Here's my report from our twenty-person WDW family reunion. I think I've had a sufficient amount of time to decompress over the past week and a half. So, on to the trip report.
Nov 8 - SLC
Here's a fun tip. Double check your ORBITZ reservation before you hit BUY. A few months back ol' Grandpa Anderson surprised everybody with a family reunion in Orlando. The only rule was that everybody would provide their own airfare. Food and accommodations would be taken care of. Now since both the grandparents and I live in SLC, and since we intended to fly out together, I let them buy my airline ticket for me, with the promise of reimbursement. Big mistake. Grandpa had his heart set on a red-eye. He had his gaze narrowed down to two flights: one which left SLC at 11:40 pm and another at 12:50 am. He naturally chooses the 11:40 flight, presuming that earlier is better. Problem is, he didn't realize that the 12:50 am flight left on Wednesday morning, while the 11:40 pm flight left on Monday night. By the time we realized our error (about a week before the trip) Delta told us that changing the dates would cost an extra $250 a person. Uh-oh, extra vacation day. Why am I complaining again?
So, on to the airport. Check-in was harmless and quick. The security wing at the SLC airport has one of those new-fangled body-scanners. I walked in, sucked in my gut, and five seconds later it was over. Thank God the whole TSA backlash happened after I boarded the plane, otherwise I would've been acting all kinds of nervous and suspicious.
We head to our gate. All the restaurants are closed, and to my surprise, our red-eye SLC to ATL flight is absolutely packed. Apparently Atlanta is a big international hub for people heading to South America and the Caribbean. We board the plane, wait a few minutes for the wings to get de-iced (SLC, yeah) and we're off. My goal: Sleep all night. Reality: Didn't sleep a wink. Bad sign.
ATLANTA: We land five minutes early. We have 35 minutes to get to our connecting flight. Problem is, we are in the absolute farthest-back row of a full plane. We finally get out of the plane; 17 minutes until our connecting flight leaves. I run from the last gate of terminal A to the last gate of Terminal T, arriving sweaty, tired, huffing and puffing, but thankfully 5 minutes early. Elated I run to the guy at the gate, with a big smile on my face. He cheerfully responds "The plane's gone!" Ugghhhh..... Ten minutes later the parents arrive, equally exhausted and sweaty. We approach the Delta help desk, and get some good news - Orbitz rebooked us on the next flight to Orlando, which leaves an hour later. The next hour is a blur. I don't know if I slept or blacked out from the exhaustion. Either way, the lack of sleep is apparent. We board the plane, once again being placed in the last row in the back. I can't help but think of Rosa Parks at this point. Mental note: "Fly Southwest next time."
ORLANDO: We arrive. From the sky Orlando is FLAT. I'm used to mountains, and snow. We deplane, and make NO hurry. My lack of sleep on the plane is dampening my Tuesday morning enthusiasm. I'm reconsidering going to WDW today. I'd rather not develop narcolepsy on Big Thunder Mountain. We head to the rental car place, and head to the hotel. Check-in isn't for another couple hours. We lurch over to a Perkins and eat as slowly as possible. It's 11:30 am. We've checked in, I hit the sack, and I don't remember the remainder of Tuesday.
To be continued.