Experiencing a whole new world

Experiencing a whole new world

The wait is over.

After over a month of planning, packing and shopping, the day is here.

We’re going to see the mouse. I mean, we’re going to Disney World.

Saturday, Feb. 20

6:15 p.m. –  We’ve gathered in P34 with all of our belongings, waiting to board the bus. One of our own has forgotten a phone charger.

6:30 p.m. – Lines are moving, we are boarding. Phone charger has arrived. Crisis averted.

7:00 p.m. – The bus leader has spoken, and we are voting on movies. Overwhelming approval for WALL-E over Shrek. We are disappointed. Nevertheless our trek begins.

8:05 p.m. – We’ve stopped at a Luna Kitchen to switch drivers. Not sure where we are. We have our first restroom user. Most are wondering why they didn’t exit the cabin to complete their activities. Oh well. Many hours remain.

8:55 p.m. – We’ve reached Ohio-it can only get more exciting from here. On the bright side, Shrek just started. Things are looking up.


Sunday, Feb. 21

12:20 a.m. – The bus leader has announced that the next stop will be before breakfast, and breakfast is at 8:00 a.m. Everyone is talking about Waffle House and getting their hopes up. We’re probably getting McDonalds.

4:45 a.m. – Stop number two. Ten mile. (Wherever that is). Everyone is sleepy and slightly confused. Everything smells like skunk.

5:10 a.m. – Our troop is starting to think about tomorrow’s breakfast feast and cannot escape the thoughts of McDonalds hash browns and sausage patties. I WILL get six and no one will stop me. 2 hours 50 minutes remain before our stop.

5:30 a.m. – False alarm. We have another stop. We’ve started to disturb the employees of the Pilot gas station. I am so very sorry.  

6:00 a.m. – Egg McMuffins and frappes have been obtained. We are back on our way. One last bus driver switch and then it’s a straight away. We’re ready for the mouse.

6:20 a.m. – Signs with Tim Tebow and John 3:16 lace the highway. We’re definitely in the south.

11:00 a.m. – The signs in Georgia are becoming increasingly entertaining. “The Big Pig Jig,” “We’re Nutz Nut Farm,” and hotels everywhere. We should be stopping for food soon. Everyone is tired and angry, but our sights are still set on the happiest place on Earth.

1:35 p.m. – Signs for the Florida Welcome Center are everywhere, we have made it. We are in Florida. Only hours separate us from the mouse.

1:55 p.m. – The good news is that we’ve made it to the promised land. The bad news is that the minions have come for our bus. Despicable Me is playing in full sound on six screens throughout the bus. Rest in pieces.

2:45 p.m. – First real Florida stop complete. Hugged some palm trees, took some selfies.

2:50 p.m. – The minions are still in control of our coach. We are losing our last bits of sanity. Must. Focus. On. Mouse.  

3:35 p.m. – Despicable Me is finally over. Hope is restored. Our troop is making plans for later in the day, I think we’re most excited about brushing our teeth. More to come. 1 hour 15 minutes remain.  

4:53 p.m. – We are approaching Disney grounds. It is so close. The excitement is ridiculous.  

5:15 p.m. – We have officially arrived on the hotel grounds. The anticipation to get off the bus is killing everyone, but at least we we’ve reached our destination.

6:00 p.m. – Our troop has set up camp in the All-Star Music Resort and is checking out the pool and other hotel amenities. Downtown Disney at 8:00.

10:00 p.m. – We have stopped in a rainforest for rations. Gorillas are active and present, the rain doesn’t seem to phase them. Safari fries are bae.

1:00 a.m. – We have arrived back in the room. All is well. Only 6 hours remain before our day begins.

Monday, Feb 22

6:30 a.m. – The alarm has sounded. Full park day one begins.

7:12 a.m. – Our troop is in the lobby waiting for the Oakland buses to arrive. We are missing one of our own, they still have time but it will be close. The excitement is building. The mouse is today.

7:40 a.m. – We boarding the bus to Animal Kingdom. I’m ready for some giraffes.

8:15 a.m. – The Kilimanjaro Safari begins. THERE ARE SO MANY GIRAFFES AND WE HEARD A LION ROAR. A REAL LION.

9:10 a.m. – Expedition Everest round two is a go. We didn’t get enough of the Yeti the first time. We have discovered a large footprint in line. “Bigfoot” they call it.

10:22 a.m. – Two of our own have been captured by the Swahili dancers. The show is fabulous. Not sure how much dignity will be left. Nevertheless, worth it.

12:15 p.m. – We have exited Animal Kingdom and are headed to Magic Kingdom for the mouse.  We are tracking his whereabouts as we speak. The anticipation is killer.

12:50 p.m. – WE HAVE ARRIVED AT MAGIC KINGDOM. One of our own has succumbed to tears after seeing the castle. This is surreal. The mouse and friends are doing a show on the castle steps. More to come.

1:15 p.m. – Our troop has entered Tomorrowland and is making our way into Stitch’s Great Escape.

1:45 p.m. – Update: Stitch’s breath smells like burritos. We’re moving to Space Mountain.

3:15 p.m. – The troop is now entering the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. There are signs asking us to text in our jokes for Mike Wazowski to use. It’s tempting, but I don’t want to embarrass the others. This is our last stop in Tomorrowland. Next, Fantasyland. More to come.

5:15 p.m. – Fantasyland is so busy. We made it through its a small world. Haunted mansion is next. Even though this is supposed to be some spooky stuff, I can’t get that damn song out of my head. To be continued.

10:00 p.m. – The fireworks were so magical, each of us cried. We are now leaving the Magic Kingdom in pieces and we have decided to meet the mouse on Thursday.

10:15 p.m. – One of our own has fallen asleep on the bus floor. Definitely a sign of a successful day. We can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow. Hollywood Studios. We ride at 8.


Tuesday, Feb. 22

8:00 a.m. – Breakfast at the hotel is like the Subway line at the OC at noon. But worse. I have decided to eat my eggs with a spoon.

9:30 a.m. – We have arrived at Hollywood Studios and are in line for the Rockin’ Rollercoaster.


12:30 p.m. – Our troop has gathered in line for Star Tours. 50 minutes, more like 50 years. Nevertheless the picture downloading has begun.

2:30 p.m. – The unit is making moves toward Epcot via boat. Mission Space is near.

3:00 p.m. – We have decided to walk around the world to combat the motion sickness from our time in space, and we have encountered Belle in the process. This day keeps getting better and better.

8:00 p.m. – Our troop has split into two units for rations. Two in Japan, two in Mexico. The plan is to reconvene before the fireworks show.

9:00 p.m. – Everyone is back together safely. All is well. These fireworks are nuts.

10:30 p.m. – We have arrived safely back at All Star Music, and have decided to take advantage of the pool before close. All is well.


Wednesday, Feb. 23

8:00 a.m. – Our last day in the Disney Parks is beginning. Breakfast rations have been obtained and our trek begins.

8:50 a.m. – The bus was scheduled to arrive at 8:20 and we are still waiting. The rain is becoming a problem. Our troop has resorted to emergency ponchos and shoe switches. What a soggy mess.

9:12 a.m. – The prized motor coach has arrived. Praises. Next stop, Epcot.

10:00 a.m. – We have arrived and are making moves toward Land to seek shelter. This ride is bananas. Literally. They’re growing bananas on this ride and it’s super cool.

1:00 p.m. – There has been a break in the weather and our troop is sitting in the sun to dry before visiting the Ellen ride. Things are looking up. May return to the resort to swim again

4:00 p.m. – We have made stops in Morocco to visit Aladdin and Jasmine, and the troop is now headed for “home”. Magic Kingdom and sunshine awaits.

8:00 p.m. – Arriving back at Magic Kingdom for the last hurrah, so much Disney Magic.

Midnight – Following the Disney’s Kiss Goodnight, we have moved back toward the buses. Thanks for everything, Disney. Until next time.

Thursday, Feb. 24

8:00 a.m. – We have gathered aboard the bus to Universal Studios with dreams of Butterbeer and Diagon Alley and Hogsmead in our heads. It’s only a matter of time.

10:30 a.m. – The troop has boarded the Hogwarts Express toward Diagon Alley. This is the most magical and surreal experience.

12:40 p.m. – We have obtained rations from the Leaky Cauldron. Extremely satisfied.

4:00 p.m. – Universal is fabulous. So many thrilling coasters, so little time. We broke Spider-Man, but that’s okay.

7:30 p.m. – We have returned to our bus and are making moves back. The reality of the end has set in, the troops are weak. Tomorrow we begin the trek back.