January 3, 2017 – Disney Springs

January 3, 2017 – Arrival at Disney!​

As soon as the bus dropped us off at Hospiltality House at Old Key West, we headed in to check-in. As Canadians, we can’t by-pass this step as Disney is unable to mail Magicbands outside the country. Check-in was extremely easy, we didn’t even need to wait in line (there was no line!). The cast member helping us was named Caleb I think? Carter maybe? It definitely started with a C, and he was very friendly! I feel bad for him, Luke and I hadn’t ate in hours by this point (and hadn’t ate much all day to be honest), and we were getting nervous we’d miss the ADR we had booked for tonight, so we were a little snappy with each other. I swear, we rarely, if ever, fight, but we were both more than a little hangry haha. We were both friendly to Caleb/Carter though – we’re not that type of people! He could clearly tell we were a little stressed out, so after giving us a map of the resort, our room number and our magicbands (purple for me, yellow for Luke), he helped us out by carrying some of our luggage to bell services. It was really appreciated! We actually stopped by the check-in area a few times over the next few days, hoping to see him working so we could apologize for how short we were being with each other, but he was never there :(

Once we arrived at bell services, we asked about our Garden Grocer order. One of the cast members got our names, and was back out with our order almost immediately. He then told us to follow him to one of the golf carts, loaded our groceries and luggage in and then drove us directly to our room! So awesome! I joked to Luke that we were on our first ride of the trip, he was taking some of the corners pretty quick in that golf cart and I thought I might fall out a few times haha. He helped us carry everything inside, and we tipped him and thanked him. We didn’t even have time to check out our room, we had to get moving! I grabbed my Dooney & Bourke Haunted Mansion purse I had treated myself to a few months back, and we headed out to the bus stop. We ended up being extremely lucky – we ended up with a room on the first floor in building 35, and the Turtle Pond bus stop was just across the road. It took us less than a minute to get there each day :) This was already a huge improvement over the All-Stars!

We didn’t wait long before a bus to Disney Springs pulled up – I think we waited maybe 5 minutes? We were both a little nervous as we sat on the bus – we were both really looking forward to our ADR, but we weren’t sure if we were going to make it on time! Luckily, Turtle Pond was one of the last stops on the Old Key West bus loop, so we were exiting the resort very quickly after a brief stop at Hospitality House. I knew OKW was close to the Springs, but I had no idea just how close! In less than 10 minutes, we were getting off the bus at the newly designed Disney Springs :) Of course, as soon as we stepped off the bus, we realized we had no idea where to go or how to get to our ADR…thank goodness for the MDE App!

We set off walking, and within a few minutes we saw this beautiful sign:

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As I walked up to the check-in booth, I checked on the time – we were still 5 minutes early for our reservation! Go us! All that worrying for nothing :)

The actual review of the food can be found here – but just know we LOVED it. :love:

After eating, we decided to check out the Springs. When you first get off the bus, it definitely has an outdoor mall feel to it, but it’s still very nice. There’s so many new stores and restaurants since we were there in January 2016 as well!

We ended up at Uniqlo for quite awhile. There were so many great clothes to look at, and everything was reasonably priced! I told Luke I would buy him a present, and to pick out any shirt he wanted. He couldn’t decide between two of them, so I just bought both of them for him. They were just under $15 each – not bad at all! I also bought myself two new shirts there, but I can’t find a picture of one of them online (and it’s currently somewhere in the abyss that is my closet…).

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I wish Uniqlo would ship to Canada, there were so many things I wanted from there! The only stores in Canada are in Toronto, which is quite far from where I live. Oh well, now I know to save extra money for Uniqlo shopping next January when we go back to Florida!

We stopped and purchased a FuelRod for our trip from the photo store – that was $30 well spent! I know when these were introduced last year, there was a lot of complaints about it, that you can buy phone chargers much cheaper than that. For us, we were immediately sold on the fact that you can exchange it for fresh ones as many times as you’d like from a simple vending machine type thing located inside the parks. If we didn’t drain it during the day, we would take it back and charge it in our room at night, but it was so convenient! The day we got engaged, I believe we swapped it out for fully charged FuelRods at least twice (so many people to call/text to let them know because we were so excited!). We only required one, and just shared it as needed. We brought it home with us, and used it for our Disneyland trip as well (they also have the vending machine swap stations around the parks).

I knew I wanted a few new Christmas ornaments – one with the year on it and and for each resort we would be staying at. I decided to get this done on our first night, since we were already in Disney Springs.

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Sorry those pictures are all different sizes, I just took them from Google searches. The actual ornaments I bought are wrapped in tissue paper and put away with all of my other Christmas decorations. The 2017 ornament is awesome, it lights up and has the tree and the TOT on the back of the ears (so all 4 parks are represented).

After paying for our ornaments, we decided to head back to Old Key West and call it a night.

Up next: runDisney Expo and the first park of the trip!

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