Wake up call from Mickey (and Stitch – “No Sleeping…GET MOVING!”)
We do get moving – Dr. D goes to Pepper Market to fill his UNLIMITED REFILL mug with coffee (which he thinks is a GLORIOUS thing) and bring back a little nosh. Deanster and I pack up just in case we have to vacate this particular room when we do the “check out – recheck in” hokey pokey today for our Dream Maker Package. (We had decided to come a day early just to get settled before the parents got there)
The Plan is to eat, get the room situation handled, meet Randy’s Mobility in the lobby at 9 to pick up Big Cal and Mini Maureen’s ECV’s (Electric Convenience Vehicle), take the rental car to the Car Care Center then take the shuttle back to Coronado Springs, where, hopefully the parents have arrived.
Head to lobby for the ECV’s.
The scooters arrive on time and are really cool. I had spoken to Randy on the phone and had made a big point of making sure that Big Cal’s could accommodate someone who is 6’5”. The last thing I wanted was for his first experience with one of these to be uncomfortable. Walking for any distance has become problematic for him. This really hacks him off. I thought that this would be a great chance to try one out and see if it would be something he might want to get for himself someday.
And what a service from Randy’s Mobility. Cheaper than getting them at the parks, you can rent them for your entire stay so you have them 24/7 (especially great for this particular resort – Coronado Springs is BIG!) and they have drop off and pick up service.
After a quick lesson in all things ECV, Deanster, Dr. D and I head back to park them in the room. Dr. D’s job is to walk point position and provide verbal cues as to when the resort’s stretch golf carts come barreling around a corner.
It goes something like this.
Deanster and I are chatting, driving and looking at the beautiful scenery. Dr. D is ahead of us.
Suddenly, he stops and does his best meerkat impersonation. Then he yells…
“HERE THEY COME…get over….get OVER”
A word about these golf carts…they are used as an internal transportation system. There are different kinds of carts – ones outfitted for Bellmen to carry luggage on, ones for groundskeepers and those for transporting guests.
I am quite positive that the Cast Memebers who are assigned to operate said golf carts are trained extensively…at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Thankfully, Dr. D and I have knowledge of crossing streets and dodging taxis in large metropolitan areas.
It came in handy.
Besides, we are from
We get the ECV’s back to the room without either of us ending up in the beautiful Lago Dorado or roadkill under the wheels of a golf cart. I take this as a good sign.
Deanster calls front desk and is informed we are keeping the room that we are currently in. This is in some ways a relief – don’t have to move, store luggage and 2 ECV’s until other rooms are ready, but also a bit of a disappointment in that we had requested a king for Dr. D and I when Deanster moved in with the parents. Oh well, no biggie.
Back to lobby to do the paperwork thing for our package deal. Checked in with Cast Member Mike, who got us acclimated and educated. We found out he had his Ph.D. in education and he and Dr. D enjoyed chatting. Dr. Mike was working here for a few months on his way to being part of the college program.
Get the Pimp Mobile and set off to return it. Here is where Deanster announces her plan while hanging over the front seat between me and Dr. D.
“The parents are still 150 miles away. We will be RIGHT BY the
She bats her eyelashes.
I had been suspicious of her bringing the camera bag. For some reason it had become essential that Deanster see the Castle up close and personal at the earliest possible moment.
Fine by us. Shuttle takes us to the transportation center to catch monorail. Dr. D looks impressed. His only other Disney experience was at
It’s a little elbow to elbow, but nothing major.
Deanster RUNS to the Castle.
I’m beginning to think it has become some sort of religious pilgrimage for her.
Dr. D and I get some coffee and hot tea at the Main Street Bakery. I was so excited to find hot tea! We people watch and stroll. Dr. D gets a big kick out of reading the names on the windows above the shops, honoring some of their legends.
Deanster returns and we wander back towards the entrance knowing that we have to get back to Coronado Springs pretty soon.
And then it happens…
Our first character encounter. And it’s CRUELLA!!!!!
I have a secret obsession with the villains.
My dream job would be to play the Evil Queen for a day at the Park. (Deanster says I’d be a natural – I laughed… then I pulled her hair.)
I have a BFA in Theater Performance and a specialty in Children’s theater and try to do at least one show a year that plays to or involves kids. I have always been a character actor, playing the mom or the crazy neighbor next door, etc. But my most FUN roles have been the characters that complicate things. Played the Cheshire Cat in
Now it’s my turn to run…
She puts her arms around us and purrs in that low Cruella voice “Everyone say… PUPPIES!”
Deanster sees Aladdin, we get her pic with him, too. He said it had been a long time since a grown up red-head threw her arms around him. (Deanster hugged him tighter)
Cell phone rings.
Big Cal and
We got back in less than 20 minutes. Love those Disney buses.
Bail out at the bus stop by lobby and are walking across porte corchere when we see Big Cal. Deanster and I become 5 and 10 years old respectively and run across 4 lanes of cars yelling “DADDY”
One of the Bellmen who looks to be around my dad’s age gets all verklempt and pats Big Cal on the back when we pass. “We always want to hear that, no matter how old they get, don’t we?” he says. Big
Decide to go to Grand Floridian. Deanster and
The Grand Floridian is beautiful.
We have a quick lunch at the counter service there - The Gasparilla Grill. I hadn’t realized that there were video games actually IN the seating area, so it was pretty loud, but all in all a good experience.
We toured the lobby a bit...
...and then decided to take
Everybody is a little tuckered and our other room is ready so we high tail it back to Coronado Springs. Big Cal and
F150 provisions and luggage is delivered by lone bellman. It is his first day.
Poor, poor kid.
Dr. D and I plan to go over to the Boardwalk Resort, find some dinner somewhere and explore. Deanster and
The Doc and I go to the bus stop. First bus that rolls up is going to EPCOT. We figure, why not? We’ll go there and get a bus to the Boardwalk. Driver is so nice and we get to chatting. I tell him what we’re doing. He informs me that my plan is not the most expedient way and what to do next time. Then he say’s “Watch this.” (Mind you, Dr. D and I are the only two passengers on the bus). He changes his marquee from EPCOT to SPECIAL and takes us directly to the Boardwalk.
We FEEL special. We disembark; waving and thanking our coachman, gently wiping the pixie dust from our shoulders and enter the Boardwalk lobby.
Okay, I love this resort – feels so homey and comfy. And something about the seahorse chandelier in the lobby appeals to the Pisces in me.
We check out the restaurants and decide on Big River Grille and Brewing Works. We walk up behind a party of 10 who can’t decide if they all want to sit together, or separate, or put the kids at one table…yada, yada, yada. The host must have seen my eyes start to roll back into my head. Perhaps he thought I was about to have a hypoglycemic attack. Whatever it was, it worked. He handed off the logistical nightmare group to another host and took us (“party of 2, your table is ready”) right in.
I hugged him.
I get quesadillas and Doc gets the Meatloaf special. We aren’t beer drinkers but Dr. D is somewhat of a Root Beer connoisseur, which is also brewed there. Very enjoyable. Our first evening just the two of us. Did I mention that we will be celebrating our 14th anniversary January 19th? We hold hands through dinner. (This is a great advantage to marrying a left handed person! We can both eat and hold hands at the same time. – I know, you’re getting a cavity just reading this! So, sue me.)
After dinner we find the girls. I can tell, however, that my group is winding down and ready to “go t’da house.”
Our "girls" picture in Boardwalk lobby.
Tomorrow…. Our first park, Animal Kingdom!
And the first day on the scooters….
Next chapter - The Call of the Wild