Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 7 - Return to Port and Off to Magic Kingdom!!!!!

Since we had second dinner seating we also had the later seating for breakfast at 8am in Parrot Cay. It was a fast breakfast but gave us some time to say good by to "J" as well as Nikola and Nicole. Then we were off. None of us got caught up by customs. The bummer about going to the resorts versus straight to the airport is luggage handling. When you are going to the airport they handle your luggage for you. You put it outside your room by 11pm the last night and don't see it again until you land at home (assuming you flew on a participating airline). But when you are going to the resorts you have to collect your luggage at the port terminal and bring it to the bus with you. Not a big deal for me since I had just the two smaller bags and my Get Carried Away Tote. But still not as nice as them handling it the entire way. We got over by the resort buses and were put on a shuttle van instead of a large motor coach - they told us it would be faster. It was super cramped (not sure HOW he got everyone's luggage inside!) but Boardwalk was the first stop so it probably was much faster than going on a motor couch.

We headed into Boardwalk (our first time staying there) and went to the on-line check in desk. We really wanted a room right away since I didn't want to leave my iPad and souvenirs with bell services when we left for the park. Because of this it took a little while for them to find us a room. I hit up the little shop for some OTC drugs I wanted and then bought my 1 day park pass (to be used the next day) at the Guest Services desk while mom waited at check in. Eventually mom got checked in (we did get a room). Donna got checked in, but not with a room yet. And they both got their park passes. Then we headed up to our room to drop our stuff off before heading off the Magic Kingdom.

I know some of you were interested in our thoughts on our Boardwalk Villa. We got a studio, same as at Bay Lake Tower, Beach Club (last year) and Old Key West (many years past). From a BED perspective I would rank my preference as Old Key West, Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk, then Beach Club. Old Key West is at the top of my list because they are the only DVC that actually has two BEDS in the studio versus a bed and a sofa bed. Bay Lake Tower would be next, because as the one who has to sleep on the sofa bed - it had more of a foam type mattress, didn't seem/feel like a sofa bed at all. Boardwalk and Beach Club have the same sofa beds. Not particularly comfortable to me, but the Boardwalk one seem slightly better than Beach Club. From a space/room perspective I'd probably order my preference as Old Key West, Boardwalk, Bay Lake, then Beach Club. Old Key West has a different layout on their studios that is VERY roomy. We also were impressed with how roomy Boardwalk was. Bay Lake was smaller, but adequate. The bathroom sink in the kitchenette area didn't really bother us. Nor did the pocket door on the bathroom. Beach Club felt very small to us (plus not well maintained and rather dirty when we stayed there. From a resort LOCATION standpoint this becomes harder. But since I like being at the Epcot resort area a lot (perhaps even more so than being on the monorail) I'm going to say Boardwalk, Bay Lake, Beach Club, Old Key West. Although it seemed like our room was really far at Boardwalk - it probably wasn't any further than our Beach Club Villa was to get to Epcot, and catching the boat if need be is on the way versus at Beach Club where you would go out of your way to get the boat. I also like that you can boat or walk to DHS from Boardwalk pretty easily. Being on the monorail did seem nice...but we were only there one day so its hard to say for sure how much I liked it. And since there were many monorail issues the weekend we were here....I can't say being on the monorail was particularly convenient! Anyway...those are my thoughts on the DVC Studio Villas - now back to my report!

We headed off to Magic Kingdom after dropping our stuff in our room. Originally we were ONLY going to go to Epcot using our Give a Day free days. But when I saw that the Magic Kingdom was open until 2am this day we decided we could still get a full day in despite getting to the parks late. So off we went. I've been listening to the WDW Today podcast for some time, and am an avid reader of the Unofficial Guide. So I had a strong desire to test out the Touring Plans. Mom said she was okay with this..but she kind of mocked it the entire time and didn't really want to adhere to the plans. Donna and I tried to sneak peaks at them to move on..but she was onto us. The nice thing was, the park wasn't particularly crowded ( had it as a 4 out of 10). It seemed like there were a lot of people there, but none of the lines were particularly crowded. We lunched at Pecos Bills after hearing so many great things about it. Mom and I both had pulled pork. Donna had a burger. Next time I think I might try the taco salad, but everything was delicious. We also enjoyed sitting even though we'd only been in the park an hour so by then. It was SOOOOOOOO hot and humid in Florida last weekend things were really uncomfortable. We definitely found ourselves looking for ways to try and cool off.

I won't go thru the blow by blow on the rides we did during the day. I will say that every time we tried to go on Big Thunder Mountain it was broken. We finally got on that around 1am. Space Mountain also went down right when we were going to get fast passes for it. Took nearly an hour to get it up and running again. This was much later in the day (around 9-10pm I think). Once it was up and running again, the line was LONG...over 60 minutes. I wanted to wait and come back later since the park was open until 2am. I figured if we knew the line would be much shorter later we should do other stuff and come back. Mom insisted on getting in line. So we did. We waited 75 minutes. By the time we got off the ride it had a 15 minute wait. I was not pleased. By then I decided I was done and didn't want to be the parks anymore. That's when we did Big Thunder and left just after 1am. The other thing we did that we don't normally do, is spend a bit of time in ToonTown. Since ToonTown is going away we wanted one last chance to see it and say good-bye, and I took LOTS of pictures!

We did leave the parks for a while to go to the Polynesian for dinner at Ohana. I hadn't eaten there in YEARS and spotted potsickers on the menu so it was a must do for me. Mom and Donna were happy to go along. Dinner was WONDERFUL. We got seated quickly despite showing up nearly 30 minutes late due to the monorail issues that day. My favorites were the potstickers and the noodles. But the beef was also super yummy.

The BAD thing about this day, and probably contributing to my crabbiness as the day wore on were my feet. Last time we were on vacation - I wore my crocs exclusively for the 1 week at WDW and the 1 week on the Magic. I did have my socks on much of the time then, but definitely not all. So this time I went with my crocs again. But it was raining, so my socks came off before we even left the Boardwalk. And unlike last time it was super hot and super humid. I finished the day with blisters in places I didn't even know I could GET blisters. By the time I realized I was going to HAVE issues...I couldn't find socks in my size in any of the stores I went into! So by the end of the day I had a good 5 blisters in various places on my feet making it incredibly painful to walk anywhere. No fun!

We were back at Boardwalk and I was in bed by 2am.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 6 – Return to Castaway Cay

This would be Thursday, our second trip to Castaway Cay this cruise. Since we didn’t relax on the beach at all the first time that was plan for this time.

We started with breakfast at Tritons. Hristo was greeting people, so he can and chatted with us for quite a while as we were waiting for our servers and food. Then we were off to the island!

We were greeted by Mickey and Minnie as we disembarked. Sadly, it was SOOOOO humid all our camera lens were crazy fogging up. I got a semi decent shot of us with Mickey. Minnie is very hazy. Then we grabbed our towels and headed near Pelican Plunge. Now normally, mom and I head STRAIGHT to Serenity Beach at Castaway Cay. But she wanted to go out to the Plunge, and when we’d scoped it out earlier in the week the beach seemed way less crowded down there, so I agreed. We got there while the beach was still empty, got some nice chairs under an umbrella (a must for me with my fair skin) and mom headed off to the Plunge while I read for a while. It was SUPER hot in addition to the humidity, so I did go in the water to get wet a couple of times. Mom and Donna decided to drag some chairs into the water to keep cool, but I needed to stay more shaded so I headed up to the chairs under the umbrella. I got a lot of reading done for a while. Then noticed more and more gigantic families coming to that beach and complaining about how their were no chairs. Like, complaining a LOT. Mind you, if you watch, there were lots of people dragging chairs over there from other areas – so its not like there weren’t areas with chairs, just not RIGHT there. Anyway, about the same time mom and Donna came back we got surrounded by 2 particularly noisy families making it difficut to read. So I decided it was time to head back to the ship for me. Mom can with while Donna hung out a little longer.

We headed up to the Quiet Cove pool to relax. Shortly after getting there Ducky Williams joined us in the pool. We spent a good hour to hour and a half with him chatting. It was great to hear more of his story, and he talked about the different cruises he does for Disney, the cruises he takes with his partner, what its like working in Celebration, etc. A very nice chat we had with him as we all sat in the water of the pool staying cool. As we got out, Donna came back and we all decided to grab lunch and bring it back to the pool. I think I stayed by the pool til around 3pm and then decided it was time for me to get out of the sun. So I headed to the room to clean up and relax and pack our bags since this was our last night on the ship.

That nights show was Disney Dreams, which I’ve seen several times and love. However, its also the the night Prince of Persia was playing, and I still had to watch the 2nd half of that movie. So I skipped Disney Dreams to check out the movie. I was worried towards the end that I was really NOT going to like how it ended, but it redeemed itself and I’ve decided I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Our final dinner was back in Parrot Cay. It was a new menu for them since it was the first 5 night cruise the Wonder has ever done. But it wasn’t a new menu to us – it was the Til We Meet Again menu they do on the Magic on the last night. Kind of mixed in with the International Menu they do on the Magic (waiters in vests with flags on them, and the parade with the Baked Alaska at the end of the meal). I’m sure I got beef again for dinner but I can’t remember for sure…… Our dinner went really late, so we had to get back to our rooms to put our bags out in time for pick up at 11pm. I crashed right away, and mom and Donna went to the final show that the cruise staff puts on. Mom said it was just as cute as the last time (they do the same thing on the Magic).

Day 5 - Sea Day

Today was planned as another leisurely day. Because everyone was on board, it was not our plan to spend time at the pool today which I figured would be mobbed. Plus we had both brunch and tea at Palo reserved.

I woke up even earlier than normal and headed up to deck 9 for some coffee and to claim my normal reading spot outside the Cove Cafe. I did pick up a light breakfast at the Beach Blanket Buffet. Because it was so early it was not that crowded and I could hear the fun sixties music playing.

After breakfast I headed over to check out the shops again, and then down the cabin. I was surprised to find mom already gone, because normally she'd still be in bed then. I headed back up to deck 9 then and found her there. She was trying to get in some pool time today before everything else.

At 9am there was a scrap booking session. I have a vague recollection of checking this out on one of the other trips and it not being that exciting. But couldn't remember details. I figured if nothing else I'd go for my "special gift" and then take it and run. The special gift ended up being a couple of 12x12 inch scrapbook papers. They then had all kinds of cruise brochures and the like strewn on the table you could cut up and use in your book. I cut some things out and then headed for the shops yet again. Although I'd bought a couple of the scrapbook kits in the shop, I'd not bought the scrapbook pad which I assumed was just paper. Donna confirmed that in the scrap booking session and said there was now one open so you could look at it. The papers were Disney Cruise Line logo and super cute. In addition, there was a LOT in there for only $10. Therefore, I bought that along with a bunch of postcards to include in the scrapbook.

I got back to the room then and mom was there getting cleaned up for brunch. She had me run back up to Mickey's Mates with HER card to buy HER the scrapbook pad. Joseph from Canada (who has helped me pretty much every other time I've been in Mickey's Mates and on Castaway Cay) laughed when I told him mom decided she didn't have time to shop and would I buy her the scrapbook pad. He said "yeah, its not like we are open until midnight or anything". He's super cute. The other day when he heard we are knitters he said he wished he'd learned to knit. Then today he was saying he really needed to learn to scrapbook and when I mentioned my craft room he said how amazing that would be.

Next up was brunch. As I expected, there were many things there I would not want – seafood lovers would be in heaven – but that’s not me! That said, the things I did eat were fantastic and I enjoyed them thoroughly. There was caprese salad, lots of yummy cheese, delicious cheese croissants, and prosciutto and melon. I also enjoyed having the same waiter from last night, Hristo, who we also had for tea this afternoon.

We spent a good 2 hours at brunch, and then headed down to the Buena Vista Theater where Don "Ducky" Williams was talking and drawing. He's AMAZING! His story about how he came to be an animator at Disney is really inspiring. If everyone wanted things that much and worked that hard to make things happen this world would be a very different place. Plus he talks while doing the sketching because he sketches so fast! Someone asked him how many characters he can draw without the model cards and he said probably 200 but if its something important he may look just in case. At the end of his session he gave away the 19 drawings he'd done before and during his session. I didn't win one, but mom won the Sorcerer Mickey one. She was so excited she jumped up and screamed. They mentioned that he was doing private drawing sessions for a nominal fee. I went to inquire and it was $40 for a 10 minute session. So I signed up for one tonight. $40 seemed a little pricy since it was only 10 minutes, but he did draw fast and some hand drawn original art by the ONLY person still doing the official art for Disney seemed like a must do for me. I didn't know if he will only do one thing during that or if he can do two. But they said he'd draw whatever I wanted. If I only got one I decided it needed to be Mickey Mouse for my living room. If he has time for a second I would ask if he can do Sebastian. Anyway, after Ducky mom and I went on a mission to find her a poster tube to transport her drawing home (its huge) and also decided to head to the shops yet again (I've bought SOOOOOO much stuff this trip! good thing I packed extra luggage!).

While we were shopping they announced that the special 1:30pm show (Toy Story) was starting in 10 minutes. I love that on sea days they do the show in the afternoon too. We didn't really have anything else planned then so we decided to catch the show. I loved the characters/costumes, but not the new songs they wrote for it. And the Sid music/actor were particularly annoying. This didn't totally surprise me since I'm not a fan of the Finding Nemo show at Animal Kingdom either with its special – just for the show – songs. I will say, I caught some of this later in the day on the TV in the cabin..and it looked way cuter then…like I was watching an animated movie!

Next up was Tea at Palo. I loved this so much more than brunch and it will definitely be a must do for me on future Disney cruises. Hristo took great care of us again of course. But I loved the food options. Delightful little sandwiches. YUMMY scones (seriously, like sweet little biscuits with sugar on top – not dry like scones usually are) with the special cream and some nice jams. And of course little tiny pastries. Oh..and it finished up with a trifle. It was supposed to be cherry but sure tasted like strawberry to me. But the cream part was YUMMY.

Then it was back to the room for me to relax a while before my session with Ducky, and mom took off for the final jackpot bingo. Alas she did not win. She was sad, she almost always wins final jackpot bingo!

We went to my session with Ducky at 5:50pm. I told him I wasn’t sure if I wanted Sebastian or Mickey, and how my living room was Disney themed with more of an emphasis on the fab five. He said Mickey would turn out better so we went with that. Just a CLASSIC Mickey. He gave him a “formal” bow tie so that the head wasn’t just floating on the page. And he autographed it (he’s Mickey’s OFFICIAL autographer) from both Mickey Mouse and himself and signed it to me. I LOVE it. Can’t wait to get it framed and decide where to put it.

After Ducky mom went to see Toy Story again with Donna and I went back to cabin more to relax. If you are noticing a theme there you aren’t imagining it. I do tend to go back to the cabin a lot to just chill out between stuff. It’s a nice way to get away from the crowds, catch up on my journaling, and just get some alone time. Plus there’s Disney movies running on the TV all the time! I was less thrilled with the live action movies this time….though there were a couple of good ones. But I didn’t watch those over and over like I did with Iron Man on the last cruise!

Dinner this night was Animators Palette. I’ve always loved this, but at least on the Wonder I think it needs some refurb. The televisions are showing HORRIBLE color and contrast. The menu was just so so. There was a lemon thyme chicken, but I’m not a fan of lemon chicken so Nikola got me a regular chicken dish instead. Can’t remember what I got for dessert – it wasn’t memorable. I did try and get lots of pictures because I know this restaurant will be a LOT different on the Dream next year.

As with most nights, after dinner was off to bed for me and out to “party” for mom and Donna.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day 4 - Nassau

Day 4 - Nassau, Bahamas

Up early again, I dressed for the pool and headed up to Cove Cafe again. This time I watched up pull into Nassau. Not particularly impressive other than seeing the Atlantis resort for the first time. Port was overwhelmed with 3 Carnival ships already (Sensation, Fantasy, and Fascination - a fourth, the Glory showed up later). All the Carnival ships meant no good views from the Wonder while in port.

This was a LAZY day. Breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet. We decided the themeing was much nicer here than the buffet on the Magic. The rest of the day was at the Quiet Cove pool with lunch brought back over there from Pinnochio's Pizzeria for me. The fun thing we'd not experienced before...all the characters were walking through Quiet Cove after their appearances next door and surprising people who were sleeping (or just not paying attention).

I headed back to the room to get cleaned up and relax for a while before watching the first part of Prince of Persia which is tonights "show". We have 7pm Palo reservations, so we can't watch the movie all the way through unless we got the 11pm, which will be way too late for me. So I'm going to watch the first part of it at the 5:15pm showing, go to dinner at Palo at 7pm, and then catch the 2nd part of it at the 8pm showing.

(now continuing from the next day so forgive the variation in past / present / future tense!)

I watched the first hour and fifteen minutes of Prince of Persia...not outstanding, but good action and I'm definitely interested in checking out more of it. Then I left to make my way to Palo. Dinner was AMAZING (as I expected!). I had the plum tomato and mozzarella to start with. Then the procuitto pizza. Then the "Palo" Beef Tenderloin. I'd forgotten about the stack of super thin potatoes that came with. And of course the fantastic chocolate souffle. One of only 3 food items on the trip I was really looking forward to (along with the Pluto's Dog House chicken fingers and Parrot Cay Banana Bread). To make things even better, Donna wanted a bottle of wine with dinner. She said she wanted a Cabernet. When I looked at the menu I noticed Silver Oak on the menu. My FAVORITE wine hands down. So Donna bought a bottle for the table. A generous gift at the retail price, much less the crazy marked up cruise price.

Palo took over 2 hours, so .. I missed getting back into the movie at the time I needed to pick up where I left off. That doesn't play again until Thursday so I'll have to catch the second half then. So, after Palo while Mom and Donna went up to catch the pirate party and fireworks I headed to the cabin to get ready for bed. Though I did watch fireworks from the porthole!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Day 3 - 1st day at Castaway Cay

Day 3 - Castaway Cay, Stop 1

Monday, Memorial Day, was our first stop at Castaway Cay. As usual, I was up early. I dressed and headed up to the Cove Cafe with some magazines and grabbed a latte. I sat and enjoyed my latte in one of the comfy seats up there while I watched us pull into Castaway Cay. Mom found me a little before 9am, and we found Donna shortly thereafter and headed to Triton's for breakfast.

This was my first inside view of Tritons, and as I expected I absolutely loved it! The decor is beautiful, particularly the beautiful mosaic mural on the back wall of Triton, Ariel, and Sebastian. I ordered a menu item with Sebastian in the name that included French Toast, Pancakes, and a Belgian Waffle. It was YUMMY!

After breakfast we ran back to our stateroom to change for our bike rides on Castaway Cay. Mom and I have done this once before and LOVED it. We were hoping with the expansion more trails would be open now. There weren't any, but I did get some lovely photos, including some of the new things going in. After riding for a few hours we walked a bit, took lots more pictures, and ate lunch at Cookies. This was our first time at Cookie's since we normally eat out at Serenity Bay.

While at Cookies we ran into Alen. We actually thought we'd spotted him in the morning but we weren't expecting to see him, it was far away, and we couldn't sure sure. The very first time we cruised on the Magic back in 2000, Alen was our server.When we were on the Magic again in 2003, Alen was a head waiter. As we walked to our table the first night we realized it was with this incredibly obnoxious woman we'd seen at the sail-away party. We couldn't stand the idea of sitting at that table all week so we walked back up front to try and change tables and ran into Alen. Not only did he move us, but he remembered us for 2000, and he put us at a 4 top table for just the two of us for all week. When we were on the Magic again in 2008 we spotted Alen and he was a maitre de. Now, in 2010, Alen as switched over to the Wonder and he's the Dining Manager. So nice to see how well he's done for himself. He took down our info and promised to come see us at dinner that night.

After lunch we headed back on board to catch the 1pm showing of UP showing in 3D in the Buena Vista theater. I'd seen the movie, but not in 3D so we thought that would be fun. After the movie we headed up to the pool to relax, read, and rest. I stayed up there until around 5ish. Then down on deck 4 for a while - it was HOT in the sun and I wasn't ready to go back to the room and get ready just yet. I checked out the shops then and finally went back to the room to get cleaned up.

Our show was a new one for us, Once Upon a Song. As a music lover, and particularly a Disney music lover, I was excited about the idea of this show. It included lots of lessor know, less popular Disney songs. Unfortunately, the songs they picked were not the ones I would have picked. In fact some were my least favorite songs from the movies they represented. Worse than that, was the choreography. The vocal talents were excellent, just thing they could have pulled the show together better.

Dinner was at Tritons. I forgot to mention before that J has a "Pal Mickey" with her, and he wears a different outfit every night. He was dressed up in a sombrero with a little poncho on this night. The story was "he thought we were going to Cozumel". Very cute. I had tomato basil soup, the avocado and citrus salad, and the beef tenderloin for dinner. All fantastic. Desert was Grand Mariner Souffle. Our head waiter Richard from France stopped by. He spent some time working under some famous chefs (like Gordon Ramsey) and entertained us with some of those tales. Then Alen showed up to say hello and we took some pictures with him while we visited.

AFter dinner was off to bed for me. I watched the movie Dear John on the stateroom TV curled up in bed.

Day 2 - sail away

Day 2 - Sail-away!!!!

Today got off to a rocky start. I woke up in the middle of the night last night violently ill. The good news is, seemed to be over by morning. But neither mom or I slept well so we were up at the CRACK of dawn this morning. We got ready so early that we had a good 45 minutes to wander around the Contemporary property and take pictures before our Chef Mickey's breakfast reservation.

I got some super cute pictures at Chef Mickey's this morning. And the pancakes were fantastic! Breakfast was short and sweet, but it allowed me a chance to make sure I had a picture with each of the fab five for this trip.

After breakfast we took the monorail over the the Poly to do a little more shopping and just kill time. Then back to Bay Lake to check out. We hung out in Donna's 1 bedroom for a little while and then headed down to the lobby for the cruise.

Seemed like the transfers took FOREVER this time. Our bus started with Bay Lake, then went to Wilderness Lodge were we sat for quite some time, then onto Saratoga where we ALSO sat for quite some time. Finally we were on our way. The nice thing was we got to watch CARS on the bus so thats always fun.

Check in was a breeze since we did online check in and are Castaway Club members - there was no line. However, we TOTALLY missed that we needed to see some other lady first for a "boarding number". Fortunately, we walked back to the lady at the Castaway Club desk and she got us one.

We got on board before Donna so we made a beeline for her room to put up her door decorations i made. She LOVED them. Said we should have come to the room with her to see her reaction. After dropping the door decorations we headed to OUR stateroom to drop our stuff. We then met Donna in WaveBands where she was trying to change get into Palo brunch with us. Then we went to cancel our spa treatments (spent too much money yesterday!) and Donna went to drop HER bags. Next was lunch at Parrot Cay. Although my beloved banana was not at lunch, they did have these yummy little banana cupcake things.

Then Donna came to check out our stateroom and we went to see hers. Mom wanted to unpack before muster then so back to our stateroom again. Her two bags were there, and only one of mine. My second bag didn't show up until just before 4pm but alas it finally did! So we were officially all unpacked JUST in time for muster!

After muster we did the first of our onboard shopping and then headed off to our first show. Opening night was the Golden Mickey's. Just as much fun the second time around as it was the first time we saw it on our last Magic voyage. After the show we wanted to go back to the room to drop our shopping goodies and hang out before dinner..but our stateroom attendant was just then doing our turndown. So instead we dropped or stuff and headed towards the first restaurant. It was nowhere near dinner time, so we hung at the Promenade Lounge. Music was entertaining. The incredibly obnoxious group cruising (the Castaway Cruisers) were less so. They were having a good time, but made it difficult for anyone else to enjoy it between crowding their entire party into a tight space and inching others out. Not to mention hooting and hollering right in my ears!

Dinner that night was Parrot Cay. Our Server is Nikola from Serbia - he's GORGEOUS (we've since learned he has a french girlfriend working onboard as well. Our assistant Server is Nicole from Germany. We teased them about "nikola and nicole" and how we'd keep them straight. Dinner was good. Though neither Nikola or Nicole caught on to our pleas for extra banana bread. Unlike our last trip on the Magic there would be no nightly banana bread on this voyage. To eat I had a salad that was kind of like a cesear but called something else. For dinner I had the ribeye of beef. Didn't taste very ribeye like but it was tasty. Dessert was the french toast banana bread. YUMMY! I had them substitute the coconut ice cream for vanilla and I thoroughly enjoyed that. We're seated at a table for 6 for dinner. There's the three of us, and then a woman traveling alone (we'll call her "J" from here on out). She mentioned that she'd been sick recently and a friend gave her his DVC points to take this cruise. The other two people at our table never showed. We told Nikola to find some single men for us. He looked up his info and said its supposed to be two women with us.

After dinner it was off to bed for me and mom and Donna went to check out Wave Bands, but said it was dead and mom came to bed soon after.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

2010 Disney trip, day 1

Day One - Travel and Shopping

Finally our day came! I left my house at 5:15am this morning to head to the Hartford airport. Just as the parking shuttle was pulling into the terminal I saw my first flight status notification from Delta that we were delayed approximately 35 minutes. I started to get a little worried cuz I knew big storms had come through Florida the night before. I got in past security around 6:15am and hit up McDonalds for some breakfast. It felt like I'd been up for hours already. I got to the gate a little after 6:30am. Original flight time was 7:55am with a 7:15am boarding time. New departure was 8:30am. They made an announcement that pretty much ALL the delta flights were running late that morning because all the planes had gotten in really late the night before and the crews have mandatory rest time. We took off at 8:30am as we were told and off to Orlando we went. Pilot made up a lot of the time in the air. I didn't even get the entire way through my ipad movie - Valentines Day - though I only missed the last 10 minutes or so which I watched on magical express as we headed to Bay Lake Tower.

Check in went really smoothly since we'd done the online check in. Our room, a studio, was small but nice. This sofa bed seems better than the one I had to sleep on at the Beach Club Villas. Though it wasn't easy to undo. The directions say "lift handles and walk away from bed". I did that. The bed walked away with me. I was in the room by myself at that point while mom was in her friend Donna's room checking out her pool view at nighttime. But eventually I got it figured out.

After settling in we left for Downtown Disney. In a CRAZY downpour. That kept going and going and going. Donna and I packed our umbrellas in our carryon. For some reason mom packed HERs in her checked bags. So she got wetter than we did...though we were all pretty wet.

Lunch was the Earl of Sandwich, which was OH MY GOD delicious. How have I missed this place for so long? Line was long but moved swiftly. I got the Caprese Sandwich. Mom got the BLT. We split both sandwiches and also a potato salad. The bread is fantastic. We thought we liked my Caprese Sandwich best, but we decided it was a little heavy on the balsamic so we liked the BLT better.

After lunch was the shopping...and boy did I shop. I'll have to do a whole other report on that, with pictures! I LOVED Tren-D. But of course, I pretty much knew that I would from the minute I first heard of it..I mean all of my non-work clothes are Disney!

After shopping, as it started to pour again, we headed off to WIlderness Lodge for dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe. We were early, so we did some more shopping there. Dinner was fantastic. We got a great table in the corner that overlooks the lobby. Our waitress seemed great early on..but less so as dinner wore on. Food was fantastic. We all did the all you care to eat skillet. We loved everything, but the table agreed the best parts were the corn, mashed potatoes, and corn bread. We didn't ask for ketchup, but the table next to us did so we got to see that. We also saw one of the giant drinks come out. Very cute.

After that we took the boat to Magic Kingdom and then another to Grand Floridian to do some shopping there. I think I didn't buy anything there.....then back to Bay Lake to go up to Top of the World for Wishes. Top of the World is nice. Smaller than I expected, but cute. Watching Wishes from there was great. Even though the angle isn't ideal (fireworks over space mountain rather than the castle) its totally worth it not to have to deal with the crowds...and BOY were there crowds today! After that..a little more shopping at Contemporary, and then back to the room to get ready for tomorrow! Speaking of which..time for me to go so I can re-organize my stuff for the cruise!