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Unread 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 its 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 doesnt know she loves Disney yet but she will!

Heres 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 its day and night passed us by, my thought inevitably turned to Disney.. Ill spare you the detailed inner workings of my mind but heres a quick run down of how we arrived at this trip.


At first I was saying wed 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 shes 3 well have to pay for park tickets, so we should really go before that. So that brought us to early 2019.
But I couldnt 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 Martins 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 Im coming off as a spoilt brat with the whole dont 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 Id ever bring my own baby to see it. So that is why I just cant 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 Id always thought how lovely it would be to see all the Christmas decorations and fireworks etc at Disney. Lets 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 its all relative folks!) but cheap for there. I hadnt really researched any other resorts, as Id 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 wed be able to afford it. However, I also thought its 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 didnt 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. Well have a rental car so being further out on property shouldnt be an issue. I was sold. Just had to sell it to ma husband now!

This didnt take toooooo long, he trusts me to do all the planning and research (plus hes pretty much resigned to his fate when Ive 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.


Well 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 were planning on booking a nice meal while were 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 Im super happy to be celebrating it at Disney instead!

Anyway, I digress. Now its all booked were so excited! Well, Charlotte isnt yet as shes only 5 months old as Im typing this and only cares where her next milk is coming from. Weve been looking at the Disney Food Blog and making a shortlist of places wed like to try. Having never had the DDP before our Disney dining has been limited so were looking forward to experiencing a lot more of it. Obviously weve seen lots of places in various trip reports and vlogs too so were 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 Pans 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 cant 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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Unread 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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Unread 19 Nov 16, 08:37 PM  
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vics18
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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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Unread 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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Unread 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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Unread 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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Unread 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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Unread 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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