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Old 27 Aug 15, 04:48 PM  
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SmilingSammie
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Who, Why, When, Where & What September 2015! - My Pre Trip Ramblings*UPDATE w/ link to trip photos!*

I have been kinda backwards and forwards about whether or not to do a pre-trip report. Who would read it? Why would people read it? Is it necessary? Is it pointless, blah blah blah!
As you can see I decided TO HECK and imma just write one anyway, even if it’s just for the fun of doing it for myself. So without further questioning, here is the Who, Why, When, Where & What!


WHO am I? Well, let me introduce myself I guess.

Cast
My name is Samantha and I reside in sunny (/sarcasm) Glasgow! I like to think us Glaswegians are sunny…we are often told we are. Just don’t walk down Sauchiehall Street at 3am and hopefully I can keep up that illusion! Here is a fairly recent picture as the one in my profile is from DLP in 2013.



I’m 23, birthday is in March, I’m a Pieces, birthstone aquamarine…..
Okay… maybe too much basic info there but you get the picture.

I feel like an Orlando veteran even though I’ve only been 6 times (since I was 6 years old), each time with my family. Usually with the Father and Brother, sometimes including the Mother and some other family members in the past. Compared to some people on here that’s basically nothing!








We have done WDW, Universal, IOA, Seaworld and Busch Gardens before but I have never done a waterpark or Discovery Cove. We have always only really done the parks and not much else except once we took an airboat tour which included swimming with Manatees in the wild which was pretty amazing. Also the usual shopping and I-Drive escapades like mini golf & helicopter ride etc etc. I’m a creature of comfort. I know what works for me and I tend to stick to it.

Like most people on this site I am obsessed. Seriously obsessed. Obsessed to the point that it may be a mental condition! I’m obsessed with Orlando. With the theme parks. All of them, I do not discriminate Theme park rides, thrill rides, the feeling, the adrenaline, the smell, the look, the (friendly) people. I love it with all of my heart and I’m sure many of you can relate to finding it hard to stay away…

So I think that’s enough background on me and my obsession. If you want to know anything else about all that feel free to ask!



Right, so onto WHY.
I’m not sure if it is clear or if you’ve guessed from me being the only ‘cast’ or even perhaps spotted my countdown but I’m going on a solo trip! I’ve been itching to go back since I returned from my last trip in 2012 which I kind of knew would be one of my last with the family, seeing as I’m getting older and they’re getting skinter! My dad was usually the planner of trips but when he lost his job I knew there was probably no way family was going to be involved in my next trip.

So I started working on some of my friends. Putting the feelers out to see if they’d be interested. After a few ‘maybes and we’ll see’s’ it was Winter 2014 and I was no closer to finding anyone to go with. My best friends’ family were thinking of going Oct 2015 but I wasn’t keen on having to rely on doing whatever their plans were as they were staying in a villa and I don’t drive. The thought of having to compromise was really starting to get me down…

Then…an idea. A crazy one, I thought. I began to have an inner battle with myself over Christmas 2014.
-There’s no way Samantha, you’re only little!
-But but…think of the benefits. You’re 23 now you can do these things.
-23? Me? When did that happen?!
-Focus Sammie! You could go where you want, when you wanted without having to please anyone else. You’re a planner, think of how amazing it would be to make your own plans!
-Oh……I couldn’t! People would think I’m a weird loner. Sammie nae pals. Sad Solo Loser.
-SNAP OUT OF IT…! You can easily afford it. People go on solo trips all the time. Just ask the lovely people on The Dibb

And that’s what I did. You amazing people convinced me that solo trips are super worth it and to take the plunge, which I did and I’m so glad that I did because I’m heading to my happy place very very VERY soon!

WHEN I hear you all yell?! XD - 24 days to go at the time of posting this to be exact!
I fly from Glasgow to MCO with Thomas Cook at 10.45am on Sunday the 20th of September 2015. Im going for two weeks because there’s no way I could ever think about going for any less time!




I had never really stopped looking at prices before I booked. I looked periodically just to be nosey really. I looked on Sky Scanner (great little tool, totally recommend it) on January 15th this year and saw flights that I thought were reasonable and was happy to pay for. So after feeling brave from my pep talk from The Dibb I just went ahead and booked it! Didn’t even run it past my mum or nothing, I was adulting
So my booking looked something like this:
GLA – MCO 10.45am 20th Sept = Ł283.50
MCO – GLA 16.35pm 4th Oct = Ł305.99
I was very happy. I AM very happy. I’m still happy with that price. Don’t regret a thing

Now, I’m meant to be on the majestic and illusive ‘Air Tanker’ with all the wonderful new bits and bobs that we’ve all been promised but don’t worry. I am under no illusions. I have read all the threads I’m not expecting to be on this plane, which is a shame because I’ve never experienced proper high tech ‘choose whatever you wanna watch’ IFE before and I was looking forward to that! I like to think I’m someone who can put life into perspective and to me it’s not a holiday ruining situation or something that I feel the need to moan about. Just my personal perspective I guess, although I can see why it could. But I’ll listen to music, colour in, read a book, listen to audible, read a magazine or generally amuse myself in other ways if I have to. Nothing will bring me down about being on my way to Orlando!

I basically always knew WHERE I was going to stay while I was in Orlando, it was just a matter of finding where I could book it the cheapest. I’ve stayed with family at the Rosen Inn International on International Drive for my past 3 trips and I really really like it! It’s perfect for me. Cheap, cheerful, basic and there’s the world’s biggest McDonalds next door – what’s not to love?!












As I said, I’ve stayed here 3 times before and seeing as I’m going all on my lonesome I felt better about staying somewhere that I’m very familiar with (and so did my parents XD). So thus began my daily search. I went on all the usual cheap hotel sites, I hunted high and I hunted low but I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere for under Ł500. I was sticking to my guns on this one, I was determined to succeed. It took me a while and I don’t remember what made me head onto the British Airways website, but I did. And there we had it - 14nights at the Rosen Inn International for Ł493!
I WAS TRIUMPHANT! *applause applause*
The location of the hotel is wonderful. Right in the middle of I-Drive. I’m surrounded by never-ending food choices (not that I’m a connoisseur, I’m a right fussy eater). However I am planning to expand my usual ‘mcdonalds and theme park food’ focussed eating habits for this trip, but a bit more on that later.
While I was on the BA site I also booked transfers from MCO to my hotel for Ł13.39. That was me, I was sorted. Top two things ticked off my list. Flights and Accommodation and a bonus transfer thrown in for good measure. Hurrah!


There was never any contention about WHAT the majority of my trip would consist of – Theme Parks! I’m a theme park fan, a thrill nut, an adrenaline junkie who also loves the magic of Disney. I wouldn’t be missing out of any of the 8 theme parks that Orlando/Tampa has to offer. I was planning to do each of the Disney parks for a day then maybe have an extra Disney day for whatever I fancied giving another go. I also wanted a few days for Universal/IOA, at least a day for each then an extra day. Plus a day for Seaworld and a day for Busch Gardens! I know sometimes ticket combinations can get complicated so I just wanted to keep it simple.

I booked direct with Disney – 14 days for the price of a 7 day tickets = Ł275
I also booked the Orlando FlexTicket Plus through FloridaTix = Ł219








14 days unlimited Disney access and also 14 days unlimited access to the other parks I mentioned with my FlexTicket Plus!
SOMUCHEXCITEMENT!

Okay…calm yourself Samantha…you really need to remain calm.
Phew…I think I’m good again…let us continue.

Third main thing ticked off the list now. I had flights, accommodation (plus a sneaky transfer) AND all my park tickets booked by mid-March.
The next few things that happened that I feel are important enough to mention are:
March - ESTAs approved = $14 plus tax
No hassle came through pretty much immediately!
July – Premium Insurance through Elephant = Ł19.69
Had a problem booking online so had to do it over the phone, again no hassle.
July – Seat 12D on my outbound flight = Ł20
Decided that I wanted to be on the aisle so I wasn’t sitting between people I didn’t know, plus wanted to be near the front so that I could (calmly and respectfully) run off the plane first
July – Sent room request to hotel
I like to be near the lobby not on the ground floor looking over the small pool or fountain
August – Seaworld Behind the Scenes = $29 plus tax
I get to meet a penguin and touch a shark, enough said XD

As for spends, mucho, da dolla billz yo, I’ve been doing fairly well.
I currently have about $800 on an UKash travel currency card, about $100 from my birthday and I will be taking about $500 more in cash, which I haven’t got yet but I’m trying to wait and see if the rate will go up! Keep on moving up dollars, please, kay, thank you! So I think I’ll be covered for spends nicely.

Before I go on to mention my daily plans (which are fairly basic ‘where I’m planning to go/do each day’), I thought I should mention a little about food.




If this is what you picture when you think of food then my eating habits will not please you I enjoy the simple things in life…as in very simple. Basically the basics.
I usually live on theme park food: see below




And McDonalds…
Do I really need to post a picture of McDonald’s food? Picture fries and nuggets, that’s basically me.
BUT I’m hoping to go a few different places this year. My food content won’t change much from the ‘chips n chicken’ variety but it’s still a change okay! God, stop judging me! XD
I’ve been to a few places before, which are:
TGI Fridays
Hasn’t everyone?
Hard Rock Café
Do I need to explain this one?
Tilted Kilt
Just down from my hotel, its Scottish themed, everyone is in tartan. It’s just like home!
So those are basically as far as my horizons have stretched outside of the park counter services. Sad isn’t it? I can here you guys shunning me as I’m typing.
So I had a little think and asked some dibbers and have come up with a small list of some places I’d like to try:
Chili’s
Battered chicken on the menu looks yum!
Buffalo Wild Wings
I’ve always wanted to give boneless wings a go
Outback Steakhouse
I’m into thin small lean steaks and this place seems to have the one
Hooters
…I’m curious okay!
Millers Ale House
Garlic Zingers look….*drools*

So that’s my little list! The only place I really fancied eating onsite was Sci-Fi Dine in which is booked out although I won’t give up hope just yet! You never know what might happen If you have any recommendations for me, taking into account my limited palate and that I’m cheap then feel free to leave a comment!



Without further ado, here are my current plans!

Day One(20th)SundayFly to MCO
Check in at my hotel
Book my shuttle for tomorrow
Eat
Unpack
Sleep!
Day Two(21st)Mon - Universal Studios
Diagon Alley etc
Day Three(22nd)TueMagic Kingdom
Fastpasses for:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Peter Pan
Day Four(23rd)Wed‘Rest Day’
Pool day maybe?
Day Five(24th)ThurAnimal Kingdom
Fastpasses for:
Kilimanjaro Safari
Dinosaur
It’s Touch to be a Bug
Day Six (25th) Fri Epcot
Fastpasses for:
Spaceship Earth
Soarin’
Mission:Space
Day Seven(26th)Sat‘Rest Day’
Shopping day maybe?
Day Eight(27th)Sun - Seaworld
Behind the Scenes Tour
Day Nine(28th)MonIslands of Adventure
Universal Cinematic Spectacular(?)
Day Ten(29th)TueHollywood Studios
Hoping to get fastpasses for:
Toy Story Midway Mania
Star Tours
Tower of Terror
Day Eleven(30th)Wed‘Rest Day’
No set plans as of yet.
Day Twelve(1st)ThuBusch Gardens
Buzzin’ for Falcon’s Fury!
Day Thirteen(2nd)FriDisney Day
Nothing set in stone yet.
Day Fourteen(3rd)SatUniversal AM/Islands PM
Pack in as much thrill as possible!
Day Fifteen(4th)Sun - Leaving…


And so I think that is basically it!
Once I get my HS fastpasses done I’ll update to confirm I’ve got the ones I wanted and if anything else exciting happens in the lead up then I’ll add some additional updates. I’ll probably also do some Highs & Lows when I get back.
If you managed to read this ramble then thank you! Don’t be shy to ask stuff in the comments or just even just say hi! That also goes for if you spot me IN Orlando. I’ll be on my own so a friendly face is always welcome.

FYI incase anyone asks, yes I am planning on purchasing a Magic band when I get to MK (I have bought myself a skin courtesy of Magic Your Band) & I’m also a part of an MM share on here which means I will be able to get pictures that include me! HAZZAH!

And now I really am done for now - Thanks again!


UPDATE 28/08/15

So...Halloween Horror Nights has always interested me, even though I'm a HUGE *****bag! I kinda knew there was no way I was going to book to go to the event by myself this year (although it did briefly cross my mind) but today I have booked myself onto an afternoon 'Unmasking the Horror' Tour at Universal! Its a 2/2.5 hour tour that takes in 3 of the houses at Halloween Horror Nights with the lights on! I'll be doing it on October 3rd at 2pm. A little last day treat for myself

UPDATE 30/08/15

Quick little update! I did the last of my fastpasses this morning (for hollywood studio) and got what I was looking for Toy Story, Star Wars and Tower of Terror! It's feeling really close now...only 21 days left!

UPDATE 02/09/15

I can finally say i'm going this month!
18 days...wow...its flying in. I literally wanna cry with happiness or scream with excitement everytime I think about. I really need to remain calm or I may explode. I was super chuffed about 2 things I bought yesterday so I wanted to show you all!

This is a wee bit different...and I don't know if i'd be brave enough to wear it at Disney but i'd defo wear it to Universal as I think they'd maybe appreciate it



I think its pretty punky and cute! Anyone else appreciate it?
Ariel is my favourite princess, always has been so I am happy to represent without having to be girly

The second is this:



I was inspired by JosieO 's pretrippie where she bought a similar necklace and I fell in love with it. This one is slightly different so I hope she won't mind! It was always my dream growing up to become a mermaid and now with this I can pretend that I am

Not much else to update on. Just made a small list of about 10 or so things I need to buy for my holiday. Usual boring things like deodorant and face wipes and the likes. Not sure there will be much to update about until next week when I get my hair done (it will be blue no more!) so i'll post a wee picture of that maybe...
Until then, thanks for reading!

UPDATE 11/09/15

SINGLE DIGIT DAY!
9 days until my holiday - wow 2015 has completely flown by. Anyone else think that? Seems like not long ago I was just booking this holiday and now its almost here! I'm sure everyone in work will be glad without my daily countdown announcements to the office
I was at the dentist this morning as my bottom left wisdom tooth is always giving me bother and I was feeling a niggle coming on. They confirmed that yes, I had an infection and I got me some lovely free antibiotics. Glad that I didn't leave it to see what happened as I don't fancy forking out for them over in Orlando! So hopefully that will clear up all nice without it ever really causing much of a bother
After work i'm going to get my hair done! Much excitement! I'll hopefully post a picture here...as long as it looks decent enough :P
Finally I wanna take a wee moment to remember 9/11 and the horror that happened on that day. Everyone has their own memories and feelings of that day. It has always resonated with me hard and always gets my emotions going. My thoughts are with everyone that lost their life that day, along with the families. I will never forget.

UPDATE 20/09/15

IT'S HERE! I am currently airside having a lovely Glasgow Airport breakfast!



Just a quick update to say hi and bye and show you my nails and new hair





My hair didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped. It didn't really take to the blue and went a bit... green XD
BUT the consensus is that it looks better than it did so I'm not too bothered :P
My gate has just been announced so I best get a move on. Thank you for reading along and all your kind words. If you see me feel free to say hi. I'll try not to bite

See you on the other side!


UPDATE 09/10/15

Well i'm back! Just a quick one to link my Highs and Lows for anyone who is interested
Click here if you fancy a read!

UPDATE 02/11/15

I have finally sorted my photos and uploaded to facebook! This link should let you view my pictures if you fancy - Click HERE!

Also i'm samanthamc92 on instagram if you wanna follow :3
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Samantha!


I'm a Great British Mickey Waffle Presenter

My First Ever Pre-Trip Report - Sept 2015
My 2nd Pre-Trip Report! - Sept 2016

DLP - May 2013, May 2018!
Florida - 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 POSTPONED

Edited at 12:20 PM.
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Old 27 Aug 15, 06:07 PM  
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Doowop
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Hope you have a great time
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Old 27 Aug 15, 06:11 PM  
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Miss Tigger
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Your trip sounds amazing, have a fabulous time!
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Old 27 Aug 15, 07:16 PM  
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SmilingSammie
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Aw thank you both! It means alot
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Samantha!


I'm a Great British Mickey Waffle Presenter

My First Ever Pre-Trip Report - Sept 2015
My 2nd Pre-Trip Report! - Sept 2016

DLP - May 2013, May 2018!
Florida - 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 POSTPONED
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Old 27 Aug 15, 08:56 PM  
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Mudhut
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Great pre trip report, I'm going on a solo trip but I land back in the UK the day before you set off
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Old 28 Aug 15, 09:44 AM  
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SmilingSammie
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Originally Posted by Mudhut View Post
Great pre trip report, I'm going on a solo trip but I land back in the UK the day before you set off
Thank you!
Your trip is so close! You must be freaking out.
Have you been on a solo trip before?
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Samantha!


I'm a Great British Mickey Waffle Presenter

My First Ever Pre-Trip Report - Sept 2015
My 2nd Pre-Trip Report! - Sept 2016

DLP - May 2013, May 2018!
Florida - 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 POSTPONED
SmilingSammie is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 28 Aug 15, 12:25 PM  
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EllenClaire
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wow great start going solo that's very brave cant wait to read more of your trip
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Old 28 Aug 15, 12:38 PM  
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Nikkinoop
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Sounds amazing! It's not long to go now
I'll keep an eye out to say hi as I'm staying at the same hotel from 29th September to 14th October
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Old 28 Aug 15, 01:07 PM  
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SmilingSammie
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Originally Posted by EllenClaire View Post
wow great start going solo that's very brave cant wait to read more of your trip
Aw, thank you!

Originally Posted by Nikkinoop View Post
Sounds amazing! It's not long to go now
I'll keep an eye out to say hi as I'm staying at the same hotel from 29th September to 14th October
Thank you! If you see me feel free to come and say hi! Although, my hair won't be blue anymore Enjoy your trip

I've posted a wee brief update about something that I booked today
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Samantha!


I'm a Great British Mickey Waffle Presenter

My First Ever Pre-Trip Report - Sept 2015
My 2nd Pre-Trip Report! - Sept 2016

DLP - May 2013, May 2018!
Florida - 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 POSTPONED
SmilingSammie is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 28 Aug 15, 10:02 PM  
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EJSakaAnna
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Plans sound brilliant, defo agree that going solo is a million times better than going and relying on other peoples plans. You'll have an amazing time ! Have a great trip x
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