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Unread 13 Jul 19, 02:50 PM  
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JanetteP
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Live Life Spend it Well - Graduation Trip September 2019

So were off for our second trip this year, having taken my eldest DS and his family in May. We had the most superb time, taking it easy with no Disney, and having a lovely stay 1 night stay at the Grand Plaza, which will definitely be repeated. We loved our meal at Madfish, a very short walk from the Grand Plaza (another Dibb recommendation), and cocktails watching the sunset at Bongos. We had a great time with our Orlando Eye tickets what would I do without all these bargains I find on the Dibb we had terrific fun at Madam Tussauds too. Ive just upgraded to a Dibb passholder in recognition and support for all the lovely bargains and fabulous information I find on The Dibb.

A couple of photos from our May trip. Ive converted my eldest dgs who has informed his parents he doesnt want to go anywhere on holiday except Florida with Nanette (all my Grandchildren call me Nanette instead of Janette or Nana/Grandma etc. as I dont like to sound too old!).



I've lost a stone after seeing these pictures
Me and DGS - sitting down as I don't like heights! What was I thinking



And me and DH



The September/October trip is the big one, taking my youngest DS and his BFF Samantha for his Graduation. Hes just finishing a 1 year HE Diploma and a further 3 year degree in nursing, and will be taking up a post in October on our return. Josh last went to Florida in 2012, so a lot has changed, and Im looking forward to spoiling him with lots of surprises. There are four of us on this trip, as our driver DH will be joining us.

This is Josh and Sam



What a lovely couple, but not together, just best friends.

And this is where Josh spends all his spare time his horse Taz. Ill be very happy when he starts earning some money as horses are not cheap!



Now, were not looking forward to leaving these 2 little beauties behind. I vowed never to have another dog, after losing my beloved Kayla and Bonnie, mother and daughter brown and tan Dobermanns. My heart felt like it had actually broken in 2. Then Josh was given the beautiful Asia (black and white) Chihuahua. Well I fell in love. Ive never had such a clever little girl. She was followed by the beautiful Rhana a very special present for Josh. Hes always wanted to show and he qualified her for Crufts this year and also for next year. We are very lucky that my Sister moves in to look after them and we get daily emails of their antics.



So flights are booked from EMA, my favourite airport, and Im gutted that they wont be flying from Nottingham next year. We paid 369 each including free luggage, and Ive also booked extra legroom seats (45 each) as I like to know where we are sitting. Ive also paid an extra 10 each to have 5kg of luggage each for our return journey. We booked our flights in April, and the current price is 686 so glad I booked when I did. We would have loved to have booked PE but the upgrade price was more than the flights! I bought our flights forward by 1 week to take advantage of the free luggage, but unfortunately, this had a negative impact on the ADRs Id already booked.



Update on the seats I phoned Tui today as extra space seats were showing on the Tui flights page. So Ive paid an extra 10 each and got row 10 inbound and outbound so quick off the plane. These were not available when I first booked, only row 30 and these have lots of legroom, but are next to the toilets which I dont want. They did have PE outbound available, but wanted an extra 500 erm no thanks.

I have an intermediate SUV booked with Alamo Brits and hoping for a nice Santa Fe at Sanford this is what we had last time with Alamo. Still tracking prices for this and will re-book if it gets cheaper.



Ive only just got round to booking a villa, and I am extremely lucky to have got the same villa we stayed in on our May trip so were staying at Lakeside Haven at Sunset Lakes, an absolutely beautiful villa, and in a great location thank you John and Dorothy. I will never get tired of that view.



Now, for the first 5 nights, unbeknown to my DS, we are staying at AKL I am so excited as we have stayed 1 night DVC at Kidani in the past, so really looking forward to surprising everyone. DH is not staying with us he is going straight to the villa but he will have the DDP and will be joining us for the lovely ADRs I have booked. If youre wondering why he isnt stopping well he snores and it would drive us all mad!



Im putting in a Touring Plans request and hoping for a Kudu or Zebra upgraded room with a partial savannah fingers crossed.
ADRs that Ive managed to get are as follows:-

29th September - Restaurantosaurus Dig Site Sundaes & Gourmet Burgers 1st night if we make it Ive done AK in the past on our first night, so hopefully no delays.



30th September Blaze Pizza for lunch, and then Chef Art Smiths really looking forward to eating here. We have a late booking though, so Im hoping to get an earlier time.





1st October Dluxe Burger for lunch. Dinner at Teppan Edo cannot wait to see Josh & Sam here, as I know they think they wont like it, but its our favourite place, and the grandchildren loved it when we took them.






2nd October BOG breakfast and Dinner at Chefs De France a new one for us.

3rd October 1900 Park Fayre Dinner not sure whether we are going to like this or not, and contemplating booking Raglan Road instead. Will be reading Dibb reviews, as the one on DFB is not very good.

4th October BOG breakfast (trying to change to Lunch) OHanas need to get an earlier booking here too. We enjoyed our meal very much here last year, and Im hoping Josh and Sam enjoy watching the fireworks from the beach. Hoping to get a view like this again:-



Check out of AKL and all of us go to the villa.

Desperately trying to get our magic bands, but every time Im on MDE Im too late! So frustrating. I want Tinkerbell, Josh wants the Rainbow Mickey, Sam wants anything girly, and I want Darth Vader for DH. Fastpass date is approaching on 31st July, but hopefully it wont impact on our dining plans

Saturday 5th October Another surprise for DS - Up Close Dining with Shamu at Seaworld not booked yet, and Im sure its not as nice as Dine with Shamu which weve done in the past, but it needs to be done.



Sunday 6th October Discovery Cove Swim. We booked 10 tickets on Blue Friday for our 2 trips with a huge saving approximately 165 for Ultimate Swim tickets. Its many years since Josh has done this, and Sam never has, so hope they enjoy the magic of this place. We will also be having the upgraded drinks package as we purchased our tickets last year before the changes I have the email from DC to confirm this.

Monday 7th October Today is shopping day. Sam has been saving really hard, and it will make a huge change to have a girl to shop with. Our plans are to eat at Steak N Shake and have a fabulous milkshake.



Tuesday 8th October Busch Gardens today lots of new rides since Joshs last visit. Millers Ale House in the evening. My favourite selfies from our May trip of my dgss





Wednesday 9th October Check in to one of the Universal Hotels. We upgraded mine and DHs tickets to annual passes on our May trip. We also got Josh and Sams tickets with the Musement deal. Not sure which hotel were going to yet. Keeping an eye on annual pass prices, but really want Club Level which isnt coming up. The only hotel we havent tried is Portofino Bay, and this is the cheapest on the annual pass site. However, I do have a lot of Tesco vouchers to use, so still looking at which is the best deal. Also, this night is HHN I know Josh would love it so keeping an eye out for some good prices and we may do this also (as if we arent doing enough already!). We also have the Universal Photo Connect annual pass, another bargain find from The Dibb.



Update on this I booked RPR with my Tesco vouchers, but then found out that renovations would still be taking place in the lobby area, so Ive cancelled. Plan to book HRH once I have my Tesco vouchers refunded.

Thursday 10th October early entry to Volcano Bay for the morning. Afternoon will be either US or IoA with our Express Passes, depending on which we do on our first day. Well be eating at Texas Roadhouse in the evening.



Friday 11th October Typhoon Lagoon. Devenneys Irish Bar for BOGOF fish and chips in the evening.



Saturday 12th October Aquatica last minute shopping in the evening and Cicis Pizza.



Sunday 13th October checkout and Steak n Shake on the way to Sanford.



Still to do:-

Book Up Close with Shamu
Book Universal Hotel
Book HHN tickets
Book fastpasses 31st July
Check in online 14th September

Hope youve enjoyed reading along, and Id welcome any suggestions to improve some of our ADRs especially 1900 Park Fayre or Raglan Road.

I will attempt to do a trip report once back, I have no idea how anyone manages to do one whilst there, I think I'm going to be a bit busy on this trip.




TTFN. xx



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Janette
ALK, HRH Lakeside Haven September 2019, Lakeside Haven RPR May 2019. White Blossom & Viburnum Villa August 2018. SSR, Aurora Villa May 2018. Kidani AKL, RPR Champion Florida Villa 2017, Staybridge Suites LBV, White Blossom & Owens Villa 2016 OKW, Champion Florida Villa & RPR 2016, Magic Landings 2015, Grand Reserve & HRH 2014, Tuscan Pines 2012, Highgrove 2009, Legacy Park 2007, Indian Point 2006 and 2005, Florida Pines 2004

Graduation Trip 2019
+ Trip Report 2018

Edited at 01:20 PM.
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Unread 29 Jul 19, 12:50 PM  
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AJ86
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Sounds like a good trip, have also booked into the Restaurantosaurus so looking forward to this
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I can't wait!
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Unread 29 Jul 19, 12:55 PM  
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Kat11
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Oh nearly missed this. Can I join you? 😃

Kat
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Unread 29 Jul 19, 01:33 PM  
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JanetteP
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Originally Posted by Kat11 View Post
Oh nearly missed this. Can I join you? 😃

Kat
Of course - you won't be long after me
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ALK, HRH Lakeside Haven September 2019, Lakeside Haven RPR May 2019. White Blossom & Viburnum Villa August 2018. SSR, Aurora Villa May 2018. Kidani AKL, RPR Champion Florida Villa 2017, Staybridge Suites LBV, White Blossom & Owens Villa 2016 OKW, Champion Florida Villa & RPR 2016, Magic Landings 2015, Grand Reserve & HRH 2014, Tuscan Pines 2012, Highgrove 2009, Legacy Park 2007, Indian Point 2006 and 2005, Florida Pines 2004

Graduation Trip 2019
+ Trip Report 2018
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Unread 31 Jul 19, 12:15 AM  
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laurac1988
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Looks like a good trip planned!

I thought Columbus day was the 14th this year
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Beach Club!
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Unread 31 Jul 19, 09:04 AM  
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JanetteP
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Originally Posted by laurac1988 View Post
Looks like a good trip planned!

I thought Columbus day was the 14th this year
You're right! I had it on my itinerary for the Monday - then we brought the holiday forward by 1 week and I didn't change the date - we'll spotted.
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ALK, HRH Lakeside Haven September 2019, Lakeside Haven RPR May 2019. White Blossom & Viburnum Villa August 2018. SSR, Aurora Villa May 2018. Kidani AKL, RPR Champion Florida Villa 2017, Staybridge Suites LBV, White Blossom & Owens Villa 2016 OKW, Champion Florida Villa & RPR 2016, Magic Landings 2015, Grand Reserve & HRH 2014, Tuscan Pines 2012, Highgrove 2009, Legacy Park 2007, Indian Point 2006 and 2005, Florida Pines 2004

Graduation Trip 2019
+ Trip Report 2018
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Unread 3 Aug 19, 05:10 PM  
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JanetteP
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So Fastpass day came and didn't manage a FOP fastpass at all. However, a couple of days later, Lisa (sha9) posted that some had become available in September, and I managed to get 2 FOP

On our fastpass day, Mousedining and Touring Plans alerted me that BOG had become available for lunch, so that was swapped. I also managed to get an earlier time for Chef Arts and Ohanas. Funny how they all became available on our 60 day mark, just shows how people change their plans.

I've also booked HRH using Clubcard Vouchers. Hotels.com was 522 for 1 night Club Level, but I managed to find a cheaper deal on Virgin Holidays at 443. It was hard work getting them to price match, but I persevered and with 255 worth of vouchers, it ended up costing 188 for the 4 of us. I was surprised that VH were cheaper than Travelbag

Still very undecided about 1900 Park Fayre Dinner - reading everyone's trip reports to see if anything else takes our fancy.

Also saved a little bit on car hire, re-booking with Alamo Brits.

So still need to book Up Close with Shamu - has anyone been to this recently? I know it's not quite as good as it used to be, but I still think it will be worth it.

So glad I got another 500 worth of dollars on my Revolut card - I wasn't happy that the exchange rate was $1.24! I'm now thrilled I got that rate!
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ALK, HRH Lakeside Haven September 2019, Lakeside Haven RPR May 2019. White Blossom & Viburnum Villa August 2018. SSR, Aurora Villa May 2018. Kidani AKL, RPR Champion Florida Villa 2017, Staybridge Suites LBV, White Blossom & Owens Villa 2016 OKW, Champion Florida Villa & RPR 2016, Magic Landings 2015, Grand Reserve & HRH 2014, Tuscan Pines 2012, Highgrove 2009, Legacy Park 2007, Indian Point 2006 and 2005, Florida Pines 2004

Graduation Trip 2019
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Unread 3 Sep 19, 02:39 PM  
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JanetteP
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A little update. Finally managed to get some Magic Bands - yay. I have the Rainbow Mickey for Josh, Sorcerer Mickey for Sam and the red Minnie icon one for me - so happy - it was so difficult.







Also managed to get 2 reservations for Oga's Cantina - a morning one and a late afternoon. No-one is a Star Wars fan - but I will convert them.





Booked our Up Close with Shamu with Orlando Attractions so that's another meal I won't have to pay for - 91 for the 4 of us - and I know Josh is going to love it.


Just getting the cases down, and thought I'd share my tops for AK - so excited.



Touring Plans have faxed my request - have asked for a partial savannah and a newly refurbished room. Not sure if Zebra trail is finished yet though.

Finally decided to cancel 1900 Park Fare (thanks Pez1) and have now booked Raglan Road. I think it's down to the quality of the food and the service. I was trying to get Storybook Dining, but I really don't like the look of the food. Same with 1900 Park Fare - I don't think the buffet looks that nice. I think the menu at RR will suit everyone.

Still waiting to see if Tui IFE will change as I really don't want the same films we had in May

Feeling so sorry for everyone caught up in Dorian, out there or attempting to get there. It's made me think twice about next year. We're usually going out at this time of year, but thinking of going a little later into September now next year.
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ALK, HRH Lakeside Haven September 2019, Lakeside Haven RPR May 2019. White Blossom & Viburnum Villa August 2018. SSR, Aurora Villa May 2018. Kidani AKL, RPR Champion Florida Villa 2017, Staybridge Suites LBV, White Blossom & Owens Villa 2016 OKW, Champion Florida Villa & RPR 2016, Magic Landings 2015, Grand Reserve & HRH 2014, Tuscan Pines 2012, Highgrove 2009, Legacy Park 2007, Indian Point 2006 and 2005, Florida Pines 2004

Graduation Trip 2019
+ Trip Report 2018
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