Sunday, January 22, 2012

Marathon Weekend Trip Report - 1/9/12

1/9/12 - Resort Checkout, W.I.S.H. Meet and the Journey Home

I get up and get ready for the day.  I pack up the last items and begin to look over the room several times over to make sure that I've not forgotten to pack anything.  After I've convinced myself that I've not left anything behind, I leave a tip for Mousekeeping and close up my room.

This morning I'm meeting with the W.I.S.H. members again, it's a show off your bling meet.

But first I have to get my big luggage checked into the airline.  I've already paid my $25 fee for Delta by phone earlier in the morning and have my confirmation number in hand.  Since I had checked into the airline the night before on the Delta iPhone app, my room bill also had printouts of my airplane tickets!  Cool!  I didn't know they'd do that.  I get into line for the baggage check and one of the attendants pulls me out to go ahead and check me in since I have everything in hand.  He takes my ID and tickets up to the counter.  A short wait later hes back and hands me my tickets and another tag for my carry on.  Since it has electronics in it, they're putting it into the locked cage area.

I then make my way over to the buses.  I'm catching the Studios bus and then I'll walk over to the Boardwalk.  As I start over, I notice that the river area is VERY foggy!  Here is a picture from the path by the river, the orangish thing you see in the center of the picture is the Tower of Terror at the Studios!  

View of the Tower of Terror from the River Path to Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk area is also very fogged in.  But I can see that it's starting to burn off quickly now that the sun is coming up higher. I'm early, so I hit the Boardwalk Bakery and grab a chocolate chip and Banana nut muffins.  I also grab a Diet Coke for a shot of caffeine.  I'm just finishing up my breakfast as I see some of the W.I.S.H. people coming up.

I was just expecting to hear a dingy clang.
I once again meet up with many of the people I met on Friday, plus many others!  
W.I.S.H. Bling meet at the Boardwalk.
Did you notice part of my story earlier?  Neither did I.  Shortly after we took the above group photo, I get a call on my cell phone from a 407 area code.  Knowing that this is Orlando, I'm worried that this won't be good... a problem with my luggage or something.

Nope, it's the luggage check-in desk, they have my ID, it was left on the counter!  DOH!  I should have grabbed that Diet Coke at Pop Century to get that caffeine to wake me up some more! I start to say goodbye to everyone and make my way back to the Studios to catch a bus back to Pop Century.  I'm there and back with in the hour, but it still has taken a chunk out of what little time I have left for park time today.

My first rides as I get back to Studios, Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Rollercoaster.  It's about a 20-30 minute wait at ToT, not bad.  Once I've gone through the Tower gift shop, over to RnRC  I head.  Single rider line for me is almost a total walk on.  I'm only about 5 or 6 people back in line and surprisingly it goes fast.  I'm on the ride in no time.

It's beginning to warm up some and I'm wearing my Mickey Hoodie for the trip back.  I decide it's time to catch one of my favorite snacks.  A frozen lemonade!  I sit and watch some of the Hollywood Characters do one of their shows as I drink down my little treat.

I feel, a brain freeze comin'!
I come around and begin to head back towards Toy Story.  The fastpasses are gone and the ride wait is long.  Sorry, no more Toy Story this trip.  I decide that I'm going to go ahead and have lunch.  I grab a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich from the Studio Catering Co.  It's better than some of the other food I've had from this location.  The buffalo sauce isn't the greatest, but it's okay for today.

Buffalo Chicken sandwich with fries and Bottle of Water from Studio Catering Co.
After lunch, I head towards Star Tours.  It's all too quickly getting to the time I need to catch a bus back to Pop Century again to catch my Magical Express bus to the airport.  I take a Star Tour and then go to the Great Movie Ride to close out my rides for the day.

After getting out from the Great Movie Ride, I head over to Sweet Spells for a little treat.  I pick up a piece of chocolate peanut butter fudge.   I sit down and watch another Characters of Hollywood skit as I eat my fudge.

This is it.  It's time to call it.  An end of a trip.  I take another look at the big Hat and head on towards the buses.

Big Hat at Studios
Bus stop for Pop Century
I'm back at Pop Century much too quick for my liking :) I go to the food court and pick up a diet coke and another bottle of water.  I've still got 40 or so minutes before my Magical Express bus is due.  I get my carry on bag out of baggage services and sit down to watch some Disney cartoons in the Pop Century waiting area.  

As it gets to be about 15 minutes before my bus is to arrive, I walk outside to wait at the stop for Magical Express.
Magical Express waiting area at Pop Century.
The trip home... where to begin.

The Magical Express bus was a bit late.  No worries.  We get on board and off we go.  They're going to stop at the opposite terminal than the one I get off at.  So this adds time to our journey to the airport.

Since I had my tickets and my baggage was already in Deltas hands (iPhone app from Delta has luggage tracking, NICE feature.)  I make my way to TSA Security Checkpoint.

Now, the last time I flew in and out of MCO, they had the security checkpoint split into 3 categories.  A family line for those that are going to need the extra time through the line.  A standard line and a frequent flier line.  I always went to the frequent flier line, as I know the drill and can break my stuff down very quickly to go through security.

Forget all that.  Obviously that made to much sense, because the now have about 5 lanes of lines going into one feeder line that heads to the checkpoint.  HINT for flying Delta out of MCO, take the line farthest to the LEFT.  This line feeds directly to the beginning of the feeder line.  The TSA agents were not bringing tubs back to the beginning of the lines quick enough, meaning people are standing waiting for tubs to put their stuff in.

We finally make it through the security checkpoint.  I'm aggravated at this point.  What a Cluster-F of a mess they've made that into.  My original plan was to grab something to eat before getting to the plane, but that's now scrapped.  The long line and wait at security means I've got only about 15 minutes before we're supposed to start boarding.  Maybe I'll have some luck at Atlanta.

Plane trip to Atlanta goes fairly well.  As we get near Atlanta, I notice we're spending a lot of time circling.  We're notified that things are backed up at Atlanta and we'll be on the ground shortly.  We're actually going to be wheels down ahead of time.  Here's the kicker, sure, we're on the ground ahead of time, but it takes us 40 minutes to get to a jetway!  ARRGH!

We finally disembark the plane and I find that I didn't luck out again.  I've got to switch terminals!  Off in a rush I go to get to the subway to get to the next terminal.  Once over to the terminal, they're saying that we'll be boarding a little late.  Cool, I passed a Nathans coming down to this gate, I head back there to grab SOMETHING for dinner.  I wait around for them to get me a Chili cheese dog, fries and a drink.  I wolf down my food.  I get back to the gate, only to see that they've already started boarding!??!  I see... the words late and early are now interchangeable.  Luckily I didn't spend too much time eating and they've not started to board my "zone" yet.

We get on board and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  They finally push us away from the jetway, a plane had been blocking us in.  Then, we get stuck in traffic.  WHAT???  Yes, we're stuck in traffic at the terminal.  We're not even queued up to be in line for takeoff yet!  Finally we get queued for position in the takeoff line.  Up and away we finally go.  They notify us that we'll only be a few minutes late getting into Indy.

Okay, now to see if I can get some shuteye for a little nap.  

*tap tap*
"Hunh?" I mumble.
"Would you like something to drink?"  idiot stewardess asks me.
"I was trying to sleep." I reply.
"Oh, sorry.  Would you like something now?" idiot stewardess asks of me.
"Sure, now that I'm awake, I'll take some water." I reply.

The guy next to me is trying to not laugh. I'm not amused.  I'm sore and tired.

We're about 10 minutes behind when we land in Indy.  Other people are rushing past me, I just make my way to the restroom to take care of some business.  I then make my way to luggage claim.  I'm in no hurry, as I KNOW the luggage won't beat us down there.

After about a 10 to 15 minute wait, my luggage comes down the belt and I'm off to get to the economy parking lot.  One thing, they tell you to write your row down on your parking card.  They DON'T tell you to also mark down what bus shelter you were picked up at.  I of course get off at the wrong one and end up having to walk quite a distance in the cold with my suitcase and carry on dragging behind me.

I finally find the car, toss the luggage in, swap out to my heavy coat and I'm off to the exit.  I get checked out of the lot and I'm headed to the Interstate.  It's now about 12:30AM and I've got about a half hour drive to home.  I'm around 465 to my exit to home right on time.  I pull into the garage at almost 1AM on the nose.

That morning I was at Disney World, that evening I'm at home, back in the cold weather.  Bleh!

Thanks for Reading!  Writing these reports up have brought back a lot of good memories already.



Lighter, Stronger & Faster for 2013!
Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon - January 7, 2012 FINISHED 


  1. Oh, I hate it when flight attendants bother me when I clearly don't want to be bothered :)!

    Sounds like you got quite a bit done in that last day even with the ID snafu. That's awesome.

    1. I just don't know what would have made it more clear that I was trying to sleep... Light off, eyes closed, head back. I'd pretty much thought that would have been a good signal I'd not want to be bothered.

      Normally I spend my last day in Magic Kingdom. Since this wasn't a normal weekend, it ended up that I'd done the least in Studios so I went there to hit the rides I'd not been able to do when it was so crowded the week before.