Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Disneyworld Day 1

It's finally happened... I'm on VACATION! As I write this I am sitting in a hotel room at the Port Orleans Riverside resort in fabulous Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We arrived here at about 5pm Eastern time, at which point the 80+ degree heat and 80+ percent humidity felt somewhat pleasant. Now at about 11:30pm, it feels incredibly muggy. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Relatively few snafus on the first day of travel. Amy's friend Liz took us to the airport and we arrived there just after 7:00am. Since we had already checked in for our flight online, all that was left was to check our bags (painless), get through security (equally painless), and wait for our flight (as painless as waiting can be). Then came the 5 hour flight to Orlando. At least it was non-stop, which makes it a lot more bearable. I mananged to watch 5 episodes of West Wing on DVD on my laptop over the course of the flight and all was well. We arrived and used WDW's new "Magical Express" service that (a) takes your luggage straight from the plane to your hotel room, and (b) provides you bus transportation from the airport to your resort hotel. This turned out as painless as ever, as we checked in at the Orlando airport and our bus was immediately there ready for us to board. That timing was probably more luck than anything else, but I'm certainly not complaining.

No more than an hour after we stepped foot off of the plane, we were checked into our hotel and in our room. Of course, our luggage would be delivered a few hours later, so we went to dinner at the restaurant in our hotel. Part of the reason we decided to come to WDW at this time was the package deal they were pushing that included their Disney Dining Plan for free. Basically this means that all of our meals are paid for: a snack, counter service (food court-type) meal, and a table service (restaurant) meal each day. The dinner we had tonight included our choice of literally anything on the menu, an appetizer, entree, and desert for each person. There was so much food! We got our bill at the end of the meal... if we had actually PAID for the meal, $150.23 (gratuity included). Our cost: $0.00. None of us could even eat the dessert, so we took home two pieces of cheesecake and two slices of pecan pie in togo boxes and stuck them in the fridge in our hotel room. Ugh. I'm going to be sick on this trip, I can already tell. :P

We returned to our room after dinner, to rest briefly and check if our luggage had been delivered yet, but no luggage. They said to expect that the luggage might not arrive for up to 3 hours after you check-in, so nothing to worry about there. We hopped on the Disney transportation buses and went down to the Downtown Disney outdoor shopping area. It was nice, bought some souveniers at the mammoth World of Disney store, and browsed some of the other stores. Eventually we took a boat back up the Sassagoula River (Disney-made, of course) that connects Downtown Disney with our resort. Confident that our luggage should be in the room by now, we got to the room and lo and behold, 3 bags of luggage sitting just inside of the room. But wait... we checked 4 bags in Seattle. Something doesn't add up! Oops, Amy's bag was no where to be seen. So I head down and we talk to the bell services gentlemen, and finally one dude who knew what was going on looked it up in the computer and found that it only arrived in Orlando at 10pm. They said it frequently happens that if the plane is overweight in Seattle, they'll just start pulling luggage off to make the weight work, not that they particularly care whose luggage they pull. Most likely Amy's suitcase was pulled and it ended up on the next flight down which arrived around 10pm. Either way, Amy doesn't need to freak out anymore because it should show up at our room by around midnight. Of course as I write this, it's currently 11:56pm EDT.

Unfortunately, no really good pictures today, but expect another update in the next day or two that will contain more exciting picture updates. Until then, I'm going to try to go to sleep since I'll be getting up at about 7:30am EDT or, uh... 4:30am PDT.

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