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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We Lost The Boy At Orlando International Airport

We lost the boy at Orlando International Airport.  Obviously, we found him and the story has a happy ending, but here’s what happened. . .

We have used Orlando International Airport 24 times since November of 2006—trust me, I counted!  And, we have explored the airport extensively spending hours in shops, walking on the moving walkways, riding escalators and elevators, etc. 

During our trip in March, our plane landed, we got off, and went to use the bathroom.  I should have known right then that something was amiss, as the women’s bathroom was closed for cleaning.  The husband and boy went ahead and used the men’s while I waited.  When the reappeared, we ventured further down the concourse to the next women’s bathroom, as it was now my turn.  When I exited, we walked to the main concourse area for the gates—where the shops and restaurants are before riding the tram.

No Burger King, but there was a McDonalds.  The husband got in line to purchase lunch while the boy and I waited.  We typically do this after a flight and then eat/carry the meal with us on the tram to the main terminal area.  This trip was no exception, except one of our drinks spilled before we even started walking—another omen?

The tram ride to the main terminal was smooth and we walked, en mass, with the other passengers past the security area into the main terminal.  Now, guests who exit on “A” side terminals still need to get to the “B” side to use Disney’s Magical Express.  We know this, but for guests traveling for the first time or for the first time in a while, can get confused when they hit the main terminal and are trying to figure out the signs and which way to go.  I’m okay with this, just don’t stop in the middle of the path when you’ve got several hundred people behind you!

We crossed over to the “B” side of the main terminal, still all together.  It’s when we hit the escalators that things got tricky, as you have to adjust from side by side walking to single file.  We went down the first set of escalators.  I was in the lead and kept walking—no stopping at the bottom of escalators!  I was under the impression—I know, foolish thinking—that the husband and the boy were behind me.  I proceeded to the next set of down escalator to get to level 1 and rode down.  Then I turned around to find the husband, but no boy.

We moved our carry-on luggage to the side, so that it wasn’t blocking anyone’s path.  But I could still see up the escalator area to the level above, just in case he walked by looking.  The husband took off to go up a set of escalators and look for the boy.

Soon, the boy appeared at the top of the escalator and proceeded to come down, as he could see me.  He said he was following the green shirts, and since it was St. Patrick’s Day, there were lots of green shirts.  No harm.  He was found!

But now, I had a lost husband.  I grabbed my phone, turned it on, and called.  No answer.  The husband hadn’t turned on his phone yet after leaving the plane.  Tried again, no luck.

In the meantime, I’m still standing in the same place, keeping track of a stack of bags, a boy, and looking up the escalator for a tall man in a green shirt.

Soon he appeared, with a very nervous look, as he hadn’t retrieved the boy.  He was relieved to see him standing with me at the bottom of the escalator. 

It all ended well, as our family was back together and we walked to the area for Disney’s Magical Express and found our way into the line for Coronado Springs.  It was queue number 1, by the way.  Cartoons or a movie was playing on the monitor, so the boy grabbed a patch of floor, ate his lunch, and waited for us to board the bus.

While it wasn’t the smoothest start to a Disney vacation, I told the husband that the rough part was over and the rest of the vacation would be cake.  I was right.  The rest of our Disney vacation was fantastic!

What I learned from the experience—keep the boy between us when going down the escalators in single file, or use an elevator to get from level 3 to level 1.  If I send the husband off to look for anything, have him turn on his phone first.  I was glad that I had already put a label in the back of the boy’s shirt with his name and my cell phone number in case he got lost.  I make up a sheet of computer labels with that info before a trip and then each day a label goes under the tag on the inside back of his shirt so he can show it anyone if need be.  He didn’t need to use it this trip, but we were sure glad it was there!

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