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Magic Kingdom and MVMCP

MGM Studios

Epcot

Magic Kingdom

Downtown Disney and Chef Mickey's

Well it was an early morning rise for our trip to Chicago's Midway Airport. The limo driver "Mr. Ted", as my daughter calls him, picked us up around 4:00 A.M. You know I never realized just how many cars are out on the road at that hour. In any event, we had a very pleasant 35 minute ride to the airport from our home in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago. Our daughter Elisabeth never stopped chatting the entire way. We could tell she was extremely excited about her first ever trip on an airplane, and to Walt Disney World. Our son Michael, on the other hand, was very quiet. Not like him at all. Arriving at the airport we were greeted with a very stiff breeze and Wind Chills in the teens...BRRRR!!!! Mom and the kids went inside the terminal, while Dear Ol' Dad stood outside with the bags waiting to check-in. Luckily for me it wasn't that long of a wait. Security was not too bad being the first business travel day after Thanksgiving, so we made it through fairly quickly. We now had about an hour and 20 minutes to wait until boarding for our 6:55 A.M. flight.

Being the first time we were flying with our children it was an experience to say the least. Michael made it through the flight without alot of problems, but Elisabeth's ears were really bothering her, especially on descent into Orlando. We had a fairly smooth and quick flight down on ATA, all of about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Chicago, not bad at all. We arrived in Orlando to a mid-morning temperature of 65 degrees. To us warmth, to the locals, probably a cold snap LOL!! By the time we deplaned, rode the tram from the gate to the terminal, and arrived at baggage claim, our luggage was already on the conveyor belt. Now, it was off to get the van. Thank goodness for the Dollar Fast Lane program, as we would have had quite a wait otherwise. We received a nice Dodge Grand Caravan, and so we loaded up the family, and we were off down the Florida Greenway to the Beach Club Villas.

After about a 25 minute drive down the Florida Greenway we pulled into the entrance of our Home Away From Home...Disney's Beach Club Villas resort. What a beautiful sight it was to these already weary traveler's eyes. We were met by a very friendly Cast Member at the Porté Corchéré, who took our bags into "custody". As is the usual case for people arriving early our room was not yet ready. We were given a choice as to whether or not we wanted to take a different room on a different floor than we had requested, but we decided to wait. I was very glad we decided to wait, because the room we ended up with was terrific in both location and setup. Since it was lunchtime, we decided to stroll over to the Boardwalk to get something to eat.

  ESPN Club was our lunch selection for the day seeing that it was the only place that wasn't too crowded at that time. After a nice, quiet lunch we decided that we still had some time left before our room was going to be ready, so we decided to take a leisurely stroll around the rest of the Boardwalk.
 

We stopped off in some of the shops to do some early souvenir hunting when all of a sudden the kids started yelling..."Look, Look". Here I thought there was a character caravan coming down the Boardwalk. Instead, it was simply a couple of pair of Disney-fied sunglasses that caught their eyes. Well...you know how persistent kids can be, so of course they strolled out of that shop wearing their favorite pair of sunglasses. It was probably a good thing that we bought those sunglasses as they came in very handy with the bright sunshine that we had most of the week.

Well...now it was getting time to where we should get back to the villas to see if our room is ready. So we made our way the rest of the way around the Boardwalk until we hit the pier that juts out into Crescent Lake by the Yacht Club. There we noticed the ducks and other water fowl swimming around right where they were five years before for our honeymoon. Elisabeth noticed the ducks and wanted to stop to look at them. I asked her if she actually wanted to try and feed the birds, and guess what

 

you think she said...YES OF COURSE!!! Lucky for us that Mommy had some spare change in her pocket. Michael decided to sit this one out "literally", so Elisabeth had the birds all to herself. I was quite surprised that she actually wanted to feed the birds as she didn't do

too well with the farm animals at a pumpkin farm that we went to for Halloween. I guess she was far enough away from them so it didn't spook her too much. Well, it was getting to be that time that the room should be ready, so we wandered back over to the Villas to see if we could get into our room. We needed some relaxation after our long day. To our relief the room was ready to move into.

It was off to the fifth floor and Room 558, a one-bedroom villa that was located at the far end of the main wing off the Beach Club. As we walked through the lobby of the Beach Club there we saw Art "The Greeter". As usual he had a crowd around him, so we didn't get a chance to take a picture with him. Maybe later in the trip?? Walking out through the Breezeway to the main entrance of the Villas we caught a glimpse of

Ariel waiting to "Welcome Us Home"!!! Both Michael and Elisabeth were really getting cranky at this point as they both had been up since 3:00 A.M., so we decided that it would probably be a good idea to just take it easy for a couple of hours. While the kids went down for a nap, Mommy and Daddy decided that now would be a good time to get things unpacked and organized for the rest of the trip. First things first, make certain that everything works a-ok in the room. I have to say that reading all the posts on the DIS Boards had us a bit concerned as to how well the room was going to look and function before arriving. We were happy to discover as usual at Disney the room to be clean and in perfect working order. We even had hot water in the shower and the air conditioner was never a problem. As I strolled over to the window and took a look out I was pleasantly surprised with the view that we ended up

with. You could see a bit of scaffolding from some touch-up work that they were doing on the Beach Club's "tower", and there was a bit of a view of the parking lot, but nothing like I expected. It was actually a very nice view, and I would definitely take it again. The only minor complaint that I had the entire time we were in the room is that we were very near the auxiliary elevator which comes out by the quiet pool. You definitely could hear the elevator operating well into the night. If you are a light sleeper it might be a bit of an annoyance.

After a couple of hours of sleep for the little ones it was time to hop back in the van and take a trip to the grocery store to pick up some supplies for the week and get something to eat.

It was definitely a VERY LOOOONGG DAY for all of us. I don't think I've slept as well as I did our first night in a long time. Well...tomorrow it is time to hit the Character Meals and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.