6:30 AM – Phone rings… Stitch yells “GET MOVING!”
How crazy is that? We are on vacation, why are we getting up at this ungodly hour?
Why, because we want to…..
You know, it really is easier for us to get going earlier – have some leisurely getting ready time, enjoy our morning coffee, hot tea and breakfast du jour instead of flying out the door with our shirt tails hanging out.
This also gives Dr. D a chance to pull out the lap top and see what’s up in the ether world. His class has been able to access the dedicated web pages but assignments officially start today. Online classes are fabulous.
We are to meet the rest of the group at their room and be crossing the parking lot to the bus stop at 9 am.
I drink my hot tea and watch the sun come up over Lago Dorado.
looking from the Casitas towards the marina
I cannot begin to describe how peaceful the resort is. I realize that the week we are here is considered to be a lower attendance time and there are no major conventions in-house presently. I know there is great potential for this place to be absolutely packed and crazy, but at the moment we feel as if we have the place to ourselves. It is so QUIET. I understand there are a lot of people who do not prefer the Coronado Springs, but it has suited us beautifully and we would not hesitate to stay here again.
I pull out the battle plan for today and review. One of the things I promised myself as coordinator of this group was that I would always remember we were on VACATION. I would do the research, make some preliminary logistical decisions but always be open to the magic of the moment. Today would be the day to see if this would work.
Deanster was to instruct Big Cal and Mini Maureen in all things ECV. Big C had taken to his immediately. In fact, as I was gazing out my window around 7am, I see him zip (and I mean ZIP) by on his way to get morning coffee.
He has a big grin on his face.
Mini Maureen has used hers as a coat rack.
I was a bit concerned about our first encounter with Disney Transportation and the scooters. I knew that each bus was equipped to handle two ECV’s at a time. I hoped it would not be difficult or time consuming to load them. I didn’t want the parents to think it was bothersome to anyone to use them.
It was a little chilly, so we bundle up Mini Maureen with an extra scarf and set off to the bus stop. Very few people waiting. AK bus arrives and Deanster jumps into action. After a quick conversation with the Driver, amazing things begin to happen to the bus. It actually tips to the side and lowers a multi-jointed ramp. We are instructed to back the ECVs, one at a time onto the ramp. Mini Maureen decides that Deanster needs to be in charge of hers as that she hasn’t had a lot of practice going backwards yet (we hope she never does!) Truth be told, she hasn’t had a lot of practice going forwards yet. We are loaded and on our way in less than 8 minutes.
A big, big thank you to the Drivers of Disney Transportation. They did a lot to make our stay successful.
We unload and make our way to the gates. Have a last minute instruction session with group about how our room key is also our park tickets, etc. Have to stop and take a couple of pictures of the beautiful Christmas tree.
It has warmed up, so Deanster and I get a locker and store our jackets and we are set loose in Animal Kingdom.
We are animal people. Have always had multiple pets. Love going to zoos. I am glad that we decided to start here. We feel at home. Everything is so lush and beautiful.
Crowds are light and we just take our time on our way to the Kilamajaro Safari. Hang out at the tree of life. We are all amazed. Deanster has the big camera and lets the shutter fly.
We listen to a musical group on the way. Shop a bit. Very relaxing and wonderful. On to the Safari. Our first ride. Here we learn the in’s and out’s (and back and forth’s and back and forth’s) of queue travel, scooter navigation and protocol. I am just stunned at the accessibility and ease we have. Our party of 5 is always allowed to board together and is never rushed. This is truly a wonderful thing for us because of Dr. D’s balance issues and Big C’s hip problems. We are never made to feel “different” than any other park guest. I know that our group’s special needs are very small compared to others. This was our first foray in which accessibility demanded our attention. It will not, however, be our last and I am just thankful that it was with an organization that puts forth this kind of effort. I hope those with more serious issues are able to feel the same.
Big C and Dr. D’s comfort have been our big concern, however Deanster takes this opportunity to tell Mini Maureen that she is NOT to FALL DOWN under any circumstances. You see, Mini is sometimes (not often) prone to what I like to call “gravity gusts.” Once or twice a year (for as long as I can remember) she finds herself in much closer proximity to the ground than she was just moments before. We do not believe that there is any medical issues related to this – we just think she gets preoccupied (you know…shopping, reading, shopping, looking, shopping, shopping, shopping) and doesn’t look where she is going. Luckily, she has only injured herself badly once and we think this to be a fluke because there was a rather large pot hole involved. Normally these incidents occur on level ground with only one, maybe two obstacles in sight. (We trust she has some Tigger ancestry somewhere because of her bouncy nature.) Deanster is thinking that there will be plenty of distractions on this vacation and that her warning is warranted.
Mini Maureen is not amused.
We think it’s a riot.
I am happy to report that Mini Maureen did not have one gravity gust the entire trip.
The Safari is great. All the animals enjoying the temperate weather just as we were.
Chapter 5.1 - With Apologies to Rudyard Kipling