I don’t usually pay very much attention to reviews about airlines, but from what I can tell, Spirit has a bad reputation. I did a lot of reading about what size bags we could take and what was and was not included in the price of the ticket. I paid less than $1,000 for a family of 5 to fly from Chicago (ORD) to Orlando (MCO) in December. That price included 1 checked bag each way that I paid for above and beyond the fare. The only small snag we ran into was I did not print our boarding passes ahead of time. We were in the line to check in for about 20 minutes when the customer service agent yelled out that if we did not have a boarding pass printed out that there would be a charge. I had read the website many times and never saw anything about that, so I was more than slightly annoyed. Derek and the kids stayed in line and I ran back to the little kiosks where you can print boarding passes. I got them printed and without paying extra for seats, we were all seated together. I got back in line and we only had let one person in front of us. When we checked in, I asked the agent about the charge for printing a boarding pass at the counter and he said it was new. We were 4 lbs under for the checked bag and all of our personal items were within the limits. We took off on time and had no problems. We brought food and drinks (cups of water from McDonald’s after going through security) with us so we didn’t have to purchase any on the plane. All it took was a little research. If your luggage is overweight, it will cost more. If your personal item is oversized, it will cost you. Read the rules at www.spirit.com before you purchase your ticket and decide if Spirit Airlines will work for what you need.
The day had finally arrived. We woke the kids up at 5:30 am and were on the road by 5:50. We had everything packed the night before and just had to grab a few last minute things out of the fridge so we were ready quickly. It was a very cold morning and there was a possibility of snow so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get to O’Hare airport. We watched Peter Pan on the way and hit no traffic so we got there early. We parked in the remote lot F, took a picture of our parking spot, and hopped on the bus. We made our way to the check in and had to wait in line for a bit. Just before we were to the desk, the worker announced that if we had not printed our boarding passes that there would be a charge, so I hopped out of line and printed them at the only station of 4 that actually worked. I got back in line and we checked in. The next step was security and we got lucky with our first fast pass and were sent to the quick line. There was only one person in front of us. The other line probably took 30-40 minutes to get through. Yay! We made it to the gate and entertained ourselves.
We took some walks, the kids played iPods, ate a late McDonald’s breakfast, and made sure we used the restroom before we boarded.
We flew Spirit and they have a bad reputation, but we knew going in that nothing would be included. We brought snacks and our water from McDonald’s. The flight went smoothly. The kids had fun and Cara was excited for her first airplane ride. Part way through the trip, Abby said, “I don’t know why I was so excited to fly on an airplane. It’s pretty much just getting there. It’s kind of boring.” Those are my thoughts exactly. I used to think flying was so exciting but it really is the idea of going somewhere. The actual airplane is pretty boring.
We landed in Orlando at MCO and made our way to the Magical Express. It was the first time we used our MagicBands. We scanned in and made our way to the bus. We had to sit there awhile but then we were on our way. After 3 stops, we were dropped off at All-Star Movies Resort. We checked in and made our way to the Love Bug section. The room was sufficient but had a funny smell upon entering and was less than I had expected.
I emptied a few of our bags and repacked a bag to take to Hollywood Studios with us and we were right back out the door. We went to the bus stop and got on the bus for Hollywood Studios. The fun part was finally starting!
At Hollywood Studios, we decided to eat at Pizza Planet, so we walked straight there since we hadn’t eaten much all day. I ordered at the counter while Derek and the kids found a place to sit on the patio. It was so nice to eat outside on New Year’s Eve! After we ate, we headed toward the front of the park to get ready to go to Fantasmic. Last time we were at Disney World, we did not see the Fantasmic show, so I was really excited to see it. We used a fastpass and were able to walk right in. We sat in the third row and had a pretzel and some popcorn while we waited for the show to start.
The show itself was amazing. Lights, water, fire, fireworks, and characters all made the show spectacular. I wish I’d have taken more pictures, but the show was mesmerizing and I really didn’t think to take very many!
After Fantasmic, we decided it was time to call it a night and we headed back to the resort. We explored the resort a little and then made our way to our room.
When we got there, our suitcase had been delivered and I unpacked a little more and got Cara’s bed set up. It was a long day of travel but a great way to end 2013.