Hi and welcome to day 1 of my holiday report- I am missing Florida already and wish I could go back!
We woke up early to get to the airport on-time – ie 2.5 hours before our flight, so I was rather annoyed when it was delayed from 10.00 to 11.00. We had left the house at 6.15! However what it did mean was that we did have more time to look around the airport after a super fast experience at security. We got to the lounge at 10 past 8. There are a ton of shops at the bigger terminals, Victorias secret (just travel accessories, cosmetics and perfume- no bras), WHsmith, The huge duty free emporium, Paperchase, Fatface, GAP, Superdry, Pandora etc. Wanting to save my money for in the states (it was all in dollars anyhow!) I skipped shopping and we headed over for some breakfast!
Breakfast was at Giraffe, Mum got the full veggie it was meant to include veggie sausages but they had sold out so we got falafel brought to us instead. Mum dislikes falafel so I ate these- they were actually really nice, however I get bored of falafel with it being such a common vegan menu option in omnivore based chains. I ordered the porridge made with soya milk (I didn’t fancy the vegan savory option of hummus and avacado toast), but without any honey, it was a huge bowl and very filling. We also ordered toast and 2 pots of tea, we both enjoyed our meals and I think the prices were typical of Giraffe, the full bill was £20 excluding our tip.
After breakfast we went to WHSMITH where Mum noticed all of the magazines were out of date! Not sure if this is typical? I picked up a Zootropolis/Zootopia colouring book for £4.99 in the childrens WHSMITH concession. I really loved this movie and its hilarious pop culture references along with the good message it had, however I haven’t seen much merchandise for it around. They also had star-wars, Frozen and Disney Jr coloring books and sticker books- all on 3 for 2. In the regular WHSMITH they had ‘grown up’ Harry Potter and Starwars colouring books which obviously had more intricate and less basic designs. The only other airport purchase I made was boring – Water, however the mini bottles of water we got in Boots had Tsum Tsums on which was really cute.
We boarded our flight and got offered to pay to upgrade for a 3rd time, refusing politely we found our seats. We were seated together but hadn’t paid to pre-select seats- however there were only 2 of us. During the flight I upgraded to premium entertainment. It was £6 with headphones or £4 alone. The basic package offerings film wise included Toy Story 3 and a few other films and a few kids shows such as dog with a blog and some cartoons, however the premium package had Big Bang Theory, Night at The Museum 3, The Middle, The Hunger Games, The Good Dinosaur and The Revenant and the Danish Girl. I watched an episode of the middle and did some colouring in my new book. The in flight meal vegan offering was a disappointment but I am going to write about that seperately. After lunch I watched some cartoons, and part of Star Wars and we bought some tea and coffee (no soy milk offered) and some peanuts £1.30 and Water £1.80
They brought round some mini cornettos shortly after which obviously we refused, at the same time we were given our documents to fill out. There was a small amount of turbulance, but as someone who had only flown to Europe before- It was nothing! I didn’t think it was even necessary to give a seatbelt call.
Next they brought around an afternoon tea, I was given more bread, some fruit and a nakd bar. The fruit thing comes with a funny story. Basically, during the flight I was given more fruit than I needed (3 apples, 2 tangerines, 2 boxes of raisin, and 1 pear) I didn’t finish it all then I was panicking at the agriculture bit of customs. So much so that I told the guy ‘I have apples but they gave them to us on the flight, honestly I wasn’t trying to smuggle fruit’ He found this entertaining but did take the apples to ‘dispose of safely’ (The other security guard joked that he thought the agriculture guys just ate all the fancy European cheeses people tried to bring over)
So yeah we did arrive in Orlando very late on. As you can’t get an Uber cab from the airport we got in a mears taxi. Despite the quote on the sign saying our fare would be between $40 and $60 it was $68 excluding tip- with no traffic! I cannot stand black cab style prices, they are such a rip off!
The place we stayed was the Champions World Resort in Kissimmee staff at the resort were super welcoming and friendly. After mum settled the resort fee and room deposit ($7 per night for pools, park and cleaning and $50 for the refundable damages deposit) we had a walk around. I was impressed by the resort- the value of the hotel room was much better than places we have stayed in England. What we have got for a similar price here has been of poor quality in comparison. There were 3 pools – 1 outdoors heated and with a bar, 1 outdoors unheated with a Jacuzzi and one undercover. There was also a small private beach area with hammocks and deckchairs which was located in the little private nature park. There were lots of picnic tables by the waterfalls which I thought would make a nice location for a picnic dinner in the evening. The resort also had a games room with tokened air hockey and pinball (both games I rock at by the way!), a fitness suite with weights and gym equipment, a basketball court, an onsite shop and an onsite restaurant. Our room was spacious and clean, and it had a coffee machine, fridge, TV and microwave. We also each got a double bed! I was very happy about this- at home I use a double but in hotels I am normally conformed to a tiny single if I am in a twin bedroom. The evening activities offered onsite for free were nightly movies shown at the pool, and free bonfires and campfires lit on request.
My friend who lives in Orlando; Laurel picked us up at 7.30 (very late in our time!) and we went to Tom and Chee with her and her pal Ronnie. This place is good if you want quick, cheap and very american food. I got a very greasy but tasty vegan grilled cheese sandwich on rye with onions, carrots, chillis and tomatoes, The topping offerings were wide- lots of different cheeses, meats, veggies then more unusual stuff like potato chips and hummus too. You could also get grilled ham and cheese doughnuts… disgusting! Even If I ate meat and cheese I would have skipped that one!
After Tom and Chee we went to Disney Springs to get some vegan soft serve ice creams in Erin Mckenna’s NYC (The vegan bakery located there) I got a chocolate vanilla swirl with brownies, I enjoyed it and it reminded me of coconut based soft serve frozen yogurt. Mum commented that she loved the atmosphere that Disney Springs had at night- I agree, there was lots to do and it was not too crowded, there was also lots of live music going on, the atmosphere had a great buzz and vibrancy to it.
As we had no toothpaste we popped into the 24hr Walgreens on the way back before flopping into bed!