Day 1: Orlando Here We Come! / Four Resorts, Two Festivals 2019

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Once landed we were advised that we would have to remain on the aircraft as the Immigration Hall was too full to accommodate the passengers from our flight – not the news you want after a long, nine-hour journey that’s for sure!

One of the disadvantages of having a seat at the back of the plane is that you are one of the last passengers to disembark. I had arranged for wheelchair assistance to get me from the aircraft through to the terminal, as I have done on previous trips as I cannot walk long distances without being in pain.

In the past, we have had assistance right from the plane, through immigration, on to pick up our luggage, up to the monorail and through to the terminal which I have always been very grateful for because without it I wouldn’t be able to make it.

However, once we reached the airplane doors there wasn’t assistance waiting for us, so we had to wait for airport staff for help. And then we were just abandoned in the immigration hall. We were not the only ones…

It took a good hour if not two to get through the immigration line and pick up our suitcases. Which was then another issue for us as Steve wasn’t going to be able to push me and the trolley with our luggage. We managed to find some Virgin staff who grumbled about not being able to help – yet we had booked assistance months ago when we initially booked the flights.





Eventually, someone was able to help after I said we only needed assistance up to the monorail as we were staying at the Hyatt Regency in the airport and could just about manage from there.

The layout of the airport has changed a little since our 2017 trip and there was an elevator that we could take up to the next floor instead of being confined to using just the escalators.

After much stress, we were up by the hotel and Steve got in line for the check-in guest while I sat with our luggage.

Before travelling to Orlando, I had contacted the Hyatt Regency PR to work with them on my blog and they were able to offer me a discounted rate as well as a complimentary meal.

When it was Steve’s turn in line, I saw him chatting with the receptionist and then he asked me to check that we had a reservation for that night. Panic-stricken I checked my emails only to find that we were not booked to stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport but at Hyatt Regency Orlando – which is on International Drive. Yes, it’s confusing, I know!

After the past few hours, I just couldn’t take it anymore and just burst into tears. The hotel was full so they couldn’t even transfer our booking, and all I was thinking was how on earth are we going to get ourselves from the airport to the other hotel?

It is a fair distance from the airport hotel to the front of the airport where you can pick up a cab, and by now we had “lost our assistance” as it were and I was just full of stress.

I looked at my initial emails to the PR and because I had mentioned that we had stayed at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport (HROIA) in the past that when she arranged it for me I thought it was the same, and didn’t put two and two together when I noticed that her signature address was on I-Drive. I figured it was like a head office or something.

More. Fool. Me.

Regardless, it was now around 7pm and we had been on the ground for several hours and both just wanted to get to bed after the long journey. Steve calmed me down and I suggested that we go down to the Valet area of the HROIA (which is under the airport hotel) and see if we could ask them to arrange a cab to pick us up from there as we couldn’t get to the front of the airport.

As luck would have it, a hotel shuttle was picking up guests for another Hyatt Hotel and was able to take us to the HRO on International Drive – for $40. So we graciously took that ride and were finally checking in at the CORRECT Hyatt Regency Orlando!

Oh, and you may be wondering why we didn’t just pick up our hire car and drive there… because of us [thinking we were staying at] at the HROIA we didn’t arrange for our hire until the next day. Honestly, this part of our travel day was just a MESS!

Looking back now, we laugh, but at the time it was so stressful!

So, full disclosure, I received a discount for our stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando (on International Drive, not in the airport!), as well as a complimentary meal. These discounts do not sway my opinions about the hotel and our one-night stay there.

Our experience of hotels in Orlando has been Disney Resorts, as we are Disney Vacation Club Members, so when we pulled up to the Hyatt we were gobsmacked at the size of it, and also how grand and posh it felt!

We were there for one night and our stay was so awesome we wished we were there for a few more days!

You may be wondering why, if we are DVC Members, we would be staying at another hotel for one random night. Well, the answer is quite simple. DVC Points! We didn’t have enough in our allocation for this first night and had to make other arrangments.

As Steve checked us in, I sat with the bellhop and our luggage; a lovely man from New York who had moved to Orlando and we were having a good old chit-chat!

When Steve came back with our room details, he explained that they upgraded us from a regular room to a suite! And that the restaurant (which we had missed our reservation time for) was happy to provide us with Room Service and would call us shortly to go through the menu.

So we followed the bellhop into the elevator and were taken up to the 31st floor – the highest floor I think either of us has ever been on! He showed us to our room, and after unloading our luggage we tipped him and bade him goodnight.

We then both took in the enormity of the room which was HUGE! And so very impressive and nothing like anywhere we have stayed before! I’m sure the whole room was bigger than the ground floor of our house!

According to the Hyatt Regency Orlando website, the studio room is 650 square feet which is around 60 square meters. Trust me, this room was BIG!

The decor was tasteful – light grays, and shades of blue, with pops of mustard yellow on some of the decor.

The king-size bed (which was super comfy) felt a lot bigger than the king-size bed we have at home, and the hotel describes the bed in this room as a Hyatt Grand Bed™.

There were cabinets on either side of the bed with two drawers, as well as bedside lamps which were individually controlled.

Other furniture in the room included:

  • Desk with chair
  • Round dining table with four chairs
  • Sofa (which is also a sofa-bed – the room can accommodate up to four adults)
  • Two armchairs
  • Coffee table
  • Several side tables
  • Large dresser with six drawers

Above the dresser was a huge 65″ flat-screen TV which even with our bad eyesight we could see just fine from our bed!

There was also a little nook with a small counter. Underneath was a couple of shelves and a small fridge. We had a coffeemaker too but I don’t seem to have any photos of that. I am guessing it is tucked away under the counter.

Onto the large bathroom which had a television in the mirror! Fancy!

There was a bathtub with shower, toilet, and vanity with sink. There were shelves underneath and a cupboard too.

Some branded mini-toiletries were also provided – toothpaste, mouthwash, facial soap, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.

Other room amenities included:

  • Individually controlled heat and air-conditioning
  • Blackout curtains
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron and ironing board
  • In-room safe

The view from up on the 31st floor was incredible! Seeing a view of Orlando that we have never seen before was amazing! The room has floor to ceiling windows, so if you’re scared of heights you might want to step back!

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