Yeah, up at the crack of sparrow ready to “go, go, on an adventure”. Off to Disney world for 17 days with the grandkids and then we have a 5 week road trip to recover.
Airport was amazingly quiet and efficient. Hardly any queues apart from the one caused by good old Virgin being too damn lazy to open up on time. Then we find that because we’re virgin silver we get free fast rack through security. Not aware of that, nor is it on their website, so we’ve paid £10 unnecessarily. Virgin Atlantic SNAFU strike again.
Can’t get in the ?? Lounge so have to settle for the ?? Lounge. Need to book at least 48 hours ahead – Dragon pass useless.
Flights on time. Greeted by flight manageress who suggest we move to the 3 bulk head seats to get even more legroom. All very comfortable with premium economy, as good as the upper class service just misses a bed. Being a flight to Orlando it’s like a flying kindergarten, are there any adults on board? Great flight.
Land on time to 29C and of course it’s humid. 2 minutes to clear immigration. Has to be a new record followed by all luggage within 5 minutes – Manchester airport take note, go learn how it’s done.
Pick the car up at Hertz. Pre-booked a 7 seater SUV, turns out to be a Nissan plastic piece of junk with a miniscule boot. Go to see why my presidents circle membership doesn’t give me a free upgrade to a bigger SUV. Turns out there’s a selection of 7 seaters in the free Presidents circle upgrade selection all with marginally bigger trunks. Still no suburban class but at least I get a state of the art Buick, very nice. Somewhat galling as I’d paid for 7 seater SUV when I could have just paid for a mid size, considerably less, and got the free Presidents circle upgrade.
Drive through the daily monsoon to our Airbnb. All very clean and comfortable but a lot smaller than the photos con you. Great bedrooms and more bathrooms than any mucky person can cope with. I think a 4 star but it’ll do.
Quick trip to Walmart for breakfast essentials including a well deserved wine.
Fortunately once they close those aircraft doors you leave all the Virgin Atlantic IT and customer services crap behind and you’re ensconced in a world of luxury and pampered with awesome service. What’s more it’s a delight to see how the cabin crew genuinely seem to enjoy their work, nothing too much trouble and always a kind word and a great smile. A credit to some great recruitment selection and awesome training. I’ll say it again, “sack their incompetent IT and customer services senior management and replace them with some cabin crew staff who really understand customer service”.
It’s the little things that matter. Like the air hostess (no doubt that’s no longer politically correct so I’ll take great delight in keeping it alive) who bought me a the last miniature Baron Ottard brandy that I’d been asking her about – a great brandy. Really appreciated that as I was on the wagon because I had to drive.
Walmart – I really applaud their employment of geriatrics (I’m one myself), but a little management and common sense wouldn’t go amiss. Why have an arthritic snail working on checkouts, surely there’s plenty of other faster employees and the snail could be gainfully employed in other less speed demanding areas.
After Walmart we add to the joy with. Visit to Publix and to Wendy’s delight Aldi.
Tea time I’m off to the airport to pick the kids up. Rush hour, it’s a nightmare, and Americans do love their traffic lights.
Kids are all tired after a long day starting at 03:00, but they’re here now and that’s all behind them.
Awesome as the grandkids run across the airport atrium to greet me. They’re so excited.
Woken at 06:30 by three excited grandchildren and so the magic begins.
Off out by 09:00 to start at the Magic Kingdom. You forget how many steps there are to get there. Drive; queue to pay $25 for car park; tram to transit centre; ferry boat to the entrance and then we’re there.
It’s iguana dropping out trees weather. I thought Florida was supposed to be warm. We all really screwed up on the clothing today, need to check weather forecasts and dress accordingly. Fortunately by 11:30 the suns out and it’s warm enough.
The park’s heaving and most rides have long wait times. All aggravated by the greed of Disney with their $20 a day lightning pass which makes queue times even longer for those without it.
After a long day we get home about 17:30. All very tired with feet ready to drop off after 6 hours on our feet walking and queueing, but we’ve all had a great time. Just a delight to see the kids faces and share in their excitement.
Up at 06:00, out by 07:30 to pick up a free parking pass from P&K and then drive to Hollywood studios. New tactics are arrive early to get closer parking and early benefit of shorter queues.
Jasper, Beatrix, Fiona and Kurt do the slinky roller coaster, despite some heavy trepidation from Jasper. Wendy and I take Esther to the Woody ride, some great shooting from Esther.
Meet P&K and the rest of the kids at the diner. Then we’re off to explore the rest of the park together. P&K and I split off to do Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars. A 50 minute queue but what an awesome ride. Who dreams these up and a low peak limit. The kids and grandkids go off and do their own thing. Meet up again P&K and Kurt and Fiona do the Rocking roller coaster. A pretty full day and awesome day without too many meltdowns.
P&K come round for dinner and a pretty alcoholic evening. Starts with Prosecco, onto red wine and finished off with some Toast whiskey Basil Haydyn, a new offering, very quaffable. Great evening, great company and Kim and I manage to make a great impression on the whiskey. I retire to a sleep of the drunken just.
Beatrix has been sick in the night so we cancel Typhoon lagoon. How will Kurt cope with a deviation from his precision schedule?
By lunch time Beatrix has perked up and manages a splash in the pool along with Jasper and Esther.
Then we drive down to the boardwalk for a gentle stroll around the lagoon, pleasant and relaxing. Followed by a drive to Disney Springs and a rather stressful stroll around there. It’s heaving and will be avoided in future.
Drop Kims iPad off at Fort Wilderness then it’s home for tea and some refreshing beer and wine.
Up at 06:00, out by 08:00 and drive to Epcot. A pretty full day at Epcot until 15:00, manage to do most of the rides, and then we have the joy of a trip to Publix. Yeah, shopping, just what you need after a full day of parks, heat, walking and queuing.
Home for a quick cup of tea, shower and change before setting off to dinner with Kim and Phil at their Winnebago. They also kindly invited the kids and grandkids, but he grandkids get so tired and grumpy that Fiona didn’t want to expose anyone to their meltdowns – Esther had been a nuclear reactor meltdown and nightmare today.
Have pizza, then sit and watch the parade of trick or treaters drive by in their decorated carts and then Phil takes us a drive around the awesome Halloween displays – see photos.
Great evening observing how the Americans do Halloween on a trailer park, as always in a big way. Enjoying yet another aspect of American culture. Incredible.
The pictures don’t really do it justice. You really have to see it to believe it. Yes, that’s a 100 stormtroopers and that’s Jurassic park complete with metal raptor cage and jeep.
A real pity the grandkids couldn’t join us as it would have been awesome for them to see and Phil was very kindly planning on hiring a cart to drive then around in, but they would have probably either been asleep or crankier than a bear with a sore head. Instead Wendy and I had the pleasure of a pleasant adult evening, with great company and no rug rats.
Up at 06:00 for the usual drill and get to Epcot for 08:15. Wow, a new record, but worth the effort.
Do World showcase Plant Earth and then Kurt, Fiona and Jasper dash off to do Guardians of the Galaxy. I pass, sound too pewky for my tender constitution.
Then we manage Soaring , followed by a Frozen boat ride and photos with Elsa and Arnia. Wendy and I enjoy the big drumming in Japan and a stroll around Japan. Finally escape for a nice early departure followed by swimming at home.
Somehow K, F and Wendy manage to find an excuse to go to Walmart. Just for a few things, somehow it gets spun out for an hour. Moral of that is never go shopping with Wendy. I get left with the rug rats who gorge themselves out on Oreo’s and crackers. Moral of that is never leave the rug rats with me, I let them have what they want.