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LS11 Trip Day 1
Sharon Bellamy    

Friday 28th January – LS11 Trip Day 1 - 2 Days to Lotusphere

My day started off really early, very early, possibly too early - my usual 4am start as I had to train it halfway across Kent to meet up with my friend Sam (who's not a technical but is a fellow Disney fan) who was hitching a ride to Orlando with me. We arrived at the airport at approx 10 am (flight was at 13:00), checked in, dumped bags and headed for a McDonalds.

From the MaccyD’s we spent 2 hours planning an attack on the land of the mouse as I was only going to have Saturday to play – Sam had the whole week so we decided we’d hit the Magic Kingdom Saturday. I spotted fellow yellow geeks in the airport Alex Forbes from IBM and Mick Moignard from Unipart, I am sure there were more keeping a low profile.

The plane boarded on time and for some bizarre reason they hadn't sat me with Sam. As the plane was half empty - we played musical chairs until we could sit together. We were off at 13:00 on the dot and I got straight into the films as I knew I would be too excited to sleep.

I managed to get through "The Expendables" (twice - as I was only half arsedly watching it), "Sorcerer’s Apprentice" - which I really enjoyed and then got a couple of chapters of my Warhammer book read before I listened to a TWiL (well it would have been rude not to).
The airplane food was not bad and they continually were plying us with hot and cold beverages to the point where I spent a fair bit of the flight in the world’s smallest toilet (that may have been TMI but I am trying to be factual here).

The plane landed in Orlando a little earlier than expected and with that lucky omen I just knew that something weird was going to happen.

Once the stampede that was disembarking was over – we appeared at boarder control just as the national computer system fell over!!  Yay  .. The queue was HUGE. Manual processing and no backup plan – 30 mins spent, queue didn’t move.  Great way to start my Lotusphere trip!!  As if by magic the border control reopened - *Phew*

Once out the other side Sam and I hunted for the Lynx 111 – the $2 bus – yes!!  I kid you not – a bus from Orlando Airport to the Disney transport centre for just $2!!
Should take about 50 mins !! You’ll notice the should! We found the bus, we got on the bus and all was well until we were almost at Disney.

The bus driver then got *lost*, I kid you not !!  He was giving another passenger directions and took a wrong turn and then had no idea where he was. There was a guy on the bus that worked at Universal and knew where he was so he got us on track. The bus driver guy then dropped us off at the wrong stop in Disney !! The day had started SO well and had gone totally to rat poo poo.

Once at the Disney transport centre Sam and I were rescued by a Disney Bus Driver called Mike who took us to the door of The Dolphin Hotel – thank you Mike. We finally made it to Dolphin just before 8 pm – checked in, dumped bags, unpacked very quickly and went on a mission to find some food.

Sam and I headed down to the boardwalk and ended up in the ESPN bar – we parked at a small table ordered a burger and a beer and soaked up some atmosphere. Burger and beer went down a treat after such as long day.

By 10pm we were both mostly knackered. I was stupidly excited about the idea of heading to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow and meeting some of the community guys and my good friend Stuart McIntyre was flying in – so it was back to the Dolphin and collapsed into bed for some well needed sleep.

Tomorrow would be the real start of my first Lotusphere Adventure.

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http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/socialshazza/~3/bm4cbvK-78g/ls11-trip-day-1
Feb 16, 2011
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