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Just back - Trip Report!

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Just back - Trip Report!

I had free WiFi in my room but couldn't be bothered so thought I;d do it when I was back at my desk to ease myself back into work...;o)

We were travelling with myself, my Wife, and three kids, 2 boys 12 and 10 and our wee girl, who's 5. We've been with the boys in 05 so the trip was really for her benefit being the Disney Fan that she is....

Day 1 - Arrived at the Embassy Suites on Jamaica Court about 7pm. Ended up with a room overlooking I4 but the noise wasn't as bad as some would have you believe. We took advantage of the Managers Reception and had a couple of sorely needed Bud's and the kids had a couple of soft drinks. Unfortunately the fizzy drinks turned them into tazmanian devils so we didn't make that mistake again.....After that we retired to the room having been up for nearly 20 hours and ordered a room service Pizza, as we couldn;t be bothered going out. Then it was off to bed in preparation for Magic Kingdom the following day....or so we thought........

Day 2 - Woke up bright an breezy at 5am (time difference) with the intention of going to Magic Kingdom. Opened the curtains and it was pi**ing down. The way it was to stay for the next 36 hours....So we had breakfast which was a decent buffet affair with the intention of seeing how it was after that. It wasn't any better so we decided to leave Magic Kingdom until the weather was decent enough to enjoy it. Don;t get me wrong, we're Scottish so are used to rain, but it was that heavy that any enjoyment would have been sucked out of us shortly after arriving and with it being my DD's first time, we didn;t want to ruin it. So we decided to get a cab down to the Pointe and have a wander round the shops that are there (something from memory told me it had an inside mall. it didn't) but they were all closed. So we waited on an i-trolley to get back up to our hotel and got soaked in the process. When we go back to the hotel I took an executive decision to go to Downtown Disney and hit DisneyQuest since the rain was showing no signs of abating, so we jumped in a cab (I wasn't waiting in that rain on an i-trolley/bus) and go there, only to discover my DW and I both thought each other had lifted the tickets.....Our first day wasn't going to plan....

We decided to walk round the shops there and get something to eat as it was now late afternoon. We went into an Irish bar there (can't remember the name) to have dinner where I was relieved of $120 for the privilege of eating a bar meal ($7 for a Guinness!!) Don't get me wrong the food was really good and much better than I would expect for 'pub grub' as it was retaurant standard but now worth what I paid for it.

DD and DW went into the Disney store whilst I went to the Lego store with my 2 DS's. They planned what they were going to come back and buy and my DD booked a Bibbidi Bobbiddi Boutique experience for herself for the following sunday. More on that later....

After this we retired to the hotel via a very funny taxi ride home with a driver from the Caribbean who wanted decided to get himself 'a skirt' (a kilt), a Guinness (confused by Scotland and Ireland) and get himself 'up in da club' to pull the ladies. Kids loved him and he earned his tip....Stopped by Pizzeria Uno on Jamaica Court and had a nice dinner, where I also bumped into my eldest DS's football coach!

Day 3 - Still raining but we weren't going to lose another day to the rain so we fired the ponchos on and went to Seaworld. Caught as many early shows as we could to get out ot the rain which proved to be a good tactic as the rain cleared up at Lunchtime and it started to dry up. Saw lots of Dolphins and Whales and had a great time. Night time we went to Cici's Pizza taking advantage of our Kids Eat Free cards and the meal inc drinks and dessert to the point of being stuffed came to a princely $25 Happy Days.

Day 4 - The Sun is out!! We slap the factor 30 on (we are Scottish after all) and head for the Magic Kingdom. Got there easily enough via the i-trolley and 111 bus and was about 1 hour from leaving thhe hotel, which was pretty good. Park was busy but all the rides were reasonable wait times, My DD's face was a picture and made the first two days rain worthwhile. She met lots of characters and we went on some rides and all in all had a great day.

Day 5 - The weather was still nice so we went to Aquatica. I did nothing whilst the kids played in the slides. I got a shot of a few wee ones with the DD and had a great day. As usual for waterparks, I managed to get burnt. Wearing factor 30.

Day 6 - Universal. We had 2 days set aside for this so we planned to do Islands of Adventure first. Our hotel had a shuttle that ran to all the Flex Ticket parks and our was first stop every day. All you had to do was say you wanted a place on a first come first serve basis every morning. We were at the park for it opening, and got round most of the rides twice and managed to complete 75% of the park by 1030am! Until that is we hit Harry Potter world.....We ended up staying in this part for 3 hours but we had lunch here and the longest wait was for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey but even that was only an hour. The Duelling Dragons were excellent and the Forbidden Journey was also impressive. After this we took in the Sinbad show which was very good and since it was only 2.30pm we decided to hop across to Universal Studios. Headed for the Rip Ride Rocket to find it broken (which turned out to be a common theme over the course of the next few days and consequently we never got to ride it, much to my, and my DS's chagrin) so we went on the Mummy and Twister and left my DW and DD outside. I came out to find my DW break dancing with a B-Boy crew in the middle of the street, which was both hilarious and bizarre at the same time. Videos on youtube to follow..........

Day 7 - Animal Kingdom today. I will start by saying this was my favourite park in 2005 when we came. It is now my least favourite. I think it had somethign to do with the mammoth journey to get there that took over 2 hours from our hotel to the gate. I wouldn't mind so much if we weren't staying 4km away.....Went on the usual rides there and the safari which is always good. The kids did the nature trail where you get your card stamped for completing different learning posts, where my kids literally taught two of the cast members a thing or two, which was a proud moment I have to say. However, we never got on the new Everest ride as, again it was broken. In the end I came out of the park bored out of my skull.

Day 8 - Back to Universal to complete the Studios. Went on Jaws, MIB (where I got my revenge for getting beaten on Buzz Lightyear), the Mummy again and T2, only slightly ruined by a numbskull behind me whooping and cheering every single time someone got shot, I was tempted to ask him if he knew it wasn't real and it isn't actually Arnie.....

Anyway, completed there and decided to go shopping where I boosted Ralph Laurens share price singlehandedly.....

Day 9 - Hollywood Studios today. Headed for the Rock n Rollercoaster and the queue said 15 mins, so we joined the queue whilst my DW took my DD on Toy Story (Fast pass said come back at 7pm. It was 10am). In actual fact we queued for an hour, got to the front.........and they closed the ride. Raging! Still, I'd rather it didn;t crash whilst I was on it, I was just annoyed I had been in the park 2 hours and still hadn't been on a ride. We were given Fast passes to come back later in the day, which we did twice and it didn;t re-open. Not amused. We booked a Dinner magic show (recommended by Chinners on here so cheers for that) and it was brilliant. Buffet Pizza and Salad with free refills and dessert. The guy was funny, and my eldest DS and I somehow ended up on the stage where he mocked my dress sense. So I mocked his terrible attempt at a Scottish accent, which the fellow Scots in the crowd seemed to appreciate. Or my shorts and shirt were really that bad, but I know what I'm choosing to believe.....

Day 10 - Picked up Car Hire car today to head to St Pete's tomorrow. The day was planned out to run like Clockwork. I'd hop on the i-trolley to the Renaissance, pick up the car and head back to get the rest of the fmaily to head to Downtonw Disney. DW and DD go to Bibbiddo Bobbidi Boutique for the makeover and me and DS's go to DisneyQuest to play video games. It was for their benefit honestly.....

However.....I arrive for the guy at the Hertz desk to tell me my car isn't there like my paperwork says it should be but is in fact at the Orlando World Resort, and I have to go there. I ask him how I'm supposed to do that to be told I should get a cab and keep the reciept. I've only got about $23 dollars on me at this point as the car was pre-paid. So I ask him if he can get the car to me to be told that would cost me extra. That did it, I told him I didn;t care whose fault it was but it wasn't mine so I wouldn;t be forking out a penny extra, and to be fair, he did get me a lift to the other hotel (20 mins and not the 5 he told me btw) whereas the US Airtours who it was booked through basically said "Computer says no" and to go back to my hotel where someone would call me sometime tomorrow. Needless to say, my reply to that didn't go down well....

Anyway I got the car, figured where I was and got back to pick up my wife 2 hous late and she had me crashed in a ditch somewhere being nibbled on by Gators by this time.

So we headed off to Downtown Disney, had some lunch in House of Blues (the Steak Phillies were Huuuuuge) and we hit DisneyQuest whilst DD got her makeover. I was a bit wary of this as I had seen little kids coming out plastered in makeup looking like one of those horrendous pageant girls. I needn't have worried though. She looked every inch the princess, and and even got to sit in the window blowing kisses and waving at passers by. She lapped it up and had the best time of her holiday.

Day 11 - Surprise trip to Legoland and St Pete's Beach

Got in the car about 9 after breakfast and checking out and took the drive down. We had managed to keep this a secret for months and even had to usher them away from leaflets for it which seemed to be everywhere. Driving down they started to nitice the signs, which we denied were there, they must have been seeing things, then even as we turned into Legoland it still hadn;t clicked (my DS later told me he thought we were turning round becasue "we were lost again", cheek. They let out a scream as we said "oh well, we might as well go in since we're here....."

It got better as I stood at the ticket booth. I noticed a guy climbing around in a wheelie bin wondering what he was up to. It turned out that Pepsi were doing a 'Buy an Adult ticket, get a kid free' and all the discarded cans were in the bin. Well, I'm not too proud to turn down a bargain like that and everyone else was doing it so I climbed into the bin, fished out 2 cans and saved myself $130! Result.

Legoland itself was good. The rides were decent, obviously aimed at younger kids, and Miniland USA is something to behold. So detailed it is frightening. Had a great day here and got back in the car to head off to St Pete's Beach.....It was dark when we arrived at the Tradewinds Sandpiper right onn the beach so had dinner and went to bed after a couple of nice cold Samuel Adam's.....

Day 12 - Got up to very cloudy skies, so we had a walk along the beach searching for shells then lazed next to the pool where the kids had it to themselves.

Day 13 - Absolutely chucked it down all day again, so it wasn;t great beach weather, so took a drive in the car and treated the kids to Ice Cream.

Day 14- St Pete's was now catching the tail end of a tropical storm so there were gale force winds all day. The kids stayed in the pool whilst we somehow managed to get sunburnt with no sun :os

Day 15 - Somehow managed to get soem sun after lunch and it turned into a beautiful day, so we had another day by the pool and on the beach.

Day 16 - Home. Not happy to report that it was now calm and there wasn;t a cloud in the sky. Typical.

All in all a fabulous trip, but I think it will be a few years before I come back and next time will probably either be a villa or no Disney and split destinations I'd like to see the Gulf coast when it was sunny, so I might even do it the other way round next time.

A great trip and gutted to be home.......

Horsham, United...
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1. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

Really enjoyed your report.. shame about the weather being bad at your beach holiday. Thanks for sharing hope your jetlag isn't too bad

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2. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

Loved your report it made me laugh you sound just like my husband glad your daughter enjoyed being made a princess and your sons enjoyed Lego land xx

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

great trip report sounds like everyone had a good time,,so legoland is good what kind of ride do they have would a 12 and 14 year old be into i,i won some tickets and really want to know if its worth the journey.

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4. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

fab report thanks for sharing.xxx

London, United...
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5. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

Great TR...shame abut some of the bad weather...we've got some bad weather forecast for our stay..so if it happens gonna have to work around that!

London, United...
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6. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

thanks for the great trip report................ sounds like you had a lovely time........... such a shame about the weather,

thanks again :))

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

Well I hope you had fun even if the weather didn't cooperate. Sounds like your DD had a blast. Warning: I took my 5yo DD to Disney last June (just her and me, hubby and DS dstayed home) and now every breakfast time is "Mommy, remember when we rode Thunder Mountain 10 times in one day? Remember? Mom? Mom? Mom? Remember Expedition Everest? Mom? Can we go again Mom Mom Mom? When can we go back? Remember Space Mountain Mom?" So you have been warned! :)

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8. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

@ noeleen m - I suppose it depends on how much the 14 yr old is into Lego. 12 is about the limit I would say. my eldest is 12 but he is into Lego so enjoyed it, but other 12 year olds might not. There are three 'big' rides, all coasters. A lego Technic one, a Dragon ride, and a dinosaur one. All of these would be considered 'junior' rides in the likes of Universal I would say. Probably in the vein of Flight of the Hippogryff in Harry Potter World is the best way to describe it.

Celle, Germany
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9. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

Brilliant TR. Glad you had a good time, and your DDs expression will stay with you for life!

Cork, Ireland
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10. Re: Just back - Trip Report!

Great trip report Digs76. So sorry you got a couple of wet days, but it sounds like you didn’t let it spoil your fun. Laughing at you getting burned when there was no sun, as a pale Irish woman, I can totally sympathise!

Where was the Disney Magic show? I have never heard of this. My husband loves magic, so it’s something I would consider doing.

Lol’ing at you crawling round in the bin outside Lego Land, you were dead right! I’d do the same myself :)