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Walt Disney World Day 1 Report

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trip Log:

Arrived at MCO just shy of 6:00am, boarded the Magical Express by 6:30 and was at the Contemporary by 7:00.  The room was ready so dropped our bags and then we split up.  Half stayed at the Contemporary and ate at the Wave the other half hopped a bus to the Animal Kingdom Lodge where we checked in about 8:30 for breakfast at Boma.  After breakfast we hopped a bus over to the new Vacation Club section, Kidani Village.  Walked around the resort for a while then took the bus over to the Magic Kingdom.   I wandered down Main Street, veered into Adventureland and walked out to Splash Mountain, turned into Frontierland and walked through Liberty Square to return to the hub to catch the Street Party.  Watched the opening then headed for Tomorrowland to catch Stitch.  After Stitch walked around Tomorrowland and out to Toontown, then through Fantasyland and around to Liberty Square again.  Decided to visit the Country Bears since I had some time to kill then watched the full Street Party before rejoining my group at the Plaza Restaurant for lunch.  After lunch we wandered into Tomorrowland and went for a ride on Buzz then walked out to Toontown and rode the train around to Main Street where we disembarked to watch the afternoon parade.  After the parade we took the Ferry to the TTC then the bus to the Studios.  Walked out and waited about 30 minutes for Toy Story.  Then caught the American Idol Experience before catching a Friendship launch to the Yacht Club.  Ate dinner at Yachtsman and then took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and monorail back to the Contemporary to call it a night.

Notes: This trip we were on Disney's Platinum Package. Our last visit on a Disney package was in 2000 and our last Grand/Admiral level package was back in 1994 so this was a special treat for us. This package includes just about everything/anything you can image. We received 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. Plus unlimited recreation and tours. As well as VIP viewing of Wishes, Illuminations, a fireworks cruise, La Nouba, and more... We had about 30 reservations made for meals, recreation, and tours.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • As usual we were delayed leaving LAX with United, not sure what the delay was but it was a part they had to go get and fix, took about a half hour. We still managed to arrive on time into MCO.

  • Made our way down to the Magical Express checkin and we were on the bus with no problems at all within 30 minutes of wheels down and at the Contemporary in about an hour.

  • We checked in and were greeted with two surprises. First our room was ready and second we were upgraded to a Magic Kingdom view in the main tower. Both were great!

  • We even lucked out with an empty bus and a great bus driver as we were heading over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for breakfast. Since it was just us he took us straight to the Lodge, our initial plan was to go to the Animal Kingdom and then transfer busses.

  • We at breakfast at Boma, which for some reason we never managed to do when we stayed at the Lodge for one reason or another. The food was great and the variety was exceptional. As far as breakfast buffets go this is one of the best I have been to.

  • Spent a good hour or so walking around Kidani village. Overall the resort is a logical extension of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I did find it rather odd that to get to the pool you had to leave the main building and go "next door" almost. The pool is located off to the side. There is also quite a bit of land around the resort near the pool, I would be willing to bet this is for a later phase. Also note the Kidani Village is a good hike (I heard 1/2 mile) from the Jumbo House. You can take Disney busses to get around the resort and I think it is needed. I am not sure how much you can cut off walking through the parking lot/etc.. but it did not look like much.

  • Spent the late morning/early afternoon at the Magic Kingdom and was pleasantly surprised at the light crowd.

  • I saw the second Stitch's Supersonic Celebration show of the day, and today marked the official opening date of the attraction. Overall I thought it was an ok show. I enjoyed the Stitch interaction and concert. I thought way too much of the show was focused on the dancing and dancers. Also there is no real shade in the theater which makes it rather warm to down right hot and I can only image what this will be like come July... I am guessing some sort of shade structure is in the works?? Currently there are six shows daily from 10am till 4:45pm.

  • The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party rolls out onto Main Street three times a day. This party features a handful of floats, a bunch of characters and quite a few dancers. They make their way up Main Street to the hub where they stop to perform. After the show it packs up, makes a circle around the hub again then heads back down Main Street. I thought this was a great concept and a much better use of the Street Party than how Disneyland is using theirs as their main parade. The theme song and opening song are identical to Disneylands.

  • The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade is taking the same old parade, tweaking the floats and sound track and renaming it again for the fourth or fifth time now. Nothing too new to report on this.

  • Spent the afternoon at the Studios. Again not too crowded. Luckily the Lineboard was off, it said Toy Story was a 70 minute wait. At the attraction it say 35 and in reality it too just under 30..

  • Caught one of the American Idol Experience shows. I do not watch the show so I do not have much to compare it to but I thought it worked. The key to the show to me is having talented guests to perform. Our three were ok, but one was clearly above the other two. I need to make to make it back to see a finale show to see 7 great guests perform. Unfortunately the popularity of the show and attraction seem to be on the down hill already. Our theater was maybe 1/3 the way full at show time.

  • We ate dinner at the Yachtsmans and it was great as usual. Only issue was how long it took to be seated. We checked in about 15 minutes early and were seated almost 20 minutes after our time for a total of almost 30 minutes waiting.

  • Speaking of long waits the wait for the bus back to the Magic Kingdom so we could get to the Contemporary took a good 30 minutes to show up so we missed Wishes.

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