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Thursday, May 13, 2021

a very, very full first day of fun

so since it was super early and our room wasn't ready for us to crash in, we went ahead and made our way to the magic kingdom.  we had five day park hopper tickets and i'd made reservations for us to start almost every day of our visit at one of the four parks.  a bus took us from the resort to the tickets and transportation hub, where we headed over to the monorail station to catch a ride to the front gates.  once we were at the top of the ramp a cast member assigned us a numbered section to sit in for the ride.  there were partitions set up that separated groups from one another, and it was really weird but not exactly terrible.

it took us through the contemporary, which is one of the oldest hotels on property and one i'd always wanted to stay at because i thought it was cool that the monorail went right through the middle of it.

and then we caught our first glimpse of the magic kingdom...where the train station must be undergoing some renovations because it was all covered up.

as we walked down main street the dapper dans came up behind us on the trolley, shouting out greetings and singing familiar disney tunes.  it was really nice to hear their voices and soak up a little of that disney magic we've been missing for over a year.

and of course, a couple of quick castle selfies.

although it was still pretty early, it was already really warm and humid.  and we were all running on just a couple of hours of sleep, plus we were hungry.  after grabbing a quick meal in tomorrowland, the hub got the text that told us our room was finally ready for us.  and so we decided to head back down main street and to the polynesian so we could take a nap and come back a little later to actually enjoy our first day at the park.  and we even caught a character cavalcade on our way out:

this time, we decided to take advantage of the water taxis that would take us straight from the park gates to the hotel.

these over-the-water bungalows look super cool, with a super duper price tag to go with them.  we're talking $3,200 PER NIGHT to stay here.  i think you might be able to spend a week at bora bora for less than that.

we walked through the main building on our way to our room, and the real lobby was a lot nicer than the sad little desk we'd checked in at.  oh well.

the pool area looked like fun, at least from what we could see from a distance.

and i took this to keep track of our transportation options around the property since we didn't have a car.

home sweet home!

i will say, the bean was less than impressed with the pull-out bed that she was going to sleep on.

and the hub was even less so about the whole place.  there was a queen bed for us, the pull-out bed for the bean and a queen bed in the sofa for the old lady and her special friend when they arrived.  the room was dark and a little depressing, and not what we'd expected from previous stops here in years past.  and a couple of phone calls told us that there weren't any more rooms available that we could either upgrade to or add for the kids so that we'd have a little more room.  still, it was cool and comfortable and clean and we all spread out and took a very well-deserved nap.

a few hours later, we boarded another water taxi and headed back to the magic kingdom.  this time, we were much more rested and a lot less grumpy, and the weather had even cooled down a little since the sun was on its way down.

first things first - a stop at the starbucks on main street for a little pick-me-up.  we found little tables with a nice view of the castle to sit down, take our masks off and suck up some sugar and caffeine.

the haunted mansion is one of the hub's favorite attractions at disneyland, so that was our first ride that day.

afterwards, we decided to head into fantasyland and tackle the line for one of the few rides we don't have at disneyland - the seven dwarfs mine train.  it was quoted at 45 minutes and it seemed like forever until we finally found the end of the line, but due to proper social distancing and that disney magic it moved pretty fast and our wait was just a little more than half of what we'd anticipated.

it also helped that the fun little interactive things sprinkled throughout the queue were all closed off, which helped avoid clusters of people crowded around areas like this:

the ride was just as fun as we remembered.

we walked through the rest of fantasyland afterwards, and while the hub waited on hold to speak with a cast member about our hotel situation the bean and i went to the little mermaid-themed ride.  there wasn't much of a line, and we pretty much walked right on.  it's exactly the same as the one at california adventure, only with a much nicer queue.

we found these restrooms in the circus-themed area, and i really love how much attention to detail there is everywhere in the parks.  

the hub was still on the phone with disney's customer service, so she and i headed over to the tomorrowland speedway - much like autopia back at home.  

she was driving, and i had flashbacks to a day years ago at disneyland where she'd taken the wheel.

we also got a nice view of the castle as the sun was setting.

with the hub still going back and forth on the phone with disney, she and i got in line for space mountain.  it was only about 45 minutes till park closing, so the line wasn't very long and we were in and out of there in no time.

i snapped one last shot of the castle on our way out:

we hopped onto the monorail again, this time disembarking at the contemporary and then catching a bus to disney springs in search of dinner.  

being a weekday, most things at disney springs were starting to close down by the time we got there.  luckily, when we got to the polite pig it was still open and serving dinner.  we got a big platter o'meat to share, the hub enjoyed a beer and the bean and i shared a chocolate rocks cookie for dessert.

i was way too full to stop and grab a donut at everglazed donuts & cold brew, but i took this anyway.

instead of waiting for a bus to take us back to the polynesian the hub pulled up the uber app and grabbed us a car that came almost too quickly.  it had been a really long day and we were all pretty tired, but i was proud of us for making the most out of our first day in orlando.  and look at how many steps i got!

despite the nice long afternoon nap we'd taken, we were all pretty excited to put on pajamas and slide between those cool sheets.  i'm fairly certain the three of us passed out cold almost as soon as our heads hit the pillows.  day one, check!

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