Thursday January 10th, 2013 – travel day
Only got a couple hours of sleep – we had to be up and mobile by 3am local time to shower, load the van and make it to the airport to meet our check in time. No problems there but tired. As we were walking out the door my wife got a message on her phone – BLIZZARD WARNING!!! After a moment of panic we read through the message and warning was for later that day or the next day. That’s a future Ted problem for when we get home now.
We got checked in and through security with no problems – I got extra screening but I always do unless I am wearing a dress shirt (big, tall and scruffy looking).
We had booked our flights separately due to using Airmiles and other reward programs which meant that WestJet didn’t automatically seat us together but we were able to get that sorted and for both legs of the journey we ended up getting the entire row to ourselves so we had extra room to stretch out a bit. Very nice.
The first flight was about an half hour early into Toronto – which was nice as it gave us extra time to grab our bags to take through US customs and security again. Once through things went smooth and we were early into Orlando as well (whoohoo!). We grabbed a quick bite to eat to hold us over as it was early afternoon and we didn’t have dinner reservations until just after 7.
Magical Express was smooth to board but there was some confusion with coordination guy who scans the Magical Express boarding numbers – we forgot to mention to the bus driver that there were people going to our hotel so the bus driver missed it – at the next stop we talked to the drive and she took us back to our hotel with no complaints.
After we were dropped off at the Boardwalk we had a quick check in and did a quick look at our room location – it was nice, we had a corner unit with 2 balconies – one overlooked the walk way to the busses but the other overlooked a courtyard used by the conference center and it was deserted the entire weekend so it was nice and private. The room was also south facing so we had some lovely sun in the room most of the day.
After registration we headed out to the package pick up – the bus service was smooth and we didn’t have much of a wait. The bus drop locations seemed further out this year that previously but it wasn’t a concern even though I did hear complaints from some folks.
Package pickup was quick and painless, only had one person in front of me.
I do have to laugh though at how hard Disney tries to make sure you have as many shopping opportunities as possible. Grab your bib and bag on one level – go do some shopping on the first level while you check your chip timer is correct – go to the Expo to get your shirts – grab your shirts – do some shopping – then go exit into the Expo (for more shopping) – then head out. Pretty funny. I bought a goofy running zip up sweater. See, it works.
We rushed through the expo to get back to the hotel to change (yay Magical Express! Our luggage was in our room and we were able to quickly change and leisurely stroll to Epcot along the boardwalk. I had renewed my annual pass online so I was able to pick it up and we set up my wife’s ticket and into Epcot we wandered. It was dark by now and it was a nice quiet evening stroll for my wife and I. A nice couple’s night.
We had reservations at Coral Reef and we sat in the waiting area for less than 5 minutes before we were brought it – initially the table seemed pretty exposed but it had a great view of the aquarium and a few seconds after sitting we weren’t concerned about that at all. The food and company were very good and we had a very good time.
Rode Nemo after supper and did a nice walk back through Epcot for a relatively early night – we were both feeling the lack of sleep by now so we wandered back to the hotel pretty early.
We had gotten an email from my brother when he got in and he was in the adjacent room to us so we chatted with him for a few minutes before heading to bed.