Today is all about Magic. First the Magic Kingdom, then into a Magical hotel, then to a Magical dinner.

7:40 AM – Hey, I could get used to sleeping this late.

Today we head to the Grand Floridian Hotel, Disney’s flagship property in Florida, for four nights of luxury. I have already checked in online, and the MagicBands that we wear around our wrists are our room keys, so we don’t have to spend one second at the front desk checking in; when our room is ready, I’ll get an Email telling me so, and telling us which room to go to, and we can head to our room whenever. We are going to hit up a few rides in the Magic Kingdom first.

After breakfast at the resort we pack up our stuff for the next few days and head to the hotel, where we will drop off our stuff and head up to the Monorail for the trip into the Magic Kingdom.

As I am loading up the car, I notice a part of the roof on the ground outside our townhouse. I look up to see this fine fellow peering back at me.


Yeah, I know that raccoons can be a pest, but they are adorable and this guy looked down at me with sad eyes, and was trying to get down. There is a hole in the roof that must have been how he (and his mate) got down into the crawl space, and with the panel coming off, they can’t get back to the hole to get out of there. I called maintenance and hopefully they will be able to fix up that hole and get the raccoons out and back into the bush where they belong.

It’s a quick trip on the Monorail, not much of a lineup to get into the park, and we are in where the magic begins. It is not very busy today, although some of the wait times posted for the rides would suggest that just about everyone in the park is waiting in line.

As usual, Pirates of the Caribbean is our first ride. We have three Fastpasses booked today, and since we are intending on going back to the hotel when our room is ready, we are expecting to do not much more than that.

After POTC, we have a bit of time so we walk through Fantasyland and hop into line at It’s A Small World. Now that damn song is going to be in my head for the rest of the month.

After that, we use up our Fastpasses for Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s ride, have a nice, casual lunch, and head down Main Street to do a little shopping while we wait for our room.

They have mobile ordering here now, so we actually ordered our lunch right after we rode Space Mountain, and then walked across the park to Columbia Harbour House to pick it up. We have eaten here before and this is about as good value as you’ll fine in Disney. Tracey has chicken nuggets with hushpuppies, macaroni and cheese and a drink, and I have a trio platter of nuggets, fish and shrimp, two sides and a drink, and our entire bill was $37. The food is good, and really good for the money. As anyone who has ever been to Disney knows, “good value” is not always easy to find.

2:00 PM – I get the message that our room is ready, so we hop back onto the Monorail and head back to the resort. We stop at the Bell desk to get our luggage and our Bellman walks us right to our room so we don’t get lost. We have a room in one of the special buildings, with Club Level service, so we would never have found this place without his help. The service here is second to none, as you would expect.

This is our first experience with ‘Club Level’, which basically just means there is a room on the first floor that we can go to get complimentary refreshments all day long. It ranges from coffee and tea to small plates to dessert to, in the evening, cocktails of some kind. We will definitely be putting our stamp on this room while we are here.

Trying to find a way to watch the 49ers game and the only way I am able to do it is to sign up for a one-week trial of Direct TV Sunday Ticket, lying about my address and using a never-used PayPal account to sign up. Fooled you, you bastards. I’ll cancel it tomorrow.

As I am writing this, the Niners are currently losing 16-0 to the horrible Cardinals. Maybe it would have been better if I didn’t find a way to watch this?

5:00 PM – Tracey begins “The Process (TM)” in preparation for our incredible dinner tonight.

6:30 PM – Time for me to get ready as well, and I am going to shut this post down and continue tomorrow. Tonight’s dinner will be at least four hours long, and we plan to be up early tomorrow to get to Hollywood Studios for rope drop (Star Wars Land!), so my next blog post will cover tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s festivities. Stay tuned, you won’t want to miss this one!

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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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