The wonderful world of Walt Disney - Day 1: Our journey to Orlando

I have never been to Disney before this trip. I'd never been to Florida or anywhere in the southeast region of the United States before this year. And I was never a crazy Disney fan - I had favourite movies going up like Mary Poppins, Pete's Dragon, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid, but I was in no way fanatical about any of it. Although doing Disney was on my bucket list and when mom suggested doing a trip there the year before I thought it would be a fun, different adventure to what we normally do.

Our plan was to hit Disney and Universal Studios. Mom had been to Universal Studios before in California many moons ago and brought back cool pics of movie memorabilia there. Like the KITT car from Knight Rider - which I was a little obsessed about when I was younger (...but that's a different blog post :) so I really was looking forward to going. And I was looking forward to the Harry Potter experience which I also am a big fan of. We purchased an Air Canada Vacations package which turned out to be an amazing deal! For a little over $600 dollars we each had flights from Toronto to Orlando return on Air Canada (my favourite airline), and a week in an Embassy Suites hotel. This hotel was perfect.

The rooms were huge with separate dining and living spaces with a full kitchenette. Outside our door was a large outdoor pool that featured movies by the pool every night - Disney movies of course (great for the kids), and for the adults there was a happy hour every afternoon with free unlimited alcoholic beverage of the day and munchies like popcorn, chips, salsa, etc. They also have a free shuttle that runs multiple times during the day to all the Disney parks. This was so handy!

My experience with Florida airports is that once you step off the plane, the decor is like stepping into an episode to Miami Vice. Maybe it's the graphic designer in me but I'm very aware of my decorated surroundings. It was a funny moment seeing all the geometric shapes and vibrant colours that lined the airport walls.

The airport had its share of Disney stores and memorabilia around as well. There was a Universal and Harry Potter store which I got quite excited about but quickly got out of because I didn't want to ruin our Harry Potter experience. Once mom found the wands I was like "uh, we have to go" and ran out of the store.

The cab ride to our hotel from the airport was about $50 dollars but it put us right near Disney. Once we checked in mom and I walked down the street to get something to eat at Katie O'Sheas. A beaten pub with interesting triangle-shaped fish. It was pretty good though and the girl was nice. Everyone in Orlando is really friendly, which is always great and makes for a nicer vacation. It was sooo sooo hot though on this day. I think it was 32 degrees Celsius. It wiped us out pretty quick. Our weather forecast for the week ahead was supposed to be rain so we were praying pretty heavy for good weather.

We went back to the hotel and checked out the weather network where we saw tornadoes everywhere all across the states. Erie PA had warnings. Nashville, Mississippi. California, who also had snow!!!! It was nuts. Our weather forecast was starting to look better though with sun the next day and more sun on the way. Only sun thoughts. We weren't going to dwell on the other stuff. Only sun, only sun, only sun. Tomorrow we'd be getting up bright and early for Disney. A whole day planned at Magic Kingdom. I couldn't wait!

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