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Unread 10 Feb 19, 05:59 PM  
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#1
GezzasGem
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Join Date: Aug 13
Location: Midlands
Just A Dream Away! Aug 2019 onsite Disney & Universal *Updated 10th August!*

I can't quite believe I am
a) writing another pre trip report and
b) have taken until now to start it!


Firstly, the obligatory link to my last pre trippie attempt..
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...d.php?t=928665

This hopefully also goes some way to explaining my current title and the reason behind both title choices being that I love Carousel of Progress, I just can't help it! That darned song gets me every time
I didn't get round to doing a full trip report when we got back, but did get inspired to at least try a Photo Trip Report - split over two parts - and you can find those here

https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1078784

and here
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1078799

only if it floats your boat of course!

So onto the task at hand - how did this trip come about? I blame DH entirely (naturally). We were always going to leave it until DD was 9 or 10 for her second trip but she will actually be 7 on this trip so that went out the window!
This is us on our last summer holiday when we went to Fuerteventura (first time staying in an Iberostar and highly recommended👌 )

Myself, fast approaching a number I do not want to think about, DH who passed that milestone 2 years ago! and DD who is 6.
When we started researching this non-Florida trip neither myself nor DH could believe the prices now we were booking within school holiday periods...

This led to my DH uttering those fateful words, 'Well how much more would it cost to go Florida?' - ah, you foolish boy, a schoolboy error if ever there was one!
So immediately the seeds were sown for 2019 being the year we may return to Orlando and like most, I settled down for that looooonnnnnggg wait until the (hopefully) free dining packages were released by Disney. Our last two trips we had stayed at AKL but with August prices I had discussed with DH perhaps staying at POR or POFQ. My very first trip to WDW was staying at POR (although back then it was Disney's Dixie Landings!) and I remember it being lovely. So April came around and hooray, free dining was indeed on the menu - excuse the pun - so the pricing up began in earnest!
Our last trip we had used Charter Travel for the Disney hotel, tickets and Virgin flights but getting the quotes for an all-in package was making my eyes water, especially as flights were economy return. As DH is 6"4" we have always opted for PE when going long haul for comfort reasons so was hoping for at least Economy Delight if we were flying Virgin again.
In the end we (or rather I - DH very much leaves the initial planning to me, he has learnt 😂 ) decided to just book hotel and tickets with free dining now and worry about flights later. ATD were giving us the most favourable rates, so quotes duly emailed to me for POR and POFQ.
I had also spotted these rooms though -

DD's favourite princess is Tiana so thought this would be perfect, so got a quote for this to show DH, then thought why not get upgrade price for full DDP as we enjoyed our buffets and waiter service meals last time and definitely got our money's worth?
Anyhoo...Can you guess where this may be leading?! For interest (!) I asked for price to stay at AKL again and with the room and dining upgrade, it was about 400 more than POR. Armed with this mountain of information, I mentioned to DH I had all the quotes and how AKL was 'only an extra 400' - the result?

Welcome home! 🤩

Edited at 10:54 PM.
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Unread 10 Feb 19, 07:04 PM  
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GezzasGem
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Hotel booked, now for the rest!
Sorry, that went on a bit and all we established is we are staying at AKL...
Check in will be Thursday 15th August for 14 nights, picked the end of summer hols as that little bit quieter than July/early August historically. So now all I had to do was wait for the magical 11 month mark for flights - or so I thought.
DH suddenly pipes up with 'we could do Universal too this time'...😱🤔
Now don't get me wrong, this is great news as we skipped it last trip with DD only being 4. However, DH had said categorically this time round we would be having one day on, one day off when it came to Disney. The only answer I could see? Extend the holiday of course!
I liked the idea of express passes and toyed with one night or two at either RPR or HRH to take advantage of this. We had previously booked a break at RPR but had to cancel when I found out I was pregnant, so would be great to try this for the first time!
I looked at price differences between the two and although HRH was a little more, I really fancied this and DH is a guitar playing rocker in a previous incarnation so why not? 😄 Thinking two nights at the start of the holiday in this beauty

I did wonder whether to tag it onto the end of the holiday, but wanted to leave Disney until last 😊
Next thing I know flights are available - here we go...
So with Disney check in planned for 15th, wanted to fly out 13th, 2 nights at HRH and return 29th. Ah, the eternal Virgin or BA question..unless closely tied it was going to come down to 💲💲💲💲
I did look at Norwegian too as we are happy to fly from Gatwick, but I was too chicken in the end after reading the horror stories about their uselessness when flights were changed or cancelled
Having still not seen a price I was happy with for HRH I looked at booking this in the same package as flights, which would also mean I could pay deposit only for now 👍
We had only flown short haul with BA in past and not had an issue and when we went to Florida in 2016 this was with Virgin in PE in the bubble and loved this. I had looked at TUI too for the Dreamliner but not a contender due to our 16 night trip.
Virgin were crazy prices for August but BA seemed much more reasonable. Even for their WTP cabin it was still in the ball park I was expecting and similar to what Virgin wanted for economy!
With that, BA seemed to be the forerunner. Was ready to book and then..


What's This?
Club World return for 300 extra?! Really? !


Now just to give a bit of context/background here by this point I had received a small inheritance and we had never had the opportunity to fly business class before so I thought why the heck not? The beds would be great on return leg especially with a two hour plus drive back from Gatwick on landing! Decision made - but would they offer the 2 nights at HRH too?

Edited at 10:41 PM.
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Unread 10 Feb 19, 07:41 PM  
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GezzasGem
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Final Pieces!
So BA were able to give me a price online for our flights complete with HRH stay, but we still hadn't purchased our Universal tickets 🤔
I decided to email Charter Travel to see what their price would be all in.
They actually beat BA and could provide the 3 park 2 week universal ticket too - bonus! Only slight problem these amazing flight prices were going quickly so to secure the same price we would need to bring holiday forward by a day - a frantic call to ATD and email later and all sorted with no admin fee, phew! So card details provided and all was finally booked - and the best bit was DH was in the dark over Club World seats and am not going to tell him until check in 😉 and even better, DD has no idea we are going back to Disney this year and we may even hold off telling her until the day we go..that is still in the planning stages!
Travel insurance, ESTAs (after DH's passport renewal!), Premier Inn Manor Royal (35, very happy) and South Terminal valet parking at Gatwick now all booked (with discount for registering on My Gatwick 👍 ) - and relax 😴
Of course it is now countdown until Friday and ADR day, so naturally there is a day by day plan in place..😂
Here's hoping it all comes together, stay tuned and thanks for reading!

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Unread 10 Feb 19, 07:58 PM  
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Kat11
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You have a great holiday planned. Following along. 😀

Kat
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DLP: Hotel New York-2008 & Hotel Cheyenne-2013
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Unread 10 Feb 19, 08:32 PM  
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Eccle
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Join Date: Nov 10
Sounds like a great trip, and I am very jealous of your Club flights! We are going around the same time as you.

Have you decided on ADRs yet?
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Portofino Bay, Beach Club and villa
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Unread 10 Feb 19, 09:02 PM  
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#6
GezzasGem
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Join Date: Aug 13
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Originally Posted by Kat11 View Post
You have a great holiday planned. Following along. 😀

Kat
Thanks for reading and commenting Kat!
Edited to add was it you that gave thumbs up for Teppan Edo for Illuminations viewing on a thread of mine recently? If so then thanks- it has made the list 😄

Edited at 09:08 PM.
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Unread 10 Feb 19, 09:04 PM  
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GezzasGem
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Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
Sounds like a great trip, and I am very jealous of your Club flights! We are going around the same time as you.

Have you decided on ADRs yet?
I still can't believe it tbh! We fly on 12th, looking at your signature are you 14th?
Got a list which I think is there or thereabouts, will post it ASAP
Just realised I am following your pre-trippie too, really enjoying it!

Edited at 09:06 PM.
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Unread 10 Feb 19, 10:04 PM  
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Eccle
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Join Date: Nov 10
Originally Posted by GezzasGem View Post
I still can't believe it tbh! We fly on 12th, looking at your signature are you 14th?
Got a list which I think is there or thereabouts, will post it ASAP
Just realised I am following your pre-trippie too, really enjoying it!
Yes, we fly on the 14th, so I think we will arrive at Universal when you have just left if you have 2 nights there!

Look forward to seeing your ADR list, mine still changes every time I look at it
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