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Old 2 Oct 09, 09:14 AM  
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Deck 4, Disney Wonder
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It started out as a weekend in Spain! - Day One Travel Day

Day 1 – Travel Day - Thursday 28th May

Up around 5.45am, shower, dress, close and lock the cases. The usual pre holiday run around (for me anyway) unplugging things and checking and double checking stuff is turned off. Taxi arrived to take us to the airport around 6.30am so we would hopefully miss all the rush hour traffic on the motorway. Taxi driver reports he has already made multiple trips to the airport. I do worry that his van will be able to make it another time (I think a fair word to describe the transport is ‘old’) but we do get there safely by 7am. When we get into the terminal the Continental check in is of course the furthest away from where we are and we jealously eyeball the Virgin passengers flying direct to Orlando as we pass that line (we are going via Newark to Tampa). DH spots a former work colleague who now works at airport check-in and just abandons me with the luggage for a good 10 minutes; meanwhile I can see the Continental queue getting bigger! Strangely enough we had also seen this particular guy on TV that same week as he was on the Weakest Link! DH returns to assist with luggage with the news that former colleague is good friends with a member of Continental check in staff but can’t pull us a favour as he is not in today…..never mind!
We were entertained in the queue by a security guard who was a Manchester City Fan as Manchester United had lost some big European Final the previous evening – he was having a great day! The queue went down quickly and we were soon at the front. Our seats on the 1st leg (Manchester to Newark) had been changed and we were in the emergency exit row over the wing which we were very pleased about, we still had the same seats for the 2nd leg as per the online check in but they were at a door exit. Result! Flight was expected to leave on time and we happily went to security which we virtually walked straight through and there we were once again in one of our favourite places….the airport departure gates waiting to go to Disney! Had some breakfast which I have no doubt cost a fortune but hey, never mind we’re on holiday! A quick nosey round duty free and a perfume and water purchase later and we found a spot and settled down for the next hour. DH played on his iTouch (the best birthday pressie ever for keeping him quiet ). I had a wander round WH Smith and Boots and did my usual multiple trips to the loo!
We boarded and left on time and we were seated on the middle of the three exit rows so had seats that didn’t recline but to be honest I prefer the extra leg room which was very nice (both DH and I are big so it was nice not to be too cramped). I like to sit on the aisle so I don’t disturb anyone on my frequent loo visits. I have to say that the flight crew were very nice and I would definitely fly Continental again – the plane had entertainment on demand and looked pretty new – (we are regular Virgin travellers and the Manchester route planes are looking very tired now). The meal on the plane was perfectly acceptable – I had Lasagne and DH had Chicken and rice. We also got a salad and a bread roll and although I didn’t make a note of dessert I think it was a chocolate brownie. Wine was offered but DH and I don’t drink much so we declined. It was good to have proper Coke and not the rubbish Virgin Cola .
Flight was a bit turbulent at times but not too bad. Passed the time by watching a couple of films, the first one I don’t remember and the second was Bride Wars (although I missed the end as the entertainment was turned off!) Just before landing we were given a snack of Turkey and Ham sandwich and crisps which I have noted were very good!
We arrived into Newark on time, got through immigration, collected our luggage, dropped it off again and went through security in an hour which I thought was pretty good. Had time to get a snack (as we knew there was nothing on the next flight) and then it was time to board. We boarded and then waited and waited and waited a bit more. We were sat at the first exit door in economy (next to the galley and with two of the cabin crew sat opposite) and when the captain announced a ‘technical issue’ we knew it was because the hot water was leaking out all over the galley and we were witness to the two engineers trying to fix it which was entertainment in itself! The two cabin crew were lovely ladies and very chatty and we were told that the captain had told them to expect a very bumpy flight and that they probably wouldn’t get to serve the whole plane with drinks which of course made me worry but it turned out to not be that bad – just a couple of periods of turbulence where the crew had to sit down. I read a book most of the time and also played a couple of games on the in-flight entertainment system. Again it seemed to be a new plane and the entertainment was on demand - I was very disappointed to discover they weren’t showing Bride Wars so I could watch the end!
The flight made up some time and we arrived about 10 minutes late into Tampa. Luggage retrieved quickly and then that wonderful experience of stepping outside the airport to that warm, humid feeling! We were renting our car through Budget which was on airport and unlike Orlando there was NO LINE! (Note I’ve changed to Americanisms already). We were told which bay the car was in and when we got there it was a Chevy H3. We have had one of these before and were happy with that one. We left the Airport at 6.15pm local time and followed our instructions we had brought with us as we had never flown into Tampa before. Once we were on the highway (I4) and getting on the outskirts of Disney DH knew where he was anyway (he’s really good with areas and directions). The drive took about an hour and ten minutes and we arrived at our home for the next seven days…Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Checked in and we had been allocated room 9229 in the 90’s building which was on the (American) 2nd floor or our (British) 1st floor!

We were both pretty tired as we’d been up for about 19 hours by now so we literally dropped the cases off and went to the food court for something to eat and the all important refillable resort mug! Walking into Everything Pop food court was pretty overwhelming…the noise was incredible – we really did time it wrong as there were loads of people in eating. After checking out the offerings I opted for a Reuben Flatbread and DH had a Blackened Fish sandwich both of which were good. We refilled our mugs and headed back to the room in the pouring rain and on the short walk back the thunder and lightening started and the rain came down even harder. I unpacked a little (I get bored of that job very quickly!) while DH watched baseball and we showered to try and keep going longer and gave up around 9.30pm!

Edited at 09:17 AM.
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Old 2 Oct 09, 10:12 AM  
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waiting impatiently...!
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A pretty good straightforward day as far as some travel days go, off to find the next installment
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Old 2 Oct 09, 10:29 AM  
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great travel day

looking forward to reading more
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Old 2 Oct 09, 12:50 PM  
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great travel day xx
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Old 2 Oct 09, 01:00 PM  
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Great report, looking forward to hearing more!

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Old 2 Oct 09, 01:18 PM  
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Great report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 2 Oct 09, 01:39 PM  
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Great report.

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Old 2 Oct 09, 02:04 PM  
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Great report. I very pleased to see I'm not the only one who makes multiple trips to the loo before flying!
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Old 2 Oct 09, 10:18 PM  
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Great start... off to read the next installment.
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Old 3 Oct 09, 03:24 AM  
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Great start
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