I hope everyone had a great holiday! My plan of attack to share our trip is to give a diary of sorts of what we did each day, and I will tackle the reservations, fast passes, tips and tricks in their own separate post. The quick, down & dirty deets on our trip selections, to frame it all: travel via American Airlines, Sunday-Friday, booked at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and utilizing the Disney Deluxe Dining plan. Kiddos were 4 & 2 for this trip.
Our travel day was very smooth, and we hit the ground hotdog dancing, errr, running, rather. Such a treat to take a relatively short flight vs. flying to Maui last spring! I think door-to-door took from 6:30a-2:00p, so super easy. We were greeted by Disney cast members in Orlando (they basically have an entire level of MCO airport dedicated to ground transport) and we were on our way via “Magical Express” relatively quickly. Our bags, other than trusty Darth, wheeled by my 4-year-old, were fetched for us and they appeared in our room a few hours later. As a traveling parent, that may be one of my favorite services ever! Nothing “magical” about waiting in baggage claim!
Upon arrival at our Resort, The Polynesian, we were, again, personally greeted by a cast member and walked to our check-in area. Check-in isn’t until 3:00p, and our room wasn’t ready, but we had anticipated that we would relax and get lunch. Shortly after 3:00p we got a text message to return to the front desk. I think normally we would have just gotten the message with our room number, but we discovered quickly that there was a little glitch happening with our magic bands that possibly caused the error–our bands would not unlock our door. We phoned the desk, and someone came right away to let us in our room and check out our bands. After a few minutes, we had everything sorted out, gained a couple extra fast passes to Epcot that night for our trouble, and we were on our way!
Our kiddos had seen the monorail as we approached Disney World, and they were beyond excited to ride on it. We could have just ridden around on that thing all afternoon and they would have been thrilled, but since we had a royal engagement to keep, we zipped right over to Epcot for our “Princess Storybook Dining” experience at Akershus, the Norwegian restaurant. Akershus is a “table service” restaurant with assorted princesses who visit each table, and you can make advanced dining reservations for it to ensure getting a spot. Being our first dinner, I wanted it to be memorable and special, and we were all happy with this choice. Excellent food (and wine!) for the parents, pizza & princesses for the kiddos. Service and food were excellent, and I am a very tough critic. Those of you who know me personally know that I waited tables all through high school and college. I was most impressed with how quickly they got the food to our table. Disney knows that the way to moms’ hearts is through their kiddos’ quickly filled stomachs. The kiddos love, love, LOVED meeting the characters from some of their favorite movies, and they each took a few minutes to chat and make each child feel acknowledged, take pictures, and give hugs.
After dinner we went out to explore the park a bit and enjoy some rides. The whole family went on the Finding Nemo ride. My older kiddo created his own car at the Chevrolet Test Track while my mini and I found a fun carwash to check out. Everyone enjoyed the water and music show in the big fountains and we even got to meet Mickey and his friends! Interesting note on the costumes–my 2-year-old was comfortable with the cast members with real faces, like the princesses, but the big Mickey Mouse costume was a total no go. My 4-year-old was clearly not too scared, however. He even hammed it up with Goofy!
Well, I’m off to shop a few sales, and have a huge coat round-up coming your way sooooon! xo, Karen