As I said in my post A Fresh Start, I’m really looking forward to writing about a wider variety of topics and broadening the content from just beauty, my original intention when starting this blog two years ago. At the moment I’m in countdown mode to my holiday of a lifetime to Orlando! It will be my first time in the US, first long haul flight and first ever Disney experience and I can’t bloody wait!!
I’m in full on organisation and research mode right now as I count down those last few months so providing a bit of content around this sounds like a great idea (and lets me talk about the holiday some more!) In this post I thought I’d share what we’ve booked so far and how I’ve gone about organising the trip as a first timer.
We booked the holiday on a bit of a whim really. Me and my boyfriend really wanted to go to Orlando but I was busy studying hard for an important exam the first half of this year. Booking the holiday provided that light at the end of the tunnel (tad dramatic, I know) and was something amazing to look forward to, even if it was months and months away.
We booked the flights and hotel through Virgin and to be honest we didn’t shop around too much. My boyfriend had been before so he recommended for us to stay on International Drive as it’s central to all the parks, restaurants and shopping. It was booked purely for the good price which included the V lounge at Gatwick as well as car hire. Although I hadn’t researched hotels at the time, I think I-Drive will be a great base for our first trip together as we do want to do things outside of Disney too.
We then booked the 14 day 9 park ticket from Florida Tix where they had the 14 days for the price of 7 offer. It was great as you only have to put down £10 as a deposit and only have to pay it off a few weeks before your trip. We recently also booked tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, also through Florida Tix just in case we never go back to Disney around Christmas time.
As I said when we first booked the holiday it seemed so far off I didn’t think too much about it. I was really busy taking an exam so my mind was definitely fully occupied on other things. Oh how things have changed! For the past couple of months I have been researching like crazy, primarily through watching some great vlogs of other people’s holidays and reading up on blogs and other websites. Now, I love to be prepared and like to know what to expect so I have found watching vlogs so incredibly helpful. They have got me so excited about it and give great ideas of what to do and see, each one is different and shows different people’s perspective, no one does Disney the same!
Some of my absolute favourite people who I have discovered on YouTube to help me prepare are listed below, go and check them out if you want Disney ideas and vlogs!
I am a planner and list maker in everyday life and I soon learned, through all that YouTube research, that this holiday was going to need a lot more thought and planning!
My first thing was to prioritise all the places we wanted to go and things we wanted to do. We’re only there for 14 days and I’m starting to realise we won’t be able to do all the things on our list! So picking out those things that were most important to us will help to make it the best trip it can be.
The next thing I needed to do was research each of the places we wanted to go, of course this includes all of the Disney and Universal Parks to check the opening hours for when we are there, look what rides are at each park, where we want to eat etc. I also looked at non Disney related things, other places we wanted to visit and do like off site restaurants and of course…shopping!
More recently I’ve been drafting out a rough itinerary. I don’t want every hour of our holiday planned out, and I’m sure everything will change once we’re there, but to get a rough plan together seemed the best thing to do and helped us realistically see we won’t have time to do everything that was on our original list! We’ve booked in a couple of things like dinner reservations and the Christmas party so adding these into the itinerary really helps to see how the days can be organised. Once we get much closer to the holiday and can book our Fast Passes we can then take another look at the itinerary.
As much as I have enjoyed watching the vlogs and found them really helpful it’s important to take a step back and think what things are a priority for you and whoever you’re travelling with. Don’t get swept up in it and think you have to do this and that because that’s what the Disney Vloggers are doing. This is my holiday and I want it to be best it can be!
I can’t wait to share more of my organisation and planning tips, and go into more detail about how I’m planning our days…and to see how different it all goes when we get there!
Talk soon x