Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Disney Trip 2013 - Day 1, Part 2

We touched down in Orlando, and the weather was amazing - high 70s, bright and sunny with a breeze.  With a couple of exceptions, it would stay like that for most of the week.
Blue skies over Orlando
We hopped aboard the Magical Express bus and soon realized that we had the worst driver ever - she apparently had the flu, as she was hacking and sneezing into wadded up tissues the whole ride from the airport.  In addition, she was apparently in training as her supervisor had to keep telling her what to do next.  I got the feeling from his demeanor and responses to her that she should already know what to do by now.  Everything is marked by signs, and it would never fail that she would pull up to a sign that said "Buses keep right" and would instead pull into the left lane, or vice versa.  Plus she could not start or stop the bus without it jerking and shuddering.

The happiest place on Earth is off of this bus
We finally got to our hotel, Disney's Contemporary Resort, at 3:40pm.  It's the one with the monorail going through it.  A resort employee came out to meet us personally and escorted us into the lobby and to the front desk - a very nice touch.  It was very surreal as we walked in the hotel to see about 30 old clowns in full makeup and costume making their way through the lobby and out the front doors.  I guess there was some sort of geriatric clown convention that was winding down that day.  I was too surprised and tired to think to get my camera out to take photos.

We were checked in by a young man from New Zealand who looked exactly like a younger Seth MacFarlane.  After check-in, we made our way up to the room to crash for a little bit.

The room was fantastic, and had the best view overlooking the water of Bay Lake.  While it did have two queen beds instead of one king, we decided to make do as we didn't want to move from that location.

Home away from home
The view from inside
The view from the balcony

The view outside our door.  The monorail track is in the background, the quick-service restaurant is below, and to the left outside the photo is Chef Mickey's restaurant.

Little touches impressed this weary traveller
I called down to the front desk to see if the special thing I ordered made it, and it had.  A bellhop brought it up shortly.  It was an early Christmas present to Todd and something to make the room more homey.  It was also one more thing that kept having to get rescheduled due to the weather.  I know Disney floral delivered it to and picked it up from the hotel at least once, probably twice, before delivering it for the final time.  They were extremely accommodating.

Living greens hung with ornaments, candy canes, and lit with twinkling LED lights.  The room smelled and looked great for the week.
After a short rest we took the monorail to the ticket/transportation center, then took the ferry over to the Magic Kingdom.

Our hotel from the ferry 
Space Mountain from the ferry
The view from the train station.  As the week progressed more and more Christmas decorations would go up, including a giant tree behind those toy soldiers, and garlands strung over Main Street.
We wanted to do some things this trip that we had never done before, so we started off by riding the train for the first time (that I can remember) from the park entrance to Frontierland.  I'm glad we did, because we learned that as the train passes through the Splash Mountain structure, there's a window that looks down on the final scene of that ride.  We had ridden Splash Mountain several times before on previous trips, and had no clue there was a window or a train going by.  Unless you knew where to look, you would never know it was there.

Liberty Belle paddleboat at dock
We then tried to have dinner at the Columbia Harbour House restaurant - fish and chips, yum! - but they were closed.  They close earlier than the rest of the park and as many times as we'd try to eat there in the past, we were always too late.  Instead we walked over to Fantasyland and ate at the Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant, where I had a meatball sub, 1/2 order of fries, and ice water.  After dinner we rode The Haunted Mansion, then left at 7pm when the park closed for the Very Merry Christmas Party, which we had tickets to on Tuesday.

Cinderella Castle reflected
All out for Christmas
We walked back to the hotel and went to the quick-service restaurant, the Contempo Cafe, for snacks.  I took my mint chocolate cupcake and orange juice back to the room.  When we got back to the room our luggage was waiting for us from the Magical Express.  We opened the sliding glass door and ate our treats on the balcony of our room.  Very nice.  It was at that point that I truly started to relax and let go of the stress of the past couple of days.

It was so good
It had been a long day, so I went to bed at 9:00pm.  I woke up at 9:30 to the booming sound of fireworks from the Magic Kingdom, then again at 10:00pm to loud but fun music coming from speakers outside our side of the hotel.  I looked out the window to see the lights of the Electrical Water Pageant as it took place on the water beyond the dock.  Very pleasant wakings.  After the water parade ended, I went back to bed.

The Electrical Water Pageant runs nightly.  After finishing at one resort on Bay Lake, the barges are piloted over to the next and the show starts again.  

1 comment:

  1. LOVE yalls room!!!! Wish we would of seen it in person!!!!! Just lovely!!!!!