The vacation came and went! All the planning paid off – we had an amazing trip! This post will be about travel day..What worked, what didn’t. Most things worked exactly as planned, and there were only a couple little hiccups.
Our Jet Blue flight was scheduled to leave LAX at about 11pm. We live about 60 miles from the airport, but traffic in LA can be tricky, so we left a little early just to be safe. Friday night at the airport is pretty crazy! Thank goodness my husband was dropping us off, and we didn’t have to park and take a shuttle. We were dropped off right in front of Jet Blue’s counters at about 8:30pm. Weird that they don’t have very good signage. 3 lines – which one to choose? We had a lot of stuff so we didn’t want to have to switch lines afterwards. We just went into the center line where everyone else was. We did purchase the extra space seats and its suppose to give you expedited check-in, but I don’t think if this is the right ‘check-in’. Line took about 15-20 minutes, so it wasnt bad. Our bags were under the 50lb limit 🙂 We had our Disney’s Magical Express yellow tags on them – so off they went!
Next step – security. Let me just say that TSA Pre Check is AMAZING! The normal security line wrapped around and around – not kidding, there were probably 1000 people in line. The TSA PreCheck line had 5 people. We were through security in 5 minutes. Only reason it took that long was because I put my hair gel in my bag and the screener saw it. Oops! Since the container was almost empty they let me keep it 🙂 If you travel even once it is worth the expense and minimal hassle. We wandered over towards the gate. My daughter was hungry. There was not much to choose from, I was surprised. For such a large, busy airport – some of the terminals don’t have much shopping or food options. We could have had Burger King, Starbucks or this other little place with pre-made sandwiches in a case. Glad I wasn’t hungry! We had about 90 minutes before they started to load the plane. We just relaxed most of the time. We took our Advil PM, our dramamine, and hoped they would kick in and tire us out quickly.
We got to board the plane early because of our Extra Space seats. We put our bag up in the storage area and took our seats. We were in row 2, seats A and C. No one ever came to sit in seat B so we had the whole row. We had plenty of room, and the seats were comfy. This plane had free wifi, DirecTV and XMradio as well as 3 movies playing. We could choose from Sing, Hidden Figures and I cant remember the third choice. We didnt want to watch anything – we wanted to sleep! I put my headphones in, blew up my travel pillow and tried to get comfy..
Red-eye flight on Jet Blue was a sort of success. We did sleep, a bit. The plane was comfy enough, I just cant sleep sitting up. I think that was what the issue was. I was super tired and would doze off, but kept waking myself up thinking I was falling over. Maybe I should have practiced sleeping in a chair. The controls for the tv/music is on the armrest – I kept changing my channel and the volume. Finally I just plugged my headphones into my ipod. I didn’t want to waste my phone battery, so I filled my old ipod with calming music. Finally, about 4am, I laid my head on the seat back tray and was able to fall asleep. But then my forehead started hurting. OH well, I think I got about 2 hours of sleep total, which turns out was enough to keep me going for the next day. My daughter had similar issues – she didn’t sleep too well, either. But at least we both did get some sleep! So we were not 100% zombies the next day!
I woke up about 20 minutes before we started landing. This was perfect actually. I went into the bathroom, washed my face, brushed my teeth, tried to fix my hair a bit, went potty and felt ready to tackle the next portion of our travel day. My daughter was groggy, but we were both so excited to get to Disney that adrenaline alone keep us going. We got off the plane quickly, and went to try to find the rental car area. We rented from Budget, which is on the 2nd floor of the parking structure. The girl working in there was very strange. I had a reservation that I made about 2 months prior. She kept acting like I didnt have one. She said more than once – I had no idea you were coming, you need to make your reservations more than 24 hours in advance. I had the printed out confirmation of my pre-paid reservation, dated for the end of February. She just kept saying that she didnt have the car I reserved because she didnt know I was coming. What? She was grumpy about it, too. Nothing was going to get us down, though! She offered us a Convertible VW or a Mustang. Then she said she didnt have any of them left. She called someone and they obviously didnt either. I am not sure what the issue was – but she gave us a bright yellow Camaro SS. I thought we hit the jackpot at that point. Fun car! (more later on the car)
We plugged in the address for Publix into WAZE and headed on our way. We wanted to pick up some water and a few snacks to have handy. Quick stop at the store and then we headed to Pop Century Resort! It was a short drive. No traffic. I was so excited!!!! We got in line in the online check-in line. We were the only ones in line 🙂 I wish I remembered the ladies name who helped us. She was so sweet!!! She got our magic bands working (they were not working at all, so I am glad we stopped at the desk rather than going straight to the parks). Our room was not ready yet (it was only 8:30am) so we went to the restroom, changed, got cleaned up and ready for the day. We stored our carryons with bell services and then hopped on the bus to Animal Kingdom. Right when we stepped on the bus we got the text that our room was ready!
We didn’t want to get off the bus and spend time going to the room at this point, but we were happy to be assigned a room on the 4th floor. We had room 4436, which was a really nice, quiet location! We were at the end of the hall, too, so no one would walk by – there was no reason for them to walk by. If we went left around the corner from our room we did have a nice view of the lake and the Art of Animation resort. RIght at our door we had a view of tree tops.
We went on to Animal Kingdom to start our day…