Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 26 Feb 19, 12:51 PM  
Link to this Post
#1
moosha
VIP Dibber
 
moosha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 11
Rope Dropping With My Three Favourite Allies - Feb 2019: Index

Introduction and Index

Welcome to Florida trip report number 6. If you don’t already know us, here we are in Hollywood Studios during this trip. We are:



Me, Michelle - Orlando / Disney / Universal / USA enthusiast, holiday planner and trip report writer

DH, Mat - loves Disney and the US, designated driver in Florida, generally happy to go along with whatever I plan for these holidays

DD1, Seren, 12 - Disney and Harry Potter fan, selfie addict, lover of thrill rides and roller coasters




DD2, Freya, turned 11 on the trip - also both Disney and Harry Potter fan, free spirit, errs slightly towards team wimp like her parents




I didn't have time to do a pre-trip report for this trip because when the trip was booked I was really trying to finish off 2017's report which you can find here, and then getting started on 2018's report which is here.

So this trip came about while we were still on the last one in August. Mat in particular had struggled with the August heat and crowds and started talking about coming back in the winter next time. The idea of February half term came from somewhere and Mat was really keen to do it because it would be Freya’s birthday at the end of the trip. Seren has been lucky enough to have two birthdays at Disney World and he liked the idea of Freya being able to experience it too. We had also found the parks busier than we had hoped in August. We’d always travelled at the end of the Easter holidays before and not found the parks too crowded. Going at the end of August we’d had expectations that it would be quieter than the rest of the summer holidays because we’d heard that US schools would be back. In reality it felt as busy, if not busier, than our previous trips. We had light-heartedly come to the conclusion during the August holiday that we could deal with heat or crowds and not both, and so our future trips probably wouldn’t take place in August.

Flights and Accommodation

We booked our BA flydrive (Orlando flights and Avis car hire) while we were still at Disney and had six months to plan and save for the trip. We didn’t tell the girls, instead surprising them at Christmas. For us it did feel quite rushed, but we looked at it as a sneaky extra trip, with it only being a week and being so soon after the last one. We knew we wanted to have two days at Universal and visit all four Disney parks so we knew it would be full on. We also knew we wanted to stay at Universal because we love staying there. We had been so impressed with Sapphire Falls when we stayed there in August that it was a very easy decision to make the hotel our base for the week. What we hadn’t taken into account when we booked February half term was that it was Presidents Day weekend at the beginning of the trip. Having done some research, I knew it was going to be busy while we were there and we figured we could protect ourselves to a degree by visiting Universal over that weekend and buying Express Passes. We’ve had Express from staying at Universal hotels for our last four trips and wouldn’t want to visit the parks without them now, especially over a major US holiday. However, when I priced them up, it transpired it would cost more for the four of us to have Unlimited Express Passes for the two days we would be visiting the parks than if I just booked us one night at the Hard Rock (our favourite of the hotels that offer Unlimited Express) giving us two days worth of Express. It was only a couple of months before the trip that I investigated this. I tried to modify the Sapphire Falls booking, but when I priced up the last five nights it was coming up more expensive than the price we had booked all seven nights for when we originally booked. So I left the first booking intact and essentially we had two hotels booked for the Sunday night. We discussed not bothering to move to the Hard Rock, and just checking in to pick up the passes, but we love the hotel and how convenient the walk to the parks and CityWalk is, so we packed up a bag and had a little holiday within the holiday.

Beautiful Sapphire Falls:





Park Tickets

We knew we wanted two days at Universal so bought two day two park hoppers from Orlando Attractions. These were gate ready e-tickets posted to us and as usual Orlando Attractions were great. Universal tickets are really expensive (£821.60 in total) but this was the best price I could find for the tickets we wanted.

We went for 5 day Magic Your Way Disney tickets with park hopper, again best price I could find was through Orlando Attractions (£1460.00 total). We were originally only going to buy four days but the difference between four and five was really not much, just over £100 I think, so we decided to go to a park on the day we travelled home after all, figuring that we’d probably still have things we wanted to do in the parks at that point. I also found that adding on park hopper only cost about £50 more in total, and we weren’t expecting to spend a full day at Epcot. It’s our least favourite park so went for the park hopper thinking we could head over to another park once we’d had enough of Epcot. I bought e-tickets for Disney too and a voucher was emailed to me within 48 hours of purchase. This was a Will Call collection situation but instead I linked the confirmation number to some old Magic Bands we had which worked perfectly and we never went to Will Call for physical tickets.

ADRs

Initially I had a list of about ten of our favourite restaurants at Disney and CityWalk but I cut this right down because of how little time we had, reasoning that with only a week we wouldn’t want to be spending too much time sat in restaurants. Also, with no Dining Plan those Signature restaurants and character buffets in particular are so expensive and this was supposed to be a sneaky bonus trip. In the end we settled on Antojitos and The Cowfish at Universal, and Tusker House, Crystal Palace and Raglan Road at Disney. We can’t go to Orlando and not go to Raglan Road.

Rope Dropping

This trip report title had to involve rope dropping because it was such a big part of the holiday. For those who don’t know, the title is taken from a lyric from Road Trippin’ by my favourite band, Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Obviously we weren’t staying onsite and I made the planning error of not purchasing our Disney tickets until the 30 day FastPass day. I didn’t realise you had to have tickets to make FastPasses until I came to make the FP+s. So for our first couple of Disney days I was making FastPasses at about 28 days out while I waited for the e-ticket. In the event, I don’t think the extra couple of days mattered because I don’t think it’s generally possible to get Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash or Mine Train FP+s at 30 days out, especially during a busy time of year like Presidents Day week. So without FastPasses for any of those three rides, it was always going to be the case that we would be rope dropping those three parks, and to a lesser extent Epcot and the Universal parks. I’m a big fan of easywdw.com and Josh always advises that to rope drop those three rides, you need to arrive by 7.45 am for a regular 9 am open. So this trip was not going to be for the faint hearted and the troops had been briefed about what was expected. We all knew it was going to be early starts, slightly unpleasant rope drops, long days and late nights because with only being there a week and having spent a lot on park tickets, we wanted to make the most of it. Then there was the fact that it was a busy week (spoiler alert, the entire week was busier than we even expected, probably the busiest week we’ve ever been in the parks). It would have been impossible with so little time and such high crowd levels to do everything. However, we knew we could still have loads of fun, and having been to Orlando so many times before, we decided to make sure we just did the things that were most important to us.

I am going to do highs and lows while the holiday is still very fresh in my mind, but then I’ll go back and finish August’s report as quick as possible before coming back to this one.

Thanks for reading along .

Index

Highs and Lows

Edited at 02:54 PM.
moosha is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 26 Feb 19, 11:17 PM  
Link to this Post
#2
flo-tinka
Apprentice Imagineer
 
Join Date: Oct 10
This sounds hard core fun
Loving the one night at HRH 😀 fab place
flo-tinka is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 26 Feb 19, 11:35 PM  
Link to this Post
#3
Hollyhobbit
Getting Excited
 
Hollyhobbit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 16

Hollyhobbit's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 1
Really enjoyed reading your trip reports and looking forward to following along. Love the title , Road Trippin is our holiday song.
Hollyhobbit is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 27 Feb 19, 02:57 PM  
Link to this Post
#4
moosha
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
moosha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 11
Originally Posted by flo-tinka View Post
This sounds hard core fun
Loving the one night at HRH 😀 fab place
it was definitely hard core and definitely fun . Yep, popping to Hard Rock was a nice treat. It's a lovely hotel and you can't beat the location. Thanks for reading and commenting .

Originally Posted by Hollyhobbit View Post
Really enjoyed reading your trip reports and looking forward to following along. Love the title , Road Trippin is our holiday song.
Oh thanks so much . And I'm so happy to hear Road Trippin' is your holiday song...I know I'm going to be getting it stuck in my head (and listening to it) a lot while I'm writing the report .
moosha is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 27 Feb 19, 02:58 PM  
Link to this Post
#5
moosha
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
moosha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 11
Highs and Lows are now up .
moosha is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 27 Feb 19, 03:37 PM  
Link to this Post
#6
sunshines
Trainee Dibber
 
Join Date: Jul 18
Can't wait to hear more about your dining experiences in the parks. We are playing at vegan choices more and more frequently and will make the change permanently (health reasons) as soon as we can make it a habit.
__________________
Florida: WDW 2012, 2018; Universal Orlando 2012, 2016; St. Pete's Beach, FL 2018
Ottawa 2016
San Francisco 2017
NYC 2013, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Boston 2019 Philadelphia 2020
sunshines is offline Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 27 Feb 19, 10:41 PM  
Link to this Post
#7
I <3 Disney xxx
Excited about Disney
 
Join Date: May 13
Wow so exciting that you got another trip so soon. You been to FL several different times now, which would you say is the best time to go?
I <3 Disney xxx is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 28 Feb 19, 08:53 AM  
Link to this Post
#8
moosha
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
moosha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 11
Originally Posted by sunshines View Post
Can't wait to hear more about your dining experiences in the parks. We are playing at vegan choices more and more frequently and will make the change permanently (health reasons) as soon as we can make it a habit.
There is so much good vegan food in the parks now, we’ve been so impressed on our last two trips with what is available . I’m going to go back and pick up August’s report with three week’s worth of food before coming back to this one so hopefully you’ll find that helpful. We liked that we were able to eat healthy (more at table service than quick service) or just have a good vegan burger or hot dog. All the burgers we had on both trips were great (they’re all Beyond or Impossible burgers which are so tasty.) Then there’s things like vegan chilli, nachos, tofu bowl in Pandora, pizza...oh and pineapple dole whip of course .

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Originally Posted by I <3 Disney xxx View Post
Wow so exciting that you got another trip so soon. You been to FL several different times now, which would you say is the best time to go?
Comparing our April / May, August and February trips, I would say weather wise February was by far the most pleasant, the weather really was perfect. August was too hot for us but some people seem to cope a lot better than us wth the heat. There was quite a lot of rain in August too. Easter was somewhere in the middle.

Crowds wise, comparing our last three trips I would say February half term was the busiest but that was because of Presidents Day. I keep reading that there is no quiet time at Disney World anymore, and if you’re tied to school holidays I don’t think either Easter or summer are gong to be quiet, although the end of August did see a bit of a drop off in crowds in our experience.

If we weren’t tied to school holidays I would probably choose to go sometime around now (after Presidents Day but before Spring Break) because of the great weather and (hopefully) slightly lower crowds, or maybe October before Thanksgiving.

For us, I think we’ll go back next February half term for a Universal only trip to hopefully enjoy that great weather again. And for our next longer Orlando holiday I’m really not sure which is better; Easter or August .

Thanks for reading and commenting .
moosha is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 28 Feb 19, 10:59 PM  
Link to this Post
#9
GezzasGem
Imagineer
 
GezzasGem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 13
Location: Midlands
Mobile

How did you find Universal for vegan offerings? Only there 2nights but wondering what parks are like and evening meal choices?
GezzasGem is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 19 Jul 19, 09:17 PM  
Link to this Post
#10
The Fatadder
Apprentice Imagineer
 
Join Date: Jan 13
Enjoyed the highs and lows, looking forward the main report. Your food comments should prove very useful in allowing me to advise my vegan sister in law before next years trip.

I never gave Feb half term any consideration when planning (thinking we were between our two week October half term and the end of August) but it sounds an ideal compromise.
Thanks for sharing
The Fatadder is offline Boy Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin - Copyright © 2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Latest News
Posted in Disney Park Tickets
On 20th November 4:14pm
Park Hopper Option Returns to Walt Disney World Resort on Jan. 1, 2021As the phased reopening of Walt... Read More »
Posted in epcot
On 20th November 11:29am
As part of the D23 Fantastic Worlds Celebration, Disney shared details about the historic transformation... Read More »
Posted in Walt Disney World
On 27th October 3:18pm
Walt Disney World has announced that their entrance gateways to Walt Disney World are about... Read More »

theDIBB Menu


Exchange Rates
US Dollar Rates
CaxtonFX  $1.3099
Covent Garden FX  $1.3265
FAIRFX  $1.3035
John Lewis  $1.3245
M&S  $1.3031
Post Office  $1.2995
Sainsburys  $1.3208
TESCO  $1.3224
Travelex  $1.3113
Updated: 02:00 06/12/2020
Euro Rates
CaxtonFX  €1.0804
Covent Garden FX  €1.0975
FAIRFX  €1.0955
John Lewis  €1.0907
M&S  €1.0726
Post Office  €1.0694
Sainsburys  €1.0865
TESCO  €1.0879
Travelex  €1.0800
Updated: 02:00 06/12/2020

DIBB Premium Membership
Did you know you can help support theDIBB with Premium Membership?

Check out this link for more information and benefits, such as...

"No adverts on theDIBB Forums"

Upgrade Now