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Unread 4 May 15, 10:56 AM  
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scottishnellie's Reviews
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Here Now! first WDW family holiday - Day 21, Champions World Resort. Shopping, Bahama Breeze, Red Lo

So today should have been the day we went home. When we first booked the holiday we wanted to fly from Glasgow (as we live 5mins from Glasgow airport) but Thomas Cook don't fly from Glasgow until May and other airlines were too expensive. So away back in June last year we booked return flights from Manchester for 11th April, returning Sat 2nd May. Then a few months later when I was browsing around flights I realised a flight had popped up from Orlando to Glasgow on 1st May. I phoned TC at the time asking about transferring onto that flight, but they would not allow it as it was what they called an open jaw flight. They said the flight was purely to put the aircraft into position in Glasgow for the first outbound flight from Glasgow to Orlando. They said for this reason the plans may change and they would only know 12 weeks before whether that flight would actually take place.

I pretty much forgot all about it then until a couple of months before our trip, when we were reserving our train seats to go to Manchester. For the train back from Manchester they said there would be work on the line as it was a bank holiday weekend, so all or part of the journey would be by bus. Whit? No thanks! So I started wondering again whether that flight was available. Kevin was not up for this at all as he did not want to drop a day off his holiday and come home a day earlier, but I decided to have a look anyway as I really did not want to fly to Manchester then embark on a mammoth train/bus journey home. When I checked there was now a flight on 3rd May as well as the 1st. So we now had the option of flying home a day later, direct to Glasgow.

Phoned them up, got quoted 140 (35 per person) admin fee to change so spoke to hubby. He was much more in favour of this so we went for it. I phoned TC back again and it was very simple to transfer over. I let the Eastons know and Dianne did the same for the 5 of them. I said at the time how I thought the flight may be really quiet given that there was no corresponding outbound from Glasgow.

Next, we needed accommodation for that one night. I already knew we could not have the villa for another night as the owner had already contacted us to say that he was sorry but we would now need to vacate by 10am instead of anytime we liked, as he now had another booking from the day we left. I had a notion of going luxury, and for a week or so looked at renting DVC points for Boardwalk or Beach Club, but couldn't get points for one night at such short notice and hubby wanted to go cheap as we already paid 140 to change the flights. I had no idea where to start with looking for an i-drive type hotel. Then I remembered something. When I had got my tickets from Orlando attractions there was a voucher in there for a free one night stay in Champions World Resort so I dug that out. I had almost chucked it out at the time thinking we would never need it. Apparently this is something to do with the company then being able to class it as a package instead of tickets only, which has tax benefits so reduces the price (no idea if this is true but I read it somewhere on the dibb so it must be!). I had a look at the place on Trip Advisor and it had mixed reviews, but overall sounded stayable for one night and had the added bonus of only being 5mins up the road from our Villa in Westridge. The Eastons were able to get their villa for another night, so although we would not plan to stay with with them for that one night (they only had 3 bedrooms) we could always land in there as an absolute last resort if this place turned out to be a dud. Hubby was well up for this as you can not get any cheaper than free, right? It had a number on it to redeem which I called and although it was an English number it was answered by an American woman who sounded like she had no idea what I was on about. She took all the details and promised to email me back. A week later I had heard nothing. So this time I emailed the address on the voucher, explaining what we had requested and that we had heard nothing back. I got a reply within hours from a woman named Juli saying she would look into it and get back to me. Within 2 days she confirmed we had been booked in for the night we wanted, room all paid for, attaching confirmation. After booking we saw it on one of those holiday pirate offers for 10 days including flights fro Gatwick at 1250 for 2 adults and 2 kids.

It is just off the 192, so we had cause to drive past it a few times during the holiday and it looked ok from the outside, so we decided to wait until check in day to see what the room was like and just take it from there.

So that day was here. We got up about 7:30, letting sleepyhead Hannah sleep as long as possible to 9am. By this time I was ready to go and fully packed apart from the bits n pieces Hannah would use. We had 3 big cases, packed as final and locked, and one smaller case packed with things we would need for the overnight stay and next morning for the airport.

We left the villa at 10am and and drove up to Champions World Resort to ask when we could check in. They said 3pm for our room but we were welcome to use any of the facilities before then. We decided to have a look around while we were there, the head to the shops we had already planned to visit. We were pleasantly surprised at what we found. All areas were spotless, there were 3 pools dotted around different areas, one of which in the centre was under cover and heated. There were decent wee playparks, and a big nature park at the back that we had a good look around. The grounds were all very well kept and clean. Promising. Passing all the rooms, they reminded me of the rows and rows of chalets in Butlins when I was a kid, except they had big glass windows next to each door. They even had the same coloured doors. We managed to peek in a couple of rooms as they were being cleaned and they looked bright and spacious enough. So, feeling somewhat encouraged, we collected the car and set off along the road to the shops.

All the shops we had missed so far were in one little square just 5 minutes along the road. First up was TJ Maxx. I tried a few things on in here but nothing took my fancy. The kids bought a couple of paperback books for the plane for a couple of dollars each.

The next store was Ross Dress For Less. There were more things of interest to me in here. I buy a certain style of dress from TK Maxx at home all the time in a range called Connected. They are comfortable, a flattering shape, and they wash and hang with no ironing. I now own about 14 of them in the same basic shape, some sleeveless, some short sleeves and some long sleeves in all different fabrics and prints. They are basically my work wardrobe for the office with some tailored jackets on top. There were a fair few of them in here at $22 when I pay 30 at home, but all in fabrics I already had, so disappointingly none for me to buy. I did find a lovely red Nine West dress that was a really nice shape on, so got that for $26.

Next shop Dollar Tree. My kids had been dying to into a Dollar Tree since the day we got here, being pretty fond of the odd pound shop back home. It pretty much looked exactly like your local pound shop but with loads more pool stuff (we do not have much call for that in the UK eh?) so they even had pool noodles for $1. They also had lots of sweets which I was not bothered about, but I did spot Milk Duds which I had seen mentioned on the Dibb so did buy those purely for this reason! Mmmm. They were just like big flat Toffets, yum.

Finally we went into Super Target. I had read about the dollar spot on Debidee's TR (I stalk Debidee!) and told Hannah about it. Hannah was therefore on a mission in here to raid it, which she did, $40 later, and a grumpy daddy about fitting everything into the already packed cases. I really liked this store. Much less manic than Walmart with a really good range of clothes and Disney stuff. I bought mugs for $4.99 that I has seen in DTD for $9.99, I bought a really pretty Frozen backpack $15 and Frozen necklace and coloured bath drops $1 each from the dollar spot. These are all for my friends little girl whose birthday it was while we were out here and I had promised to bring her something back. I had been looking and looking every shop we went into, but could not find anything different to the Frozen merchandise at home so had resigned myself to giving her money when we got back. But this backpack looks really pretty with some lovely sparkle across the top and really caught my eye so I am delighted with it and hope she likes it.

By this time it was 1:30 and grumpy daddy was in need of some food before he had a heart attack about any more purchases, so we headed to Bahama Breeze in the same shopping centre/area. I had a $10 off a $30 spend that I had forgot to use on our first visit for dinner at the start of our holiday. I found it somewhere on the restaurant forum of the Dibb. I am not sure where to lead you to it but I will put a pic here so you recognise it if you find it on there.

We went in and got seated straight away, being quite quiet. I checked with the server about using the voucher and was told sure, yeah! I love that Americans are so ok with money off vouchers. We have had no problem using any of them and they never seem surprised or unsure about them.

Hannah and I had the lunch combos, both having chicken quesadillas, mine with chicken tortilla soup and Hannahs with Caesar salad. Kevin had a shrimp jamabalaya type thing (can not remember the name and can not look it up as I am typing this up on the plane, sorry!). Kieran had a chicken curry. I can not find the receipt but am pretty sure it came to $45 then the $10 off took it to $35. We left $45 so a $10 tip. The server had been pretty good and quick with the drink refills.

We drove the 5 mins back along to the hotel, arriving at 2:45 to find we could check in. We were given room 209 which was on the second floor around the corner from the lobby and main pool. The room was indeed bright, spacious, and spotlessly clean with plenty of fresh towels. Yes the loo was a bit chipped inside and the bath was old, and yes the dcor was very orange, but it was definitely clean and a lot better than we had been expecting.

We hung up our clothes for tonight and tomorrow, sorted out our toiletries, put all the drinks and snacks we had taken from the villa into the fridge (via the trusty coolbag), locked all our passports and ipads etc into the in room safe and we were sorted.

The kids fancied visiting the Eastons for some pool time so we messaged Dianne and headed there. The Eastons had heated their pool for the last day so the kids were happy to jump in there. We stayed until 6pm then headed back to the hotel for showers and to go out to dinner. The Eastons were having a chinese takeaway from the one in Berry Town Centre so they could have a lazy night before moving out tomorrow, but we fancied dinner out on our last night.

Back at the hotel we had showers and got ready and headed to Red Lobster. I was worried we wouldn't get a table, being 8pm on a Saturday night. But although it was busy we were seated straight away. I had a Mango Mai Tai and Kevin had 1 beer while we ordered sodas for the kids. I had Salmon in a ginger and soy sauce with mash and green beans. Kevin had a NY strip steak with lobster tail, double portion of fries and a caesar salad. Hannah had a trio of maple glazed chicken, chicken linguine Alfredo and coconut shrimp. Kieran had popcorn shrimp off the kids menu with fries.

We then had Chocolate Lava Cookie and Chocolate Wave (like fudge cake) to share. The bill came to $103.92. Everything was delicious and Kevin felt this was possibly his favourite meal alongside the cheesecake factory.

Kieran was sleepy now and Hannah wanted to go back and investigate the hotel more to see what was going on so we headed home. Amazing Kieran managed to stay awake for the 5 minutes it took us. We got out and went to the main area of the hotel to find there was a big screen up beside the heated pool showing Rio2, with some folk in the pool and other sitting at the tables around it. It was just all families like us with kids and was quiet and pleasant. Kieran was desperate to go in the pool but was yawning his head off at the same time and we knew he was a couple of long blinks away from falling asleep so we directed him upstairs to the room. His head must have been on the pillow all of 20 seconds before he started snoring.

Hannah read her kindle and Kevin was browsing the TV when I got a very pleasant surprise. Outlander was on! Yee ha! I read this whole series of books as they were published over the last 20 years (I recommend them to everyone!) and was so excited at it being made into a TV series. I have been nagging hubby into finding a way for me to watch it a home (only on amazon prime apparently). I had tried the TV in the villa but it was on a channel called starz and asked for $ when we tried, so no dice. So there I was, tucked up in bed with a couple of cans of Malibu and Cranberry, watching Jamie Fraser. Oh aye! Fair enjoyed it and now REALLY need hubby to get it for me when we get back.

Lights out at about midnight and alarms set for 8am

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Unread 4 May 15, 11:13 AM  
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Don't you just love coupons out there ! If you are ever in a queue behind me in a store or restaurant you will see me rustling through a load of them in my purse, or checking .my phone foe e mailed coupons.

It's amazing how a few dollars here and there add up.

I love your reports by the way !
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Unread 4 May 15, 11:16 AM  
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New Photo Added by scottishnellie - 4 May 15 11:16 AM.
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Unread 4 May 15, 11:21 AM  
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Sounds like you had a great full last day. Red Lobster looks fab! I'm so sad your trip reports are coming to an end - I've loved logging on everyday to read them with a cuppa in hand!
September 2015, September/October 2016, September/October 2019!
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Unread 4 May 15, 11:45 AM  
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Wow you are so dedicated to your trip report, are you not tired after your journey home. Hope your flight was ok. Can I just say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your trip report,it's has been brilliant. Thank you.
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Unread 4 May 15, 12:07 PM  
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smythy21's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 2
Restaurant Reviews: 2

Great report and amazin pics
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Unread 4 May 15, 12:17 PM  
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Thoroughly enjoyed your trip reports. Thanks so much for posting them. Sounds like you have had a wonderful holiday. The detail and photos in your report have been wonderful and definitely given us some great tips for our holiday next year. I'm going to miss reading them! x
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Unread 4 May 15, 12:29 PM  
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scottishnellie's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2

Originally Posted by k l is excited View Post
Wow you are so dedicated to your trip report, are you not tired after your journey home. Hope your flight was ok. Can I just say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your trip report,it's has been brilliant. Thank you.
I kind of cheated by typing it all up on the plane in Word on my iPad, then this morning just cut n pasted the paragraphs into the dibb reporter with the photos. It gave me something to do! Will do our travel day home later as that's already typed up too.
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