This post looked a bit boring with all text and no photos, so I’ve randomly scattered some photos from our home for the next few days. Just to pretty it up a bit.
This has been a very long day. It started off early when we had a wake up call from the hotel. Just to be sure, we’d set the alarm on both phones too so it got a bit noisy around 5am. We were soon ready and out of the hotel. Last night we’d walked over to the Maldron, but this morning we used the shuttle as it was waiting outside the door.
We were the first to be checked in, which didn’t take long as I’d done online checkin before leaving home. I think that’s possibly the shortest time we’ve ever spent landslide in an airport as we got there, dropped our bags with only a few minutes wait and went straight through security. There was virtually no queue for security and it went very smoothly. I was really liking Dublin airport at this point.
What I really liked was doing U.S. pre-clearance in Dublin. Again, there was very little wait, maybe five minutes from entering the line to seeing the Homeland Security officer. It was brilliant not having to queue for ages, and the process seemed to go very quickly too. I liked how they brought up a photo of your luggage on a screen for you to identify. Pre-clearance was a huge benefit of flying from here and having seen now how much easier and quicker it is, we’d fly from Dublin again in a heartbeat.
As we weren’t sure what facilities would be available after pre-clearance, we had breakfast in the departure lounge. We went to the Harvest Market as I’d researched that we could get something fairly healthy there. Stephen spotted the Full Irish breakfast though, and set his heart on one, so as they looked nice, I joined him. Well, we’ve never been to Ireland before so it seemed rude not to. It was very nice. A pile of scrambled egg, lots of thick cut bacon and some black and white pudding. I’d never had white pudding before and I really liked it. There was also a potato cake which was lovely.
We could have got something to eat after pre-clearance, but there wasn’t as much choice. The gate area was quiet and boarding was quick with no shoving and pushing, which you sometimes get with bigger planes.
The flight lasted for eight hours. I read for a bit but then napped until we were about three hours out. Those three hours seemed to last forever. The time can really drag on the long flights. We had quite a bit of turbulence but it didn’t bother us as neither of us is worried about flying. The did have to suspend a drinks service at one point as it was quite bumpy.
We had quite a nice meal. It was chicken in a red pepper sauce, with mashed potatoes. Very tasty and the chicken was lovely. I’d requested a special meal to try to keep it a bit healthier so we had a pot of fruit salad instead of the brownie that the other passengers got.
When we landed at Charlotte airport we faced a layover of three and a half hours before our final hop down to Orlando. Once we figured out where we needed to be, we had a look around to stretch our legs a bit. This involved a trip to Starbucks and my first Pumpkin spice latte and Pumpkin spice muffin with cream cheese. I almost overdosed on those muffins when we went to Niagara. They are divine. Stephen had a cappuccino with a blueberry muffin.
We landed at terminal B and needed to walk round to terminal D. We had a slow stroll, looking in some of the shops along the way. It’s a lovely airport with plenty of healthy eating options. There’s even a juice bar with veggie juices. That looked very tempting, and I’d probably have had something if I wasn’t full of pumpkin.
I must say at this point that I’ve been very impressed with the internet facilities on our journey. The free wi-fi was easy to connect to at Birmingham airport, Dublin airport, the Maldron hotel and Charlotte airport.
We boarded the next flight on time and an hour and a half later, we landed in Orlando. This plane was nice and comfy, just like the last one. Stephen was a bit disappointed that we didn’t have seat back telly on either flight. The planes were basic in that respect, but they got us here and that’s the important thing.
We sailed through Orlando airport, having landed as domestic passengers, got our luggage and headed for the Magical Express. When we got to the desk, there was a massive queue but I’d brought our magic bands from last year and by using those to check in, we completely bypassed the queue and went straight down to where you wait to be sent to the coach. As it happened we didn’t save any time as it was another half an hour before our coach left, but at least we got to wait on a comfy coach and not standing in a queue.
When we arrived it didn’t take long to check in as I’d already done it all online so we were soon in our room. This year we have a studio instead of a one bedroom, as we were a bit short on points. It’s lovely though and will do us very nicely for the next six nights. I’ve no idea what sort of view we have as it was dark when we arrived. I’ll find out in the morning.
We popped down to the Mara to get some stuff for breakfast tomorrow, and as we were quite hungry we got pitas for our supper. I had the falafel one and Stephen had the chicken. They were delicious. No food photos, I’m afraid, but plenty to come another day.
Tomorrow we have an early start as we’ll be doing early entry at Hollywood Studios.
Disclaimer – I’ve now been up for 22 hours, most of which were spent travelling. If any of the above doesn’t make sense, please blame it on exhaustion.