Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Day

We arrived in Orlando at almost noon yesterday. The morning didn't go exactly as planned; we slept in some after arriving at the hotel in Lake City late the night before, so got out later than we had expected to. And speaking of the night before, we checked into the Hampton Inn at about 1:15am, only to find that there was no record of the reservation I had made three weeks earlier. So I pulled up my email to print the confirmation for the night manager on duty. Meanwhile she found a handwritten note stating the reservation had been canceled because our credit card had been denied. Plus an attempt to get an authorization from our credit card company had been unsuccessful. Why???!!! So I tried to get American Express on the phone but couldn't get through after being on hold for a while. So I decided to secure a room on another credit card (with three sleepy kids in the car waiting for a real bed it wasn't worth the wait). Thankfully the hotel wasn't completely booked up. After we had the kids tucked in for the night (close to 2am) I tried to call American Express again and immediately got customer service. The representative told me there was no problem with my card, and no record of anyone trying to contact them. Ugh! So in the morning I had the hotel run my AMEX again, and it went through with no problems.

And then we made a wrong turn on our way to Orlando, which delayed our arrival by an extra half hour or so. But we drove straight to Hollywood Studios, and managed to have a great time at the park; and with some good strategies only had to wait 40 minutes for one ride; the wait on the others was much less.

Inside the entrance

Waiting in line for the Toy Story Mania Ride

Cool Shades

Then Bilal and Hamza got Darth Vader's autograph. Granted, Bilal was a bit intimidated by Darth Vader until we assured him it was a guy dressed up, and it was all pretend.

Actually, several times during our day we had to stop and explain to Bilal that everything was pretend, and that nobody was getting hurt, the shooting was pretend, and the horns growing out of Darth Maul's head were not real either.

The costumes were very impressive, though.

And the park looked very impressive with Christmas lights up at night.


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