Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Guest Post: Our First Disney Trip (Part 1 of 4)

Where to begin?  I have been happily dreaming of a Disney vacation for quite some time now with my 2 boys ages 4 and 2.  My DH hasn't been to Disney EVER and its been quite some time since I went.  But when I thought about it and discussed with some people I was advised to wait until they were older.  But some people were convincing us that we needed to go while the "magic" was still there. 

Finally, my husband dropped the ball and decided to book our trip.  It was in August that the whirlwind of events took place- where to eat, when to go, where to stay, what to do.  BOY is it EXHAUSTING and stressful.  So we just left it up to a travel agent who did it ALL for us.  Great BUT not great at the same time.  (Will explain later about that one)
So it is all booked.  We would go in November when the entire state of NJ has off for their teacher's convention.  (I am a teacher in NJ and yes, I have actually used this time off to go to the convention and attend workshops...this year though was about family!)  We also decided to include out grandparents and uncle in this trip too.  Great idea (sort of).  Well, apparently I missed the memo that EVERYONE IN NJ goes to Disney like us.So we were booked at Caribbean Beach Resort (sounded great-- Beach, Resort, paradise, on Disney property (busses to parks!))

 Dining plans- and booked character meals at Crystal Palace, Hollywood and Vine, and table at Epcot Rose and Crown.  Flights late at night out of Philly airport.  SO lets break it down.

Flight there:
We were so excited to go.  The boys were excited,  I over packed, got the Ipod ready, the portable DVD player ready for hte plane, gummi worms for the boys ears.  AND we arrived 2 hours before hte flight, right?   Isnt' that what your supposed to do nowadays for planes??   Not a good idea....super hyped up kids.  RUNNING around the airport terminal picking up ancient phones in the phone booth to talk on them (yes, I santized their hands afterwards)....Basically, that was the precursor of our trip with 2 little boys-- chasing, chasing, worrying about where they were.  The other people waiting must have HATED us  boarding that flight silently thinking "Please don't let these kids be seated near us...." OFF we went, my DH's fear of flying and all.  Not a bad flight at all.  We landed.  So I guess its a start.

Orlando Airport:
Unfortunately, we missed the "magical express" bag delivery timing because our flight was in past 10pm.  So we had to get our luggage ourselves off the belt.  Thus negating the whole fact of magical express.  We had to then shlept ALL of wheelie luggage 2 strollers and loads of carryons to the next line for Caribbean Beach resort.  We are waiting for that bus (exhausted from the plane) to take us to the resort.  Then we hear people saying "OH, it takes about 45 minutes to get to the hotel"  WHAT??  45 mintues??  Are you kidding me?  We didn't know that.  So here we are, 2 little ones shlepting onto a bus tired and cranky (and the kids are too), watching a video about the awesome time we are going to have.  OK, lets just get there. NOTE TO SELF--- book an earlier flight PERIOD.

Check-in:
COMPLETE and UTTER NIGHTMARE---  Didn't do much research after our agent booked it for us.  We thought we would just love it.  NOTE TO SELF- not a good idea.  We were all tired now its now 12am.  We are super tired.  Just want to check in.  So we wait on this LONG LONG line.  WHY is the line long??  OH, because they decided to have ONE computer working for check in.  There was a line out the door because most of the the people that got off our flight checked in to our hotel.  Finally about an inch of motion in the line (remember 4 and 2 year old of crankiness---) we are next.  We had specifically asked for our rooms to be together and to get a crib for my 2 year old.  We were told YES, my agent also called we were told YES. 

SO, when I was in front of the guy and triple checked that info...what was I told NO!!  "No sorry, we could accomodate you but you are a building away from each other and you'll have to wait for the crib" ITS NOW 1am my sons (and adults) NEED TO SLEEP.  We get a shuttle to our room because OF COURSE where we checked in is NO where near walking distanct so we shlept and wait again.    THEN we realize that Caribbean Beach Resort has NO ELEVATORS.  So we must SHELPT ALL LUGGAGE UP STAIRS AT 1am.Crib doesn't come until 2am.  YES. that is right.  2am.  So we didn't sleep until 2am.  What a first night??!!  Right.

Day one-- Magic Kingdom
Great place.  It was overwhelming to say the least though with just the amount of tourists.  Seeing the castle up so close is just AMAZING/Breathtaking to say the least.  We took about a million pics.  But then we started walking around.  I didn't know where to go and none of us knew where to go so we just followed the crowd.   Dumbo ride LOOOONG wait so we passed.  Frankly, the boys didn't care either since we have passes to Six Flags Great Adventure and can ride the Bugs Bunny Planes anyway.  :)

We headed to the jungle cruise and pirates of the caribbean.  LOVE THEM BOTH.  I don't remember much of anything else since we were SOO SOO tired from the day before.  I think that long day spoiled day one of the trip.  ALL of us were cranky and really just couldn't get over the fact that we had just a horrible experience--all that positive thoughts about going there and all the dreams for going there.  POOF up in flames bc of poor flight times and poor hotel service and lots and lots of waiting.

I, for one, Positive Polly wasn't about to let this spoil our day though so we trucked on. Crystal Palace for our dining experience.  It was great and to see our boys' faces for the characters--priceless.  Even my husband enjoyed it for his birthday.  :)
Back to the pool we went, and just destressed from the long day and actually, we bypassed all the parades and shows....for our own sanity, we just wanted to rest and get some sleep.  I think that was the best decision.  Maybe again we'll go and see the electric light parade-- but with a 4 and 2 year old and lack of sleeping for 24 hours---I think we made the right call.

(to be continued tomorrow!)

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