Sunday, October 27, 2013

Walt Disney World Vacation 2013--Travel Day

I thought I'd start with a few iPhone photos from our first day of travel, and share a bit about what it's like to take four children on vacation!  I've already done an extensive post about Planning our Disney Vacation, for any who are interested in the small details.  Next, I have Day 1 at Disney ready to post!

As I've shared before, we had initially planned to drive from South Texas to Orlando, which is an almost 20 hour drive, but we found some great deals for flights on Southwest over the summer.  It ended up costing just a little more than we had budgeted for four days of driving (two there and two back), plus hotel stays and food on the road.

So on Friday, September 6th (Steven's birthday!), we woke and finished packing the car.  We got on the road around 9:00am for the 3 1/2 hour drive to the airport in Austin.  The drive went smoothly; we only had a bit of a hard time finding a place for lunch near the airport.  We should have stopped earlier on the trip, or gotten something at the airport.  The kids were happy with Sonic, though!

We ended up using the airport park and shuttle, after looking into parking at a local hotel.  The price would have been cheaper, but the convenience factor of the airport parking won out. We got to the airport about 2 1/2 hours before our flight, so it was quite a long wait for the kids!  They kept busy looking out for our plane and making some Rainbow Loom bracelets.

Tommy was ready to find our plane!

Rainbow Looms were great to have for the waiting time; if only Steven's case didn't keep breaking.  There was one point where we had all the luggage and were trucking through the airport, when his case fell, with rubber bands everywhere!

Finally we got on the airplane!  It was Tommy's first flight, and Steven's first that he could remember.  Our last plane trip was to California over three years ago.  Tommy brought his stuffed "Puppy" along with us :)

SJ was ready to fly!  The boys sat by me and the girls by Steven, but they still switched around throughout the flights.  We wished we would've checked in early, so we could've gotten on the plane earlier for better seats (we had a wing-view), but we got better ones on the flight home.  Other things we forgot were gum/candy for their ears (we ended up tearing apart fruit snacks), and it would've been nice to download some videos to my iPhone or Steven's tablet, because they did get a bit antsy.  Activity/sticker books would've been a good idea, too, but I was trying to pack light!

Our flight left around 4:10pm central and arrived around 7:30pm eastern, with the time change.  It seemed so late when we finally got there.  We were exhausted and hungry, but ready to get to our hotel.  A morning flight would've been much better, but the good fares were for the later flights, so that's how it worked out.


 The parade down the airport hallway!

Here we are waiting in line with our luggage for the Disney Magical Express Shuttle.  It's a nice comfy bus that drives to several different hotels.  The lines for each shuttle were quite long, and the kids were quite tired.

 The drive from the airport to the Disney resort area was over 30 minutes, and then I think we were the last resort to be dropped off.  It was nearly 10:00pm when we finally got to Port Orleans Riverside! At least they had some movies to watch while we drove.

And finally it was time for check-in!  They had a nice little area with small chairs for the kids to watch movies while the parents handled check-in.

Getting all the info!

We were happy to be in the trial run for the "MagicBands" bracelets that hold all of your Disney reservations and information.  They even acted as a room key!  Each of us had a different color, and our names were printed inside.  I was able to make FastPass reservations for the rides from our home computer or from my iPhone while we were there.  So convenient!

What wasn't so convenient was the 10 minute walk from the hotel lobby to our room.  The resort has dozens of buildings spread out over many acres.  We still had to drop off our bags and walk back to the dining hall to eat!  It was almost 11:00pm when we finally ate!

So it was a long day of traveling, but we arrived safe and sound and ready for five full days in the Disney parks!  Day 1, Magic Kingdom, to come!

1 comment:

Villas Orlando said...

Many families love to enjoy their vacation around Disney, especially families with young children.your best deal will be to rent a vacation home near Disney World. It will be the best decision you will ever make.

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