So the man in black goes alone to the happiest place in the world. This sounds like it could be a very interesting pilot episode, or it could just be me attending the Splunk .conf18 at Disney World for work. As it turns out it is the latter.
I boarded the plane early on Sunday morning. Red drove me to the airport and I kissed her goodbye, and then it was off to catch my flight. Leaving the Austin airport was not adventurous, when I got to Dallas for my connection it was going to be perfect timing, a quick pop in and right back out with no wait. Except there was delays because of maintenance on the plane. Thankfully only about an hour and a half delay and we boarded and took off for Orlando. Again not very adventurous but I made it.
This was a last minute trip so I didn’t really research anything I just booked it, signed up for my conference sessions and went so I wasn’t quite sure the best way to get from the airport to the Disney Port Orleans resort I was staying at. I saw signs for the Disney Magic Express bus and was looking into that when I decided to text my co-worker and make sure he had my number. Just so happens that delay was fortunate because he was just at the other terminal across from me with our Splunk rep waiting for a Uber. So I took off and met up with them and got a ride to my hotel. I love it when that happens.
I arrived at the hotel just at sunset. I booked in the Disney Port Orleans - French Quarter hotel so upon arrival I was giggling. Having been in the actual French Quarter just a month ago this was definitely a Disney ideal of what the French Quarter would look like. In addition to being way too clean and pretty it was filled with kids and people riding those “rascal” scooters for one reason or another. I got all checked in and received my Disney MagicBand thingy. It’s basically a wrist watch tracker thing that opens my hotel door and can keep any park tickets or be scanned for purchases. It was completely customized to me and my Disney account number with my name on the box and everything. Kinda creepy little mouse.
After I threw everything in my room I meet up with my co-worker, other conference goers and our rep for dinner and drinks down at the Port Orleans - Riverside resort. Just a short ten minute walk from my room. Thankfully the next day was going to be light on the agenda because we stayed out late. Walking back to the hotel room it was kind of cool because there was no one in sight. I mean no one like the whole place was abandoned. It got me thinking about all kinds of Disney after dark activities.
The next morning I woke not with a bang but with a whimper. I am no longer accustom to drinking or staying out late. That combined with a travel day and sleeping alone meant I was not ready to face my day. So I made some hotel room coffee and played on my phone until some feeling of normality returned. With an extra hot shower I headed out for brunch, and grabbed a salad at the resort. Have I mentioned how expensive this place is. The mouse definitely wants his cheddar. Almost fully restored I headed to check in at the conference. The main part of the conference is at the Swan and Dolphin Disney Resort so thankfully we have a full shuttle system to get over there. It’s a 10 drive or an hour walk, this is not pedestrian friendly design in how spread out the different parks and resort areas are, with no real safe way to walk between. Registration was easy and with it came swag. A new backpack, water bottle and hoodie was obtained. I then shuttled back to the hotel for some shopping and a quick rest before the Orientation Meeting and Welcome Soirée. I may or may not have found the perfect souvenir for Red… We’ll have to find out later.
So I headed back after all of that to a quick welcome orientation and then down to the main pavilion for the Welcome Soirée. Holy crap that is a massive convention floor with all the vendors, all kinds of games hooked up to Splunk to graph the data in real time. Seriously they had a ping pong table with accelerometers in the ball and paddles all live graphing the game play data. Also nerds… nerds everywhere. Not that I’m complaining, if I was a true nerd I would probably be making more money like the rest of the people here. Maybe some of their knowledge can rub off on me through osmosis or something like that. Also the food was pretty baller. I filled up on the free stuff because why buy the expensive stuff and try to expense it when you can just get the food for free.
After the party I bailed early to go back to the room. I needed to exercise, and get some sleep. I know not exciting at all but I have a early keynote at the ESPN arena so that’s the choice I made. The conference adventure continues.