It’s taken me a few days to get around to this, but better late than never, eh?
Our last day started off fine. We finished off the last bit of packing, got Bell Services to collect and store our luggage, and headed off for Animal Kingdom on the Disney bus.
We hadn’t planned any FastPasses in advance as we weren’t sure how much time we’d have before being collected by the Magical Express, so I was chuffed that we’d managed to get what we wanted with such short notice.
We went on the Safari and Expedition Everest and saw Nemo one more time. We had lunch at the local café by the Yak and Yeti, which we always enjoy, and generally said goodbye to our favourite park.
It took forever to check in and get through security and by the time we boarded for our 9pm flight, I was nodding off. I napped for a while once we’d boarded but soon realised that there was something wrong. Apparently the pilot had seen a warning light and had been running tests to find the problem. Three hours later, at just after midnight, they announced that we were being offloaded and would be taken to a hotel for the night.
It was all a bit of a nightmare from that point on. We queued for the hotel voucher, with just one person dealing with all the economy passengers. Then we queued for the coach to take us to the hotel and finally we queued to check in at the hotel. Three hours after getting off the plane we finally saw a bed and collapsed into it. 3am is well past my bedtime!
The room was freezing cold and the heating/air con unit was very noisy. The fridge kept coming on too and that was also loud. Not what we’d been used to at Disney.
We had meal allowances for the hotel but they put on special food for us in a separate room rather than letting us use the allowance in the restaurants. The breakfast wasn’t too bad apparently but most of us were too busy trying to catch up on some sleep to take advantage. Lunch was pretty dire and there wasn’t much of it.
We’d been told to be ready to depart at 4pm, but that got pushed back to 5pm and again to 6pm. We still weren’t sure if we were flying or not. They’d had to fly in a part and engineer from Europe so the plane could be fixed.
The coach they sent for us was a fraction of the size of the ones that had ferried us to the hotel and we were lucky to get on it. I’ve no idea what happened after that but the rest of the passengers didn’t start to trickle into the gate area until several hours later.
Our plane did fly, but not until 10.40pm. We’d had to rearrange our connecting flight from Dublin and had got an earlier one than originally planned. It was a bit tight making the connection so we didn’t have time to eat at Dublin as planned, but we comfortably made the flight.
Our luggage did not. It seemed inevitable really. Just one more thing going wrong. We did get our luggage back the next afternoon though. It was delivered to us at home and was intact, so that was a relief.
I’m not sure if we’d fly with Aer Lingus again, which is a shame as their regional flights are fine and the pre-clearance at Dublin is brilliant. I’m just not impressed with their transatlantic flights. I guess we’ll look at all the options for next time.
It wasn’t the best holiday we’ve ever had, with all the mishaps and health issues, but any holiday at Disney is brilliant and we had a great time in-between resting our back and legs. We had some amazing food, enjoyed the warmer than expected weather, went on most of our favourite rides and saw lots of animals.