Walt Disney World ICP - Day 1 - The day I've been waiting for... - 3rd June 2013

Monday, 3rd June:
I didn’t have a great night’s sleep to be honest. I woke up every half an hour for over 4 hours, and I eventually got up at 6:30am. That was half an hour earlier that the 7am alarm Joe had set for himself, as he needed to checkin for the BA flight (hooray for twilight checkin!)

I went down for breakfast at the Costa coffee in the hotel and then met Dan to go through security with. Just outside we met Ashleigh. Security was really fast at Gatwick Airport which was great, even if my liquids did have to go to secondary inspection. This is despite the fact that Ashleigh carried a 1.5L bottle of water through security and no one said anything.

We then met our next housemate at the pub inside the South Terminal and all went for a quick visit to Superdry.

A few minutes later we went over to gate number 19, using the numerous travelators and went through to the boarding lounge. I had to go through a random extra inspection which was annoying.

We boarded and were due to depart at 11:15. The next Virgin flight after ours should have been at 13:00 but that was 4 hours delayed so we waited for a few passengers who were allowed onto the earlier flight. We left about half an hour late in the end.

On the flight

Take-off wasn’t great to be honest. It was my first time on such a big plane and the cabin crew on Virgin hadn’t closed one of the overhead lockers properly so it opened up during takeoff, and we had turbulence so the plane started to rattle. Luckily nothing went wrong but heavy suitcases over people’s heads shouldn’t really be moving around in open lockers. Then Dan told me something was dripping from above, and it was - a yellow drop came every few seconds, soaking the seat I was in and my jeans in the process.

I pressed the button to call for a flight attendant and no one came for over half an hour which is disgraceful, when they did come it was to hand out menus and I informed her of the problem. Instead of apologising and offering me somehwere to sit or anything, I was made to dry myself and the seat off with kitchen roll and it was dismissed as “merely condensation.” Water is definitely not yellow and even if it were, that shouldn’t be happening inside the plane.

It was a fairly uneventful flight. The meal wasn’t actually too bad with the main being bangers and mash. For the vegetarians, good luck because they were out of the vegetarian option - it was meat or nothing. Disgraceful. The fact that so many people had chosen variation spoke wonders for the other 2 meals on offer: a chicken curry and the bangers and mash. These were actually great but not something I would have expected when ordering.

The food on the plane - it tasted better than it looked

Other peeves on the plane included sinks that wouldn't drain in several of the bathrooms and the games on the in flight entertainment system had been so badly designed that you couldn’t play some of them as the buttons weren’t clickable. On the other hand, the selection of films was great.

On the plane I read the guardian, took a micro nap, played a trivia game, sudoku and more. I also watched Oz the Great and Powerful but couldn’t finish it as it was so boring even though I was only 20 minutes from the end.

Blair also taught us a few scottish expressions (pardon the scottish spelling):

The now - now
Canny - can not
Doesn’y [sic] - doesn’t
Dinnay - didn’t
(ock)Aye - yes
Laddy - guy
Lassy - girl
Wee - small
Dingied - Abandoned
D’yee Ken someone - do you know them?
Bloottered - drunk
Yeh - you
Braw - good looking
Gonny no day daht? - don’t do that
Youse - you (plural)

In conclusion the 9 hour flight was fine, I had a great time chatting with the guys but it just felt too long for me to be on a plane personally. Thank goodness we’re here for a few months and it’s not just a holiday when I’d be going back and doing the same flight a couple of weeks later.

When we got to Orlando the British Airways flight arrived after us, but getting off the plane was so slow that we arrived after them at immigration and therefore had all of them in front of us in the queuing area. We ended up queuing for 2 hours in total. On the other side we got our bags, took the shuttle across and went down to mears. The plan was to take a shuttle with mears from the airport to one of the Disney residences: Vista Way. When we got to the Mears desk the lady told us that it’d be cheaper to get a cab and told us where to get them from. Wow. If you’re n a group it’s what I’d recommend it came to $60 with tip for 6 of us (in a seven seater). Not bad.

We then got to Disney Housing check-in and the paperwork began, we watched a video, got our housing ID made (be prepared for a photo is your traveller state) and then got taken to Chatham which was our first choice for housing. We moved in and met two of our 4 housemates - they’re all American. Admittedly the apartment isn’t as nice as it looks in the photos but that’s largely due to the bathroom having rust in the bathtub - the rest of it is fine.

Housing check-in

That evening we had a great time playing Uno with two of the American flatmates but had to call it a night at 1am local time - we’d been up for 24 hours straight!

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