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Unread 8 Apr 18, 12:23 PM  
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gjdjud
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HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 onsite/offsite Pre Trip Report

HEY MICKEY YOUR SO FINE, YOUR SO FINE YOU BLOW MY... MONEY. MAY 2019 onsite/offsite Pre Trip Report




Welcome to my 4th Disney pre trip report! You can read the others by clicking here 2012-2017 Trip Reports

So once again I'm stupidly early but it's kind of like a ritual to go along with all the planning and a soundboard for any ideas. Once again lots of waffle and rubbish with a spoonful of childishness thrown in to make it a little sweeter. A lowbrow read.

So who are We?

Me: George: 42 at the time of writing. Chief planner and once it's in my head that we are going I become a little obsessive with the planning. I will be dieting again for this trip. I had lost loads before but I have put some(cough)back on so I'm currently more like this



I'm hoping I'll be more like this when we arrive.



That is my outfit for the plane by the way.

DW: Kelly: The boss. I give her my ideas, explain my reasons passionately and then we both decide that I'm wrong. Deserves a really nice holiday as she does so much for us all. I'd be lost without her. She's never wrong(even when she is).



DD1: Evie Mae: will turn 12 while we are there.



A very brave girl. If you've read my last report you will know she was unexpectedly, in late 2015, after various consultations was diagnosed with cone dystrophy.(rediagnosed as Stargardts) She is visually impaired and registered blind. It's been part of our lives now these last few years and although life changing(she's had to change schools, does all school work in braille and will eventually have a guide dog)she copes amazingly well. She has her bad days and tantrums but I'm in awe of how she deals with it. Exceeding expectations at school and we've been told a potential future head girl.(I'm glowing with pride) She has many challenges yet to face though. She recently got her first iPhone and although she can't read the screen, the technology these days is amazing and does it all for her. She tells possibly the worst jokes ever. She does say she's too old for Disney and it's for babies!



DD2: Lily Belle will turn 10 while we are there.



She often puts up with the brunt of Evie's frustrations which isn't fair on her but apart from the odd grumpy spell(or 10) she is an absolute joy. When she does explode she is like a volcano though. I, as a caring dad sing the theme to the Pixar short Lava to her which only cools the situation down. Not.



Funny, smart and the chattiest little girl on earth. You'll get an ear ache if you spend the day with her. We both have high hopes for her. Potential writer I believe. She loves doing short stories. Lily Belle already has a few suitors but unfortunately when one of them was asked the question "if you could marry anyone then who would it be?" HE replied Zac Effron so I don't see that one happening. To be fair to him he is a handsome man.



She is nearly at the magic height of 54inches so I'm hoping she'll be braving some of the bigger rides with me.(both girls surpassed expectations last time)

Last time in 2017 while planning we said it would probably be our last trip but I think the day we arrived in Florida we new were kidding ourselves. We love it. I think we will always go. I do battle with the money aspects at times and with the sacrifices we make to afford to go but as soon as we are on the plane I know it's worth it. The 3 trips we have done together have given us a lifetime of memories.



So when,where and the plan.

So we begin our adventure on May 10th departing for a hefty 21 night split onsite/offsite stay. I'm very much an advocate of booking everything DIY and I had very much planned on doing the same for this trip. I've been tracking prices and have had a budget in mind for a while so I can put a certain amount away each week making sure I cover loss of earnings while away as I'm self employed. I'd toyed with looking at cheaper ways of going so I did consider just offsite. We really enjoyed our offsite portion last time but with free dining, giftcard and 60 day Fastpasses it doesn't quite add up to do just offsite. To be honest we all love being at Disney too much so it was never seriously considered, however this will be our shortest stay onsite.

This for me was the biggest choice and headache of where to stay.



I really looked closely at a Value Resort as I love the look of the theming. But we enjoy a few table service meals so it makes sense to do this at a Moderate Resort, upgrading to DDP was the best option. Not to mention the $200 giftcard. Having said that if there was no free dining I'd be at an All Stars in a heartbeat.

I don't think any of us loved PO Riverside last time as much as we'd hoped. Caribbean Beach Resort is too risky with all that going on there building wise and doesn't appeal to Kelly. Coronado Springs is too conferencey so that left French Quarter which did stand out for its smaller size which does appeal. I did think we'd maybe go Deluxe as it was only surprisingly a little bit more once upgrading ddp to go to Animal Kingdom Lodge and I got very excited by this. Much too my surprise I was shot down by the kids who didn't like the look of it. I had a little bit of a tantrum.



Kelly was concerned that it looked very dark inside for Evie which was true. I considered Old Key West but we've been there, done that. Saratoga Springs I loved but Kelly vetoed the sofa bed. So Port Orleans French Quarter it is. More on the other accommodations later.

Rumour was an April 5th release for free dining which was half true. Virgin did the pre registration thing. For s***s and giggles I thought I'd get a quote which is what I'd did and then promptly laughed when I got it. However I never knew about the 7% flying club member discount and I also liked their standalone car hire price(Flydrive is ridiculous) so I rang back to see if I could strike a deal. Amazingly I got a package price for Disney POFQ with upgraded DDP, 21 Day Ultimate Tickets, Flights and car with V Room thrown in. This worked out about 100 more than what I thought I'd be doing DIY but we are coming back a day later on the far more expensive Friday flight in half term as opposed to the cheaper Thursday I'd planned. A bonus day!



I knew Kelly preferred going with Virgin especially with the Disney Springs check in as she didn't like the faff of check in with BA when coming home. I thought she'd be pleased but promptly moaned about the Virgin carry on hand luggage allowance!



So we have the V-Room which we are pleased about. We last had this in 2012 and really enjoyed it. Last two trips haven't been as successful with the rubbish No 1 Lounge and awful Wetherspoon Breakfast last time.



Flights

So flights are with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick. Annoyingly it's the later 1pm flight as I was unable to get the 11.45am flights but never mind. We have economy classic so we will be able to pre book seats our seats soon. I'm aiming for Dibbers Row as it will be better for Evie in the smaller plane section but we will just have to see what we can get. On thing that's great is that they do In Flight Entertainment for Visually Impaired which will help entertain Evie on the flight. At home she has a giant Samsung View tablet but that not practical to bring with us. I'm not counting any chickens of getting as lucky as we did last time in regards to clearing immigration. Last time off the plane and in the car within in an hour.



Car

Car hire is with Alamo and we have a standard SUV for the full 21 days with fully inclusive insurance. This we are collecting from the airport. This is the most stressful bit for me. Getting to the right place and finding the car without too much hassle. Last time was a breeze with Avis Preferred so hoping once I've done Skip The Counter with Alamo it's just as easy.





Accommodation

I very much enjoyed staying at the different hotels and once again we will be moving around although this will be one hotel less than last time so it will only be 3!

We are doing Disney first this time. Last time it was last and I think we did miss doing Disney straight away. So as discussed this will be Port Orleans French Quarter for 6 nights with upgraded DDP. These first 6 days will be all Disney and nothing but Disney apart from a quick pit stop on day one at my own personal hell that is Walmart. Kelly will probably try and squeeze in Dollar Tree as well which is just a foot or so above hell. We have 21 day Ultimate Tickets with this.



After POFQ we are off to Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando for 2 nights. We did this last time and loved our 2 nights there. It's mainly to utilise the Express Passes at the parks over the 3 days. It's a lovely resort and a nice, pleasant easy 10 minute walk to the parks. This was actually the first thing I booked. I booked this way back in December 2017 with Travel Republic. If you can book early then the savings are huge. It's currently 75 a night more expensive than when I booked. All booked 10 deposit. This is the 3rd time we've done this and it's a must for us. Express Passes are amazing. Unfortunately I don't get to return to my beloved Cabana Bay this time but there's always next time



We then move on to Encantada Resort in Kissimmee for 13 nights. This we have been incredibly lucky and grateful to have. Kelly's cousin and her partner travel all over the world as part of a holiday club and they very generously given us some of their points to book us in for 13 nights. They don't want a thing for this so we are very fortunate. It looks a lovely resort just off the 192 in a good location close to lots of places to eat. It has very nice grounds and a large communal pool so it will have a nice resort feel for us. These 13 nights will be used for a mixture of Disney, shopping, Universal and the Seaworld Parks.



The Theme Parks

So as mentioned earlier we have 21 Day Ultimate tickets that I got with our accommodation booking with Virgin and we will be in and out of all the Disney parks visiting most several times. The only one we probably won't do is Blizzard Beach as none of us like it there as much as much as the other waterparks.

The other tickets I have got from Orlando Attractions.com with a 10 pp deposit.



I've got a really good price for them by buying the Super Six Combo ticket. I got these early and so have 2018 prices for 2019. We have the 3 park Universal Explorer ticket. We will visit both Universal Studios and Island Of Adventure a couple of times each. We loved it at Universal last time. We are looking forward to trying Volcano Bay for the first time. We were supposed to go last time but it was the second day it had opened so decided against it after hearing the horror stories of opening day. We will go here while at Royal Pacific Resort for Early Entry.

We also have the 3 park Busch Gardens/ Seaworld/Aquatica combo which gives free parking at those parks. Aquatica is always a real highlight(apart from a Kelly who hates waterparks)and I will probably get the Cabana rental which is a fairly good price in May. Nothing beats Roa's Rapids for us! I'm going to pay extra for Quick Que at Seaworld and Busch Gardens to maximise our time. We didn't do Busch Gardens last time as in 2015 the girls didn't like it. Now they are older I think they will enjoy it far more. Sheikra is my absolute favourite. We are also going to do the Serengeti Safari as well. Seaworld will include Dine With Shamu which was great last time. All these extras will be paid for by the saving I made on the ticket price.

No Kennedy Space Centre or Discovery Cove this time. One offs for us I think.

Shopping

Once again my nemesis.



We will probably have a dedicated shopping day at Prime Outlets Mall again, the one by Vineland as it has a better Disney Outlet store according to Kelly.



I'm sure there will be various other trips to places like Super Target, Walmart, Dollr Tree and the ludicrously expensive and more and more exclusive looking Disney Springs(I don't like it here compared to earlier trips). Kelly and the girls(Lily more than Evie) enjoy the shopping aspect of Florida so I try my best to accomodate(through gritted teeth).



Eats

So once again eating out will be a massive part and I will have another dedicated food report highlighting all the onsite/offsite eats which will be plentiful as usual. So I'll save my waffle for that report but much later.



Evie

Once again she is a major part of my plans and I was really worried about her and how it would be for her last time. This time I'm not worrying at all. She coped brilliantly and I don't see why it should be different. All the parks were exceptional and always were helpful in getting as her as close to attractions and shows as we could. All we had to do was ask. It was great. We will get the DAS at Disney and Attaction Assist Pass at Universal and equivalent schemes at the other parks that are really helpful. We also will get the temporary parking permit which was really helpful. We have a blue badge at home so can apply for a Florida parking permit a few months before.

Spends

I amazingly came home with a $1000 dollars last time so already have a head start in that department. I'm not a shopper so I shouldn't be too frantic with worry about having enough. I may treat myself to a souvenir mug or two and maybe some Sketchers. The girls will have their own money(from where I don't know) and Kelly as the shopper will be putting as much away beforehand as she can. I'll try and treat all 3 to a few bits if I can One thing is the $200 gift card. Normally we give it to the girls to split. Last time they wasted it on complete tat at the World Of Disney so I'm being cruel this time and going to keep it towards snacks and drinks when we are staying offsite for our days at Disney rather than actually pay for something at Disney.




Diet

Once again a big diet is called for before we go and I'm trying to be strict but my will power doesn't seem as strong as it was a few years back. Kelly is well into a regime and is doing well. Lack of excerise is my issue with time constraints being my issue. I used to run in the mornings but since we got our the dog( the most handsome dog in all the world)a couple of years ago I need to walk him in the morning and don't have a chance to run.



I for some reason I can't run after work. I'm going to try my best but who knows.

So that's my Pre trip. I'm sure things will change a little bit here and there and I will be posting updates every now and then. Posting about the diet helped last time.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to post any comments as I always appreciate it.

George.

Edited at 09:23 AM.
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 12:47 PM  
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Mamie Baldwin
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Oh how exciting for you, Im looking forward to updates. The couple of times weve had the later flight to MCO the queues in the immigration hall have been much shorter so hopefully that will be the case.
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 01:07 PM  
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It sounds a fantastic trip, I will look forward to following along!
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 01:10 PM  
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Love the title ! Mickey sure knows how to part people with their cash ! Sounds like a fantastic trip.
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 03:01 PM  
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Originally Posted by Mamie Baldwin View Post
Oh how exciting for you, Im looking forward to updates. The couple of times weve had the later flight to MCO the queues in the immigration hall have been much shorter so hopefully that will be the case.
I just hope we won't be too tired when we arrive. Thanks for reading.


Originally Posted by Stardust5 View Post
It sounds a fantastic trip, I will look forward to following along!
Thank you

Originally Posted by Smilesonfaces View Post
Love the title ! Mickey sure knows how to part people with their cash ! Sounds like a fantastic trip.
Hopefully it will be. Thanks for reading
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 04:08 PM  
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I'm so pleased you are going back and doing another report, I've really enjoyed your previous ones.
Your plans look great, I look forward to reading along
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 05:25 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
I'm so pleased you are going back and doing another report, I've really enjoyed your previous ones.
Your plans look great, I look forward to reading along
Thanks for reading
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Unread 8 Apr 18, 07:29 PM  
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How exciting you're booked for 2019. It sounds like it will be an epic trip. Only 3 hotels? Surely there will be a pre travel day hotel too...come on 3 is not nearly enough!

I hope you have fun planning your next adventure I've loved reading the previous reports. I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to and seeing how much the plans evolve over time.
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