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Old 11-19-2009, 06:59 PM   #121
Tnkrbelle565
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Oh that made me a little anxious!!!!

Glad everything turned out okay though...minus the stench
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:19 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Don't worry... its all good stuff!
OK, good! You don't need anymore trouble on your first night!
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #123
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Arrow A Halloween Adventure in Autism


Chapter Four: Karibu Makazi! Welcome Home!

October 30, 2009
Orlando International Airport


We didn’t have long to wait for the shuttle, more commonly known as the “mini-monorail.” It was a tad crowded, but once we arrived at the main terminal the crowd dispersed and I was impressed with how airy and clean it felt... more like a huge hotel lobby than an airport. For such a late hour there were an awful lot of yawning, stumbling little ones pulling Disney-themed rolling backpacks behind them. I suppose their parents had the same thought that we had... better to get the family down to Disney and settled into the resort late than to be traveling on Halloween. They looked so cute! I wondered how many of them would be transformed into little pirates and princesses for the same party we would be attending the following evening.


While I rummaged through my bag looking for our Magical Express vouchers, Ed decided that we should split up: he and Tricia would go to Baggage Claim to pick up our luggage, and Catie, Billy, and I would scout for food. We followed the signs to the food court area. It was almost 11:00 so we didn’t really have too much to choose from. It would have to be McDonald’s or.... McDonald’s.


That was no problem for Billy... he loves their chicken nuggets and fries. It wasn’t a problem for any of us, really (even though I’m not particularly fond of fast food) since all we had eaten since lunchtime was a few cookies and some airplane peanuts. Catie kept an eye on Billy while I ordered a meal for everyone “to go.” I figured that we could eat while waiting for our ME bus.


Down the escalator we went, the heavy odor of French fries seeping through our McDonald’s bags. Billy wanted his fries right then and there, but I told him he had to wait and he was a good boy and didn’t whine. We met up with Ed and Tricia on Level Two, redistributed our packs, and found the elevators to take us down to Level One where the buses and shuttles were located. Down the hall we trudged, past the rental car counters, past Mears and assorted shuttle counters, to where we encountered two Cast Members standing in front of a set of ropes. I handed them the booklet containing our vouchers and we were directed to the “lane” for Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani Village.


Two ME buses, er, “motor coaches” were idling at the curb and two more CMs were waiting for us. “Five for Kidani Village!” called out one of them, and the driver of the first bus came out to help put our luggage on board. We were ushered into the bus without having to wait even half a minute!


The bus was packed; there was no telling how long it had been idling and filling up with guests, but I imagined that many of them had come from our flight. We had to split up. Ed and the girls found seats at the front of the bus and Billy and I were able to sit across the aisle from each other, but further toward the back. Billy immediately caught sight of the screens above and sat in rapt attention, waiting for a video to begin. This was right up his alley! Next to him sat a heavyset, thirty-something woman who did not acknowledge him when he sat down, just continued to stare out of the window. He began stimming, not too loudly, but I was concerned about how his seat-mate would react to his excited “Eeeeee’s” and “Aahhhhhh’s” Once the video started I knew that the kicking and arm-flapping would begin as well. I tried to catch her eye, but she continued to look away, even as the bus began moving.


To my left sat a man in his twenties who was obviously with the young couple seated in front of us. They were staying at the All Stars and were very excited. I think it was their first visit. Using all three of their cell phones, they began taking a series of pictures of themselves, the background of which I discreetly tried to stay out of by leaning this way and that. To his credit, the young man asked if they were bothering me, to which I politely answered that they were not. It was just that I didn’t think they’d want my big ole head in all their pictures!


I began to get somewhat self-conscious about the McDonald’s bags that I held on my lap. The smell of greasy fast food seemed to me to have filled the bus and I scrunched the bags tighter and wished that I had a heavy plastic bag to stuff them into. Small spots of grease were seeping through the paper and I imagined that my clothes would be saturated with the smell of French fries by the time we reached Kidani Village. Again, Billy asked if he could have his food and I told him that he would have to wait. This time he did begin to whine a little, so I offered him some gum. “Four pieces, please!” he said, hopefully. Because of the autism, he loves the sensation of having his mouth stuffed full of food... at mealtimes we really have to watch him to make sure he doesn’t over-fill his own mouth and gag. I countered with a more reasonable offer of two sticks and he accepted.


As he chewed, he pointed to the video screen above. “Over there,” he said. “Fix it!” (Meaning, he wanted the video to start.) We had been rumbling along for some minutes by this time and I had been wondering myself when the video would begin. Eventually, of course, it did and I was relieved that he was now going to be satisfactorily occupied for the rest of the trip. As anticipated, his arms began waving in excitement as Mickey and Pals appeared on the screen. I craned my neck to see how the lady next to him was taking it, but she seemed to ignore him all the more.


Oh well... perhaps she was afraid of germs. Some adults, especially if they do not have kids, see children as nothing but little virus bags. It also could have been that she felt uncomfortable because of his odd behavior and didn't want to stare. I looked around to see if there was anyone nearby who might be in her travel party, but she seemed to be completely solitary and content to remain so as she stared out of her window. I prayed that Billy wouldn’t stomp on her foot by accident and settled in to watch the video myself.


Our first stop was Coronado Springs Resort. I’ve never been to this resort... the mods we’ve stayed at have been Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans French Quarter... so I was anxious to see what it looked like. It wasn’t easy to get a real feel for it in the dark, but I was able to get a reasonable sense of the Southwestern theme from the landscaping around the entrance to El Centro. I wouldn’t mind staying here some day. Neither would the group I was sitting with. Some people from their group who were arriving the following day would be staying there, I found out.


After the CSR guests departed, we were on our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge. Upon our approach I first learned that the Disney buses always stop at Kidani Village first and then they stop at Jambo House (the main lodge.) This would be a definite advantage for us during the week. As we pulled up to the entrance, the people on the bus ooh’ed and aahh’ed collectively at the site of the thatched roof of the porte cochere, through which a large palm tree sprouted, and dozens of glowing lanterns placed in the recesses of the walls on either side of the main doors. “This is Kidani Village!” the driver announced.


Karibu Makazi! Welcome Home!




Kathy
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #124
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I'm so glad you guys had a smooth ME experience!

You answered my question! I've been wondering what the ME route to Kidani is! Thanks!

Can't wait for more!!!
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:52 PM   #125
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Ohhhh so exciting!
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:21 PM   #129
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isn't the "welcome home" the best part?!?!
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:50 PM   #130
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Yayyy for updates! So glad to see that the Magical Express went smoothly and can't wait to hear all about your first impressions of the resort.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:34 PM   #131
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Wow. I am in complete awe of your ability to not dive into the Mickey D's on the bus! I would have rationalized that by consuming it as quickly as possible I would be reducing the odor of it on the bus -- therefore I OWE it to all the other passengers to scarf down those fries and burgers.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:20 PM   #132
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So glad ME was easy for you guys!

I have to agree with the others, you exhibited amazing will power to resist eating the McDonalds on the bus. I can't say we'd have done the same.

Can't wait to hear what you think of Kidani!
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:08 PM   #134
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Sounds like smooth as can be arriving to your home away from home....Can't wait to hear how you guys liked it...

kind of odd though the lady by Billy didn't offer to sit next the young man you were by so you could sit w/ your child. but the ride seemed to be just fine for Billy.

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Old 11-20-2009, 05:51 PM   #135
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Why didn't the lady offer to change seats with you? Some people.

We flew home from WDW in October, with a stop in LAX. We found out as we were departing the first plane that our second flight was in another terminal. We had to walk out of the terminal, walk to a bus stop, take the bus, go through various security checkpoints, and walk to the gate.

When we got to the gate we were told we were too late and they gave our seats away. I pitched a fit, since the airline should have seen we were in the process of transferring and the flight wasn't scheduled to leave for another 20 minutes.

They asked for volunteers and got us enough seats to get on, but all were in single seats all over the plane. I asked a few people if they would switch so I could sit with my son and my husband with my daughter. No one would. It was a rough flight and we couldn't get up for most of it. It was so stressful not being able to get up and check on anyone.

We had one aisle seat and one middle seat in the same row. I asked one man if he would switch aisle seats with me so I could sit with my daughter. He wouldn't. She must have asked to use the bathroom three times during the flight. Hopefully that taught him a lesson.




I would have ate also. People bring all sorts of stuff on planes now. Someone brought a full sized pizza on the above mentioned flight! The plane was filled with a garlic and buttery smell. The guy actually tore the box into pieces and handed them one at a time to a passing attendant. lol
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