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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who Will See the Dream First?

I was the first one to eye-spy the Disney Dream, but I’ll get back to that a just a moment.  First, more about our bus ride to the port.

Once we were on board the bus and ready to ride to Port Canaveral, everyone sat back and relaxed.  We watched the Florida vistas breeze by through our round “port hole” windows” and soon a Disney Cruise Line video was playing on the screens just overhead.  The videos included information about the port, ship, port adventures, dining, entertainment, etc. but it also had character quizzes, trivia, and other interactive elements.

Okay, yes, I could see the ship out of the left side of the bus just as we came over the last hill of our journey (see first photo).  One more exit on the highway and we were at the Port Terminal.  There is lots of traffic at the port terminal on port days.  As our porter said when we disembarked, “4,000 people on and 4,000 people off.”  Yep, and on the same day in a few short hours.

We waited on the bus until a Disney Cruise Line representative boarded and make a few announcements.  This also gave the driver and port staff time to unload any luggage on the bus so that it was waiting for us when we got off the bus.  We had one rolling bag to gather.

Getting through port security was easier than the airport.  Our bags were scanned, metal objects taken off and put in bins, and shoes left on!  Up the escalator and now all we had to do was wait for boarding group 2 to be called!

 Well, actually, we did more than that.  We went to the far end of the Port Terminal and out on the viewing deck to take pictures with the Disney Dream in the background.  We have a picture like this with the Wonder and the Magic, so it was only fitting to also have a photo with the Dream in the background.  It was also interesting to watch things being loaded and unloaded from the ship.  A very busy place!

The boy and I got in line for the children’s club registration desk.  He was already registered on-line, but needed to get his wrist band.  This took just a few moments.  I suggested that they also measure kids for the Aqua Duck at this location and indicate on their wrist band if the child is tall enough or not.  They said that might be a good idea.

Since we arrived about the Port at about 10:30, we had a few moments, as boarding would not begin until 11:45 am.  We knew characters would be out and about, so we had our autograph book and camera handy.  In fact, we were the second in line to for Captain Mickey.  It can pay to queue up before the characters come.  As soon as we met Captain Mickey, the husband went and got in line again—the line had grown quite long—as we knew there would be a second character by the time he was towards the front of the line again.
 We were right.  Minnie arrived to meet guests just a few families ahead of him.  It was actually while he was in line that the boy and I did the children’s program registration, as by then, the line at the registration desk was quite short as the kids were in line for the characters!

This is also a great time to use the restroom, etc.  There are TV screens around the Port Terminal showing Disney movies and cartoons, of course.  Disney music is playing throughout the terminal as well.  If you handled all your paperwork at the airport, you can also grab a Personal Navigator from the Registration area.  No need to get in line, as a Cast Member will have some at the entrance to the queue area.  Just ask if you cannot find one.  You can also get a map of the ship, which can be handy.

One thing you won’t find at the Port Terminal is food or beverages.  I think there is a water fountain near the restrooms.  So, if you are anticipating a long wait, bring your own snacks, etc.  We had some in our bag just in case.

The ship boarding began when we said good-bye to Minnie.  You will hear a series of chimes before the announcement is made.  Get used to those chimes, as you will hear them on-board the ship before any ship-wide announcements are made.  

We were only a few moments away from boarding the Dream through the lovely doors shown above!

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