Friday, 6 March 2015

The Countdown to Florida - Month 7

Our holiday to Disneyland Paris in 2013 was amazing. It was magical. Husband and the kids had never been to Disneyland before and I couldn't wait to see their faces. They didn't let me down. We smiled. We laughed. We had fun. We shed some tears of joy.

The time we spent in Disneyland Paris was short but we managed to get around the parks and the kids (big and small) had a brilliant time. 

When we came home, we decided we wanted to experience the magic of Disney again. Only this time we wanted to go to Disneyworld. We decided we'd go to Florida.

Florida is one of those places that I think lots of families dream of visiting. Of course, it isn't for everyone, but for me, having been there a few times when I was younger, I know what a fantastic place it is to visit...and not just for Disney lovers. I knew I wanted to go back when I had my own family and luckily Husband agreed. He's never been to America except when he was in the navy and they stopped off to re-fuel. 

In February 2014, we booked our trip to Florida. We go in 7 months time! It may seem a bit crazy to book a holiday so far ahead but, in order to get some of the best deals for the type of holiday we wanted, we had to book as soon as the holidays were available. I have a good customer relationship with Thomas Cook and they gave us a fantastic deal even before the holidays were advertised to the public.

My friend had been to Florida for 3 weeks in July 2013 and she stayed at Art of Animation, one of the newest Disney hotels in Disneyworld. It came highly recommended by her and, being a huge lover of The Little Mermaid, I knew we had to book there. We're staying in a Little Mermaid room (although I'm hoping for a cheeky upgrade if I ask nicely cause we are also going to celebrate my 30th birthday!) 

We chose not to fly from our local airport. Instead we are travelling to Manchester to stay with my Mum the night before we fly. This saved us almost £1000 on the cost of our holiday which is a huge saving even if I have to factor in £100 in fuel to drive there and the time it will take us to drive there (or worse, drive home after a 10 hour flight!) On the plus side, Mum has agreed to wash all of the school clothes so I don't have to do those when I get home!

Florida isn't a cheap holiday. I'm sure I could have saved a bit here and there by staying in a villa or flying indirect however we wanted the holiday we wanted and we stuck to our budget. Now we are concentrating on saving our spending money. Our holiday only includes our room, our flights and transfers and our Disney park tickets.

What I have noticed about a Florida holiday is, people like to plan ahead a lot! Some say this is definitely a necessity if you want to do all the things you want to, especially in Disneyworld. We can start booking our restaurants next month and we can book fastpasses for the rides we want to go on 60 days before we arrive! I'm sure there are people who don't plan ahead and have a brilliant time anyway. How could you not have fun in the happiest place on Earth? I'm planning a few things that we definitely want to do such as Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and a lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table but otherwise, we'll just see how we feel on the day and just enjoy our first trip to Florida.

If you are planning a trip to Disneyworld, I came across this excellent video explaining all about Magicbands, My Disney Experience, the app and lots more. It's really good and got me all excited for our trip.

Have you ever been to Florida before? What tips would you give us? Any places you'd recommend? 

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