It is incredible how quickly a week’s vacation at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL can go by. We had been so excited to go on this trip since it was booked on December 24, 2016 and now it is over.
Our vacation started on April 18, 2017 with a 7PM flight on JetBlue from Providence (PVD) to Orlando (MCO). Upon arrival at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI (PVD), we parked in Long Term Parking (Garage C) and made the 10 minute walk from the garage to the terminal. I was disappointed that JetBlue did not have any SkyCaps in front of the terminal to check our bags, this meant that we had to go into the airport and wait in the ticket line, this was just a minor inconvenience.
Once we checked our bags in, we headed over to the dreaded TSA Security Checkpoint. For those of you that travel, you know how much of a hassle and aggravation this can be. Fortunately for us, it was around 6PM and there was very little wait at the checkpoint and the TSA employees were very professional and pleasant. We were through security in a matter of minutes.
The travel portion of our trip started out great. JetBlue needed to get another plane that was delayed into our gate, so we departed 10 minutes early (always a good thing). The gate departure, pull-back and take-off were smooth and flawless. The only problem that we had with this flight, which was in no way, shape or form, JetBlue’s fault, was that my youngest daughter came down with a migraine during the flight, which caused her to vomit into the little paper bag… Fortunately, after she got sick, she felt much better and was fine for the rest of the flight.
Our landing was nice and smooth and we arrived in Orlando about 25 minutes early. That is where the smooth travel ended for the day.
We bought our Disney tickets through Undercover Tourist where we also rented a car as a package deal. This is IN NO WAY Undercover Tourist’s fault at all. The car rental company was Budget Car Rental. Our flight was scheduled for 10PM, which they knew. When we went to their rental counter, there was at least 50 people in line and 1, yes, 1 Budget employee at the desk! They
had to know that all of these people were coming in at this time, you would have thought that they would have scheduled enough employees to handle this amount of people. It took us over an hour to just get to the counter…
It was after 11PM when I finally got my paper work and was heading out to the parking garage. We had rented a full-size car and the paperwork that Budget gave us said that our vehicle was in spot f-11.
When we got to the spot there was a full-size Dodge Journey in it, I
assumed that they upgraded us because they were out of full-size cars. We proceeded to load our luggage into the back when a very nice gentleman came up and said that his paperwork said that his car was in f-11 also. To make a long story short, the Budget Rep wrote down the wrong parking spot!!! We finally were able to find our rental after dealing with a Manager that had the personality of a thumbtack!!! We had been upgraded, because they had rented out all of the full-size cars, to a Kia Sportage. This SUV had quite a few dings and the front was covered in bugs! I made sure to take pictures and video of the damages and told the attendant while leaving, he just said that was normal wear and tear. Due to the lack of concern and care that I received from the Budget employees at the Orlando International Airport, I will NEVER rent from Budget again and I will be sure to tell anyone and everyone I know about my experience.
Once we left the airport, the ride to Disney’s Pop Century Resort was pleasant other than the tolls that we paid. If you are a first time visitor to Orlando, make sure to pay attention when approaching a Toll Plaza. If you do not have a SunPass or other transponder on your vehicle and are paying cash for your tolls, make sure to keep to the far right. Some of the Plazas it may even look like an off-ramp from the highway. If you do mistakingly go past the toll plaza, your car rental company may hit you with as much as a $40 service fee, plus the toll that you did not pay! Also, be careful when driving throughout the Orlando area because there are cashless toll booths. These booths do not have attendants and there is no place to deposit money. You either have to have a transponder on your vehicle or you will need to take an envelope and mail the toll (check) to the State of Florida.
Our check-in at Disney’s Pop Century could not have been any easier or more pleasant. We checked in ahead of time via the “My Disney Experience” app and our room was ready for us when we got there. The only thing that we had to do was stop at the security post when entering Pop Century and check in with the Security Guard. This gentleman was the nicest and most polite person that we had dealt with all day. He directed us to where our room was and told us if we have any problems to go to the front dest or if they couldn’t help, come and see him.
By the time that we found our room and unloaded all of the luggage it was well after 12:30am and we wanted to get started at around 7am the next day, so we really didn’t explore the resort (Not really much need to, we had stayed at Pop Century at least 4 other times.). It was now time for us to get some sleep, tomorrow was going consist of us driving up to Orlando and eating at Ponderosa on International Drive, then going to Walmart on Turkey Lake Rd, then in the Magic Kingdom by noon. Magic Kingdom was scheduled to be open until midnight and they had Extra Magic Hours from Midnight to 2am…
Check back soon for our next Blog Post of our 2017 Disney World Vacation…
Mark Plante and his family have been visitors to the Orlando area for 15+ years. They are using information, tricks and knowledge that they have accumulated during that time to create this blog.