South African Airways flies “direct” from Cape Town to Orlando, but under cross examination they crumbled and admitted to a re-fueling at the Ivory Coast. We wanted to leave Africa – not explore it. British Airways flies to Heathrow and have a direct flight from Gatwick to Orlando, with a mysterious bus trip between the 2 airports and no one is clear on whether you need a UK visa or not. (Much, much later it turned out that if you hold a valid US visa and you only transit through the UK then you do not need their visa as well. Too late, we cried). We decided to go with Delta Airlines (JHB-Atlanta-Orlando, with a British Airways connection flight on free miles from CPT-JHB). As this is an indulgent holiday, we cashed in all the miles for Business Class on the CPT-JHB flight. It is completely unnecessary but a great treat. We now know why there is a curtain. And no, we are not telling. For the first time on a plane, I felt like a person and not like livestock.
(Nope, wasn’t expecting to find nuts inside this packet. Was secretly hoping for a pizza.)
Were met on the Delta plane with … how can I describe this politely… VERY experienced cabin crew. In fact, so experienced, we started speculating whether they were issued with the aircraft when it was taken into service decades ago. They were not decorated with long service awards, but rather badges detailing all the body parts that have been replaced and/or rejuvenated. Haha. No really, but they might have been as well. What a bunch of rude, sour and lifeless old bags. With every trolley service, I was expecting a death, as they zombie up and down the isles.
In 17 hours, you can run the Comrades Marathon, or complete 2 working days, or watch the International Space Station pass by 11 times, or fly JHB-Atlanta sentenced to a small seat with hardly any cushioning. Delta does not seem to do comfort.
We do not acquire foreign currency in advance any more. You land on the other side and find an ATM. With a 60 minute lay-over there was no time left after Atlanta immigration dragged their feet, trying to protect unauthorised entry into a country that is almost bankrupt! I was looking forward to the short euphoric dizziness usually associated with a prolong period of non-smoking. It eluded me, as I kept starring at the text message from my bank, casually proclaiming that I have just spent R44 on a tasteless sample-size hot chocolate.
If you stay at any of the 22 resorts/hotels/lodges/villas owned and operated by Disney, then “Disney’s Magical Express” will pick you up from the airport for free! They have after all their own wing at Orlando airport. I am always a bit skeptical about this word … free. Think about it. With just under 25 000 rooms’ worth of accommodation available at WDW, do you really – after how many hours of flying – want to sit in a bus filled with sugar-rushed kids of all ages? Hell no. We pre-booked a private shuttle, thank you. If you must do something, dammit, do it in style.
Continue reading Disney – part 3 (of 13).