The beginning of our vacation started with a very early 3:30 am wake-up call so we could catch the 4 am shuttle from the hotel to the airport to catch our 6 am flight. We stumbled out of bed and got ourselves downstairs for the shuttle, got to the airport, and checked our one bag. Yup, we could fit a week’s worth of vacation clothes into one checked bag. It helps when you have a one-bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower complete with washer and dryer waiting for you in Orlando. It makes it so you don’t have to travel as heavy. My golf clubs had already completed their journey to Orlando via FedEx for $140 less than what the airlines wanted to charge.
After we checked our bag, our family had the pleasure of going through the TSA Pre-Check line since we both signed up for the service. It allowed us to by-pass the long security line. It took us longer to load our carry-ons on the belt than it did to get through the line. A great service to sign up for. Makes getting through the airport a lot easier.
We had a smooth flight down to Orlando. We only had to wait 10 minutes for the Disney Magical Express bus to leave the airport and we were on our way to Disney World. The one thing that I have zero luck with is being the first stop for the Disney Magic Express when arriving. In seven trips, my resort is always the last or second to last stop. Still we were at the Contemporary before 10 am. We checked in and our room was not ready. So, we killed sometime by getting changed into more summery clothes and obtaining a birthday button for my wife. There’s always a reason to celebrate a Disney vacation.
By now, it was 11 am and since we were up at 3:30, we were all getting hungry. Time to head to my favorite spot, The Contempo Cafe, for lunch. I went with a new menu item….the spicy chicken sandwich. It was spicy without being overly hot. It came with some cole slaw on top which was quickly scraped off. I went with the house made chips for the side. My wife went with something tried an true…the angus cheeseburger with french fries. My daughter got the kids pizza. The centerpiece of the meal was not the entrees but the dessert. Contempo Cafe has some of the best cupcakes on the monorail loop. We made sure to get one of each that were available.
Even though, in my opinion, pumpkin’s time had come and gone with the passing of Halloween, I went with the Pumpkin Caramel Cupcake instead of my normal cheesecake. The cake, itself, was pumpkin with a vanilla filling mixed with caramel. Very, very good. A great fall seasonal item.
My wife got the Frozen-themed Chocolate Caramel Cupcake. Very similar to the Pumpkin Caramel Cupcake with a chocolate cake and a vanilla-caramel filling. The caramel was easier to see on her cupcake as it contrasted with the chocolate cake. On the pumpkin cake, it blended in with the cake.
After lunch, we waited and waited and waited for the rest of our party to arrive. The rest of our party was learning, first-hand, how Disney transportation truly works. Our warnings to them were not enough. My daughter and I killed some of the time looking at the Frozen-themed Gingerbread House at the Contemporary.
That’s a lot of honey, flour, and chocolate. The “hidden Olafs” are the white flecks in the top picture.
By now, we had to walk over to Bay Lake Tower for our appointment to add-on at the Grand Floridan. We toured the villas in August and fell in love with them. We made the decision to add-on and will now be alternating between Bay Lake Tower and Grand Floridan as our “home resorts.” While we were in the meeting, I got the text that our room was available. We got room 7235 which is a standard-view one-bedroom. On our last stay, at Bay Lake Tower, we got 7335 – another standard view one-bedroom and on our first stay at Bay Lake Tower we were in 7735 – a lake-view one-bedroom. We checked at the front desk to see if there was ANY other standard view one-bedroom’s available. There were but they weren’t available until the next day. So, we decided to stay in 7235. Hopefully, we won’t be in an “xx35” for stay number 4.
Also during the appointment, the rest of our party arrived and needed to eat lunch. My wife went over to see them while I went with my daughter to Magic Kingdom.
We get to the gates and then get redirected to Guest Relations. We need to show photo id to activate our discounted Premium Annual Pass that was available to Disney Vacation Club members in the first quarter of the year. I text my wife to alert her that she will have to do the same.
We get into the park and we head straight for the Mad Tea Party – my daughter’s traditional first ride when we get to Walt Disney World. That was the only attraction we had time for before we had to head over to Crystal Palace for our 3:30 pm dinner reservation.
My daughter and I are the first ones to arrive so I try to check us in. Get told by the cast member, no. The whole party has to be there. I think fine there is only two out of the ten here….no problem. I can live with that. The rest of the party except my wife, who is waiting in the guest relations line, arrive. I try to check-in again. I state that 9 of the 10 are here and the 10th in the bathroom. Get asked if there are in a park bathroom or the Crystal Palace bathroom. I wanted to say, “none of your business,” but state a park bathroom. Get told that I can’t check until the 10th person arrives. My wife, finally, arrives and I have her check us in because I have some not kind words to say to the cast member at this point.
We get checked-in. We get to our table. Everyone has a lovely meal filled with food, family, and Winnie the Pooh characters. Some of the characters even came by for a second visit! Everyone has a great time.
After dinner, some of the party returns to their rooms. While my family and another family stay for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!
The party review will come in tomorrow’s post.
Thanks for reading!