The Great Disney Adventure – Part 1

Disney – the prelude
Earlier this year we booked our FIRST family vacation that didn’t involve a tent/camping.

8 days, 7 nights at Disney World in Florida. We booked via Kathy at Small World Vacations – a Little Mermaid Room at the Art of Animation resort, the Quick Dining Plan, and 5 days of park tickets. Flights were booked from Buffalo with AirTran; and a hotel stay for the Saturday night and 9 days of parking via Days (inn) Hotel at Buffalo airport. Magic Express was booked, meaning we wouldn’t see our baggage after checking-in at Buffalo Airport until it reached the hotel, and we would have a bus ride to get us from Orlando (MCO) to our resort.

I booked the meals I needed at the 180 mark, and completed the online check-in for the resort when I could (Adjoining rooms, lake view, close to elevator) – I asked for an earlier room ready as we were arriving at about 11:30am. Mum was meeting us the day after we arrive, flying in from Manchester; and my ol’ penpal will be meeting us on the Sunday at the resort.
We were invited to be part of the Magic Band trial/beta – we agreed – so we customised our bands and I made the fastpass+
selections from home 😀 Good to go!!!! 😀 😀

Disney – Part 1
On the Saturday, we left for Buffalo as soon as the kid was finished at gymnastics.
Easy drive, easy border crossing (we’ve noticed a new trend – they like to speak to Bean to make sure we’re her Momma and
Daddy), and onto the hotel. Checked in, car parked, wake up set for 5am, we settled in for the night.
… and then I didn’t sleep.
Nerves and a SUPER-LOUD-AC-UNIT kept me awake.
ONWARDS!!! to 4:30am… and we tripled checked our bags – we were ready, wake up call came in – and we went down for breakfast. The breakfast was more than we’d expected – very adequate! Eggs done two ways, toast up the wazoo, bagels, yoghurts, cereal, oatmeal and a half dozen toppings, coffee and 2 juices. NOT that we ate all that.
After breakfast we went back to our room and retrieved our bags, and then asked re: shuttle – one JUST pulled up.
ZERO wait time.

Going through the airport was painless, and then we were at our gate… waiting. It went by quickly – tiredness and
anticipation was starting to take it’s toll on the Wee Lass. The flight boarded, us first as we had the Wee Lass 🙂 Take off
was NOT cool. LOTS of bumps… *sigh* and a couple of tears.
25 mins ahead of schedule we landed at Orlando – unfortunately someone was parked in our spot *sigh* 😉 I didn’t mind, we were on the ground. 25 mins later, we were allowed to park, and we de-planed. Now to find the Magical Express Q – first – the mono-shuttle 😀 WHEEEE!!!!!!! it was fun, and we were in the main airport building (which is kinda really neat for an airport), one elevator ride and then following lots of signs… we found the Magical Express Q. PHEW. More waiting. And standing. This was getting us into the Disney mood 😛
Eventually we were moving and onto a bus, and on our way. I think we got to the hotel around 12:30pm – more standing and
waiting. But wait… there’s the Q for people who completed online check-in – that’s us!!!!

… turned out. No, no it wasn’t. They said I DIDN’T complete the online check-in; please move back to the line with the peasants 😛

Sigh. Urgh. Bleugh. Then more delays as she couldn’t find our magic bands, and OOPS!!! our room wasn’t ready… well.. it WOULD have been if we’d completed the online check-in… “I did” *sigh*
Then there was issues with the Magic Bands… I send the Husbeast and Wee Lass to go and watch cartoons – this is going to be a LONG wait.


SURPRISE!!!! My penpal of 14 years Lisa is standing beside me!!!! WHAT THE…..?!?!?! I knew we were meeting up, but I didn’t
think that it was until later.
I’m so happy…





….. the Disney lassie is still scratching her head…


… then we hear that it’s going to be “no more than 3 hours” until our room is ready. But seemingly they can text us when it’s
ready. I give them my number – the test text doesn’t come through. Lisa gives HER cell number (seeing as it’s local) – the test
text doesn’t come through.
We’re told to stay local and check back often.
So… we go grab food… it’s 1pm, and we’re HUNGRY!!!! Breakfast was at 5am!

Prepare for learning curve – now we have to figure out how to get food and pay for it on our plan…
… we did it!!!!
The resturant at AoA is like a large school dining hall. You pick a food group, then join a small Q, ask for your food, and then take it to the checkouts where you will pay for it via MagicBand&Dining Plan.
Each Breakfast is an Entree (comes with drink), lunch/dinner is an Entree (comes with drink and dessert), kids’ breakfasts come
with a drink, and kids’ lunch/dinner comes with drink and 2 sides (fruit/pudding cup/yoghurt).
Our meals averaged $30 for breakfast, and $30-40 for lunch. I’m sure we save some money… didn’t we?

After eating, we checked out the store and then find out if our room is available – IT IS!!!! HOORAH!!!! 😀 😀

We make our way through the Lion King, and into the Little Mermaid. Wee Lass is HYPER!!!!! 😀 😀

After distracting the kid, she is allowed into the room – and “MICKEY” has left her 2 autograph books, a tiara, and some bracelets (*Mickey was played by Momma and Daddy in this instance).
Wait, there’s a message on the phone – it’s a PHONE MESSAGE from MICKEY?!?! Wishing her a happy birthday?!?!?
(But wait, it’s not her birthday until Friday – DAMN IT! – oh well)

ANYHOO!!!… Let’s go… let’s get to Downtown Disney, there’s a girlie on a hunt for a bag seemingly 😉 hehehehe… and we just realised that Bean had lost her sunhat. Eesh.
BACK to the resort centre we go, and onto a bus to take us to Downtown Disney – Lisa, Bazzer, the kids, Scott, and I are all getting on famously. Like old pals, and not like people who are meeting for the first time.
Who says you can’t forge friendships in Internetland!?!?!?!

There’s some shopping, some snafu with our MagicBands not being enabled for charging, and then something about a limit being set – and it’s off to guest relations. 30-40 mins I leave with the assurance “We’ll fix it” … and we’re given 2 extra instant fastpass+ per day for the hassle. More shopping, and I know now NOT to try charging anything… the kid is enjoying the attention from her birthday button, and playing with the kids.
We grab a snack, and then it’s back to the hotel. It’s 8pm – and the kids are beat, the adults are beat, and our Floridian friends have to drive home.


One Response to The Great Disney Adventure – Part 1

  1. Lisa Stevenson says:


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