On Saturday March 7th, I woke up at 4:45am. I had been waking up almost every other hour because I was excited, but also worried I would miss my college’s shuttle to the airport. My parents were going to call me at 5:00am in case I did not wake up to my alarm so they were worried about waking up as well. But, my alarm went off and I jumped out of bed after sending them a quick text that I was awake. I quickly got ready to leave and got my shuttle to DC at 5:45am.
Due to a 5K race taking place over the roads we conveniently needed to take to the airport, the drive to the airport took half an hour longer than expected, but I still arrived with plenty of time to spare. I checked my bag, went through security and grabbed a bagel for breakfast. The flight down to Orlando was not bad at all. I picked up my luggage and then headed outside to the Magical Express. There is no better feeling than walking out of Orlando International Airport into the heat after having experienced two weeks of single digit weather! The Magical Express ride was uneventful. I did think the video on the bus was different from the last time I had taken the Magical Express in August of 2013. But, maybe I just had not paid attention then since I had had two of my best friends to talk to the whole ride. The rest of my family would not arrive for another 8 hours so I had to decide what my plan would be on the ride to the resort!
I checked into Old Key West and thankfully my room was ready so I walked to the room in the bright Florida sunshine. I had not expected the room to be ready so I was prepared to store my luggage and head into the parks but I was happy I could drop my stuff off at the room. I unpacked my suitcase while my phone recharged and then headed back to the Hospitality House to grab a Mickey Ice Cream Bar before heading to Magic Kingdom. I had not grabbed lunch at the airport because I was excited to get to Old Key West, and then it did not make sense to eat lunch at 2:30 when I wanted to grab an early dinner in Epcot. So, a Mickey Pop tied me over until dinner (although it was not the healthiest decision).
I linked my ticket to my Magic Band when I arrived at Magic Kingdom and took some photos of the Castle. I entered the park right at 3pm so I got stuck in the parade crowds which was not the best planning on my part. I took the train around Magic Kingdom and then decided to take the monorail over to Epcot to eat dinner. The temperature was dropping and it was a little windy waiting for the Epcot monorail at the Ticket and Transportation Center.
The Flower and Garden Festival looked great at Epcot, but I will discuss that more in Day 2’s post. When I arrived at Epcot, I was a bit tired from traveling all day long so I took the boat ride across to Morocco instead of walking around World Showcase. I rarely take the boat because I love walking through the countries. I saw some guests wearing winter coats as the temperature dropped to the 60’s during the night but the weather felt incredible compared to the morning temperature of 7 degrees back at school. I ate at Teppan Edo, the Hibachi restaurant in Japan, for dinner. I sat with three other groups of guests around the table, who were all very nice. The food was amazing as usual and the onion volcano was fun to watch as usual. I ordered the Tori (chicken) dish and the chef made sure to cook my dish first before the shellfish since I have a shellfish allergy. Disney is very accommodating with allergies and always has the manager or head chef come over to the table to talk with the guest.
After a delicious dinner, I took the bus back to Old Key West to buy groceries for the family at the Conch Flats General Store. I still had three hours until my family would arrive so I also rented the Tower of Terror movie and watched that back in the room after grocery shopping. I almost fell asleep on the couch watching the movie but stayed awake so that I could greet everyone else when they arrived.
After what seemed like forever, I received a text from my sister that they had finally arrived around 10:30pm so I sprinted half a mile (RunKeeper says it was one of my fastest short runs) to the front of the resort and met up with my sister, parents, grandma, and aunt. I was so excited to see all of them as I had been at school since the end of winter break and had not been home for 7 weeks. We went to bed as soon as we could though as we had to be up early for Soarin’ Fastpass+ reservations I had booked for the following day.
Stay tuned for Day 2 (coming out early next week) where we eat around the Outdoor Kitchens at the Flower and Garden Festival, meet up with my cousin and her boyfriend, and take photos with some characters!