As you read in the first part of our trip report, we weren't going on much sleep for our first vacation day. After a rough night at the hotel in St. Louis, we were on the shuttle heading for the airport. It was pretty cold that morning, and thankfully, the guys in baggage check for Southwest are super friendly and super quick! They got us inside and into the security lines quickly. Now three of us had flown before, but it was Ari's first time on a plane. He was super excited and had lots of questions as we went through the security area and into the terminal. He couldn't wait to walk through the metal detector! Once inside, the boys had to have breakfast at the airport, so we picked up some goodies from Dunkin Donuts and mom was able to get some coffee. Before we knew it, it was our time to board. We ended up near the back of the plane and I got to sit with the boys, since I'm the official technology wrangler on this trip. Thankfully, mom was able to sit right behind us. With Southwest, you don't have assigned seating, just a boarding number, so it's really first come first serve. We boarded in the B group, which isn't usually too bad, but this time there were several large groups with small children, and they get to board between groups A & B.
So take-off went very smoothly, and the boys decided to watch some Power Rangers episodes on the netbook, giving me some time with headphones and a good book on my Hp TouchPad. Later on, they thought it would be fun to trade seats, so Payton got to enjoy the window also. Our flight was pretty bumpy a few times, which always makes me nervous! As we were nearing Orlando International Airport, Ari started saying, "We're dropping, Aunt Mendy, we're dropping!!" I tried my hardest to convince him to say that we were coming in for a landing, but he insisted on his version.
After we exited the plane, our first big adventure was finding a bathroom that wasn't completely packed with people! Once that was taken care of, we rode the shuttle to the main building and headed to luggage claim. We did not use the Magical Express luggage service for this trip, as mom wanted to make sure the luggage made it in early enough in case we opted to turn in early, since we all were bound to crash sooner rather than later (again, see previous post!). Apparently everyone else on our flight did use the service, because the minute we reached the Southwest baggage claim, out came our bags! It was the fasted I'd ever seen bags come off a plane. Now the unfortunate part about flying Southwest and not using the luggage service is that you pick up your bags on the lower level of A, then you have to go back up and cross the airport, then make your way to the farthest point on the lower level of B. It was quite a haul, and we had some unfortunate issues with getting on elevators. It's amazing how many people no longer have basic manners (if someone is there before you, let them on first).
When we finally made it to Magical Express, we checked in and got into our first line of the vacation. Thankfully the Coronado Springs line wasn't terribly long, but we still waited a good 45 minutes for a bus. Once our luggage was loaded under the bus, we found comfy seats near a video screen and away we went to Walt Disney World. The boys were just humming with excitement as we rode toward the resort. We went directly to Coronado Springs and proceeded to check-in. It was super busy! I so wished that I had done online check in! Needless to say, we were there for a little while before finally getting our room assignment and key to the world cards. We were given room 3357 in the Casitas. The room was beautiful, and the courtyards we had passed on our way were fantastic! It was absolutely peaceful and lovely. The boys had hoped we would be near the main pool, but as it was, we were close to one of the quiet pools, and close to Bus Stop 2, so the grown-ups were happy! We settled in, put our clothes away, and then decided it was time to head on to Epcot. We had missed our late lunch reservation time for Whispering Canyon Cafe, so we opted to wait and eat in Epcot.
Next post: our very tired first night in Epcot!