We decided in the spring that we would visit Disney World again and settled on an Anniversary trip in September.  This is the first post of many recapping our fabulous 4 day trip! Since it was a short trip, we decided we could live without discounts and booked our stay at Art of Animation in a Little Mermaid room. I couldn’t wait to stay there since Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie!


Our trip began on the morning of our 3rd wedding anniversary, September 18th.


We set our alarms for 4:15-4:30 a.m. so that we could leave by 5:30 a.m.  We needed to have time to park the car and get our luggage checked. We usually park our car at one of the many shuttle places surrounding the airport but decided since this was a short trip to try out the long term parking right at the airport. We were both so excited for the trip that we each woke up before our alarms went off!  Surprising since we went to bed late the night before. It’s always tough when we go to drop Amber off, I hate leaving her (LOL) but I know she is in more than capable hands with my parents.


Once we got to the airport and checked our luggage, I stopped to check the Departures board to see if our flight was on time (it was) and then we headed for security.  I had to get patted down after going through the body scanner!  I guess they thought I was hiding something in my cuffed jeans…no, I didn’t want to trip over them.  My backpack also had to be scanned twice.  What a troublemaker I am! After getting everything together, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and I browsed the bookstore while Mike got our breakfast. It’s tradition now – oddly though I didn’t see any must have books this year. I usually find quite a few and take pictures of them so I can get them on my Kindle or at the library. Our time seemed to pass pretty quickly while we were eating. Usually I have time to read some of my book, instead I mostly just played on my phone and freaked out about the flight.



We got to board first since we upgraded our seats to the “Even More” seats so we could sit together. The one downside to being in the first row was we couldn’t keep our carry on bags out since there was nowhere to store them. I had to take everything out that I needed to entertain myself with and stuff the pocket in front of me. I didn’t want to make Mike get up and down too many times during our short flight.  I thought he would sleep for most of it or watch one of the movies he rented on his phone, but he ended up helping me with some puzzles in my puzzle book. It was too loud in the front of the plane to be able to hear the movie he said.


We landed early at about 10:41 and I called Pat to let him know we arrived safely so he could tell Mom. She usually calls him to check in on us.  He didn’t answer the phone so I left a message and decided to call Mom at work to let her know we landed so she wouldn’t worry. The night before she made us give her all the flight details so she could listen for the flight numbers in case she heard something on TV, gee thanks Mom!! After briefly stopping at the Disney store for a picture with Mickey, we then made our way to the Magical Express area and I got to try out the Magic Band for the first time. All systems go – it turned green as it should have.  I let Mike scan his at the next checkpoint to make sure his worked.



My Magic Band ~ I chose grey so it would match all my outfits LOL. A sidenote: We found out a few weeks before our trip that we were eligible to test the bands. Mike really wanted to test them so I let him handle signing us up and picking our FastPass+ options. The site was fairly easy to use and we were able to get a bonus 4th FP for Magic Kingdom. We were able to select 3 for each day of our trip (the bad part is you are limited to one park for FP for each day). I’ve read if you park hop, you should select your FPs for the park you will visit later in the day.


We waited about 20 minutes for the Magical Express bus.  I am really glad I sent myself emails with timestamps. In reality, it seemed much longer!  Our bus was for Art of Animation and Pop Century guests. It took about a half hour to get to AOA.  I was SO excited to see this resort in person!


Here is a little glimpse of what we saw when we got off the bus~



We checked in rather quickly since we had done the online check in. I have to confess I was so distracted by the fabulous animation wall that I had a hard time paying attention to our cast member (who happened to be from CT too!).




We stopped in the Landscape of Flavors food court for a quick lunch before going to our room.  The food court had a lot of choices but we went for the pizza. They were pretty good!




On the way to Building 7 in the Little Mermaid section, I paused numerous times to take pictures of everything in the Lion King section. I’ll share more in a later recap. The resort was awesome so I’d like to dedicate a whole post to it.  We were located on the 4th floor with a view of Hourglass Lake. From there we could see Pop Century!



It started to pour right after we got to our rooms so I took pictures of our room and then we relaxed for a little bit.  I was getting super antsy about getting to Epcot so as soon as the rain lessened a bit. We put on our ponchos to head to Epcot…




To be continued!