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Unread 16 Jun 19, 06:27 PM  
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col2501
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The PB&J Tour with a side of Birthday fun - August 2019

Now our countdown looks like this :



I figured I'd start my pre trip ramble, it adds to the excitement! It's been a long time since we've been back to our happy place, just over 5 years. So this trip really can't come quick enough!

I tell you what, I'd forgotten how stressful it is thinking of trip report names, I used to do it after the trip but with a pre trip report comes the added pressure of a name!

So the name - as much as I love scouting out the perfect PB&J burger, the title actually refers to my kids and their names, or rather their initials, who I will introduce shortly and it's my son's 18th while we are out there and also my 40th in September (close enough to count right!?)

Who are we? I'm a long time member but very much throw my dummy out the pram when I don't have a trip on the horizon and find it hard to Dibb, so I haven't been around much in the last 5 years, but as I always turn my trip reports into a book for our memories, using Blurb software, I'm afraid you will all have to put up with another trip report from me!

Me - Colette - 39 (almost 40) - The driving force behind our trips, completely Disney obsessed, I love lists, planning and organising and anything remotely to do with Disney

DH - Chris - 42 - Is well and truly on the Disney train with me now, slightly disappointed that Galaxys Edge won't be open by the time we go (I'm not!) but he's excited all the same at all our plans.

DS - Brandon - 17 - Man of few words, I think he's excited, who knows, at least he's coming (more on that in a bit)

DD1 - Jess - 13 - still a whirlwind, she's a very confident happy girl who puts me and her Dad through our paces almost daily, she's exhausting but we love her.

DD2 - Poppy - 6 - the baby of our family, she is kind, caring, funny, and is very excited for Florida and a trip where she will actually remember things!

Whilst getting things together for this report I was looking at my old trips, and us through the years at Disney. so here goes, here we are :


This was our first trip in June 2009, our first Disney park (AK) and our first Character Breakfast at Tusker - a must do for me this trip!

Here we are in October 2011, our honeymoon with the kids.


And then this was our first trip as a family of 5, in June 2014


This is us now :




It's very rare that we do things as a whole family, Brandon never wants too and Jess has got to the age where she's rather go out with her friends shopping or down to the prom and not troll around national trust properties with the parents.

Even when we went to DLP last year, Brandon didn't want to come, easier on the pocket for sure but sad that he doesn't have those memories, I loved DLP, as did we all, despite it being 4 of us not 5.

We had a huge breakthough with Poppy, she has spent her life being terrified of the characters and refuses to be anywhere near them, this started in Florida in 2014 and then every party I ever took her too when a character came in she would have a meltdown and just want to leave.

So when this happened in DLP, entirely of her own doing, I cried, Like any Disney mum would, naturally!







This means we can now press ahead with the autograph book, which is something I didn't think we would manage!

However, despite the progress with the characters, I think we've scarred her for life, we took her on Big Thunder Mountain, the poor girl screamed herself hoarse and declared she never ever wants to get on a train ever again, we've had trouble getting her on rides since then, terrible parents we are! Have a feeling we will need rider switch more than anticpated this time around!

However, this was Poppy's overall opnion of Disney, she absolutely loved it and can't wait for this trip to Florida


Anyway! The trip! sorry I've rambled so much already!

We've never been in August, but A levels, Secondary school and wanting to go for 3 weeks this time meant I had little choice, it's been stressful planning this trip for many reasons, to the point that I have declared we are not going in August again, when we've not even made it there yet and it has nothing to do with the temperature or storms! But now everything is booked and paid for I can relax (slightly) and look forward to it.

First stress - my son - didn't want to come for 3 weeks.
'How long do you want to come for then Brandon?'
'Don't know Mum'
It went on like this for a while, I didn't want to force him to come, we've all been there, when you have to 'force' your kids to have fun with you when it's the last thing on this earth they want to do. He's nearly an adult, so it's not quite the same as saying to a child you are coming and thats that. But I was SO desperate for him to come because it will be our last family holiday together as 5 for a long time to come. Brandon is off to Staffordshire Uni in September, he is lucky to have an unconditional offer, so the next phase of his life will begin without seeing us daily, and holidays he plans will be with friends, not parents I should think!

So he's coming for 2 weeks (yaaayyyy! )

Next stress - the Flights
We live up North, and fly from Manchester. The flights were astronomical. Ridiculous. As all of you who followed the summer flights thread will know! Even indirect were coming out at 700-800 (really?, No thanks)

Added to that with Brandon only wanting to come for 2 weeks, I wanted him on our outbound flight if possible then he would fly home on his own 2 weeks later. I posted here a lot for help and reassurance that this was doable and fairly straightforward but it just wasn't for us. I could not, for the life of me, get him on our flight in an acceptable price bracket.

So in the end, we've booked for the 4 of us flying from Heathrow on 08/08/19 - 29/08/19 via Boston. long lay over times and we don't arrive until about 11pm (never done that before either, meaning indirect or arriving so late) but for 2000 for the for of us, I had to do it. We're are flying with Delta, it's a code share with Virgin.

Brandon will fly out the day after us from Manchester, direct with Thomas Cook (I know, I'm sure all will be fine, it will it will it will.)
We will pick him up from the Airport on the Friday.

So - different airport, task of getting to and from said airport, flying indirect with long lay overs and arriving far too late to even think about having tea or a swim when we arrive. Stress levels pretty damn high at this point!

I've booked a premier inn for 40 at Heathrow and return train tickets down to Haethrow the day before has cost me 120 (still cheaper than any flights from Manchester)

Next stress - The Villa
My first one fell through, most unexpectedly, causing me to have a breakdown. but thanks to the wonderful people of the Dibb, you got me through a horrible weekend in January with help and support and we have a new place to stay.

It's in Davenport, thats my preferred area to stay booked through trip advisor and looks amazing. so excited about it now!

Then there is the realisation that we haven't been for 5 years, prices have gone up, a fair bit, a long with the exchange rate as it is, makes for a very different trip money wise (in 2014 we had 1.6 to the $!)
but I've made my peace with that, the kids will be fine on bread and water (from the free foutains in the parks) right!?

I'm not that bad I promise, they'll be allowed to eat, most days at least I'll likely do another food report when we are back just to show where we did end up eating (although 21 days of froot loops in the villa and McD's drive thru might get a bit tedious for you all, we will see )

Talking of money, I've blown the budget on other things,
We have 2 weeks Disney tickets
2 weeks Universal and IoA
Seaworld and BG

I've paid for After Hours at Animal Kingdom, (I couldn't be doing with the stress of FP for FoP) Animal Kingdom is my favourite park - I adore it, and IK can't wait to see it at night and it's my 40th and I plan these things so we are doing it, right!? Right!

I've also got tickets for MNSSHP, in August, You've gotta love Disney. We've done this before, in 2011, if it was just the four of us I don't think I would have booked it again, especially with the ages of Jess and Brandon, but Poppy will burst with excitement and will love dressing up and trick or treating so we are doing that too!

I've also got tickets for H2Glow in Typhoon Lagoon. I hate water parks with a passion as anyone who's read any of my previous reports will know. The thought of a water park in 40 degree heat fills me with dread even more so this night time event is much more my thing!

We will of course do the other water parks, my family adore them, I'll just sit in the shade and sulk while they go on the rides.

Something else I should mention, which kind of ups the budget somewhat, we are renewing our vows.

Not because we've been together for a certain amount of time or anything, it's more because our family is complete now (We didn't have Poppy when we got married) so now we (I say we, I mean I - Chris just nods and agrees) are renewing our vows in our favourite place in the world with all of our children with us this time.

We are doing it first thing in the morning (august heat and all that) at the Hard Rock Cafe - in the John Lennon Apartment, which also has a patio attached.

We got married in the Hard Days night hotel in Liverpool and so I thought it was a lovely nod to that, and means Poppy really will get to experierence more of what it was like on the wedding day. We are not mad Beatles fans, but the Hotel in Liverpool is stunning for weddings and likewise so is the room at the Hard Rock looking at photo's.





apologies that it's blurry, but you get the idea hopefully, it means something to us to have it there, it's perfect for what we want.
I will do a separate post just for the vow renewal plans in the wedding forum so I don't write an essay here. link to the vow renewal plans here

I also have a suite booked at the Hard Rock hotel for the night of the vow renewal, was cheaper than 2 rooms because of the occupancy rules.

We always stay at universal for a night to get FOLP, Am sure it will come in more than handy in August.

I have also been using the service of Fairytale personal shopper (they advertise on here) I have had countless packages sent to Beth and Tim already, including our magic bands and Beth picked up some Epcot Flower and Garden festival Ears for me which I just had to have!

Car hire - Car on the Drive, always for us, we pay the added expense for the convenience of Chris not having to drive when we land in America after a 9 hour flight with 3 kids.

There is so much that we have yet to experience, 5 years is a long time to be away (don't I know it!) but we have 3 weeks there this time and I have my plan (of course) and I am confident that we will see and do everything that we want to, and if we don't... then that's the reason to go back again isn't it!

Think thats everything for now, I really had forgotten the time it takes to do these things, I am supposed to ironing instead, oops!

All worth it though, I am so excited and look forward to sharing all our plans when we are back!

Edited at 02:26 PM.
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 06:58 PM  
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GezzasGem
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Sounds like a fabulous trip! Gorgeous wedding pic too 👌
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 08:01 PM  
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Juliemack
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Hi Colette Is it really that long? I guess it must be looking at how grown up the children are now.
Everything sounds fab, particularly the John Lennon apartment. Look forward to following along
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 08:04 PM  
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Looking forward to following along 👍
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 08:21 PM  
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Originally Posted by GezzasGem View Post
Sounds like a fabulous trip! Gorgeous wedding pic too 👌
Aww thanks so much!

Originally Posted by Juliemack View Post
Hi Colette Is it really that long? I guess it must be looking at how grown up the children are now.
Everything sounds fab, particularly the John Lennon apartment. Look forward to following along
Hi Julie! Lovely to hear from you, I knoooowww it really has been that long, can't believe it myself when I look at how little they were on the first trip!

Originally Posted by Cinderella View Post
Looking forward to following along 👍
Thank you!
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 08:41 PM  
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I remember your villa nightmare, so glad you are all sorted. We fly out on the 10th so not far behind you.

Plans sound fab.
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 08:46 PM  
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Jessika
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I am so looking toward to reading your report, I can remember reading your initial report not long after I joined the DIBB. You have some great plans. I had no idea the Animal Kingdom done an after hours special!
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Unread 16 Jun 19, 10:11 PM  
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Originally Posted by Jessika View Post
I am so looking toward to reading your report, I can remember reading your initial report not long after I joined the DIBB. You have some great plans. I had no idea the Animal Kingdom done an after hours special!
Aww, thank you, It's amazing how much you continue to learn from the Dibb isn't it!

Originally Posted by katnav View Post
I remember your villa nightmare, so glad you are all sorted. We fly out on the 10th so not far behind you.

Plans sound fab.
ooooo it's so exciting isn't it! Hope you have a fabulous trip too!
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Never Mind Epricot Trip report Oct 11
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Sunset Lakes DIBB villa & HRH 15th October 2011
Esprit DIBB Villa 17 June 2014
Dubai Trip Report - just the 2 of us 30 Nov 2011
Introducing Queen P to Orlando June 2014 Report plenty of offsite delights food report June 2014
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