LUKE MARSDEN: paying a fortune for warmer weather

I’m currently writing this while standing in a 90-minute queue in Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:55 am
Walt Disney World, Florida

I anticipated Wigan would be under a blanket of snow this week so I planned to jet off to the sunshine state for some, well, sunshine.

So far, America hasn’t disappointed unlike the meals onboard the nine-hour Virgin Atlantic flight. Give me a Greenhalgh’s meat pie any day!

The cost of jetting off for some sunshine has been eye-watering, mainly because of the added Covid layers. A clinical antigen test before you go and now, thanks to the latest variant that has arrived in the UK like an unwanted Christmas present, I have a costly PCR to look forward to upon my return this weekend.

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Masks are political in America, Universal Studios has a more relaxed policy compared to Disney who insist you wear them even on outside rides. Every ride photo is just a series of me glaring at the flash photo point at high speed.

One (if not the only) benefit of long queue times is you get to talk to other people waiting patiently for a 90-second ride. I’ve talked to Romanians who live in Pennsylvania, high school students who basically spend every weekend at the theme parks, and Americans who don’t want to talk to me about the Trump years.

On the whole, masks and hand sanitiser seem to the only added way of life in America. I’m still asked for ID every time I buy a drink and I can’t buy more than one each time. An American teenager can buy a rifle but can’t buy a bottle of Bud.

A day trip to Washington sees temperatures closer to that in Wigan so at least it’s good training for when I return home. I’ll just need to ween myself off the sugar.

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