Monday, 23 June 2008

I can go the distance... Part 1

I'm here!!!!

I have half an hour before I have to go to our first day of orientation so I will quickly fill you in on the last 48 hours!

Saturday - we drove down to the Holiday Inn and found our rooms. Pretty standard to be honest! Stayed in the hotel that night (had a nice but expensive dinner!). I didn't have too bad a night's sleep even though I woke up at 6am and didn't find it hard to get up! I think it was more nerves than anything else! We went down to get breakfast to find they were charging £15 per person!!!! How obscenely expensive is that! So we decided to give that a miss and go straight to Gatwick aiport to find some food there.

Sunday - Hense, I checked in reeeeally early, I had already done the checking in part online so I had my seat and everything, I just needed to give them my luggage. It was pretty easy and the check in man was really nice to me, explaining what I had to do and where to go next. Anywhoo, me, mum, dad and victoria went up to Costa Coffee and all I could manage to eat/drink was a mango smoothie because I felt really nervous. I felt just like I did when we drove to Bournemouth on my first day except with the added pressure of having to fly 5000 miles first! Eventually it got to about 9am and I decided I had better go through security so I said my goodbyes which weren't too bad and went through. It was really easy going through security, no problems except my bangles set off the metal detector and I had to be frisked LOL.

Then I got into the departure lounge and I knew where we had decided to meet but first I had to actually find the place! So I wondered around and decided to take the opportunity to call Tom and let him know I was in the departure lounge. Then I spotted some of the others I had seen on Facebook so I went over and introduced myself. Phew! The hard part was over!

We hung around for a bit because our flight was slightly delayed and eventually at about 11am we went through to the gate. There was about 15 of us by this point so we all sat around together, getting to know each other which was really nice. Finally they started calling people row by row, from the back of the plane first. I was in row 30 so it was a while before I got to go onto the plane. I planned my seat well because I ended up sitting next to a girl called Victoria who went on the ICP last year and also a guy called Rob who also did it last year (he was in the row in front of me). Eventually we took off at about 12.30 which was about 1 1/4 hours late... bit lame. Anyway, to cut a looooonnnng flight short, the films were a bit rubbish (I rewatched 27 dresses), the food wasn't too bad (I had this chickpea curry type thing) and we got a shoutout from the Captain!! "Hello to everyone going to Walt Disney World to work this summer - big up!" LMAO.

We finally landed after about 9 hours and 10 minutes, at about 4.40pm (Florida time - that's 9.40pm in the UK). As we were near the front of the plane we got off really quickly and literally whizzed through security. I've entered the US 4 times before and every time it has taken aaaages to get through security but this time was a doddle. I went up to the scary looking immigration man and gave him my passport, visa waiver forms and the infamous DS2019 form, he took my fingerprints (I acciedently knocked over his stamp thing, bit embaressing haha!) and then he was like "Go through to that room over there and take a seat". So I kinda expected him to then give my passport back but he didn't which was a bit scary because I had been guarding the passport and DS2019 with my life for the last 12 hours! Anyway, went off to sit in this little room with everyone else from my flight with a visa... met some people who had come off the BA flight which had landed at 3.40pm and they had been there for an hour!

I was lucky tho, my name got called with several others after only about 10 minutes. I got my passport and forms back and then we went to pick up my luggage. Inexplicably, my primark suitcase came through on the first class carosel and my black suitcase came through on the economy carosel! Anyway, much difficult moving ensued because I had my laptop bag on my back, my folder of important stuff in my hand and trying to drag 2 suitcases as well! Luckily we didn't have to take it all that far, only down a level to the Mears shuttle desk.

I was surprised as to how quick the whole thing was really because we were on the Mears bus only an hour after getting off the plane! Pretty impressive, well done Orlando International! We got taken on this bus to a couple of the resorts before being taken to the pavilion at Vista Way. It was good because it had just been raining before we got off the plane and so the temperature was only about 24C.... (randomly, sitting in my apartment I can hear Beauty and the Beast blasting out from somewhere!! *has a look out window* It seems loads of people are at the pavilion so I had better go too! Will finish this post later!!)


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