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Old 8 Sep 16, 10:09 PM  
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vixabelle
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Disney first timers - I will convert DH! June 2017 Pre Trip - UPDATED MAY!

Hi Dibbers!

Apologies this is longer than I expected it to be! I thought I would struggle to write anything but once I started I just couldn’t stop! I hope it’s readable and not boring!

I’m still relatively new to the dibb having only discovered it 5 months ago just after booking our holiday to Disney World, since then I have spent most evenings reading various threads and am hugely addicted to reading trip and food reports. Even though this is our first trip I have decided to have a go at a trip report myself, mainly so we have something to look back on, but also so I can write everything down instead of keeping it in my head!

So here we are, the cast:
Me (Vikki) It’s my 30th birthday in December and originally we looked to go at this time but my mum unfortunately couldn’t get annual leave so we decided to go for my sons birthday instead but as a belated celebration for me. I am the chief planner, organiser, activity booker and researcher. I love doing all of this and wouldn’t have it any other way. I love Disney and have done since I was a child, anyone remember the original Disney VHS with the yellow spines? We had those! I was lucky enough to visit Disney twice as a child (20+ years ago! ) but so much has changed I feel like this is the first visit.



DH (Liam) 27, Nickname Scrooge, he isn’t a Disney fan and believes he will hate this holiday (I know I can convert him! ) He loves theme parks, food and playing with the boys in the pools so it’s hard to see what he won’t like about our trip, although he is concerned the DDP won’t be enough food for him!



DS1 (Ryan) He will celebrate his 7th birthday at Disney. He is a massive Disney fan (my fault) and is super excited, he keeps watching videos on YouTube and telling me what there is there, I don’t have the heart to tell him I already know! He is also a massive Marvel / Spiderman fan so will love Universal too. We visited Alton Towers over the summer and he was tall enough for the rollercoaster 13, luckily he loved it so I feel more relaxed about him enjoying the rides now.



DS2 (Callum) He will only be 2 and a half when we go. He loves Mickey Mouse and is growing up into such a character. My only worry is he has a Milk and Soya allergy and am concerned about the availability of allergy details for food and finding an alternative to ice cream for him, (does anybody have any experience of this to put my mind at rest?) although we have just started trying him with very small amounts of dairy on the milk ladder in hopes that he will have overcome this by the time we go, fingers crossed!



Mum (Wendy) Mum’s 60th birthday is a week before my 30th (We tried to go for both our birthdays) so this is also a belated 60th birthday celebration for her. She is also a Disney fanatic and is the origin of my love for Disney. She does a lot for me and our boys even though we live an hours drive away and I am looking forward to spending quality time with my parents.

Dad (Rick) 58, Dad is the photographer, not professional although his dad was, so he has grown up with photography. He photographs everything! I am expecting thousands of photos from this trip! He was converted to a Disney fan after our trips as children. He loves Disney Marketplace (Will always call it this no matter how many times it changes its’ name!) and Old Town so a trip there is a must.



Sister (Kirsty) 28. My little sister is also joining us for the trip, having no children of her own she dotes on her nephews and as soon as we said we were going she jumped right in there  She is a Harry Potter super fan and is more excited about that than anything else! She has also discovered Disney bounding and is adamant to have an outfit for every day of our trip! (lets see how that goes in the heat!)



So there we are, a proper family holiday and I can’t wait!

The holiday details:

My dad was adamant if we were to go to Disney again he would only stay at Port Orleans French Quarter as that’s where we had stayed previously, however hubby wasn’t so keen on this hotel. We were waiting for free dining to be released as I had read a lot about this and decided it would be good to have already paid for our food. We decided to go for my son’s 7th birthday which is in June, and we knew we wanted Virgin flights. I also wasn’t keen on going DIY as our last trip was so long ago, I’d prefer a ‘package’ holiday.
We booked with Travel City Direct, 3rd June 2017 Manchester flights for 14 nights. Staying at Port Orleans Riverside (we compromised) with upgraded DDP as we knew we wanted to do some character dining.
Now that’s it all booked, the serious planning could commence 



I pre booked our seats with Virgin as soon as the flghts were released as we decided we wanted to sit in the bubble, I have a ridiculous fear of flying and the boys have never been on a plane before. I was lucky enough to secure ‘dibbers row’ for both the outbound and return flights. I have also booked Disney’s Magical Express for Myself, the boys, my mum and sister. Dad and DH will pick the hire car up and drive that with our luggage in. I have also booked 3 rooms at the Premier Inn Runger Lane South for the night before our flight and car parking with Jet Parks. Travel insurance is all sorted, just need the important things – 3 passports and 4 ESTA’s! although I am waiting until after Christmas to sort these so the boys don’t lose much time on their passports.

I already have a list of ADR’s I would like to book when our 180 days is here (5th December) and have also looked at other things I would like to book to make the trip extra special. I say it is our only trip but I have everything crossed hubby gets the Disney bug and we are back before I know it.

The ADR’s / activities I would like to book are:
Crystal Palace breakfast
Tusker House breakfast
Rainforest Café Dinner
Beaches and Cream Lunch – may just be ice cream so OOP
Whispering Canyon Dinner
Sci - Fi Dine In Dinner
Ohana breakfast
Be Our Guest Lunch – On DS1 birthday, his choice
Chef Mickeys Dinner
T-Rex Dinner
Garden Grill Dinner
Planet Hollywood – It should be open by then!?!

Afternoon Tea at Grand Floridian
Pirate and Pals Firework Cruise – DS1 birthday evening
Pirate League – on DS1 birthday, he loves Captain Jack Sparrow.

If anybody has any advice, hints or tips on these please let me know 

Lastly a few questions if I could call on you dibbers for your Disney expertise …

I was also looking at the idea of a 1 night Universal hotel stay so we can benefit from FOTL passes, do you think we will need them at the beginning of June? I am currently planning on 2 / 3 days at Universal throughout our trip, would this be enough to do everything if we didn’t have FOTL?
I have read about Garden Grocer deliveries, has anybody used these? Do Disney hotels take deliveries for you? Thinking we could save ourselves a Wall Mart trip on the arrival night
Touring Plans – does anybody use these whilst in the parks? Are they a good idea or does it make your holiday too structured? I’m just thinking with 2 young boys if we could reduce queuing time it may be a good idea?
Shopping – My sister is a shopaholic and I’d quite like to do some whilst there also, I have discovered Mall at Millenia and the Outlets, is there anywhere you would recommend for shopping?
Travel Goodie Bags – I have decided to surprise everybody the night before at the hotel and give them Disney themed flight goodie bags, however so far I only have fluffy socks (even though it’s June I remember planes being quite cold) and customised mickey ears on the list, any ideas of things I can put in them? I am totally open to the idea of them all being different.
Has anybody ordered anything through Disney Floral & Gifts? I am thinking of ordering a birthday package for DS birthday.. Also, birthday cakes, where / how do I order one?

I think that’s all for now, phew that feels like a weight has been lifted writing it all down instead of trying to keep it all in my head!

Thank you all for reading I hope you have enjoyed reading our plans and not found them too boring

Vixabelle

Edited at 08:04 AM. Reason: update
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Old 9 Sep 16, 08:42 AM  
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You are really ahead of the game re planning.

We spent 1 night at RPR and for us 2 days in Universal in August was sufficient. Don't know how busy it is in June.

Happy planning.
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Old 9 Sep 16, 10:54 AM  
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Hi Vikki

Sounds like a fab trip, your boys are lovely, I am also a mum of two boys! Staying onsite with the DDP was really the best thing we have ever done, I don't think I ever want to holiday any other way now.

You have some good ADR choice in there too, to try and answer some of your questions:

Universal Hotel: we included a 1 night stay in HRH last year to take benefit of the FOLP and we paid £190 for the room, we loved it but one night wasn't long enough for us as we spent so long in the parks we didn't actually use the hotel at all. We have booked 4 nights in RPR for next year as it was the cheapest, so we can do it at a more leisurely pace.

Garden Grocer: I used Garden Grocer last year and its a great service, our order was waiting at bell services when we arrived and they brought it up to our room for us. I ordered breakfast items, water, juice etc, we were staying in SSR though and had a small kitchenette so I would make toast/cereal in the morning some days if we didn't have a breakfast ADR. I am also not ashamed to admit that I already have my order in place for our trip next year too! (how sad am I)

Looking forward to following along with your updates and plans.
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Old 9 Sep 16, 02:31 PM  
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vixabelle
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Originally Posted by 2littleboys View Post
Hi Vikki

Sounds like a fab trip, your boys are lovely, I am also a mum of two boys! Staying onsite with the DDP was really the best thing we have ever done, I don't think I ever want to holiday any other way now.

You have some good ADR choice in there too, to try and answer some of your questions:

Universal Hotel: we included a 1 night stay in HRH last year to take benefit of the FOLP and we paid £190 for the room, we loved it but one night wasn't long enough for us as we spent so long in the parks we didn't actually use the hotel at all. We have booked 4 nights in RPR for next year as it was the cheapest, so we can do it at a more leisurely pace.

Garden Grocer: I used Garden Grocer last year and its a great service, our order was waiting at bell services when we arrived and they brought it up to our room for us. I ordered breakfast items, water, juice etc, we were staying in SSR though and had a small kitchenette so I would make toast/cereal in the morning some days if we didn't have a breakfast ADR. I am also not ashamed to admit that I already have my order in place for our trip next year too! (how sad am I)

Looking forward to following along with your updates and plans.
Thank you so much i have read your trip report and loved it Thank you for the advice about Universal hotels, i was a little worried it may be the case where we wouldn't actually get to use the facilities in the hotel, i suppose i need to weight up if the benefit of FOLP outweighs this for us.

Wow you have booked garden grocer already, that's fab! I didnt realise i could book this far in advance, seen as though i could have it delivered i will have a look through their products - thank you for this
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Old 9 Sep 16, 02:33 PM  
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Originally Posted by tocpe321 View Post
You are really ahead of the game re planning.

We spent 1 night at RPR and for us 2 days in Universal in August was sufficient. Don't know how busy it is in June.

Happy planning.
Thank you for reading i didn't think anybody would! I am a little obsessive when it comes to planning, good to know im heading in the right direction, thank you. Good to know Universal can be done in 2 days if we need it to be
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Old 9 Sep 16, 04:46 PM  
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Great pre trip report... love your ADR list!

I used touring plans for our last trip. Didn't stick to it rigidly but was a good reminder of what we wanted to get done that day . What i did find really useful was that it tells you the ride times, some rides are over half hr long! So helped plan fitting this in before ADRs etc.

The plans for your sons birthday sound great. As he is a pirates fan have a look at the Pirates Adventure at MK if you haven't already, it is an interactive treasure hunt and is free my son loved it.

We had a gift basket delivered to the hotel on our 1st trip . Think the company was called memories by betsy. It is all disney merch and you can pick what you want so can choose birthday/celebration stuff. Ours had a teddy, ears, autograph book etc and they deliver to disney hotels. Think there are a couple of advertisers on here who do it also.

Look forward to reading more!
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Old 4 Jan 17, 09:56 PM  
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So now Christmas is out the way, I can finally say we are going this year! Only 149 sleeps to go! I thought it was a good time for an update on our plans.
Our ADR day was at the beginning of December and I was sooo happy to secure all the ADR’s we wanted, within 10 minutes of the times I wanted them! So we have the following to look forward to:
Breakfasts – Crystal Palace, Tusker House, Akershus, Ohana.
Lunch – Beaches & Cream, Be Our Guest, Rainforest Café Disney Springs.
Dinner – Rainforest Café Animal Kingdom, T-Rex, Chef Mickeys, Sci-Fi Dine-In, Whispering Canyon, Garden Grill, Be Our Guest.
And also Afternoon tea at Grand Floridian, Pirates League for DS1 on his birthday and Pirates and Pals fireworks cruise, also on DS1 birthday
So now I have those in place my plan is to start deciding on FP to book.

We have also booked a 1 night stay at Royal Pacific, very excited about this! We plan to eat at Hard Rock Café that night, would that need to be booked like Disney restaurants do?

Still looking for items to put in the goodie bags if anybody has any ideas? Also has anybody bought custom Mickey Ears from anywhere they could recommend?
Still got passports and ESTA’s to do! Hopefully can tick that one off this month.

Eeeekkkk it’s all starting to come together now!
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Old 7 Jan 17, 08:41 PM  
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Just read through your trippie and it sounds fab! We went in early June about 7 years ago and it was super hot and the crowd levels seemed ok. Sure you'll have a ball.

Shopping wise it depends what you want. The outlets usually have bargains but avoid weekends, they have slightly more shops at the ones near universal but not too different. Mall at Millenia is more upmarket & Florida Mall has a good selection.

Goodie bags - that's a good one, perhaps things you'd make use of in the parks. Random things I can think of... Insulated water bottle, backpack, ponchos, flip flops, mini fan, anti bac hand lotion, plasters, hats, sunglasses, park maps, portable phone charger.

There's things like tissues with Minnie Mouse on you can get from primark (they are plain inside though) and cheap t shirts from there and stuff.
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Old 7 Jan 17, 09:14 PM  
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Wow - fantastic planning. Love your ADR's. We love the outlets and Florida Mall, but also love a trip to T J Maxx, we've picked up some fantastic bargains there. You'll love staying at the Royal Pacific, we stayed there last year and HRH the year before. We got there early morning, left our bags and hit the parks. We did come back and use the pool in the afternoon, it was lovely. We then checked out the next day, left our bags with bell services and did early morning entry. We did do club level though, and had 2 morning breakfasts. I think you can get some meal vouchers for Hard Rock, I saw them on Floridatix. Have a fantastic time.😆
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Old 8 Jan 17, 01:15 AM  
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Originally Posted by sheluk View Post
Just read through your trippie and it sounds fab! We went in early June about 7 years ago and it was super hot and the crowd levels seemed ok. Sure you'll have a ball.

Shopping wise it depends what you want. The outlets usually have bargains but avoid weekends, they have slightly more shops at the ones near universal but not too different. Mall at Millenia is more upmarket & Florida Mall has a good selection.

Goodie bags - that's a good one, perhaps things you'd make use of in the parks. Random things I can think of... Insulated water bottle, backpack, ponchos, flip flops, mini fan, anti bac hand lotion, plasters, hats, sunglasses, park maps, portable phone charger.

There's things like tissues with Minnie Mouse on you can get from primark (they are plain inside though) and cheap t shirts from there and stuff.
Hi, thank you for reading primark sounds good for bits and bobs id completely forgotten they have disney themed bits and thank you for the goodie bag ideas, some great ideas i'd not thought of
I'm thinking of maybe a couple of different shopping places to get a good variety, maybe a mall and one of the outlets? Still not sure which ones though, might need to have a look at shop guides and things
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