Quick background: I'd originally said I wouldn't return to the Boardwalk Inn (my favourite resort) as I was worried a return would not be as good as my 2010 trip, but when a Disney US annual passholder 40% discount came out I couldn't turn it down! Chief Financier, Organiser and Payer of Bills - Me, Clare - 40 something Disney nut but lover of the finer things in life (purse strings permitting) Coming from the UK as a 40 something who still loves Disney I'm seen as a bit of an oddity by my UK non Disney loving friends as well as my partner who has no intention of ever setting foot on Disney soil, he takes much pleasure in reminding me that Disney is 'just for kids' Days 1 & 2 - Getting There & Arrival In light of some recent problems with the M25 motorway, despite only living 45 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport, I opted to stay overnight at the Sofitel which is linked by a covered walkway directly to the terminal I'd be flying from. Another bonus of course meant I wouldn't have to get up at such an early hour and I'm all for a little bit of luxury to start my journey. I'd finished my packing earlier that morning and successfully checked in online, so far so good. I'd invested in a super duper extra lightweight case - this thing had the ability to be 'pushed' using just one finger according to the advertising blurb! By the time I had packed my case I wasn't so sure as I'm not exactly a light packer. My car arrived at 3 pm and by 3.40 pm I was at the Sofitel checking in. First impressions were it was a very nice hotel, but there was a slight language barrier with my check-in agent - he was apparently new and had a wonderful French accent but unfortunately it made it slightly difficult to comprehend what he was saying. However, I understood the words 'complimentary upgrade to club level' alright lol First little bit of magic for this trip. The Sofitel's interpretation of club level is slightly different from my interpretation but my room was just around the corner from the elevators (very handy) and had a great view of the South Terminal where I could watch the planes coming and going. I went back downstairs to the lobby to have a quick look at the restaurants, none of which were very attractive price wise so I opted to go to the North Terminal to visit M&S. One gluten free ham sandwich and a packet of crisps later I was back at the room watching TV and relaxing in the extremely comfortable bed. After a bit of surfing the www, calling friends/family and catching up with the TV news I called it an early night and once my head hit the pillow I was out like a light. Next morning was a nice leisurely start, I ordered room service for breakfast - a 'full English' and porridge (like oatmeal) I was assured the hash browns were gluten free but when they arrived I wasn't so sure do decided it was best to leave them. I'm the world's worst worrier and until I've actually arrived in Orlando I still can't believe I'm going to Disney so no excitement at this stage I'm afraid. Suitably full I opted for express check out and made my way over to the North Terminal. London Gatwick has undergone a £billion makeover and what a makeover, it was clean and very contemporary, I hardly recognised it! In previous years I've always flown Virgin Upper Class but this year I had opted for British Airways Club World (still business class), hopefully it would be just as good. As I entered the BA check in area I went to the club desk to deposit my bags and collect my boarding pass, I was greeted with a smile (very unusual for UK airport workers!) and although I had been allocated seat 10G the agent asked if I would mind moving to seat 11J (still an aisle seat) as the person checking in at the next desk was currently separated from his wife, I had no issue at all with this and was assured 11J was actually more 'private' for me as the seat next to it was the 'crew' seat. I'll whiz through the usual dull airport bits - I spent some time in a different lounge as I found the BA lounge a little dull, had a manicure, enjoyed a glass of champagne, made a quick stop at the duty free where I purchased my usual Coco Mademoiselle perfume and then boarded the flight. I settled into my seat 11J and was warmly welcomed by cabin crew with a nice glass of champagne. This is an image from google which shows the seat in recline mode (it also goes completely flat) so you get an idea of how comfortable it was Apologies I didn't take any photos of the flight, with the exception of my seat, as I felt a little self conscious due to the closeness of the other seats. BA amenity kit with contents - I just love these little kits and trying all the different samples If you've read my last trip report you'll now I'm a (very!) nervous flyer. Generally this flight was excellent, very little turbulance apart from the odd bump, the only thing I felt a little unnerved with was being sat next to the 'crew' seat which was actually used by the flight deck crew. They all took it in turn to have a 2 hour rest/sleep next to me (!), I'd have been happier if I hadn't seen them as I started to get a bit anxious about who was flying the plane The flight is so long, 9 hours, and it drags but at least we arrived 30 minutes early, unfortunately we were advised the Virgin Atlantic flight had arrived a short while before us. I pictured a nightmare in immigration but it really wasn't too bad - the Virgin flight was the Airbus not a fully laden Jumbo so that of course helped. I waited in line for 30 minutes, although those behind me would have had to wait for 1 hour or more. Just my luck that I had "Mr Jobsworth" at immigration, who obviously hadn't been trained the Disney 'way', when he asked why I was in Orlando and I replied 'Disney' he asked again why I was in Orlando, was it business or pleasure, and so it went on, what did I do for a living, what had I got to go back to in the UK, how long was I here, did I have a return flight. When he was finally doing with my interogation, he gave a wry little smile and 'welcomed' me to Orlando. Unfortunately everyone who went down his line was 'welcomed' in the same way. With my super duper new easy to push/wheel case - it really did move using just one finger(!), I made my way to terminal B where my towncar driver was waiting for me and by 5.45 pm I was arriving at my 'happy place', the Boardwalk Inn. I was greeted by a curbside greeter and escorted up to the Innkeepers Club for private check-in, and warmly welcomed by one of my CM friends, after lots of hugging and welcome homes I was eventually checked in and allocated room 4237, the exact same room I had the previous year, a king bed room directly opposite the lounge and with a gorgeous boardwalk view. I had already decided this year I would be happy with a garden view but oh no the 'powers that be' had already decided I should have 'my' room. Boardwalk welcome chocolates The view at night I'm always tired due to the time difference and I couldn't face a full meal so I went downstairs to the Boardwalk to have a portion of fries from the Boardwalk to go kiosk with a glass of merlot from the Innkeepers Club, a perfect end to the perfect day.