1. You need to take out a second mortgage. You tell them what you want; they tell you the figure and you fall over. Then you gradually adjust your expectations until eventually they quote you a figure that is somewhere beyond ludicrous but you’ve started to think it’s quite reasonable. I tell you, those Virgin travel agents know what they’re at.
2. Going to Disney is spookily similar to waiting to give birth. Everyone who’s been is immensely excited for you; everyone who hasn’t a bit baffled by the whole thing.
3. Virgin totally know what they’re doing with this one suitcase per passenger thing. The Disney dolls need their own case.
4. You know every family holiday starts with a row? Usually on the way to the airport over how you’re going to be late/ you knew you should have left earlier/ there will definitely be traffic? With a Disney holiday, times that by about a hundred, because if you missed THIS flight your life wouldn’t be worth living. Plus the thought of the many thousand pounds you’d be throwing away in the process is enough to send you to the airport with ten hours to spare.
5. Virgin send you a handy text to let you know your flight will be delayed. This is purely to make sure that you’ve dealt with your anger and lowered your expectations before you actually reach the airport, because you still have to do check in and bag drop at the prescribed times. You just spend longer in the airport.
6. It turns out that when your original plane has a mechanical fault and the plane that replaces it is much smaller, Virgin offer you £435 per passenger plus accommodation and a flight out the following day to not get on it. In the departure lounge. Having seen the size of my economy seat, I offered to do it if we got all that and premium economy on the flight the following day. A family in front of us negotiated in a similar fashion but asked for upper class. Virgin turned us both down, having clearly found some less demanding negotiators, which is probably just as well since I don’t know how I would have explained that to the kids.
7. The first day of the Easter holidays is an insanely popular time to go to Disney. This means means no worries about the behaviour of your children on the aircraft, because every other person on the plane also has a small child. And frankly, if they don’t, what were they thinking? As it happened, our children watched three films in a row and barely spoke, leaving me free to feel vaguely sympathetic towards those with screaming babies while transfixed by ‘Cake’ (so magnificent it almost distracted me from the fact we were hurtling along in a metal cylinder thousands of feet above the earth, accompanied by five hundred passengers and crew who could be total maniacs for all I knew) and ‘Gone Girl’ (better than the book)
8. You should bring snacks. I’ve become overly used to the robbing bastard ways of Ryanair flights, where Pringles, M and Ms, and maltesers are in plentiful supply, should you be foolish enough not to buy up the food section of Boots beforehand. On a flight that costs roughly the same as a small car, I expected more food, and in particular food that the kids would eat. They settled for a grubby packet of Go Ahead biscuits I found rattling around at the bottom of my bag; I resolved to go to Walmart before the return flight.
9. Get a taxi transfer from the airport to Disney, no matter what it costs. We arrived in our hotel room at 2.30am British time after a delayed plane. There were several times, being the patient, tolerant soul that I am, that I thought I was going to lose it, but the long drawn out bus transfer was the only time I actually did. Just so you know, Virgin, there was no part of that journey that I felt like a rock star.
10. Be prepared for the kids to get virtually no sleep (it’s 5am here; we went to sleep at midnight local time) on the first night and awaken with beaming smiles asking, ‘is it time to go to the Magic Kingdom yet?’ And realise that every single part of that tortuous journey was worth it to see their excitement. ❤️