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Unread 11 Jun 11, 01:48 PM  
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jocat
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The one without the kids pre-trippie

Well after spending many hours reading trippies on the Dibb, and getting an enormous amount of pleasure from them, Im going to attempt to do my own this year. I did consider doing this on our trip last year I made brief notes every day, to much ridicule from the rest of my family I might add! I took lots of photos, including photos of our food in restaurants (again to much ridicule from DD and DS who were then 16) and I even sorted my photos on my laptop into folders named Travel Day, Day 1, Day 2 etc. Never did anything with it when I got home though.


The cast list for this trip is very short.
Me aka Mum usually, although without the kids this time I can actually go by my real name of Jo for the first time in years Id almost forgotten I was called that!
DH - aka Martin.



Both of us love the rides, especially roller coasters, however I am prone to a touch of motion sickness. Can cope with most of them, but I will NOT do the teacups nor the orange version of Mission Space and will NEVER do The Simpsons ride again.

Our Florida history:

Me and DH first went to Florida in June 1993. We knew we were planning to have children in the near future and decided to have one last holiday on our own while we could afford it! We ended up having 8 nights in a hotel on the 192 and 6 nights on the beach in Grand Cayman. Our timing was a little off however, because two weeks before we went I found out I was pregnant (didnt know it was twins at that time), so it really did prove to be the last holiday for a while! This was the days before the Internet (I dont know how we coped without it), so we really had no idea what to expect. We crammed a lot into the Orlando part of our trip Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Kennedy Space Centre, Universal, Sea World, shopping and Church Street Station. I would have to wait for my rest days until Grand Cayman. If Im brutally honest, I remember feeling a little strange about my first trip to the Mouse couldnt quite take it all in, which Im sure wasnt helped by the intense heat and the odd bout of queasiness thrown in due to the early pregnancy hormones (I actually came back dehydrated).

Our second trip came about in September/October 1999 and tied in with our 10th wedding anniversary. DD and DS were 5 years old then. We booked for 2 weeks staying on International Drive, and did the same parks as before, although missed out KSC this time, but did add in Animal Kingdom. Taking children and seeing it through their eyes, I had a completely different experience and this trip was when I first experienced the magic. To be honest, I dont remember much more than this, although I do remember it still seeming a hectic pace and feeling like I needed another holiday when I got home! That's having children for you.

Our next trip was when our children were 10 and was our first time in the school summer holidays. This turned out to be probably our best holiday ever. We introduced rest days and had a much more relaxed time. I know this isnt for everyone, but it works for us. We gave Universal a miss, which allowed time for a few firsts for us on this trip - MGM Studios (as it was then) which I loved, Downtown Disney, Celebration and we had a fantastic day on Cocoa Beach. Our rest days were spent mainly by the deserted hotel pool, followed by a bit of shopping or crazy golf. We also found time to meet up with some friends who were out there at the same time as us. This was the first time Id planned our days, and it worked like a dream for us.

And so on to last years holiday. We were looking at somewhere in Europe and getting very despondent at the prices, even for a week. I was bemoaning the fact that I couldnt find anywhere and where could we go when DH suggested pricing up Florida. Direct flight prices with Virgin were around 1000 each, which was well out of our price range. A friend suggested looking at indirect flights, where we found flights to New York with Virgin were 440 each. A light soon went on in my brain we had been saving to take DD and DS to New York, so if we used that money along with the money we would pay for a week in Europe, we could combine Florida and New York! I also thought this would be a nice treat for DD and DS after finishing their GCSEs. We managed to book our NYC flights, internal flights to MCO, hotel in New York, car hire and a villa in Florida for the price of the direct flights to Orlando. We only bought Universal tickets as we still had days left on some old Disney Hopper tickets and decided to give Sea World a miss this time.
We still managed some firsts on this trip, most of which were due to me discovering the Dibb - we managed to squeeze in an overnight stay at the Hard Rock Hotel to take advantage of the early entry to WWOHP and the FOTL passes, an airboat ride with Spirit of the Swamp, ate at Mannys Chop House and had fantastic days visiting Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

A bit of background info for this trip:

At the end of last year, Id pretty much resigned myself to not having a holiday this summer - we were due to have some work done on our house in January (a doorway blocked up, archway knocked out, plus plastering all of the artex ceilings) - I was finally redecorating the living room and dining room which Id hated for the 11 years we had lived in this house!

I had rapidly become addicted to the Dibb over the best part of a year, and even though we had been on our holiday, I was still using the Dibb every day.

DD insisted that even if we went away she didnt want to come with us this year, as she wanted to go to Turkey with her boyfriend and his family instead. DS had decided that he was going to go away with his best friend and his family. So as it would be just DH and me, I had been having tentative looks to see if we could manage a holiday in Menorca, which has been another favourite holiday destination of ours in the past. After being spoilt with our first villa stay in Florida though, I really couldnt face having to battle to get a sunbed at the crack of dawn each morning. :angry:

I work in a school so have to book for the school holidays and the cost of villas with private pools for that time of year in Menorca is extortionate I only want to rent one not buy it! Id managed to find a small villa with a shared pool on a complex of just nine other villas, but I was still looking at over 2000 plus the cost of car hire.

It was then that a wonderful thread appeared on the Dibb about a Virgin Miles plus Money offer flights to Miami were 437 each! Could we do it again? A plan began to form in my head. Reasonably priced villas were in abundance in Florida, and I would rather spend two weeks lying on a sunbed by my own private pool in Orlando than in Menorca, much as I loved it there. It was time to convince DH. I used the Its cheaper to eat out over there, The flight prices are too good to miss out on, and the We could see other parts of Florida that weve never visited. In fairness, he didnt take a whole lot of convincing because it was cheaper after all. We had a last minute check with the kids that a) they didnt want to come with us after all received a definite No from DD and her bf and a hold off booking at the last minute from DS who then asked his friend about the 2 of them coming with us instead (they eventually decided not to), and b) that they wouldnt mind if we went. Still feel guilty because they're not coming with us, but I suppose that's the mum in me.

We looked at getting a villa for just 10 days, and spending 4 days elsewhere, but when the owner of the villa we rented last year offered us the villa for the full fortnight for just 100 more than the price of it for 10 days, we decided to go for it. We could always use it for a base, and it meant that if we did decide to go off elsewhere, we could just take an overnight bag instead of taking all our luggage it would be no different to our staying for one night at the HRH last year.

Being the planner I am, I couldnt just leave it there though. Who was I kidding that I could visit Orlando without doing any parks? I started dropping hints by showing DH the 3 park SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens ticket, which was about 74 then, and suggested that this was a reasonable price if we wanted to break up lying by the pool to visit some parks.

Fast forward a few months

The planning is done! Everything is paid for, with the exception of the car hire which we pay for when we get there, some dollars have been bought and the rest of the spending money is loaded onto the Fairfx card. The Heathrow Central Travelodge has been booked at a bargain price for the night before we fly and we have booked extra legroom seats on the plane. For the night we land we have booked into the Edgewater South Beach, which is a newish hotel with great reviews, before travelling up to Orlando the next afternoon. I didnt buy the 3 park tickets mentioned above, but have bought the regular 1 day admission to SeaWorld with a 2nd day free. Have also bought 5 day MYW base tickets plus 2 days free from Orlando Attractions. To help bring DH round to my way of thinking, I used the line We could see all the things weve missed because weve been too busy trying to keep the kids happy as well as Because weve got 7 days to see everything, we can still spend half a day by the pool and just go into Disney for a couple of hours if were bored.

We have some firsts booked in for this trip too have booked the Firework Dessert Party at MK, intend to do the Boardwalk, Beaches & Cream (although not for a kitchen sink!), a day at Clearwater and we have booked the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. Again all of these are things I may not know about if it wasnt for the wonderful people on the Dibb. Thank you all.

The same friends we met up with on Trip 3 are staying onsite at Disney while we are there, so we are meeting up with them a couple of times. They are coming to us for a pool day and a trip to Mannys. We are then doing KTTK with them later in the holiday and have an ADR booked for our final evening at the Captains Grille at the Yacht Club.

The trip has evolved massively, and I keep finding myself apologising to DH that it has changed so much from the original plan. He has said that he knew it would never be a trip without the parks, and that he really doesnt mind. I think because we do find new things to do on each trip, it stops him getting bored of the same places.

So, just a few short weeks to go and well be off. If youre still with me, well done on sticking with it! Its turned out quite a bit longer than I expected it to.
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Unread 11 Jun 11, 05:29 PM  
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Good plan, and DH doesnt need to much persuasion by the sounds of it LOL.
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Unread 11 Jun 11, 05:46 PM  
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Originally Posted by shirley View Post
Good plan, and DH doesnt need to much persuasion by the sounds of it LOL.
Think he's resigned to my obsession with planning, and just goes along with it. Luckily for me he's very laid back and is happy to let me get on with it. It also gives him something to take the mickey out of me for.

He's really looking forward to KTTK and it's not all one sided - he did get his airboat ride in last year's plan!
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Unread 11 Jun 11, 06:09 PM  
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Don't you just love it when a plan comes together. Hope you have a great experience and don't miss the children too much.

Oh and look forward to reading all about it when you get home.
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Unread 11 Jun 11, 07:07 PM  
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Oh it sounds like a wonderful trip :-)
Look forward to reading all about it
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Unread 25 Jun 11, 06:25 PM  
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Originally Posted by chaffey View Post
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together. Hope you have a great experience and don't miss the children too much.

Oh and look forward to reading all about it when you get home.
Originally Posted by pcnine28 View Post
Oh it sounds like a wonderful trip :-)
Look forward to reading all about it
Thanks for your comments.

I love reading other trippies too and am determined to do one of my own - will hopefully have more time to make notes this time!
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Unread 29 Jun 11, 09:54 PM  
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What a great pre-trippy. So excited for you. It will be my 5th time visiting Florida next year but we always seem to find something new to do. Have fun. x
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Unread 2 Jul 11, 12:17 PM  
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Originally Posted by mummypig View Post
What a great pre-trippy. So excited for you. It will be my 5th time visiting Florida next year but we always seem to find something new to do. Have fun. x
Thank you. We shall certainly try to have fun!
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