Welcome to our Christmas 2010 Walt Disney World Trip Report! For those of you who have been following our Saga in our other reports, thank you for joining us once again! For those first time readers, thanks for opening this thread–we hope it doesn’t disappoint!
The trip began in its typical manner, under chaotic circumstances. Packing the night before actually went better than usual, as we had accomplished some packing ahead of time. We got to bed relatively early the night before, around 10:30 pm. The next morning we were up bright and early, with Sarah’s dad taking us to the airport at 5:30 am. We took one set of bags down to the car and were planning on going back up for incidental items, to do a once over, and to lock up the fort. The previous trip down, I told Sarah that I would just leave the keys upstairs since my hands were full. Unfortunately, in our apartment building, once the door shuts, you have to use a sensor (on our keychain) to open the front door. Here we are, at 5:30 am in 20 degree weather, no coats, locked out of our apartment building. We had to go back upstairs as our unit’s door was open, plus Sarah’s ID was up there.
The natural response to this situation is to buzz the call box of all adjacent tenants to see if they’ll let you in. Well, maybe this isn’t the natural response of everyone, as some of you may have more common courtesy than us, but it was 5:30 am, we were freezing, and fearful that we’d miss out flight to WDW. It was our natural reaction. Our neighbors either were undisturbed by the constant buzzing (in which case no harm, no foul), or chose to ignore (in which case I don’t feel too sorry for them). Not knowing what to do, we called the apartment’s emergency line. This line is reserved for situations such as gas and water leaks, but I felt missing a flight to WDW was fairly analogous, so we called and left a message. After more time passed, the gentleman who delivers the newspaper came by and let us in. But for him, I think we would have missed our flight. Add leaving our keys in the house to the list of things not to do before heading to WDW (add it to the list of things not to do whenever leaving home, for that matter).
Other than this, the trip down was relatively uneventful. There was one somewhat minor issue, but that was relatively quickly resolved: I couldn’t decide whether to order 2 or 3 sausage McMuffins with egg from McDonald’s. I decided to order 2, then see if I wanted another. I ended up wanting another, but was too lazy to wait in line again. Lesson learned there!
Sarah was selected for advanced screening in Indy, so she went through one of the WBI machines. I did a fair amount of research on WBIs, BDOs, SPOT, and the rest of the acronym soup involving advanced measures of airport security in law school, so I was sort of hoping to be selected for the screening to experience it first hand. (For those curious, my ultimate thesis was that whole body imaging was impractical due to its costs and inevitable ability of terrorists to circumvent it; I found advanced screening unobjectionable from a personal liberties perspective. Although I’m sure no one cares.)
Once through screening, we headed to our gate, and boarded shortly thereafter. We slept most of the flight there to conserve our energy. What seemed like 15 minutes later, we touched down in Orlando, and headed towards the DME area. In previous trip reports, I’ve commented on our inability to find this area despite heading there so frequently, and more importantly, having maps indicating how to get there. This hadn’t been an issue for the last couple of trips, as we had found it right away without the maps, but this time, I decided to follow my instinct, and disregard the map–with Sarah all the while telling me I was leading us the wrong direction. As a proud male who both refuses to follow a map and is seldom wrong, I can only assume the airport had been reconfigured since our last trip, as we were in the wrong area.
We re-traced our steps, headed to the other side of the airport, and boarded the DME shortly thereafter. Since we were staying at an All Star resort (Music) the first night of our trip, we were sandwiched in among Pop Warners parents and players. They must not have been too loud, as I was able to sleep. (I almost wish they had kept me awake, as I missed that DME video, which I love!)
This would be the first of two admittedly “new” DME bus drivers we’d have on the trip; this particular one drove to All Star Music, before realizing he had forgotten to stop at All Star Sports, and turning around–without dropping off us guests staying at AS:Mu. Not wanting to deal with any more of his brilliant moves, Sarah and I got out at Sports and walked to Music. Given the crowd that came behind us to check-in, I’m fairly confident that I’m right.
We met our friend, Nick, at the check in desk and then proceeded to our room to drop off some stuff before we headed immediately to the Magic Kingdom. I had opted to wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt that day given that we’d be in Indy part of the day, and that night was supposed to be cool, but I noticed that even during the day, I didn’t feel hot in that attire. Oh well, I thought, the next 11 days would be warmer.
We engaged in so many unique experiences and I’ve written so many thoughts on specific attractions in previous trip reports in the past that to do so again would be superfluous. If there was anything out of the ordinary or specific to this trip of which I think, I’ll discuss it, but otherwise, assume we rode attractions each day in addition to what is discussed…
There are multiple pages in this Walt Disney World trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!