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Old 20 Sep 19, 05:26 PM  
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Join Date: Mar 11
Location: Glasgow

k4ti3-x's Reviews
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Katie & Mick take Florida! Pre-Trip Report

Long time no dibbing! I've sadly not had a Florida trip in a number of years so took a little break from here but now (hurrah!) I have one in the works for 2020

If you have read some of my other trip reports you'll maybe remember me, if not hello I've been to Orlando 4 times (2011, 2012, 2014 & 2016) with my ex-partner and also in 2014 with a group of my best friends. I've done a mix of staying on & off-site and in 2016 we took a trip to the coast as well for the first time and I loved it!

First up is myself - I'm Katie! I'll be 28 when we go and I love Disney, all things American, a good cocktail and just generally being on holiday. This will be my fifth visit to Florida & my tenth to the states in general.

Next up is - Michael or Mick as he prefers to be known! He'll be 31 when we go and it's his first trip to Florida. His first ever trip to America was in June 2019 when he went to Las Vegas and he loved it and can't wait to go back. We're managing a sneaky Christmas trip to New York in Dec 19 so this will be his third US trip when we go. Mick loves being on holiday and relaxing with a beer. He adores the beach and is a mad Celtic fan.

We've been together a year and a half and not long bought a cottage in the countryside together. Trying to visit as many places on our bucket list before we need to settle down and be sensible.

Trip Details

Flights - Mainly the whole reason that this trip came about was because I found some insanely cheap flights. I signed up to Jack's Flight club a few months ago so I could be notified when cheap deals came up. One came through for direct flights on VA from Manchester for £253pp! I couldn't believe it. When you get onto the booking page you need to add on an additional £90 for your bags but even at £343pp it was still a great price. We actually live in Glasgow but the company we work for has an office close by the airport so we plan on leaving the car at work and getting the train to airport to save on the parking fee's. I drive the M74/M6 once a week anyway so it's not a big deal having to travel but we will likely stay the night in a hotel as I've been stuck in traffic collisions too many times to chance it!

Accommodation - We are staying at Rosen Inn @ Pointe for the first 7 nights of the trip. I've stayed here before and really liked the location for getting out for dinner & drinks in the evening. I also managed to get it for the bargain price of £350 for the 7 nights through Travel Republic (If you can't already tell I love a bargain ) Rooms are basic but we will only be sleeping there.

We will then be hiring a car after the first 7 days (I'd love a SUV or Mustang) but realistically I think we'll just go for the cheapest option.
Alamo allow us to pick up from Hyatt Regency hotel on Int Drive so we'll collect from there on the Saturday as we have a shopping day planned and I like to visit the malls and outlets then on the Sunday we are heading up to the Emerald Coast! We'll be away for 5 nights.

I've decided on Panama City Beach as we wanted somewhere relatively affordable, to be on the beach and have a lively atmosphere with plenty of bars/food options and this seemed to fit the bill. I've done Destin before, and it's lovely but more for families.

We haven't booked it yet but will likely go with an air bnb condo by the beach. Roughly £600 for 5 nights. It has free parking, balcony to enjoy the views, easy beach access and pool and walkable to all the bars and restaurants - a nice way to end the holiday.

Tickets - This was probably one of the hardest parts to sort out as ticket prices are absolutely through the roof! I really wanted to do the Disney 14 day & Universal 14 day but it was way too expensive to justify. When I added up the cost of Disney tickets & the extra week in a hotel in Orlando we could go to the coast for less than half the price.
As it's Mick's first trip I want to make it as amazing for him as I can so Universal was a must do. I know he'd love all the rides and especially the Harry Potter area.
We've decided on the three park Universal tickets - £289pp (still a fortune but oh well!) and then i'm going to get a two day Disney ticket and do a day in the Magic Kingdom and a day in Hollywood Studios. I'm not a big Epcot fan and the only thing I really wanted to go to Animal Kingdom for was Expedition Everest & to see Pandora so they got cut.
They have discounts on at the moment meaning you can't enter the park until mid-day but hopefully with the use of fastpasses we should manage ok & it's a big saving. I'll wait and see closer to the time though. They'll roughly be £150pp

We'll then drive back down on the penultimate day of our holiday to Orlando (about a 6 hour drive) and spend our last evening back at Universal enjoying the last of the rides before flying home on the Saturday evening

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