OK, here’s a start…
Day 1- Thursday 6/15: After getting about 3 hours of sleep it was time to wake up (at 2:30am!!). Limo arrived promptly at 3:30am for our drive up the Garden State Parkway to Newark. I never saw the Parkway that empty in my life. If we had a later start, say 8:30am, it’d take us forever to get to the airport. Arrived in plenty of time, with lots of time to spare before our 7:25am flight. We were delayed on the taxi runway (typical for Newark) and didn’t get off the ground until about 8:10.
The flight was smooth and we landed in sunny, HOT, Orlando around 10:30. Went straight down to the Magical Express greet area and got right on the bus for Coronado Springs. There were 2 other lines with lots of people waiting, but we just walked right on our bus and rode away in a matter of minutes. We let most of the people off at Pop Century, then the rest of us were taken to CSR.
Got to the Registration area around 11:30am and were greeted by such friendly cast members. The good part…there was no line…we walked right up to registration desk. The better part, they had a room for us in Cabanas 9B (which we had requested), on the second floor, with a water view (of the quiet lake in the back part of the building, which was great because it was more quiet there). We were told it wasn’t ready yet, but after about 10 minutes of giving the CM all of our information, he said, “Wait, we just had the room open up and you can go right in.”
The room was a short 2 minute walk from the El Centro building. The grounds are beautiful and the color scheme is bright and cherry. There were many convention people there, but, hey, the bus stops weren’t so crowded during the day since they were all inside the convention center!
After dropping our luggage off in the room we were off to Animal Kingdom for 1:30 lunch ADR. Boy were there a lot of people who didn’t have ADRs waiting in line! TIP- plan ahead and make ADRs for yourself. You can always change your mind at the last moment, (which we did later on in the week where I’ll explain more another time).
The food was OK, and the boys enjoyed themselves with the theme of the place. They got drinks in the flashing light glasses, and of course hit the gift shop on the way out. My little DS started right away on “I want a Pal Mickey!” After reading pretty lame reports on this $65 talking pal, I tried to explain to him that he should think about it more and we’d see if he still wanted it later on in the trip. (More about that later.)
We were all pretty tired so decided to go back to the resort for a swim. The pool is awesome and the slide is really long! The boys love to swim and it’s really hard to get them out of the pool once they’re in.
Finally after about 2 1/2 hours in the pool and looking like an old wrinkled prune, we got them out, changed, and went to the Pepper Market for a counter service dinner and 4 souvenier mugs. We found it to be a little confusing with all the various stations. You have to wait in line one place for a burger, wait in line another place for stir fry, wait in another place for kids pizza, wait in another line for xxxxx, and another line for yyyy, and another line for zzzz. The dinner food was at best just average (maybe a little less).
After a quick stop in the Arcade (with 2 boys you can never pass an arcade without going in), and another quick stop in Panchitos for some milk, we headed back to our room and crashed for the night.
Whew, I’m exhausted just writing about the first day. This is basically how the following 9 days played out, too. But we had tons of fun and saw tons of things. Pictures will follow after I get a chance to resize them tomorrow.