ImKiwi10's TR 1/8: On the open road

Thanks for stopping by to read my trip report!

Starring:

Julie: That's me! I'm 19, a Disney Store Cast Member, lover of Mickey and the Seven Dwarves, an Off Kilter fanatic, and the writer of the trip report.

Mom: Also known as Debbie. She's 44, active in our church and at craft fairs, a thrill ride chicken for the most part, lover of Piglet and Mickey, and also an Off Kilter fanatic.

Dad: Also known as Ray. He's 47, a warehouse manager, the one that has to be dragged everywhere, a big car racing fan, and as of late, a bigger Off Kilter fanatic than we had realized.

When did we go: May 8th-15th, 1999
Where did we stay: Port Orleans, room 7130
How did we get there: Drove from Nashville
How long is this section?: 2112 words

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4:00 came too early on the morning of May 8th. We decided that we should probably get an early start on our travels so we could have a little bit of time to relax once we got to Disney World (plus the fact that the Magic Kingdom was going to be open until midnight was extra incentive to get there early). We had breakfast at home, which consisted of a microwave burrito for me and sausage and biscuits for my parents. We already had almost everything packed up the night before, so by the time we got everything packed into the car and were on the road, it was 5:03am.

While we were packing everything up, dad noticed that he had misplaced his tennis shoes, so he wanted to stop and get some new shoes before we got to Florida. We stopped in Murfreesboro, home of my wonderful college, MTSU, at the super Walmart for some shoes, and mom wanted some candy. After a while, we were back on the road, complete with new shoes and a bag of cinnamon candy.

We got back on the road and made our next stop at 7:35 at the Tennessee Welcome Center. We always stop at this rest stop and buy Mayfield chocolate milk, but alas, this morning, we couldn't find any. We looked in the vending machines, the coolers and the rotating vending machine things, but there was none to be had. I opted for a bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies instead, and dad got a Crunch bar.

A while later, at 11:00 Eastern, we stopped at a Steak and Shake for lunch. I wasn't very hungry, but I figured that I should eat something since it was going to be a while before we stopped again, and all we had in the car were Gardettos and Ritz Bitz sandwiches. I decided on the chicken strips and fries meal, with cheese on the fries, dad had the chicken strip meal as well, with fries and coleslaw, and mom had the Frisco melt with fries. Personally, I think Steak and Shake fries are nasty, so I was barely able to finish mine, but my parents love them. We all had water as well.

Once we were done, we were back on our way. At 1:15, we stopped at a McDonalds for a break and mom picked up the driving from there. At 3:15 we arrived at the Florida Welcome Center. We didn't linger very long since we wanted to get to Disney World fairly quickly, but we did manage to pick up some brochures for some friends. My mom and I also had a "discussion" (read: argument) about whether we liked WonderWorks or not. She claimed that I LOVED it, and I said that I thought it was a rip off. She still didn't believe that I didn't like it, and when we left I could still tell she thought I was lying about not liking it. *sigh*

At 5:35, we stopped at our favorite place along the route; the Disney rest stop. We didn't stay very long, but we did manage to make our Mothers Day priority seating for Garden Grill. We looked around the gift shop but didn't buy anything, and were back on the road in a matter of 15 minutes. At 6:00, we stopped at an Arbys for dinner. Come to find out, this was the same Arbys mom and I had stopped in on our way to Disney World in February. (As an aside...things like that really freak me out. I mean, I would have assumed that, even if I had been looking for it, I would never have seen that Arbys again, and here we were on this trip, in the exact same situation as on a previous trip. It's weird when you end up in a place that you thought you'd never be again. Sorta like really strange deja vu.) I had a turkey sub, curly fries and water, mom had a chicken strips meal with regular fries and water, and dad had a roast beef sub combo.

A few minutes (well, more like an hour) later, we arrived at our destination; Port Orleans. We parked and headed directly for the front desk. After maybe a ten minute wait, we got checked in an assigned to our room. Since I hadn't made any room requests, they had put us in building 7, in room 7130. Since the whole resort is fairly small, eventhough building 7 is just about the farthest away from the food court and lobby, it wasn't *that* far away. Definitely within walking distance. We wandered around the lobby a bit more and we thought that the whole place was very nice.

We found our room fairly easily. We parked in the building 4 parking lot since it was a little bit closer than the building 7 lots and unpacked all of our stuff. When we went in the room...I guess you could say I was a bit underwhelmed. It was a nice room, but all in all, I was expecting it to be larger. The rooms were just about the same size as those of our favorite off site hotel, Magic Castle Inn and Suites. Only bad thing is that I can almost always get a Magic Castle room for less than $40. Hmm...three times as expensive, and the same size room...

We did like that the bathroom area had two sinks, and they both came in handy more than once during the trip. There were plenty of outlets, so I could dry my hair while my mom curled hers or whatever. The bathroom was nice, but essentially the same as All Stars. The most noticeable difference between the Port Orleans and All Star rooms is that at Port Orleans the beds are higher off the floor (why? I have no idea...), there is a bench next to the armoire, and the armoire has doors that can hide the TV if you want. Other than those things and fancier light fixtures, fancier bed spreads and fancier artwork and room decor, there was hardly a difference in the rooms at all.

So after we finished unpacking and settling into the room, we headed out, first for a stop at the food court for refillable mugs, then on to the Magic Kingdom since it was open until midnight. When we found the food court, I started getting a bit uneasy. The food court was scary!! It has these giant masks hanging from the ceiling, and all of them had scary, demented looks on their faces! One has its lips puckered like its blowing out candles, and another one looks like it's about to take a bite out of everyone who walks by! Ohhh they gave me the creeps! Even the other smaller masks, like the suns they have hanging in the ordering area of the food court looked really scary. So we went through the line and bought our mugs. Unless all the prices have gone up, these mugs were thirty cents more than the All Stars ones were. We were out pretty quickly (since I kept saying "Hurry up! I wanna get out of here!" to my parents) and then we were on our way to the Magic Kingdom.

We got there at about 9:15, dead in the middle of the 9:00 Spectromagic parade. Our first stop was to be Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. As we were making our way down Main Street, we ended up following the Little Mermaid float all the way to the hub. Once there, we turned right into the Plaza Pavilion and went for our first spin on Buzz Lightyear, where I scored 390,000 points. The next stop was Space Mountain, where dad and I rode again. I'm glad I've finally convinced at least one of them to ride it with me...mom still won't. At least I don't have to wait in line alone anymore. Mom decided to walk through the queue with us, which is always a bad decision for her. She seems to be in a borderline panic attack the whole time wondering where she will go when she says she's just walking through, wondering what to say when we get to the front of the line, and wondering if they've changed the policy and will make her ride the ride anyway. For the rest of the trip, I wouldn't let her walk through the lines with us.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority was next (since mom was complaining about the half hour line for Space Mountain), then we headed over to Liberty Square. We rode the Haunted Mansion and as an added bonus (sort of) the ride stopped at the end of the ride. The only bad part is that where we stopped was right past the first three hitch hiking ghosts, and there was a strong blast of cold air hitting me for the entire length of the stop. I was about to freeze...it was so funny. But it afforded me a good look at the ride system as well as a the ability to say that, for a few minutes, I was really cold in the Magic Kingdom in May.

As we left, the speakers announced that Spectromagic was going to be starting in a few minutes. Mom said she wanted to see it, but I said that I would rather ride Splash Mountain than watch the parade, so dad and I went over to Frontierland. I thought I had finally convinced dad to ride this too (Splash Mountain is a total no-go for mom. She hates rides that dip, and Splash Mountain...well, it has a few dips:-), but he decided to sit it out. I rode with about a 15 minute wait, and even got to see a little bit of Spectromagic from the top of . By the time I got off the ride, I was totally soaked. Right as we approached Slippin' Falls, the water cannon that splashes the boats on the big drop fired, and my boat got totally soaked. Everyone was saying "Ugh! That's not fair!" And as we were nearing the end, we got stopped by the waterfall for an extended period of time, thus making us even more soaked.

I got off the ride and found dad right where I left him, then found mom standing at a shop near Country Bear Jamboree. She had noticed that they were selling Frontierland Mickey and Minnie beanies and had struck up a conversation with the girl working there. Since I collect the Mickey beanies, I decided that I had to have a set, and mom got a set too. The girl working there said that she was on the College Program and was going to leave in a few days. I told her that I was planning on doing College Program in the Spring of 2000 and was getting really excited.

After we bought our beanies, we headed back to the hotel. The bus driver was really funny, and we left in a pretty good mood. When we got back to the hotel the food court was already closed. Just as well, since I didn't want to walk through there anyway. We headed back to our room, which looked out onto Beau Regard Square. The frog fountain became the landmark by which we were always knew we were headed the right way back to the room, and our room was the only one on our side that had a dark green door. I did wonder for the entire trip why our door was green and everyone else's were other colors. We crawled into bed at about 1:00, dead tired from the traveling and night at the Magic Kingdom.

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