We have been AWOL for a little while, and apologies for that… However we are now back! 

Recently we went to spend 4 days in Berlin, to have a nice get away. We booked Berlin back in February to give us something to look forward to after we got back from America (and we were suffering holiday blues). Berlin is somewhere we wanted to visit, and is a nice little city get away that isn’t crazy expensive. 

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Due to living in the North of England, getting to places such as Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures isn’t easy to do as a day trip. So just like we did back in October, we decided to go and spend a few days visiting the different parks with our Merlin Annual Passes

The plan was:

  1. Warwick Castle on the way down (Saturday),
  2. Chessington World of Adventures (Sunday),
  3. Legoland (Monday),
  4. Thorpe Park and then straight home (Tuesday). 

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We call it the ‘Dog Cottage’ because we go once a year to a cottage that allows you to take your dogs with you and we take 2 dogs; a chihuahua and a labrador.

We looked at a cottage that was near to some nice walks that us and the dogs could enjoy, it also helps to stay active and not be shopping. We had several requirements that included; a fenced garden so the dogs cannot get out, nice clean and spacious cottage, 2 bedrooms and a large garden. 

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So this is not our first time to Alton Towers (as you can imagine), however it was our first time seeing the all new Wicker Man ride that they had to offer.

It has been a good 2 or 3 years since we last stepped foot into Alton Towers, though not a lot has changed. Alton Towers has a lot to offer, if you don’t like rides but still want to go when all of your friends do then don’t worry. Alton Towers has wonderful gardens that you can go walking through! The gardens are stunning and are located in the middle of the park.

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This day should be packing, checking out of the hotel, feeling like you’ve forgotten something and heading for the airport.

Well we did our packing 2 days before, because we knew the night before we would be to tired. So it was just a case of putting in the last bits like clothes we’d worn, make up, brushes, toiletries etc. Then do a scan of the place to make sure we have everything, and leave a final tip for housekeeping (we put all the drinks and stuff we had left that hadn’t been opened in a pile on the dining room table along with a cash tip).

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This was supposed to be a relaxing day where we did nothing. Also our bodies are starting to get tired now, and our feet are getting achy from all this constant walking and running around. Nevertheless we booked a couple of fast passes for Magic Kingdom just in case.

We got up, but we woke up later than normal, as we needed this lie-in! We got ready as usual and went to Magic Kingdom for the final time. Since we had fast passes booked we went for those rides, but started towards the end of our first fast pass.

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There is no day 10 due to the fact we barley did anything. We had a leisurely day to have a break from running around the parks, had a nice bbq lunch at the hotel (a blog about the hotel will come soon), and a little bit of shopping. Plans changed and we ended up going to Hollywood Studios, but we only did 3 rides and came home again. Which due to a 15 minute drive and not paying to park it was worth it.

However today we went back again to Universal Studios. There was nothing new, no new rides, and no new rides to go on etc. Plus we’ve talked about the rides on our previous posts this holiday about Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure.

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A day away from the parks means a day at the beach. Clearwater Beach to be exact, we already knew we were going here as we had planned it. Clearwater is 2 hours away from where we are staying but we have heard good things, which was why we decided to go.

A 2-hour drive requires a good breakfast! So we went to Denny’s. Not sure what to expect it was filled with locals and tourists all wanting breakfast of course. We had a look through the menu and decided on pecan pancakes. Denny’s was nice, but due to the amount of customers the service was a little slow, but this didn’t bother us.

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The park opening time was 9am, so we decided to be there for about 8:30 because there’s a decent walk from the car park to the actual park. However we also needed to nip to a USPS along the way to send some postcards home. So the plan was to wake up at 6:30, be ready by 8 and leave, since Universal is only 20 minutes away.

What actually happened was we woke up at 6:30, jumped out of bed, and got ready so fast that we made it to USPS before 8am. This then meant we were at Universal around 8:20! The park didn’t open till 9, but you can go in and wait inside the grounds. You’re able to get early entry to the park but since we have not yet had to stand in big queues anyway we didn’t think it was worth it.

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