Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Forgot to say...

...ONLY 376 days to go!

Less than 2 weeks before it's under a year away. :D

Good news!

I've been to the travel agents again today to make another payment. I also asked if I should be worried about what happened to XL. My TA isn't a big named one so I was a bit concerned the same thing could happen to me, but they're ATOL protected and, from the info she gave me, there's nothing to be worried about, thankfully!

Great news! The dollar is weakening again! It went to a very low $1.73! Everyone expected it to go even lower but it stuck there. Then in the last week it has shot up again to $1.8325!

It's gone slightly up and down but has always been around this mark, so hopefully it's stabalising again and we'll still get a good rate!

Still mega excited and can't wait to go!

Friday, 19 September 2008

I thought I'd add some pictures of our first trip to Florida. They're pictures of pictures so not that clear and only 3, but I'll put more on when I get some time.

Me and my Dad at Seaworld.

I'm the one ducking at the front, with my mum on Splash Mountain. My Dad and brother are behind us, and my Uncle is the screaming loony behind them!

Me, my brother, my mum and dad in Disney. I think this is MGM?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

386 days! 54 weeks! Only 3 and a bit weeks to go until it's less than a year away!

Woohoo! The days are going by quite quickly. I think it was 412 when I booked and that only seems like a week ago.

I'm sure it'll come round before I know it, and the week before we go will be full of stress and worrying that I've forgotten something, so it'll still end up in a rush, no matter how far in advance we book!

I'm still so excited! I only need to hear the word 'Florida' or 'Disney' or any word related to our trip and I feel like jumping for joy.

I have my letter back from the school head saying it's fine for Cameron to take the time off school. It won't be the full 2 weeks, as Cameron's school, fortunately, has two weeks of half term in October, so finishes a week before everyone else. :D

Perfect, as he won't miss much, especially with it being the last week of school, where they normally focus on fun and parties rather than work, and it means all future trips will be cheap, as everyone else will be in school, he'll never have to have more than 5 days off, and the parks will be emptier then any other time we could go.

He did say I would have to fill in another form nearer the time lol. I know it was early, but at least they know now, I just need to take the form he gave back and send it in and he'll record it.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

It's going down.....

£1550 left for the holiday and £649 left for tickets. :D

Which makes the total leftoutstanding at £2199 for everything! Yay!

There was a problem at the TA though. Apparently the last payment didn't go through, even though it left my bank.

I'll have to check in case it came back into my account without me realising, and if not, the TA wil basically have a go at the bank and tell them to sort it lol.

Ah well. I have to be honest, it was a bit of a struggle to pay it today, as it's left me with about a tenner to last until Saturday, although I have enough food and milk etc in till then and just need to buy cat food and a bit of petrol so should be fine.

I keep saying I'll put stuff on ebay and never get round to it. I will try to sort it this week!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Maybe not.....

It sounds like most of the ADR's are payable after your meal, so I don't need to have all the money ready for when I ring to book!

Some of them, like CRT and Shamu, need you to pay in advance, so that's not too bad.

Obviously I have to find out which ones have to paid upon booking, and which I can book without worrying about having enough.

At least then, I'll be able to pay for them out of our spending money, which I won't start saving for until June (too late to book by then) and if for some reason I can't afford it, I can just ring before we leave the UK to cancel so somebody else can take our place.

Even so, I still don't think I'll do all of the ones I mentioned due to a lotof people giving bad feedback about them, but I'll probably change them with some I hadn't thought of and have brillinat reviews!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Change to dining...

...well after reaslising it's a lot of money to pay for food, I'm trying to get rid of a few and am struggling!

I've asked on the DIS and they've all been really helpful, but obviously all have different opinions so I'm just going on the ones most people seem to dislike.

So far, I've got it down to;

* Coral Reef dinner (around $40)
* Dine with Shamu (around $60)
* Breakfast at Donald's breakfast Safari in AK (CM) (around $41)
* Pirates dinner adventure (PAID)
* Late lunch at Mythos (around $45)
* Dinner at T-Rex cafe (around $50)
* 'Ohana's Breakfast (CM) (around $41) at the Polynesian Resort
* Arabian Nights dinner (PAID)
* Character breakfast at THE Castle! Cinderella's Royal Table (around $80)
* Chef Mickeys for breakfast (CM) (around $41)

That makes about £250 instead of£500! And I've still go the main ones I wanted (Cinderellas Castle, Shamu and Coral Reef).

If another ADR catches my eye, I'll swap one of the others.

We won't see as many characters, but we'll see the princesses and Mickey and his gang, so that's all that matters!

If the kids (or me lol) are desperate to see other characters, we'll have to find them in the parks.

Thursday, 4 September 2008


Here are more details on the Character meals I have planned.

Crystal Palace Character Meals

Winnie the Pooh & Friends
Breakfast, Lunch & dinner

Characters that may appear
Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeeyore

Breakfast - $17.99 and $9.99 (3-11)
Lunch - $18.99 and $10.99 (3-11)
Dinner - $22.99 and $10.99 (3-11)

Breakfast: 8:00am- 10:30am
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:45pm
Dinner: 4pm - park closing

Food Served
All you can eat buffet. Fresh food, changing with the seasons.
Breakfast - Traditional Fare with American flair.
Lunch - A variety of selections to tempt every taste.
Dinner - Gourmet cuisine offered in Victorian elegance.

Breakfast menu
Lunch menu
Dinner menu

Make PS up to 60 days in advance (same day PS usually available).
Park Entry required

Cinderella's Royal Table 'Once Upon a Time' character breakfast

Cinderella's Royal Table is located in Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. A character breakfast is held there every morning, and it is without a doubt the most popluar character meal at WDW. As a result of it's popularity, it is extremely hard to get a priority seating reservation for it.

The breakfast is served pre-plated and includes bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, potato casserole, and french toast (cheese danish, fried, with warm apples on top). Muffins, croissants and a fresh fruit cup are also served. Kids (or fussy eaters) may have french toast sticks if desired.

Character Breakfast menu

It costs $31.99 for adults, and $21.99 for kids (3-9).

Times are - 8:00am-11:15am

Characters vary, but may include any of these -
Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Belle, Peter Pan, Snow White, Aurora, Pocahontas, Wendy, Aladdin, Jasmine, Prince Charming, Alice, Suzy & Perla, Dopey, Prince Phillip, Mary Poppins.

Strategies for booking -

You must call exactly 180 days before your required day.

Call WDW Dining on (407)939-3463 or (407)WDW DINE. WDW Dining opens at 7am Eastern Time (12pm GMT).

Start calling a few minutes before 7am, and hit redial if you get a message saying they are closed. Keep hitting redial, don't leave a gap between calls, until you hear a voice say all operators are busy, or you hear Disney music playing. Keep on holding until you get answered.

Often, all avaiable seatings will be booked up by 7:05am, maybe sooner!

As soon as the CM answers say you want to book for Cinderella's breakfast, and for how many, don't waste any time!

If they are booked up, try calling back at 7:15am, when those who have tried the above strategy have cancelled one of their ressies. Or the CMs at WDW Dining have discovered multiple bookings in the same name!

Try calling back every day from a week before you go, as cancellations may come up.

Garden Grill Character Meals

Garden Grill, The Land, Epcot
Lunch & dinner

Characters that may appear
Farmer Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale

Lunch $20.99 (12+) and $10.99 (3-11)
Dinner $22.99 (12+), $10.99 (3-11).

Lunch: 12pm - 3:30pm
Dinner: 5:00pm - 8pm

Food Served

Lunch menu
Dinner menu

Make PS up to 60 days in advance
Park Entry required.

Donald's Safari Breakfast

Tusker House, Animal Kingdom

Characters which may appear
Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto

$17.99 (12+) and $9.99 (3-11).

Park opening-10am

Food Served
All you can eat buffet


Make ADRs up to 180 days in advance
Park entry required

Chef Mickey's Character Meal

Chef Mickey's, Contemporary Resort
Breakfast & dinner

Dine with Chef Mickey as you enjoy a fabulous array of food on a state-of-the-art buffet. Featured in the center, a pancake griddle for breakfast and a carving station for dinner meats. An ever-changing menu will take advantage of seasonal offerings in the marketplace, which are served in casserole dishes or platters sitting directly on heated or chilled granite surfaces (no chafing dishes). Top off your dinner with 'make-your-own' sundae bar.

Characters which may appear
Chef Mickey, Chef Goofy, Minnie, Pluto, Chip and Dale, Donald.

Breakfast - $18.99 (10+) and $10.99 (3-9).
Dinner - $27.99 (10+) and $12.99 (3-9).

Breakfast: 7:00am - 12pm
Dinner: 5pm - 9:30pm

Food Served
Breakfast: Fresh fruit, bagels, omelets, and Mickey-shaped pancakes.
Dinner: Peel-and-eat shrimp, prime rib and chef's specialties, and a dessert and sundae bar.

Breakfast Menu
Dinner Menu

1900 Park Fare Character Breakfast

1900 Park Fare, Grand Floridian Resort


Characters that may appear Mary Poppins, Mad Hatter, Alice, Pooh, & Tigger.

$18.99 (12+) and $10.99 (3-11).

8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Food Served
All you can eat buffet

Breakfast menu

'Ohana Character Breakfast

'Ohana, Polynesian Resort

Characters that may appear
Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto

$18.99 (10+) and $10.99 (3-9).


Food Served
Served family-style. Eggs, meats, fruit, waffles.


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Another payment made...

Another £20 off my tickets has been paid today, and this week I've paid £50 for the holiday to round it down to £1600 left to pay!

I'll try to do that every week if I can. It'll mean it'll be paid off earlier, I'll see a bigger difference every time I pay, and I'll have more spending money!

I worked out if I can manage to pay £50 a week, then in 43 weeks time, I'd have paid off the holiday and will have £550 left over for spending money!

Then another 12 weeks to save for spending money! If I stick at the same amount, that will be £600! Plus the £550, will be £1150.

PLUS, the tickets will be paid off at the end of April, so if I continue saving the £20 a week I'm paying them from that date, I'll have another £500! Totalling £1650!

That sounded very complicated lol. Basically, I have 56 weeks to save £1600 for the holiday and £669 for the tickets and spending money. Total of holiday including tickets is £2269. £70 a week (£50 for holiday and £20 for tickets) for 56 weeks is £3920.

Take away the holiday and tickets, that will leave me with £1651 spending money!

Plenty of spending money to spend on ADR's, passports, stuff for suitcase and of course shopping while we're there!

Obviously that's the best case senario though. Something to aim for. I probably won't be able to pay that much every week, but even if I pay £50 a week instead of £70, I'll just about pay for the holiday in June, and can then save for spending money for the next 12 weeks.

I won't do that though, the minimum I'll pay a week, unless something huge stops me, if £60.

Then there's stuff I sell on ebay to factor in, car boot sales, birthday money, christmas money, etc.

And if my dead beat ex ever decides to get off his bum and get a job and gives me any money, every penny of that will go towards the holiday. That will be the kids spending money and character breakfasts for them.

I can't wait! I feel so strange. I really enjoyed handing over £70 today! I love paying this holiday off. I wish I felt like that will all bills!

I asked the travel agent to get me a preferred room at POP, but she said I will probably have to ring and ask myself, as they don't get reservations till a couple of weeks before we go. I'll have to check that out, because I really want to stay in the 60's section.

No big deal if we can't though, I don't care, we'll be in Florida! Even if I'm in the furthest room from the lobby and buses, we'll get to enjoy a scenic walk through the resort every day, when most people won't even see the rest of the resort apart from their bit.

Only 397 more days, 56 more weeks, 13 more months, until we're taking a dip in this very pool, enjoying the sunshine. :D

Monday, 1 September 2008

Waiting game...

...apart from jiggling about with my itinerary, until I can book my ADR's, it's just a waiting game now. :(

I'm sure I'll find something to plan in the mean time though and hopefully keep this blog updated! I'll have to now I know I have readers! ;)

I'll leave you today with photos of my angels in Disney gear!

You can see all my Disney videos there and some DVD's too! Shame about the lack of VCR. :(