The Trip Of A Lifetime - My Disney World Planning

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Hello & welcome back to the third instalment of my Florida Trip planning! 
If you missed my last update telling you all my Top Florida Tips then *click here* and if you are new to the Disney World section of this blog then *click here* to get clued up!

Right, now that's out of the way, this post is going to be all about MY trip - what I've booked, where I booked it, how I booked it and most importantly why I booked it. This will hopefully help you with the booking process of your holiday and help you decide on what exactly you want from it. It's a holiday like no other and there is so much to think about!

We are flying out from Gatwick on the 19th June for 17 nights with Virgin. These are direct flights which was very important to me as there is no way I could mess around going indirect. I seem to have quite a curse over me with holidays where things always tend to go wrong, so if I can prevent that by making things as easy as possible, then I will do! We have pre booked our seats on the plane (at an eye watering cost of £100 *cry*) but this was for peace of mind, I would hate to be away from my partner for nearly 9 hours. We did, however, manage to book 'The Bubble' seats. For those that don't know, this is the economy upper deck of a virgin plane, it only has 33 seats which makes it quieter and the staff seem to be more attentive, you also stand a good chance of being one of the first off the plane. It can be quite difficult to secure a seat here so booking early is a must!
We booked our flights with our accommodation at Kenwood Travel, they were by far the cheapest we found and completely changed my mind of booking everything separately to save money. Although I have never booked with them before, I have heard great things about them and so far I have no complaints!

We are staying offsite (not on Disney property) for our holiday with a cheeky couple of days onsite at Universal Orlando at the Hard Rock Hotel which I am super excited about! We are returning to our hotel from last year - Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando. We loved this hotel, it's basic but clean, cheap and cheerful! Which is all you want when you are on this type of holiday. If you do want to have a day relaxing, they have three decent size pools with loads of sunbeds for you to chill out. The main reason we picked this hotel, and the main reason why we are returning to it? Location, location, location. It is on the bustling International Drive, the home of restaurants, hotels, ticket offices and an endless amount of tacky gift shops. Not to mention you will also find Universal studios at one end of the drive, and Seaworld on the other, this makes it tourist heaven.

5 days in to our holiday, we have treated ourselves with a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel which is one of the Universal hotels. I'm really looking forward to this as it is one hotel (along with Disneys Grand Floridian) that I would look at in awe, wishing I was staying at such a 'cool' hotel. So I made it a necessity for this holiday that we would get to stay here. I love the idea of just taking a stroll over to the studios, or looking out of our window to see the giant red tracks of the Rip Ride Rockit coaster! 
When you stay onsite at Universal, you also receive complimentary Front Of Line Passes as well as early entry into the parks! This makes a stay here even more worth it in my opinion. After doing my research I have found that Sunday and Monday nights are usually the cheapest, (although we aren't staying on either) and you should expect to pay anywhere between £250-£350 a night for a standard room. Of course, there's always a bargain to be found and you could get lucky and find it cheaper, especially at non peak times.

As we are staying offsite, we needed a car. A lot of people don't bother with a car and just use taxis or their hotels shuttle service but I personally couldn't think of anything worse than waiting for a bus in Florida heat! I also think a car would work out much cheaper after you have added up all the taxi fares you would have paid. The only thing we hate when it comes to hiring a car in America is the 'under 25 surcharge'. Being under 25 puts you in a high risk category, all car hire companies charge you anywhere from $15-$30 a day for the duration of your rental, and this adds up to a hell of a lot. Seen as my partner is not turning 25 until next year, we had no choice but to pay a surcharge. Last year we hired with Alamo which I think was $25 a day, so this time we were keen to find someone cheaper. We came across the European Car hire 'Sixt' and saw on their website that they charge only $9.99 a day and a maximum of $99 per rental! Result! This is such a huge difference to the $400+ we had to pay with Alamo last year. We booked this in a heartbeat at the very reasonable sum of £380. Quickly received my confirmation email and so far, so good! There's a lot of horror stories out their regarding car hire so I'm hoping this turns out a good one *fingers crossed*.

Lastly, the next thing we have to think about is park tickets. Them ridiculously priced things that allow you to visit the happiest place on earth and therefore forget about the extortionate prices you've had to pay to get there. We haven't bought our tickets yet, but know we will be getting the Disney & Universal combo ticket that's valid for 14 consecutive days. Although we are there for 17 days I thought it would be a waste to buy the 21 day tickets as the extra 3 days can be spent at the beach, around the pool or shopping. We also love the seaworld parks but will probably just end up buying them when we get there from somewhere on International Drive. I have been stalking all the different ticket sellers websites to try and find the best and or cheapest deal, many of them come with 'free stuff' like money off vouchers and discount cards for local shops or restaurants. Disney tickets for 2016 also includes free 'Memory Maker' which entitles you to unlimited digital photos captured by Disney photographers at the parks. I have found the most popular sites that people use are Attraction Tickets Direct, Florida Tix, Attraction Tix and Orlando Attraction Tickets. So far, Orlando Attraction Tickets are turning out to be the cheapest at a price of £434pp, so looks like we will be going with them if we buy them any time soon and the price doesn't shoot up.

We also would like to see a football (Soccer) game while we are there as we saw Orlando City last time and really loved the atmosphere. Even though my boyfriend and I are both football fans, I would highly recommend this to someone who isn't all that interested in the game as the atmosphere and overall American experience is second to none. We bought our tickets from a ticket seller on International Drive last year, but have since found that it's a lot cheaper to buy them at home through Ticket Master

So, there we have it, those were just the basics of my Florida holiday. That's the hard bit out of the way, now I need to think about itineraries,food,shopping and all the other fun stuff. Hopefully this has helped you along with your planning, or if not, I hope you've enjoyed reading the details of mine! 

Keep checking my blog for more Disney/Florida related posts coming soon! 


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