Friday, 29 August 2008

Dining reservations

Having just checked, I need to book dining reservation by 180 days before our reservation, which means the first meal needs to be booked by the 9th of April 2009.

I think I've pretty much decided where to go for each evening meal.

I only have a couple of breakfasts sorted, but I need to know I have dinners sorted first. After they're booked I'll think about breakfast.

So far, we have Coral Reef and Garden Grill at Epcot, Rainforest Cafe, Boma and Donalds breakfast Safari at Animal Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal table at Magic Kingdom, Dine with Shamu at Seaworld, Mythos at Universal, T-Rex cafe at Downtown Disney and Chef Mickeys at the Contempory resort.

Then there are the Pirates dinner adventure and Arabian nights which have already been paid for.

So 9 dinners and 3 breakfasts.

The other 5 dinners will be at restaurant where a reservation is not needed. I may add another Character dinner nearer the time.

I'll have to save up so I can top up my phone when I want to book, as you have to ring to arrange it all!

Oooh nice surprise

I've just recieved a receipt for my park tickets, and it says I only owe £689 instead of £770! I must have added up wrong lol.

So that means I'll be paid up in 35 weeks time, which is the 29th of April!

I should be paid up for the holiday in 42 weeks, which is the 17th of June!

So if I continue to save £60 a week after everything is paid for, I'll have £1100 spending money!


Thursday, 28 August 2008


I've tried, and I can't explain to people just how big POP Century is. It still shocks me now. So I'm posting a map of the resort from a birdseye view. It doesn't fit on one picture!

I've requested to stay in the 60's bit where the Hippy Dippy Pool is. Close to the Classic Hall (lobby) and has brilliant icons.

If that's not available, I've asked to be in the 50's.

To give you an idea of the size of the place, it takes 7 minutes on average to walk from the lobby to the furthest hotel building! I can't even imagine just how big that must be. I can't wait to be there and see, in awe, for myself.

Right... I've got my laptop back (yay!), I can go into more detail about my holiday!

I've booked 14 nights at the POP Century resort (eeekk!!!) from Gatwick to Stanford with Thomas Cook. I added on transfers to and from the airport to the hotel and deluxe travel insurance for us all. I went round all the travel agents near me and got each one to knock a bit more off each time and add extras, until I got the best price at £2058!

That's including everything (flights, accommodation, transfers, deluxe insurance) apart from the park tickets.

So it's even cheaper than the Thomas Cook one I found online! It just goes to show it's worth it to shop around!

I paid £40 to the TA and £20 for the tickets yesterday, so now owe £1650 for the actual holiday, and £770 for the tickets.

Here is my planned itinerary: (Plans in red need to be booked in advance)

Tuesday 6th

  • Arrive at 2:35pm
  • Check into POP around 4pm
  • Have a wander around the hotel,check out some 99 cents stores and do a bit of shopping
  • Relax at hotel
  • Dinner at hotel or restaurant nearby

Wednesday 7th

  • Magic Kingdom for the day
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Magic Kingdom again for Crystal Palace (CM) (around $45) and fireworks

Thursday 8th

  • Epcot (not worlds)
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Epcot for the Worlds
  • Coral Reef dinner (around $40) at Epcot and fireworks

Friday 9th

  • Breakfast at Sizzlers or Ponderosa
  • Seaworld
  • Dine with Shamu (around $60)

Saturday 10th

  • Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare (CM) (around $41) at Grand Floridian
  • Check out I-drive and it's attractions
  • POP day (pool, games arcade, fountain, food, pictures etc)
  • Dinner at Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge (around $53)

Sunday 11th

  • Universal Studios
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Dinner in Kissimmee after having a wander around

Monday 12th

  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Crazy golf
  • Dinner at Whispering Canyon (around $40) at Wilderness Lodge

Tuesday 13th

  • Breakfast at Donald's breakfast Safari in AK (CM) (around $41)
  • Animal Kingdom for the day
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Animal Kingdom for dinner at Rainforest Cafe (around $45)

Wednesday 14th

  • IHOP for breakfast
  • Shopping
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Pirates dinner adventure (PAID)

Thursday 15th

  • Islands of Adventure
  • Late lunch at Mythos (around $45)
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Dinner at T-Rex cafe (around $50) and shopping at Downtown Disney

Friday 16th

  • 'Ohana's Breakfast (CM) (around $41) at the Polynesian Resort
  • POP day
  • Arabian Nights dinner (PAID)

Saturday 17th

  • Disney Hollywood Studios
  • Back to POP for a break
  • Dinner at Mama Melrose (around $40) at Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic fireworks

Sunday 18th

  • Character breakfast at THE Castle! Cinderella's Royal Table (around $80)
  • Rest of the day at Magic Kingdom
  • Dinner at Sizzlers or Ponderosa

Monday 19th

  • I-drive
  • Shopping
  • Second favourite park
  • Start packing
  • Garden Grill (CM) (around $60) at Epcot

Tuesday 20th

  • Pack up rest of things
  • Ask POP to look after bags
  • Chef Mickeys for breakfast (CM) (around $41)
  • Favourite park till about 2pm ish
  • Back to POP to collect bags and get airport transfer
  • Airport for 3pm to leave at 5:15pm
  • Say goodbye to heaven.....till next time. :)

I may need to change some of these at this comes to $681 before tips! If I gave a 20% tips at each meal, it will come to about $817!

If I took the worst case (hopefully!) exchange rate of $1.60 to the £1, it'll cost a total of £510! £425 without tips.

That is A LOT of money. I will keep this as it is just in case I find a way to afford that! I have until the 180 limit to come up with that extra money. If not, I just won't book a few of them.

Monday, 25 August 2008


Well, firstly, I've not updated because my laptop is poorly and it getting fixed, which is also the reason this will be short and sweet!

Secondly, I've booked!

2 weeks at POP century, from 6th of October till 20th October, with all the tickets mentioned before, deluxe travel insurance, and transfers to and from Sanford for £2058!!!!!

Paid the deposit so I now owe £1690, due at the end of July next year.

I've worked out if I pay the TA £40 a week, and the tickets £20 a week, I'll be paid up by the beginning of July and have around £920 spending money too!!!!!

So excited! I'll go into more details when I get my laptop back lol.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

No going back!

I've been trying to find a way that means I can't back out, even though I don't want to, I needed something to put pressure on me so I don't slip with the saving. Soooo.....I've got our park tickets!!!!!

There's a site where you only have to pay a 20% deposit and they fix the price. I won't pay more when the ticket prices all increase next year. Not only that, but if the dollar gets weak again, they'll lower the prices and I'll pay the lower price. I won't ever pay more than I agreed but could pay much less!

I've ordered:

Disney 14 Day Ultimate - Adult (2009)

Disney 14 Day Ultimate - Child (2009) x2

(This includes unlimited admission for 14 days to Magic Kingdom, Hollywood studios (MGM), Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon lagoon, Indoor theme park, golf, world of sports, including free transport to and from the parks.)

SeaWorld 1 Day + 1 day free - Adult

SeaWorld 1 Day + 1 day free - Child x2

Arabian Nights Dinner Show - Adult

Arabian Nights Dinner Show - Child (3-11) x2

Pirates Dinner Show - Adult

Pirates Dinner Show - Child (3-11) x2

Universal 2 Day + 3rd Day Free - Adult

Universal 2 Day + 3rd Day Free - Child x2

(This includes Universal Studios, Islands of adventure valid for 3 separate days and 14 days City Walk. Park hopper.)

Kids Eat Free Card x2

(Is valid at over 500 eateries.)

Ticket Insurance - loss, damage or theft

(Will gets replacement tickets immediately if they're lost, stolen or damaged, either at home, on holiday, or through post.)

I have to pay £269 by the end of the year, as Universal and Seaworld are priced for this year, not next, which saves a lot since I'll be travelling next year.

The remaining £440 needs to be paid 6 weeks before we leave. Already paid the 20% deposit with my FairFX card!

With the tickets sorted, and the kids eat free card, and free transport (which means I don't need to pay for a car), I'll hardly need any spending money. I'll only need some for food for me and shopping!

I've now committed myself, so am even more determined, and now under pressure, to make sure I save enough.

I'm going to POP!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!