Flying from ALB to MCO and back – derryX Disney Edition
I wouldn’t consider myself a traveler. I fly when I have to, so I’m not a seasoned pro. Like everything else in life, I’m always super observant, though, so I tend to stockpile stories based on insignificant details. There are many such stories about the trip to and from Disney.
We woke up super early to get through TSA for our 7:45am flight. And actually, getting through TSA in Albany wasn’t too bad. I didn’t know what to do with my wad of money (a $20 wrapped around 20 $1s), and one of the ladies mitigating the line got a little frustrated with me, but I made it through. After I made it through, I decided to get breakfast. Albany International Airport doesn’t have many good places, and I had a pocket full of McDonalds gift cards which I think we got as a wedding gift. So I bought a damn sausage and egg biscuit, hash browns, and a soda.
It reminded me a lot of being younger and eating a lot of fast food. I was actually pretty full after having that, which is surprising since it used to take at least two McD’s breakfast sandwiches. This was the first “egg” sandwich I’ve had that I didn’t make for myself in a while. It was what it was. Gift cards, baby; gift cards.
Our Southwest flight left on time, and we arrived into MCO (Orlando) on time. Part of the Disney package we purchased included transit to the Disney Complex by “Disney’s Magical Express.” It was actually a good deal, but we literally had to go from one end of the airport, take a monorail, and walk to the opposite end. It also was just a bus. I’m not complaining or anything; I’m just telling the freaking story.
The guy who drove the “Magical Express” was a real character.
His voice reminded me a lot of Chris Farley’s motivational speaker character from SNL. He was a really nice guy, and made an effort to talk with some of the people in the front of the bus. He seemed to have an obsession with sports because he kept flopping between baseball and basketball conversations. He had a towel and a hat on the dashboard. He would put the hat on for 5 minutes, then take it off and throw it on the dashboard. He’d frantically wipe his head with the towel from time to time, even though it was freezing on the bus and there was no visible evidence of perspiration on his brow. When we approached the Disney gates, he made sure to give us a big heads up and made a big deal about how we were going to miss it as he sped through it.
I swear, I thought it was Wally World.
He played this game where he wouldn’t tell us which hotel he was going to stop at first. It turns out we won the game, and he stopped at Coronado Springs, our hotel, first. I love #winning!
But anyway, that 40 minute bus ride was fun.
When we got to the hotel, we couldn’t check in because they were performing maintenance on the entire Disney computer system. That means we couldn’t get to our room, get our luggage, nor could we get our included dining voucher. It was frustrating, but, at least they had one of these at the counter where we were trying to check in…
We swindled the manager to give us a temporary park pass so we didn’t lose the day. I said swindled because they weren’t exactly forthcoming with information or accomodations. Then we had our honeymoon for a few days.
Coming back, the travel was a little more annoying than fun.
The Disney’s Magical Express bus picked us up at our hotel three hours before our 10:15am flight (yeah, we were up early to pack). The TSA line at MCO was very long. One thing I noticed when I was on the line was a number of young kids with inflated
helium balloons. I made the comment to Cassie that I was going to be very surprised if those balloons made it through security. That really made me question whether the TSA scanning system is really looking for the right things.
Once we got into the main part of the gate, I picked up breakfast. You guessed it! McDonalds. Gift cards, baby! This time, I had a steak sandwich on a bagel. It was what it was.
In the terminal, we noticed this really inappropriately dressed woman. It was hard not to. She was a fairly overweight woman wearing a bathing suit that really had too low of a chest line cut. Lets put it this way, this thing was low enough that you’d expect to see breasts, but you never did. We somehow knew this person would be accompanying us through our connection all the way to Albany. (Clarifying: I’m not judging her for being overweight – duh – I’m judging her for not being dressed like a decent person.)
Our flight to BWI (Baltimore) went off without a hitch. Well, there were inflated Mickey Mouse balloons scattered through the plane, but what are you gonna do. There’s a neat little food court in the Southwest terminal. They have Chipotle, Arby’s, McDonalds, and a handful of other places. You’ll never guess where I had lunch.
Gift cards, baby; gift cards!
After my Big Mac with fries meal (which left $0.71 in gift card balance that is somewhere in a landfill), we got a little Pinkberry (which I’d never had before), and waited for our connecting flight. That’s when the whole food truck thing was happening in Troy. It was entertaining but disappointing to read the tweets of frustrated attendees. If it’s any consolation to any of the people who were frustrated, at least they weren’t stuck in an airport!
They lined us up for boarding, but then told us there was going to be a delay. The plane was at the gate, but there was an unnamed maintenance issue. My money was on someone on the previous flight clogging the toilet. After about an hour with no update, they finally said it was a light bulb that needed to be replaced. o.O Part of me really hopes it was the light in the bathroom.
I noticed that my boarding position was a nice little nod to LOST.
We finally got on the plane and headed back home. It was an exhausting day of travel, but that’s the small price you pay for having a good vacation.