We can’t believe it; we are here! After five failed attempts, our July 2020 vacation is eventually happening in July 2022. Life has been challenging for the “World’s 52nd biggest Disney Blog” during the pandemic with a lack of any meaningful reports. Hopefully, that is now about to change.
It has been an emotional day for Mrs. Modernlifeisgood as she arrived back at what she calls her “second home.” Unfortunately, the whole crew isn’t here for this vacation. Miss Modernlifeisgood has decided she would rather spend her summer looking after other children at a summer camp. Plus, Disney Pete isn’t allowed after an unfortunate incident with Slinky Dog and Daisy Duck on his last visit. Despite these absences, we are planning 18 massive nights of fun.
Our day started at Manchester Airport. Despite all the reports of significant delays occurring at Manchester, we flew through the airport. Our flight was with Virgin, a booking we canceled multiple times during the various lockdowns. We kept moving our flight during the period of border closures, rather than looking for a refund, and managed to obtain a very low price to upgrade to Upper Class. Each time we moved our flight, we managed to maintain the Upper Class booking at the original price paid. This resulted in today’s flight costing us considerably less than the current hugely inflated prices for Transatlantic Flights. However, it was noticeable today’s flight was nowhere near capacity. It appears we are still a long way from flights returning to previous demand.
I will write about the Virgin Upper Class experience in a later post, but it was excellent. However, is it worth the money the upgrade usually costs? In my opinion, it isn’t a good use of money for most people. We are due to fly on two different aircraft, with two entirely different Upper Class cabins, so our future review will compare these. Today’s flight was on an A330-300.
We are staying initially at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Our initial thoughts on the resort are very positive. It is a little bit further away from the parks than the resorts we have stayed in previously, but the theming looks fantastic. In addition, the resort appears to have more facilities than other Universal Resorts, and the rooms are enormous. We will explore the resorts more in the coming days.
After a brief evening storm, we managed to visit Universal Studios. Before lockdown, we had annual passes, which unfortunately expired before we could use them again. Universal kindly provided us with complimentary passes for this vacation, and we collected them easily from Guest Services. There was even time for a few short rides in Universal Studios before we headed back to our hotel for an early night.
Tomorrow we are off to start exploring the parks. Since we last visited Orlando, the big new attraction is Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Islands of Adventure. The attraction consists of a high-speed adventure through the park’s raptor paddock. With two launches, a top speed of 70 mph, 12 total seconds of “air time,” a 155-foot drop, and several firsts, this is the must-do ride for all thrill-seekers. Unfortunately, I have a slight recurring neck problem, so I might need to sit this one out. However, Mrs. Modernlifeisgood has agreed to take one for the team, and we will bring you her review of VeociCoaster in the coming days.
Please keep checking back for our daily reviews from Orlando.