Cast of Characters Me(29) DW (29) DS1 (8) DD1 (7) DS2 (4) DD2 (1) DM (Fifty-something) DSis (23) Well, here I sit at my computer, one week after departing the Magic. I am sipping my first duty-free white-russian and DD1 has finally agreed to remove the braids from her hair. The reality of the end of the obsessive planning and preparation is finally setting in-and it is rather depressing. But that is why the DIS Boards were invented. I see that there must have been a writers convention on my particular sailing of the Magic, as this is about the tenth report-but if everyone else planning their trip now is as crazy as I was before, then I know you all won't mind. Just can't get enough of anything DCL! Chapter 1:Arrival and MGM Our adventure actually started on Feb. 19th. It was a cold Monday morning in the northeast. We were flying JetBlue out of Boston. For those who remember, this was at the height of the JetBlue chaos. A major winter storm the week before had thrown the whole airline into a tail-spin (poor choice of words) and we spent the weekend hoping that we would be flying, but grateful to have planned on traveling well before our sail date. We spent much of the prior two weeks packing our ten suitcases, and even shipped off several boxes to our WDW resort (Port Orleans/Riverside) ahead of time. So when 4 am. arrived, we simply hopped into the mini-van and headed to the airport. We arrived at around 5:30 for our 7 am. flight. We pulled right up to the sky cap and boy did he look happy at the sight of our luggage first thing on a Monday morning. He gathered our things and began printing our boarding passes. Now that I was free of the bags, I truly felt as though I was on vacation. That lasted for about thirty-seconds. That was the point when the sky cap informed me that my name was on the federal governments watch list and that we would have to go to the counter for further inspection. HERE WE GO! Not even off the ground and my stress level is heading north. (Turns out people with common names like mine often have this problem, (DS1 had the same problem on the way home) Things went nice and smooth after that little hiccup. We arrived in Orlando late morning and took Disney's Magic Express service to our resort. I would strongly recommend this program. We have visited WDW three times in the last five years, and have never stayed on-site. We always felt we could save a lot of money doing it on our own and staying outside of Disney property. This time around, we priced out a Disney Vacation plan that included lodging, tickets, and meals; and we were pleasantly surprised at the total. I will never again do it on my own! Doing it this way, your vacation really does begin at your home airport as you don't see your bags again until you arrive in your hotel room later that day-and leave the driving to the cast members! The magic never ceases to amaze me. I know this is the cruise line forum, so I won't get into too much WDW detail, but it was part of the vacation and I can't just leave it out. After we got dropped at the resort and check-in, we hopped on a Disney bus over to MGM Studios. The weather was beautiful! Several people told us that it had been in the 40's a few days before and that we had lucked-out. (It was 5 degrees at the airport with a wind chill of -20, the 40's still would have been short-sleeve weather for us!) Immediately upon entrance at the park, I realized it was school vacation week for many areas of the country, and that EVERYONE had decided to take a Disney World vacation this year. You literally could not walk down the street, never mind trying to get on any of the popular rides. "Lets try fast passing" my DW said. That sounded like a good idea so I headed over to the Rock'N'Rollarcoaster to get some of those coveted passes. As I approached the entrance to the ride, I saw an enormous line that reached almost over to the Tower of Terror. I thought to myself, those people are crazy-get a fast pass and come back later. Yeah, good thing I am the only person smart enough to have thought of that. As I neared the fast pass machine I saw the CM letting everone know that passes were gone for the day. Say what? It's only noon. I must have thought this aloud as she looked at me and said they were all dispersed about an hour ago. I thought to myself, is it too late to skip the parks and take a back-to-back cruise. The rest of the day went well and it felt great, after all the planning and dreaming, to be back here at Disney with a week of the parks and then our first seven day cruise to look forward to.