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Old 19 Nov 16, 01:19 PM  
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vics18
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... And baby Lippy makes 3! Nov 2017 *updated 22/10/17*

Hello! Welcome to my pre trip report! I am writing this many, many moons before we are due to travel, but I figured it’s never too early to start the trip report, right?


So….you may remember us from this trip report……

We've come a long way from where we began - Florida Sept/Oct 2015

If not, take a look!


Briefly, our party of 3 consists of me (Vic, 34 works in the NHS, loves Disney), my husband Martin (38, works for a utility company, loves Disney) and the newest addition to our family, Charlotte (AKA Lottie) will be 17 months old when we travel. She doesn’t know she loves Disney yet but she will!

Here’s us on our first family holiday to Center Parcs in September.




So we came home from our last Florida trip in October 2015 and those post Disney blues kicked in immediately and in a big way. We did some research and decided to book a long weekend in Disneyland Paris in Jan 2016 to “keep us going”. Neither of us had ever been, which we decided was a bit ridiculous seeing as it was significantly closer than Walt Disney World. We got a very good deal through the Walt Disney Travel Company, staying at Sequoia Lodge with tickets and free half board dining for 4 days, 3 nights.


Shortly after coming home from Florida (after booking Paris, typical!) we discovered that our family was going to be increasing in the Summer of 2016 – I was pregnant!


So plans of combining our trip with a break in London/getting the Eurostar went by the wayside and we decided as we live oop North, that flying directly to Charles De Gaulle from Manchester was going to be the easiest option for us. We got pretty cheap flights with Air France. As it was off season the trains between CDG and DLP were few and far between so we got the coach once we landed. We had a really lovely time, possibly because we had quite low expectations which were very much exceeded!

My bump definitely "popped" while we were there!




Anyway, baby planning took over when we got home and Charlotte arrived on the 3rd July 2016. Once the initial whirlwind of newborn days, visitors, not knowing whether it’s day and night passed us by, my thought inevitably turned to Disney…….. I’ll spare you the detailed inner workings of my mind but here’s a quick run down of how we arrived at this trip.


At first I was saying we’d take her just before she started school, so when she was 3. Probably early 2020, before she starts school in the september. Then my brother pointed out that if we take her when she’s 3 we’ll have to pay for park tickets, so we should really go before that. So that brought us to early 2019.
But I couldn’t bear to wait that long….

Having never taken small people to Florida before, I was wondering how hard it was really going to be – especially the flight , so I made enquiries with some helpful Dibbers who had taken very little ones to WDW or were planning trips. I felt a lot better about taking her after this - thanks guys!

My next plan was to go for Martin’s 40th in May 2018. We talked about it (well, I talked at him really – he is patient and long suffering haha) and soon he was on board with that plan.
But….. that still seemed too long to wait!

**In case I’m coming off as a spoilt brat with the whole “don’t want to wait that long” thing, I feel I should share with you that we have had a very long journey to have a baby, with some heartbreak along the way. Although we have loved every minute of our child free Florida holidays, I have shed many a tear watching Wishes wondering whether I’d ever bring my own baby to see it. So that is why I just can’t wait to hit Main Street USA with my Lottie and make some magical Disney memories with her.**

Tiny violin safely stowed away? Cool.

So I was casually(!) browsing the Virgin Holidays website for late Winter 2017, after a tip off that free DDP was still in play. My birthday is in December, and I’d always thought how lovely it would be to see all the Christmas decorations and fireworks etc at Disney. Let’s face it, no one is gonna do Christmas like them are they?! I also thought the weather would be a bit more comfortable for the baby at that time of year.


So I was playing with dates, to be able to qualify for free dining, and Animal Kingdom Lodge was coming out insanely cheap (well, not cheap – it’s all relative folks!) but cheap for there. I hadn’t really researched any other resorts, as I’d been mainly thinking about Saratoga Springs for our first onsite trip, having read so many great trip reports of people staying there. I also really liked the proximity to Disney Springs. AKL was never really on my list of places to stay, for several reasons. Mainly, I never thought we’d be able to afford it. However, I also thought it’s a bit stuck out on a limb in the Animal Kingdom area. And I have to admit, Animal Kingdom is our least favourite park, by quite some way. We didn’t even go there in our 2015 trip! Sorry to all Animal Kingdom fans! But it does look like such a beautiful resort.






Wow

(Photos from Google)

The restaurants also look amazing,especially Boma which I've heard great things about, and Sanaa. We’ll have a rental car so being further out on property shouldn’t be an issue. I was sold. Just had to sell it to ma husband now!

This didn’t take toooooo long, he trusts me to do all the planning and research (plus he’s pretty much resigned to his fate when I’ve made my mind up about something). So I rang Virgin as I wanted to price getting Charlotte her own seat on the flight, having her on our knees the whole time seemed like the quickest way to a nervous breakdown before we even hit the USA. The price was OK and we booked!



10 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge with free DDP, $100 gift card, 14 day tickets and memory maker.


We’ll actually be coming home a couple of days before my birthday, as we had to travel on or before 30th November to get the free DDP, but we’re planning on booking a nice meal while we’re there as my birthday meal Possibly California Grill? Or Yachtsman Steakhouse. Or the Boathouse? Haha so many choices! I hate trying to go out for my birthday at home, you have to book weeks in advance and invariably everywhere has crappy Christmas menus (generally turkey or mushroom risotto <eye rolls>) instead of their nice normal ones .So I’m super happy to be celebrating it at Disney instead!

Anyway, I digress. Now it’s all booked we’re so excited! Well, Charlotte isn’t yet as she’s only 5 months old as I’m typing this and only cares where her next milk is coming from. We’ve been looking at the Disney Food Blog and making a shortlist of places we’d like to try. Having never had the DDP before our Disney dining has been limited so we’re looking forward to experiencing a lot more of it. Obviously we’ve seen lots of places in various trip reports and vlogs too so we’re soaking it all in ready for ADR day. I also had a little look at the rides Charlotte will be able to do, and was quite surprised how many there are, particularly (unsurprisingly I suppose) in Magic Kingdom.

So things are going to be very different this time around, FP+ for Peter Pan’s flight instead of Splash Mountain, the joys of navigating the parks with a pushchair, daytime naps (Martin is a big fan of these anyway ) and Disney Junior.

Bring it on, we can’t bloody wait!


So magical


(Photo from Undercover Tourist)


Update 06/02/17 - shopping! And some bits & bobs

Update 06/07/17 - ADRs and the least planned plan ever!

Update 22/10/17 - Last update - some ADR changes and a general update!

Edited at 10:30 PM.
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Old 19 Nov 16, 07:24 PM  
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EJSakaAnna
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I'm really glad I've come across this, our baby girl is due in 6 weeks and we want to sneak in a visit before she's 3 so it'll be great to read how you get on! Your plans sound fab, looking forward to reading along x
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Old 19 Nov 16, 08:37 PM  
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Originally Posted by EJSakaAnna View Post
I'm really glad I've come across this, our baby girl is due in 6 weeks and we want to sneak in a visit before she's 3 so it'll be great to read how you get on! Your plans sound fab, looking forward to reading along x
Aw congratulations! I loved reading your honeymoon trippy how lovely to hear your news!
Thanks, hope it all goes to plan haha!
We're already looking for 2018 so even if it's an unmitigated disaster we won't be learning our lesson
x
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Old 20 Nov 16, 03:19 PM  
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How wonderful, Charlotte is such a cutie! Christmas time in WDW looks magical, you'll have a blast. I'm looking forward to hearing about your plans 😃
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Old 20 Nov 16, 03:44 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
How wonderful, Charlotte is such a cutie! Christmas time in WDW looks magical, you'll have a blast. I'm looking forward to hearing about your plans 😃
Thanks so much!
Oh I know, too excited to be there for the Christmas stuff. Gonna try and visit a few resorts while we're there I think to check out the decorations
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Old 20 Nov 16, 05:28 PM  
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How exciting! We're hoping to go back in 2018 with our baby who is due in just over four weeks time. Initially we were thinking November 2017 for DH's 30th but we've decided to wait until baby is a little bit older.

I'll definitely be following your posts for hints and tips on travelling with a little one
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Old 20 Nov 16, 06:41 PM  
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vics18
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Originally Posted by Laura_<3 View Post
How exciting! We're hoping to go back in 2018 with our baby who is due in just over four weeks time. Initially we were thinking November 2017 for DH's 30th but we've decided to wait until baby is a little bit older.

I'll definitely be following your posts for hints and tips on travelling with a little one
Congratulations !
Yeah it's tough isn't it? I can already see people (non dibbers obviously ha) looking at me like I'm crazy when I tell them we've booked to take her. Think you just have to trust your own judgement in the end!
Thanks for reading along and good luck x
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Old 21 Nov 16, 02:29 PM  
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Ah so excited to read your plans... it's never too early to start a pre-trippy in my opinion!

Charlotte is just gorgeous, so looking forward to reading all about her first visit to the mouse, she is going to love it! also can't wait to see all the photos of the Christmas decorations!

Also love that your first family holiday was to Center Parcs... after Orlando it's my most favourite holiday destination! We are off there next week for Winter Wonderland

Edited at 02:31 PM.
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Old 21 Nov 16, 03:15 PM  
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Originally Posted by Lisa_Lollipop View Post
Ah so excited to read your plans... it's never too early to start a pre-trippy in my opinion!

Charlotte is just gorgeous, so looking forward to reading all about her first visit to the mouse, she is going to love it! also can't wait to see all the photos of the Christmas decorations!

Also love that your first family holiday was to Center Parcs... after Orlando it's my most favourite holiday destination! We are off there next week for Winter Wonderland
Thanks Lisa! Haha I do like to be organised

Thank you so much, obviously we're very biased but we think she's pretty cute! Ooh I know, ginger bread house here we come!

Oh God we love center parcs so much! Been going for years it's my 2nd happy place! We did winter wonderland last year and loved it. Sadly couldn't all get organised in time to book it this year, we take my little dog when the whole family goes so have to book super early to get one of the villas that allows them. There aren't very many, especially 4 bedroom ones. Which village are you going to?
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Old 21 Nov 16, 03:55 PM  
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Originally Posted by vics18 View Post
Thanks Lisa! Haha I do like to be organised

Thank you so much, obviously we're very biased but we think she's pretty cute! Ooh I know, ginger bread house here we come!

Oh God we love center parcs so much! Been going for years it's my 2nd happy place! We did winter wonderland last year and loved it. Sadly couldn't all get organised in time to book it this year, we take my little dog when the whole family goes so have to book super early to get one of the villas that allows them. There aren't very many, especially 4 bedroom ones. Which village are you going to?
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Oh taking your dog must be so much fun! I never realised they only allowed them in certain lodges though, means you have to be much more organised in getting booked up!

We always go to Elveden as it's the closest. We have considered trying out Woburn but there is always the fear we won't like it as much and will come away disappointed! I always go with my sister and her kiddies so it's a great time of family fun... my IG will be filled with CP photos next weekend!
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