The tickets specifically mentioned that we must wait in front of the hotel 15 to 20 minutes before departure time. We really didn’t want to risk missing the bus, thus by 5:30 am we were already by the roadside. The guy at the reception (an elderly man) was worried seeing us two girls sitting outside, so he came out and joined us. Very kind of him!
|We sat there on the stairs in front of the entrance door while waiting for our ride.|
The bus eventually came at 6 am. Our next stop: Orlando! It was a 5-hour ride from Miami to Orlando along the highway. The bus was equipped with WiFi but the signal was intermittent, which was expected as we were on the move. I spent most of the time sleeping anyway.
|Arrived at Orlando around 11am. The bus dropped us here at the factory outlets at International Drive.|
I was a little confused as we bought tickets direct to Walt Disney World. Why were we asked to get off here instead? Then the driver told us that we had to transfer to smaller vans that would take us to our specific destinations. Ok, now I understand.
We shared a van with several other people. Some of them were going to Universal Studios. Some were going to Disney theme parks. Only me and Fiza were going to a Disney resort hotel. So the driver sent the others first, leaving the two of us last. Along the way he picked up a friend. We didn’t mind as we had nothing to rush, furthermore it gave us the chance to get a quick look around the city. And the driver was a really funny guy. We had some interesting chats with him.
About where we came from…
Driver: So where’re you girls from?
Me & Fiza: We are from Malaysia!
Driver: Malaysia? Really? That’s far!
Me: Yup, took us 20 hours flight to get here.
Driver: 20 hours?! *Shouting to his friend sitting at the back* Lo has oído? (Did you hear that?)
Driver’s friend: Sí, veinte horas! (Yes, twenty hours!)
Driver: I ain’t gonna marry any of you girls…
Me & Fiza: Hahaha! But why???
Driver: Coz I ain’t not gonna sit in the plane for 20 hours to Malaysia to marry you!
Me & Fiza: Hahaha! *Laughing hysterically*
Driver: And I’m so scared of flying.. I ain’t got no passport!
About my scarf (always a conversation topic when I travel to the west)…
Driver: Are you doing it because it’s windy? Or for the religion? *Pointing to my scarf*
Me: For the religion.
Driver’s friend: What’s your religion?
Me: I’m a Muslim.
Driver: Why do you have to wear it?
Me: Modesty. Muslim women are supposed to cover our hair.
Driver: If you don’t wear it here, are you going to get punished when you get home?
Me: Hahaha *laughing hard* no, nobody’s gonna punish us. It’s a personal choice.
Then we went on talking about many things. Our trip. Their work. Living in the states. Had so much fun chatting and laughing with the two guys. Before we knew it, we arrived at our destination…
|…Walt Disney World , where dreams come true!|
The van dropped us off at our hotel: Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. We chose to stay there for two major reasons. Number one: Disney provided free shuttle to/from the theme parks till late at night. Since we planned to stay at Magic Kingdom at till nighttime for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tomorrow, it was important that we got a safe ride back to our room.
Number two: It was the most affordable of all WDW resorts. Actually there were 3 types of Disney’s All-Star: Movies, Music and Sports. All were of similar standard and equally priced. I purposely chose Movies because it was the most I could relate to. So we checked in and were given that cute little things we had been looking forward to since planning this trip…
|…our Magic Bands!|
Personalized with our names, the bands were our all in one access across WDW – room key, theme park tickets, Fast Pass, cash card etc. All we had to do was to flash the band. Super cool!
|And here’s our spacious room. We got a queen bed each!|
|Then we headed to the World Premiere Food Court near the lobby to have lunch. All these for merely USD 6.41 including tax. Super cheap (for Disney’s standard) and yummy too!|
We didn’t have anything planned for the day so we decided to take a cab to a nearby factory outlet. Might as well do some shopping since I had a long list of things to buy and bring home. I found that Orlando was really a great place for shopping. Two huge factory outlets within 20km radius and many small ones in between, could I ask for more?
|Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Avenue.|
We spent the rest of the day feasting out eyes on countless worldly goods, yet refraining for buying too much as we still had several cities to visit for the remaining of our trip. Took another cab back to the resort. This time our driver was a lady from Puerto Rico. I had fun brushing up my Spanish with her.
Time to go to bed. Gotta rise early tomorrow for a long date with Mickey!