Day 1 Ã¢ÂÂ Arrival Day Cast Ã¢ÂÂ Snowman (AKA Tia, obsessive trip planner, 2nd trip to WDW) Stoney (AKA Darla, Cinderella fan, 2nd trip to WDW) Carl (the nephew, turning 7 at WDW, 1st trip to WDW) Dates Ã¢ÂÂ Nov 11-17, 2000 Resort Ã¢ÂÂ Dixie Landings Day 1 Ã¢ÂÂ We arrive in Orlando at 11:30 am. Tiffany is supposed to pick us up but they are nowhere in site. A quick call to Deborah at TTC confirms that he is there, but in a different area. Fabio (yes, that was really his name) is quickly sent to meet us in the baggage area. Shortly thereafter we are whisked away to Dixie Landings for check in. Check in goes fairly well and doesnÃ¢ÂÂt take hours. I get our E-night passes at the same time so I donÃ¢ÂÂt have to do it later. We got all our room requests except for early room availability, so we have to call after 3:00 to find out where our room will be. After check in and storing luggage w/ bell services itÃ¢ÂÂs off to the food court for mugs and much needed lunch. Our day had started at 3:00 am and none of us had eaten more than the pretzels served on the airplane. After lunch Carl wants to check out the playground and Darla wants a hair wrap, so we separate to kill time till the room is ready. Carl gave the playground his seal of approval. I liked that the playground had sandy landing areas should somebody fall. After a little while, we head back towards the DxL marina, where Darla is still getting her hair wrap done. 12 inches (and $32.00) later, she is done and we head to the arcade. Darla goes to check on the room while Carl and Tia play air hockey. Darla comes back and says the room should be ready in 30 minutes, so we kill some more time shopping at the resort store. By the time 3:30pm arrives we are all ready to get to our room, so Darla goes to find out if its ready. The original room wasnÃ¢ÂÂt, so they gave us another Ã¢ÂÂ AB Bldg 18, Room 1813. We go to bell services, but it will be 15-20 minutes before they can get us down there. So we walk to the room and wait for our luggage. The room is very stuffy until we turn the AC up. By 4:00 the luggage is there and we change and head off to our PS at Chef MickeyÃ¢ÂÂs. We follow the signs to the bus stop (which turns out to be the longer way). We take the bus to MK and figure we will use the walkway to the Contemporary, mistake #1. By the time we get to Chef MickeyÃ¢ÂÂs we are all hot and grumpy. Next time we will not walk to the Contemporary. We had a little wait for a table because they had lost our PS, but at least only 1 adult had to stand in line while the rest could go sit in the lobby. Carl and I left Darla in line. Carl gets his first glimpse of Donald Duck & Goofy and started to get excited. We take his autograph book and pen (very large, over a foot long and 1 inch around) and start the autograph collection. NOTE - This pen turned out to be the best 89 cents we ever spent. We bought it at a discount store at home, long before the trip. Nearly every character we encountered during the trip made some comment about the pen. Pluto ran over to show his handler, Tweedle Dee pretended it was a bat, Rafiki pretended to steal it. The overwhelming thought was Ã¢ÂÂfinally, a nice, big, easy to hold penÃ¢ÂÂ. Bigger (in pens) is really better. Once we are finally seated, they start the napkin waving thing and the song about having a special guest. I had sent Carl a letter Ã¢ÂÂfrom MickeyÃ¢ÂÂ that included a certificate that I had made up inviting him to Dinner at Chef MickeyÃ¢ÂÂs. So, Carl was convinced that he was the special guest. When he finally saw Mickey for the 1st time, he says Ã¢ÂÂHi Mickey, itÃ¢ÂÂs me, CarlÃ¢ÂÂ. He was so serious, it was very sweet. Mickey nodded and waved as if to say Ã¢ÂÂOh yes, I remember youÃ¢ÂÂ. The character interaction at this meal was wonderful. Mickey came around once; Donald, Chip & Dale all come around 2 or 3 times; Goofy, Minnie & Max held court in the lobby. The Parmesan Mashed Potatoes were wonderful. Most of the food was pretty good. We never felt rushed and our waitress was on the ball. Overall this was Carl & TiaÃ¢ÂÂs favorite character meal. After dinner we took the monorail to the Transportation Center and a bus to Downtown Disney and a bus from there to DxL. Mistake number 2. Next time we will go from the T&TC to a park and to our resort. Early to bed with a 6:30 wakeup call. Tomorrow is CinderellaÃ¢ÂÂs breakfast.