Okay, here goes, my first ever trip report, well the first part of it anyway. A few reminders: Pre Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2200291 The Cast: Me- Pete (27) Last WDW Trip Nov 07, with plenty of DLRP in between. Jo (29) The second veteran from our Nov 07 trip, has also been to DLRP ten times in the last eight years Kathryn (21) WDW Virgin, mad on Princesses, Alice in wonderland & Mary Poppins Paul (21) Known as Kip, just along for the ride and cocktails if you ask me Amy (23) Younger sister of Chris is over there working ,massive Princess and Tink fan. But she does hate all things HSM, so we may clash, eek! Supporting Cast Chris (25) On his year working in the Rose & Crown in Epcot Kayleigh (23) see above These two have proved very useful in the holiday planning / dining reservation department!!! From Left to Right: Kayles, Jo, Amy, Kip, Kathryn, Pete (me) & Chris. The Journey/Arrival Day. So with three of us (Kip, Jo and Myself having made the journey to Gatwick the night before, and spent the night in the lovely Travelodge there, we were all up early, we debated using the shuttle bus to get us across to the Terminal, but were assured by the reception staff here, that a cab would work out the same price divided up amongst the three of us and wouldnt make stops at other hotels along the way. So thats what we went with. The timing worked out perfect and as we walked across the drop off bay, we spied the other two girls Amy and Kathryn emerging from Kathryns dads car. Merging together we made our way to departures, where I chose a spot for the group to wait for me while I dashed off to find a Boots so I could buy a razor to make up for the one Id forgotten I didnt really fancy coming back with a beard, although now I hear they even sell Razors in America!!?? Once back with the group we hustled over to the Virgin check in area and put on our best Techno-Phobe act as we were forced into using the Electronic Check In. After being assured we werent going to have an issue with the whole first name and surname joined together issue we deposited our baggage and made our way through Security to the Airside area. Now since I was last here in November last year for a flight to Spain they seem to have entered a refurb phase, so the main features of this area now seemed to be cladding and dust sheets.. Still we pressed on into a corner to sit in a spot we had used last time where you could watch all the goings on of the airfield. But it was now cladding, and soon to be a new coffee shop. So in true to desperate form, I went to Mcdonalds for a Bacon & Egg McMuffin and took it over to Costa where the girls were enjoying paninis. After a while we were all in the departure lounge and making our way onto G-VAST Ladybird one of Virgins big old 747s. We were flying Economy and were seated in row 56 towards the back of the plane, the middle section D - G and Amy who had been a last minute addition to the trip was across the aisle from me in H, but she was soon befriending a nice Irish family who were seated all around her. The In flight Entertainment system was actually better than I thought. We didnt have Virgins Fancy Vort system, but we did have Odyssey which is the middle ground of the three they offer, with Nova being the weakest. I watched Bride Wars which I quite enjoyed, as Im quite a fan of Anne Hathaways. The others watched 3 films each, but I only watched the one and spent the rest of the time reading and listening to my iPod really. I wont lie and say the flight flew by, it didnt it dragged and I couldnt get off the plane quick enough when we did arrive at MCO. I was quite excited about MCO as the last (& only) time I came to WDW we flew with First choice into Sanford. MCO definitely had them beat on amenities etc, and after the monorail ride we entered the elevator down to the transport floor. After a few rest stops and some time spent wondering around like headless chickens we found the Magical Express area and I was elated to be greeted with all the passion and magic youd expect from a Disney Cast member. We were soon ushered out to the coach, where I suddenly realised how much hotter it was in Florida in June as opposed to November. I wont bore you with the details of the Coach journey, but it was nice . And quick. Arriving at All Star Music we were quickly ushered across to the Concierge desk as the check in desk was busy and we were checked in there. We were a little disappointed to be told that we werent in Broadway as we had requested Rock, and even more so when we were told we were on the ground floor, and we hadnt been given adjoining rooms either, but just rooms that were next to each other. After a 12 minute walk to our rooms (I timed it, and to be fair none of us really knew our way around) we entered and were at least a little relieved to see that the girl on reception didnt know what she was talking about, as we did in fact have adjoining rooms. The girls took one room, with Jo having a bed to herself, and Amy & Kathryn choosing to share there bed. Kip and I settled into our room, and immediately noticed something wrong. The room definitely smelt of smoke. I cranked up the aircon, hoping that this might air out the room a little. After freshening up Chris and Kayles who had finished their shift for the day at The Rose & Crown had joined us. So after some hugs an presents we set off for the bus stops trying to ignore the ominous looking clouds as we went. The plan was to go to Magic Kingdom to watch Spectromagic and enjoy a Caseys Corner before returning back to the resort for bed. A tribute to our first night on our first holiday here, and what we thought would be a good introduction to the magic for the newbies amongst us. However as we pulled out of All Stars, it started to spit, by the time we were passing Contemporary it was torrential with thunder and lightning. Lots of it! We stepped off the bus but couldnt really go any further. Mainly due to the rain, but also due to the crowds huddling under the bus shelters. After standing amongst the crowds and debating the plan, we realised, we werent going into the parks. We did have a problem though, the bus had helpfully deposited us at stop number 3 or some other low number. The All Star Music bus stop was number 13. So wed have to get wet as that was in a whole other cluster of bus stops that wed have to run to. So run we did Half way across myself and Kat were slipping all over the place so both chose to toss our flip flops off ahead of us, scooping them up as we ran on. Soaked to the core, we boarded the bus with the other soaked All Star Patrons, naturally, there were no seats so we stood dripping the whole way back and then piled into the Intermission food court for a spot of dinner It was no Caseys Corner, but we made do. As we ate, we were joined by and introduced to Matt, Chriss boyfriend he had met over here. He seemed nice enough and was very interested in everything we had to say, although he did struggle a little with our accents. Matt works for Disney in the Casting Building by Downtown, in the marketing Department, focusing on the marketing for their various international Recruitment and college programmes, which is how he met Chris. Matt is a massive WDW fan, so hes pretty much doing his dream job, and was really excited about using his Disney expertise, (he started as a monorail driver on the college programme back in 2005) to help and enhance our holiday. Anyway after eating and wondering back (through as sheltered a route as we could find) we were back in our rooms, ours still smelt of smoke and feeling quite tired. Chris, Kayleigh and Matt said their goodbyes, and set off to find Matts car. And we all settled down for our first nights sleep in WDW. -------------------------------------- Okay thats chapter one, hope its okay!! >Pete.