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Old 09-06-2003, 05:15 AM   #1
BONZO
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Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Day 2 Check in to WL

Day 2– Wednesday 20th August 2003

Cast list:

Shaun - 40 something 'If it's not alcoholic I won't drink it'
Alison - 30 something 'If it spins I won't even look at it'
Alexandra - 10 'If it goes upside down I won't ride it'
Laura - 8 'If it's not pizza I won't eat it'

The alarm goes off at 6.30am, but I’d been awake for a while determined not to oversleep this morning. I get up for work at the crack of dawn anyway so I’m used to this although it’s a bit of a struggle for the others.
Alison packed the overnight stuff (all bar the swimming cossies and toothbrushes and paste) while I raised the troops, then we headed off to check-in, which was pretty much deserted at that time, although it quickly filled up. We had 2 window seats and 2 middle seats, one behind the other.

A nice man from airport security sidled up to us and singled out our luggage for "special treatment" and we were whisked away to Room 101. I about to declare that I’m allergic to Latex but soon discover that it’s just our bags that have been singled out for X-Ray. I’m not sure why – maybe something to do with the Biohazard sticker that I put on them for easy identification off the luggage carousel! – LOL
Afterwards we were ushered back to the check-in desk and given front of line access to stow our bags. Job done, it’s back to the hotel for swim, sauna, shave and shower – I swear there was something else but this is a family board! Then we checked out and headed over to the terminal for breakfast. We wandered through security about 9.45am (no queues to speak of - not too many people around at all!) and bought the obligatory newspapers, magazines and sweets.
We were called for boarding about 10.20 and took off about 40 minutes late in the end after an air traffic control delay.

Well, what can I say about the flight? You all know what it’s like - long and boring! However the food and entertainment were good. Lunch was either beef or chicken - pretty tasty it was too! We all watched Captain Nemo - which was excellent plus parts of other TV programmes etc.
Chap next to me didn’t say a word throughout the entire flight – maybe the shirt shocked him too much? Alison had a young American lad next to her - 11 years old - who’d had to be split up from his family due to lack of seating. He chatted away all about Orlando and WDW - although Alison knew more than he did!! He and his family had been on a month long trip to Europe.

We landed at MCO about 10 minutes early - in pouring rain!! We raced off the plane white and green forms in hand and found the Immigration hall pretty quiet. Only had to wait a few minutes and we were called forward to the chattiest, happiest, friendliest officer we have EVER seen! He was chatting to the kids all about their plans for the holiday and how we’d brought all the English rain with us! And he wished us a happy vacation. Wow - that was a change from previous years!!

We grabbed our cases (packed light this year - only 2 bags!!) and went through customs and passed our bags back again. Grabbed the monorail over to the main building (the sun was out by now) and ignored the luggage claim signs and went down to complete our car hire paperwork. There was nobody in line at all so we got through that really quickly and then I went up to pick up the cases while Alison stayed with the hand luggage. (Note form Alison: This was a really good way of doing things - by the time Shaun came downstairs with the cases the lines were building up at the desks with people struggling with their cases, hand luggage and kids etc)

TIP – Before going to final baggage reclaim, blast down to the car hire desks so that there’s no queue. When you’ve done at the desks, go back to baggage reclaim and go straight to the garage to pick up your car.

Off to Dollar to pick up our "car" – the kids faces were priceless as we’d ordered a people carrier which turned out to be a 3.8L V6 Dodge Grand Caravan petrol drinker. The kids were very impressed!

Off we drove but the route we took sent us down a couple of toll roads. On one we ended up going through a toll booth and not paying - as it needed a 25 cent coin and we didn’t have any coins! We pressed the help/intercom button but no one was there and there was no slot for notes. An American guy pulled up in a car just after we’d gone through and told us not to worry about it - he was an off duty policeman and assured us that they wouldn’t chase us for 25 cents!

After that we were fine - and felt the usual shiver as we drove onto Disney property, finally pulling up at the Wilderness Lodge barrier. The security guard asked our name when we said we were checking in and then handed us our pre printed parking slip. We drove through and parked up outside the Wilderness Lodge– boy this place still has the WOW! Factor for me. I don’t know what it is about Disney property that does this, but if I did I’d patent it and be a millionaire.

We checked in no problems (asked about concierge upgrade - but it would cost $60 plus tax per night - I don’t think so!) and bought our E-Ride night tickets for the following Friday. We walked along to our room - keeping our fingers crossed. All we had previously requested was a quiet non smoking room. We’d rather have a longer walk to the pool/restaurants etc and be able to sleep easier.

We arrived at our room (2002) and it was just what we wanted - a nice quiet room at the end of the corridor away from the ice machine and lifts. The room was brilliant, so big and we had a view overlooking the pontoon where the ferry leaves. We could also see the geyser erupting every hour through the day. Superb!

The only downside was those legs on the bloomin' bed - they are
strategically positioned so that they catch your shins every time! We all ended up bruised!

We grabbed a bite to eat at the Roaring Forks and bagged a couple of the 20 oz drink cups for the duration - you can never have enough of these - LOL

Alison and I had chilli dogs, Alexandra had chicken strips and Laura had…mmmmm…pizza!!

Then off we went to pick up our APs from the MK ready for the following day. Gulped a bit at the large amount of $$ they cost (used our Disney Club card for a discount though) and considered popping into the MK for a bit but the girls were wilting somewhat and we still needed to get some shopping in.

Back on the ferry to the WL and had a reviving swim. The girls loved the pool - their only complaint all holiday was that no pool they swam in was deep enough to dive - and they love diving!!

Then we popped over to Goodings for some "essential supplies" - beer, pickled pigs feet, beef jerky etc! - LOL The girls were falling asleep by now so we decided to unpack, have a couple of beers and catch an earlyish night.

Tomorrow’s plan: Who knows? We’re not doing commando style this holiday!!
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Old 09-06-2003, 08:02 AM   #2
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Re: Mad Dogs and Englishmen - Day 2 Check in to WL

Quote:
Originally posted by BONZO
Tomorrow’s plan: Who knows? We’re not doing commando style this holiday!!
Is there another way to do Disney?
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:15 AM   #3
KayleeUK
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Another great day.
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:14 AM   #4
BONZO
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Here's a pic from our room at WL


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1988 ~ Contemporary ~ Honeymoon
1989 ~ Off site
1994 ~ EuroDisney
1999 ~ Off site
2001 ~ CBR (Aruba) ~ Poly (Tahiti)
2003 ~ WL & HRH
2004 ~ Pop Century, RPH, CSR, PBH, Contemporary
2007 ~ POR, HRH, GF
2008 ~ All star sports, BCV, RPH, Vero Beach, WLV
2010 ~ OKW ~ BCV ~ HRH ~POP Century ~ Vero Beach ~ VWL
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:29 AM   #5
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Hearing you describe WL takes me back to our trip there last year and wow what a hotel and like none I have ever been to before.
Great report.
Claire
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:06 PM   #6
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Sounds like a great first day. Who did you fly over with?

Not so sure about the pickled pigs feet though, Shaun
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Old 09-06-2003, 04:21 PM   #7
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OOps! Sorry - we were with BA this year. We slightly prefer them to Virgin.
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:32 AM   #8
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Wonderful trip reports ~ Thanx for sharing!!
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Old 09-23-2003, 12:32 PM   #9
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Wow! What a view!

Got called by the kids halfway through one of your sentences and read .....

We landed at MCO about 10 minutes early - in pouring rain!! We raced off the plane white and green ...

... for a while there I thought you'd all been plane sick!!

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Old 10-11-2003, 03:27 PM   #10
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Great start and a great view from your room! I love WL - so lovely and quiet and picturesque

Off to day 3...
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