This will be a multi-part post since we spent 9 nights at Disney World visiting all of the parks, riding most of the rides, seeing the shows and of course meeting the characters.
We had a wonderful time despite some Disney caused challenges and had some magical moments. Cody and I are still in the process of sorting through all of the photos we took and since I brought home a sinus infection I’m also still working on getting caught up on the laundry.
The boys were no longer crying at the characters and only Andrew was hesitant to hug them all. Almost every day we arrived around opening time did as much as we could before naptime, then went to another park and stayed until closing. Because it is the ‘slow’ season at Disney the park hours had been shortened meaning they closed by 8 or 9.
We were scheduled to fly out of Salt Lake at 2:10 pm, right around the start of nap time with the hopes of the boys sleeping on the flight. Right after they closed the door it started to snow. It was snowing hard and it took just over an hour to de-ice the plane. After de-icing we finally taxied to the runway, the engines started to get going and then they stopped. We were informed that the runway had just been closed. Three runways later and after 3 hours we were finally on our way. Luckily we didn’t have to make a connection, but it meant we didn’t arrive in Florida until past midnight.
We had a long wait for the rental car due to the late hour and the express line being closed. We didn’t make it to our hotel until 2 am. Where the challenges continued. Cody went in to the front desk to check us in.
With Cody’s height and our need for floor space to accommodate the boys beds we always request a king sized bed (strike 1). The hotel was having computer issues and took over an hour to check us in and we were told no king bed rooms were available. We walked by 3 empty but ready rooms with king sized beds on the way to our room (strike 2) We didn’t get the boys to bed until around 3:30 and we were all exhausted and very frustrated.
It was cramped, but we made due knowing we would be moved to another room the next day. This was taken with a wide angle lens making the room look much more spacious than it actually was. The original plan was to get up early and make it to rope drop at the Magic Kingdom. That didn’t happen. We woke up and packed the room up for a room change and arrived about an hour and a half after opening and decided to take it easy since we were so tired and still cranky from the hotel issues. We first visited Mickey and Minnie before heading to Fantasyland to ride some rides. The boys immediately started requesting to ride the honey train (their name for the Winnie the Pooh ride) and the teacups. We also rode Small World and the teacups and just took it easy enjoying the atmosphere and trying to relax about the hotel room.
At around 2 we headed back to the hotel for what we’ll call strike 3. Cody again went to the front desk alone to get our new room keys and room number. That done we headed for our new room only to find that our luggage wasn’t there. So we called the front desk to find out where it was. They said it was on it’s way so we waited and after 20 minutes Cody called again to locate our luggage. Again we were told it was on it’s way. After an hour had passed I headed down to the front desk to find out what the problem was. The boys had reached overtired at this point, an hour past nap time and running on short sleep from the night before.
I arrived at the front desk and immediately asked for a manager. The manager on duty apologized and assured me our luggage was on it’s way. Having heard that before I let them know I’d wait there with the manager until it was delivered to the new room. Another half hour passed and still no luggage, the bell services manager was paged to the front desk where he stood with us for another 45 minutes until Cody confirmed our suitcases were finally delivered. At this point it was more than 2 hours past nap time and the boys were passed the point of being able to sleep. During the long wait, in which I was asked to wait outside claiming phone reception was bad inside so I might not get a message about the luggage and I had requested the contact information for the general manager and was immediately asked what could they do to prevent that. The front desk gave the boys each a plush Mickey and apologized for the inconvenience, but I still wanted a contact number or a phone call from the general manager. They had my cell phone and Cody’s cell phone numbers and was told I would be called.
We ended up going over to Epcot mainly to get dinner and just to get the boys out of the room. The boys enjoyed seeing the fish at the Living seas and had a good dinner.
Back at the room we got the boys down sleep and settled in for some sleep. Of course that means the in room phone rang at 10:30. It was the on duty manager calling me, this of course woke the boys up (strike 4).
Due to the hotel we lost out on a good part of our day and had overtired cranky kids, we were not off to a good start.
Things looked up from there (thank goodness), we still wanted to talk to the manager because in my mind it shouldn’t take an hour to check into a hotel when you are the only guest trying to check in, over 2 hours to move bags is excessive, the manager repeatedly tried to get me to wait outside or away from the desk for our luggage to be located (I was polite and never raised my voice), and they called our room at 10:30 pm knowing we have young children.
Eventually we did speak to a real manager and things were fixed and some wonderful guest recover was done. We really did have fun on the first day, but it was very stressful and everyone was short on sleep.
Day two was much better and I should post that tomorrow hopefully with many more photos. For a preview of some of the shots taken Cody has already caught up on his 365 project.