Heading to Disney for Labor Day

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It’s Labor Day Weekend which means summer is over, school has started, and it’s time for our annual family vacation weekend at Disney World.

Like last year, my office closed at 1pm so I drove home, met up with my wife, finished packing the car, and then picked up my daughter at school right when it let out so we could hit the road. Traffic going through Tampa and I-4 was relatively light since we were ahead of the rush, so we were in the Orlando area around 5:30pm.

This year we are staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort, nestled on the shores of the Sassagoula River.

After getting checked in and unpacked in our room in Building 7 (at the intersection of Rue D’Baga and Le Grand De’Tour *groan*), we drove over to the Boardwalk for dinner at Kouzzina with some family that happened to be in the area. My flank steak was just okay, but the loukoumades (little Greek doughnuts) we had for dessert were warm and delicious.

We weren’t quite ready to head back to the hotel after dinner, so we all walked over to Epcot from the Boardwalk, expecting to catch the fireworks show and take advantage of the Extra Magic hours. I managed to get my daughter to go on Mission: SPACE for the first time (the less intense “Green Team” version) and she loved it (even though we missed the fireworks while we were riding). She also wanted to go on Starship Earth so we did that as there was no line.

One of the new activities we decided to try this year was searching for hidden Mickeys. To assist us in our quest, I had purchased the iPhone version of Steven Barret’s Hidden Mickey Fieldguide. We gave it a trial run during our evening at Epcot and it was pretty cool. The app uses the iPhone’s GPS receiver to determine which hidden Mickeys you are closest to. Then you use the clues to try and spot it and mark it in the app for points when you do. If you’re stuck, you can reveal a more detailed hint and forgo the points. The app then keeps track of how many HMs you’ve found along with your total score. You can set up multiple profiles for multiple searchers too, if you want. We found a few while we were wandering around Epcot this evening and it was kinda fun. We’ll have to see how many we can find over the rest of the weekend.

It was getting late, and we wanted to get an early start in the morning, so we walked back to the Boardwalk, bid goodbye to our visiting family, got back to the car, and drove back to the French Quarter. By this time we needed a “midnight” snack so we grabbed some beignets and hot drinks from the food court before heading back to our room. There’s nothing like a fresh, warm beignet at bedtime. 😉

Tomorrow we hit the parks …

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