18 months. Fan of rides, food, milk, bubbles and Paw Patrol.

This was us on a recent trip to DLP...





If you want to detour to that trip report, it can be found here


So, a quick note on how this trip came to be. We had Edith in late 2017 and the first half of 2018 we took advise from friends, family and Dibbers to take her to Florida as soon as possible. We were told that babies are easy, free and a joy to take on holiday. They don't mind the 9 hour plane journey and the memories will be priceless.

Well everyone was right, so much so that after our first trip in January 18 when Edith was 3 months, we booked again for April 18 when she was 6 months. Both holidays were absolutely incredible and I am so glad we spent the money and ignored anyone who would say that there is no point taking a baby.

First trip



Second trip



Trippies are here and here respectively.

Anyway, after having those two trips in such quick succession, I was adamant we wouldn't be going again until Edith was 2 at least. Once she was on the move, I couldn't think of anything worse than having her on our lap for the plane ride. She wriggles like crazy and does not like sitting still So I have absolutely no excuse for what happened mid February.

Flights

For a reason unbeknownst to be, I found myself searching flight prices. I used Skyscanner, searching the whole year for the cheapest flights to Orlando from the whole of the UK. Probably hoping for good October ones to coincide with her 2nd birthday. That had been the plan discussed a few times. Well blow me away, Tui flights for 160! That is the cheapest I have ever seen! We have previously had 195 ones but 160 was unbelievable! I took a quick screen shot and sent it to Aaron, totally expecting him to ignore me. These flights were for April, a mere 2 momths away.



He text back saying 'wow' and left it there. I gave him about 20 minutes to think about it and then called him at work. Well what do you know, he had spent those 20 minutes booking annual leave and gave me the go ahead to book! The main selling point, was that at 160, we could afford to book Edith a seat of her own.

I quickly phoned my work and booked the leave and then went onto Tui to book the flights. Of course, in those 30 minutes they had gone up to 225 each. I left it for a about 30 minutes and then searched Skyscanner again. Tui were still showing more expensive but Lastminute.com had them at 160.00 still. I called them up instead of booking online so I could ensure Edith had a seat and after a while I was told I had 3 seats secured! It was all very exciting and that evening, we started to peruse accommodation



Accommodation

Our main requirements when booking a place to stay were...
  • Close to Disney (I didn't want to drive the I4 every day from International drive)
  • A suite with a separate bedroom so Edith could nap in peace
  • A nice pool
  • Good reviews
  • Free parking
  • Walkable to a few restaurants

We narrowed the list down to 2 condominium type places. Blue Heron Resort and Bahama Bay Resort. After asking Dibb advise and looking at the map locations, Blue Heron won. It met all the criteria, was in LBV where we have happily been based before and the recent reviews looked fabulous. We have paid 874 for a 1 bed apartment. There are additional resort fees and cleaning fees payable on check in and this takes the price up to around 1000 which was our budget.







I must say, I'm really looking forward to staying here, the lake views from every room look lovely. I just hope we aren't too high up. I have a bit of anxiety about tower blocks since Grenfell and would be happier on a lower floor.

Airport Hotel

I secured a Premier Inn next, we have gone for the Gatwick South location for a non refundable rate of 55.00. We will arrive late as Aaron is at work the day we drive down and we will probably have dinner on the way near High Wycombe to break the journey.



Airport Parking

I have booked a Meet & Greet via the official Gatwick site. It's more than I wanted to pay at 95 but I just can' be bothered with offsite parking, we just have too much luggage now we travel with Edith.

Tickets

We are just doing Disney again as Edith is still too small for anything at Universal. We have bought 14 day Ultimates from Orlando Attraction Tickets, with a 10 discount code these came to 758.00

Car Hire

As usual, I went straight to Alamo/Brits and so far I have been unable to find cheaper with any other provider. I did amend my reservation on the website today though and managed to get it 20 cheaper than my initial booking. #smallwin We have an intermediate SUV for 360.00. Likely to be a Nissan Quashqai (which is what I drive ta home), or similar!




So, all was sorted, or so we thought...

I popped onto the Tui website last month to book our luggage and when it wouldn't let me add any for Edith I realised we only had 2 seats . I got onto online chat asap and they confirmed what I thought. I was so confused as I could see the booking cost was 480 which made sense for 3 seats at 160. I argued this & send them the above screenshot showing the price when I booked but of course I got directed back to Lastminute.com as my booking was with them. Anyway, to save me writing about the whole ordeal again, I'll once again link you to another thread here where I asked for advise from Dibbers & explained the outcome.

So that's all our bookings. I have since added our Thomson luggage, one 20k bag & one 25k bag both ways, at a total cost of 160. We are taking the risk and not pre booking seats, I'm hoping that they will have common sense and sit us both near Edith, if not, then I guess one of us will have some peace and quiet at least

I've also ensured our Estas are in date, booked FP's, (couldn't get FOP ) and signed up for restaurant vouchers.

We plan to eat at all our favourites, Millers of course, Olive Garden, Longhorn, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sweet Tomatoes, Bahama Breeze, Panda Express, Blaze and we also want to try Chicken Guy at Disney Springs.

Give me allll the food!

Thanks for reading along!

Edited at 03:51 PM.
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We are off again!
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Unread 15 Apr 19, 05:55 PM  
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princess allie
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Exciting. Fabulous prices on the flights, well done. Looking forward to reading your trippy x
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Unread 15 Apr 19, 06:09 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Oh I am so excited for this, and so happy that it is happening so soon!

Such a shame about FOP (I'm not expecting to get any either at 30 days out)... did you manage Slinky dog?
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Unread 15 Apr 19, 07:01 PM  
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Rockycat
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Oh lovely, I will look forward to reading your trip report...so glad you got the flights sorted in the end, I am now following you on Instagram too as I have enjoyed your previous reports so much.😁
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Unread 15 Apr 19, 07:28 PM  
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Eccle
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Great bargain on the flights! Glad you were able to get the seat sorted in the end after all the hassle
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Unread 15 Apr 19, 07:58 PM  
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candycat75
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Hi I fly the day before you, also got a tui last minute bargain. So excited!
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Unread 15 Apr 19, 10:28 PM  
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Gwilspeed
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Cant believe the price you got on your flights. I thought we had a great deal paying 220 each the week before.

Might see you out there as we overlap. Which is weird as from reading your trip reports over the years we normally go places youve been a couple of months later.

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Unread 15 Apr 19, 10:34 PM  
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mobeckwith
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cant wait for this xx
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