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Old 08-24-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
Libertyke
Earning My Ears
 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bruges, Belgium
Posts: 27

First Visit to Florida! And my dream coming true : be at MNSSHP on Halloween!!

Pre-Trip Report October/November

Hello everyone!
I haven’t posted a lot on DISboards, but I do enjoy reading it, because there’s a lot of info that is helpful to me!

But I would like to share my Pre-Trip Report with you, and then off course, when I get back, my trip report!

In less then two months, me and my best friend will visit Florida for three weeks and one day ().
We live in Belgium (tiny country in Europe, maybe better known as a neighbour of France, where DLRP is situated, ), so this is a big trip for us!

We want to see a lot during the time we are in Florida, so we decided to hit the theme-parks, but also do a self-drive around Florida.
We actually start our trip with a day in Discovery Cove, followed by a visit to SeaWorld the next day.
We’ll also visit Universal Resort Orlando (only for one day, because we have a limited amount of time..), and then we’ll start our self-drive called ‘Florida Fantastic + North + Keys’.

During this self-drive we will visit the following place : Clearwater Beach, Sarasota, Naples, Key West, Miami, St. Augustine, Ocala, Silver Springs & Crystal River.
We will end back in Orlando, and there we will have our ‘grand finale’ of our trip: a visit to WDW !

I’ve never been to WDW before, so we’re really excited ! We’ve been to Disneyland Paris before, but it has already become very clear to me, that we can not compare the two parks with eachother.
From the moment we decided to visit WDW, I started my research (I looooove to plan and learn, and plan, and … ), but soon I discovered that I had an overload of information…
I just couldn’t grasp it anymore, and I started to panic!
It seemed like I didn’t know where to begin, there was so much to think about like ADR’s, how much time we would be needing to get somewhere, waiting lines, etc.

So before I had a Disney-meltdown, I started searching for things/people that could help me with touring plans. I had already read about those Disney travel agents, that book your trip and then help you with ADR’s, and touring plans, but that was not an option for me, since we booked our whole trip with a Belgian Travel Agency.
But then I stumbled upon a very interesting website, called ‘Help Around the Mouse’.
While browsing the website, and contacting them, I realized that this would be my rescue!

I didn’t care that I had to pay some money for her (site is owned by Judy Young) to help me out, because having my mind at ease during our trip is worth a lot more money!!!
She is a very friendly lady, and she answers her emails very quickly.
Although we are still in the planning phase, and I have not yet ‘experienced’ her touring plans, I am already very grateful for her help, and would recommend her to everyone who needs some help with touring plans.

I’ll give you some more information about our days at WDW.
We will be arriving at WDW on 29th October, and will leave again on 4th November.
So we are staying for six nights, and our new home will be the ‘All Star Movies Resort’.
We chose this resort because it’s a value resort (we only need a room to sleep, wash and store all our souvenirs ), and because it seems like it has the most Disney-atmosphere of all the value hotels.
We did not choose a preferred room, we’ll use the money for something else
I was kind of doubting our choice of hotel a few months ago, because everyone was saying that the rooms were outdated, but they are refurbishing the rooms now, so I’m okay with it now.

We will spend five days in the parks, and we opted for the hopper-option. We will not spend time at the waterparks (no time, and not really fond of waterslides etc).
During our stay at WDW we will rely on the Disney transportation.

Here’s our planning for each day (this will become more detailed in September when we’ll have detailed touring plans from Help Around the Mouse)

Day 1 – 29/10

• Arrival at WDW
• Check-in at All Star Movies
• Downtown Disney

Dag 2 – 30/10


• Magic Kingdom at park opening
• 11:35 => Crystal Palace (Pooh & Friends)
• Leave MK around 1 & go back to hotel to relax
• Take the bus to HS around 5pm
• Get in line for Fantasmic!
• 7:30 => Fantasmic!

Day 3 – 31/10 (Halloween!)

• Epcot at park opening
• Leave Epcot around 1 & relax at hotel/get ready for MNSSHP
• Take the bus around 4pm to Magic Kingdom
• 7:00 => MNSSHP

Day 4 – 01/11

• 10:30 => Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch at ‘Ohana
• It will depend on the detailed planning of our other days, if we will visit a park this afternoon or not
• 5:35 => Cinderella’s Happily Ever after Dinner at 1900 Park Fare

Day 5 – 02/11

• Animal Kingdom at park opening
• 10:20 => Donald’s Safari Breakfast @ Tusker House
• Stay until closing time
• Probably take bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, to have a look at this resort

Day 6 – 03/11

• Hollywood Studios at park opening
• 11:30 => 50’s Prime Time Café
• Leave HS around 1:30, go back to hotel to relax (and start packing )
• Take bus to Epcot around 4:30
• Walk around World Showcase
• 6:40 => Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
• 9:00 => watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

Day 7 – 04/11


• Get up early to take the Magical Express to the airport

So, that’s what our days look like!
We’re really excited about our whole trip! Especially MNSSHP on Halloween is something I’m really looking forward too!
I realize it can be crowded, but I’ve always dreamed of being in the USA during the Halloween season, and now I get the chance to be in Disney on Halloween ! Can’t get any better

I’m keeping an eye on the official thread on MNSSHP, because I’m really curious about the party, and of course the merchandise!

I’ll beter stop here, because this is becoming a long pre-trip report! :D
Updates will be coming up around September, with more details for each day.

Goodbye for now!





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Old 08-24-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
buddles norfolk uk
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Wow! What a dream trip! Absolutely adore the idea of doing a road-trip and WDW in the one trip, this is something I know my DBF would love to do. I have visited Clearwater before with my parents, it's absolutely gorgeous and the sand feels absolutely fantastic on your feet!

We did the MNSSHP in 2008, I must say it's a fabulous experience. It's so much fun and the parade is excellent. The cast members really shine at this party. Also Discovery Cove is an excellent way to start the vacation!

I totally agree with the overload of information as regards the planning- but with your road-trip too you had a LOT to plan and it sounds like you've done really well. If getting help put your mind at rest it sounds like a good idea!

Thanks for a fab PTR it made for great reading, I'm really excited for you!

Jodie
xxx

PS: Belgium is a beautiful country I went there a few years ago on a WW1 battlefields tour, absolutely loved Bruges!
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WDW2002, Offsite | WDW2003, Caribbean Beach | WDW2004, Offsite | WDW2008, Pop Century | WDW2013, The saving has begun!

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Old 08-24-2011, 09:24 AM   #3
Libertyke
Earning My Ears
 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bruges, Belgium
Posts: 27

Thanks for your reply!
I guess this could easily fit as a dream trip, but it’s only starting to really ‘sink in’ now it’s coming closer. Starting to realize what kind of things we will visit and do, etc.
Will have to squeeze myself when I’m actually there, to know that I’m not dreaming anymore!!

MNSSHP was a must-do for me, while being in Disney, so I’m glad we could fit it in on 31st October!
Got my tickets as soon as possible, even had them sent by mail, to have them in my hands, lol.
I’m a big Halloween-fan, but unfortunately, Halloween isn’t a really big deal in Belgium. We do have the occasional parties, but not the ones I like…

We didn’t really plan to do Discovery Cove on our first day, but that was the only ‘cheap’ day we could get, so decision was made fast ;-)
It probably will be a good decision, after flying for so long, so we can really relax that day, and it won’t hurt if we fall asleep (after the dolphin swim of course!!! Wouldn’t want to miss that! )

I love writing and this way I can practice my English some more

Glad to hear you loved Bruges & Belgium! Bruges truly is a nice town, although I sometimes seem to forget it, seeing it every day
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