Day 1: Travel, Magic Kingdom, Epcot

Trip Start Mar 06, 2010
Trip End Mar 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Boardwalk Inn

Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, March 6, 2010

We woke up at 5 in the morning to catch our flight (but Tyler had to get up at 3, so 5 wasn't so bad, comparatively). We managed to get seats all together (and we were flying Southwest, so that's always a gamble), and the flight actually got in early. We met Tyler at the airport (well, he saw us; apparently we missed the fountain where he was sitting) and took the Magical Express (a free bus that takes you from the airport to your Disney resort so that you're not tempted to stop at Universal or Sea World before you get to the Disney parks) to the Boardwalk Inn. We're staying in the Innkeepers' Club (the concierge level), so when we got to the front desk, they escorted us to our room (which was ready at 12:00 even though check-in's not supposed to be till 3:00), and we dealt with the mundane parts of check-in right there. We're in the exact same room as we stayed in last time--with a great view over the Boardwalk itself!

After we settled in to our room, we went over the ESPN Zone next door for lunch. They had good burgers. I had thought we might eat in the park, but when we made it to Magic Kingdom, I saw we had made the right choice. The park was PACKED. Admittedly, we came in just before parade time. I made us stop for a PhotoPass photographer (first of two today), and we picked up Fast Passes to Splash Mountain. While we were waiting for our return time, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean (they've added Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow all over the place--a nice touch, and at the beginning you sail right through an image of Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, which I thought was pretty cool. Then we went on the Jungle Cruise. This attraction can be much better or worse than normal based on your guide, but ours was pretty funny (there were some groaners, but he more than made up for them based on his energy)--I found this trip especially enjoyable.

After we got out of Jungle Cruise, Captain Jack Sparrow (with a really good likeness to Johnny Depp) and one of his pirate buddies was doing a show (teaching little kids to sword fight and singing "A Pirate's Life for Me") in Adventureland, so we watched that for a while before picking up Fastpasses for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and going on Splash Mountain. As always, Splash Mountain was wonderful. The ride is beautifully designed, and there are actually quite a few good drops, besides the main one. Next was the Haunted Mansion--and I've never seen the line for this attraction so long, nor have I seen it move so quickly. They were really packing people into the stretch rooms, and the transfer from the stretch rooms to the Doom Buggies was a MESS. Still, a delightful ride. Also, there were two new rooms: one of stairs in all directions and one of brides who offed their husbands. I thought they looked new, but had to check the guide to be sure.

We hiked across to Tomorrowland with the idea of riding Buzz Lightyear. When we got there, the line was 45 minutes long (a bit too long for us) so we went on Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor instead. The pre-show made me worried (Tyler and Dad weren't exactly thrilled about the idea of going to this show in the first place, and the jokes were falling flat), but once we got into the theatre everything changed. They had a few screens showing computer-generated monsters from Monsters, Inc. One of these screens also occasionally showed audience members. Using some sort of computer technology, it really looks like the monsters are saying the words. The jokes were mostly funny, but the really fun parts were seeing the audience members put on the spot (somehow, I became one! I just raised my hand because I know where I'm from and then bam! I'm suddenly part of the show) and marvelling at the technology that makes this attraction possible.

After stopping for another Photopass opportunity, we went back to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (the Fastpass was definitely a good decision for this ride) and the coaster part was as good as I remember (and the visual details even better). Then we rode the Walt Disney World Railroad from Frontierland back to Main Street, USA and booked it to the monorail to go to the TTC and Epcot.

At Epcot we had dinner at San Angel Ristorante (I had an excellent chicken dish, Pollo de los Rajas, Tyler and Daddy had beef tacos, and Mom had chicken tostados). We were seated very promptly (despite being on the edge of late ourselves) and very close to the pyramid and volcano scene. After dinner we walked right on to the Grand Fiesta Tour. The boat ride has been rethemed to include a story line about Donald as one of the Tres Caballeros, on his way to perform a concert. While the storyline was definitely layered on the top of the existing ride, I thought it added to the interest of the ride.

After dinner we came back to the hotel and saw part of the Illuminations fireworks from the concierge lounge. It's worth noting that the Magical Express has worked perfectly so far--our bags showed up in our room with no intervention on our part. The Innkeepers' Club also left taffy (part of the turn-down service) and chocolates to welcome us to Disney!
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Aunt Bonni on

Oh, it sounds sooo good. Great details! I think I'll be able to join you all on Wed!! I'm so excited. I've booked a room at the Pop Century!

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