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That was one expensive holiday!: Day 1 – The Journey

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by wickesy, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    We were up at 6:30 and after having a wash etc. we left the room at 7:30 and dropped the room keys off in the express checkout box. We made the short journey over to the South Terminal and headed for the Fasttrack security line. There were probably just as many people in this queue as in the ordinary queue, but we were still through within about 5 minutes.

    Most of the coffee shops were pretty crowded so we ended up in the Metro Café where Dad had a black coffee to take away and I had a bottle of Fanta. We found a couple of seats and had our drinks before I popped in to Dixons as I wanted a case for my TomTom. They didn’t have the one I wanted so I left empty handed.

    As we had plenty of time to kill we headed round to register for ‘IRIS’. For those who don’t know this is a fast track immigration system for when you return to the UK. I went in first and the Officer explained that the enrolment process involves looking into a screen and lining up your eyes with two green dots. The system then takes a photograph of your irises and stores it to match up with your eyes when you return through immigration. The problem was that it is not as easy as it sounds and I found it difficult to open my eyes wide enough for the system to be happy. I ended up standing up to look into the screen and then managed to hit it first time. Dad went in after me and had similar problems but again managed to finally get registered. It turned out to be well worth the effort but more of that on Day 15.

    We then went back to the departure lounge and at about 9:10 the screens showed that the flight would be departing from Gate 33. We made our way down to the gate and found that our plane for the flight would be Ruby Tuesday, which I knew meant that we would have the better of the two entertainment systems.

    Boarding began at 10:50, we took our seats, 80H and K upstairs, and after enjoying our welcoming glass of sparkling wine we pushed back just under half an hour late at 11:40. There was a short queue for takeoff and we were airborne at 12:10.

    Once the entertainment system was switched on I watched St. Trinians and the first drinks run was made. Lunch was a choice of BBQ Chicken or Beef in Mustard Sauce and Dad went for the former whilst I went for the latter as I had chicken last night.

    While we were eating I watched my second film, Alvin & The Chipmunks and while I was waiting for the films to start again I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory on my Archos.

    Once the films had started again I watched I Am Legend, during which we had the ice cream run. Just over an hour before we landed we had the sandwich run which was a choice of Cheese & Humus or Ham and Chicken, Dad and I both went for Ham & Chicken.

    We were on the ground at 3:30 and at the gate for 3:40, which is where things started to deviate from my carefully crafted plans. Our hand luggage had been too big to go in the overhead lockers or in the bins beside the window seat so it had been stored at the back of the cabin for us. When Dad went to retrieve it he found that first of all the door to the storage area had jammed and then once it was opened our hand luggage was behind everybody elses. This meant that although we were at the back of the upstairs cabin right by the stairs a few people got in between Dad and me and I was left disembarking the plane with an armful of stuff that I had taken out to use on the plane and with quite a few people heading off towards immigration in front of us. I stopped to re-pack my bag and when I finally caught up with Dad he had gone to the far left of the immigration hall instead of the far right, so there was no chance of doing the US visitor line shuffle.

    It took what seemed an age to get through immigration but it was actually only about half an hour and two minutes later we had retrieved our luggage and, having avoided the second bag drop we were on the monorail heading for the main terminal. I headed off to the Virgin Holidays Dollar desk and by 5:00 we were on the road.

    We headed off via the South Exit and down the 417 and, after paying out $2.50 in tolls we were passing under the arch at 5:45 and by 6:00 we were at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We duly checked in and were allocated room 3510 on Zebra trail.

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    This was waiting on the bed for us to arrive.

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    Working across from right to left is the view from our balcony.

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    These guys were waiting under the balcony to welcome us home every afternoon.

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    Views of the room.

    After dumping our bags we headed down to the bar where we had a bottle of Sam Adams each and having downed those fairly swiftly we headed down to Mara to get our refillable mugs and a bacon double cheeseburger each. Suitably stuffed we topped up our mugs and headed back to the room to unpack and I typed up the trip report for the day.

    We then headed off to bed at 9:30 ready to hit the parks bright and early tomorrow.

    Tomorrow: Day 2 - Disney Hollywood Studios
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  2. Ilovesnowwhitej
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    Ilovesnowwhitej Earning my ears

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    Brilliant you have started your next report :smiley3: What time of year did you go? Your hotel looks amazing and the pictures are fantastic, how nice of those guys to welcome you back each day.
    xx
  3. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    This trip was just before Easter this year.
  4. dave&pauline
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    dave&pauline Earning my ears

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  5. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Great start to your trip reports.....that was an amzing view you had at AKL :yes:

    Looking forward already to day 15 to see how IRIS worked for you on your return trip.
  6. BabyDB
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    BabyDB Earning my ears

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    What a great view from your balcony!!

    Wish we could stay at AKL.
    Off to read more...

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