Saturday was Leah’s third birthday and also our day to travel home to icy Michigan. We got kind of a late start because we had to finish packing up before we could head out for the park. As we walked towards the main lobby of the resort, we had Aly give away the girls’ balloons to another family with small kids, then we rolled through the lobby and dropped off our checked bags at the Resort Airline Checkin desk – a great feature of staying at a Disney resort. We hopped in the vacation car and waved goodbye to the Polynesian, then drove to EPCOT.
When we hopped on the monorail to head to Magic Kingdom, the temperature outside was 37 degrees, and had actually dipped below 32 overnight. We noted that the pool was steaming as we walked by, which was not entirely surprising, but we were surprised to see that the entire Seven Seas Lagoon, a large lake, was also steamed by the cold.
Accuweather RealFeel: 38 degrees
Leah wanted to show off her new Minnie pajamas that she woke up in this morning along with the new winter hat she picked up yesterday.
I was allowed to sleep in this morning while the others got up a bit earlier. I know I’ve forgotten some food pictures, but here’s what I ate from the lounge this morning:
At least three, actually
We’ll get to that in a minute though. We began our day early again, at least by vacation standards, by hopping in our Red [not so] Grand Caravan for the first time since we arrived at the Poly on Saturday and headed to Animal Kingdom. We were about the 10th or 12th car to park in the lot and we we headed into the park under threatening skies carrying our ponchos for the first time on this trip, though it was a pleasantly breezy 70 degrees. Our caravan configuration goes like this:
Have you heard of Magic Bands yet? Leah has.
Disney is replacing the Keys to the World plastic cards that have longed served as room keys/park tickets/room charge/fastpasses with new RFID/NFC bracelets that serve all the same purposes and more called Magic Bands. When we were here in September, our resort was part of a test, and our resort this time around is part of a larger test, so we’re using MB’s for the second straight trip. We each got to pick out our own color MB before the trip and they’re personalized with our name so we can keep them straight. All four of them work to get into the hotel and hotel room, but only the adult ones work as room charges, etc. This morning as we were getting ready to head out, Leah says “I need my Mickey bracelet, so I can get my money!”, which had us all dying.
Leah woke Rachel early and they went down to the lounge for some breakfast and to let Aly and I sleep in a bit. Aly woke up a little while later and discovered nothing else in the room besides me, so she decided to wake me up, so I grunted something at her that resembled “go to the lounge, there might be someone you know there, and if not, there is probably at least food there. Make sure you pee first.” She said “I already went to the bathroom.” so I patted myself on the back for excellent cognitive skills, despite being 87% asleep, and then reclaimed the other 13%.
This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you
One of the all-time lies that parents tell to their kids, right? So it was with that in mind that we booked our flight down to Florida departing GRR at 7:45am – the ultimate double-edged sword. Aly would sleep until ten if allowed, and Leah can easily sleep until 7:30-8, but we knew we’d have to leave for the airport around 5:45am, meaning wakeup time would be around 5am. On the other hand, wheels-down time in Orlando is 10:30am, meaning we hit the resort by noon and get nearly a whole day at the Polynesian or one of the parks. So we booked the flight, mostly because it was Southwest’s only nonstop of the day, and one flight halves the risk of in-flight [kid] breakdowns. But we also knew that starting a day at 5am has an exceptionally high risk of breakdowns throughout the day, from either kid, and possibly even either adult, if enough kid breakdowns occur.