Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 18 Apr 21, 09:49 PM  
Link to this Post
#1
smithlane
VIP Dibber
 
smithlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 15
The BIG Florida Wedding - August/Sept 2022 - UPDATE 7th June!

Hello everyone .
Yep, itís another big adventure coming up, this may even be our biggest one yet

I know itís a bit early to be starting this report but with all the unknowns surrounding this years holidays, Iím instead focusing all of my energy on next years plans!

So as you will have guessed from the title, a wedding will be involved. Jim is finally going to make an honest woman out of me! Itís only taken 8 years





As this will be both mine and Jimís second wedding we wanted to keep it small and simple. Weíve had the typical big white weddings and whilst lovely we both knew that wasnít what we wanted this time around. In fact itís so small we havenít asked any friends, itís to be immediate family only

If you have read any of my previous reports you may recognise a few faces of who will be joining us. In 2015, mine and the kids first ever holiday to Florida, we went with Jimís parents and sister & family. As I genuinely thought this was a 'once in a lifetime' holiday (haha who was I kidding!), we crammed everything into 2 weeks. Disney, Universal, Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens. Staying in a villa for a week and then a week onsite in Coronado Springs.



2017 brought us back again but for 3 weeks this time, the same cast as 2015 but I dragged my parents along too. We loved the longer time as it really meant we could pace ourselves a bit more. We did Disney, Universal, KSC and had 3 nights on Anna Maria Island, our first taste of paradise.



2018 we were on our own for 5 nights in New York then a week on Anna Maria Island as we were itching to go back but were then joined by Jimís parents for 10 nights in Orlando. We only had one day at Disney doing MNSSHP, one day at Universal and I took the kids on an airboat ride.



2019 took us to the opposite coast and we had an epic 3 week road trip in California with Jimís sister, brother in law, niece and nephew. We did a round route flying in and out of San Francisco, stopping in Monterey, Solvang, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Oceanside and Yosemite.



We also had a week in Turkey last year with them as well as skiing at Christmas in France a few years ago.



So itís safe to say we get on very well with his family!
Iíve been wanting to bring my parents back to Florida for a while now and what better excuse than for their daughters wedding. They werenít enamoured by Orlando but absolutely fell in love with Anna Maria Island.
I am so excited that my sister and family will be joining us as well, their first time in Florida. I canít wait to see Disney through the eyes of my niece and nephew who will be the same age as my two were when they first went at 12 & 10.

The cast

So without further ado Iíll start with introducing all 16 of us!

First up, me Alicia! Iím 38 and a self confessed shopaholic, Cosmo drinking mobile beauty therapist. I canít tell you how gutted I am that we havenít had our US fix for 2 years, Iím not even going to apologise for the amount of shopping Iíll be doing when we next get out there . Just as well Iíve now gone back to work to fund it all!



The ever suffering, most wonderful step dad to my children Jim. 42 years old and still obsessed with golf. The last few months have been tough for him when the courses were shut, in fact Iíve barely seen him since theyíve been open! Still a Project Manager at Battersea Power Station, a job which he swears is trying to kill him! He is known to be a tad dramatic at times so I just nod along when he comes home every night and reels off the people that have crossed him that day
Jim is most looking forward to (apart from marrying me, obvs!) the copious amount of golf heíll be playing. He loves the courses out in Florida.





Hope, my beautiful daughter who has just turned 18. I still cannot believe I am the parent of an adult but thatís what happens when you have your first child at 20 . Itís been a tough year for her but has made me immensely proud of how she has coped. Is hopefully going off to Uni in September, which has been a crazy time of virtual open days and tours. She hasnít yet stepped foot in one...
She is my shopping partner in crime and like me canít wait to get back to the States.



We then have Sam, my fun loving handsome son who is now 16. Still a Romeo and finally has a first love! Its been tough during the lockdown but thank god for FaceTime!
He will be staying on at sixth form this September after his non exams. I honestly couldnít have picked a worse time to have both kids in exam years! Heís really kept his head down as heís determined to beat his predicted grades so Iím really proud of how he has handled his school work.
He is most looking forward to... wait for it... getting a tan! Honestly, I might send him on a cheap week to Benidorm instead



The Leans
We have Helen, Nick, Sean and Jenny. As I said earlier, we have been on holiday together a fair few times now so know that we get on like a house on fire. Jenny and Hope who are only a year apart have a wonderful honorary cousin friendship, they have completely different personalities but are really close. Sean, who is nearly 24, has severe additional needs and is absolutely bouncing with excitement about going back to Florida, his favourite place on Earth. He is most looking forward to going on the Fast and Furious ride in Universal for the first time as he is obsessed with the films and just loves Vin Diesel. We havenít broken the news to him yet that the ride is rubbish but Iím sure heíll love it anyhow! The Leans are veterans of Orlando and have been many many times over the years but their last visit was back in 2017.



Bill & Sylvia
Jimís parents and the ones to blame for starting the Florida obsession, also who got Jim involved with golf. Thanks guys! They have been to Florida more times than even they can remember and Sylviaís favourite place on Earth is the Magic Kingdom, more specifically on Splash Mountain. Bill is most looking forward to the golf, especially at Southern Dunes, one of his favourite courses.



Sue & Ron
My wonderful parents, well they have to be with putting up with me for the last 38 years!
Mum cannot wait to be sipping a Pina colada out of a bucket on AMI and Dad is most looking forward to breakfast at Ginny and Jane Eís (AMI) or a ride on Flight of Passage. He still talks about how amazing the ride is, which I have to agree with him it really is!
They are also looking forward to sharing Disney with their other 2 grandchildren.



The Kiplings
So last but certainly not least my sister Helena, my BIL Ollie, my niece Tilly and nephew William. Iím not sure they know what theyíre getting themselves into but are looking forward to seeing it all for the first time. The kids are really looking forward to having their own pool at the villa. Little do they know about the magic that comes from within Walt Disney World!







Who wonít be joining us
Our handsome but very daft Labrador Boris! Weíll obviously miss him like crazy but heíll be well looked after Iím sure.





The Plans

We aim to fly out on Saturday 20th August. I know the flights will be more expensive than midweek but typically accommodation on Anna Maria Island only allows arrivals on a Saturday so we thought it would be easier to stick to that day.
Our first week will be in Orlando, we then drive down to Anna Maria Island on the 27th for a week. This will be where the wedding will take place.
After these 2 weeks, most of the group will be flying back to the U.K. but Jim and I will have a further week on a mini road trip down to The Keys for our Ďhoneymooní.

Now with 16 of us going there was no way we would be able to or want to do everything together.
Whilst in Orlando weíll all be splitting up. Jim made it very clear from the word go that he is not at all interested in doing Disney or even Universal and would prefer to play golf. I donít want to force anyone to do anything they donít want to so Iím fine with him doing his own thing that week. Nick and Bill will also do the same so thatís those 3 sorted.
Helen doesnít want to do Disney so is going to stick with just Universal with Sean and Jen. My two may also go with her. Sam isnít interested in Disney so Iím not going to make him go, heíll be 17 so I totally get it. Hope only wants to do Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios so Iíll get her a 2 day ticket, sheíll spend the rest of the time at Universal.
So that leaves my parents, sister & co, Sylvia and myself and of course weíll be doing Disney! Mum and Dad may only do a couple of days but the rest of us will probably plump for the 4 day option. I did originally look at the 14 day tickets but have you seen the price . Iím sure the figure started with a 3 the last time we went! With us only being there for 7 nights, so only 6 days, we just wonít get our monies worth.
I am quite happy having one day in each park, coming back to the villa after lunch then going back in the evening for the nighttime entertainment.
My sister and co want to do Kennedy Space Station and I am thinking of doing another airboat ride as I think my parents would enjoy that.
We also need to get our marriage licence at some point too, I must look into where we go... Can anyone help with that?

Our second week on Anna Maria Island will be very chilled out, it will be well needed Iím sure after the jam packed week beforehand!
The wedding will take place this week but nothing has actually been booked yet. We are hoping for a very low key ceremony followed by an intimate dinner at The Sandbar on the beach. Iíll keep you posted once we get any concrete plans.





Funny story about this next photo.



When I was googling photos of the Sandbar I came across this one. I recognised it as when we were last on AMI in 2018 the Red Tide was at its peak, it was truly awful. We had dinner there one evening and noticed on the beach they were holding a fundraising event to raise money for the Mote Marine Laboratory. Anywho, I was desperate to get a sunset photo as it was our last night on the island so I bribed the kids to pose . It was hard to get the right shot without anyone else in it but if you zoom in on the photo you can see me taking this one



Other things we will possibly be doing this week will be a kayaking tour of the mangroves, hiring out a boat for the day, a family competition of mini golf at The Fish Hole and possibly a day trip up to Caladesi Island near Clearwater. We will ultimately be eating, drinking and sunbathing!







After week 2 we say goodbye to everyone which Iím sure there will be tears (mainly from me!) but then we have another week of fun on our mini moon. Nothing is set in stone for this week yet but we quite fancy a couple of nights in Sanibel or Naples before driving down to the Keys and splitting our last 5 nights between Key Largo, Key West and Marathon. Anjiís trip report was invaluable and Iím going to be pretty much copying what they did!

Accommodation

Orlando
The original plan was to all stay in a hotel, I had my eye on one of the Disney partner hotels in Disney Springs, I even put a thread out on here to get recommendations. I was really looking forward to a slightly different choice of accommodation and being able to walk to Disney Springs and more importantly Earl of Sandwich and Mickey's Pantry . Fast forward two weeks, you can imagine my surprise when we seem to have booked two villas for us all
Joking aside, we really do love a villa holiday. Personally nothing can beat having your breakfast out by the pool first thing in the morning in the peace and quiet or when you get in from a long day at the parks and the kids get straight in for a swim and you can just relax away from the crowds so it was an easy choice for us.
Even with over a year to go the villa availability was dwindling! We were originally looking at a 9 bed villa for all of us but the ones in our preferred location of Formosa Gardens were very pricey even divided by the 5 families and it would mean the teens potentially sharing a room. With a 20, 19 and 17 year old going we canít 100% rule out one of them wanting to bring a girlfriend or boyfriend and in that case it would be too tight a squeeze.
So instead weíve plumped for a 6 bed and a 4 bed only a few villas apart and itís saved us over £2K. Crazy price difference, and we get one extra bedroom!











We will be with The Leans and my in laws in the 6 bed, it also has a 7th sofa bed so the kids potentially have their own room. We are actually only 2 villas along from where we stayed in 2017. We absolutely love Formosa Gardens Estates, especially if you can get a villa that backs onto Star Lake. I canít wait to be looking out at this view for when the sun sets, you just canít beat it!



My parents will be with my sister and co in the 4 bed about 3 minutes down the road. Theyíre not on the lake but will be spending as much time as they want at ours, weíll just give them the door code. I think it will help that they can take themselves away if it gets too much as it inevitably can with large groups and the tiredness that a Disney holiday brings!





Anna Maria Island
We love all areas of the island and have previously stayed down the bottom on Bradenton Beach at the Tortuga Inn in 2017





Then a house in the middle in Holmes Beach in 2018





However the quieter North End of Anna Maria has a certain pull so we ideally all want to be around that area.





As of yet, only one of us has booked accommodation. Bill and Sylvia have found a lovely cottage just a few roads away from Pine Avenue.
Most houses on the island arenít available to book until about 12-15 months out so weíll just sit tight until then. B&S found theirs on VRBO which I think is rented directly from the owner hence why they could book so far out. There are tonnes more to choose from so Iíd rather wait for the perfect one than book now. Iíve found a couple that weíve ear marked so will see what the pricing is like for this year once theyíre released.
Weíll be sharing with The Leans and then my parents with my sister. Iíve found the perfect house for Mum and co so hopefully it will still be free in August when availability gets released.

Sanibel
If we end up on this barrier island then we absolutely have to stay at The Parrots Nest after seeing how adorable it is in Anjiís report.



Key Largo
There are so many hotel choices here! Iíve narrowed it down to the Seafarer or the Playa Largo Resort & Spa





Key West
I love the look of The Eden Inn after reading Leyfyís couple of reports when they stayed in the Keys. Another recommendation was Westwind Inn too. Theyíre both very close to each other in a great location so it will probably come down to price once dates are released.





Marathon
After reading various posts on here, a few people recommended the Isla Bella Resort. I mean just look at it . However at about £400 a night it may be a little out of our price range





I think Iíve bored you enough for one evening but Iíll be back soon to fill you in on wedding deets and daily plans for Orlando!

TTFN

More to come

Rough Itinerary

Park must dos

Eating - on-site & offsite

Shopping

Wedding ceremony/reception

Wedding outfits

Flights

Park tickets

Holiday shopping

Check list

Edited at 10:22 AM.
smithlane is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 18 Apr 21, 09:59 PM  
Link to this Post
#2
Gryff
Imagineer

 
Gryff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 14
Will. E following and you know if I can help do bits etc you just need to ask
But really I just want to look after Boris as Rocky says tell Boris the jet lag is a human
Issue didnít bother me at all on my once in a life time trip honest
Gryff is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 18 Apr 21, 10:08 PM  
Link to this Post
#3
smithlane
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
smithlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 15
Originally Posted by Gryff View Post
Will. E following and you know if I can help do bits etc you just need to ask
But really I just want to look after Boris as Rocky says tell Boris the jet lag is a human
Issue didnít bother me at all on my once in a life time trip honest
Oh Helen thank you! You know Iím going to take you up on that donít you 😂

Haha, we would LOVE to take Boris with us. Jim wants him to be the best man 🤣. If you lived closer to us and werenít in the US at the same time you could definitely have him whilst weíre away!
smithlane is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 18 Apr 21, 10:22 PM  
Link to this Post
#4
Gryff
Imagineer

 
Gryff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 14
I hope you do our canine family love to;have a fellow visitor they actually have missed
Visiting canines
You just shout if you need anything
The price we paid for the Rockster weíd could have gone both ways business class twice
But we had 12 weeks of an amazing time he+was so well behaved at sea world and Busch weíd booked dY kennels they took him out into the parks as a canine ambassador he loves kids and was-a registered pat dog till he retired just before Covid
Gryff is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 19 Apr 21, 07:43 AM  
Link to this Post
#5
duchy
Imagineer
 
duchy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 04
Location: Kent
You can get your licence either in advance from any courthouse in Florida (but needs to be sent back to the same one after the ceremony) in person or get it by Mail in advance , as you are in the U.K. you have the additional costs of getting it verified by a U.K. solicitor. It all seemed a bit of a palaver even with our wedding planner submitting the licence so in the end we just went and got it ourselves a few days before the wedding. Just needed passports and swear we were free to marry , they didnít want to see divorce docs (just as well as neither of us had any idea where ours were) , took longer to get through the airport style security at the Courthouse than getting the licence.
I actually really enjoyed going to get it ourselves, made it more real !
duchy is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 19 Apr 21, 01:11 PM  
Link to this Post
#6
LizzyBear
Imagineer
 
LizzyBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 05

LizzyBear's Reviews
Restaurant Reviews: 2
Following Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, your plans looks amazing so far and I look forward to reading more
__________________
DLP 1992, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2017. WDW 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009. DLR 2008.
WDW May 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus. Hope to rebook soon.
LizzyBear is offline Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 19 Apr 21, 01:36 PM  
Link to this Post
#7
Rossalino
Apprentice Imagineer
 
Rossalino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 07
Sounds fantastic - looking forward to your updates
Rossalino is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 21 Apr 21, 09:11 AM  
Link to this Post
#8
smithlane
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
smithlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 15
Originally Posted by Gryff View Post
I hope you do our canine family love to;have a fellow visitor they actually have missed
Visiting canines
You just shout if you need anything
The price we paid for the Rockster weíd could have gone both ways business class twice
But we had 12 weeks of an amazing time he+was so well behaved at sea world and Busch weíd booked dY kennels they took him out into the parks as a canine ambassador he loves kids and was-a registered pat dog till he retired just before Covid
I can imagine the cost of taking a dog abroad is astronomical! Totally worth it if you're out there for months at a time like you are, one day for sure!
smithlane is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 21 Apr 21, 09:13 AM  
Link to this Post
#9
smithlane
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
smithlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 15
Originally Posted by duchy View Post
You can get your licence either in advance from any courthouse in Florida (but needs to be sent back to the same one after the ceremony) in person or get it by Mail in advance , as you are in the U.K. you have the additional costs of getting it verified by a U.K. solicitor. It all seemed a bit of a palaver even with our wedding planner submitting the licence so in the end we just went and got it ourselves a few days before the wedding. Just needed passports and swear we were free to marry , they didnít want to see divorce docs (just as well as neither of us had any idea where ours were) , took longer to get through the airport style security at the Courthouse than getting the licence.
I actually really enjoyed going to get it ourselves, made it more real !
Thats great, thank you for the info. I think we'll probably go in person too as we'll have a few days spare before the wedding.
Thank goodness they don't need to see divorce papers as even though I know where mine is, Jim hasn't the foggiest where his ended up in various house moves!
smithlane is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 21 Apr 21, 09:14 AM  
Link to this Post
#10
smithlane
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
smithlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 15
Originally Posted by LizzyBear View Post
Following Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, your plans looks amazing so far and I look forward to reading more
Thank you so much, we can't wait!
smithlane is online now Girl 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 01:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin - Copyright © 2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Latest News
Posted in 50th Anniversary
On 22nd June 4:45pm
Beginning Oct. 1, “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honors the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney... Read More »
Posted in Disneyland Paris News
On 17th June 11:31am
Guests can once again enjoy the outstanding experiences we are known for, from iconic attractions... Read More »
Posted in Seaworld
On 9th June 8:20am
SeaWorld’s first separate-ticketed, nighttime Halloween event, Howl-O-Scream, premieres this fall joining the daytime Halloween Spooktacular... Read More »


theDIBB Menu


Exchange Rates
US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.3646
CaxtonFX  $1.3549
Covent Garden FX  $1.3711
FAIRFX  $1.3636
John Lewis  $1.3633
M&S  $1.3439
Post Office  $1.3419
Sainsburys  $1.3604
TESCO  $1.3625
Travelex  $1.3600
Updated: 13:30 25/06/2021
Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.1411
CaxtonFX  €1.1338
Covent Garden FX  €1.1496
FAIRFX  €1.1424
John Lewis  €1.1412
M&S  €1.1256
Post Office  €1.1237
Sainsburys  €1.1387
TESCO  €1.1411
Travelex  €1.1366
Updated: 13:30 25/06/2021

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



X