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Florida 2017 with 8 Children from The Abbey School Farnham 🇺🇸😎🐬🇬🇧

Everyone arrived at the Sofitel Gatwick with suitcases and passports, ready to depart in the morning! 

After checking into our rooms, we had a delicious dinner, topped off with the biggest waffles I have ever seen and some fruit salad!

An early night for all, before we have breakfast and depart for USA in morning!

Good night everyone! 



Sunday 29 October

Our day began with a hearty breakfast at the Sofitel- we then headed across for our flight to Orlando. Everyone boarded he plane and then settled down for a long flight to USA!  The flight attendants ensured all the children were comfortable on our flight.When we landed, they all got the chance to meet the Captain and sit up front in the cockpit! A long day, but everyone now settled in at the houses for a good nights sleep! 





Monday 30 October

A more relaxed day today for everyone! Breakfast at the house followed by a trip to Walmart , with shopping for the students. Lunch at the house and then we all headed over to Boggy Creek for a windswept Airboat ride. The students saw lots of wildlife including some big Gators!

In the eveing we drove over to Disney Springs for dinner. A delicious dinner was had by all at Chef Art Smiths Homecomin Restaurant. Many thanks to our friend Jimmy for giving the children such a memorable evening.  We then headed over to Splitsville for a couple of games of bowling and some huge desserts! the children had a wonderful time thanks to Frank! Just a shame that Gordon cheated at bowling !!!





Tuesday 31st October



Discovery Cove

An early start to the day, with breakfast at Discovery Cove! Today things really warmed up and the children loved swimming with Capricorn and Clipper! All became dolphin trainers for the day! Fantastic to see so many of the children loving the Lazy River and snorkeling with all the tropical fish and rays! Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch and then headed back to the water again! We were treated like VIP's in our cabana. Thank you to the wonderful Tricia Wong at Discovery Cove for organizing our special day. 

At Bucca di Beppo for dinner, we were treated like Kings and Quenns! Afeast of food was served up for our group! Salads, Pizza, Spagetti, Pasta and a delicious Parmesan Chicken! Everyone tucked in- Full to the top! A tired group this evening after a full on day, so we skipped Dessert- Gordon had to miss out on his Sundae! Our grateful thanks to all at Bucca!




Wednesday 1st November 


Our first day at Universal! Once again exhilarating and full on. Our guides Dawn and Dave ensured that we rode all the rides and got the full VIP experience. Lunch in La Bamba was first class and the children loved every minute of the day, especially meeting The Simpsons! We were treated to a really special event, when Jamal met the Blues Brothers- a dream come true, not only for Jamal but for everybody!! None of today's events would have been possible without the amazing help that we get from Denise Brock, assisted by Chris & Paula. The children then enjoyed an evening at home, with swimming and some TV, before the benefit of an early night. Carol, Mo and Holly also hopefully benefitted from an early night too! 

Tomorrow we are off to Disney for a full day of fun and laughter! Another action packed day to follow!




Thursday 2 November

We arrived at The Magic Kingdom, around lunch time, after a leisurely morning at the house. We took the monorail over to the park and then checked into the Town Hall. Our first ride was the 7 dwarfs diamond mine, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean. We managed to ride Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and Toms favourite, Its A Small World! Everyone also enjoyed driving at The Speedway! The day was rounded off with a Paddlesteamer Boat ride across the lake, before watching the magical Fireworks across the water. The students headed home to enjoy a cup of Hot chocolate and delicious velvet cup cake, before bed.



Friday 3 November


Another amazing day at Universal- This time in Islands of Adventure. We were treated like true VIPs by our guides Dave & Dawn. The day started with a gentle ride in Dr Seuss's Cat in the Hat. The children met Thing 1 & Thing 2 for a few photos! Once our breakfast had the chance to settle, we started the first roller coaster of the day on The Hulk! Lots of the children loved it so much, they had a second ride! Everyone took the Hogwarts Express from Kings Cross Platform 9 3/4 to Hogsmead and then entered Hogwarts Castle for more fun and games with Harry and Hermione! Lunch in the 3 Broomsticks was a magical experience that everyone enjoyed! We rounded off our last day in Universal with rides on King Kong, Ripsaw Falls and a final soaking on the Popeye Boat Ride! An amazing experience for all the children! Meeting Spider-Man, Cyclops, Storm and Captain America was the highlight of the day! We are so very grateful to Denise for making this trip such a magical experience for our special children,




Saturday 4 November


A quieter day for everyone, with children getting a lie in before a little bit of shopping. Each child was given $50 from the charity, to shop and get some gifts to take back home. Everyone met up in the afternoon, at the Orlando Eye, where the children got a great view across the Orlando area! They could see some of the parks we have already visited and Seaworld, which is one they still have to experience!  This evening the students will be having. Take away at the house, followed by an early night, as we are off to Legoland and the Water Park tomorrow! Thanks for the Tickets Merlin. 




Sunday 5 November


Today we turned left out of our estate and headed over to Legoland! On arrival,we were greeted by our guides Tonja and Candice, who showed us all around the park. Just about everyone rode the rollercoasters and rides in this park! Jack, Holly and Michael were especially pleased to wander around small town and meet up with the charactures from Star Wars! The water ride on the boats, got everyone involved shooting the water canons at Gordon and Tom- It was was water fight wars!! The children watched a waterski show and were then treated to lunch and went home with a Legoland goody bag! A fantastic day was had by all!

The children had dinner at the house, while the charity committee members and Carol from The Abbey, took our amazing US supporters, out for dinner to say a HUGE THANK YOU for their support, for this years Trip of a Lifetime! Couldn't do this trip, without the amazing support we get from all our American family! 




Monday 6 November

Today saw the students from The Abbey School head over to Dr Phillips High School, where they got the opportunity to met some of the students and have look around the school. Very different from their school back in the UK! They were treated to some bagels for breakfast and also went into the farm to pet the Pygmy goats and sheep. Everyone enjoyed their time at the school. After lunch the students went over to The Sealife Centre and Madam Tussauds, thanks to Merlins Magic Wand for giving us the tickets!  We all enjoyed a Magical evening, with a boat ride across from The Portofino Hotel, into Universal and then onto The Hard Rock Cafe! All the students loved this evening, with the chance to see so much musical memorabilia! Everyone felt like a star, out on the balcony, overlooking the waterfront at Universal! What a fantastic Night!


Tuesday 6 November

Our last day in the parks before a day of rest! Our group headed over to Sea World, for an action packed day with the fishes. After breakfast at our houses, we picked up the tickets and went on over to Sea World. The day started with visits to some shows- The children all enjoyed Blue Horizons and then the rides beckoned! As ever the roller coasters proved to be popular with our group - Manta and Mako, were ridden a few times!! The Shamu show was spectacular, with the Killer Whales leaping into the air and creating huge splash zones! We also got to ride The Arctic helicopter and see Beluga Whales, an enormous Walrus and Sea lions. Everyone enjoyed the hovercraft ride, to see the smelly penguin colony and the day was rounded off with lashings of Ice cream! The children had a takeaway for dinner and then did a bit more shopping! Our very grateful thanks go to Lisa Larson at Sea World for organizing our day and tickets! A day of rest to follow, before we enjoy a last night out with the Students from The Abbey School!





Wednesday 7 November

The Abbey School had a day of rest. A lie in was enjoyed by all the team!  The students made full use of the Pool at their house and the children had the chance to do some final shopping ,with the teachers. Our final evening was spent at Disney Springs. An opportunity to walk around the shops and restaurants and take in the amazing atmosphere!  Dinner at Planet Hollywood was the highlight for many of the children. They were treated like VIPs with a table up on the top balcony, over looking the  restaurant! The food was amazing and everyone enjoyed a fantastic night! We are so very grateful  to Mark from Planet Hollywood, for organizing this special evening and giving the children some great goody bags to take home!

What a fantastic way to round off our trip of a life time! 




Thursday 8 November


All packed their cases this morning and cleaned up the houses, before we head over to airport later this afternoon, for our return flights to U.K.! Time for a bit of lunch with the children, before we leave though! Everyone received an award, even the teachers! The students from The Abbey were fantastic ambassadors for their school! We have seen so many changes in them over the last 10 days. It has been a pleasure so share the fun and laughter with this group! Time for one last dip in the pool , before we load up the mini use for our journey over to Orlando Airport!