A year ago I discovered Lines and promptly booked my first solo trip to WDW to experience F&W and MNSSHP based on what I was learning on Chat. I was only there for three days but knew I had to come back and bring my darling Shane with me as I was so impressed with every aspect of that trip.
Fast forward a year and the much anticipated trip was at hand. We decided to celebrate Shane passing the OK Bar and pack in as much as we possibly could, so I included a day visit to Universal Studios since we both love Harry Potter and also snagged a California Grill reservation to watch Hallowishes from a whole new perspective.
We left home at 5:45am and Shane was impressed that we got the FPP line thru security. We landed in Dallas with a 1&1/2 hour layover so we had plenty of time to have a nice breakfast at TGIF’s. I’m not going to lie. I was really there for a big, fat Bloody Mary and it was delicious.
We were on the ground at MCO at 12:45 and by the time we took the tram and walked to baggage claim, my bag was on the carousel. We made our way to ME and were the only ones in line for CSR. Within 5 minutes we were directed onto the bus and the driver took away the reserved signs on the front seat and let us sit there! Shane had not been on ME to the resort since we normally drive to WDW or take a Town Car and he really enjoyed the video and our awesome driver. We were the first stop and were on CSR grounds within 30 minutes from the time we checked in for ME.
Check in was a breeze as I always do the online option. I had requested Cabanas and close to buses and we had the perfect room, #9131. There was a parking lot view but the foliage outside our window obstructed it. It didn’t matter to us since we were rarely in the room anyway. The location was spectacular! There was a laundry room in our building and one of the quiet pools on the opposite side of the building from our room. Bus Stop #1 was at most a 2 minute walk and El Centro a lovely 5 minute stroll along the lake. The Dig Site pool was right across the bridge and also about a 5 minute walk. Honestly, I swear we never saw another soul in any room around us. It felt like we were the only ones in the building. It was very peaceful and quiet.
We received two packages while at check in and were completely overwhelmed by the love and generosity shown to us by KeliJ and Maccysmousehouse and a second gift card signed LaCava Loves. I completely lost it and needed to take a bit of time to compose myself in the room before we headed to a park. This community of Liners are absolutely amazing and I am forever humbled and grateful.
We had our 1st FPP’s scheduled at EPCOT and plans to eat at F&W booths for a late lunch. We didn’t wait long for the bus and were there by 3pm, only 2.25 hours since landing at MCO. MS was our first ride and crowds were low so we were able to do TT also. We then headed to WS to get some food. We had the Shrimp Taco and Ribeye Taco from Mexico, the Lamb and Garlic Shrimp from Australia, Grilled Beef Skewer from Patagonia and Shane had the vegetarian chicken and crabcake from Terra while I had the watermelon juice and Scotland’s Smoked Salmon on potato pancake. It was time for a drink so I had the Aulani Sunrise and Shane had the pineapple wine from Hawaii.
Since crowds were still light, we almost always found a table to eat at but in a pinch, we made use of a trashcan top. It was time for our 5:00 FPP for Soarin. We then rode LWTL and headed back to WS for a few more snacks. We went to France so I could get my OGMS and then Ireland for the cheese plate, warm chocolate pudding and Shane had the Honey Meade. Next stop Canada for cheese soup, seared trout and the filet. Our last stop was Puerto Rico for the San Juan slush and we headed back to FW for Nemo and our third FPP for SE. We decided that all the food we sampled was excellent and really couldn’t pick a favorite.
We left EPCOT at 8:00pm to take the monorail to TTC and then to the Contemporary. We browsed the shops and walked over to Baylake Towers to look around before we checked in at 9:15 for our California Grill reservation (9:35). We were given a pager and taken up to the top floor. Shane was dressed very casually and so were many others so he didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. We went directly to the Observation Deck and staked out a perfect spot for viewing Hallowishes. An added bonus was also seeing the Water Pageant while we waited for fireworks.
Sorry about the quality of photos but we were using Iphone. As soon as the fireworks were over our pager went off and we were seated at our table. We had planned on drinks and desserts but were pretty full from F&W so I ended up just ordering the Charcuterie and a cucumber mist drink and Shane had a glass of wine. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
We took the monorail to MK to catch our bus back to CSR and immediately got on an empty bus and were in our room in no time. Waiting there for us was a lovely Mickey cooler bag from MagicMN filled with treats and a beautiful silver bracelet with a heart shaped charm and the word Wishes on it. We unpacked and prepped our backpack for our trip to Universal in a few hours. We’d been up almost 24 hours at this point and face planted into our beds before we could turn out the lights.