My arrival date is March 13th 2017 which happens to be a Monday. Now based on my experience on my last program, arriving on the day was a nightmare. Not a literal nightmare, just a bit more stressful than I would've liked for my first day in the US. I knew that this time I at least wanted to arrive the night before or a few days before to just settle in to the time zone and such. When I arrived on my last program it was already late, I had been up for 23 hours, by the time we got to housing we were the only ones checking in so didn't really meet anyone, then we were all split over different complexes, didn't have time to go to Walmart and I had dinner at Wendy's (from that experience I vowed to never go there again as long as I live and breathe).
If you've been watching my main YouTube channel for a while, you'll know that I love getting a good deal and that I know how to find them. You may also remember from my trip to Walt Disney World in April 2016 (which I've vlogged by the way, you can watch the vlogs here) I rather enjoyed my flight experience with Norwegian Airlines. I particularly enjoyed the brand new Dreamliner (the type of plane that makes up most of their fleet), the look of the food, the service, the fact the plane was quieter and that the new style of air conditioning didn't make you feel you'd been breathing in 300 people's farts. If I could fly with them to begin my program, I'd appreciate it very much.
The deal I found in April 2016 with Norwegian meant I managed to fly to Orlando and back with a suitcase (not including in-flight food) for £360! A bloomin' good deal when you consider Virgin and British Airways were charging about £500 - £700! I felt like I was taking a risk by flying with an airline I'd never flown with before, but for that price I'd sail over on a raft if it meant getting to Walt Disney World!
Now I found that deal by using SkyScanner.net. If you've never heard of it, it's basically a flight comparison site and finds you the cheapest price for the same flight from a number of providers and airlines. My Q-1 visa allows me to travel to the US a maximum of 10 days before my visa's start date. Disney also say that I may arrive 7 days prior to my program starting but any earlier than that I have to notify them ahead of time. For the sake of saving complication and not wanting to spend too much money on a hotel before I can move into housing, I've decided to arrive just a few days ahead of my start date rather than nearly 10 days.
Whilst searching for my flight, I selected the whole month, chose one-way (as I can't book a return, no airline allows you to book a return a year in advance and I might want to go traveling afterwards as Disney give me 30 days after my end date to travel whilst still on my visa) and asked to land in MCO (Orlando International). MCO is closest to housing and there's a variety of transport links available including Disney's Magical Express (if you have a reservation with a Disney resort you get complimentary transportation). After searching I switched to 'chart view' and saw that there was a flight for only £250 with baggage and in-flight food! #BOOKED!
Very happy with this booking as I know it's the cheapest option and definitely my preferred airline. Virgin Atlantic is who I used to fly with but after comparing them to Norwegian, their planes are very old and in desperate need of being scrapped in my opinion. I didn't feel like I got a 'wow moment' when I flew with Virgin in June 2016.
Additionally, I'll have a time before I'm allowed to check-in to housing so it's great to be able to use the Disney buses to go to the resorts or maybe Disney Springs to keep myself busy (I'll end up doing something very Disney I'm sure).
So with two booking confirmations now added to my glorious display folder, I'm now looking at when I need to pay my program assessment fee, thinking about booking medical insurance and planning my packing list (ok, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself).
Have a magical day!
127 Days to Go!