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Old 11-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
avviexxx
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Mum's First Taste of Orlando Sept 2012 TR UPDATED 11/27

Mum's first trip to see the Mouse

Hey everyone,
This is my first trip report, so bare with me and i apologize if it gets boring.
Here are the Cast Members

Me (Avvie) 21, work in the local Co-Op, Disney and Harry Potter mad, and 3rd trip to Orlando.


Mum(Maggie) 42, single mum of 3, likes to take things slow, first trip to Orlando.


So last Setember after months of being jobless i landed a job at the loal Co-Op, but i wanted something to spend my money on other then buying crap. Getting my own place was out of the question just incase the job didn't last. I hadnt been to Orlando since 2009 and i was missing the Mouse. So i decided to take my mum on a two week holiday.
Sadly on Halloween last year my nan passed away and it hit mum hard. So i thought i would treat her to a nice holiday.
Only problem is, my mum isnt into rollercoasters and likes beach holidays. But i thought, as she always wanted to visit the states what better place to take her then sunny Flordia. So there the fun begins.

I decided to start putting money away in a savings account and slowly book up this holiday. Sept 5th - Sept 19th. I chose this time as its supposed to be the quitest time to visit. One of the main reasons to visit again is because im a huge fan of Harry Potter, and the last time i visited Orlando WWoHP was just being built, and i need to go visit Hogwarts . Any excuse to go back "home"
Originally i wanted to go to Halloween Horror Nights and thought we might be lucky enough to just get the first night of it. Unfortunatly we just miss it and would be too much hassle changing things around to catch it.

I kept an eye on Virgins sales for Flights and managed to book some cheap flights. Next was the hotel, we have always stayed on International Drive and this time would be no different. I love walking around International Drive and eating at all the different places.



I decided to book into Extended Stay Deluxe Convention Center on I-Drive, i stayed there last time and it was brilliant. Nice big suite close to all of I-Drive but with some peace and quiet.

Each month i booked up separate stuff.
We decided to do Seaworld, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, all Disney Parks and Discovery Cove.
Discovery Cove may be expensive, but mum deserves to have a day of luxury.
We decided to get the Eat and Play Card as the budget is tight, any savings is a great help.
Everytime i have been Orlando, we always ate snack food in the parks, so i decided this year i would get an ADR in a Disney restaurant for a treat. Mum was adamant that she wanted Crab, so i decided to book Rainforest Cafe at AK on our last night, that way she gets crab and lobster and I can have some non fish food :spin:
I am planning this by myself with help from dad, and to be honest i'm proud of myself for planning this with little help.

Our flight from Gatwick was at 1pm but with no way of getting down on the day of the flight we decided to book a room at Premier Inn Central Gatwick the night before,with the £22 meal deal which is a 3 course meal and buffet breakfast in the morning. Total £120, which for all the food included, and the closeness to the airport i thought was a pretty damn good price.

Mum isn't into rides and likes to take things slow. So this holiday was supposed to be mostly swimming pools and relaxing but we will be spending alot of time in the parks aswell.
I'm new to writing Trip reports on here so i hope i'm doing it right.

ºoº
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Last edited by avviexxx; 11-27-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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Contents

Pre-Trip Report
Day 0, feels just as hot as Orlando!
Day 1, Travel Day
Day 2, Animal Kingdom and more rain!
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Last edited by avviexxx; 11-27-2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Day 0


Warning: This may be long and include lots of photos.


Finally after months of planning the day before we left had arrived. Suitcases were packed and we were up at 8. After a quick bath and getting ready i went down for a coffee. Over excitement is an understatement, but i think mum was more nervous. The taxi taking us to our hotel at Gatwick wasn't due till 12:30 so it was a case of last minute checks. Due to us living so far from the airport we decided to stay at the Premier Inn Gatwick, North Terminal.
I did a quick seat change for the airplane on Virgins website then mum cooked us a Full English breakfast at 11:15, great start to the holiday : Decided to check tickets and details again, i was sure at this point one of us were bound to forget something

Finally at 12:32 the taxi arrived, the holiday had officially started! The journey of course felt like it took for ages and was boring. Until we reached the Dartford Bridge which mum was terrified at but laughing. We arrived at the hotel at 3:40, i was starting to think maybe we should have come down the day of the flight. It was hard being that close to the airport but still having a day to wait till we fly. We checked in and paid, room was standard for the price we paid


I can't sit around and do nothing and we were hungry. There was a little garage right next door to the hotel so we popped over and picked up a really expensive sandwich meal deal. Went back to the hotel and grabbed a lager shandy each. At this point it was really warm so we sat in the beer garden and just relaxed



After that we decided to pop back to the room and freshen up, we had booked a meal deal with the hotel which i highly recommend; think it was £20 pp and included free drink, 3 course meal then buffet style full english breakfast in the morning.

7:30 came and we went down for dinner;
Starters Mum had Aromatic Duck Parcels, they were ok but just tasted like Icelands frozen ones.

I had prawn cocktail which was lovely, just could have had more prawns.


Main For this we both had a 10oz rump steak with a peppercorn sauce and all the trimmings. Mine for once came out perfect , i always struggle with my steak coming out cooked wrong. Mums came out rare though so had to be re-cooked.


Desert The best part. Mum had profiteroles which she said were lovely, they looked great but i hate cream.


I had caramel apple crumble with custard which was amazing, the caramel sauce made it taste even better!


We were both extremely full at this point and decided to head back to the room at about 9:15. Watched a bit of TV and decided to get an early night, unfortunately the air-conditioner was broken and we couldn't open the window as we were right next to the car park/beer garden/ bus stop. The room was ridiculously hot and due to noise i didn't sleep. But there would be plenty of time for sleep on the flight tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Flight day
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Day 1

Warning: This may be long and include lots of photos.

Today was finally the day, our flight wasn't due till 13:00 so we got up at 7:30 and headed down to breakfast at 8. I hadn't slept a wink the night before and just wanted coffee. Unfortunatly the coffee machine was broken so we had to have proper coffee. The breakfast was hot and buffet style but wasn't hungry, just nervous. We went back to the room at 8:45, showered and went through a last check of everything, made sure all cases were packed and ready.
Before we left we went to talk to the reception about our bad night sleep. Just letting them know the air-con was broken, but apparently they have a "Good Night Sleep Policy" which meant we were owed a full £79 refund, we would have to wait until we returned though. The hotel runs a shuttle to the South Terminal which costs £3 each so we paid for a token and waited outside, again it was lovley and hot.


The shuttle arrived at 10am and we were at Gatwick South Terminal for 10:20am. To save time we checked in at a kiosk and checked our bags in. Is it just me or is it that whenever you worry that your bag feels way to heavy, it turns out to weigh barely anything. I thought my bag would be over the limit but it only weighed 11kg, plenty of space for bringing stuff back. Flight was on time which was great so we headed through to security, what a mess. We got through fine but the queues are a mess, people standing everywhere and complaining, it was hectic.

We decided to stroll around the stores, not buying anything but we did get to try a shot of chocolate vodka. Yes it was 11:15 but we needed it for our nerves lol.
Our gate opened at 11:34 down to gate 19 so we took a slow walk down there as we knew we would be waiting for a bit, i was excited to see whether we would get a refurbed plane but had to wait to find out!


I was getting impatient now and just wanted to get on the plane. It was there but not ready for us yet.


So we just sat and waited


Then finally at 12:10 we got called through,Got sat down and unfortunately we were stuck with an old plane. No refurb. We didn't take off till 1:30. 30 minutes late, so we messed around taking photos as you do.




After a smooth take off we were offered the "Virgin Cocktail" and pretzels, we opted for the alcoholic version which was yummy.


We were handed the menu for the day:


Movies came on so me and mum decided on American Pie Reunion which was hilarious! Took some out of the window photos while we waited for lunch.



Lunch must have been served around 3pm.
Mine was some sort of horrible tomato, cucumber and red onion salad, with a roll and butter and for main i chose the Chicken in Cheese&Leek sauce with thyme potatoes and spinach which was really nice!


Mum had the same roll and salad but decided on the sausage and mash. Apparently her meal was disgusting.


For desert it was a tropical Gu pot which i didn't like so gave mine to mum. We were given coffee lastly which was a welcome sight.
Now as most of you know, on the old planes you can't pause and start movies as you wish. All the movies start at the same time and not until all movies have finished. So i managed to catch the end of Marvel Avengers film then had to wait until they restarted.
Again i decided on taking more photos.


Finally the movies restarted and i decided on The Dictator which was so funny, and we all got handed a Skinny Dipper chocolate and caramel ice lolly which was ok.
For our afternoon snack we got a cheese and onion sandwich which was standard, a cup of coffee and a cupcake. We also had crisps we bought the night before.


We were getting close at this point and i started getting emotional at the fact i was near "home"


I got a bit scared as we went through a storm and i had a small panic attack, lots of turbulence.


At about 4:50pm US time we arrived alive, words can't describe how i felt, and i was so happy to see this familiar sight;


And what a lovely welcome we had


While waiting in line for security which took ages they were playing the Epcot Illuminations soundtrack which got me so excited.

We grabbed our bags then hopped onto the monorail and were due to get our taxi to the hotel. We went with someone called Ed Korgan and i would highly recommend him. For a round trip to International Drive it cost us $110 including tips. Unfortunately the airport isn't very well signposted so we went to Baggage Claim B instead of A. Our driver came and found us and lead us to the right place bless him. By this time it was 6:10pm and we could see it looked rather dark outside with storm clouds. We went outside to the taxi and that amazing blast of heat hit us. I wish i could bottle that up!
I was getting to excited in the taxi and when we got to International Drive i think our taxi driver thought i was a loony!

We got to our hotel which was Extended Stay Deluxe on Universal Blvd, i had stayed here before and had to come again. Perfect location, free shuttle, great price and a lovely pool. Staff were great and we checked in quickly, upto room 301.
Bedroom


Kitchen


We decided we would go to Sizzlers for dinner then head over to Walgreen's for grocery's, little did we know what the weather would be like. No sooner then 5 minutes after we stepped out of the hotel on the way to Sizzlers, what happened? The worst storm ive seen out of the times ive visited Orlando. It was hurricane season and they were still getting the back end of Hurricane Issac. The rain was horrific and getting soaked wasn't the word. We were drenched, we quickly ran to Bahama Breeze and hid under the shelter, hoping it would be a quick storm. We sat down a grabbed a coke and half hour later it was still chucking it down so we gave in a headed inside for a meal.

Sorry no photos here but i remember mum had a Pina Colada which she didn't like and i had this amazing frozen tropical cocktail which was incredible. We had a Cuban sandwich to share which was not that fab and also had a prawn flat-bread which was amazing. Surprise surprise as soon as we ordered it stopped raining! So after dinner we popped to Walgreen's and grabbed some bottled water for the freezer, beer, potato chips and some coffee.

It was still slightly raining when we left so we headed back to the room, had a shower, cup of coffee and watched some American tv before bed.

Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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In for this! Loving your TR so far!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
In for this! Loving your TR so far!
Thanks for joining in
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:43 PM   #7
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I'm in. When I saw Bangers and Mash I said yum then saw the picture, Eww. Looked like a very small serving. So now after a long flight rain and a so so dinner I can't wait to read all about the great time you had.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by luckylady View Post
I'm in. When I saw Bangers and Mash I said yum then saw the picture, Eww. Looked like a very small serving. So now after a long flight rain and a so so dinner I can't wait to read all about the great time you had.
Thankyou Day 2 coming up
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #9
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Day 2

Warning: This may be long and include lots of photos.

So today was finally the day i would be back on Disney property. Woke up at 7.30 and went down for early breakfast at 8. Our hotel only does toast,bagels, fruit and cereal so i stuck with a cup of welcomed coffee and a yogurt. I know i needed energy for the day but it was only the start of the holiday so i was full of energy! Mum decided on coffee, a bagel and a banana.
It was lovely and warm at this point and we decided to head over to Walgreens to pick up some ponchos.

You never know when you are going to need them and after last nights downpour we thought it was best. On the way back we got stopped by a taxi driver called Alex, very friendly man who we thought just wanted a chat. Until he tried to get us to buy some of his "Genuine Egyptian Silver" jewelry for $20 :eek We made our excuses and swiftly moved on!
We got back to the hotel at 9:25am and had an hour to wait until our shuttle to Epcot, we decided to sit by the pool and dangle our feet in, oh how warm it was.!

Unfortunatly we found this in the pool, which i swiftly removed.


10:15am and it was a gorgeous 81° so we stood out the front and waited for our shuttle.


Last time we went to Orlando and stayed here, i was with my dad. Our shuttle bus was this tiny thing we called "The Prison Bus" and inside it looked like their was blood on the ceiling and the first seat window was from an airplane. I was hoping to see this again as it bought back many happy memories but unfortunately at 10:30 on the dot this came round the corner.


Looks like they had an upgrade! We were the only ones on, well for now anyway.
The shuttle takes about an hour to go to several hotels and pick up passengers. We did spot this guy on the way though!


Then after what felt like the longest time we pulled up to the Disney gateway. Our shuttle only drops us off and picks us up from Epcot, so as soon as i caught a glimpse of Spaceship Earth i started tearing up. I'm very emotional about Disney so it was amazing to be back! We arrived at 11:20am and went to wait for the bus to Animal Kingdom.




I forgot how cool the air con could be but while it was hot outside i wasn't going to complain! We arrived at Animal Kingdom finally

Me and mum wanted some ears to wear around the parks, but on seeing how expensive they were we decided to pass. Disney sure knows how to make their money lol! We decided to head straight over to Kilamanjaro Safaris, which was only a 10 min wait (in fact there was no wait at all.)I had read somewhere that the ride had been changed and that the chase scene and Little Red had disappeared But then i spotted this;

and was so happy that they would still be there, but unfortunately even though the ride was still as amazing as ever, they truly had got rid of Big red and the chase scene.
After this we decided to walk over to Kali River Rapids, now my mum has never been on any rides so this was a first for her, but she loved it. Wanted to keep riding it and thought it was a lovely way to cool down. Can you tell she liked it?

Unfortunately we then got caught up in yet another rain storm. We donned our ponchos but decided to wait it out under shelter until it calmed down.


It finally calmed down enough to walk in and we walked over to Expedition Everest. Mum had seen the drop and decided to pass so i was going to ride single rider. But as it was still lightning it was closed until further notice.

So we walked over to the Yak and Yeti and found a dry seat to have some lunch. I had Sweet&Sour chicken with rice and mum had the Honey Chicken and rice. Huge portions but not worth $21 in my opinion.

At this time the rain had stopped and it warmed back up again, mum was dying to get back on Kali River so with a 5 minute wait we walked back on again. I had heard that their was a "Hidden Micheal Jackson" somewhere in the queue and i found him!

Unfortunately as soon as we got sat in our ride boat it started chucking it down. But luckily everyone else in the boat found it funny and it made the ride even better! We walked back over to Expedition Everest but it was still closed, so i thought i would see if mum liked Dinosaur. Now remember my mum has never been on rides so this was a big thing for her. The first time i had ever been on this i cried as i hate being chased and my brother told me before hand that their was a dinosaur that chases you. I still close my eyes at this point but open them back up. Mum was laughing and screaming all the way round but said she hated it. It was then i saw our photo and realized she closed her eyes the whole way round! (we are on the back row)


We hopped over to where Pluto and Goofy were standing to have some photos taken. I have bought the Photopass share through the Dibb but i have so many i will just set up a separate thread with photos. Again a big storm started and it turns out Pluto is afraid of thunder lol! So off the characters went and we went and grabbed a hot cocoa in Resterantosaurus. It was like being back home! We should be eating ice cream in the sun not drinking cocoa to warm up lol. I got upset at this point and thought the whole holiday would be ruined if it carried on raining all holiday.
We were soaked and we had a Dining Reservation booked up for Le Cellier at Epcot this evening. It was something i was looking forward to as i was dying to try that Cheese Soup! We decided to head over to Epcot and spend the remainder of the day over there. On the way out i managed to get 2 single rider goes on Expedition Everest as their was no way and was hoping it would dry me off slightly!
We caught the bus to Epcot at 4:30 and the air-con on the bus left us very wet, cold and miserable. There was no rain forecast for the day so we hadn't bought a change of clothes. We decided it would sadly be the best idea to cancel the reservation and get the early 6:30 shuttle back to the hotel. Usually they would have charged us $10 each for cancelling but for some reason they couldn't find our reservation.

We still had a few hours till our shuttle so we headed into the park still very cold and wet. The temperature was cool and we had no way of warming up, this wasn't the Florida i remembered. I had read alot about Club Cool and the "Beverley" but had never been. My camera's battery was dead and i wanted photos of us trying it so we tried all drinks but the Beverley. Some of them were actually really nice!
We walked over to Soarin' which was only a 5 minute wait! I have never seen this ride have less then a 45minute wait, up to now so far we have waited no longer then 10 minutes for a ride. For that alone i would definatly recommend visiting Orlando in September. It was now 6pm so we walked over to where we would be picking up the shuttle, 6:20 the shuttle came early, but again it had the air-con on full blast so we were extremely cold at this point.

We arrived back at the hotel at 7:30 and jumped in the shower and changed. Was lovely to be warm again! We decided to walk over to Walgreens and did a little shop, we picked up some Grape Soda, BBQ Stax, cashew nuts, multipack of Lays and some cheese dip. By this point we were starving so we headed over to [Subway and grabbed a couple of 6" subs. It was lovely and warm again so we walked back to the hotel and sat by the pool eating our food and enjoying a nice cold beer. We went for a swim in the warm pool and sat in the outside Jacuzzi for a bit before heading back to the room at 9:15. We sat and watched Storage Wars and The First 48 for a bit then went to sleep at 10:30.

Tomorrow- Magic Kingdom :D
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