9 June 2016

Planning Update June 2016

Just popping in briefly as today was the day! I received an email from Disney holidays this morning and thought I would have a look on the off chance to see if our reservation had linked to MDE, and it was! We are 480 days out for anyone wondering when theirs might be linked. We now have a new booking number too which is completely different to the confirmation number we were assigned when we booked.

Our resort and ultimate tickets are showing, and at one point was saying we only had quick service dining, but when I went in and changed the kids ages (they were still showing as 14 and 4 from our last trip), it started showing as "UK Package - free dining". For some reason my year of birth is still showing as 1900. I'm pretty sure I'm not 116 years old so will need to call sort that at a later date!

We went into customise our magic bands too. I really can't decide between red and purple. For now I'm having red, but will probably change my mind a hundred times before we go!

Paul and I went to Milton Keynes yesterday and I found this pretty cool T-shirt in Primark which I'm going to travel in. I'll probably take a spare vest top in my hand luggage in case it's too hot when we arrive in Orlando.

I also bought a little strappy top for Amelia with a sort of African print which I thought would be nice when we have dinner at Boma one night, and the bottoms to go with the Alice in Wonderland pyjama top I bought last time (see previous post).

I have started to think about possible reveals for the kids. Part of me wants to tell them before 1st September 2017, so they have a 4 week countdown, can choose their magic band colours, etc. And the other part of me would love to surprise them on the day that we go! We're thinking of travelling down to Gatwick on Sunday afternoon, so we could get the packing done while they stay at their grandparents on Saturday night maybe, and then tell them on Sunday when we go to pick them up. Lots to think about!

You might remember me telling you that I was visiting the Emma Bridgewater factory at the end of April. I decorated a half pint mug there in my favourite theme! It arrived a few weeks ago after being glazed and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I forgot to add some mickeys around the rim how I did at the base, but it's not bad for my first attempt!

I have some exciting things cut out ready to sew up (already) which I can't wait to show you! All will be revealed in my next installment.

Well I think that's it for now. Thanks for reading!


Book accommodation CHECK! 
Purchase Ultimate tickets CHECK! 
Book memory maker CHECK! 
Request bunk beds in the room CHECK! 
Link to MDE – CHECK! 
Renew Oliver and Amelia's passports
Book Flights
Book airport hotel
Book ADR's (5th April 2017)
Book MNSSHP tickets
Book Fast Pass+ (3rd August 2017)
Book travel insurance
Book Magical Express

From: Fourth Family Floriday October 2017 Pre-Trippy - Page 2 - theDIBB

10 May 2016

Reserved Bunks and Primani Haul

Not much to report, but I thought I'd drop in with a small update.

I have just got off the phone with Barbara at Disney World! I asked if I could request a bunk room and she tried to sell me an upgraded room with guaranteed bunks which was £1204 more the last time I checked... Err... no Barbara. I'm not bothered about guaranteeing we get them, but I would like to request them. She went off the phone for a minute and came back telling me she's put a request on our booking, but can't guarantee it will be met. That's fine with me, and hopefully we will get them. If not though, it's no big hassle.

I also asked how long it takes for our booking to show on MDE, and she said it's usually around the 400 day mark, so I am to look back again in about 3 months. I know it's a LONG way off (510 days to be precise!), but I'm excited and I want to see my reservations on there! MDE has been around for a couple of years now. You would have thought they would have ironed it out so that it is all linked seamlessly as soon as it's booked. It's all linked to the same email address after all.

I had another trip to Primani last week and picked up some more t-shirts as well as a notebook and some erasers for Amelia on the plane. She loves drawing, so it should keep her occupied for an hour. I did consider using the notebook as my travel journal, but I never did use the Moleskine Minnie one I bought last time, so I will use it for sure next year.

I am ashamed to admit that I have never seen a Star Wars film in my life, and it annoys me that Disney have jumped on the bandwagon so to speak. Everything is blimmin Star Wars at the moment. I was looking for Alex and Ani bangles the other day and the first ones that came up were Star Wars! It seems it will be unavoidable over there, so I pushed the boat out and bought myself a £4 Star Wars T-shirt in Primark for one of our Hollywood Studio days. It is actually a really nice fitting top and looks good on.
The Alice one is actually a pyjama top. They didn't have my size bottoms, so I need to go back again to get those. I love these ones though.

That's about it for now. I'll be back to show you more purchases when they arise! Haha. I have a basket full on the Disney Store's website so I can use my 15% code. Just need some pennies to check out! Lol

23 April 2016

We're going back to Disney World!


It seemed a long time coming, but we finally booked! For the past few weeks I've been checking the Disney website for prices and umming and ahhing over which resort to stay at. We've watched no end of You Tube videos and after getting some advice from friendly Dibbers, we finally narrowed it down to POR and OKW. When I read on the Dibb that Virgin Holidays had exclusive pre-booking for the dining plan offer, Paul and I popped into the Virgin store in our local Tesco. We received two quotes, one for POR and one for a studio at Old Key West. However she then said it was an extra £1300 to upgrade to a 1 bed villa at OKW. Thus making our POR decision final! Their prices were astronomical and was around £2000 more than Disney had quoted us after we'd added flights on. They also said there were no 11:35am flights from Gatwick on our chosen dates and also said she couldn't apply the 7% frequent flying club discount for some reason. I knew straight away that they couldn't do anything for us. So it was back to the drawing board... or rather Disney's website; obsessively getting quotes every day! We watched more videos on POR and were getting excited about staying there. 

All the hype on the Dibb and amongst a few of my friends over the dining plan offer was crazy, and I was about to go to bed at half past midnight on Wednesday night when I noticed a thread on the Dibb "Free Dining is up on WDW website!" No one had expected it until Thursday morning, so ignoring the clock, I fired up the laptop and Paul and I sat for the next half an hour looking at prices. We priced up the difference between POR and a 1 bedroom villa at OKW and it was too expensive for our budget unfortunately. Virgin actually weren't that overpriced after all as it was an extra £1386! OUCH! We only paid £800 extra in August 2013 for our November 2014 trip. However OKW still isn't available as I write this and there are many people, no doubt in a queue on the phone to Disney now, trying to pre register for a room. No doubt in the coming months they will have more availability and the price may drop for the 1 beds. Who knows. 

I continued to scroll down and discovered that Animal Kingdom Lodge was actually only £210 more than it would be to book POR and upgrade to the DDP. This sent my mind into overdrive. After finally deciding on POR, I never considered for a second the AKL would be in our budget, so I was laying awake until gone 2am thinking about which resort to stay in! I liked the thought of being able to catch a boat to Disney Springs from POR, how we used to when we stayed at OKW last time, and having use of 6 pools at Port Orleans was appealing. The only thing I didn't like about it was the lack of storage space, and we would have to take one of those canvas folding shelves to hang in the wardrobe to unpack clothing for four of us. Animal Kingdom Lodge looked more roomy and is also one of my dream resorts! I've always wanted to stay there. Using Disney transport from there though worries me. I heard it can take up to an hour to get to DS on a bus! What to do... Such a dilemma. 

Thursday morning soon arrived and as soon as the kids went to school I was back on the laptop again, this time on the Dibb. I asked for advice: POR vs AKL and everyone that replied said they would stay in Animal Kingdom Lodge. I looked at a few more videos and decided that it did look perfect, and at that price it would be wrong to turn it down. Paul was working, so we didn't have time to talk about it properly during the day but last night we sat and watched some more videos and vlogs on AKL (and the restaurants!)and came to the decision that we would definitely stay there. 

So last night after I put Amelia to bed, Oliver went on his Xbox upstairs and Paul and I sat down and booked! I'm so excited! We're going to keep it a secret from the kids again, although I think we will tell them a the week before we leave this time so we have a bit of a countdown. This will be the first holiday we've ever been on with just the four of us too! In 2012 my parents and sister came with us, and our last trip in 2014, Paul's Brother and his girlfriend and daughter came with us. I'm really looking forward to spending time together as a family. Let's just hope we don't fall out, as we're all in the same room this time! There's no escape! 

So here's the details: 

2 adults and 2 children aged 17 and 7 

Animal Kingdom Lodge standard room. (I will need to call and request bunk beds in the room but will leave it a week or so until the phone lines have calmed down a bit). 
Disney tickets (14 days for the price of 7) 
Free Disney Dining Plan 

  • 1 waiter service meal
  • 1 self-service meal
  • 2 selected snacks
  • Refillable resort mug

Free Memory Maker and magical extras! 

I'm loving the fact that the dining plan has changed to include 2 snacks instead of a QS dessert, as we rarely ate them on our last trip and only took them because we had to! More often than not, they were put in the fridge and there they stayed until we checked out! Having said that, we ended up with 22 unused snack credits last time... so will we have 44 left over next time? We will see! I think we need to start eating more! More cinnamon rolls you say? Haha! Amelia's classmates may be getting lots of Goofy candy brought back! 

Also, I managed to remember to book via Quidco and got 3% cashback which tracked within an hour. £128! Ca-ching! It's the first time i've used it for a big purchase so that was a nice little extra! Saying that, I have £139 tracked now, but it says I have only earned £0.05p. Some of the transactions date back to August 2015, so I'm not sure what i'm doing wrong. I don't want to transfer it to my bank yet or anything. I just want it all to show on there. Anyone know how it works? 

So all I can do now is wait for the flights to be released in November! That time is going to drag! 

In other news... Check out the Disney stuff I picked up in Primark last week! There were some lovely bits in there. Unfortunately our store didn't have any of the jewellery I was after, but I managed to pick up a Hakuna Matata T-shirt, a scarf, colour changing umbrella, two pairs of flip flops and a cute pencil case. I also got Amelia a little Ariel purse for her birthday. 

It was mine and Amelia's birthdays on Sunday. She is now a big girl at aged 6 and received enough Lego friends sets to open up her own shop! I got some lovely bits too; lots of Cath Kidston stuff, which I love, and also some Disney themed goodies! 

The make-up bag will come in handy next year so I'm saving that! 

One of my presents from my Sister was a trip to the Emma Bridgewater factory for a tour, afternoon tea and studio decorating time. I've been collecting EB china for just over a year now and it's a massive passion of mine. I mainly collect pinks, but now that we've decided on AKL, I may have to buy Paul and I some Disney planning mugs 

These are special edition mugs and £10 from each sale goes to TUSK to support their wildlife protection, community development and education programmes in Africa. I'm off to the factory on 29th April and cannot wait! 

Well that's all from me for now! I'll be back with more planning updates over the coming weeks and months! Let the planning commence! 


Book accommodation CHECK! 
Purchase Ultimate tickets CHECK! 
Book memory maker CHECK! 
Request bunk beds in the room 
Renew Oliver and Amelia's passports 
Book Flights 
Book airport hotel 
Book ADR's (5th April 2017) 
Book MNSSHP tickets 
Book Fast Pass+ (3rd August 2017) 
Book travel insurance 
Book Magical Express 

18 March 2016

Fourth Family Floriday Pre Trip Plans

With my November 2014 trip report finally complete on the Dibb (I still have a few days to copy over to the blog), I thought I had better start on the next leg... a Pre Trippy for 2017! I don't want to break the three year rule after all 

I do need to get some recent photos of us and will update this soon, but for the time being... 

Our family consists of: 

Paul (A.K.A The hubster) 

Paul is celebrating his 40th birthday this summer so I am organising a weekend away in London for the both of us. We have been together for nine years and married for seven this June and in that time, we've never been away on our own, so we are really looking forward to it. Paul works so hard as a deputy manager for Tesco. He comes home exhausted some nights as he works different shifts. Mostly 2pm until midnight or 5am – 2:30pm. This will be his sixth trip to Florida. Paul is happy for me to take control with the plans for this trip. He's not one for planning, but does like to have plans in place if that makes sense, so he's happy for me to take charge! As long as he gets to eat good food in good restaurants, he’s easily pleased! He does like the flight part of the holiday, which I'm really not bothered about, so he will probably book the flights. He's usually the driver of our trip, but we won't be hiring a car this time around. 
Universal used to be Paul's favourite park, but since we went to Disney World in 2012, he has got bitten by the bug and it almost as obsessed with it as I am. 


My eldest child, aged 16. He will be 17 on our next trip. 
He’s still having his Kevin and Perry-type strops and is your typical lazy teenager, argumentative and obsessed with gaming, eating, and netflix. He is a good big brother to his little sister, Amelia though and loves her to bits. Oliver is in year 11 and is doing his GCSE's this year. It’s scary to think that this time next year, he could be driving! He’s taller than me now and his feet are now the same size as Paul's. Oliver is a proud member of Team Wimp. This will be his fourth trip to Florida. 


Our youngest. She turned six in April, and will be 7 when we go to Florida. She loves school and is like a little sponge; she soaks up everything and loves to learn. Amelia loves Lego Friends, watching Youtube videos (especially on One Direction!), reading, drawing and going to Rainbows. She loves Disney, and still says she wants to live in our holiday house at Old Key West forever. I think she's a little bit psychic as she asked to watch a video of Halloween at Disney World yesterday, and we haven't said anything about it in front of her! 

Amelia has now been discharged from speech and language therapy, however she does still struggle to pronounce some of her vowels. Apparently it is quite rare to muddle vowel sounds, but they said they're confident she'll grow out of it. We have to take her back in 18 months if she's still experiencing problems. 

And Me!: Aimie ~ Tea drinker, biscuit dunker, dress maker, photographer, mother, chief planner & Imagineer. I’m 35 next month and a self-confessed Disney addict! I love photography (although never said I was any good it it!), sewing, dress-making, days out with my family and planning for holidays! Disney Holidays that is! I run my own business (Little Sugar Plums) where I make and sell designer dolls, children’s clothing and accessories. I love to make Disney inspired dresses for my daughter, Amelia and she usually has a dress themed to the park or restaurant we're visiting each day of our trip! I do love a bit of Disney bounding! I am a collector of Emma Bridgewater and a Cath Kidston addict. 
Since returning from Florida, I have lost almost two stone in weight and dropped two dress sizes with Slimming World and have almost reached my second (and final) target weight, so it is my mission to maintain that until our 2017 trip. With all the cinnamon rolls, Mickey waffles and carrot cake cookies I'll be eating there, I will no doubt put on a stone by the time we return! Although the thought of looking like I did in the "before" photo below fills me with dread. It's going to be hard making healthy choices when there is so much delicious food around. 

This will be my fourth trip to Florida. I will once again be the chief planner for this trip. Head of ADR’s, fast passes, packing, organising and accounting! I already have a spreadsheet set up ready, and my case is half packed with Disney clothing from last time, although most will probably not fit me now! 

So we've been back 16 months now and quite a bit has happened. Just after we returned from Florida in 2014, a fantastic opportunity opened up for us, which brought a big change for us all, but for the better. Paul got a new job, within the same company, but in a different area. We decided to move house to be closer to our family and his new place of work, which meant moving to a different town, back to Northampton where we were both born, and where we met back in 2007. We waited until the kids finished the year at school, and we moved in July 2015. This meant the kids both had to start new schools. It was the one part of moving house that I was nervous about, as they would be leaving all of their friends behind, especially Oliver as he was at a crucial age, and was due to start year 11 in September and his new school didn't do the same subjects he'd been learning at his old school. They both settled in so well, and so quickly which really surprised me. They're both doing really well, and both have lots of friends and are really happy which is fantastic. 

Well now we're settled in our new home, the Disney blues have really kicked in big time. Paul and I have done nothing but talk about going back and have been watching Vlogs on You Tube for the past couple of months! A 2016 trip was completely off the cards because of Oliver's GCSE's, so we've decided 2017 is the year for us! We will be on a budget and have decided that we will only do the Disney parks this time. We did have a great time at Universal on our last trip, especially with our one night stay at HRH which was amazing, but there’s been so many changes at Disney since we were last there, I think we’ll have plenty to keep us busy. We would like to explore some of the other resorts, and have some quieter pool days, and maybe go horseback riding at Fort Wilderness. We'd also like to do Cirque de Soliel which we've wanted to do since our first trip in 2009! 

After being spoilt last time staying at OKW, we will definitely be staying onsite again. We just loved it so much. Price wise, it just makes sense too. No matter how many times I price up DIY, staying onsite always comes out cheaper, and I don't think you can go wrong with the dining plan, so that's number one on our agenda. So now all we have to do is wait for Disney to release their free dining plan offer next month (fingers crossed). 

So… dates…. 

We've been in June/July back in 2009 which was too hot and humid for us. 
May was hot when we went in 2012, but not too unbearable. 
And last year, the beginning of November. Well it was OK the first week, but FREEZING on our second week and I definitely don't want to go that time of year again. 
The Easter holidays would be the ideal time, but less time to save, so we're now thinking October time. We love the thought of doing MNSSHP and the kids have mentioned several times that "next time we go" they want to do Halloween there. From what I've seen through reading trip reports, it's still hot that time of year. 

As I said earlier, we've been watching a few Vlogs on You tube, and Paul really wants us to give it a go next time, so I think we will be investing in a GoPro and a few accessories before we go I think they will be mostly for our benefit and I doubt they will be You Tube worthy! I can see a lot of editing required! We are by no means a perfect Disney family, as you'll know if you've read my previous reports, so we'll see how that goes! 

So which resort? I have been looking on the Disney website (almost daily ) at the resorts. Because we want the full dining plan, if recent years are anything to go by, we will have to book a deluxe resort. OKW and Saratoga Springs aren't showing yet, although they probably will when the DDP offer comes out. We are a little bit limited because most resorts have two queen beds in their studios, and I don't think it's right that Oliver and Amelia should share a bed (I also think it's illegal isn't it?). So we have shortlisted these three possible resorts... 

I know this is a moderate resort, BUT the newly refurbished rooms have two queen beds and a pull down bed which would be great for the four of us. The only problem is, we would have to ask if we could upgrade to the full dining plan, as the moderate resorts only get quick service dining. We really like the look of this resort. Paul likes the food court, and Amelia would love the pull down bed with Louis the alligator inside. The only downside is having all four of us in one room, with no privacy for Paul and I. I'm not sure if we would be able to manage two weeks without killing each other! Lol. 

Because of the restaurants and the fact the studios have bunk beds in addition to a queen bed. The kids would love this. Like POR though, it would be cramped with the four of us in one room for the duration. 

Our final and most expensive option would be to have a one bed villa like last time. I keep telling myself we only really use the room for sleeping and getting showered and changed before we go out, so I don't want to spend another £800 to upgrade from a studio to a one bedroom villa. When I think what else we could get for that money... That said, we LOVED staying here last time, and we really were spoilt with this resort. It would solve the sleeping arrangement problem and Paul and I would have privacy with our own bedroom. The rooms here are very spacious too unlike any of the other resorts. The only downside of OKW is the restaurants... We didn't eat at Olivia's last time, because we had so much choice in the parks that we preferred to spend or table service credits on, and Goods to Go wasn't brilliant. We would prefer somewhere with a food court. 

So there's a few things for us to think about, which we can't really do until the end of April when we can see options and prices. If POR offered the full dining plan, I think that would sell it for us. I can't see them doing that though. 

Already, I have been thinking about the dresses I will make Amelia. I might even do a bit of Disney bounding myself this time 

My Sister and her Boyfriend went to Las Vegas for New Year and brought Amelia and I matching Mouseketeer T-shirts back, which I am saving for Florida! I have wanted one of these for years! When we were planning our last trip I tried to get Amelia one on the Disney USA site, but they only had baby sizes, so I was absolutely over the moon with them when she gave them to us! 

I am also desperate to get a pair of Disney Birkenstocks and some Vans too. 

MUST DO'S OF THIS TRIP (things we missed last time) 

Ride the Liberty Belle in Magic Kingdom 
Try a Dole Whip ice cream (not a float this time) 
Complete the whole of World Showcase Kidcot Funstop 
Get the kids passports for World Showcase too maybe 
Spend more time at the resort pool 
Campfire stories at the resort in the evening 
Movies around the pool at the resort in the evening 
Peter Pan's Flight – not sure if it's worth it, but we haven't done it before 
Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom 
Pandora/Avatar land (if it's complete by October) 
Frozen Ever After ride (if we're lucky enough to get FP+ for it). I'm sure the standby times will be extortionate. 
Disney Springs – explore all the new areas 
Hoop de Doo Music Revue
Meet Rapunzel (missed her last time) 
Go horse/pony riding at Fort Wilderness 
Have a domingo sundae at Ghirardelli's 

We have lots of time to think about ADR's and fast passes and things like that. I don't want to plan too much now as I'll have nothing left to do nearer the time! 

So I will love you and leave you for now. If anyone has any advice to offer about accommodation onsite that would suit our family, so that Oliver and Amelia have their own beds, I would love to hear it. 

Until next time... 

Aimie. x 

15 March 2016

Day 9 - Diagon Alley, Hogsmead, IOA, Mythos, and Ohana.

13th November 2014

I woke up at 5:30am and lay there somewhere between sleep and awake until my alarm went off at 6:45am.
I got in the shower and we all got ready for an action-packed day at IOA .

Paul packed all our 'stuff' while I did my make-up and got myself and Amelia dressed. She wore the Thing 1 and Thing 2 dress that I made her, and Tiger-Lilly had to come with us today too 

It was a bit nippy this morning so we wore cardigans. We went down to the lobby to check out and took our luggage to the car. We were allowed to use the car park for the rest of the day which was good.

We dumped our bags in the boot and were heading back to the hotel when I spotted a tiny little lizard on the path. We'd seen a lot of them since we'd arrived in Orlando, but they were always too quick to pick up, much to Amelia's annoyance! She was desperate to hold one. I don't know if this one was sleepy, or hung over from a night on City Walk, but it just sat there and let me pick it up! I couldn't believe it! I called the others back and showed them and Amelia had a little hold and then it scurried back into the bushes. It was so cute!

By the time we'd arrived at the bag search for US, it had warmed up, and the cardigans went under Amelia's pushchair. We flashed our room keys at the next set of attendants to get in early. Early entry was Diagon alley again this morning. I'm not sure if it ever changes.

Amelia spotted a Dora the Explorer back pack when we were waiting for the Star Card yesterday and wouldn't stop going on about it as we passed the shop. I honestly didn't want her spending her money on it, as she's not really into Dora, having only watched it about 3 times in her life. I told her we'd come back later for it if she still had any money left after a day in the park, but I secretly hoped she'd forget about it! 

Once we were back in Diagon Alley, our first stop was Ollivanders, which coincidentally, is Oliver's nickname (his surname is Verlander). Just thought I'd throw that in there. A little fact for you 

Paul went off for a sneaky cigarette while I took Oliver to buy his Dumbledore wand. Amelia kept asking for one too, but she's too young yet and was too small to do the spells yesterday, so Oliver told her she could have a few goes of his. She'll have one on our next trip I'm sure! 

We all followed the map (which comes with each wand), trying out the spells, some of which worked first time, others were a little harder. We did all them except maybe two or three. The whole time we doing it, Paul still hadn't returned and I was beginning to get a bit worried as we didn't want to spend too long in Diagon Alley and needed to start heading over to Kings Cross Station soon, as well as finding somewhere to have breakfast. Daniel and I both tried calling him but couldn’t get an answer. Then just as we went outside to look for him, he was coming in through the "wall". Apparently he'd got collared by some old boy who was telling him his life story, and then on the way back he ran into one of his customers from work who was there taking her grandchildren to Universal FOR THE WEEKEND! Alright for some!

We were getting hungry now so we headed back to South Street where we'd passed a Starbucks earlier on. Sam had run in and got herself something when we'd passed earlier as she wasn't feeling too great (writing this now, 9 months later, we now realise why she wasn't feeling well as she's just had another baby girl! ), but the rest of us were just eager to get to Diagon Alley I think. It was 9am now and we were hank marvin! Paul, Oliver and I all opted for bacon breakfasts and Amelia had a sausage breakfast. They were all sooooo good! My mouth is wishing I was back there right now! For the 4 breakfasts, a latte and three vanilla milks, it came to $32.71. 

Daniel came in shortly after we sat down and got himself something, and then we all headed over to Kings Cross Station to catch the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmead.


The journey on the Hogwarts Express was amazing. The attention to detail is second to none! 

Hogsmead was just as I remember it.

We had a few photos taken in front of the train (even though we'd just come off the real moving one - they didn't think that through did they? I'm not sure where Paul and Oliver were in this pic! I took some for Daniel, Sam and Sarah too and then we went to get the kids some Chocolate Frogs from Honeydukes.

Sam got Sarah a plate of breakfast from the Three Broomsticks and she sat with us and ate it while she and Daniel put the FOL passes back into action and went on Dragon Challenge. 

Have you ever noticed the cheeky little imps in the cauldron in Hogsmeade? It took me a while to work out where the noises were coming from and then I looked up and saw them.. We watched them for quite a while. 

Oliver wussed out of Dragon Challenge, so when they got back, just Paul and I rode the blue side (I wussed out on the red side!). He tried to get me to go back on again on red, but I was having none of it!

Forbidden journey was our next ride of the day. This was a first for us as the queue was about 2 hours long when we came in 2012. We did rider swap which seemed a bit unorganised, and the "holding room" was pitch black. I was quite glad to get out. Oliver wussed out again, so Paul and I did it alone. The ride was amazing but made us feel really sick. Paul had to go outside as he thought he was going to throw up! 

Next was Flight of the Hippogriff which Amelia absolutely LOVED. So much so that we rode it twice! Paul and Oliver sat this one out after still feeling queasy (and wussy!). Daniel took Sarah on. I must say, it did feel a little bit joltier the second time around and I nearly crushed Amelia coming round one of the bends as you can't help but slide to the side of the cart. Sarah really felt it though, as she hit her eye and started crying at the end. We spent ages searching for a paper towel and some ice and the CM's seems uninterested when Sam reported it. After about half an hour, we eventually found some restrooms and Sam got a paper towel from inside (and some ice pinched from one of the drinks carts) and applied it to her eye. She did have quite a bruise, bless her, which put her in a sulky mood for the rest of the day. 

I had made reservations through opentable.com for lunch at Mythos at 12:15pm in the Lost Continent. So we decided we'd better make our way over there. It didn't occur to us that we were going in the wrong direction when we reached River Adventure...

…Or Toon Lagoon…

I eventually found a map on one of the carts and realised it was right over the other side of the park! 

We hurried over there and made it just in time. When I booked, it wouldn't accept a table of 7, so we had to book two separate tables. I told them when we checked in and asked if we could all be seated together and they said it was fine. They gave us a pager and we waited only a couple of minutes before it went off and we were taken through to table 62, right next to the one we'd ate at in 2012!

None of us were particularly hungry but I didn't want to cancel our reservation as we had such a nice meal here with my Mum and Dad on our last last trip and had great memories of it.

Paul had the Mythos Burger and Oliver, Amelia and I had kids pizzas! The food was excellent as usual.

After the meal, we stumbled upon the Mystic Fountain who was HILARIOUS! I quickly took Amelia to the restrooms and slipped her swimming dress on as I knew she would be getting wet! The interaction was great. He gave everyone a name. Paul was Smee because he had a stripy top on, Oliver was 'Birthday Boy' because he mistook the Captain America emblem on his T-shirt for a Birthday badge and he sang the Oliver Twist song to him! He said he loves England as his Brother lives here whose name is Stone Henge! I have uploaded a few videos on my You Tube channel if you want you want to have a look. There are a couple on there. The first one can be found below...

Paul wanted to go on Dudley Do Rights Rip Saw Falls so we headed in that direction. 
When we got there, only Paul wanted to go on. He managed to persuade Oliver to go on with him and the rest of us watched from the bottom. We seemed to be waiting forever and I took photos of about 10 boats before I found theirs!

The girls stopped for a splash in Toon Lagoon and we struggled to get them out afterwards…

While they were soaked, they thought they might as well go on Bilge-Rat Barges next which I had no interest in going on after seeing so many drenched people walking off it. I took Amelia to Toon Popcorn where we got a drink to share and a packet of Lays Chips (walkers crisps!) for Amelia ($6.59) while everyone else went on. There was a pretty long queue and I hoped by the time we'd been served, they would be off. But when we walked over towards the ride exit, they were still at the lockers and hadn't even been on yet! I was getting a bit fed up a bit of hanging around waiting for everyone all the time and not actually going on anything now and I was getting tired and grouchy. Hopefully the drink would help. I took Amelia on Me Ship Me Olive. She loved the slides, but they did make me panic a bit when she ended up on the floor below me each time. I told her when she reached the bottom she had to stand as still as she could and not move until I got down to her! 

When I thought their barge might be round any minute, we stood on the bridge hoping to wave to them/squirt them with water. We waited a while and a few barges passed us, but no sign of them. I said we'd try the other side, and just as we turned around, they were walking towards us, soaked to the bone! Amelia got really upset because she wanted to wave to them while they were on there and started crying. I think she was getting tired too which didn't help. We took Paul on to show him the slides she'd been going on, and then we made our way out with the promise of Dippin' Dots.

We continued through Toon Lagoon, through Marvel Super Hero Island where we checked out a few shops, and then this happened…

Paul and I went on first and I was absolutely BRICKING it. On every trip we've been on, I've always been too scared to ride this resulting in Paul having to do a single rider. He promised me that it is nothing like Rip Ride Rocket, and I used the same mentality as yesterday… you only live once. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't ever do it again. I tried to get Oliver on with us too but he declined. Amelia however really wanted to go on! Unfortunately though, she was nowhere near tall enough. Maybe next time 

There was no queue, which I wasn't pleased about on this occasion as I didn’t have time to psyche myself up for it. A queue would have prolonged my fate! I was shaking on the inside and think I may have had a mild panic attack as we neared the front a I couldn't hear or focus on anything Paul was saying. I felt like I was in a black hole on my own with blood rushing around my ears. I could barely swallow as I got strapped into the seat. And then, we were off! Oh My God! 

I LOVED IT! Usually I scream on rides, especially when there are drops, but I didn't scream once! Paul thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't make a sound, but I was just enjoying it! It was so smooth!

Daniel and Sam went on next and loved it too. Then we made our way over to Seuss landing so the kids could go on some rides. We went on the Caro-Seuss-el followed by One Fish Two Fish…

Paul's photography skills never fail to amaze me…

Then we all went on the High in the Sky Trolley Train Ride. When we got to the part where it goes through the shop I noticed they sold Dippin' Dots, so we hurried over there as soon as we got off but unfortunately they were just closing. It was only 4pm which I found a bit strange, but hey ho. We did find a little cart that sold them as we left Seuss Landing though in lots of different flavours. We eventually settled on two tubs in banana and 'rainbow' flavours ($10.63 for both tubs). Mmmmmmmm…

We had a reservation at Ohana tonight for dinner, so decided we'd better head back to HRH to get the car and then go back 'home' to OKW. The "parade" was in full swing as we passed.

So we took the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley. Daniel wanted to get Sarah some robes from Madam Malkin's so we hung around outside waiting for him where I took more photos. Naturally. 

We seemed to be waiting a long time and Paul's OCD was beginning to kick in and he was getting very stressed about being late for dinner.

Once he came out we headed for the exit via On Location where Amelia and I ran in and bought that sodding Dora the Explorer back pack (the one that's been in a toy box under her bed since our return). I also snapped this pic of my nemesis RRR which looked pretty cool at dusk.

Once back at OKW, I unpacked and hung up our swimwear that was still wet from yesterday. Somehow Paul managed to bring a HRH towel back with us. Only a washed out floor towel you get out the shower onto. It didn't even have HRH written on it or anything which was disappointing. I hoped we wouldn't get charged for it (we didn't).

We got showered/bathed and changed, met the others and drove to TTC, parked in Hook 85 and then caught the resort monorail to the Polynesian, arriving just before our 7:10pm reservation. I forgot my camera which I was GUTTED about. The only photo I managed to get tonight was this rubbish poorly lit one on the way in before the battery on my phone died 

Dinner was, as always, LUSH! We had one of the best tables in the restaurant, over-looking Cinderella's castle. We were brought our drinks and then had a bit of a wait for the food to come round. We had pork dumplings (my favourite!), chicken wings, noodles, salad and veggies to start and then they brought round steak and pork and shrimp on the big skewers. There was lots of speculation before we went about them changing the menu, and I can confirm, there was definitely no chicken on the skewers as there had been on our last trip. I did kind of miss this actually.

I wish I had of grabbed something for Amelia from Goods to Go on the way as she hardly touched her dinner and fell asleep on the chair again . Service was slow in between them bringing seconds of everything. But the food great and cooked to perfection. All of us had the giggles tonight which helped with the slow service as I guess it could have been a whole different atmosphere.

We watched the electrical water pageant and then Paul heard the people on the next table ask if they could be moved to our table when we leave so naturally we took as long as possible and ordered more coffee. For the three adult meals, plus Amelia's kids meal, the bill came to $166.78 including tax. Of course it didn't cost us a thing though thanks to the dining plan. 
We took the resort monorail back to TTC where we saw Holiday Wishes from it. If only we'd ordered another cup of coffee! We could have watched the fireworks from our table.

We had the best tram driver EVER on the way to the car lot! She was hilarious! Because we were in such a silly mood, everything she said was just hilarious and none of us could stop laughing, which made everyone else on the tram laugh. It was contagious! She spoke really fast in her hick Floridian accent which went something like this…

"Welcome back aboard the Heroes tram. Now as you listen to this safety message, should you drop anything from the tram, take a cue from our friend Elsa… (sings) Let it go, let it go, then come back and let me know… and we'll get someone to retrieve that item for you. Please make sure you're holding on to everyone and everything, especially hold on to those balloons, we wouldn’t want you going home holding on to expensive bits of string… The speed limit in our parking lot is an roaming, believing … dare I say…. 15 MILES PER HOUR! 
Should you encounter any trouble with your vehicle today, like you can't find it, it won't start, or maybe ya' locked your keys in there for safe keeping, not to worry, head back to the tram that dropped you off and flag down security. They're the white SUV's with blinking green and yellow lights on top and a mickey mouse logo on the side that says Security. They're more than happy to assist you..
And to find our one and only exit, please follow the giant white arrows located in every row of our parking lot, they will lead you towards that exit. If you don't follow those arrows, I'll see ya later 
Our first stop tonight will be the heroes of Alladdin. Allabeen, Allagime, Allabino, to your drivers left hand side…
As we approach our stop, please remain seated until our tram has come to a full and complete stop. That is when the tram and the ground are moving at exactly the same speed. 
You're going to exit to your drivers left hand side, the drivers left hand side only.
On behalf of the driver and myself, thank you folks for visiting us today at magic kingdom, we hope you had a magical time and a magical journey in this magical place on this magical day (whispers: magical…)

We were wetting ourselves laughing (not literally). It probably doesn't sound funny at all when reading this and it's probably a case of you had to be there. But that evening made our holiday and we still talk about it (magical).

DISCLAIMER: I most certainly did not in any way shape or form, record that announcement on my phone later on in the holiday when she was on our tram again. And I most certainly did not just sit here playing it over and over again, stopping and starting the video every few seconds so that I could write it down in my trip report. That would just be insane. 

When we arrived back at OKW, Mousekeeping hadn't done anything at all in the room. The towels were left on the armchair like she intended on changing them bur forgot. The bed wasn't made and our towels were still in the bath where we'd left them. There was a slightly damp smell when we came in too which I out down to the towels, but it remained for the rest of the trip, although I couldn't find the source. Despite not doing anything, she still took the mousekeeping tip and the cadbury's Freddo bar we left out for her!

We had a cup of tea on the balcony and then went to bed, exhausted again after our two early mornings.


Great couple of days. The one night stay at Hard Rock Hotel was worth every penny for the FOL passes alone. I wish we could have had more time to use the pool as we had great fun in there, and we also missed all of City Walk completely.

The Star Card/Photo Connect: I wouldn't say this is not worth the money as it was quite inexpensive to book in advance, but in comparison to the Disney parks, there really wasn't that much character interaction at all. I think we only had about 10 photos at the end of our stay. They could make this so much better, just the same as the parades. I just felt there was no spark, no enthusiasm from any of the CM's and certainly no magic. But maybe it's because we have been spoilt for the past 7 days in the Disney Parks. Maybe in future visits we should do the Universal parks on our first two days.