Day 1: Travel and MK
I’m a bit delayed in posting this, but we’ve just been having too magical of a time to get on the computer. If you really want to keep tabs on our trip, follow us on Twitter. I try to post little meaningless updates periodically.
We started the trip with an enjoyable flight on our favorite (and soon to expire) airline, AirTran. We landed early and it was a pleasant experience, especially up in Business Class 🙂
We let Disney’s Magical Express handle our luggage, so we headed straight to the bus queue and got right on a bus to the Wilderness Lodge (Villas). While they tell everyone to allow 40-min to an hour, our driver got us to property in 25 minutes. We stopped at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian first, and then Wilderness Lodge.
We checked in, and then came the disappointing part – our room wasn’t ready. I understand that I have absolutely no ground to stand on with regards to my frustration (since the official check-in time is 4:00pm), but we’ve stayed at a DVC accommodation four previous times (since 2008) and have always been able to access our room right away (and we always take the same 7:00am flight to Orlando, checking in around 10:30am). We asked for them to send a text message when the room was ready. At precisely 4:00pm – the official DVC check-in time – I received that text. How convenient.
We enjoyed a hearty lunch at the Whispering Canyon Cafe once we stowed our carry-on bags and personal items with Bell Services. My brother and I had the skillet (mmmm) and our wives had turkey and BBQ sandwiches. We’d never been, but can definitely recommend the food. I was pleased that our server was a tad more laid back than some of the others. A few of them really got carried away. I, personally, am not interested in games and antics when I dine, but the other guests seemed to enjoy their servers’ “entertainment”.
We then too the water launch to the Magic Kingdom, where we grabbed a bus to Port Orleans Riverside. Kayla and I stayed there on our Honeymoon, and my brother and I stayed there with our family when we were youngins – so it has a place in all of our hearts. We wanted to check it out for old times sake. Then we took the water taxi from Riverside to Downtown Disney to get some of the shopping out of the way.
After a long bus ride back to Wilderness Lodge, we finally got into our room and unpacked. Then it was off to the Magic Kingdom.
Kayla and I had reservations for the Wishes Dessert Party, and needed to check-in at 7:00pm. So, we all took in a couple rides before then, including a nighttime sailing on the Jungle Cruise and a voyage to the Caribbean.
At 7:00pm we checked in for the party, which is held on special nights at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Our table was right by the railing/water, so we had an awesome view of the castle. We gorged ourselves with desserts and washed them down with big glasses of milk. Then we stood at the railing and watched the new “Memories” projection show on the castle, followed by Wishes. Very magical indeed!
We then met up with my brother and sis-in-law and began our Extra Magic Hour rounds. We started in Adventureland and worked our way around the park clockwise. Splash Mountain was down for it’s annual refurbishment (it opens on Tuesday), so we took a couple of spins on Big Thunder Mountain instead – both with no waits.
The Haunted Mansion is extra spooky at night, so we enjoyed that, followed by a stroll through Fantasyland. Those rides were all packed, so we bypassed most of them. Kayla had never ridden the tea cups, so she and our sis-in-law took a spin (barf) while my brother and I got in line for the Speedway (since we hadn’t experienced it since we were kids). The line proved to be FAR too long, and the girls were done wit their spin quickly – so we bailed.
We rode Buzz Lightyear twice, and I (of course) had the highest score each time. Apparently, I’m the only one who knows where the “sweet spot” is in the tunnel 🙂
After that it was time for a trip on Space Mountain. I always ride it once each trip, but that’s it. It makes me nauseaus, but it’s a classic. The girls took a second trip while I sat on a bench and inhaled the fumes from the Speedway (yum).
By then we were pooped. We strolled toward Main Street and had some Disney photographers take some PhotoPass pics, then headed to the buses.
No time was wasted getting some hot showers and hitting the sack.
Stay tuned for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday reports soon.