What on earth is @mousematt up to now?

So I’ve had a nice mental health break from you people because, you know, y’all drive me crazy. But I’m back because there’s news.

tl;dr I’m planning a trip and I’m open to suggestions

Let’s recap

@mousematt and the Gaggle (@JuliaMc coined the term to refer to the little gang I took to Orlando in December and it’s kinda stuck) went to, erm, Orlando in December and it was great. Really great.

But it seemed clear that another trip was not going to be possible for a while, and @mousematt felt he should quit while he was ahead. End on a triumphant note. That sort of thing. It made sense at the time. (Shut up. Your “clever” comments are neither clever, nor funny and I’m not above flounce-deleting again.)

So what to do this year? Anthony, Stuart and @mousematt decided a trip to DLP and Paris itself was in order. Paul and @mousematt made a similar trip in 2009 about a month before they broke up, so Paul decided he didn’t want to be part of this new trip, but he and @mousematt booked a short break to Alton Towers (theme park) for @mousematt’s birthday.

But, as you cult members know, the call of Orlando is a strong one. @mousematt started looking at options for visiting this year. However, the economy sucks over here and the finances just weren’t there.

The Gaggle did however, come up with an idea: let’s do a trip in early September 2024 — cheap flights, low crowds and all kinds of Halloween fun. But Anthony wanted to see real America, so we hit on the following. Fly to Boston, check that whole thing out, including a side-trip to Salem; then train to NYC and check that whole thing out; before finally flying to Orlando for WDW and UOR, with the intention of hitting MNSSHP and HHN.

This turned out to be a terrific plan, right up until the point where @mousematt started pricing it up. The problem was partly that Anthony had tasted some luxury during the December trip and he had acquired a taste for it. No flying coach for him. Or not having Express Passes at UOR. To even approach our budget, we ended up with two full days in Boston and two full days in NYC and some complicated machinations for Orlando because @mousematt and Stuart really wanted to do WDW and Anthony and Paul weren’t that bothered.

Anthony had an idea. Why not split the trip in two? Boston and New York one year. Orlando another. This made a lot of sense. Which is odd, because Anthony is usually an idiot. We can give Boston and New York more of the time that they deserve. And by waiting until 2025 for Orlando, Epic Universe will be open and that will be something new for us all.

Anthony had another idea. Do we really need to go to Paris this year? You see, the thing is that none of us were actually that excited about it. If we cancelled it we could put the money towards to the two new trips. We agreed to do so.

This left one issue. No more Orlando for @mousematt until Fall 2025. But with the Paris trip cancelled — and maybe (TBC) the Alton Towers trip, too — a solo trip to Orlando suddenly became possible.

You see, a return to Orlando has been eating at me for three reasons.

First, I acquired Virgin Gold status last year, having taken four — !!! — trips to Orlando in 2022. I’m never getting that again. It comes with decent perks. For example departure and arrivals lounges at Heathrow, priority check-in and boarding, free seat selection. My Gold year runs out at the end of July this year.

Second, I have a UOR Premier AP, which features Express Passes after 4pm. I’m unlikely ever to buy one of those again. It runs out in October this year.

Third, I feel like I have unfinished business at WDW. There are things I want to do. More of these later.

So, as previously billed, I’m planning a trip to Orlando this summer. I haven’t booked anything yet, though I’m itching to do so. I’ll start a new post with my ideas.


The ideas

Split stay: UOR and WDW. UOR probably Endless Summer. WDW probably ASMu. I don’t have a big budget for this trip.

If I’m staying on-property at UOR, then I get early entry. But my AP EP doesn’t kick in until 4pm. So . . . rope drop parks at least once to get some VC action in and whatever else is open that will get busy later. Do things that don’t need EP or don’t benefit from having it, e.g. wandering around WWOHP (with my wand!) and Bourne.

But then . . . leave the parks and explore the hotels. I want to do a tour of the hotels I haven’t been to. I figure this will be a nice, quiet break to the day.

Maybe — maybe — do VB, although my AP doesn’t include that, and it’s expensive. Maybe pool hop (if I don’t stay at Endless Summer, or maybe one night somewhere else so that I can).

The agenda for WDW is this. Tron, obviously. But otherwise, very much a stop and smell the roses tour with rides a low priority. Do the Walt museum thing at HS. That sort of thing. Also featuring a tour of the resorts I haven’t visited. Maybe get some photography done. Spend some time at DS and do that properly.

ADRs will not feature at all. I’ve dined everywhere I want to and Disney dining is very expensive. It’s not a priority.

Finally, a side trip to KSC.

I don’t know how long this trip is going to be. Timing-wise I’m looking at the end of June, beginning of July. This works for a variety of reasons: flight prices are better, I’m willing to give myself the time off work.

So, hit me with your comments and suggestions.


98% excited for you. 2% jealous!! :laughing:


@mousematt --glad you’re back! No suggestions, but I’ll be following along. I most look forward to this:


Yay! Glad to see you’re back and will follow along with the planning. We’re planning early June, and your “thinking out loud” always gives me ideas!


When I first saw the tittle of the OP I thought someone else had created this post genuinely wondering where you were :joy:

Welcome back! L


Glad you’re back! And I’m very glad you have found a way to squeeze an Orlando trip into your budget this year after all!


Another one of my clickbait titles


I had to cancel my April trip. For two reasons. First, I booked it impetuously at a time when it seemed like I could get away with that sort of thing. But the economy hurt me unexpectedly and it had to go. Second, the timing of it was dumb. I shouldn’t have given myself permission to take that week off.

I maybe shouldn’t have cancelled my June trip. I panicked. Things have picked up a little financially since then.

We all thought taking a trip to Paris would be some kind of compensation for not going to Orlando but, well, it just isn’t. Honestly, I couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for it at all. I think it had a negative impact on my mood. (Luckily I masterfully hid this from you all. Ahem.)

Right now I feel on top of the world. Reinstating the June trip isn’t that expensive. I have my UOR AP. I have air miles that will cut the cost of the flight by 20%. I’m perfectly willing to stay at Endless Summer and ASMu. And I may only visit WDW parks twice, or three times at the most. And I’m fine — even a little excited — with not making every meal a TS one. Or even any. Let’s see what QS has to offer. And the lounges. I will finally make it to Three Bridges!


Welcome back. Your enablers missed you. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Nah, I’m 98% both jealous and excited for him.

And 2% sure he won’t change his plans at all. :laughing:


I quite clearly said:



That seems a little high :laughing:


Well in that case I’mnot going to post my suggestions for your Boston /NY trip then.

See, I can flounce too.

Oh yes, nearly forgot. 3 in a row, 3 in a row. First time ever we’ve won the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham back to back. :football: :trophy:



I managed to keep my January trip to a very tight budget under similar circumstances. I’ve come to the determination that Disney is only expensive if you have kids. :rofl:


Yes you were very clear on that point which is why I hadn’t commented at all.


Well that would just be mean to poor little Anthony and Stuart, who are eager for suggestions.

Oh please. Look who you’re talking to. You’re an amateur.

Real flouncing involves setting the entire place on fire and claiming you’re taking a mental health break.


Or if you’re a sugar daddy to your boyfriend.


You found the loophole. :rofl:


To allow for maximum weather-related bitching?