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Old 28 Apr 21, 07:42 AM  
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gjdjud
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DOUBLE TROUBLE IN THE DISNEY AND UNIVERSAL BUBBLE Aug' 22PRE-TRIP REPORT. THE FINAL DRAFT

DOUBLE TROUBLE IN THE FISNEY AND UNIVERSAL BUBBLE AUGUST'22 PRE TRIP REPORT

UNFORTUNATELY ALL CHANGE AGAIN. PLEASE SEE POST 181.



THE CLIFF NOTES

RIGHT IN ALL HONESTY THIS PRE TRIP REPORT IS NOW A COMPLETE MESS!

HERE IS AN UPDATED VERSION. IT WAS GOING TO BE JUST FLORIDA, I CHANGED MY MIND, CANCELLED EVERYTHING AND THEN MADE IT A WEST COAST/EAST COAST DUAL TRIP TO SEE DISNEYLAND AS ITS MY DREAM. RECENTLY GOT SPOOKED BY VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS IN CALIFORNIA AND ESCALATING COSTS SO NOW ITS BACK TO BEING A FLORIDA ONLY TRIP. ALL THE CHOPPING AND CHANGING IS MAKING ME SEEM MAD! I PROBABLY AM A LITTLE.

THIS IS THE NEW NOT TO BE CHANGED PLAN!

AUGUST 7th LONDON GATWICK TO TAMPA
5 NIGHTS CABANA BAY FAMILY SUITE
5 NIGHTS ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT STANDARD ROOM
12 NIGHTS DISNEY ALL STAR MUSIC ADJOINING ROOMS
AUGUST 29th TAMPA TO LONDON GATWICK

SO 22 NIGHTS, 3 HOTELS, LOADS OF THEME PARKS, LOADS OF FOOD! SOME SHOPPING, THROW IN SOME STROPPY TEENAGERS, A HERO DAD, AND WE ARE ALL SET!

SO APOLOGIES TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE READ THIS FROM THE START AND HAVE NO IDEA WHATS ACTUALLY HAPPENING OR WHERE I'M GOING BUT WHATS WRITTEN ABOVE IS IT!


Welcome to my fifth Pre Trip Report! Itís so far away but I donít care! I want to get cracking so forgive me for writing this stupidly early. So this is coming a little later than planned. This was supposed to be a 2021 trip, but like many, Covid has put that on the back burner. Savings were going fantastically well but as soon as we entered the first lockdown back in March 2020 it was pretty certain that as someone who is self employed and was not allowed to work then there was no chance 2021 would be feasible so I made the decision straight away to postpone until 2022.



So as said above this will be my fifth trip report. You can find the others here.
ALL IN ONE PLACE 2012-2019 Trip Reports Feel free to have re read on all our previous adventures and mishaps.



I will also as usual be doing a food report that will run alongside this trip report. You can find these here. THE CHRONICLES OF FATTY 2012-2019. ALL MY FOOD REPORTS so I wonít go on too much about the eating side of things and save that for the food report.

THE CAST

Me. George. At the time of writing Iím 45. I had actually just had to double check that as I am getting older my memory is getting awful. Chief planner. I love the planning part of these trips. Some people have hobbies, this is mine. Prone to reusing old jokes from previous trip reports, see above about getting more forgetful. Iím prone to trying to surprise the family with secret things on holiday that wonít be revealed on trip reports until later

DW. Kelly. 44. Like every trip says she doesnít care and will leave things up to me but in reality thats a load of ****. Loves these trips as much as me. She, like me went as a kid. Other holidays arenít really on the agenda at the moment.



DD1 Evie Mae,13. So if any of you are familiar of where left of last time back in 2019 then youíll know Evie was adamant she was never going again. Thankfully this has cooled as she is even known to say the phrase ďWhen we go to Disney next timeĒ. As detailed in previous reports, Evie was registered blind with a genetic issue called Stargardts shortly after our 2015 trip. This was out of the blue and a real life changer. Iím not going to go into to much detail other than for people unfamiliar with my other reports if I mention it in passing. Itís part of our lives. She copes amazingly well and currently still retains some vision but not much.

Her tantrums still havenít cooled and could start an argument with herself when she walks past a mirror!

DD2 Lily Belle, 11. Very very smart. We are banking on her to strike it rich when sheís older and buy us a big house. Loves a book and always has 4 or 5 different book series on the go at once. Laughs at her own jokes which is worrying. Was a big Harry Potter fan but not so much anymore but Iím sure as soon as we get there sheíll love it again. I thinks its amazing I have a 12 year old daughter that cries with emotion while watching Les Miserables!



THE REIMAGINEERING

So our we last trip was 2019. We loved it and had a fantastic time but none of us remember it as fondly as other trips. The big issue was that when we went away we were in the middle of a big house renovation. It wasnít the best time for us to go but we were waiting a few years for this to start and it ended up being a very sudden start. Lots of the renovations were supposed to be done over the 3 weeks we were away. We got back to a shambles for so many unexpected reasons. We ended up living at my mother in laws from the airport and stayed there for 3 and half months. It was an incredibly stressful time and took the gloss of our trip. So much so that our 2017 trip is far more clear in my mind than the 2019 trip.

I wanted 2021 to be epic. I spent a lot of time planning but in my mind I wanted something different. I started watching a lot of vlogs of some of the different Disney locations. I really enjoyed Japan vlogs but knew full well Kelly wouldnít fancy it. Iíd always had a desire to see Disneyland but not so much California so always thought that would be a pointless trip but then I watched the L&R Dreaming vlogs and got blown away by how good everything looked. Kelly half jokingly said why donít we do both US Disney's in one trip. I initially laughed and didnít think too much about it assuming that was crazy. The thing was it wasnít actually that crazy. Flight prices are cheaper to LA and using the BA Custom trip saw it was possible. We decided to go for it and made the decision weíd do it. Then bloody Covid. Pretty much straight away I abandoned 2021 as I am self employed and wasnít allowed to work. After the stresses of not having an income for several months and home schooling once I was allowed back to work in July 2020 it was full on saving!



Disney for 2022 was back on BUT the dual coast was off. I think I just wanted to concentrate on Orlando. We pretty much had everything booked, fly-drive with Virgin to Miami(at the time expensive but I was worried about demand and rising costs, it turned out I was correct) Universal booked, a few days at Disney and 10 nights offsite at Windsor Hills. The Windsor Hills rental fell through and after that I started doubting things and this trip. I chopped and changed numerous aspects ad nauseum! I really wanted the dual coast trip but it took me ages to get the courage to broach the subject with Kelly who was fed up with my constant changes of plan! I finally did and was amazed when she was all for it! The girls certainly were really excited about seeing California.

The other thing was I really want this to be a dream, one off life changer holiday. I know people always say things like this but I think this will be our last trip for a good few years. Its really dawning on me that we have two incredibly clever daughters. Iím not sure University will be for Evie but Lily has the academic world at her feet so we need to make sure she can get to university. I cant feed my holiday habit and university habit. If I want the girls to support me later on in life then I better be sensible! So forget the old plan, this is the new and improved August 2022 trip!

THE NEW PLAN
August 7th flights with British Airways from London Heathrow to Los Angeles
6 nights in Anaheim, California
August 13th flights with Delta to Orlando
6 nights at Universal
August 19th 10 nights Disney
August 29th British Airways Tampa to London Gatwick

FLIGHTS AND CAR HIRE
Flights have been booked with British Airways as a package with 6 days car hire in LA. The flight out is from LHR which is a bit of a pain as we live 15 minutes from Gatwick but could be worse! Its an 11 hour flight to LAX. Stupidly I have booked our seats in a row of 4 across the middle of the plane. I should have gone for a 3 and me a separate seat the other side of the plane😊 I hope the girls will be ok on that length of flight but a are more likely than Kelly to cope with the flight!



We arrive in LA around 2.45pm local time. Just in time to brave the horrendous LA afternoon rush hour traffic. Hang on a minute chum, your smarter and a better planner than that. Of course I am, its Sunday. Less traffic. Nice. I have 6 days car hire as part of the BA package. Its Avis car hire of which Iím a Preferred member so should just be able to collect the car without the need to go the desk. Nice. Iíve gone for a minivan. Keeping the girls a row apart and room for luggage. Nice. Unfortunately you have to get a bus from the airport to the car hire location. Iím hoping it will be about 40 minutes to Anaheim from LAX. Iíve already decided that I will only be playing The Eagles in the car on the way.



When we leave LA it will be a stupidly early flight 6 days later. Early? LA traffic silly! Hang on chum, itís a Saturday. Nice. We are booked with Delta and will arrive at 2.20pm local time. This is the bit Iím most nervous about. Where to go, allowing enough time etc but Iím sure all will be fine.



Car hire in Orlando is with Virgin standalone car hire. When we originally booked(see earlier) I paid a deposit, Iíve been able to bring that over with an admin fee. Annoying but at least I donít have to pay loads out. Again a minivan for this part, 16 nights car hire was around £1100 which is crazy but those are the rates these days. Andy at DCFH wasnít that much less.

Return flights home are from Tampa. SO SO much cheaper. At least £800. Its not that much further away than MCO and it leaves much later so we donít lose any time. It also goes to Gatwick which is 150% easier for us.
The whole BA part was £3235 for the return flights and 6 days minivan. Not too bad for August and in todays prices.

ANAHEIM
So we have 6 nights here. We will be based at the Howard Johnson Anaheim. This is a very popular family hotel. We have 2 queen beds with a balcony that should have a fireworks view. Its about a 10 minute walk to the front entrance of the Disney Parks. If you donít know, in California the onsite hotels donít have the advantages of the onsite Orlando hotels. Some offsite hotels are actually closer to the parks than onsite. I donít plan on driving to much here as we will just be walking to the 2 parks and eating locally.



I will be buying 5 day park hopper tickets for the 2 Disney Parks. I plan on 2 full days in each park and we can decide want we want to do with the other day. I hear itís a real locals park and gets packed on a weekend. Hang on chum, your 5 days will be Monday to Friday. Nice.



I canít even begin to describe how excited I am about this! So excited. Its going to be familiar yet very different. Iíve a feeling Iím going to love Disney California Adventure a lot.



Iím probably going to get sucked into Genie + for the entire time but Iím going to make sure we make the most of it. Probably wonít do ADRís and we will just see on the day rather than being tied to ADR times.

I plan on the Wednesday to take a day trip out somewhere. We are thinking of a tour of Hollywood and the LA sights. Iíve looked into this a fair bit and have found one. You get out at each of the sights which is good as just a car tour will be no good for Evie.



As for food like I said no real definite plans but the girls really want to go to IN/Out burger which is a California chain. They know it from their tv shows. There is a Cheesecake Factory and House Of Blues fairly near us. Downtown Disney has an Earl Of Sandwich. Nice.
I feel I still have a lot to plan on research on this part of the holiday!

UNIVERSAL

So after we arrive in Orlando we are heading to our go to Universal hotel, Royal Pacific Resort. We absolutely love it there. We have an amazing 6 nights there.




We all as a family love Universal and probably wont move to far a field for these 6 days. Ideally Iíd love a bit more time in Volcano Bay this time. Really looking forward to Hagrids and the Velocicoaster. One of my holiday highlights is always the 3 water rides at Islands Of Adventure and Iím sure it will be again!
We will probably venture out to Teak one day for food but I suspect most food will be at Universal.

DISNEY
We have a fantastic 10 nights booked at All Star Music. This will be a first for us at a Value. Iím really excited. I want punch in the face Disney theming!



We have crazily gone for 2 adjoining rooms. 10 nights with the girls in one room with 1 bathroom is way too much. Not to mention someoneís snoring.




Iím not going to go into to much detail about plans as I havenít made any yet! It will be 10 full on days. Iíll probably get Genie+ for 6 days, maybe.




Again I want to maximise our holiday. If need be Iíll pay for myself to go on Rise Of The Resistance. If the kids go hungry because it cost too much then they go hungry. Iím not joking. Iíd love to go on the skyliner and hope to squeeze in a water park. ADRs? Maybe. Not sure yet. Iíll see how my savings are going but Iím sure we will do a few. To add as we have 2 rooms we have 2 sets of dining credits and 2 giftcards. Its not free dining but it works out about $100 a day towards food. Again crazily excited and we are going to really maximise these 10 days at will be while before we do it again.

SHOPPING
Will probably do the obligatory shopping day. Iíd have thought that will be during our Universal stay. I didnít mind the outlets last time.



So thatís all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading and will follow along with the updates!

Wait a minute. What's one of my reports without the usual threats about me and my Mankini? Go on then for old times sake.


George

Edited at 10:09 PM.
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Old 28 Apr 21, 07:54 AM  
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Jaspercat10
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Sounds fantastic George and I will be glued to your report as ever. Planning on Aug 2022 ourselves but nothing booked yet so will enjoy reading this
Plus how lovely to read a pre trip report ... :-)
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Old 28 Apr 21, 08:44 AM  
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gjdjud
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Originally Posted by Jaspercat10 View Post
Sounds fantastic George and I will be glued to your report as ever. Planning on Aug 2022 ourselves but nothing booked yet so will enjoy reading this
Plus how lovely to read a pre trip report ... :-)
Thank you. Doing things early but makes it more real that we are going
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Old 28 Apr 21, 09:03 AM  
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Sounds fantastic! I panicked as well and booked Virgin to Miami for August 2022. I think we made a wise decision 😀
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Old 28 Apr 21, 09:06 AM  
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Sounds fab - fingers crossed POFQ does reopen, but AOA sounds a good compromise.

Love your trippies so really looking forward to following
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Old 28 Apr 21, 10:23 AM  
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Excited muchly ! Weíre going next Aug too so weíll see you there hopefully 😀
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Old 28 Apr 21, 11:26 AM  
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Originally Posted by Homer'sWife View Post
Sounds fantastic! I panicked as well and booked Virgin to Miami for August 2022. I think we made a wise decision 😀
Iím not going to look at BA prices when they are released

Originally Posted by vanlou View Post
Sounds fab - fingers crossed POFQ does reopen, but AOA sounds a good compromise.

Love your trippies so really looking forward to following
Thank you. Always wanted to stay at Art Of Animation so itís win win.

Originally Posted by Disneycraft View Post
Excited muchly ! Weíre going next Aug too so weíll see you there hopefully 😀
Thanks for reading. Sounds like lots on the Dibb are going next August
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Old 28 Apr 21, 01:47 PM  
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Love all of your plans! 😊

We too are in the boat of oh crap we can't afford everything this time and sadly might miss out on Universal on our next trip (but I hope not)

We have been looking at fly drives (constantly) and considered booking and not picking the car up but I'm forcing myself to wait.

You say you usually go in May which is when we have booked for so I must read your previous trippes too!
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Old 28 Apr 21, 03:52 PM  
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Itís nice to see pre trips starting again at last. Glad to read you are going again. Hope both the girls are well. Have you started your food place list yet?

Iím also looking at accommodation options - we love being on site but really need more than one room now. My girls are older and luckily we have always managed in one room with no arguments but I can see our next trip being one where we want to be up and out but theyíre happy to lay in so different rooms are probably needed now to avoid arguments!
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Old 28 Apr 21, 08:09 PM  
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Originally Posted by lfc_sarah View Post
Love all of your plans! 😊

We too are in the boat of oh crap we can't afford everything this time and sadly might miss out on Universal on our next trip (but I hope not)

We have been looking at fly drives (constantly) and considered booking and not picking the car up but I'm forcing myself to wait.

You say you usually go in May which is when we have booked for so I must read your previous trippes too!
Thank you reading I think itís more sensible to wait. I just couldnít! May is a great time to go

Originally Posted by mrsdjh View Post
Itís nice to see pre trips starting again at last. Glad to read you are going again. Hope both the girls are well. Have you started your food place list yet?

Iím also looking at accommodation options - we love being on site but really need more than one room now. My girls are older and luckily we have always managed in one room with no arguments but I can see our next trip being one where we want to be up and out but theyíre happy to lay in so different rooms are probably needed now to avoid arguments!
Thanks for reading. Both girls are doing well Not started my food list yet! Iíve got a few ideas!
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