Hi all! I just returned to a cold and snowy Buffalo from a week in Orlando. I was there on business from March 31 through April 4, but I arrived early to squeeze in my first trip to the World. It was the most magical time and I can't wait to tell you all about it! In the mean time if you'd like to check out my photos, I have uploaded them here: http://community.webshots.com/user/dancindaisyduck
So before I start, let's recap. Here's a link to my pre-trip report: http://www.intercot.com/discussion/s...15#post1246915
Now, on with the show!
Cast:Nikki (me): 23 years old, Disney first timer
Brittany: 24 years old, good friend and roommate. She's been to Disney too many times to count.
Kim and Kids: Brittany's godmother. Kim lives in Orlando and her husband is a chef at The Beach Club. I'm so grateful to her (and to Norm) for letting us use the Cast Member entrance. Her kids are Lauren (14) and Nick (11).
Rhonda and Kids: Kim's friend whose husband is also a cast member. Her kids are Rachele, Reylan, and Richard.
Day 1- 3/29/07
Ever since I knew I was going to Disney for sure I started my countdown cube.I got it at the local Disney store about 70 or so days before departure and numbered each page down to zero. Each day I tore one page off so I knew right where I was in my countdown.
This is what I wrote in my journal in the Buffalo airport as we sat waiting for our flight to Boston to board:
We're at the airport! It's about 2 hours from wheel's up. Justin came to get us at 8:30, not even an hour ago, and here we are- all checked in, through security, and I've even stopped for a cup of coffee and cheese danish. This morning when my alarm went off at seven, I almost forgot where I was going today. For the past 23 years, I have never woken up and thought, "I'm leaving for Disney World today." So I hit the snooze a couple of times and rolled out of bed around 7:30. Our flight doesn't leave until 11, so we're planning on getting to the airport around 9. I got dressed, packed a few toiletries, and waited for our friend Justin to pick us up in the living room watching an old episode of Boy Meets World. It was so great to tear off that last page from my countdown cube this morning. Finally, here I come to meet the mouse!
Our flight took off from Buffalo to Boston right on time, and we even landed a whole 20 minutes early! There was a lot of turbulence on the descent, though, and and we were in this teeeeny tiny plane. Needless to say, I was scared. I distracted myself by looking out the window at Boston and trying to figure out of we'd flown over Harvard or not. I had never seen Boston before, but it's huge! I also didn't realize Logan was on the water, which made me just a little nervous, but other than being a bit jostled, we arrived safe and sound. After we unloaded we hit the potty and found what we thought was our gate. The gate that was printed on our ticket. The same ticket I ripped in half at Coffee Beanery trying to take my wallet out of my purse! So we found 36C and parked it with half an hour to spare. Then Britt noiticed the electronic board next to the gate said Pittsburgh, and not Orlando! There must have been a gate change, and there wasn't much time left before boarding. So we checked the schedule and saw that indeed we were in the wrong place and ran to the correct gate. We got there just in time to start boarding.
We flew JetBlue down, and our seats were sweet! The economy class on JetBlue was by far the most comfertable of the four or so other airlines I've flown. We were in row 3, too, and that meant firsts- first for drinks, first for snacks, and first off the plane! The flight to Orlando was very comfertable. I wish we got more food because it was a 1pm flight and we'd jsut connected with no time to get food in between. I was starving by the time we landed. Anyhow, the tv channels were good but you had to pay for the movies. Luckily I had either already seen them or had no desire to watch the one I hadn't seen. So I read more in my book, did a word search, and watched a few shows on Food Network, which made me more hungry. When we landed we set off to find the Magical express Counter!
But before I get to that, here's a little story about how I made a kid cry in MCO. We were about to board the monorail tram from terminal A to the main building. As I was walking toward the tram I saw it was full, so we decided to wait for the next one. Well as the doors were about to close, a little red haired boy who must have been 5 or 6 ran off the tram in front of us. I expected an adult to run off after him as the car was about to depart, but no. The kid was on his own out there. I glanced inside the car and saw people who were probably his parents shouting from inside the tram "Jimmy! Jimmy come back here!" Uh, the kid was not going to just waltz back on the tram. The doors were closing and I was scared he would be left in Terminal A by himself, so Britt pushed the doors open and I instinctually took the kid by the arm and gently shoved him back on the tram while the doors closed. I think I scared him because he was holding onto his mother crying as the tram left.
So with that under my belt, we eventually located the Magical Express counter, which was in the most out of the way location they possibly could have found. We boarded our bus to Pop and waited about 20 minutes before we left for the World. The bus was fairly empty and we had a pleasant ride to WDW. I loved this service, it's such a great convenience and I will definately use this again next time I stay on site.
So once we arrived we checked into Pop Century! It's an awesome, awesome resort. We were in the 50's building room 1323 facing hour Glass Lake. It's just around the corner from the pool, and a short 4 minute walk to the main building and buses. Maybe even shorter for fast walkers like me. As we looked out the window we could see the next phase of the Pop being built, the 40's section!
We got to our room, called Kim, and made plans to meet at Downtown Disney. As Britt was chatting with Kim I took some pictures around the room. That's when I noticed him. Our very first towel animal! He was sitting on the sill looking out the window. It's a little dog with long droopy ears. I named him Farful because his long ears reminded me of my favorite stuffed animal dog who was named Farful after the dog in the Nestlie Chocolate commercials from, fittingly, the 1950's! I was quite excited he was there.
We left Farful to guard the room until we came back, and headed to the bus stop. As we got to the stop, the bus was just pulling up. Score! A short ride later we were in the Downtown Disney Marketplace! Kim called and suggested we go to Rainforest Cafe for dinner. When we got to the restaurant it was soooo crowded, the line just to put your name down stretched almost back to Mickey's Mart. At that point it was around 6:10 and there was a one hour wait, so we decided to go shop around before our time. We stopped to watch a cute dance party going on accross from Ghiradelli's. I didn't know people still knew how to do the Macarena.
Finally, it was time for Rainforest. I was famished. So we waited for our name to be called. The return time on our ticket said 7:30. It was 7:45 when Kim spotted the manager and asked him when we were going to be seated. He saw our time had come and passed, and sent us in the Gorilla Room line straight away. Where we waited some more. We got the feeling they weren't the most organized staff ever. At last we were seated, ordered, and got drinks. It was my first venture to Rainforest Cafe, but I'm not sure I'd go again anytime soon. There's one in Niagara on the Canadian side anyway. It was good, I loved my Rasta Pasta, but I think I'd rather try something that's not a franchise next time like Earl Of Sandwich or Cap'n Jacks.
Once dinner was over we headed to World of Disney to shop some more. I got a ballet Minnie plush to take to classes on Saturdays (I teach ballet), a High School Musical pennant for my cousin Briana, a visor, a post-it note cube, and the one piece I've been looking forward to getting since I saw someone wearing it back in September- a Where Dreams Come True hoodie! I had to go to Everything Pop for that because World of Disney didn't have my size. We also stopped into the Christmas Store where Britt managed to drop and break the same ornament not once but twice! The CM at the register was sweet enough not to charge her for it, even though she was more than willing to pay.
On our way out we stopped for a photo outside the Christmas store. You know the one- it has statues of Goofy and Mickey and carolers in the snow with a banner that says Happy Holidays. Little did we know we'd be returning to real snow in Buffalo.
On the bus ride back to Pop, we were waiting at a stop when I glanced at our driver's name tag and saw he was from Kenmore! He was actually the second CM we met from Western New York that day. Proof that it is a small, small world. At least in Disney anyway.
Next updates: A very fortunate series of events- Chef Mickey's and the Magic Kingdom!