Today I booked my flight to Orlando. As for my ICPs I decided against Yummy Travel for no real reason other than I thought I could get a better price elsewhere. In the end it was still with STA Travel but directly with their Sheffield branch – the lovely Jess found me a great fare on Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick. I even got a free Cashcard with £10 of credit which was a nice little perk. In came out at under £400 including all the various charges which I was really quite happy about.
I had a choice of 2 flights – one at 11.15am and one at 1pm – but decided to go with the earlier flight, just in case there are problems it gives me that little bit of extra time to find an alternative route. Virgin will be a new experience for me, I have never flown with them before so I am quite excited. Although it does mean flying out of the (slightly) less nice South terminal at Gatwick airport instead of the North where I flew with British Airways but I am sure I will get over it.
I have not heard from anybody else on my date with that flight yet; it would be nice to fly with a group but I have done it before so I am not too bothered if I end up flying on my own and meeting up with people on the Orlando side. At least I know where I have to go now.
I decided to leave getting insurance for now. It is still 8 months until I leave and I am sure that prices will change. Also I would have to have paid for it now which seems a bit crazy if I don’t leave for ages. Assuming nothing changes I think I am going to go with World Nomads for my insurance. I used them in 2008 and although I did not have to make any claims they seemed OK. They are also a bit more flexible in terms of what is covered than the STA travel insurance so that if I decide to do anything slightly adventurous (Sky Diving anyone?) I will be covered. It is also extendible up to 18 months if anything changes or I decide to go travelling at the end of the program.
It is really nice to have a flight booked and it all now feels a bit more real.
In other news the Disney Parks blog today released ‘new’ renderings (they were actually released elsewhere a while ago) of the ‘Be Our Guest Restaurant’ and ‘Enchanted Tales with Belle’ that are currently under construction in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. I am off to Loughborough tomorrow and will get a chance to see Kristen who I am sure will be more excited than me about anything to do with Belle and Prince Adam but to me they look like they are going to be fantastic experiences. I am not sure I can express in words how excited I am that I will get to see, at least, the opening of Phase 1 of New Fantasyland. They broke ground while I was on my 2009 ICP and one of my Thunder managers was involved in the project planning and it will be really nice to see the finished product.
I am particularly intrigued about the restaurant, which is going to be quick service during the day and full service in the evening. If the other recent Imagineering projects are anything to go by it will be impeccably themed and make use of some of the latest technology to tell an amazing story. I am already mentally seeing Dining reservations being made although I don’t imagine there will be many Cast Member dining discounts there in 2012 or 2013.
That is all my news for this week – I am still working on the Bucket List and will be publishing it as soon as it is done. I hope you all have a magical weekend and for those still on the waiting list I hope that you hear back soon – I know how it feels and it is not nice.