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Unread 19 Jan 18, 09:32 AM  
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missdopey
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Ok Let's Try This Revisited Easter 2018 Style - Pre Trip


Welcome (back) if you're reading.
This is my 4th instalment of Disney food reviewing, sticking with the 'Ok let's try this' title trend.
My number one reason for writing these is I love reading them back months/years later, which is why I've decided to do a pre trip so far in advance, I forget the thought process and organising that goes into these trips.
So we booked our flights a few weeks ago (between Christmas and new year). We're flying indirect MAN-LHR 8.05pm on 30th March, overnight at heathrow and then LHR-MIA at 2.15pm on 31st March. Flights are with BA and the Miami leg is on the A380 which my husband is very excited about.
Our return flights are MIA-MADat 5pm with an hours layover in Madrid before landing in Man at 10am. Flights cost us 400 each for our 2 weeks Easter holidays so we were really pleased with the price.



We're going to drive down to Manchester Friday lunchtime and do meet and greet parking (not yet booked) and we have booked premier inn bath road for our overnight stay at Heathrow, this coat is 45 for the night. There's myself (32), DH (33) and DD (4) so premier inn family rooms are plenty big enough. We also love the premier inn breakfasts and kids eat free so we hope to spend a leisurely morning having breakfast before heading to terminal 3 for our mid afternoon flight to Miami.



We've splurged a little bit and have booked the Miami International Airport Hotel for the night we arrive. The hotel doesn't get the best reviews but I don't think you can beat it for convenience. This has cost us 150 for the night, but means we don't need to stress about getting held up in immigration and navigating our way out of Miami around rush hour. We'll hopefully grab something to eat that evening in the airport.



We're always up ridiculously early on the first morning so we've decided to make the most of this early start, car hire is booked with Alamo to collect at 6am. We've booked a full size car to fit our luggage and pram in but didn't want anything too big as I'll do some driving. Car hire cost us 296 which we were really pleased with, it's been a long time since we got a full size that cheap! We'll set off from Miami and probably drive up the 27 and stop off for breakfast to break up the journey.



We haven't booked our hotel for the bulk of our stay yet. We're thinking of staying at the red lion on the 192 just left of the junction to world drive, so really handy for restaurants and Disney and gets decent reviews. This is a sneaky second 2018 budget trip as our main holiday is booked for August so we're looking for a cheap deal on the hotel, this is coming in at 429 for the 13 nights.



The second week of our holiday isn't classes as peak Easter so the DVC points require per night are quite reasonable. After a couple of days of stalking the availability calendar I spotted 2 consecutive nights at Beach Club resort in our second week, so booked it. With it not being either of our home resorts we'll struggle to get a full holiday here but we've always wanted to stay here and check out stormalong bay, especially for DD who loves swimming. We're going to do 2 nights on the deluxe dining plan as we find this works really well for us. We split the credits over the 3 days and it allows us to do character meals for DD and some of our favourite Disney restaurants with a considerable saving.
So far our plans are-
Check in as BC and then lateish character breakfast at cape may cafe (new). Afternoon in the pool and then dinner at California grill (love the sushi here).
Next day snacks from Boardwalk bakery for breakfast, morning/afternoon at the pool and then if I can snag a reservation we're going to have a go at the kitchen sink at beaches and cream. If not a walk into Epcot for cheddar cheese soup and pouting from the refreshment outpost using snack credits. Dinner that night will be cape may cafe clam bake (one of our favourites).
Check out day we'll get some more snacks from Boardwalk bakery for breakfast, pack up our 'overnight cases' and head to chef Mickey's for lunch (this is DDs absolute favourite, this is the only place she asks to go back to). That evening we've booked homecoming at Disney springs (new). Afterwards we'll head to goofys candy company and spend any left over snacks we may (or may not) have, cupcakes make good breakfasts over the next day or so.



We took advantage of the DVC ticket off that ran until 3rd Jan, $599 for a platinum annual pass. Two trips and saving the parking fees for this trip made it a no brainier. Downside is we can only book 7 days of fastpasses at any one time but we can work round that.
So it's all about the dining! We're looking for some suggestions of new places to try, but we always end up at our old favourites, so many restaurants so little time (that would have made a good title &#128514.

Breakfasts - we love Cracker Barrel and IHOP.

Lunch we tend to do in the parks/resorts - caseys corner, contempo cafe, boulangerie, Earl of sandwich, flame tree BBQ, backlot express, d'luxe burger.
We'd like to try polite pig and blaze this time.

Dinner - Buffalo Wild Wings, kobe, millers, 4rivers, sweet tomatoes, five guys, Arby's, steak and and shake, Longhorns and tambu lounge for THAT bread pudding. We'd like to try mannys, outback, teak neighbourhood grill and giordanos.

Snacks - plaza ice cream parlour, ample hills creamery, ghirardelli for ice creams and whatever else takes our fancy.



Managed to snap up a 1.00pm reservation for to do the kitchen sink on the Monday. I used the mouse dining website to set up an alert. Never used this before and wasn't sure how successful it would be but low and behold got an email last night telling me there was a reservation that matched my watchlist so opened the app and there it was. Fantastic service can't recommend enough for them sought after reservations.



Update - Sorted a few of our remaining bits and pieces. Booked our hotel, after a bit of second guessing and changing minds between the red lion on the 192 and the clarion inn at lake buena vista (where we stayed last Easter) we settled on the red lion, think we got a pretty good deal for 13 nights - 450.

Took advantage of the increase in the vs $ so bought some currency. Got 1.4008 with Thomas Cook so was very pleased with that.



Today is 59 days to go 😊 A week tomorrow is our fastpass day so that's something to start thinking about, we only get to book 7 days of fast passes with our Annual Passes so going to have to prioritise and pick and choose which days to book for initially and fill in the rest when we're there.
Waiting for more information to be released about the flower and garden festival - particularly the menus for the food booths set up for the festival. With staying at beach club for a couple of nights this would be a great opportunity to pop in and sample a few of the food/drink options on offer.



53 days to go - Fastpass day in 2 days. Whilst putting together a loose plan of which park on which day for booking fastpasses and thinking about where we could eat around them plans I thought about lunch at be our guest. We've enjoyed this in the past and it's good value compared with other counter service options in MK. Had a look through MDE and managed to get a reservation for 12.45pm on one of our MK planned days.



We ordered magicband covers from magicyourband off thedibb marketplace for our last trip. These were great and got loads of compliments from cast members when scanning them. Can't recommend highly enough and really cheap too. We'll be taking these again this year!



I bought some Epcot style Mickey ears from Etsy for our last trip but these unfortunately didn't come in time, so I'll be taking them along this time.



So fastpass day...
After leaving Miami around 6am we hope to head to magic kingdom after lunch.
Day 1 : MK - Meet Mickey Mouse 12.40-1.40, splash mountain 1.40-2.40, Seven dwarfs mine train 2.50-3.50
Day 2 : EP - Test track 9.10-10.10
Day 3 : AK - Kilimanjaro safari 10.25-11.25, Kali river rapids 11.25-12.25, Navi river ride 12.45-1.45
Day 4 : HS - Star tours 9.40-10.40, Toy story mania 10.40-11.40, Tower of terror 11.40-12.40
Day 6 : EP - meet Mickey and friends 9.10-10.10, spaceship earth 10.10-11.10, Frozen 11.25-12.25
Day 7 : MK - Big thunder mountain 10.35-11.35, Enchanted takes with belle, 11.40-12.40 (12.45 lunch at BOG), Seven dwarfs mine train 1.40-2.40
Day 10 - AK : (check out of Beach club, 12.00 brunch at Chef Mickey's) 1.40-2.40 Meet Mickey, 2.40-3.40 Flight of passage, 3.40-4.40 Kali river rapids

Really pleased with the fastpasses we were able to secure, day 1 was actually 52 days out due to us not checking into Beach club until day 8 but there were still plenty of fastpasses available at good times. Flight of passage was available for our first Animal Kingdom day (day 3) but it was at 8.25pm which was too late for us. We will book fastpasses for our remaining days as we use a day at a time.



33 days to go!

The last bits and pieces have been booked and paid for. Sorted out parking at Manchester airport, 17 days meet and greet with VIP cost 58, booked through looking4parking.com. We used these in 2016 when we flew from Manchester with no problem, just ring them when you're 15 minutes away and they meet you at the terminal.
We have also added the deluxe dining plan to our reservation, 2 nights cost us $544 including tax.



Hoping to fit in an escape room (or 2) whilst in Florida. So far escapology on international drive looks the winner, they have quite a few rooms to choose from and don't seem to group you with other people unlike the others.



At least one trip will be made to Florida mall. We're not massive shoppers but I do love a look round the shops and usually manage to make a few purchases in Hollister and Aeropostale



There's usually a couple of visits to the outlets. We prefer the Vineland outlets due to the location. On our last trip we visited in the evening and it was so much more pleasant, the place was quiet and we got parked easily. We love a look in character warehouse and have got some huge bargains in the past.



21 days to go - Booked a couple of escape rooms for the middle of our holiday, unfortunately had to cancel be our guest lunch as they clash. Now the challenge is to get a lunch reservation for a day we'll be in magic kingdom🤞



14 days to go - 2 weeks!

I've been looking at our plans and moving dining reservations (with help from mouse dining).
So far we've got-

Sunday - drive up the US27 from Miami and stop for breakfast somewhere halfway. Continue up to Disney and head to magic kingdom for lunchtime and pick up our annual passes, where we have fastpasses and will grab some lunch possibly at cosmic rays. Leave and check in at the red lion and sort our stuff, head to the new Walmart just next door and get our supplies for the duration (cereal, milk, snacks, beer). Have something for dinner nearby and a relatively early night after our early start.

Monday - probably wake up early again so got early fastpasses at Epcot, we'll stay here as long as our fastpasses keep us entertained and have a look at the flower and garden festival activities.

Tuesday - booked fastpasses in animal kingdom, we never really spend more than a few hours at a time here. We'll probably have lunch at flame tree bbq and head back to the hotel and grab our swimming stuff for an afternoon at blizzard beach. Dinner we'll try and fit in at kobe, it's kids eat free on a Tuesday and we find it equally as good as teppan edo.

Wednesday - fastpasses in Hollywood studios. We probably won't have lunch here so will head somewhere possibly Disney springs for earl of sandwich and a look round. After dinner I'm thinking we could head to the outlets to do some shopping, they're much quieter in the evening.

Thursday - breakfast this morning at either ihop or Cracker Barrel. Then off to magic kingdom, we'll pick up some fastpasses a few days before as we need to use some before we can book any more with our APs. We have a Late lunch reservation at be our guest where I plan to have soup and a cupcake - love these 😂 If it's a late start in magic kingdom we will maybe stay into the evening for the fireworks, grabbing something for dinner nearby (Pinocchio village haus probably).

Friday - fastpasses booked for Epcot in the morning and we'll grab something small to eat to put us on either from a flower and garden booth or boulangerie in France. We have a reservation early afternoon at beaches and cream where we plan on taking DD to do the kitchen sink. Back into Epcot for awhile and we'll probably head back towards the hotel for dinner at millers or Buffalo Wild Wings.

Saturday - I will drop DH and DD at a park (probably MK) and I've got a booking for a couple of escape rooms with a friend. We're going to Escapology on I-drive. After that I'll go and meet DD and DH and find out what they fancy doing.

Sunday - check in to beach club and have breakfast at cape may cafe, a day by the pool snacks to keep us going until dinner at California grill, rest of the evening on the boardwalk and maybe hire a Surrey bike.

Monday - going to book a breakfast/early lunch wherever available on the day, afternoon in the pool and dinner at cape may cafe then spend the evening round the boardwalk/watch illuminations.

Tuesday - check out of beach club and lunch at chef Mickey, afternoon on animal kingdom for flight of passage and then Disney springs for dinner at chef art smiths homecomin'. Then spend abit of time looking round the shops.

Wednesday - we'll head to water park probably typhoon lagoon. After this some mall/outlet shopping and then an evening at a park- probably magic kingdom.

Thursday - breakfast at ihop or Cracker Barrel, then to Hollywood studios in the morning, leave to get some lunch when we're hungry and spend the afternoon/evening between Epcot and the boardwalk- must get a sundae from ample hills 😂

Friday - morning at a water park, late lunch-early dinner somewhere near our hotel and then a n evening at magic kingdom for the fireworks.

Saturday - up early and on the road to Miami 🙁. Stopping somewhere along the way for lunch



5 days to go! - so we're into the last few days of our countdown. Yesterday BA allocated us seats on the MAN- LHR leg of our flight. Row 8 a, b and c, these would have been 11 each to pre book, pleasantly surprised BA didn't allocate the cheapest seats at this point. It's nice to know BA do seat families together as seat reservations would have been around 200 extra for our 4 flights. Just waiting for our seat allocation for LHR-MIA now.
Bought some more dollars yesterday from Thomas Cook at 1.381, not a great deal but considerably better than last year.
Weather for next weekend is looking warm - high 20s and lows of mid teens, hoping to avoid them cold early morning starts, packing a couple of cardigans for this possibility.
Just need to finish packing, complete skip the counter with Alamo and then online check in on Thursday. 😁😁



Seat allocation update - we've been allocated seats 26 a, b and c on the LHR-MIA flight. These would have been 48 each to reserve so again not the cheapest ones available, were very happy with the seats we've been given. Great service from BA allocating people with children seats together 6 days before the flight.


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2nd trip of 2018
Unread 19 Jan 18, 10:22 AM  
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Jake71
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Sounds like a great plan so far. Looking forward to reading along.
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Back to Madeira Beach
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Unread 1 Feb 18, 12:57 PM  
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MissFortune
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Woohooo can't wait!
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The next return?
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Unread 5 Feb 18, 08:16 AM  
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missdopey
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Thanks for the comments 😊
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Aug 07: Offsite; Aug 08: Offsite & ASMo; Aug 09: ASMu; Aug 10: SSR & ASMu; July 11: DLP; Aug 11: SSR; July 12: DLP; Aug 12: ASMu; Mar/Apr 14: ASMu; July 15: DLP; Aug 15: BLT; Jun 16: CSR & BLT; Aug 16: DLP; Apr 17: Poly & Clarion Inn LBV; Aug 17: AKL & Radisson Celebration; Apr 18: Beach Club & Offsite; Jul 18: DLP; Aug 18: BLT
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Unread 6 Feb 18, 10:42 AM  
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mick
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Looking good I will enjoy reading along

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Unread 7 Feb 18, 03:32 PM  
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MissFortune
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You have great taste.

I have the Spaceship earth ears too & have ordered the matching Magicband skin.
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The next return?
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Unread 8 Feb 18, 08:34 AM  
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missdopey
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Originally Posted by MissFortune View Post
You have great taste.

I have the Spaceship earth ears too & have ordered the matching Magicband skin.
Haha! Great minds...

The skins are fab, ours lasted the whole trip and still look great, no peeling away or anything.
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Edited at 08:36 AM.
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2nd trip of 2018
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Unread 16 Mar 18, 09:28 PM  
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Plans look really exciting - its a lovely time of year to visit - hope you have a wonderful time x
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Unread 25 Mar 18, 08:14 AM  
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Looking forward to this
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Warning, this report contains images some dieters may find distressing

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Unread 25 Mar 18, 02:32 PM  
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