On this beautiful morning at 9:30am, we set off from our home. Destination - Newark Liberty International airport. To my surprise, the airport was empty. Mom got stopped for an additional screening which definitely got a few laughs from this crowd! First good Disney sign of the day - they opened an Earl of Sandwich at Newark!
We were scheduled to take off at noon and we took of right on time. Our very kind JetBlue pilot informed us that we would be on ground in Orlando in two hours, nearly 45 minutes early! This alone was a terrific start to our day, and put us on track so we would be right on time for our reservations.
We arrived in Orlando exactly when the pilot said we would. While my husband helped the crew grab their luggage, my dad and I walked over to National Rental Car. Because he is an "emerald member" we were able to hop in the car and go. After a short nostalgic trip on 417, we arrived at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Little things that make a big difference - we had an amazing Disney security guard who greeted us at the entrance of the hotel. He spoke to all of us, welcomed us home and called in our arrival to Kidani Village. By the time we pulled up to Kidani, they greeted our family by name and presented us with our welcome package. (They were able to do this because we did online check-in)
After a minor ticket issue, we were off to our room. But before we could get to our room, we were pulled away by this amazing sight:
|Photo courtesy of MP|
By 5pm, we were off to EPCOT. The park was busy, but manageable. We're glad that the parks are clearing out in a few days, however!
We strolled through the countries for Via Napoli. We booked the Candlelight Processional dinner package. We were VERY pleased with this new restaurant. I must say, we tend to be overly critical of Italian restaurants. Our moms and grandmas make the best homemade Italian food ever. But tonight, our dinner was great. I started with the arancini, which I heard so much about. It was just as good as people described. In addition, the zeppoli were fabulous! We were very pleased and it was the perfect meal to start off our week.
From Via Napoli, we went right to the Candlelight Processional where we were seated right away. It put is in the perfect holiday mood. We had amazing seats and Mira Sorvino did a very good job as narrator. We made the comment that while others are pepper spraying each other to get black Friday sales, we listened about the birth of Jesus with beautiful live music.
Following the processional, we had preferred viewing for Illuminations Reflections of Earth, plus the holiday ending. It never disappoints.
While it was Extra Magic Hours in EPCOT that night, we didn't get to ride Soarin'. It was over an hour wait, even with EMH. We plan on riding later in the week when the Thanksgiving crowds die down. However, we did get to hop on Spaceship Earth. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Tomorrow we hit Disney's Hollywood Studios. I will be posting throughout the day so stay tuned!