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Thread: The Wells 2013 Adventure!

  1. #1
    The Wells 2013 adventure

    Pre trip report part one (there’ll probably be more parts to this… know me by now!).

    Thought it was about time I posted this since we're well into double digits now!

    The cast:

    Vikki – that’s me!
    General Disney fanatic. Refuses to do Rock and Rollercoaster until the whole family can ride together (I figure this gives me at least 8 years of saying I can’t go on because I have to look after one or both of the children). Love Big Thunder Mountain, Soarin and Test Track. Could happily spend the whole holiday in Epcot given half the chance.

    Anthony – DH, also known as eeyorewells on here.
    Another Disney fanatic. Does every ride but still finds Small World a tad scary (who doesn’t?) Compulsive pre trip planner, who has a spreadsheet for everything!

    Ben – DS, will be 6 when we next go.
    Has been spoiled by already having two trips to Disney in his sort life, one in 2009 and one in 2011. He would happily go on any ride. He’s a pretty tall boy, but some of the height requirements will still be a bit too much for him when we go unfortunately.

    Ava – DD, will be 2 when we next go.
    We took her to WDW in 2011 when she was only 7 months old. Something I thought may turn out to be a horrible mistake, but I was fortunately proved very wrong. She was wonderful. We are trying as hard as we can to brainwash her into all things Disney and we’re doing pretty well I think. She gets very excited when ‘Mee Mou’ comes on the TV :wink:

    So that’s us!

    When we had Ava, the plan was always to go to WDW in 2013, the 2011 was a bit of a bonus trip for us. It was our 10th wedding anniversary and when discussing what we could do, we both decided a WDW holiday would be ideal.

    So of course, when we got home, it was time to plan the next one :wink: We had stayed in SSR in 2011, which I loved, but Anthony found it a bit too big – but we had got a brilliant deal on it. We were hoping that the same deal would come out again for 2013, and if it did we’d stay at OKW. Our other option was FOFQ. Now, we have a bit of an unwritten rule that we never stay in the same place twice, but we’d really loved POFQ so had those as our resort options.

    When the deals came out, we discovered that with free dining it didn’t make much difference having the full plan at OKW and upgrading from QS at PORQ. For once I told Anthony to make a decision :wink: I knew full well he wanted to stay at POFQ, which of course I was more than happy with anyway. I really didn’t mind where we stayed. So Anthony went ahead and booked POFQ for 3 weeks with the upgraded full dining plan. We also got the offer where you get $200 Disney Dollars included, so that was a bonus

    After all the excitement of that had calmed down….well, not that it actually did, but once we’d got used to it, we started thinking about flights.

    We usually just book with Virgin, simple as that. However, we noticed Virgin were getting rather pricey so we looked into other options. We went through going with BA, going through different companies that had Virgin or BA as their flight, all sorts of things. We even thought about doing a split flight to try and save a few pounds. This, of course was all music to Anthony’s ears as he got to add more cells to his spreadsheet

    We had also decided that we would go a little earlier and stay on I-Drive for a few days and do Sea World and some of the other bits and pieces. The reason being that doing the job we do (we’re both teachers), is a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, we do get 6 weeks off in the summer, which is wonderful, but, since we’re limited to the summer holidays, the flight prices are astronomical. So, our thought was, that since it’s costing us so much to go there, we’ll stay for longer.

    It was suggested as well that we fly into Tampa as an alternative to going directly into Orlando, and we discovered that this was indeed cheaper. So then we developed our plans to flying there, staying at the beach for a few days, driving up to Orlando and staying on I-Drive, before going to WDW. Yes, this would mean a lot of moving around, but it’s not that big of a deal really.

    So we were pretty much set on that plan. We knew the flights would come out on Sunday 9th September, so Anthony was all set to stay up till midnight to book them (bless him). Then he was playing around with flights on Thursday and spotted some really good prices (a few days before our return date) doing a split flight, stopping in Toronto. As soon as he mentioned this to me I got really excited. I have family in Canada. My grandma’s brother and his family live there. I’ve not seen them since I was 18 and I spent the summer there before I went to uni. We chat regularly on Skype but hadn’t really thought visiting would be something we could do. Anthony had a play around with the Air Canada website and discovered we could spend some time in Canada and then fly on to Orlando without too much extra cost (and it was still cheaper than a direct flight from the UK to Orlando anyway). I got in touch with my uncle who said he’d love to have us come stay with them.

    So the day before the flights came out, we had my parents over. They live in Cyprus and Anthony was taking them to the airport that afternoon to fly back. We talked through our Canadian plans and they thought it was a great idea. I didn’t think anything more of it until later that evening when my dad called from their airport hotel. He told me that when he retired he’d decided to give some money to my sister and I. He said my sister had already had hers and he and mum had been thinking about what they could give some to us for. It is important to note that my dad used to be a bank manager, and as a bank managers daughter I am a compulsive saver and very sensible with money. My dad said he wanted to give us some money under the express promise that I was not to put it in a savings account, and that it was to be used for us to definitely go to Canada, and essentially not worry about money whilst we were there. I was totally blown away and promptly burst into tears I couldn’t wait to tell Anthony as he was still on his way home from taking them to the airport. Suffice to say, when he got home, he was as pleased as I was. The Canada trip was on!!!!

    Anthony stayed up till midnight to book the flights, which didn’t come out. He then got up at 3am, and they still weren’t out. He then got up again at 5am and they still weren’t out. He then started panicing, but said their call centre opened at 8am, so he’d just call then. In the meantime, he had found the flights on another website, but the times weren’t very good, so I asked him to wait. At the same time, I was on my ipad looking at the flights. I’d obviously done it ever so slightly differently as they were in fact out! So Anthony did it on the laptop and got very excited when he went through to the payment screen. It was done! We’d booked them! I then got even more excited when I found out there was no additional charge to select seats. Lovely. I was then hooping around when I discovered they had the option to pre-purchace extra legroom seats for not much money. When we’d been in 2011 we’d had the bulkhead and a skycot, and were spoiled for legroom, so I wasn’t really looking forward to a normal economy seat again. However, these prices were fantastic, so we snapped them up. Since the flights had only just been released we had a great pick of seats too.

    So we’d done it! Three weeks in Orlando staying at POFQ with the full dining plan, 8 days in Canada, and flights. All done!

    In the usual style of my trippies, I’ve rambled on so I’ll leave it there :wink:

  2. #2
    Pre-trippie Part Two!

    So we’re well into double digits by now, so time for another pre-trippie I think! We’ve done rather a lot of planning and booking now, here’s the way things look so far (nicely typed up by Anthony)

    Day 1- Leave for Heathrow, airport hotel for the night
    Day 2- Air Canada to Toronto, pick up a car, go to see my Uncle Teddy in Peterborough for 3 nights.
    Day 3/4- Who knows what Teddy will have planned (think he is more excited than we are!)
    Day 5- Leave Peterborough and head round to Niagara- 2 nights at Hilton Falls view in a 'both falls' view room. Nice Niagara view restaurant at the hotel.
    Day 6- Do Niagara- Kegworth steak house for dinner- watch the Niagara lights and firework show.
    Day 7- Leave Niagara head to Burlington to Waterfront hotel
    Day 8- Explore Burlington area/ national park perhaps.
    Day 9- Head to Toronto- CN tower, hotel
    Day 10- Air Canada to Orlando, land in Orlando and.........

    DISNEY HOLIDAY BEGINS- (In bold are restaurants we haven't been to before)

    Disney Magical Express to POFQ.
    Day 11- Chef Mickeys for breakfast
    Day 12- Teppan Edo Dinner
    Day 13- Raglan Road Dinner
    Day 14- Pick up Hire Car, Yak and Yeti - Dinner as park is closing so we can get photos on way out afterwards!
    Day 15 Hollywood and Vine Breakfast before park opens, Chef de France Dinner
    Day 16- SeaWorld
    Day 17- Boma Dinner
    Day 18- Town Square- Lunch, Pirate Cruise evening with some dear friends :wink:
    Day 19- Kouzzina Dinner
    Day 20- Tusker House Lunch
    Day 21- Return Car hire, Be Our Guest Dinner
    Day 22- Akershus Lunch
    Day 23- Paradiso 37 Dinner
    Day 24Coral Reef Dinner
    Day 25- 1900 Park Fair Breakfast, Kona Café Dinner
    Day 26-Grand Floridian Café DinnerDay 27-Portobello Dinner
    Day 28- O'hana Dinner
    Day 29-Biergarten Dinner
    Day 30- Wave Dinner
    Day 31- Magical Express back to airport- Air Canada to Toronto, connecting to flight to Heathrow.
    Day 32- Crash out in a cheap Travelodge before driving home for a holiday!!!
    At least we're not back to work 3 days later

    We’re the sort of people who don’t really have plans of attack for the parks. Often we just go to whichever park happens to be on the front of the first bus we see. We find that with two young children this is the best way to be. We tend to go to a park for a couple of hours, stop for some lunch, then maybe go to another park, or maybe back to the hotel for a bit. I think that really is one of the benefits in going for as long as we are. We can take it all in a very relaxed style and at an easy pace.

    Of course, the worst thing now is that now we’re all booked, I’m starting to think about the next one! So perhaps we’ll think about stopping by some other resorts to see where we might like to stay next time. Since the children will be a bit older we were thinking of going somewhere that has bunk beds, or maybe even one of the one bed DVC villas. Who knows. I’d like to maybe go and wander around a few though. Old Key West appeals to me, and we almost stayed there this year, but it was Anthony’s choice this year (I did choose last time ).

    Anyway, back to this year. I actually spoke to my uncle Teddy yesterday in Canada and you’d think we were going for a year with everything he has planned for us! Do understand that he’s almost 85 We’ve decided to just go with it and do whatever he wants to do.

    It helps that it’s a warm day here today though, as I had a good look through the kids summer clothes to see what we needed still. Ava has more than enough…..curse of her being a girl I guess, and also she wears her normal clothes at nursery. Ben could do with a few more bits and pieces. As for Anthony and I….no idea!

    We’ve got some friends coming over this afternoon who are taking their first trip to Disney in a couple of weeks, and bless them, have asked for some tips and advice. I dread to think how long they’ll be here!

    Anyway, so I think that’s it for now, so I’ll leave it there. There’s bound to be another one soon!

    If there’s anyone who hasn’t seen the little pre-trip report video that Ben did, it’s adorable, here’s the link

  3. #3
    Sounds like a wonderful trip Vikki!

  4. #4
    Senior Member uscwest's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Woodbridge, VA
    Wow, that wore me out just reading it. Sounds like a great trip planned.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    North East England
    WOW!! that all sounds so amazing Vikki.
    Uncle Teddy sounds adorable

  6. #6
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    In Neverland
    You sound like you have got everything planned really well

    Looking forward to hearing more about it

  7. #7
    Moderator Beccaberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Milford, Connecticut, United States
    Vikki, it sounds as though everything is coming up roses for this trip so far!!!

    I have to admit, I welled up a bit when I read the part about your dad...such a sweet story!

  8. #8
    Ooooh yay i love your TR's!

    How fantastic that your dad gave you that money - i asked my mum for mine (in a jokey real sort of way!) and she flat out said no!

    You are very lucky to be having such a long and wonderful holiday! Isabelle was 2 when we first went and she had an amazing time - oh and she used to say "Mee Mou" aswell! Awww!!

  9. #9
    It totally shocked me when my dad gave me that money. It was the fact he insisted I wasn't my usual self with it, and we had to splurge it! I'm not very good at splurging! In the end we used it for a hotel in niagra that looks over both falls. Something we would never have paid that sort of money for usually

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Whew! 32 days! I'd need a vacation after my vacation lol

    I do hope you have beautiful, clear weather when you go to Niagara Falls. We went many many years ago and it rained the whole time lol not quite the experience I was looking for

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