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ryansall 06-25-2009 02:10 PM

The "I'm sick, no I'm sick" May 2009 Polynesian Trip-O-Rama Report
Hello DISers! Glad to be back from the World and able to get off the work travel train so I can start back on the DIS. We finished off a trip to WDW for a week 5/23-5/30, staying at the Polynesian for the first time, and I have tons of pics to share! :woohoo:

To recap for those who didn't read my PTR (and that would be most of you :goodvibes), here's the roundup on who attended:

Me - 32 year old Disney nut and devoted husband/father
DW - 35 year old nut for marrying me and world's most wonderful woman :love:
DS - 7 year old Star Wars nut and multiple Disney trip veteran
DD - 2 year old just plain nuts but loves her princesses

So, without further ado, on to our first day, leaving from work!

Fortunately for me, I work at a great company in Atlanta, and they have a "Summer Friday" policy, meaning that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, we get off at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays! :cool1:

On Friday, May 22, it was DS's last day of school for the year, so DW packed the car and DD and picked him up at 2:20, then headed downtown to get me. She pulled through McD's and grabbed snacks, but unfortunately, the kids were so hyped they spilled all over the floor. :headache:

Not that I knew this at the time, because at 3 p.m. sharp I packed up and practically ran down the stairs to the carpool lane, expecting my beautiful wife to be waiting with my adoring children, and instead running into....nothing. :eek:

I called DW and found out about the spill, that she was still cleaning up, and sat there waiting patiently until she arrived. :rolleyes1

Okay, so I was freaking out. I'd been looking forward to this trip for months, and could hardly wait to hit the road. I called her every 10 minutes until she got there. I think she was ready to kill me, but instead she handed me a lei she had picked up at Party City, and she, the kids and I were decked out in our Hawaiian gear. We were off!

Cut to 6 hours later, and just before 10 p.m. we pulled into the Holiday Inn at Lake City, FL. It was a long drive, but well worth it. We ran inside, bathed the children and were all in bed by 11 p.m.

The next morning we got up and headed over to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Here's the hotel, which I highly recommend.

Now, at this point, I had been dieting since January 5, and had lost 30 pounds. So this was my vacation to celebrate, and I planned to eat! So, here's breakfast for me:

And then, I picked off some stuff from DW's plate as well:

So, breakfast down, we left Lake City around 9 a.m., and made it all the way to Ocala before stopping. We always stop at exit 350, because it is where the Official Disney Info station used to be. We have great pictures and memories of that place, so we stop there at the exit and take a break each time. After gassing up at the Sam's Club, we were back on the road. Here's DS in the backseat reading.

And then there's DD, who refuses to entertain herself, merely asking us when we'll get to Mickey.

So, when would we get there, and what would we encounter when we did? Coming up: checking in at the Poly, lunch food porn, and an afternoon at the MK.

sweetmama 06-25-2009 02:36 PM

Your kids are so cute. We are getting ready to go ourselves on 7/6

Stasieki 06-25-2009 02:47 PM

Great so far! I'm from Atlanta. I think I know what great company you work for. Unless a lot of companies do the Fri policy now (I haven't lived there in 6 years). I worked downtown in the building the Ritz is connected to.

ryansall 06-25-2009 03:24 PM


sweetmama Your kids are so cute. We are getting ready to go ourselves on 7/6
Thanks, we like to think so. I think the older one is going to be a geek like his dad. He's so into the ins and outs of Star Wars it's scary. Now he's getting into comic books, too. There's not much hope for him. I forgot to include a picture of him at the Cracker Barrel trying to grab me with the grabbing machine. Cracks me up.

Where are you staying on your trip? DW is taking the kids to the in-laws at the end of July, and I'm thinking of taking a solo trip. Again, I get off at 3 on Friday, and I have an annual pass, so why not?


Stasieki Great so far! I'm from Atlanta. I think I know what great company you work for. Unless a lot of companies do the Fri policy now (I haven't lived there in 6 years). I worked downtown in the building the Ritz is connected to.
What part of town? I'm actually a native, one of the few. I grew up in Marietta and live there now, which was the one thing growing up that I said I wouldn't do. :rotfl:

Actually, a few companies are doing the 3 p.m. Friday thing now, just because of traffic and the like. But yes, I'm probably in the one you're thinking of.

Stasieki 06-25-2009 03:43 PM

I was a native until we moved to Jacksonville. I grew up in Marietta off of Lower Roswell next to Indian Hills Country Club (small sub called Heritage Woods), then we moved to Roswell when I was in 3rd grade off of Holcomb Bridge and 400. Before we moved 6 years ago, I lived off of Canton Hwy (moved back to Marietta after I married/bought a house) and worked in Alpharetta. It was 17 miles and took me an hour and 15 minutes each way. I so do not miss that, but do love Atlanta. I am in TN now and am coming to the Braves/Red Sox game this Sat to meet up with some FL friends. I haven't been to a game in a long time so am very excited. I have a 3 year old and are heading to Disney in Nov (she went a lot from 6 months to 2 years b/c we lived in Jacksonville). I can't wait to be back!

ryansall 06-25-2009 04:02 PM

That's cool. I'm on the other side of town, in West Cobb, and yes, it takes me about an hour and 15 minutes to get to work as well.

You're in TN? That's awesome. My wife is from TN, and I went to school there. What part of TN?

I'm going to the Braves/Red Sox on Sunday. Have a great time Saturday, but it's HOT out here. Over 95 today and probably all weekend. We're headed to Six Flags Saturday for my DD's birthday.

Stasieki 06-25-2009 04:20 PM

I live in Murfreesboro, outside of Nashville. I am not looking foward to the heat, and it is a 4:00 game - yuck. Have fun at Six Flags!

ryansall 06-25-2009 04:29 PM

I will. I used to work there, so it'll be like old home week.

Yeah, it's going to be super hot on Saturday, so good luck. I'm going to roast myself on Sunday out there.

Murfeesboro is cool. We drive through there all the time on the way to my in-laws. They live in Jackson, TN, so we usually head up and hit Nashville on the way.

ryansall 06-26-2009 12:04 PM

Arriving at the Poly in a Monsoon
So, where was I? Ah, yes, on I-75 South, headed to WDW! :cool1:

This would have been Saturday, May 23, and we stopped in Ocala to gas up then hit the FL Turnpike, a sure sign that we're almost there. About midway down the turnpike, we noticed some dark, dark clouds ahead. Not a good sign. Would rain ruin our day? :eek:

Well, we pulled onto property just before noon, and arrived at the Polynesian parking lot in this:

Yes, it was monsoon season in Florida. This would be a common theme for our trip, so get used to this. There was a major thunderstorm every day, but we managed to work around it.

I checked in, and even though I had requested a 1st floor, patio room facing away from the parking lot, I got a 3rd floor balcony room facing the parking lot. :confused3

It turned out to be great, though, because as soon as we got in the room, DS ran to the balcony and says "Look, the monorail!"

He was thrilled, and spent many minutes in the room just watching out the window to see the monorail go by. Here's some shots of the room:

The bed, of course. And my favorite part:


It was upon entering this room that it hit me that I was staying at the Poly. Quick story - my first trip to WDW was with my grandfather when I was 7. He always took the ferry to the MK, and he always pointed over to the Poly and said "One day I'm going to stay there." He died of cancer before that could happen, and my father had no interest in WDW. So, I have always had the goal of making it to the Poly, and I finally did it!

We unloaded the car quickly and it stopped raining, so we headed over for some lunch, taking a quick picture to confirm that yes, we were staying at the Poly.

We hit Capt. Cook's with the dining plan, and man, was I impressed. We're WDW veterans, but we had never eaten here. DW and I split this and shared with DD:

That's a chicken caesar with wonton strips, a Hawaiian flatbread, with pineapple for one dessert and a cookie for the other. All of it was fresh, delicious and a great respite from diet food!

DS had a kid's meal:

Standard fare of hamburger, grapes and chocolate milk, but he loved it.

All fueled up, we headed out to the Magic Kingdom to begin our Disney days!

Next up, our Magic Kingdom afternoon, the first illness strikes, and the return of the monsoon...

goofy's_gurl 06-26-2009 12:36 PM

your kids are soo cute :goodvibes and how was the poly???

ryansall 06-26-2009 01:07 PM


goofy's_gurl your kids are soo cute and how was the poly???
Thanks, we love 'em. The Poly was fantastic! I can't afford to stay there on every trip, but it's going to be hard going back to a Moderate or Value after staying there.

The best was just hopping off the monorail and being in our room in no time. We had great food and coffee nearby, the rooms were extra spacious, and the beds were divine. The balcony was great to sit on at night, except that there were no lights out there, so you couldn't read.

It was a fantastic place to be, because you really felt the Disney magic the entire time you were there.

heaven2dc 06-26-2009 01:45 PM

Your kids are adorable! Wow - what rain!! Guess to be expected given the rainy season but hope it didn't put too much of a "damper" on your trip ;)

The Poly rooms are beautiful and glad your son enjoyed the view after all.

ryansall 06-26-2009 03:30 PM


heaven2dc Your kids are adorable! Wow - what rain!! Guess to be expected given the rainy season but hope it didn't put too much of a "damper" on your trip
Thanks, everyone for the kind words about the kids. I love 'em to death. I think their Mom's pretty adorable, too. :love:

The rain was pretty intense most days, but we only got soaking wet one day, which I'll talk about in my next update.

I found out last night that I'm actually hitting the road this weekend, going to the NASCAR race in Loudon, NH, instead of chilling out with the family. But, I get this one over with and don't have to go on a later trip, so it works out okay. The upside is I'll have some more time on my hands to update my TR! I'll try to post some more updates over the weekend.

ryansall 06-27-2009 09:04 AM

A lazy Magic Kingdom afternoon becomes not so lazy
So before I hop on a plane to New Hampshire, let me quickly run through the next part of our TR.

When last I wrote, we were at the monorail station at the Poly, headed over to the MK. We arrived, I upgraded my 7-day ticket to an Annual Pass, and we were off!

The rain had actually cleared things out a great deal, so it wasn't as crowded as we had expected. Still, we stuck to our plan. DS had been begging to go to Tom Sawyer's Island since last year, so we planned on hitting that, getting FP's for Splash and then seeing what else we could do in Frontierland/Adventureland before dinner at Crystal Palace. But first, fun on Main Street.
The obligatory castle shot
DS mugging with the indian

So, we headed over to Splash to get FPs, before going to Tom Sawyer. DS was very wary of this one, as he'd never been on it before. He loved Big Thunder, but was terrified of the drop. He promised this time, though, that he would go on Splash.
Of course when we walk by, this was his expression :scared1:

We promised to take it slow, so we headed to Tom Sawyer Island first.

The raft ride over was uneventful, and we were off and exploring. It was fun! We spent about an hour on the island, doing all the activities.
A map of the island
DD playing on the playground, in a dress no less!
The barrel bridge was a little scary for DD.
DS's favorite part was Fort Langhorn. He ran from turret to turret, firing the guns.

We finished up, then headed back across. Our Splash FP wasn't ready yet, so we did the Country Bears and Tiki Room while we were waiting for it to be ready. Then, DS and I headed to the Briar Patch. On every little drop, he begged for me to hold him tight, so he didn't fly out. He loved the theming, pointing at the animals and laughing, but the drops scared him. When it was over, what did he think?

A cautious thumbs up. He wasn't sure he wanted to do it again, but said he liked it.

That mountain conquered, we had plenty of time on our hands before our 6:35 reservation at Crystal Palace, so we headed to Fantasyland for some Philharmagic action. On the way, we climbed the Swiss Family Treehouse.

Then we grabbed some popcorn...

We got to Fantasyland and DD went nuts, clamoring for the carousel. There was hardly a line, so we gave it a shot. She got on her own horse for the first time!

Then, we did Philharmagic, looked around Sir Mickey's and Tinker Bell Treasures, and headed over to Crystal Palace for dinner. And that's where the problems started...

ryansall 06-28-2009 01:24 PM

A rainy but pleasant MK evening - wait, who's sick?
Hello from lovely New Hampshire. I'm settling in to watch some NASCAR, and figured I'd update my trip report while I have some time to kill before the race.

So, we had finished a quick spin through Fantasyland, and headed over to the Crystal Palace. It was packed! The line to check in was 15 people deep. The kids were okay, because we had fed them popcorn earlier, but I was still hungry!

We got seated and took drink orders, and it was nice to be out of the heet, but man it was COLD in there! Remember that, it's important later. We loaded up DD's plate first:

Then we got DS settled in:

Both our kids are good and healthy eaters, so we were surprised when DD didn't eat much. I figured she was full from the popcorn, so I destressed about it and just let her do her thing. Soon, it was character time!

Eeyore visited DD while DS was getting a second plate, then it was Piglet hot on the heels, while DW was getting her first plate.

At this point, DD was still not eating, DW had just sat down with her first plate, and I was still hungry! I headed up and got my dinner.

So, as I'm chowing down between character visits, DD is still not eating. Something is wrong. We ask her over and over again, and finally she says "I'm sick" :sick:

Rewind to Wednesday before we left. She had a runny nose, and DS was having some congestion, so we took them both to the doctor. Aware that we were about to take a once in a lifetime trip, the doc prescribed antibiotics for DS, just in case, but we didn't have to use them if he looked better. So, on Friday, he was fine, and we left them at the house. DD, according to the doc, was fine, just a little sniffle.

Well, DD begged to differ in Crystal Palace. Finally, we got out of her that she was cold. It being May in Florida, we had not brought a blanket or sweatshirt for her, so we had to improvise:

Yes, that's my wife cuddling my daughter in a plethora of napkins that our wonderful server brought us. Believe it or not, it worked! She calmed down, and was able to eat a little, before Pooh arrived.

Next up was Tigger:

We finished our meal, and were getting ready to pay, and the server asked, "Are you sure?"

"Why?" we asked. She pointed to the window.

Outside, it was POURING RAIN. :scared1:

We weighed our options, and decided to make a break for Casey's Corner, and work our way through the Emporium to Town Square, then hit the Monorail back to the Poly. After all, we had a sick/cold baby and we needed to give her a hot bath and get her in bed.

Well, we made it to Town Square without problem, but just running from the Emporium to the monorail we got drenched. I mean, bone soaking wet. Within an hour, though, we got both kids a hot bath, quick showers for ourselves, and then were able to enjoy one of these:

Lapu Lapu! It was...strong, but good. DW and I sat on the balcony in the darkness (there's no lights out there) and enjoyed our drinks, then hit the sack ourselves around 11 p.m. We had a great first day, but we were just getting started.

Next up: Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars...

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