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Topic: Stranger Trip, The Report. Pre-Trip and Index

  1. #1
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    Default Stranger Trip, The Report. Pre-Trip and Index

    Stranger Trip, The Report. Pre-Trip

    I thought I'd be good this time and post the pre-trip element of the report actually pre-trip, this is a first. It has absolutly nothing to do with a very dull afternoon at work spent watching an American's increasingly desperate attempts to remotely resurect a customer's server while only occasionally being called upon to "turn it off and back on again please".


    The Cast
    Me, Martin, 47 going on 7, fan of all things theme park related.
    My wife Julia, also 47 going on 7, a fan of all things Disney and Harry Potter.
    Our son Edward, 23 going on 53, the designated adult on this trip.


    Here we are all looking delighted to be going home after our 2016 holiday.

    The Trip
    A frankly madly short 7 days (October 6th to 13th) in Kissimmee with just Disney except for one evening visit to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights. Our previous 6 US holidays have been 2 or even 3 weeks, so this will be new for us.

    Background
    This one starts back in the spring with two things happening coincidentally. I started thinking about a cheap trip to Paris to see the Halloween decorations, if there was an offer available to bring it in at a reasonable price. At the same time the rumours were growing stronger that Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights was going to feature a house from Edward’s favourite TV show Stranger Things and he started looking into he and I doing a mad 2 night trip to Florida to experience it. I’d not been party to this madness, but his mother had caught wind of it and let him know she’d not be too happy to be left at home while he and I jetted off to Florida.

    Things came to a head when I found some hotel prices I didn’t think were too bad for Paris and shared them with Edward. He then announced he wanted his own room (see our previous trip reports for scandalous lies about him being kept awake at night by snoring). Once I changed it to two rooms at a Paris hotel the price of course went through the roof and Edward announced “That’s stupid, we could go to Florida for less”. I challenged him on that and laptops were drawn to price things up.

    Within an hour leave calendars had been consulted and the last remaining days booked, flights had been found with Norwegian and booked by Edward as our ‘Christmas presents, birthday presents and father’s/mother’s day presents’ and the search was on for a cheap hotel. Norwegian’s flights being later in the day suit us well as it means we don’t have to book a room at Gatwick the night before and the late flight home gives us a full day in the parks on our last day. This will be our third trip with them and the previous two were excellent in terms of service from the crew and comfort aboard.

    Edward called Norwegian to book as we are taking Julia’s own ECV with us and so she is booked as a special assistance customer. I’m sceptical as to how well this will work when we roll up to check-in Saturday afternoon, but I’m assured all will be ok.

    I travel a lot for work and have a large stash of points with IHG, so the idea was to find a Holiday Inn Express that I would book on points for me and Julia and Edward would book his own room in the same hotel. While we were searching up popped the Holiday Inn Vacation Resort at Orange Lakes on a points plus cash deal for a 2 bedroom villa. The points were the same as a Holiday Inn and the cash element was less that the cheapest room elsewhere so that was quickly booked.

    Car hire is an SUV from Avis via BA as that worked out the cheapest. We need the SUV to transport the ECV without having to take it fully apart every time we load it.

    Car Parking is a meet and greet with Maple Manor as with the cash back and everything they were offering the best value for money.

    For park tickets we have the Disney 7 Day Ultimates, MNSSHP and surprisingly HHN for all three of us. I say surprisingly for HHN as Julia finds some elements of MNSSHP a bit scary, but with just 7 days the night we are at HHN is the only chance she’ll have to visit Diagon Alley. Thankfully the HHN elements don’t go in there, so it is only escorting Julia on the trip to and from the park entrance we have to worry about.

    Park hours were already known when we booked, so a rough plan was put together in order to fit all of the night-time shows, MNSSHP, HHN and a meet up with our friends who are also travelling that week and some who live in Orlando into just 7 evenings. Once FP time rolled round the plan was firmed up and hopefully everything will fit. It’ll only take one night of bad weather for something to have to give and be missed I fear. There were no FoP or Slinky Dog FPs left for us poor off-site guests at our 30 day window, so I guess there will be some early mornings or long waits for us.

    Hopefully with only doing Disney this trip, except the night at HHN, it won’t be too rushed, there are certainly enough periods marked ‘zzzzz’ on the plan for some relaxing to occur! Check back in a couple of weeks to see how well that went, or otherwise.


    Day 1 is here.
    Day 2 is here.
    Day 3 is here.
    Day 4 is here.
    Day 5 is here.
    Day 6 is here.
    Day 7 is here.
    Day 8 is here.
    Last edited by spencem; 26-05-2019 at 01:11 PM.
    5 Trips to Florida, Christmas in LA, Disneyland Paris twice and odd days here and there.

    All my trip reports are now HERE.


  2. #2
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    YAY!! It will be VERY interesting to read about Julia's reaction to her short bee-line though Universal on HHN. Great idea to go in together and then split up.

    Looking forward to that meet-up you mentioned.












    Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you Im not messing around, use the gifts you were given.

  3. #3
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    Just a quick FYI, it is possible for Julia to get almost all the way to Diagon Alley without too much HHN, but she will still have to negotiate 2 scare zones, Revenge of Chucky (which isn't overly scary) and Killer Klowns from Outer Space (which, is, quite frankly, absolutely hilarious!). You can then all meet up for the Academy of Villains show next door to DA without any other scare factors!

    Now, on to the reality...!

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    Martin has been putting some footage from You Tube so I am actually looking forward to HHN
    Happiness is my piggies Belle & Chip and my cats Disney & Bob

  5. #5
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    Very interesting, we did almost the same last year after I managed to wangle a work trip and the others just some how managed to tag along. Looking forward to the HHN trip elements to see what you4 thought?

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    Sounds like a great trip is planned. Couldn't do the scare things myself but look forward to hearing about it.

  7. #7
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    Sounds great .... I know you’re not particularly good at down times so it’ll be interesting to see if the ��”zzzzz” parts of the itinerary end up being filled up instead

    You couldn’t pay me to be at universal on HHN .... I hope that Julia isn’t permanently scarred !!

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