Spotted a couple of old trippies on here, so thought I'd add mine too (since it was award winning in a certain other place ). Also gives me a chance to re-read it all
Ben – has just turned two, this will be his first visit to
Anthony – we don’t mention his age as he’s just turned 30,
whoops! First visit to WDW was 2001 for our honeymoon, then went again in 2004,
and again in 2006.
Vikki – that’s me! I’m 29, and will remain that way forever!
Same number of visits as Anthony.
So, the last time we went to WDW was for our fifth wedding
anniversary in 2006. We went for three weeks and had the times of our lives.
Anyone who had the strength to read the whole of my 2006 trippie will know we had a brilliant time. We were
lucky enough to stay at Wilderness Lodge for our anniversary, and I upgraded us
to concierge as an anniversary present to Anthony. You may wonder why I’m
boring you with all of this……well, the point is, I had tasted the life in
deluxe, I think you can see where this is going!
Anyway, we returned from Florida and nine months later……………….
We really weren’t sure when we would go back to WDW as we
didn’t know what would be a good age to take Ben. However, it soon became more
of a “well, we realllly want to go back, so let’s get it booked”, I’m afraid
Ben got no choice in the matter. We managed to convince ourselves that two
would be the perfect age to take him. In fact, so far, it has worked out pretty
well. Yes, we have to pay for a seat for him, but that means no infant
sqiggling on our laps for nine hours! Also, at the age of two, we don’t need to
pay for a ticket, and he practically eats for nothing.
We were really unsure of where to stay, the only thing we
knew was that we didn’t want to stay in the same place we had before – not
because we didn’t like the places we had stayed, we did, it was more that there
are so many places to stay, we thought we’d try somewhere new. We initially
were going to stay at POP and were pretty much decided on this, until we heard
that free dining may be offered to moderates. We had stayed at Port Orleans Resort Riverside resort at WDW in 2006 and
thought it was beautiful, and a really good location, so we decided Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW would
be a good option – assuming free dining happened. We had decided we would do
our final week in a deluxe, but it took us ages to decide which. We considered
staying at Wilderness Lodge concierge again, but it was not available for a
whole week, for the dates we wanted, also, we though if free dining was
happening, the benefit of the food at Wilderness Lodge concierge would not
really be that useful. So we looked at other options. Anthony has always wanted
to stay at the Contemporary but to be honest, I wasn’t that keen. My dream was
the Grand Floridian. However, the more we looked into it, the more the
Contemporary appealed. Also, Ben is fascinated with trains, so we thought the
idea of the monorail coming through the building would really appeal to him. So
we finally decided on Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW for two weeks and the Comtemporary for one – with a Magic Kingdom
view of course! The idea was that we would be able to sit on the balcony and
watch the fireworks while Ben was asleep. Now, this is an idea we came up with
over a year ago, now Ben has just turned two, we know there is no way this is
going to happen, and he’ll probably be watching the fireworks with us every
So, rewind to summer 2008. We’d heard rumours of free dining
coming round again, but at the time it was due to be announced we were away on
holiday in Wales.
Joanne became our saviour and called me on the day all of the codes were
released so that we could get booked. I then spent rather a lot of time on the
phone to Disney UK
from a Travelodge in Angelsey getting it all sorted. However, we got exactly
what we wanted, two weeks at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW and one at the Contemporary, with a Magic Kingdom
view. We upgraded from the quick service dining plan to the full on for £50 for
the two Port Orleans Resort French Quarter resort at WDW weeks, which we thought was a bargain!
A few weeks later and it was time to book the flights. We
had been watching the Virgin Atlantic website to keep track of prices and we
were ready to go on the day they were released. I was out one night with some
friends and I got a call from Anthony. He told me Virgin holidays had a great
sale on and we could get a Flydrive for an awful lot cheaper… to say he was
excited was an understatement, anyway, we got it booked.
Fast forward to March and we were well within planning mode,
and looking forward to going to WDW in a few months. Now, we’d been considering
moving house for a while, but with the market as it was, thought we probably
wouldn’t actually do it for 18 months or so. Didn’t stop us looking though! We
knew we wanted a new build and that our next house would be the one we would be
in for a good few years, so we were well prepared to wait and find the right
one……which we found in March! The builders offered us a part exchange for our
house and we were sorted!
Now, looking back over the last few months I think we were
totally insane, here we are, planning the holiday of a lifetime, and we decided
to move house as well. Hum, not the sort of thing two reasonably responsible
We had the usual fuss that all people moving house usually
do, but eventually we were in! There was only one problem. No internet access.
We were two weeks away from going to WDW and I was without the boards to do all
of my final planning…..nooooooo! Fortunately, our internet came back on last
night, and I was off! Spent ages on the boards and on WDW.com and loved every
minute of it!
Most days for the last two weeks we have been woken up to
“Mickey Mouse today?” from Ben, hum, I’m beginning to think telling him we were
going to visit him was not the best idea we’ve ever had…………………
Results 1 to 9 of 46
02-12-2011, 01:31 PM #1
Old trippie! Ben, mummy and daddy do Disney August 2009
02-12-2011, 01:45 PM #2
The one where we get going………
Now, a warning to those of you with a nervous disposition,
this is likely to be rather long! We were there for three weeks and it was our
first visit with Ben, so expect lots of “Ben was so cute when…..” type
comments. Going to try and do it a little like a totally wonderful recent
trippie, all on one thread, with lots of pics. However, I apologise in advance
that my pics are nowhere near as good as the certain person in question!
Also, like with my previous trippies, you may notice I’m a
‘Friends’ fan as I like to try and call my reports, ‘The one where’, just like
the titles of the Friends episodes, sad I know, but there you go.
So, here we go!
Friday 7th August.
Market Rasen. England. Our new house. The spare
room. Cases. Empty. Me.
Panic! I had decided that unlike recent trips, I would do the packing on the
day we left. The last few times I have packed and repacked so many times before
we’ve left I decided no more! I did however get some bits near the cases,
nappies etc….. So, as Anthony took Ben into the village to get the last of our
dollars (we decided it best to leave it till the last minute since the dollar
had risen a lot in the last week), I made a start. I was hoping to use the two
cases we’d bought a couple of months back, and pack a couple of holdalls inside
them for things we’d bring back. Also, the theory was that I was taking a lot
of nappies, and obviously wouldn’t be bringing them back, so that would create
more room for lovely Disney purchaces! We had moved literally a few weeks
before our holiday (yes, we are THAT mad), so the cases were still in the spare
room. Fortunately we hadn’t thrown our old ones away as I quickly discovered
two cases were not enough. Three however, was perfect! Plus Bens nappy bag,
plus our flight bag, plus a little wheely case with some things for Ben to do
on the plan, plus an overnight bag for the hotel tonight. Hum, I am so pleased
we have a big boot in our car! It only took me an hour or so to get the packing
done which, although stressful, was a much better way of doing it, especially
since Ben and Anthony weren’t around to ‘help’.
So, after offering next door the use of our black bin for
the next few weeks (theirs haven’t arrived yet), we were off to my mums house.
We had some lunch with them and were off to Manchester by 3pm ish.
We were staying at the Manchester
airport Travelodge this time, and I must say, it was lovely. Very easy to find,
and it seemed quite new. We’d booked the rooms in the summer sale so it only
cost us £9, we even paid for a room for mum and dad, aren’t we generous? I
found it hilarious we had to pay a fiver to park the car, since the room wasn’t
much more then that. I heard the people who parked next to us saying they
thought it was disgusting to have to pay for the car park and refused……I forgot
to check to see if their car was clamped in the morning. We had a lovely meal,
and a couple of bottles of wine in the restaurant. I was really surprised by
how nice the meal actually was, it didn’t look like much, but it was really
tasty, maybe the wine helped.
Can’t say we slept much that night, never do, far to
Saturday 8th August.
We left the hotel about 7.45. We could have left a lot later
as we’d done online check in the day before, be we wanted to go and show Ben
the planes. Good job we did leave early as we took the wrong exit off the
roundabout and ended up going in the wrong direction of the M56……so you have
been warned if you stay there, oddly, there are no signs directing you, so you
have to know where you’re going. Annoyingly, the first junction was closed, so
we had to go all the way to the next one to turn around.
After we’d said goodbye to my parents we went to drop the
bags off, there was nobody in line in front of us which was great. The normal
queue was also really small, thanks to the new check in kiosks.
We went to the gate pretty quickly so we could get a good
seat by the window. Ben loved watching the planes, and kept telling his cuddly
Mickey they were going to be “go on plane, in sky, with clouds” soon.
After the usual mad panic for everyone to get on the plane
(why people insist on queuing as soon as their row number is called is beyond
me, it’s not like it’s going to leave without them…..anyway, as far as I’m
concerned, the less time on the big time can the better) we took off around 30
The flight was uneventful and Ben even slept for a couple of
Ben enjoyed the cartoons, although he daren’t move although
the headphones would have come off.
Nappy changing on a plane is……erm, interesting! We’d decided
not to potty train him before we left as we didn’t want “mummy, need a wee wee”
whilst in a line. Ben is a rather tall boy and I don’t think he was entirely
comfy getting a change, but at least we didn’t have to do it many times.
We landed into beautiful sunshine. We did have a bit of a
panic at luggage claim, only two of my beautifully packed bags were on the
belt, not the final one! We were getting rather worried when there were no more
bags going around the belt. Anthony went for a wander to the other belts and
discovered it had turned up on the upper class one. Shame we hadn’t been flying
in there! I discovered there were no nappy changing areas in the toilets in
baggage claim, now, I could have been looking in the wrong place, but just a
warning for those of you with young children. Lots of people took their bags on
the monorail which I’ve never seen happen before.
We picked up our car with no problems. It was perfectly
adequate, we had to put one of the cases on the back seat, but that wasn’t
surprising. The car seat, thankfully was fine too after all the worrying I did
on the boards in the weeks leading up to the trip. It was very clean and Ben
seemed comfy in it, in fact, in many ways, I preferred it to our one at home!
We left the airport……and ended up going the wrong way! We
got to a toll road with no people at it, nightmare as we had no change! We
won’t make that mistake again! Fortunately a very kind person behind us figured
out the problem (and the idiot tourists) and helped us out with some
change…..for that we were eternally grateful! Ben get really excited when we
went through the Disney World sign and he saw Mickey, Minnie and Donald. We
We found our way to Port Orleans French Quarter with no
problems after that. We did have a sat nav with us, which picked up we were in
just after the toll road incident! Ben get lots of lovely first visit things.
Now, I usually request a top floor room as I’m not a ground floor fan, but I’d
forgotten this time, and we were allocated a ground floor room. In fact, this
turned out to be a good thing, with the buggy. There was a nice towel arrangement
waiting for us too.
Ben was exhausted! We did ask him if he would rather stay in
the room and see Mickey Mouse tomorrow, but he was having none of it! Can’t say
I blame him, we’d been building him up rather a lot! He thought the bus was
wonderful and called it the ‘Mickey Mouse bus’ for the whole trip. Anthony got
all teary eyed as he usually does when we walked through the gates of the Magic Kingdom,
and Ben’s eyes just lit up when he saw the train!
We went right around to Toontown and explored Mickey’s house
for a while, before going into the Judges tent. It was about a 25 minute wait,
and as much as we tried to tell Ben that Mickey would be bigger than he’s used
to, when we got in there, he was terrified! The photopass people tried really
hard and were so good with him, but he was having none of it, as you can see!
However, when we left, he was full of it! “Me see Mick
Mouse, Minnie too!” He didn’t stop talking about it for the rest of the night.
We had only planned to go see Mickey, but as we walked back through
Fantasyland, we felt the need to go say hello to Walt and have our photo taken
It was a nice quick bus journey back to the hotel and used
the first of our counter service credits to have some tea from the food court.
We tucked Ben into bed at about 8pm, with him still talking about “me see Mick
Mouse”. He was asleep in all of about two minutes.
02-13-2011, 10:49 AM #3
02-14-2011, 05:57 AM #4
02-14-2011, 08:10 AM #5
02-14-2011, 08:35 AM #6
Know what you mean, I've been reading all the old trippies and dining reports that I've read before elsewhere I love them all!
I am looking forward to writing a brand new one later in the year though
02-14-2011, 09:30 AM #7
02-14-2011, 09:44 AM #8
The one where we hit the World!
Sunday 9th August.
After a good nights sleep Anthony and I woke up at around
6.30, which wasn’t too bad, usually we’re up at some ridiculous time on our
first morning, so that was ok. Ben woke up about half an hour later. We had
brought some Rice Krispies and plastic bowls with us so we wouldn’t have to buy
breakfast every day. Anthony went to the food court to get a coffee and brought
me some tea back too. I had totally forgotten about the horrible creamer stuff
they have there so my cuppa was awful – even though it was Twinnings breakfast
tea, which I usually like. As soon as I used real milk it was actually quite
nice though, good to get a decent cuppa!
We’d been briefly to MK the night before but that hardly
counted so we decided to go again today. Since it was fairly early and we had
the car we decided to drive. We got parked in Pluto 12, which we asked Ben to
remember for us.
We decided to ride the resort monorail rather than the
express, as Ben seemed fascinated with the big trains in the sky. I got far to
excited when I heard the Spanish announcement……I just love it, I know I’m
really home when I hear that.
We stopped for a quick drink when we got there, at a little
place between the castle and Frontierland, never really noticed it before but
it had a lovely little seating area. Ben then discovered my little squirty fan
thing. He spent rather a long time playing at switching it on and off……a trend
which stuck throughout the holiday.
We wandered over to get ourselves a FP for Pooh, a ride we
knew Ben would love, and thought it was a good idea since we were at Crystal Palace for lunch. We were pleased that
an extra FP popped out for Philharmagic too. We then discovered, throughout the
holiday, that this happened pretty much every time we got a FP for Pooh.
We remembered that Toontown opens at 10am so we went round
We were surprised to see that it was already opened. We were
a bit disappointed too as last holiday we often went to Toontown at 10am and
caught Mickey opening up. Afraid this didn’t happen today which was a shame. I
had hoped that Ben seeing Mickey outside his house might make him a bit less
Ben then spotted the Barnstormer “me go on thaaaaaaaaaat”.
We took him to the entrance, and he was way over the height requirement, which
was great news! We had a little chat with the CM about when Toontown opens, he
said it doesn’t have a particular opening time anymore, and they just open when
everyone is ready.
Ben loved the Barnstormer, which we knew he would, if
anything it was a bit tame for him though.
He asked to go see Mickey next……and then promptly changed
his mind when he got in the queue. We spent a bit of time in the playground
opposite Mickey’s house next. We really learned to enjoy this place. Nice and
shady and perfectly safe for Ben to have a play, whilst we had a little sit down,
Round to Dumbo next, and if memory serves, I think this was
the only time we went on this. Ben never asked to go on it again, and it’s not
one we particularly enjoy, so we didn’t bother.
We went to use our Philharmagic FP next, but it was closed
unfortunately, so over we went to use our Pooh FP. This was where I had my
first proper blub moment. Ben was mezmorised with this ride. His eyes were so
wide and he was having so much fun, it was wonderful.
We went in the Pinocchio café for a quick drink (can never
remember the name of this place either). When we were in there, Ben spotted
Small World “me go on boat”, so we went on that next, unsurprisingly. Again,
Ben’s eyes were so wide, taking it all in. The same was true of Peter Pan,
which we did next.
Anthony was busting to go on the new Haunted Mansion, I was
really unsure about taking Ben on there so Anthony went on and I went to get a
FP for Big Thunder Mountain. Ben dropped off to sleep at this point, so after
Anthony went on Haunted
Mansion we headed round
to the photo centre to watch some cartoons. Bad idea! As we got there the
parade started and woke Ben up. Didn’t really matter though as he loved watching
the cartoons. We saw Steamboat Willie in full for the first time, can’t believe
that was the first time, considering how many times we’ve been there. I was not
amused though, other people were in there, it’s usually empty.
Anthony was going to Extra Magic Hour tonight so I used the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FP. I
soooooo love this ride and enjoyed every second of it. Unfortunately Ben wanted
to go on too……
Next time…..what will Ben make of Crystal Palace
and all those characters?
02-19-2011, 01:14 PM #9
The one with the giant tiger, bear, donkey and pig!
Sunday 9th August, continued:
After my very enjoyable ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (and Ben being desperate
to go on and join me), we headed over to Crystal Palace.
After his reaction to the characters last night, we were really unsure of how
Ben was going to take this. We hoped he’d be better as he’d be able to see them
from a distance first, rather than just being put in a room with them!
Our ADR (Advance Dining Reservations) was for 2.10pm. We checked in around 2pm and knew it
wasn’t going to be good when we saw the volume of people crowded around the
doors. I do think it’s slightly odd that they don’t have pagers here, as when
someone is ready, they just call their name, which means everyone crowds around
the door and it’s impossible to get in or out. Anyway, we were finally called
at about 2.45pm which wasn’t too bad I suppose.
There was a character gap as soon as we got in, which was
brilliant, so I went and got Ben some food. He was very impressed! He’s a total
carnivore and always asks for meat, so he loved this. He was not at all
interested in the mac and cheese and much preferred to eat from the adult
offerings (which was the case for the whole holiday).
All of a sudden, we heard “Pooh bear”. Unsurprisingly Pooh
was a few tables away and Ben was almost jumping out of his chair. However,
when he arrived he wasn’t too sure.
Next was Eeyore, and again, not too sure about him.
We picked Ben up as Tigger came around, which was much
better, as he was closer and more on their level. I made a point of saying (so
Tigger could hear), ‘try not to be nervous Ben’. I think Tigger really caught
onto this as he was wonderful with Ben, very gentle. When he was coming round
to him, he started ticking him. That was it! Ben was in fits of giggles and
much happier. We breathed a sigh of relief! Perhaps it was worth all that money
to bring him after all.
After Tigger Ben was much better when Piglet came around.
The food here was really good, we were very impressed. We’ve
done breakfast a few times here but I much preferred lunch. It was crazy busy
but it didn’t matter. The service was wonderful and the characters were great.
After paying the bill, we took a few more photos before we
As we left for the exit, we wandered down through the Main Street shops, always a bad idea! We
(well, Ben) spotted a Playhouse Disney storybook, which we bought for him, it
was really lovely and we used it a lot throughout the holiday. We also bought
him a set of Playhouse Disney figures to play with in the room, they were about
$15 which I didn’t think was too bad. We also spotted a Disney tote bag for $10
when you spent $30. I ended up buying this later on in the holiday as it looked
quite useful….and it was rather nice!
We asked Ben if he wanted to use the boat or the monorail to
get back to the car park. He chose the monorail, which became a bit of a theme
throughout the holiday. Amazingly Ben had remembered the location of the car!
We drove round to Publix on the way back to the hotel to get
some essentials……erm, crisps and Budweiser!
Back at the hotel we all had showers, Ben had some tea and
after tucking Ben into bed at around 8pm Anthony went off to Extra Magic Hour at the Magic Kingdom.
We had bought some American cell phones off Ebay before we left so we could
text eachother. They were fantastic! Jules (Jak on here) had taken them with
her and couldn’t make the text work, but we had no problems, and as I watched
the American version of Dragons Den, Anthony was texting me to tell me what
rides he was on. I think I must have dropped off around 9.30pm though……was a