Cast of Characters: Steve (thatÃ¢ÂÂs me) Ã¢ÂÂ 32 Aaron (my SO) Ã¢ÂÂ 25 Trip Date Ã¢ÂÂ 1/31/01 Ã¢ÂÂ 2/4/01 Day 1 Ã¢ÂÂ 1/31/01 Off to Disney World! One beautiful Sunday morning in December, I picked up the morning paper and quickly turned to the travel section. To my surprise I saw the Disney was running a $49 per night special at the All-Star resorts for only residents of North Carolina (only to find out later that they had this same deal for many states). As our annual passes expire in April, I decided that I would throw myself a special birthday this year (turning 33 on 2/2/01) and make a quick, 4-day trip to WDW! I immediately called to try to book a room sometime close to my birthday, only to be told that all the rooms that were allocated for $49 were already booked. My heart sank, but as we had just returned from a really special trip during Thanksgiving weekend, I was not too disappointed. A week later as I was on this wonderful Disney web site, I read that others were able to book rooms around the same time I wanted with no problem. I decided to test my luck and gave Mickey a call. No problem! Plenty of rooms available at All-Star Music! I immediately called Aaron to see if he would have a problem missing work for two days (not a problem) and I booked us our room. Now all I had to do was book airline tickets ( got great deal of $39 each way from Raleigh, NC to Orlando on Southwest), rental car ($135 for 4 days using my Emerald Aisle discount and free weekend day thanks to Entertainment book), and get time off from my work (not a problem). Finally 1/31 came and I left work around 4p.m. to catch my 5:30 p.m. flight. Met Aaron at Southwest ticket counter (no wait), got our boarding passes, and took a seat at the bar for a couple of beers before our flight. Our flight took us from Raleigh to Nashville, TN where we were to have an hour layover (or so I thought) then off to Orlando. My itinerary from Southwest stated that we would leave Raleigh at 5:30 p.m. , get to Nashville at 6:05, then board flight to Orlando at 7:30 p.m. getting into Orlando at 10:05 p.m. After we were in the air for an hour, I started to panic as it was now 7:05 and I kept thinking someone must have screwed up and we are going to miss our connecting flight. I kept getting more panicked until I realized that there must be a time change (should have realized it would take more than ÃÂ½ hour to get to Nashville from Raleigh). I finally calmed down and realized we had about an hour to catch dinner at the airport before our flight to Orlando. Flight to Orlando went smoothly until our descent when it got very bumpy (the two beers I had on this leg of our journey didnÃ¢ÂÂt help my nerves much). Landed on time (and in one piece) and went off to collect our luggage. Found our luggage and made our way to National to pick out a car from the Emerald Aisle. There were only four cars available when we got there and I did not like any of the cars. Then I saw a silver Toyota Celica that was really sporty looking. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs for us I said and ran over to it. As long as it had a cd player, we would take it (it did). This was now our 7th trip to Disney World in two years and our first staying on site. Made it to the resort in about ÃÂ½ hour, parked car in Ã¢ÂÂchecking inÃ¢ÂÂ lot, and we entered Melody Hall ready to check in. Lobby was pretty empty and only two CMÃ¢ÂÂs were working the front desk and were busy helping people. We were the only ones in line at this point and I thought Ã¢ÂÂwell, this shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt take longÃ¢ÂÂ. I was wrong. The people who were busy checking in took the longest time and then couldnÃ¢ÂÂt decide that type of passes they wanted to buy. After waiting 20 minutes (by now it was 11:30) I was starting to get upset. Then I remembered that I was here at Disney World and should just be happy IÃ¢ÂÂm here at all (best attitude to take right?). Finally, it was our turn to check in. I had faxed the resort my room request 5 days before ( king-size bed, Jazz Inn building 9, needed hair dryer and iron) and was actually surprised that I got exactly what I requested. CM didnÃ¢ÂÂt even bat an eye when two men requested 1 room with king-size bed (IÃ¢ÂÂm sure they have seen it all). Since I paid with my American Express card, I received Ã¢ÂÂwhite glove treatmentÃ¢ÂÂ which included two fanny packs (which we didnÃ¢ÂÂt use) and a book with all the discounts you get when using American Express at the parks (didnÃ¢ÂÂt use this either, but it was nice to have). Took only about 5 minutes for us to check in, then off we went to find our room. We got lost trying to find building (ended up at All-Star movies a few times), but finally found it. Made our way to our third floor room and opened the door! Room was very nice with huge bed, two end tables, dresser, small TV, and the hair dryer and iron I had requested. This is very nice I thought until I saw the bathroom. I knew that the only rooms that had king-size beds where the handicap rooms, but didnÃ¢ÂÂt realize the bathroom was funky! Basically, the bathroom was the shower (drain in middle of the floor) and had a pull down seat in the shower. Whenever you took a shower the toilet and everything else in the bathroom gets soaked. Oh well, itÃ¢ÂÂs worth it to have a big bed! As it was now midnight and we were both exhausted, we contemplated if we still wanted to go to early entry at the Magic Kingdom tomorrow. Getting up at 6 a.m. is usually not a problem for me, but as we planned to go to Pleasure Island that night (Thursday nights at PI are CM/unoffical Ã¢ÂÂgayÃ¢ÂÂ night) we thought we would let fate decide. We wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt set the alarm and if we were awake, we would do early entry. If not, we would go to MGM instead. A quick kiss goodnight and I was fast asleep. Next: EE or no EE Ã¢ÂÂ that is the question!