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Old 3 Sep 17, 12:19 AM  
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jakesmum
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Me, 3 and Gluten Free - Travel Day

Soooo, its finally here! Its Disney Day! Misery and I are awake at 4:15am and raring to go. Go in chunky's room and shes still sparko so i sneak up on her and whisper 'do you want to go to Disney with me?' Shes bolt up right in bed immediately (almost knocking me out in the process) with a deafening 'YEAH! ' (Knew she was faking that snoring ) we strike off the last day on her countdown clock and get going



The usual holiday morning madness commences, where I tell everyone to get out of my way and run round with various lists grasped in my hand while trying to shovel food in my face and misery makes various 'if you forget something, we can just buy it over there' type comments. Due to my flash of inspiration the day before spare toothbrushes and toothpaste are already packed so I dont have to spend 25 minutes screaming 'will you brush your teeth for the love of god!' I can leave them all to slouch round at their own pace in peace.

Amazingly we are ready and out the door on time 😱 And I watch the house disappear from view with that feeling of 'its all going a bit too smoothly' but soon leave that behind me when we get onto the motorway and the aeroplane spotting begins 😁 (We saw about 7, was a very busy morning in the skies!)

We actually manage to pull into Stansted roughly 25 mins early when i realise i have no idea which parking place ive booked us into, misery is happily dawddling down to jetparks (where i always put us) while im frantically searching my bag for the booking form which tells me we are in longstay, cue misery moaning while doing a uturn and heading back to longstay. Bit of trepidation that ive got it wrong but it dutifully spits out a parking ticket with our reg on and all is good.

Parking the car and chunky helpfully reminds me to take a photo of our parking row and bus stop 'cos we dont want to be getting off at the wrong stop like last time do we mum? Remember? When you had us all walk right across the car park cos we got off at the wrong stop?' Yeah, cheers love! Anyway bus appears relatively quickly and chunky and I even manage to bag a seat, despite miserys walking aids, a particular family were very unwilling to move so he could also get to the seating so he ended up standing all the way to the terminal, great start to our pain management plans 😔

We already know where special assistance is and get ourselves checked in ready to be wheeled through, we amuse ourselves watching the special assistance staff walking backwards and forwards to move on non disabled people from the SA seating area but not actually puttin the rope across to stop people walking in. Its soon our turn to be wheeled through and misery and I are put in the super uncomfortable wheelchairs and taken through to drop our cases and then through security. Misery, chunky and teen monster all go through happily, my turn to get swabbed and yep, alarm triggers off my hands 🙄 Seems having really good hygiene is a bad thing and my incessant hand washing has triggered the alarm. Further tests show im fine and a quick form fill in before being wheeled through to departures.

We get dropped off just past the duty free and Teen Monster gets the job of wheeling me back to find misery a coffee, drinks for the flight and chunky something to eat as shes had no breakfast. Obviously, as soon as we wander off the assistance come back to take us to our gate (2 hours early!) and find half the team AWOL. I swear I was gone 15 minutes! But we missed our window and were left sitting there until pretty much boarding time, we weren't bothered, as it made a nice change to be sat near the amenities.

Finally at the gate (where my poor pusher had been subjected to a thorough interrogation by chunky, from her favourite football team to how the seating was arranged on the plane ) we get wheeled all the way to the plane door and helped to our seats at the front of the plane (row 4 in the middle). Now I have to say, leg room wise, very impressed with Thomas Cook! Loads of room, seats are a bit narrow but they more than make up for it in room between you and the seat infront. Kids get comfortable and have a flick through the limited film availability. Monster settles on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1, chunky on Moana. Dinner is served, chunky had spaghetti and meatballs kids meal, after much dubiousnes she tried it and dubbed it 'ok', misery and I had chicken, it was vile! Very dry and lots of mushy green veg. They had managed to completely forget to load monsters gluten free meal and had had to scrabble round the crew meals to find something for him. Three options were produced (one of which had the words wheat and gluten blazened repeatedly in the ingredients) and he plumbed for a beef and potato meal which he then had to wait 30 mins for them to heat up 😔. He was starving bless him so ate a majority of it but i have no idea if it was because it was good or because he was so hungry he just didnt care!

Cont below:
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Finally experienced the Magic 2017, returnin 2019 for my 40th and son's 18th, with Gran too , 2020 - DH's Secret 50th!
1st Trip Report - me, 3 and gluten free
2nd Trip Report - DH's Super Secret 50th

Edited at 01:22 PM.
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Old 3 Sep 17, 12:35 AM  
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jakesmum
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Cont:

We managed about 3 films each, from memory the other options were, the hangover part 2, garfield and star wars rogue one, teen monster decides to have a kip and after trying various positions in the chair, finally gives up and lays on the floor under all our feet and has a couple of hours! (Thats how much leg room we had!)

Afternoon snack was served, Monster got a g/f blueberry muffin, orange, some tyrell crisps and a cheese and onion roll (that he didnt eat as he doesnt like cheese and onion!)

We got, 1 x egg sandwich, 1 x cheese and onion sandwich, scone with clotted cream and jam and crackers, which were all quite nice.

Upon arrival at MCO, special assistance was waiting for us, they had to park us up until the plane was fully unloaded but then wheeled us through to a seperate counter at immigration where the officer checked our passports, fingerprint scanned mine, misery and monsters fingers and got confused as to where the little girl was (monster had to point her out and explain she was a tomboy ). We actually got through to baggage reclaim before our bags! They were down to 3 carousels so had quite a backlog, we were left by our carousel to wait and thankfully after about 30 mins our flights cases started to come out and ours had priority tags attached so were first through 😁

Our assistance pushed us all the way to hertz car rental where they told us to take our pick! Misery picked a nice 7 seater Kia and almost smiled at the size of it, we had done counter skip so were out of the airport and on our way really quickly. We tried to follow the directions given to us by the villa owner and got hopelessly lost so returned to the airport, turned on our trusty Waze app and got going in the right direction via 3 toll roads 😡 $3.75 down before we even started.

FINALLY reach the villa and its amazing! 5 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms (ill be honest i did panic that we'd get here and it wouldnt exist) monster gets the entire second floor to himself, chunky gets a superkingsize bed with double shower on the ground floor as does me and misery. There are multiple games in the garage and our own pool, kids are in their element!




We chuck our bags in various rooms and run off to do a walmart shop, now id like to say we were really reserved and not at all touristy . . . . But we weren't . . . Our trolley consisted of 1 gallon of milk, some bananas, grapes, bottled water, a philly cheesesteak sandwich, some gluten free microwave macaroni cheese and a shed load of sweets and biscuits in normal and gluten free varieties 😂 Now i forgot to take a photo of the gluten free aisle for prices and items available but will get one later in the holiday.

Back to the villa for a cup of tea before bed at 9:30 US time as we were all shattered.

Chunkys bed below!



And shower



Tomorrow, our very first visit to Magic Kingdom 😁

(Index is here)
__________________
Finally experienced the Magic 2017, returnin 2019 for my 40th and son's 18th, with Gran too , 2020 - DH's Secret 50th!
1st Trip Report - me, 3 and gluten free
2nd Trip Report - DH's Super Secret 50th

Edited at 04:26 PM.
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Old 3 Sep 17, 12:15 PM  
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prettymiarose
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Hate that first drive to the villa.Last year was first time we did it without getting lost! Thank you google maps! Sounded like a week organized travel day
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Old 3 Sep 17, 01:16 PM  
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jakesmum
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Normally we dont go anywhere without a google map printoff but this time we seriously overestimated our ability to follow simple written instructions! I still have no idea where we were heading but we didnt see any signs remotely corresponding to roads we were supposed to be driving down!

Thankfully, misery has an extrememly good memory for driving and can now find our villa from any of the 4 disney parks once waze gets him to the I4. I on the other hand, even with Waze am still unable to get us on the right roads, often trying to turn to early or missing junctions completely and yet he still allows me to be navigator
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Finally experienced the Magic 2017, returnin 2019 for my 40th and son's 18th, with Gran too , 2020 - DH's Secret 50th!
1st Trip Report - me, 3 and gluten free
2nd Trip Report - DH's Super Secret 50th
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Old 3 Sep 17, 10:31 PM  
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KittyBlackDog
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All sounds good so far, except missing Monsters GF meal, I would've been rather upset if they'd forgotten to load DD's gf meal! 😡
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Old 4 Sep 17, 01:16 AM  
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jakesmum
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Yes, i was rather annoyed they'd forgotten him but they did scramble him a meal so it was more annoyance at him having to wait another 30 mins to eat after an extremely early start. Can't fault the stewardess though (other than one of the alternatives having gluten in) she Sorted him out some food so it was all good, and he's more than made up for it since we've been here! Bottomless pit is my son!
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Finally experienced the Magic 2017, returnin 2019 for my 40th and son's 18th, with Gran too , 2020 - DH's Secret 50th!
1st Trip Report - me, 3 and gluten free
2nd Trip Report - DH's Super Secret 50th
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Old 4 Sep 17, 02:05 PM  
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KittyBlackDog
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Glad it all worked out but a good lesson that I shouldn't rely on others and pack some snacks for DD just in case 👍🏻😊
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Old 4 Sep 17, 07:01 PM  
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collybird
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Glad you had a smooth travel day! We enjoyed flying with Thomas Cook too, well worth the savings versus Virgin.
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