The alarm went off early, early, early. I think I had set it for 4:00 am for our 6:40 am flight. I really, really don’t like flying out that early, but the next non-stop wouldn’t have put us there until about 3 in the afternoon and that’s such a waste. With this flight we were there at 9:30 am their time and had nearly a full day to spend in a park.
We got dressed and the final things in our suitcase and woke Lilli up at 4:30 am. I knew her reaction to !finally! getting to go and see her beloved princesses would be very different at that hour than if we had woken her up at 7:30 am, so we didn’t have big hopes of a huge reaction from her. She was very groggy but heard enough of what we were saying to get up and start getting changed without a tantrum – a huge sign at that hour that she was “excited”. It finally started sinking in and she asked if she was finally big enough – we’ve been telling her for about a year she needed to be a little bit bigger to go. I also gave her a new Cinderella backpack with some new (cheap) little Disney books, snacks for the airplane, stickers and a note from Cinderella telling her she couldn’t wait to meet her. Brent got it all on video and I’ll post that later.
She was still in a daze as we headed out the door at 4:45 but was clutching some animal crackers “Cinderella” had given her.
It was POURING down rain that morning, and I was very glad we’d decided to park at a local airport transport company instead of the actual airport. The long term buses at the airport run fairly frequently, but the drivers don’t/won’t help you with your luggage, and that leaves poor Brent dragging all our junk all on his own in and out of the bus, parking lot, and into the airport. By parking at Fly Away (valet) they helped us with everything and dropped us off at the airport door. This was so fantastic to us because I’m under some additional lifting restrictions for this pregnancy and I didn’t want to over-do it just getting all our junk checked in. And, the extra bonus was the half off coupon I had in the Entertainment book so 8 days of parking cost us only $48 – less than half what it would have at the airport!!
She was still SUPER sleepy on the bus ride.
We got to the airport around 5:15 that morning. Typically the Nashville airport is not that busy and we really didn’t think that many people would be there so early on a Monday since very few flights leave here at that time (most start around 6 am). Oh.my.word. There really weren’t that many people – the problem was the lack of workers! There was a massive line at Southwest when we got there because they didn’t have the express kiosks open yet! Just as we walked up they opened them so we were able to speed ahead of a lot of people there. But then the security line (pictured below) was a madhouse. People were flipping out all the over the place because their flights were leaving in 20 minutes or less. It took us about twenty minutes to get through. Insane.
We finally made it through and got to our gate, about thirty minutes before take off time. Our plane was already there (probably had been there overnight) and Lilli’s day got a lot more alert when she saw we were across from the playground. I have completely lost track of how many times she’s flown, but we’ve always been near the playground which is so nice. She only got to play a couple of minutes before I took her to the bathroom and literally as we were walking out it was time to board. Being pregnant “awards” me a pre-board pass (I tell them I like to sit near the bathroom) so we were literally the first people on the plane which is SO nice on flight to Orlando when there’s a million kids.
Waiting for take-off!
We quickly left behind the rainy, dreary skies of Nashville and landed in sunny Orlando. We got our rental car and headed to Disney! She actually fell asleep for a few minutes in the backseat and got a nice little cat nap.
One thing Disney is just superior on is their customer service. We pulled into the lot of our hotel (the Contemporary) and told the lot attendant our last name. By the time we pulled to the front door a concierge was waiting outside for us with our packet including our tickets, room keys and everything we would need. Love it. We did stay at a Deluxe resort, so I don’t know if they do that at all of them, but it was SO nice. I was shocked our room was ready that early in the morning, but it was so nice to be able to go up and settle in for a minute.
As soon as we got there Lilli wanted to draw a picture of Mickey Mouse (below) and insisted we take it with us to give him. We didn’t because it’s so stinking cute and we wanted to keep it.
We got a Bay View room and we LOVED it. We had a gorgeous view of the lake and pool. We absolutely loved staying at the Contemporary. It’s certainly more expensive, but it’s closeness to everything was perfect for us. We could walk to Magic Kingdom, and could watch the MK fireworks every night from the balcony on our floor.
After we unpacked a little and got our backpack ready we headed outside to catch the bus over to Animal Kingdom. (This is the view of the Monorail running out of our Hotel as we walked outside to the bus stop.)
More Disney to come!