Florida Planning Part 1 - We Booked a Holiday!

So there you have it, the worst kept secret in our world is out! As I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts we have now decided on where to go for our holiday for next year so I thought I would share some of the details about it with you. This is going to be a big one for us and its something that we are both super excited for as we are off to Orlando, Florida for the very first time.

We pretty much started planning next years holiday on the flight home from Vegas (doesn't everyone do that??). We had such a wonderful time in the LA area and at the Disneyland parks so we decided that we would return in 2018 to spend a bit more time exploring and doing/seeing all the things that we missed this time around. Once we were home I started to cure my post holiday blues by doing some research for next year and I already had a plan in my mind of when we would go and where we would stay etc - it was exciting and I was happy as I love nothing more than planning a holiday.

Now in the past we had talked about going to Florida and doing the theme parks but we had always dismissed it as somewhere that wasn't for us so with that in mind I am sure that you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue Tom suggested it as our holiday destination instead of California. Yes, and I know this will shock some of you, but this holiday was the sole suggestion of my closet Disney loving husband. After my initial shock wore off we had a proper serious conversation about how different a holiday in Florida would be compared to the SoCal trip we had begun planning. With this in mind we both agreed that we would like to go a little later in the year so we would have longer to save and we could avoid any UK school holidays. Eventually we settled on mid November so that we can be there for Thanksgiving and for Black Friday but more importantly we will be there for when the parks are decorated and themed for Christmas. What's not to love about a holiday that combines our love of Disney with my most favourite holiday of year and please, lets not forget the shopping opportunities.

So with a date agreed the next thing to do was to decide on a hotel or a villa. I knew that if we stayed in a hotel that I would only want us to stay on site in a Disney hotel. I had a little look online and it soon became apparent that to stay in one of the nicer resorts would cost an absolute fortune so with this in mind I decided to look at how much a villa would cost. My lovely friends Joan and Sarah both advised me to check out a forum called The Dibb as there is a section on their where owners can advertise their villas.I was blown away by the choice available but based on our needs I narrowed the choice of down to two and eventually we settled on this townhouse which is within the Windsor Hills complex and is just a 10 min drive from WDW. We contacted the owners who are based in this country and within 24 hours we had paid our deposit and reserved our weeks - woohoo Florida here we come!! All we need to do now is to book our flights however this is something we cant do until early Jan 2018 when the dates are released. Tom is currently stalking the Virgin Atlantic website checking prices and just waiting for the day when we can call and book.
So the countdown is now well and truly on and we are both in planning and researching mode, although I have to say its me that's doing the most of it. I have a notebook where I am constantly jotting stuff down and we have a box full of guide books and brochures. The Dibb forum is also proving to be an absolute gem in finding out all sorts of info and advice. Add to that there is also a wealth of information available on social media - blogs, Instagram, Twitter and FB are my new holiday planning friends, there are so many friendly and helpful people and groups out there who are happy to share their experiences with you.

Another thing that we have recently become big fans of doing is watching You Tube vlogs, especially as we can connect the iPad to the TV and can watch them on the big screen. I have several playlists set up and some of our favourite channels are TheTimTracker, Sophie and Tom, That Florida Guy and Krispy Smores. We cant wait to watch some vlogs that will be filmed in Nov this year, especially of Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party as that is top of the list of things to do and is probably the thing that we are most excited for.

I am sure there will be several more blog posts about this trip in the coming year so please make sure you check back to catch up on all our plans for it. If you have been to Florida, or are also planning a holiday there please feel free to share any hints and tips you may have.

As always thanks for stopping by, love and hugs - Jane xx

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