Background information: My husband, Robert, and I have been wanting to go back to WDW since we were there last in 2007. Nine LONG years is way too long to be away from the World. He is 32 and I am 28 and we currently do not have children. I have a super principal who approved my missing a week of school to go on this wonderful trip.
Day 1: Flying in, DME and Animal Kingdom
We are from western NC and the closest major airport is an hour and fifteen minutes away in Charlotte, NC. We have flown out of CLT several times and know how to get around pretty well. My mother and sister were our chauffeurs to the airport that morning. Of course, when you tell anyone in my family to be somewhere at 6 am, someone will be late. Today it was DSis’s turn to be the tardy one. We left the house around 6:15 and made it to the airport by 7:30 for our flight scheduled to leave at 9:25. They dropped us off, we checked our bag, and went through security in quick fashion. Before we knew it, it was time to board and we made it to MCO in the blink of an eye.
Since it had been 9 years since our last Disney trip, we were unsure of how DME would go but despite the VERY long lines, we made our way to the line for POP! Century rather quickly. We just missed the bus that was already loading by about 15 people but the next bus arrived about 20 minutes later and we were on our way. It felt like the DME ride only took minutes and we were pulling into POP! in record time.
We knew we wanted to get to a park as quickly as possible so we dropped our carry-on bags with bell services. I had not received a room ready text so I stopped by the lobby to talk with guest services. We were met by the nicest man named Felipe who basically allowed us to choose the room we wanted from the available ones on his screen. We submitted a TP room request but it was messed up by the changing of reservation numbers on Disney’s end. We ended up in 3459 which was really close to the lobby and on a very quiet floor. It was on the wing of the 50’s building I wanted so we jumped at it.
When we were finished with choosing our room, we headed to the buses to catch the next one for AK which was only 4 minutes away. We boarded with a handful of other people and were off. When we arrived at AK, we went through bag check and were both selected for additional screening. We both quickly turned the Mickey’s green and were hurriedly walking to Flame Tree BBQ because neither of us had eaten more than a granola bar since we woke up. We ordered two of the fries with pulled pork and cheese and were very satisfied with our choice. We needed something to hold us over until an early dinner at Yak & Yeti.
We had FPP reservations for It’s Tough to be a Bug and the Meet & Greet with Mickey and Minnie back to back so we did those first. The M&G is where I turned into a blubbering little kid. I cried harder than I can remember and Minnie just held me and rubbed my back. The pictures are awful because my eyes were red and puffy. I’m sure the family behind us in line was ready for me to take myself outside but it was just so magical. After composing myself, we took the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to meet Rafiki, Chip and Dale. DH and I had no interest in the petting zoo so we made our way back to Africa for a late afternoon ride on the Safari. We saw many animals including a hippo out of the water.
It was then time for our reservation at Yak & Yeti. We were seated upstairs which was much quieter than below. We liked the theme of the restaurant and the food was good. We used our Landry’s card with birthday points and start-up points to get a free meal (we did tip). I’m not sure we would go back but the food was decent. We like the food at a local Asian place better.
After dinner, we took a bus to Disney Springs. I wanted to get more Potato Head parts but I was sorely disappointed in the selection. The only parts we didn’t have were Star Wars related and I am not interested in that so we left quickly. Also, the walk to and from the bus stop to the World of Disney and Once Upon a Toy stores was terribly crowded and much longer than I would have imagined. We were back on the bus to POP! after an hour and a half.
To be continued…