What's with the crane? They were taking down a lot of The 50th Anniversary Disneyland Decorations from Cinderella's Castle.


By Steven "Swarlock" Acevedo

Where to begin.

Well, It started a year or two ago after I made my second to last final trip back to New York. It was for all intents and purposes a real eye opener to me and made me see how far I'd come since moving to Florida ten years ago. Like Grace Adler said to Will Truman in the final episode of Will And Grace referring to the change in their lives, "I don't live here anymore." It's what I felt last year after visiting The Big Apple for one last time. Florida was my home now.

With that opening up my adventure I set a goal thirty years ago that one year I would stay at The Contemporary Hotel on the grounds of Disney World. We (Mom and I) would come to Florida on vacations to visit friends we knew and take in the Happiest Place In The World because it was simply The "In" place to go. Then we made the jump to Florida in Spring 1996 due to a situation that's best left in the ashes of time. We had stayed previously in 2004 at The Pop Century Resort which theme was modeled after the eras of The 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. It was nice enough and gave me a taste of what was to come two years later.

So after that first exhilarating adventure I set my sights of The Contemporary Hotel. I opened up a savings account and started putting moola aside for the trip. This took a lot of restraint on my part because I'm used to living large. Still after much perseverance and patience (The latter is something I don't do very well at sometimes) I cobbled enough to book a three night stay at The Contemporary Resort. And it was the one thing I wanted to do my birthday this year.

So on Saturday afternoon we arrived at 3pm Check In time and we stayed on the 11th floor with a great view of The Castle from The Garden side. The room was very spiffy and even had a little fridge inside of one of the closets.

After unpacking I then went to the Magic Kingdom by Monorail. There are two monorails. An Express one that goes from The Transportation And Ticket Center to The Magic Kingdom and a Local one that makes stops to The Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts in addition to Fort Wilderness Lodge if memory serves me correctly. Getting there was quite different this time and it pleased me to no end.

Going into the main gate into The Magic Kingdom I noticed they had changed the older two-finger Biometric reader to just one. According to a blog this new system is very fast and simple. It's a security system tool that measures different parts of your finger, but this particular system does not record your finger print. Disney uses this system so more then one person can not use the same ticket. All I had to do was put in my middle index finger and I was able to pass through effortlessly. Although sometimes the brown strip on my annual pass doesn't always read correctly when I put it in the orange slot. But a cast member is usually nice enough to let me in.

So for Saturday I spent most of the afternoon doing The Haunted Mansion, Mickey's Philharmagic and a few other attractions. And on my way out I purchased a CD of an album I haven't had in years and some comics from a shop inside Cinderella's Castle. You'll see a scanned pix of it a little later on and it comes highly recommended by me.

After coming back Mom and I go to The 4th Floor to eat at Chef Mickey's only to find out later that you had to make reservations before coming. So we ate at The Concourse Steakhouse instead. The meal was good but The Onion Soup was too salty. Still I enjoyed the meal.

Getting back to our room we saw the Wishes fireworks from the balcony. Your eye perception really does a number of you from high up since the light show seemed to look bigger and coming at us but it was fantastic.

After the show I decided to get on the net but didn't realize I needed an Ethernet cable to get online to their service. I had to switch to my power cord after the battery in my laptop started to give out.

Still that first night was incredible. And there'd be more surprises to come.

Coming up next: Seeing Wishes up close, a Dinner that wasn't and Magic Extra Hours!

Click For Part Two