Me: tc (Kelli) 41 and major Disney lover Stephen: DH, puts up with my obsession Saturday, September 7, 2002 This is our 6th trip to the world, second sans kids. They are both in college now, and we are enjoying vacations without them. Didn't know it was so fun w/o them, or I would have done more of it when they were young. This is also our first DVC stay. We bought in March, and couldn't be happier. Awoke at 3:30 a.m. Yes, that is correct, 3:30 a.m. It was dark, very dark. It made sense when I made the plane reservation to take a flight leaving at 6:30. Get to WDW by 4 and have the afternoon and evening to start the vacation. However, at 3:30 a.m., it didn't seen like such a good idea. It takes an hour to get to DIA from our house, so we needed to leave by 4:15 or so. Stephen was not a happy camper. Kimmi, our 19 y/o dd, drove us (in my car). Then she went to Stephen's sister's house that's only about 30 minutes from the airport to sleep. Anyway, get to DIA at 5:30 or so. Check in went smoothly. Mostly because we were the only people checking in at that hour. I worried one of us would be pulled aside for the more thorough check, but it didn't happen. We made it to our gate, and were on the airplane by 6:15. We then sat on the runway for about 30 minutes. There was a tropical storm in Houston where we were changing planes, and we had to wait for clearance from them before we could take off. Okay, off at 7:00 or so. Circle and circle and circle when we arrive in Houston. Worried we'd miss our next flight. Landed around 10:30 or so. Rushed to the next gate, out of breath, but we made it. We were then informed that we didn't have to worry, because the flight crew from the flight we were just on were flying this airplane, so we had to wait for them. It would have been nice of them to tell us that on the other plane . Oh well, no harm done. There was another delay taking off. All in all, we landed in Orlando only about 30 minutes late. Baggage claim went smoothly and after a little searching, found the Mears counter. We were on the Mears with a newlywed couple wearing bride and groom hats. They said they were stopped in the airport by an Orlando Sentinal reporter and were told they would be on the front page. Never got the paper to see if it happened. They were staying at the Wilderness Lodge for the first time. I told them about the eletric light pageant, and Whispering Canyon. They were appreciative. We got to the Beach Club Villas at about 4:30. We took time to unpack and freshen up. Funny, I thought I'd take a nap, but I just couldn't relax. Stephen laughs at how excited I get when I am at WDW. We were in room 240, not much of a view, but that's okay. I don't spend a lot of time on my balcony. We weren't far from the quiet pool and really close to the ice. We discovered the stairs (I'm not a big elevator fan) and used them the rest of the week. Since we were only on the second floor, it wasn't bad. Before leaving the room, I gave Stephen his surprise. He knew I had something planned, but I really surprised him. I got tickets to see Buddy Guy at House of Blues for Friday 9/13. The look on his face was priceless. Darn, but I forgot to have my camera ready. He loves Buddy Guy. He was very excited. We walked to Epcot (I love that) and decided to buy our renewal annual passes. I had checked the Dis for last minute updates Friday night, late, just to see if there was anything new I needed to know, and lo and behold, I found out tickets prices increased on Sunday. Our ap's didn't expire until 9/16, but we bought our renewals on 9/7 to get the old price. We were told our new ap's would activate on 9/17. New passes stowed safely away, we headed for the first WDW experience, KAKI GORI. Actually, it was dinner time, so I had to eat real food first. I have to keep food in my stomach, and it needs to be food with protein, before I enjoy sweets. So, it was a child's combination meal at Yakatori House. It's really good, and just the right amount of food. Then, KAKI GORI. Cherry, of course. I love those things, but Stephen loves them more. He usually eats the rest of mine because they tend to make me wheeze from the cold. So he gets 1 1/2 every time we have one, lucky guy. We were headed to MK for Night of Joy that started at 7:00, so we headed to the monorail. We stopped off at Imagination to ride the new JIYI. I liked it. I wanted to ride this because a friend of mine from Longmont is there on the CP and said he worked there. However, we didn't see him, and even asked a cm and he had never heard of him. Don't know where he worked, but we never ran into hiim. I had tried contacting him off and on all summer to find out for sure, but never heard from him. Weird. Anyway, we headed to NOJ. Initially, we didn't enjoy it at all. It was so crowded. We couldn't get near any stage. There were three concerts going on at the same time. One at the castle forecourt, one in Tomorrowland and one in Adventureland. Jaci Valasquez was singing at the castle and Petra in Tomorrowland. There was no way we were getting close to those. We wandered through Fantasyland and around to Adventureland via Mrs. Potts for a coke. It was much more enjoyable back here. We rode PoC. Man, those teenagers were crazy. There was a constant announcement telling people to remain seated. They were just having a good time, but forgot the calm down on the rides. From there we watched Jump5. They do a re-make of Beauty and the Beast on the re-released DVD. I liked them, very energetic. Stephen endured them for me. I was very impressed with their attire. Their ages ranged from 14 to 16 (I think) and there were no bare midriffs (not even the boys) and no cleavage, yet they were dressed stylishly. They set a very good example. We got chili cheese fries and a coke at Pecos Bills, and got seats outside at El Perico y El Pirita, and got ready for Audio Adrenaline. They were so good. We could only see them from the side, but it was still good. From there we headed back to the hub and moved in behind the departing crowd to hear Michael W. Smith. That was amazing. It was awesome the be able to worship with a few hundred strangers, all singing the same songs. Kids to elderly people all worshiping together. His was the last concert of the night. After that, we waited a while to let the crowds clear and then took a bus back to the Beach Club. We got to our room at 1:15 a.m., which was 11:15 our time. Still a long day, but a great way to start our vacation.