She woke up in the morning looking something like this. Mickey ears and all, she was ready to go to Disney World!
We packed our final items in suitcases, cleaned up the house a bit, dropped off a CD of photographs at a friend’s house, picked up some waterproof bandages at Target (our son had a frisbee golf accident two days ago, which required a doctor visit and Durabond), and made our way to the airport!
Maisie, our three year old, was sad she had to leave her Sofia the First suitcase with the guys at airport check-in. She couldn’t understand why they were TAKING HER SUITCASE! She even cried when she watched her suitcase disappear through the hole. We took time to explain they’re taking our suitcases to the airplane and we’ll get them back at Disney World later today! Later when we were on the plane, she asked where her suitcase was. Still not sure she fully understood that experience!
We had a few minor issues at the airport. Nothing big. We got stopped for 10-15 minutes going through security because my husband and son had all of our Disney trading pins in their carry-ons. After exhaustive searches by TSA staff, we were cleared! Maisie bites her fingernails and also happened to bite some skin off one of her fingertips today (ouch!), so we had to pull out the Sofia the First bandaids while we were waiting for our pins to get through security. She also went full-on IN the MEN’S bathroom, so I had to yell at her to come back out! Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be any men in there at the time.
Once we arrived at the gate, things went swimmingly. Cooper, our 12 year old, did crossword puzzles in the book I bought him. SCORE! And Elsa, our 10 year old, did half of her homework on commas. SCORE! Both without us asking. Thank you, children, for getting our vacation off to a peaceful and wholesome start.
Before we knew it, our row was called for boarding. Cooper and my husband sat together on one side, and I sat with the girls on the other side. It was Maisie’s first plane ride, and if I do say so myself, it went quite well. During takeoff, she said “Oh, this is making me crazy! We’re high up in the sky like the clouds!” And then there was this. “How long until we get there? Three minutes?” Ummm…more like three hours?!
When we arrived in Orlando, we headed straight for Disney’s Magical Express, the shuttle service that delivers guests to their Disney resorts! I was shocked when my husband told me that we didn’t even have to pick up our luggage from baggage claim. For some reason, I’d forgotten that about past stays. What a lovely thing to not have to worry about picking up luggage first thing off the plane! That’s Disney customer service for you!
It took about five minutes to check in at Disney’s Magical Express station. We activated all five of our Magic Bands, snapped a photo, got in line and were on our bus within another five minutes. Super slick. Super convenient.
We spent 5-10 minutes sitting on the bus before it departed, but no big deal. The two oldest sat quietly across the way while while our youngest peeked through the seat in front of us. 30 minutes to our Disney Resort, and BAM! We’d officially arrived at Walt Disney World!
We spent literally ONE minute checking in (we didn’t really even have to check in because we’d done that online back at home) and made our way back to our building. We were shocked to discover that this resort is extremely similar to the one we stayed at in 2010 and 2011, only this is new and designed for “bigger” families (of 5+) like us. It was like coming home, only we’d never been here before!
Our room is lovely and family friendly, with plenty of space for all of us. Even one of those cool, pull-down-from-the-wall beds! What are those called, again?
After a 10-15 minute orientation to the room, we made our way to transportation, hopped on a shuttle to Disney Springs (aka Downtown Disney), and arrived at our first non-resort Disney destination!
Disney Springs was crazy busy. Before we knew it, Maisie had found some Winnie the Pooh sculptures and wanted to visit them! Three year olds are easy to please….sometimes?!
As fun as it was to visit Winnie the Pooh, we knew we didn’t have much time to waste before Maisie had a meltdown. With the time change and all of the day’s events, it was already 8:30 p.m. by the time we got to downtown Disney. We hadn’t eaten anything of substance since 11:15 a.m. So we desperately needed to find dinner. And quick! Luckily, we found Earl of Sandwich, which was also crazy packed full! But the line went quickly and there was a lovely Disney cast member who delighted my heart by fulfilling her simple duty of asking guests if they had questions about the menu and how their day went. Lovely. Delightful. Totally Disney. Because they give top notch service. It’s easy to forget how excellent customer service can be until you return to a Disney park.
Dinner didn’t come quite soon enough for Maisie, though. She had a meltdown at the table while we were waiting for our sandwiches to be delivered. Chips didn’t suffice. (No surprise, there.) And she wasn’t too interested in drinking anything either. When her grilled cheese came, she looked at it like it was from another planet. It didn’t look like a standard grilled cheese sandwich. It was much, much better, in fact. But we had to convince her so by taking a few bites of it ourselves!
Things turned around for Maisie after a little food and beverages. All was well with the world. We went to the Disney trading pin store across the way from Earl of Sandwich and bought a Minnie Mouse pin lanyard for Maisie. She wanted a picture next to Minnie and Mickey, then the two of us hopped a shuttle back to the resort for an “early” 10:30 bedtime while the other three stayed for some late night fun!
It was a good day, friends. But primarily a travel day at that. Looking forward to a restful sleep for us all, then we’re at Magic Kingdom for a long and incredibly magical day tomorrow!
This post is part of a month-long series titled 31 Days of Disney! If you’d like to read more posts from the series, click here and you’ll be directed back to the 31 Days of Disney landing page. ALL posts from the series are linked within the body of that post. Find a title or topic that intrigues you, click on it, and the post will pop up for your Disney reading adventure!
I also placed the series graphic on the right sidebar of my blog’s home page, so click it anytime and it’ll bring you back to the 31 Days of Disney landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked.
You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson. You can also find me on Instagram at instagram.com/AmyBPederson, and I might even do a few scopes live from Disney World, so follow me on Periscope at @AmyBPederson to see if I get brave!
So glad you stopped by! Make yourself comfortable. Take a peek around the place, and know you’re welcome back anytime.