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Old 20 Feb 20, 09:18 AM  
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sacratini28
Gone all Goofy
 
Join Date: Jul 17
The "Once in a Lifetime" Return Episode 2

Hi,
Just a quick re-cap,After being a regular visitor in the 1990s with our young only child, we had a 15 year period of not travelling ,due to many different reasons, the biggest being our dislike of flying !

Anyway,long story short ,we felt obligated to take a deep breath and planned a "Once in a Lifetime" trip with our young grandson then 6 years old.

We travelled in April of 2018,and documented our trip in "Once in a Lifetime " thread ! This led to another trip in Sept (just myself and the better half ) and the "Once in a lifetime return "with our grandson in March 2019

So now the "Once in a lifetime" trip has turned into a fourth trip which is taking place at the beginning of May !

For anyone who followed/read the first instalments, the major up date to this trip is that from no-where my wife sister and her Husband asked ,"Can we come ?"

They had previously been with us in 1997 with their 3 boys and having heard and been forced to look at endless pics of our recent trips wanted to revisit now they are Child free and see how the place has changed in the 20 odd Years since their last experience !

We had already booked the following

* Virgin Flights from Gatwick to MCO

* Villa/House at the new Solara Resort (5 Days

* Portofino (2 nights)

* Sunset Resort Clearwater (2 Nights )

It therefore resulted in having to book another room at Portofino and change the Clearwater 1 bedroom Suite to two separate rooms at Springhill Suites by Marriot at Clearwater as the Solara property is a 6 bedroom House ( originally for 3 of us ) so loads of capacity.

The only negative is that with our group now 5 strong,I have had to forsake my beloved Mustang and have booked a Ford Explorer instead.

Hey ho,sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good !

So as I write we have,75 days 55 mins and 20 secs ( not that Im counting ) until our flight.

Plans are to go to Hollywood studios to visit the new for us Star Wars land as the Grandson is now a huge Star Wars fan ( we've booked the Droid build ,but are having trouble with booking Savis Workshop for the Lightsaber build ) and spend 3 days at Universal to maximise fast passes and also to get on the new Hagrids Ride.

I will update once we are Stateside !
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Old 29 Oct 20, 12:16 PM  
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sacratini28
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Gone all Goofy
 
Join Date: Jul 17
Well ,obviously this didn't happen ,thought I would up date with the lessons learned over the last 6 months !

Finally received all refunds from Virgin etc, and managed to move all other booking to May 21 with the hope that this will go ahead.

Having always paid cash, it was a really worrying time with the possible clapse of Virgin potentially costing us over 4,000.First lesson learned, now everything has been paid via CC

Park Tickets have always been purchased via Orlandoattractions who were really helpful in getting full refunds to us ASAP.Will definitely use them in the future.

The same applies to our villa provider, booked via Vr360 but managed by UK based company villasinfloridatorent.co.uk, who managed to move our full deposit to a new villa of choice for May 21.Again will continue to use them in the future.

All hotel bookings where via Travel Republic,who again we found helpful ,even though we had only paid the minimum 15 deposit per room, they had these fully refunded.

So,lots of lessons learned, and after the disappointment of the cancelled Holiday,lots of time (and happily money) to plan an even better Holiday for May 21 (everything crossed ! )

We have now booked the following, all on CC ,low deposits and fully cancelable :

*Flights with Virgin (looked at BA and Tui due to the obvious, but just don't think you can beat the whole Virgin package )Economy Delight LHR-MCO

* 6 Nights Villa at Championsgate

* 4 Nights Portofino

* 2 Nights Clearwater Beach Villa

* 2 Nights Disney Swan Hotel

So we've extended to 14 nights and will do Universal/Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom with plenty of options to slot in whatever takes our fancy.

Just keeping everything crossed !
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