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Old 5 Aug 19, 12:37 PM  
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blusteryday
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The Center Parcs and DLP Bonanza Pre-Trip Report


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This is my first ever trip report (with the exception of some ramblings I posted during DIBB meets a few years back).

I'm partly doing this as I've always enjoyed reading others' trip reports for their tips, tricks and entertainment value, and partly as a way of remembering my, our, good pal Geoffa who was the master of the trippy.



If you're new to the boards, or didn't know Geoffa, he was sadly taken away from us last year.

The picture was taken at our last DIBBcast Grand Day Out in Blackpool, with the best friends a man could ever wish to make.

Back L-R: Me, Jezza, Grant, Geoff, Darrin (Geoff's husband)
Front L-R: Rachel, Mel, Anna

Geoffa was the font of all Disney knowledge, everyone's friend, a master of the cut down, and had an anecdote for every occasion (and some anecdotes which should never be repeated on any occasion).

Geoffa's trip reports were (are!) epic, and whilst I won't try to emulate his style, he's the inspiration for getting off my backside to document my travels.

If you can find the time do dig some of his trip reports out - I can still hill the old goat's dulcet tones as I read them back.

So, here's to you Admiral. Kungaloosh!



Who?

Me - Blusterday, Rob, 48. Disney-nut, chief planner. Default state lies somewhere around mild panic.

Paula - (age withheld on the advice of my legal counsel). Organiser, Chief Financial Officer.

Harry (H) - 15. Star Wars and NBA Celtics fan. Has recently developed a neat line in sarcasm.

Charlotte (Charlie) - 13. Her main functions appear to be eating, sleeping and Instagram. Not always in that order.

Isobel (Izzy) - 10. Joker of the pack. Until recently her main career aspiration was to be a candy floss seller on Main Street - aim high, Princess.



The Original Plan

This time last year we were sunning ourselves in Kos, Greece on a two week all-inclusive. It was our second visit there, and whilst we were having a blast, we are tied to August school holidays and wanted to save some cash, so decided on a 2019 staycation (ugh, I hate that word. Let's go with home-based holiday. A homiday? Whatever.)

So, the original plan was a week in Ladram Bay holiday park followed by a week at home in Dorset. We've stayed a few times in Ladram bay around Easter time and loved it and thought a summer visit would be fun.



Having priced up a week in a Diamond 3 caravan with hot-tub, I also saw it was more expensive than a week in an executive lodge in Center Parcs Elveden.

We're BIG Center Parcs fans, and the Longleat site is less than hour away for home, so we've been there many times. The temptation was too much – we booked a week in Elveden. And then the conversation soon started to spiral along these lines:

Me: So we'll be over on the east side of the country in Suffolk. Why not extend the time away and have a weekend in London straight afterwards?
Paula: Sounds good – let's make it as cheap as we can!
Me: AirBnB?
Paula: Cheaper than Premier Inn?
Me: Bigger, more space. Privacy. We won't have to eat out. It'll save money.
Paula: *Rolls eyes* Go for it.



A period of 3 weeks passes. Then:

Me (looking at my mobile): Blimey!
Paula: What?
Me: Nah, it's alright. Just me being silly.
Paula: Go on *looks over her glasses*
Me: Well, for the same price for the week self-catering at Center Parcs, we could have booked a week in Disneyland Paris, with tickets and half board thrown in.
Paula: Really? Let me have a look.
Me: *smiles*



Fast forward to today, and here is the itinerary in all it's not-quite-the-cheap-staycay-homiday glory:

11 Aug: travel from Dorset to Cambridge for 1 night AirBnB, evening meal at Café Rouge
12 Aug – 16 Aug: Center Parcs Elveden Forest, including *breathes in*: family quiz night, hair braiding for the girls, aerial adventure, aquapark and *shudders* 30 mins family boat ride
16-18 Aug: AirBnB in Orpington, a day in London Zoo (2 for 1 tickets from train fare) and Megabus tour (so much cheaper than traditional London tours)
18-19 Aug: Eurotunnel (courtesy of Tesco Clubcard vouchers), travel to 1 night AirBnB in Compiegne.
19-24 Aug: 5 nights in Davy Crockett Ranch, half board included (Crockett's Tavern, Restaurant Agrabah, Billy Bob's and Restaurant des Stars reservations already made).
24-25 Aug: Eurotunnel back to Blighty (*tips hat again to Tesco Clubcard*), one night AirBnB near Folkestone
25 Aug: Home ☹

The plan is to use the DIBB Trip Reporter app to report almost-live-ish.

I hope you enjoy the ride - assuming the car doesn't break down!


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Old 5 Aug 19, 12:48 PM  
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New Photo Added by blusteryday - 5 Aug 19 12:48 PM.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 01:12 PM  
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Minniefan
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Sounds like an adventure! We r holidaying in Dorset this month at Durdle Door and we live in Orpington! I am going to DLP in November and probably next August. Have a fab time in Centre Parcs which we also love and DLP, will look forward to pics
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Old 5 Aug 19, 01:18 PM  
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blusteryday
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Originally Posted by Minniefan View Post
Sounds like an adventure! We r holidaying in Dorset this month at Durdle Door and we live in Orpington! I am going to DLP in November and probably next August. Have a fab time in Centre Parcs which we also love and DLP, will look forward to pics
Awww thanks Minniefan. Durdle Door is a beautiful part of the world. We're practically do the reverse trips to each other lol!
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Old 5 Aug 19, 01:26 PM  
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Minniefan
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I am looking forward to Durdle Door, we r familiar with Dorset as my dad lives in Poole. Am also so excited for DLP in November, have always thought the Davy Crocket Ranch looks amazing. Cant wait for trip report!
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Old 5 Aug 19, 01:35 PM  
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blusteryday
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Originally Posted by Minniefan View Post
I am looking forward to Durdle Door, we r familiar with Dorset as my dad lives in Poole. Am also so excited for DLP in November, have always thought the Davy Crocket Ranch looks amazing. Cant wait for trip report!
We used to live in Poole before we had kids. I'm a Dorset boy born and bred ("...strong in arm, and thick in the head"!)

Edited at 01:45 PM.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 03:05 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Sounds good, looking forward to the report

Have a great time
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Old 5 Aug 19, 03:28 PM  
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WhereIBelong
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will be interesting - we are just back from Longleat CP (Escape room, adventure golf, falconry and swimming)- had a blast... We added a few days beforehand at Harry Potter/Hemel Hempstead Holiday Inn/Whipsnade zoo and after at Longleat safari park ...

it is obviously a year for "adding days here and there"!

Hope your trip is as fantastic as ours was!
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Old 5 Aug 19, 04:14 PM  
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Hels80
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Ah brilliant to see you doing a trippie!
Will follow along as no Disney in any form for us this year, unless the Disney Store in Milton Keynes counts!
Hope you have a great time.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 04:22 PM  
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blusteryday
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Originally Posted by Hels80 View Post
Ah brilliant to see you doing a trippie!
Will follow along as no Disney in any form for us this year, unless the Disney Store in Milton Keynes counts!
Hope you have a great time.
Milton Keynes...Magic Kingdom...same difference 👍
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