Linda and I left a very quiet BWI airport on Saturday morning. We couldn't believe how empty the parking lot was at the terminal. Our skycap told us that number of travelers for Labor Day Friday and Sat, compared to last year, was down over 50%! WOW.
Same was true for our Southwest Flight. Can't tell you the last time I was on a fairly empty Southwest flight to Orlando... our plane yesterday was about 1/3 full.
We arrived to a very rainy Orlando. Got all our bagage, did the grocery stop thing and arrived at the Beach Club about 1ish.
The Magic began right away for us. While Linda took care of the luggage, I went to check in. Here's where I was quite impressed with the Beach Club... As I entered the foyer area from the outside, just before the doors to the lobby itself, a Cast Member came over and greeted me..
Checking in? Why Yes. And your last name? Wills. Come with me. I'll be honest, I was a bit dumbfounded. This hadn't happened to me before. He escorted me to the line at the front desk and then said.. this is too long, let me see what else I can do. He disappeared and returned a few minutes later and had me move over the Lobby Concierge for check in. I don't think in all the years I have been coming to WDW, that has ever happened!
Cast Member Grace checked me in and she was outstanding. Oh, your room isn't ready, let me find one that is for you. And with that, she picked up the phone and got me a room! I was thrilled. She let me know my Owner's Lockers were in storage ready for me. Had we checked our luggage? She take care of that. And soon we were ready to head to the room.
On the way we had our first sighting of Deb and Steve cruisers in the lobby, Jill and Carolyn!! These two ladies are just amazing with their magical spirit. They always make me smile. I got to meet their children and Jill's mom Brenda. We chatted for a bit and then saw our luggage making it's way down the hall...so off we went.
Our Bell Services Cast Member was also great.... I think his name was Robert? Without us realizing it, he had stopped and got ice for us so that when he put the luggage in the room, he filled our ice bucket. Great touch!!!!!
WOW -- This is the Disney service I have missed. Throughout the day, there were cast members in the lobby making sure things were going smoothly. Asking if we needed any assistance, etc. Oh and the gentleman that escorted me to check in, saw me later in the day and called me by name. Ok, whoever set this up at the Beach Club -- KUDOS!!!!
We went to the Captain's Galley in the Yacht Club for lunch. My grilled chicken sandwich was good. Linda was disappointed with her Fish and Chips. The fish batter was overly spiced and overly peppered....and Linda loves pepper.
We had a reservation at Brown Derby, but once we saw the weather, decided for plan B (cancel Brown Derby and go to a resort restaurant). I was pretty amazed that on a Saturday night of a holiday weekend, we were able to get a table for 4 at Flying Fish at 6pm.
Errands followed and at 5:30 met up with Beci and Annette to head over to Flying Fish for dinner. We had a great dinner, awesome bottle of wine, John Anthony 2004 Napa Cab. It's a splurge bottle, but a great one I highly recommend.
A special hello to Cast Member Penny former seater at Flying Fish and before that Artist Point. I asked where she was and they told me she was now part of the Dream Squad! She's going to be awesome!!!!
From dinner we went to Martha's Vineyard for relaxation. We were joined by Matt Hochberg and Marissa and Mary and Mike Newell (WDWToday. Podcast).
I was disappointed in the lounge. It had been a while since I was there, but gone was the wonderful wine list and instead, the standard Disney cocktail bar menu. The place was packed with families as it now seems to be the overflow waiting area for the Cape May Clam Bake. Also, a private party, complete with DJ, was happening in Ariels.
While there we spotted Deb and Steve cruisers Michelle and Jimmy and spent some time catching up with them.
All in all a wonderful first day!
It's now Sunday morning. Not raining, but supposed to today. I've decided to change my plans once again and not go to Animal Kingdom this morning.
We just got breakfast from the Marketplace -- it's ok and decent for quick service. Very limited breakfast items (unless you want pastry). The premade cheese omelets had a slice of ham added to them and put on a croisant.
I wanted to get this online... and now it's time to get ready for today!~