While it was tempting to sleep in the day after the wedding, we were both anxious to get on the road and on our way to Walt Disney World.
First, though, we had to repack the cars (thankfully I’d packed up all the decorations they delivered to the cottage on Saturday rather than putting it off), drive home and unload said cars, grab the honeymoon luggage and drop T’s suit back at Men’s Warehouse. We we there right when they opened at 11 am and at 3 pm we were driving under the Disney entrance.
We made excellent time and absolutely no stops. I even managed to stay awake the entire ride, which is probably a first for me!
Since we’d already done online check-in and received our Magic Bands (Disney’s RFID answer to tickets, room keys, and Fastpass+ data) a month ahead of our trip, check-in was a breeze and we were soon being handed our celebration buttons and settling into our room. Now, I’d requested a first-floor corner room and we’d gotten a passholder discount about a month or so out from our trip on a Garden View room. This put us all the way in the back corner of the resort, which was great for getting to the parking lot and boat dock, not so great for getting to the buses. Had I realized how much that would matter to me by the end of the trip I might have asked for a different room, but once we were unpacked it didn’t seem worth the bother. What’s a few more steps, right?
It’s nice to be able to set the tone for the entire vacation on that first day and I think we accomplished that pretty well. We took the boat over to Downtown Disney where we picked up our Photopass+ lanyard, activated our annual passes, and did a bit of window shopping. Funny hats were tried on and the Lego store was a must-do for Mr. Road Trip.
Stopping at Downtown Disney also made it easy to get to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our dinner at Jiko–one of Disney’s Signature Dining locations. (To get from one resort to another you have to go to one of the parks or Downtown Disney–they don’t run directly between the resorts.) We were looking forward to a very nice dinner to kick off our honeymoon and Jiko definitely delivered–from the warm, rosewater-scented hand towels they bring you at the beginning of the meal to the delicious desserts. Because of my food intolerances, the chef came to the table to discuss what would or could be made to work for me and they really did an excellent job of accommodating us. This would be true forÂ almost every restaurant we ate at this week.
It was 11 pm, I think, by the time we got back to our room, quite satisfied with our first day inside the Disney “bubble.” The fantastic meal at Jiko was perfectly honeymoon-appropriate while the shopping at Downtown Disney was a good reminder that the best part of being a responsible grown-up is indulging your inner child once in a while.
Next up: Our park strategies, what did and didn’t work.