We were up early on the Saturday October 3rd for our flight to Orlando. 5am. The taxi was booked for 6am to take us from Bella and Pops' house to Manchester airport. I was worried we wouldn't be able to sleep for excitement (and because I was sharing a double bed with Z and Miss C) but we did sleep and felt really, really excited when we woke up. The kids managed some cereal and Husband and I had a cup of tea and then we were off. We hired a minibus because of the amount of luggage we had with us.
It was a bit confusing when we arrived at Terminal 1 but we managed to find our way to the check in desk. We thought we might have to wait until check in opened as our flight was at 10.15am and they said it would open 3 hours before but it was already open when we got there so we got checked in really quickly. We were offered an upgrade to Premium Economy, however at £140 each I thought the money would be better spent on goodies in Florida.
We had breakfast after browsing Duty Free at Giraffe. Z's food was freezing when it came out so we sent it back and they gave us a fresh dish. The food was nice. I had scrambled eggs and salmon whilst Husband had a breakfast burrito and the kids had sausages and eggs with toast.
We boarded the plane quite quickly although we were delayed 40 minutes due to the fog and had to sit on the plane until they cleared us for take off. We flew with Thomas Cook on one of their refurbished planes and it was fine. There was a good amount of leg room for economy and I felt comfortable enough in the seat. We didn't realise the seats reclined until 20 minutes before we landed back in the UK though which was really annoying!
The in-flight entertainment wasn't great but there was the option to buy a full package of entertainment for £4 per person. We didn't bother as we had the tablets with us, loaded with lots of films and TV to watch.
We had meals included with our flight. The kids had a pasta and meatballs dish which they didn't eat much of and Husband and I had a chicken korma. The food was OK but I was glad we had brought some snacks with us.
During the flight, Z started to feel unwell. The toilets were downstairs on the plane and there was a seating area which was a lot cooler than the main cabin so Z and Husband spent a lot of time down there. Z was sick once, thankfully missing people but the floor wasn't as fortunate. The crew didn't have anything on the plane to clean up the sick other than toilet roll and napkins from the food carts! Husband cleaned it up as best he could though. We felt really bad for the families sitting near the toilet as it was all you could smell. Sorry about that if you were on our flight.
The flight took about 8 hours and 20 minutes. We arrived in Orlando International at around 2.30pm which would have been 7.30pm UK time. Immigration was really quick and not the horror story I'd been hearing about on Facebook. Our cases were some of the first out and we made our way to the main building via the monorail. A tip if you are travelling in to Orlando International; keep your cases with you. Don't put them on the carousel to take them to the main building for you as you'll be waiting ages.
We arrived at the Disney Magical Express check in and there was a bus waiting for us. Art of Animation was the first stop which was great because we were feeling pretty tired having not slept on the flight. The views of Orlando were lovely and as soon as we saw the sign welcoming us to Disneyworld, we were even more excited. It took about 30 minutes to travel to the hotel from the airport.
The hotel was really impressive. I'll do a separate post on the hotel itself but we couldn't believe how amazing the pictures outside and inside the reception area were.
I checked in online before we left the UK on the Disney website so we just had to collect our Magicbands and head to our room. It was quite a walk from the reception to the Little Mermaid area where we were staying but there was so much to look at, it didn't feel that long.
Husband took the kids to the pool whilst I got everything unpacked. After some exploring of the grounds, we headed for dinner at the Landscape of Flavours, the hotel's food hall. It was pretty busy but the pizza was tasty. We headed back to our room to get some sleep before our early wake up for our first day at the Magic Kingdom.
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