1. Alamo Car Rental counter bypass Online Check-In is AWESOME. I just smiled as we we walked right past the long line of people at the Alamo counter, straight out to the cars in the lot. Then, we picked from the array of available full-size cars and drove away, “checking out” the car as we exited the lot. Smooth. Painless. Possibly the best car rental pickup experience I’ve ever had.
2. We stayed at Pop Century for the first couple of nights prior to the Convention. I had called a few days ahead to let them know that my daughter would be in a wheelchair, and while we didn’t need a handicap-accessible room, we would appreciate a first-floor room. Kudos to the room assigner at POP, because the room we got might just be the single best room in the entire resort. We were in room 137, which is on the corner of Building #10 (Big Wheel building in the 70s section) closest to the parking lot. It was also very convenient to Everything Pop! It really made accessing everything with a child in a wheelchair surprisingly easy.
3. Speaking of the wheelchair, following up on my earlier post about arranging a rental, Apple Scooter was solid if unspectacular. (Oh, and Buena Vista Scooter never did call me back). The wheelchair that we reserved was waiting for us at Pop Century when we arrived, though it took a ridiculously long time for the three apparently completely unoccupied Cast Members at bell services to find it. Once they did find it, the wheelchair, while the proper size and in working order, was missing an armrest on one side. It wasn’t a big enough problem for it to be worth calling about a replacement, but it was annoying. This also marks the end of my praises for the service at Pop Century for this trip (at least on the resort side). While waiting for the wheelchair, Jonathan was playing around with his beloved stuffed pygmy puff “Liversnaps” (long story. You don’t really want to know). When we got back from dinner and were getting ready for bed, Jon noticed that Liversnaps was missing. We called the front desk immediately to let them know that a pink stuffed fluff-ball was probably out in front of the resort, where we had been waiting for the wheelchair. We were informed that both Bell Services and Lost & Found were closed for the night, and that we could check back again in the morning. We never did get Liversnaps back. Sadly, this will become a recurring theme.
4. One parking tip about a room at the corner of Building #10. Don’t do what I did. I dutifully followed the signs and parked in the parking lot designated for the 70′s section when I went to unload our luggage and bring it to the room. That parking lot puts you on the complete opposite side of Building #10 from the room. By the time I got the three suitcases and a box full of Convention schwag to the room, the handles on both sides of the box were broken and I was sweating so badly that I had to change shirts before dinner. AFTER figuring out exactly where the room was, I was able to see that parking in the lot designated for the 90′s buildings was MUCH, MUCH closer.
5. Once I’d gotten the luggage to the room and changed clothes, we headed to dinner at Downtown Disney. We had multiple purposes here – I could pick up our tickets at Guest Relations and exchange our PhotoPass+ voucher for our PhotoPass+ card and lanyard. AND we could have dinner at what has quickly become an arrival evening tradition – Wolfgang Puck Express. I had the bacon-wrapped meatloaf pictured above. All of our food was excellent. The restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of choices so that everyone can find something they like. It’s a particularly good deal when you’re on the dining plan, since it only costs a Quick Service Credit, but even paying cash I consider it a great value.