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Unread 16 Feb 19, 11:20 AM  
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katnav
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Join Date: Feb 15
Take 2 - Bigger and Better August 2019

So...here we are again. Wasn't sure I would be but manage to nag my husband enough (I think he is secretly a big Disney fan after our last holiday)

A little bit of background

Me Kate, 35. Huge Disney fan, chief holiday planner, general organiser. Visted WDW and Euro Disney as it was called twice each as a child. One time to WDW and Disneyland Paris as an adult with the husband and kids.

A 34 Never went to Disney as a kid. Didn't understand the hype but enjoyed both our holidays to Paris and WDW more than he thought he would. Does not like to have any input in the planning and doesn't like thinking about the holiday until we are on it. Works incredibly hard for us to be able to go.

J 8 - lovely, sensitive soul who is big into Lego, Marvel and reading. Does not like big rides...cried after he tried Everest. Favourite rides are Test Track and POC

A 6 Crazy, emotional and hilarious child. Has a big personality, loves pink, barbie and Lol dolls. Favourite rides were Barnstormer and Soarin'. Hoping to get her on Everest this time as she will love it.



Last visited WDW for 2 weeks in May 2017. Concentrated solely on Disney and stayed on site at POFQ with upgraded dining plan.

How this holiday came about

As it was nearing April 2018 and the hopeful release of free Disney dining I was keeping a very close eye on The Dibb. We were in the middle of moving house but we were unsure whether it was going through or not. Disney Dining was released and as we spent a weekend clearing out our garage I snuck off to have a little price up...

I broached the subject carefully and tried to casually mention that dining had been released for 2019 to gauge his interest. Looking back it was probably not the best time while he was heaving heavy items out of the garage onto the grass or loading the car for a 'dump run' but it wasn't an instant no! So that was good.



I grabbed my trusty note pad and noted down prices for moderates for 2 weeks in the August (I now work in a school so August was my only option really) That evening without the kids in ear shot I gave him the options. I think my stupid grin and ridiculous amount of excitement didn't give him much choice but to say yes. We both agreed we would love to stay at FQ again as it suited us so well last time but they only had Garden View available and the price difference between that and standard at Riverside was not worth it so we went ahead and booked 15 nights at RS with the $200 gift card. We booked direct with Disney as I prefer the security that if a problem during booking arises I can deal directly with them (we were caught up in the Caribbean Beach renovation fiasco) and Disney were fantastic for me so was worth paying that tiny bit extra to book with them over ATD who were slightly cheaper.

That was it, we were booked for August 2019!



We then moved house in July 2018 and focused on all that comes with the upheaval of moving and I had little time to think of Disney. Once settled however and a quiet count up of Tesco Clubcard Vouchers I realised we could use this towards a Universal stay. I had contemplated a 1 night stay for our 2017 holiday but decided the cost and kids ages (4 and 6) it was not worth it at the time. Now they will be 6 and 8 they are old enough to appreciate some of it (and lets face it, its really me that wants to go to Universal) So Tesco Clubcard vouchers paid for 1 night at RPR. Woohoo! 14 days tickets were purchased through ATD with the 100 deposit. So excited. I also checked almost daily for standard room availability at French Quarter as I still had this feeling that we would rather be there (even though I was telling myself it was good to try another hotel and have new experiences blah blah blah) but as soon as FQ standard became available I was straight on the phone to disney to swap. Felt so relieved after as we really did love this the FQ resort and the small size suited us so perfectly that I did feel like we would be disappointed with the size of RS and we also tried their pool out on our last holiday and didn't enjoy it at all.



Then came the fun of flight tracking... I had been keeping an eye on prices for August 2018 flights and had the magic number in my head for direct or indirect flights (we didn't mind either, main focus was price!)

Luckily I was on the computer the evening the Virgin indirect flight sale appeared. I spent a good 3 hours on the computer looking at various dates, flights, layovers. Leaving it, coming back to it, texting my husband who was at the gym and couldn't really care less or have any idea about whether it was a good deal or not. Eventually we booked. 1200 for 2 adults and 2 children Heathrow Atlanta Tampa and Tampa-JFK-Heathrow back and even better we booked a week earlier than out Disney stay so we ended up with a 3 week holiday booked! 10th August - 31st August.

Now we have extra nights before our Disney stay I looked at staying at Universal longer and making the most of the 14 day tickets and the hotel pool. Priced up Cabana Bay and Ventura as well as RPR for the extra nights and have actually ended up booking RPR club level. If you're going to go for it, might as well go whole hog. So there we have it...

Arrival 10th August at 7pm in Tampa (do not have accomodation booked for this night yet but think we will stay in Tampa and drive to Universal early the next morning)

11th-15th at Universal RPR

15-31st at Port Orleans FQ

So far hotels are booked, park tickets booked, flights booked, Estas done.

Still to be done car hire, airport parking, 1 night hotel stay at Tampa airport for night we arrive.

At the moment car hire for 3 weeks is the cheapest through Virgin at just under 700 which is a standard SUV with all the insurance. Will have to wait a bit to book through but keeping an eye on prices.

We have also booked MNSSHP tickets for Tuesday 20th August. Have always wanted to go and I don't care that we will be celebrating Halloween 2 months early... I am so excited. I keep saying I as the kids have no idea. We will be surprising them for the their birthdays in May. Last time we told them 2 days before we went but I would like them to be involved in a bit of the planning this time but they wouldn't be able to cope with the long count down if they already knew (please read as I wouldn't be able to cope with the constant how many days til Disney question 30 times a day)

So looking forward to doing more of this...


















Edited at 03:49 PM.
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Unread 16 Feb 19, 11:29 AM  
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Eccle
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Join Date: Nov 10
It all sounds great, we have similar dates and are also doing Universal for the first time. Will you do the Marvel character dining as your son is a fan?

Brilliant bargain on the flights
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Unread 16 Feb 19, 11:32 AM  
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Th1nkT1nk
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Awww wow. That all sounds very exciting 😊. Your countdown is much more palatable than mine at the moment! Lol.
Sounds like your previous stay was similar to ours... we had cbr all booked but got caught up in the renovation situation and ended up at pofq which we loved. We are also tagging on a few days at universal when we go next year, 1 night of it will be rpr. Ill be following your reports with interest. Have you booked any adrs yet?
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Unread 16 Feb 19, 11:47 AM  
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katnav
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Join Date: Feb 15
I havent looked at dining for Universal yet, mainly because we have club level so hoping not to spend too much extra on food but may book closer to the time, if we have any money left after all of this!

Couldn't believe the flight price we got to be honest, way below what I was willing to spend.

Th1nkT1nk - I'm sure your countdown will fly by, ours certainly has although it does feel like it will take forever when you first book. Its my ADR day today so hopefully will be back soon with an update as to whether we managed to book what we want or not.
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Unread 17 Feb 19, 06:42 AM  
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Goldia
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It sounds like your DH didn't need much convincing! What a fantastic trip you've got planned. You did a fab job on the flights, saving a bit of money there for spends!

We will overlap a tiny bit when we are at universal. This is the end of our holiday as we are at POFQ for 2 weeks at the start of August and move to universal for the last 3 days. We fly home on 15th as you're checking into Riverside.

I hope you have a fantastic holiday and make more magical memories together.
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Unread 21 Feb 19, 12:00 PM  
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katnav
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Join Date: Feb 15
As soon as park hours came out I started the bones of our plans so I could be ready for ADR day. I did quite a bit of changing (especially after watching peoples You Tube vlogs or reading everyones trip reports.

My current list is
Akershus dinner New
Boma dinner done before
The Wave breakfast done before
Mama Melrose dinner for Fantastmic done before
California Grill Brunch new
Via Napoli dinner new
Yak and Yeti new
Garden Grill breakfast new
Sci-fi diner dinner new
Tusker House lunch for ROL done before
Trattoria Al Forno breakfast new
Chef Art Smith lunch new
Liberty Tree in new
Jungle Skipper Canteen lunch new
Sanaa dinner done before

So as you can see a few favourites from our list trip will be repeated with a good selection (I hope) of new ones to try. I managed to get all of my choices at the time I wanted, was nervous about getting Cali Brunch as only on on a Sunday but I did that first and there was good availability. Other than that, it was pretty straight forward.
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Unread 21 Feb 19, 12:22 PM  
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Eccle
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Join Date: Nov 10
Your food plan sounds good, we did Trattoria al Forno breakfast on our last trip and really enjoyed it. I also have Garden Grill booked too, it seems to get very reviews and its one I have always fancied doing
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Unread 21 Feb 19, 09:56 PM  
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Th1nkT1nk
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Join Date: Apr 18
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Originally Posted by katnav View Post
As soon as park hours came out I started the bones of our plans so I could be ready for ADR day. I did quite a bit of changing (especially after watching peoples You Tube vlogs or reading everyones trip reports.

My current list is
Akershus dinner New
Boma dinner done before
The Wave breakfast done before
Mama Melrose dinner for Fantastmic done before
California Grill Brunch new
Via Napoli dinner new
Yak and Yeti new
Garden Grill breakfast new
Sci-fi diner dinner new
Tusker House lunch for ROL done before
Trattoria Al Forno breakfast new
Chef Art Smith lunch new
Liberty Tree in new
Jungle Skipper Canteen lunch new
Sanaa dinner done before

So as you can see a few favourites from our list trip will be repeated with a good selection (I hope) of new ones to try. I managed to get all of my choices at the time I wanted, was nervous about getting Cali Brunch as only on on a Sunday but I did that first and there was good availability. Other than that, it was pretty straight forward.
That all looks great so exciting... makes it all seem real for you when its all planned out like that! Ill be using your list as inspiration for when I do mine!
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