A Side, Level 1
(Originally posted July 19, 2012)
We made our way through MCO toward ground transportation.
Our first Disney sighting of the trip came as we passed the Earport.
Now we were determined to find the Magical Express counter without getting lost in MCO—a feat we had never once accomplished successfully. All the hidden escalators and lack of signage makes this a very confusing airport, but luckily we had just looked at the map in our Magical Express booklet and were fairly confident we knew where we were going.
“Where is it again?” I asked Tracy.
“A Side, Level 1, I think,” she replied.
So we started walking, found the A side of the airport, took the escalator down and walked in the direction I thought was right. We saw some Magical Express and Disney Cruise Line buses out the window, but not one sign indicating where to go. After we reached one end of the airport to no avail, I asked someone at the Hertz counter where the DME was.
“Oh, that’s on the B side. Go up the escalators, across the airport, back down the escalators and follow the signs.”
Oops. B side it is I guess. Maybe NEXT time we’ll successfully find the DME without getting lost. We followed our instructions and finally saw this sign like a beacon beckoning us.
Once we knew where we were going, we found it was pretty simple finding the throngs of people constantly gathering to board the Magical Express. We had no reason to go to the actual counter, so we found the line for our Riverside and queued up behind all the other people going to Yacht Club, Beach Club and Boardwalk. We wondered why there is a different bus for French Quarter than Riverside—they are right next to each other after all—but never got an answer.
There were probably two full bus loads ahead of us in our line, but luckily it was a pretty busy time of day so they had the line moving pretty fast. Within about ten minutes our bus pulled up.
We were pretty excited to have an actual DME bus because there were lots of yellow Mears buses in the area as well, and we wanted the full experience, welcome movie included! We boarded the bus, hoping for the front seats so we could have the best unobstructed view of the signage as we approached Disney, but the woman who got on right before us swiped them. Blast! Oh well. We found a seat with a decent view of the TV.
We took Duffy out and put his mouse ears on.
Now I’ve always heard horror stories about it taking forever for the DME to start moving even after boarding, but we must have lucked out, because we were on our way within moments. The video started up.
My favorite part of this movie is how prominently Scrooge McDuck is featured among other obscure characters. Between the movie and the scenery out the window, the ride went really quickly. Before we knew it, we were passing under the gates.
Seeing that arch is always one of the most “we’re here!” moments for me. It was at that point that it really started to sink in. We assumed that since we were the only moderate resort on the bus, we’d probably have to wait until they dropped off at all of the deluxes first, but then we saw this sign.
Not only were we first; we were here!!
We got off the bus and went into the lobby. I was blown away right off the bat with all the awesome details of this resort. I was loving it already.
We had done online check-in, so we avoided the line in here, even though that part of the lobby is really cool.
We walked up to the online check-in desk, and the cast member greeted us. It was time to press our luck once again. Would we be able to score an upgrade on top of our free trip?