Here we go again! - Part 3
Dinner done, there was about an hour and a half of flight time, we had made up on the delay we had had when leaving Frankfurt and we both started to really realize that this vacation had now officially started.
An hour later we touched down at MCO
and rolled to our gate. We could see the BA and Virgin Atlantic planes and were hoping that they had arrived quite some time earlier so we would not end up in the queue at immigration. Well, at least we could leave the plane right away, and since our seats had been towards the front of the plane we quickly were on our way to immigration.
Not many people in the hallway or ahead of us until ……..
we turned the corner to immigration.
That room was shock full of people.
Oh well, we’ll get through there in some time. Lines snaked back and forth across the room and slowly we were creaping towards the booths. It had taken us 50 minutes until we got to someone who directed us to the self service machines for immigration and once that was done and some horrible pictures had been taken, we were able to get to an officer and finally had immigration behind us. Our luggage was doing rounds on the carroussel and soon we were in line for customs.
It was a breeze and we were on our way to rental cars.
After our less than fun experience with Budget we had decided to go back to Hertz again and this time we were glad we did, because when we got to that floor we could see quite some lines at most companies, but Hertz had an employee at every spot and we were the first people in line.
And as luck would have it, while I was still digging for my paperwork, one family was sent on their way and we were able to walk over to the desk. We had quite some luggage so the employee tried to get us to upgrade, but once we said we were not interested in an upgrade, he didn’t pressure us any more. Papers were signed, a key was handed over and we were ready to head outside. And we were stunned to see that behind us a long line had formed and we had been very lucky to be there when we had been. So with key in hand we headed towards the exit and were slapped in the face by the hot humid Orlando air. Within a few minutes we were riding up the escalator to the Hertz lot and looking for our car. Didn’t take long and our luggage was loaded into it and Tom fixed the GPS and we were on our way. It had become dark in the meantime, but when the first Walt Disney World billboards came into sight, we finally were sure we were no longer dreaming, our vacation of a lifetime had started.
It took us about 30 minutes until we arrived at our destination, Disney’s Bay Lake Tower.
And we were really lucky as we found an empty parking space really close to the main entrance. So in we went to pick up magic bands and being told our room location. The cast members were so super friendly and with that made me forget that we had not been granted a room on another floor than first. Well, we were only there for three nights and once we found out that it was just a few steps from reception all was good again. I made Tom go in first to find his surprise, a
two tier mini cake for his retirement and it was just the sweet surprise I had imagined it to be. And after we had looked around the room
and found out that we could look out at the pool Tom went to fetch the rest of the luggage, while I waited for the Owner’s Locker to arrive. It didn’t take long and everything was in the room and we were ready to head out and over to the Magic Kingdom again. We were already way inside our FP+ for the Jungle cruise and were sure we would not make it, but we had more FP+ to enjoy. About 10 minutes later we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, went through security, which still had quite a line and headed into the park. And stopped right in town square to see the Main Street Electrical Parade,
which was running. What a start to our vacation. We stood way back but it was fun to see the parade, which is always a favourite of ours. When the Parade had passed, we strolled through the shops and finally made it to the hub. Why not start with a ride on the Peoplemover? We walked over, saw the long line and then noticed that the ride was not moving at all. Soon they began to turn away people and instead of going on a ride we decided to head to Cosmic Ray’s for some dinner. The place was pretty packed, but they had two sides of lines open, so we got in line, studied the menu and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Very very slowly the line crawled up to the register and when only two groups were ahead of us the cast member manning the register let everyone know that his orders did not go through and this was what had held up the line. Would we all walk over to another register, where he was going to open up right away. Boy, you should have seen the stampede of people who literally dashed over to that register, which left the lady in front of us and us right at the end of that line again. Well, the lady spoke up and let the cast member at the register know that we had been next in line at the other register and what was he about to do about it. He was going to do nothing. He just let her know that this is the line that he had found there and it would only take a few minutes. 15 minutes later we were still in line. The lady ahead of us was fuming, Tom and I were too tired to actually be angry about it. Finally it was our turn, we placed our order and walked up to the counter, where we waited another 10 minutes until our order was ready. By then we were already inside the time frame for our second FP+, but we would make it there with time to spare. So we loaded a small plate
with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and chilis and went to find a table. And I did not even forget to take pictures of our food before we dug in. We had decided on getting the
Barbecued Pork Bacon Cheeseburger with french fries and the
Bacon Deluxe Chicken Sandwich with french fries which we shared. They were both quite good and hit the spot, but we were both amazed by the 38$ price tag. We sat for quite a while before we headed out to ride our first FP+ ride, the
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. When we walked up to the FP entrance we were stunned to see the standby line starting outside the actual ride area, but once we had scanned our magic bands it was kind of a walk on. Great way to start the trip. Once we got off we had about 5 minutes until our next ride, the wildest ride in the wilderness. We very slowly walked past Peter Pan and It’s a Small World, walked through the Haunted Mansion gift shop and then strolled along the water’s edge over to the ride. It was supposed to close during our WDW stay so we had made it a priority to ride it whenever we were at the Magic Kingdom. So we were happy to see the FP line moving quickly, Tom asked for last row and with his wish granted we rode our favourite runaway train. When we got off it was nearly midnight and there were extra magic hours until 2am but there was no way we would make it. So we decided to call it a day and walk towards the exit, but not without trying to ride the Peoplemover. Unfortunately it was still down and we very slowly made our way towards the exit with a lot of other people. Thankfully we did not have to get in line for a bus or the monorail, we just walked over to Bay Lake Tower and after unpacking a few things we were in bed by 1am.