The Trip Home
At 6:30 we got up “officially.” Jenny had packed the night before so we could maximize our sleep, but Quin had different ideas. By 7:30 we were showered and ready to go. A bellman picked us up at our room and took us to the “Common House” for checkout. Here we were actually able to check our bags onto the airplane and get our boarding passes. This Magical Express thing was really nice!
The trip to the airport was short and sweet. The driver did his best to get us in a good mood, but nothing could change the fact that we were about to reenter the real world in less than 24 hours.
In the airport, we grabbed a bit of breakfast then went over for the body cavity search line which looked to be significant. Orlando is perhaps the least friendly airport I’ve ever been in. We had a stroller and a 6 year old, but were afforded no slack in getting through the security line. First we were yelled at because our stroller didn’t collapse small enough, then we were yelled at because I was trying to hold Quin in one hand while replacing my belt and shoes with the other, all the while my bags were still on the conveyor. Pricks.
We made it to the gate quickly enough that we had to wait for almost an hour. Mom tried to find Ethan some gum as I had lost hers on the way there. She was unable to locate any. So if you are travling to Orlando and need gum to fly, buy it before you get to the airport. The worst part of the trip was that we were sitting all over the airplane. Apparently they had overbooked the flight by 4 passengers. I’m not sure how we got so split up since we checked in 3 hours prior to the departure, but I suppose everybody else paid the $10 to select their seats. As it was, I had to trade with some other person in order to sit next to Ethan. Luckily he was very nice and traded with me. Jenny, on the other hand, had to fend for herself with Quin three rows in front of us.
When we finally got home, collected our luggage, and drove back to Oconomowoc, it was around 3:00. We purchased a pizza since we didn’t have anything to eat at home, cooked, ate, and unpacked, then mom and dad headed home for Neillsville. Our vacation was officially over.
In all, it was a wonderful vacation. We would do it again, though perhaps not over spring break. The Saturday was much less crowded than the other days, so perhaps including an entire weekend would be good one way or the other. I would definitely recommend going to Disney, particularly if your parents or inlaws were willing to pay for it (thanks mom and dad!).
Insiders Tips for the Disney Traveler
Here is a list of things that we’ve found that will make your trip to Disney just that much better:
- Stay on the resort. It may appear to cost more, but it is much nicer. There is no need to worry about parking, transportation, accommodations, and they pick you up and drop you off at the airport.
- Get the meal plan. It is much cheaper. Quick service meals average around $12 and table service meals around $25 per person without the plan. It’s nice not to have to worry about paying for meals.
- You can buy alcohol at the shops. It’s expensive, but cheaper than getting it in the bars.
- Plan ahead. It takes around an hour to get from any one place on the resort to any other place as long as you don’t have to switch modes of transportation. If you have to switch, plan more time.
- If you want to do pin trading, purchase pins before coming to the park. You can apparently purchase them on Ebay for a fraction of the cost. Pins cost between $6 and $10 from what I’ve seen, though they could be more or less. All you need is some to start and you can trade with any Disney employee, who are required to trade unless they already have one that you are trying to trade.
- In EPCOT, there are kids stations all over the park that kids can stop and get a badge and a stamp. It’s something fun for them to do and may buy you a couple of minutes to look around.
- Get dinner reservations in advance. It’s hard to get reservations at normal meal times otherwise. You can make reservations up to 6 months in advance of your vacation.
- Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are less attended than other parks and may get you out of the hustle and bustle.
- Downtown Disney isn’t really all that cool. They do have nice bars, though.
- Do a character meal. Your kids will like it more than you think they will.