Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 1 At Disney 2012

Day 1 of the vacation began early at the Detroit Airport with the TSA security fun as mentioned before.

Interestingly, children now do not need to remove their shoes which makes the process move a fair bit quicker. The TSA also had a family line that was also reasonably helpful and at least didn't completely terrify the kids but did make them a bit nervous.

As a tip to women travelers, don't wear under-wire bras unless you want a pat down, ask us how Natasha now knows.

So after clearing security we went to our gate and boarded our plane. We flew into Orlando on a Delta Airlines 757-300 that was pretty much full.

We then picked up our luggage and found the way to the Disney bus pickup point and boarded our bus, which was comfortable and had nice TV screens for the kids to watch while the bus headed for the resort.

Next Stop, Fun!

We stayed at the Boardwalk, a mid-level hotel that was a convenient 10 minute walk to EPCOT and 20 minute walk to the Hollywood Studios or a 15 minute Boat ride.  The Boardwalk was a nice relaxed hotel, not too busy but with lots of things to do and everyone was pretty laid back and well behaved.

At the hotel we were cheerfully greeted with a smile and "You must be the _____ Family" (Pure Disney Magic as to how they knew that just upon our walking up to the desk), and we were immediately cheerfully and efficiently checked in and given all we needed to begin our vacation.

The room was very nice, spacious, and comfortable, and the beds were about the best we've ever slept in away from home. It also had a nice view of the water and we could watch the boats go to and fro from the balcony.

A room with a view

So we unloaded our bags, had some light refreshments and headed off to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

We first did the Toy Story Mania game and I, of course, got the highest shooting score among the family. Great fun and lines were very light.

We then went and took a free animation drawing class that was awesome, especially because the animator had chosen Stitch, Abby's favorite Disney character (minus the princesses of course) to be the drawing subject. Natasha ended up with the best Stitch by far of all of us and it was amazing that an animator could give such clear directions to complete noobs and have everyone create very cool pictures of Stitch. I'll put the pictures of the drawings up so you can laugh at mine later.

We then watched the Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show and had a good time especially as Ariel is Leah's favorite Disney princess.

Then I and Leah decided to try the Star Tours ride. Natasha backed out as she wasn't interested in Star Wars and Abby decided the ride might not be for her.

Star Tours was an awesomely fantastic simulator ride with feelings of heavy G's and lots of motion, quite a few funny wisecracks and nice reproduction of some of the best scenes in Star Wars series with a you-are-there feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Unfortunately, it was a little too much realism for Leah who asked me during a particular simulated jump into lightspeed "When is this going to be over?" and then upon leaving the ride she said:

"That wasn't an appropriate ride for me!".

Ah well, in maybe a few more years....

May the Mouse Be With You!

We then headed back to the Boardwalk and had dinner at Kouzzina, Iron Chef Cat Cora's restaurant.

Since the kids love watching Iron Chef on TV and think Cat Cora is awesome, it was a must-do place to dine. The kids were sad that Cat Cora wasn't there but we and the waitress explained that she was very busy and couldn't be there every day.

Kouzzina and our waitress then proceeded to surpass all expectations.

The food was awesome, our waitress attentive, the open kitchen staff friendly and ready to demonstrate a great big fireball for the kids at a moment's notice, and did I mention the food was awesome?

So after that wonderful dinner, we headed back to the room and saw a few magicians demonstrating tricks and marvels along the boardwalk as we passed. We then headed up to the room, got the kids ready for bed and everyone collapsed in moments after a long but exciting day.

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