Living La Villa Loca…..

I know that at times it is hard to tell me apart from rock Gods like Jon Bon Jovi. We look so alike that this is understandable. However, one major difference is how feel right now. Mustard were out gigging last night after a few weeks off for our summer holidays (that I didn’t have!).

Getting to bed at 2am after a full on night of hard rocking, fierce funking and more importantly lugging several tonnes of equipment in and out of the venue, my body hates me. I don’t imagine Mr Bon Jovi is sat in his dressing gown in front of Sunday Brunch nursing a non alcoholic hangover. Middle age is a bitch.

Louise has been working all weekend and by the time she gets to the end of Monday she will have worked nine days straight. That is, frankly, a bit shit so if you are having your wounds dressed, injections given or wounds packed anywhere near us, be thankful to the kind soul who turns up to do it. They will be over worked and under paid.

So, as promised, let’s turn to the embryonic plans for Florida 2018. Whilst writing the last few posts of the last trippie, I was multi-tasking very impressively by giving brain space to our next visit. We should of course be waiting a bit until Freddie is older and can do things like go to Jellyrolls with us, but all in good time, for now, we’ll be the idiots with the 11 month old on the plane.

Another strong reason not to wait is that our future son-in-law Tom has never been to WDW and as a lot of you will appreciate, taking a first timer is a joy and a pleasure. He is already, quite rightly, giddy with excitement. Of course, despite a good amount of internet research and us boring him to death about everything on offer, until a first timer goes there can be little appreciation of what will be encountered.

The rides and attractions are of course something he is looking forward to, but, like someone destined to become part of our family, he LOVES his food. Unlike me, Tom turns that love into muscle at the gym, so he’s a big lad but in a positive way…

His appetite is astounding and this is coming from me who could eat himself to death in one sitting. So the food on offer is a major focus for him. That’s handy of course as you know my planning starts with where we’ll be eating every day. He and Rebecca have already spent a good amount of time studying the menus of our planned eateries and in some cases pre-selecting his dining choices. I think he’s in for a good time.

But I get ahead of myself. I should give you an outline of the plan as it stands. Well, the first thing to say is that we shall not be making the mistake of not having enough time at WDW this time. With two first timers in tow, ALL we are doing is Disney. Recognising of course what a different trip this will be with a very young child in the party, there seemed very little point in attempting Universal at the hefty expense of an on site stay and other thrill ride heavy parks like Busch similarly made little sense.

Taking in to account the size and make up of our party, on-site accommodation didn’t really make sense. After our last visit, frankly we’d want to be staying at the Beach Club or similar and two weeks in multiple rooms just becomes very, very expensive. Along with that, for Rebecca, Tom and Freddie especially two weeks crammed into one room would be tough, so we (I) decided we’d be doing a villa.

Now, selecting a villa is a double-edged sword. It is lovely to be scouring the internet for that perfect place of course, as it means you know you are returning. The downside is that there is so much choice that a few hours in you get villa blindness. They all start to look the same. However, we (I) had very specific requirements. In previous visits compromises have been made, mainly due to budget, which haven’t really detracted from the trip, but niggled at me from time to time.

Our needs were –

Location – Suspecting we’ll be doing partial days in the parks with Freddie in tow, being close to WDW was a must. Knowing that every villa in Florida says they are fifteen minutes from Disney, I ignored those claims and used my local knowledge. The villa had to be in or around the Formosa Gardens area. Villas here are so close to Animal Kingdom you can smell the elephant dung.

Pool size – Rest days will be plentiful and vital so we wanted a lager than average pool and lanai. This meant going for a villa a bit larger than we actually needed. It should not be overlooked, and be south-facing to satisfy Louise’s sun hunger.

We needed two master suites.

Beyond those, I was just looking for villas that caught my eye. Things I look out for are poor quality photos and/or photos clearly taken a long time ago, suggesting the villa may not be quite as nice now as it once was.

It took a while, but eventually I found one that ticked all the boxes. I was delighted that it is situated on Emerald Island. We have never stayed there, but have driven past those dolphins many times whilst staying in the area.

The fact that this development is literally round the corner from our favourite arrival day dining tradition of The Outback is just the cherry on top of a nice cake.

The villa itself is called Simba’s Pride.

Click the picture to see details of the villa…..

A deposit is paid, which means we are definitely going. That feels good.

Flights won’t be booked for a while. I’ve never not booked the flights first, but with Freddie still being in Rebecca right now, there was no choice. Well, we could have waited to book the villa, but where’s the fun in that?

The main part of the planning now will be learning how to do WDW with a youngster under one. There’s a lot I don’t know about that.

The only other thing which has already been planned is the restaurant list. That includes some places you HAVE to take first timers to, such as Whispering Canyon and 50’s Prime Time.

The bad news is that between now and the 29th of August 2018, yes, I forgot to mention when we were going, you will be subjected to every tweak, development and booking. The timing of the trip is a mix of impatience and various work related challenges and commitments. We *could* have gone in a more off-peak time, but that would mean waiting longer. Flying out at the time should be OK as most folks limited to school holidays will be coming to the end of their trips and of course the US schools will already be back.

Irma has of course reminded us that this is very much hurricane season so we can only hope we continue our lucky streak in that regard.

So, enough for now. There will be time aplenty to blog about this in future for which I apologise.

Till the next time….

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23 thoughts on “Living La Villa Loca…..

  1. Oh how wonderful – pip – planning in progress ❤️. The villa looks gorgeous. One tip I am able to give you … it’s usually you giving us … make use of and plan it carefully, the child swap feature for rides. If you are wise, you can ‘double’ your allocation of fastpasses for some members of your party. I managed to ride soarin back to back as the 2 people who are doing the child swap can take another person on the ride with them 🤔😜😉. Looking forward to taking a by-stander part of your planning 😃 x

  2. We are in the same boat next year, taking newbies again. DiL and granddaughter aged nearly 3 (by then) will be first timers and my son hasn’t been since he was 16. We are only doing a week at October half term, but it is our first time on site (AKL for the newbies who are animal fanatics) – so a first for us all there. There is nothing better than sharing your excitement with newbies, although I am not sure they always agree!!!

  3. The villa looks stunning. Emerald Island is a lovely community.
    I’m looking forward to you making your plans and Freddie’s arrival of course.

  4. I’ve only had 2 trips myself but have really enjoyed all your trip reports…….I doubt you will remember but 4 years ago reading your trip reports got me through the longest night after my mum died….I always look forward to my Sunday updates, so please keep travelling, posting and reporting…..many thanks again Craig……

  5. Hee Hee, while pregnant with my twins I looked for the perfect place. When they where born I couldn’t wait to book it. I got my brother to come too, (first timer). We quickly realised looking after a 5 year old and 9 month old twins would be hard work, we wouldn’t be able swap them with each other on 9 hour flight!!! Little things popped up that we couldn’t do immediately, passport photos!! We ended up not booking properly until end of January for August. We had a great time though, felt a bit bad that they spent a lot of their time in a pram (they were 9 months old) the heat!! You spend a lot of time in the baby area near the Crystal Palace, but it’s all good. They will have plenty of help.

  6. Will be great going as a grandparent I suspect you’ll be hiring 2 cars at least so you won’t all have to go at the baby’s pace.

    At that age they sleep a lot so a comfy pram and a small usb supplied fan and you’ll be more or less same as usual.

  7. That villa is lovely, looked at that one before for us. We have also stayed in Emerald Isle and the area and villas are wonderful and the closest you can get, as you say, to Disney.
    I think a villa is very sensible, we stayed exactly in that area when a big group us went with kids and, funnily enough, an 11 month old.
    We too used the baby swop and found it fantastic, actually meant we rode more rides but that was before magic bands so I cannot advise like the other poster, I think not much has changed. The limit numbers in the swop party but certainly some of you can double up in each party. However crowd levels that time of year are fab!!
    Ahh, the Outback! This used to be our favourite but I also recommend the one at the Premium Outlets nor Lake Bryan, has a great manager and we combine the outlet trip with lunch or dinner there, got to fit all those restaurants in where you can!!
    We are trying WCCafe for the first time this trip, never been in all our 27 years of trips, lol. I will take recommendations please?

    1. Thanks for the info. 👍 Have a look at Hash House a Go Go. We tried it for the first time last trip and were blown away….

  8. This is very exciting. I can’t wait to read about all the tweaking and each day’s itinerary:) KEEP PLANNING 🙂

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