boardwalk garden room 1201

Trip Report November 2016 – Day 1

Our November 2016 trip was somewhat an accident.  It started out as a long weekend trip after Thanksgiving so we could see some of the new experiences that opened since our January 2016 trip.  The trip slowly grew, then a month and half out had to be moved completely.  Suddenly it was a week-long trip in the middle of November!

I’ll start by talking about our flight, since traveling with toddlers is sometimes a fiasco.  This was not our toddler’s first flight, but it was his first with a seat.  I swore off lap children after our last trip, so it suited me just fine that’s he’s old enough to require a ticket now.  We have a dedicated travel car seat (Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat) which we strapped to the stroller (Summer Infant 3Dlite Convenience Stroller) using a bungee cord.  Our toddler walked or was carried through the airport.  At security the stroller was broken down and went through x-ray while the car seat is manually inspected since it’s too big to fit through the machine.

stroller with car seat in airport

Strollers are for more than just kids

Only one of us bought Early Bird for our Southwest flight.  That person boarded first with the car seat and stroller.  We gate checked the stroller.  The toddler and second adult used family boarding between A and B groups.  Family boarding on Orlando bound flights are popular, but the first person to board secured a row and installed the car seat.  Although we still rear face in the car, we forward faced the seat on the plane for ease and space.

During the flight we had a familiar cup for him to drink from, his favorite snacks to graze, some new and exciting stuffed animals, and the wondrous tablet.   We try to limit YouTube watching at home, but a flight is a good excuse to watch his favorite videos (previously downloaded for offline viewing.)  We bought LilGagets Connect+ Premium Volume Limited Wired Headphones, which worked great.

toddler on tablet on airplane

Wearing Earplanes under his headphones

Our past flights have been screaming baby descents, so we invested in some Earplanes for this trip.  I don’t know if it was only because of the Earplanes but he was perfectly happy through descent and landing.  We put them in 1 hour before landing, per the instructions.  I’ll use these until he goes to college.

We used the yellow Magical Express luggage tags and skipped baggage claim.  Wheels down to Magical Express drop-off at the Boardwalk was just over 1.5 hours.

boardwalk garden room 1201

Boardwalk Garden Room 1

We stayed in a Club Level Garden Room at the Boardwalk this trip.  You can read my complete review of the room here, but to sum it up, I’d love to stay here again in the future.

upstairs of garden room

Upstairs of Boardwalk Garden Club Room

We extensively debated what to eat on our arrival night.  Although we are staying Club Level we know the hors d’oeuvres are not enough to substitute dinner for us.  We knew we wouldn’t have time or patience for a long transfer to a restaurant or a long meal.  We also had no park access the first night, so we narrowed available reservations down to one restaurant that fit our needs – Cape May Cafe.

cape may cafe

Cape May Cafe

I do not eat seafood and my other half only eats a few types of seafood.  Was Cape May Cafe a good choice?  It was a good choice in that it fit the requirements above without being a grab and go sandwich.  We both enjoyed all of the items we had off the buffet, going back for seconds for several items in fact.  However we did not eat enough to justify the price of the meal.

cape may cafe

Cape May Cafe

If you would enjoy a seafood buffet, Cape May Cafe is a good choice.  If you don’t eat seafood but are eating with a group who does, there are enough items on the buffet to satisfy you.  It’s a better value on the dining plan than if you are paying cash.

cape may cafe dessert

The dessert buffet was good (Smores Parfait missing from this photo)

After our meal we picked up our Will Call tickets from the Guest Services window at the International Gateway.  Then we stopped by the Club desk to pick up our welcome packet and grabbed dessert from the Club Lounge.  By the time we returned to our room our luggage had been delivered, so it was time to unpack and get ready for our first day in the parks!

special order cake

Surprise cake our friends ordered from private dining!

Continue to Day 2, Day 3,