The Magic and the Misery ~ Updated 6/13: June Trip Report Started!
Our “Year of Disney” has begun! This was the kickoff trip of what we hope will be several (shorter) trips this year. This trip was 10 days: Saturday, January 16-Monday, January 25, 2010. For some background and planning info, you can view our pre-trip report here: "We Dug Disney: So We're Going Back in January, 2010!"
The cast of this trip consists of my husband (“Dug”) and me (“Dugette”). Here we are on a cruise we took a couple years ago:
The cast members staying home in Minnesota are our cat, Kitty, and dog, Bailey:
Don’t let the title fool you…any trip to Disney is a great trip. We really enjoyed most of it, but had a few unexpected challenges along the way. But we’d do it over again in a heartbeat. Except for Thursday. I wouldn’t re-do Thursday the 21st. You’ll have to wait and see why…
The journey begins in the next post, with our travel day.
Day 0 - Pre-Trip Surprise
Day 0 - Dug's Perspective
Day 1 - Polynesian Paradise - Part 1
Day 1 - Polynesian Paradise - Part 2
Day 1 - Epcot Afternoon and Kona Dinner
Day 1 - Sand is Bad!
Day 2 - From Polynesia to the Wilderness - Part 1
Day 2 - From Polynesia to the Wilderness - Part 2
Day 2 - Happy Trails - Part 1
Day 2 - Happy Trails - Part 2
Day 2 - The Magic Multiplies After Midnight
Day 3 - "We're Going from New Orleans to Japan...for Lunch!" - Part 1
Day 3 - "We're Going from New Orleans to Japan...for Lunch!" - Part 2
Day 3 - DHS & Our First Visit to Downtown Disney
Day 4 - 4 Parks in 1 Day: the Video
Day 4 - 4 Parks in 1 Day: AK & Kona
Day 4 - 4 Parks in 1 Day: MK & Snack
Day 4 - 4 Parks in 1 Day: Epcot & "Dinner"
Day 4 - 4 Parks in 1 Day: DHS & 2nd Dinner
Day 5 - A Morning Stroll to the French Quarter
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom & Tusker House - Part 1
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom & Tusker House - Part 2
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom & Tusker House - Part 3
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom & Tusker House - Part 4
Day 5 - AK at Night, AKL, & WPE - Part 1
Day 5 - AK at Night, AKL, & WPE - Part 2
Day 6 - The Misery
Day 6 - Dug's Day
Day 7 - 102 Degrees in the Magic Kingdom!
Day 7 - 'Ohana, Wishes, & Epcot EMH
Day 8 - Exploring the World - Part 1
Day 8 - Exploring the World - Part 2
Day 9 - Our Three Breakfasts & DHS
Day 9 - Fast Passes, Shows, & Scenery
Day 9 - Animation Afternoon - Part 1
Day 9 - Animation Afternoon - Part 2
Day 9 - Bouncing Back
Day 10 - The Last Day...for Awhile - Part 1
Day 10 - The Last Day...for Awhile - Part 2
The Prequel Chapters
Day 0 - History & Travel Day
Day 1 - MK & Anniversary Dinner - Part 1
Day 1 - MK & Anniversary Dinner - Part 2
Day 1 - MK & Anniversary Dinner - Part 3
Day 2 - Epcot & Tutto Italia - Part 1
Day 2 - Epcot & Tutto Italia - Part 2
Day 2 - Epcot & Tutto Italia - Part 3
Day 3 - AK, Boma, & MK
Day 4 - DHS & Sci Fi - Part 1
Day 4 - DHS & Sci Fi - Part 2
Day 5 - Drama at AK
Day 0 - Friday, January 15, 2010 - Pre-Trip Surprise
I’ll start with the night before the travel day. Thursday, January 14th would be our last night at home. We packed and cleaned :laundy: and checked items off our “bring to Disney” list. Dug’s parents had kindly (though not enthusiastically) agreed to dog-sit Bailey while we were gone. They are already long-term dog-sitting Dug’s brother’s dog :dog2: while he is working out of state, so another dog was not exactly thrilling to them. But they said okay. So, we packed up Bailey and all her stuff and set off for her “vacation” with her “cousin dog” about 20 minutes away. We dropped her off and headed out. I peeked in the window by the door as we left and she was just standing by the door looking like she was thinking, “Where are my people going? They must be coming right back. Mommy-dog? Daddy-dog?” I felt kind-of bad. But I’m sure she got over it with another dog to play with. :dogdance: So, we headed home and finished things up and went to bed.
Friday morning was an early one. We had to grab the last-minute packing items (like the stuff we still needed to use that morning) and load all the bags into Dug’s car. We wanted to avoid crazy luggage fees, but with a 10-day trip, carry-on would not cut it. We ended up each with one large bag to check and one small bag to carry on, plus a backpack, a messenger bag, and a video camera bag as the “personal items” to carry on.
We set out cat food and supplies, as Dug’s best friend had kindly agreed to stop in every few days and visit Kitty while we were gone. Luckily, Kitty is very fond of him, as he and Dug were roommates for a time during Kitty’s kitten-hood. As usually happens when we travel, Kitty knew what was going on and spent some time sitting in a suitcase the night before. :cat: She’s never pleased when we leave.
We both had a full day of work this day. I normally take the bus to work in downtown Minneapolis (we live out in the eastern suburbs and there is express bus service, which I have a pass for through work). Rather than park and ride this day, Dug dropped me off at the bus stop, then drove to his work in the western suburbs. :drive: We both worked all day. It was kind-of strange knowing that when we went to bed that night we’d be in Florida! :cool1:
After work, I walked to the lightrail stop downtown so I could take the train to the airport (my transit pass covers the train too) and meet Dug there. He would be driving to his sister’s house after work, leaving his car there for the week, and she’d give him (and all our luggage) a ride to the nearby airport. And we’d meet up there, check in, and have dinner at the airport.
As I was walking to the lightrail, I gave Dug a call to see where he was at and make sure everything was on track. I asked Dug, “How’s it going?” to which he replied, “Um, not good.” “What’s wrong?” “I have impetigo.” “What’s that?”…. :eek:
Well, a day or two earlier I guess I had noticed that Dug had a small blemish near the corner of his mouth, but I hadn’t thought anything of it. Chapped lips this time of year in Minnesota are pretty standard. Well, it was bothering Dug, so he called his mom to see if she knew a good remedy for what he thought was maybe a cold sore. Somehow, she managed to diagnose him over the phone with impetigo (no medical training, she’s a French teacher). Dug had left work early, planning to get a haircut (didn’t happen) and stop by Target for some last-minute things (umbrella :umbrella: and sunglasses :cool2: ), so he went to the Target Clinic to have it checked out. Sure enough, his mom was right. In case you don’t know, cause I sure didn’t, impetigo is a highly contagious infection :worried: , kind-of a staph infection. Dug’s was around his lips. He was given a topical antibiotic to apply throughout our trip. It also meant that I had to be very careful to not get it. Since we often share food, especially when travelling, this would be a challenge. But we were leaving in a couple hours, so we’d just have to do the best we could.
Dug beat me to the airport. When I arrived, we met up in the ticketing area, juggled around the luggage a bit, and went to print our boarding passes and check our bags. Everything went well. On our last trip, I’d accidentally left a large bottle of aloe in my carry-on, and had to throw it out, so I was extra careful packing this time and had no problems. :woohoo:
Now, time to find some dinner before our 7pm flight boards. We didn’t have enough time for a sit-down meal, so looked for a place to grab something quick. We walked around a bit, then I spotted the perfect dinner: D’Amico & Sons’ Turkey with Dried Cherries Salad. :yay: A little shop had a small selection of salads from D’Amico. This is one of my favorite foods. In fact, since D’Amico coincidentally had catered our wedding reception 4 years ago, we even had it as a side dish to our wedding dinner. Here’s a wedding dinner plate, so you can see the yummy, yummy Turkey Cherry Salad.
So, I had that for dinner. Dug didn’t see anything he wanted yet, so we kept wandering. He came across a place called “Wok & Roll.” He got a meal consisting of Kung Pao Chicken, Bourbon Chicken, and Crab Rangoon. It was so big that we easily could have split it normally, but we were trying to be extra careful because of the impetigo. We both enjoyed our dinners.
Time to go board the flight. We got on, stowed our carry-on, and took our seats. Dug had an aisle seat, I had a middle seat, and a guy who's family was in the row in front of us had the window seat next to me. After we’d been sitting for a couple minutes, the guy next to me jumped up in a panic and said he needed to get out NOW. :confused3 He pretty much tried to jump over me. Very uncomfortable. But Dug and I couldn’t get out of the way enough to let him out, as there were kids blocking the aisle. The guy’s wife ahead of us started saying, “He really needs to get out!” Finally, we were able to let him through. Turns out he couldn’t find his wallet. I looked on the floor around his seat, but no dice. I think he got off the plane to look for it. Not sure. While he was gone, his wife went through their bags and found it in their carry-on. He came back and took his seat and was fine the rest of the flight. It was just weird with the panic to start the flight.
We taxied around for so long that I started to wonder if we were just driving the plane to Florida. :car: Finally, we took off and I looked forward to napping. However, this plane was showing a movie I hadn’t seen that looked good, “Love Happens” with Jennifer Aniston. So, I decided that just relaxing and watching a movie was almost as good as sleeping. Movie was pretty good. Had some Fresca to drink. Kinda cool that Delta/NWA has Fresca, as neither of us drinks caffeinated pop and usually there is not much selection, other than Sprite. After the movie, I got in a little napping. It was a little tough, due to quite a bit of turbulence combined with a lot of crying babies. But I’m a good sleeper.
Towards the end of the flight, we noticed a small commotion a few rows ahead of us, across the aisle. We couldn’t quite make out what was going on, but a couple of the flight crew were acting somewhat concerned about a passenger. After a bit, they did an announcement asking any doctors on the flight to come to the front of the main cabin (we were close to the front). A woman ahead of us jumped up and told them she was a nurse. A moment later, she sat back down, as three doctors appeared out of first class to help! Guess we know how the doctors fly now…it was almost funny. Anyway, they briefed the doctors (we couldn’t quite make out what they were saying) and two of the doctors went back to their seats and the third sat down and stayed with the woman for the rest of the flight. And a flight attendant brought out some sort of medical kit. From the rumblings of others on the plane, it sounded like she was having an allergic reaction and had trouble breathing. But she was doing well enough to get there, since we were close.
They made an announcement that once we landed, we would be met by an ambulance and we should stay in our seats until the paramedics and the passenger were off the plane. I mentioned to Dug that the medical emergency would probably lead to priority parking for the plane…no waiting for a gate or taxiing around forever. And that was the case. Very quick to the gate. Paramedics got on, checked the woman out briefly, and she got off the plane with them. It was very different to be in a plane that just pulled up to the gate, but there was no mass chaos of people jumping up and pushing to get out. Just calmness. Once they cleared us to get out, it was probably still the most calm and orderly exit from a plane I’ve seen. Once in the terminal, we saw the woman sitting in a wheelchair being attended to. Looked like she would be just fine. :)
I love arriving at the Orlando airport late at night. I think it was 11pm or so that we arrived, both this trip and our last one. The airport is so quiet and peaceful. We headed for the “monorail” and got our bags (once we figured out which baggage claim they were at).
Then we called the Fairfield Inn to get a shuttle. Headed out to the parking spot they directed us to. There was one other couple waiting there. Several shuttles came and went, none of them ours. More people had gathered. Then, after waiting maybe 20 minutes or so, a shuttle pulled up, but we couldn’t tell what it was for. A bunch of people behind us jumped in. We wandered around it and finally found a Fairfield Inn logo amongst all the others on the back end of it. By then, it was full. So, everyone behind us got on and us and the other couple that was there first had no choice but to wait for the next shuttle. :mad: So, while we waited, we started chatting with this couple. They were a very nice older couple, also from Minnesota. They were going to be visiting some of their friends who live in the Orlando area, but also making a quick visit to Disney World, staying at the Polynesian. They had stayed there before and it was great chatting with them and getting advice from them. Yea for nice Minnesotans! :goodvibes Finally, the same shuttle returned (even though he said he’d send the other one over) and we got to our hotel. The Fairfield Inn was pretty nice and right by the airport, in “Hotel World.” After reading a TR on here where they got bedbugs, I vowed to check all our beds for them, as we would be staying in 4 different places. This one passed inspection and we went to sleep, dreaming of the fun that lay ahead. :cloud9:
Up next: heading to the Poly and Epcot. Will we be able to control the spread of impetigo? Will we be able to get our park tickets early even though they are attached to our POR reservation starting Monday? Will there be more than one picture on the TR? Will our nice, new digital camera survive the next 24 hours? Stay tuned! Some of these things will work out okay!
I'm here!!! That stinks about the impetigo! Hope you guys can contain it!
So cool that you found your favorite turkey salad at the airport.
The guy rushing over me to get out of the aisle would have freaked me out too!
And that's nuts about the woman needing medical attention! Your trip definitely got off to a crazy fast start!
Can't wait to hear about your Poly arrival!!
Exciting start! Can't wait to hear the answers to all your questions! :thumbsup2
ur cat is sho shweet, i wish i could have it :)
I've been working on the Poly arrival as I've had time. Hope to get an update posted in a day or two. I think Dug might chime in soon too.
Thanks for reading. More to come!
The Blanks: Day One
Dugette did a great job with day one. Let's give her a hand! :dogdance:
Or a paw.
My job here is to fill in the blanks.
Dugette's morning consisted of getting up and going to work. Mine consisted of packing, getting up and going to work. Ok, I guess I was at least a bit awake while packing. :thumbsup2
I had a really busy week. Due to really bad planning on my part, I had evening meetings Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. I dropped the Thursday meeting so I would have some hope of packing, as I was dead tired when I got home each night. I didn't get all my packing done Thursday night, though, so it was an early morning for me.
I always get really tense getting everything done before a trip. I try to be polite to let people know I will be out of town, so that if there's anything critical, I can get it done before leaving. Inevitably, that means my web design clients outside of work discover all sorts of delightful tasks for me to complete. And so I complete them. Then, at work, it's getting everything ready so my supervisor can shoulder the load while I'm gone. She is not as technical a person as me (though she's very capable, and--spoiler alert!--did a great job while I was out), so I try to get as much done beforehand, so she doesn't have to do so much in my absence. And again, that means, everybody wants to get updates to me. My workload was pretty high, and Friday was pretty stressful. It's always my busiest day of the week anyhow. It didn't help when I needed to give a presentation to some new employees on our intranet, and one of them showed up late. I'm a pretty patient, forgiving guy, but my fingers were tapping, as I had so much to get done. It went well, and I walked through the whole site pretty thoroughly. I had completely redone it recently, with the new version launched last summer, and it was good to show off all the neat things I had built. Finally, I finished, wrapped up a last few things and was done.
There's always a bit of terror in the morning when you leave, after you packed everything. Did I forget anything? The same is true at work. Did I get everything done? I never really feel relaxed until I'm on the plane. And even then, it takes actually getting some place before I can ease up and enjoy the trip.
So I finally walked out of work to the car. As I got on the highway, I noticed what looked like a few nasty cold sores. It was about 3 or so, and our flight was leaving at 7. I needed to meet my sister at her house about 4:45 or so, so I could drop off the car in her driveway, and she could drive me to the airport. In the meantime, my agenda was to try to get a haircut, pick up a mini-umbrella (I had searched and couldn't find one in the morning), and sunglasses (mine had broken). If time permitted, I wanted to pick up the Imagineering book on Animal Kingdom for the plane, as I had really enjoyed the Magic Kingdom book and had the Epcot one as well.
But these cold sores looked nasty. So I called up my mom to see if she had advice on a good over-the-counter medicine to pick up, as it would probably be trickier to get something once at Disney. I described what it looked like, and she said, "Oh, you better get that looked at right away. That could be impetigo." Impetigo? I'd heard the word, but didn't know enough to dread it yet. It's highly contagious? It's a staph infection? Sounds delightful! Well, I'll get it checked out, but surely it can't be...
I pull into the Target parking lot and go into the clinic there. It just takes a few minutes to see the physician there. And sure enough, there's telltale honey crustage showing up. It's impetigo. Moms sure are amazing, diagnosing rare face diseases over the phone.
I still don't know how I got it. Kids typically get this, and I'm not around kids. The only thing we could figure is that work had a potluck on Wednesday; maybe, a coworker brought it in on a dish? Though nobody else seemed to have gotten my crusty face disease. I had been stressed, and I may well have had some cold sores pop up. (I kept calling them cole sores while talking with the physician. I feel kind of dumb about that now.) Plus my lips were chapped from the winter dry air. Apparently we all have bacteria living on our skin (delightful!) and having breaks in your skin can let them in. So lesson learned: use chapstick in the winter and don't get too stressed! :scared1:
So I get a topical cream to put on it, and I'm told to get a benzoyl peroxide wash as well. I'm told it's in the acne aisle, and the Target beauty area customer service person is completely not a help. Time is ticking, and she's wasting it. Finally a pharmacist helps me find something suitable. I find an umbrella and sunglasses while I wait for the topical cream prescription to be filled. It gets filled. One part done.
Then I swing down to Barnes & Noble and pick up the Animal Kingdom book. I kept my eyes out for the Hollywood Studios version as well, but no luck.
With that done, there was no time for haircuts, Dr. Jones, so I was off to my sister's place. I called my boss to let her know that they should probably hose down anything I touched. I also let my mom know that she was a genius; she then proceeded to give my all sorts of mom warnings, including what was probably good advice to stop wearing my contacts, as I wouldn't want to infect my eyes. Honey crusted eyes doesn't sound so fun. I also let my sister know to prepare the haz-mat suit for my arrival.
When I got to her place, I got my first taste of what leprosy feels like, as she sanitized everything I touched, and she had to turn on the faucets for me, so that I could wash my hands. It was very nice for her to take me to the airport, and I appreciated it.
Since Dugette was taking the train from work, I had all our luggage, so I managed to drag inside two pieces of checked luggage, two rolling carry-ons, a backpack, her messenger bag and her video camera bag. I managed to struggle inside and find a place to sit while I waited for her.
We ate at Wok & Roll, as she mentioned. It was probably too much food for just me; I was pretty full afterwards, but again, I was a leper, so I couldn't share it. The bourbon chicken was so, so good, but we had to eat fast, so I had to scarf it down.
We got to the gate; it was already boarding, and we got on. My face had started the "seeping" part of impetigo, which is where your face feels wet, and the stuff that's oozing crusts over, so that it looks like you have honey-colored cauliflower bits around your mouth. And they harden, so it's then hard to open and close your mouth. Often I ended up dabbing at the seepage, because it feels so weird having your skin get moist. I'll stop there, because quite frankly, it's gross. I hope you don't stop reading our trip report, because of that. After all, I didn't give up on our trip, and neither should you!
I read a bit of the Epcot book on the plane and enjoyed the movie. When we landed, I had more fun cleaning up my face, we had our shuttle adventures, and we got checked into our hotel. The room was pretty standard. The ceilings were tall, but the room wasn't decorated in a way that made you ooh and ahh at the tall ceilings. They were just tall. I had more fun putting medicine on my face, and I dearly hoped the medicine would fix everything soon.
Would the medicine work? Would I be forced to walk around the parks bandaged like a mummy? Would any body parts fall off? Would I still enjoy Disney World?
All these questions and more will be answered, after a few words from our sponsors...
Or until we write some more.
It was great reading Day 1 from your perspective too Dug! So sorry about your facial malady! I can't imagine. Cold sores are bad enough but impetigo! Not fun!
Don't you love how mom's do that? You tell them three things and they diagnose it?
Jack-Jack was really sick Christmas 08 and we could not figure out what was going on. 4 doctors appts, 10 days of vomiting, fever on and off for 2 weeks. It was scary. I just happened to mention to my mom one day on the phone that I had noticed his hands were peeling. She immediately tells me he had scarlet fever. I thought she was crazy.
Sure enough, the next day he finally broke out in the rash. By the time the doctor got a positive strep test on him (scarlet fever is strep + a rash) he was well on his way of getting over it on his own. Let me tell you, she has not let me forget she diagnosed him!
Staph and strep operate very similarly! I hope you were able to fight it off in time to enjoy most of your trip!!
Day 1 - Saturday, January 16, 2010 - Polynesian Paradise
We got up this morning excited to head to the Poly! But first, we had to take advantage of the free Fairfield Inn breakfast. Our room was on the first floor, right off the lobby, so we just wandered out and grabbed some food and a table. I’m not a big breakfast food fan (except for cereal…I love cereal!), so I just had a bowl of Cheerios and half a bagel with cream cheese. Dug had a Belgian waffle. And we both had some juice.
Dug decided to take advantage of the Fairfield Inn’s offer of free-toiletries-if-you-forgot-them. He didn’t technically forget anything, but the impetigo kind-of changed his plans. Sharing a tube of toothpaste no longer seemed wise. And he was told that he should switch to a new toothbrush because of the infection. So, he picked those up at the front desk. Then, we headed back to the room to gather up our stuff and catch our 9:15am shuttle back to the airport.
Got on the shuttle and got dropped off in the Magical Express area. Went inside to the ME counter. Weren’t sure what to expect. Last trip, we arrived late at night, so the ME area was deserted. This time, it was morning, but fairly early morning…we were figuring most people’s flights wouldn’t have come in yet. And we must have been right. Just like last time…walk straight up to the counter! :cool1: Once we checked in, I took a little video and here is a still frame from where I’m narrating, “Look, it’s our first super-long Disney line!” ;)
Yes, I do believe that is a total of one family ahead of us. And then it’s time to board! Hey, it’s me getting ready to get on the ME!
We sat in front, right behind the driver.
There were only a few families on our bus, but we took right off. Time for the Disney magic to officially begin!
And, after a bit, we saw this:
And, finally, this:
They dropped us off and we took in the beautiful surroundings, waterfalls outside and in:
As we walked in the front doors, we caught a hula lesson in progress:
We had done online check-in and had no wait to check in. Just walked right up to the desk. (Yes, that's me videotaping at the front desk!)
The gentleman who helped us was super nice and was absolutely dying to give us buttons for celebrating something! We really didn’t have anything, but since he kept asking, we said, “I guess we’re celebrating getting annual passes?” He was thrilled to have an excuse to give out the pins:
We only wore them the first day. Last trip, it was our anniversary (well, it was within a few weeks of it…) and we wore the pins the whole time and it was cool. (On a side note, our last day of our previous trip, we got into an argument as we were leaving Animal Kingdom to head to the ME to go home. We hadn’t been able to find each-other, finally did, and now were running late. Anyway, we’re arguing and clearly not pleased with each other, but that doesn’t stop a cast member from merrily wishing us “Happy Anniversary!!!” I wonder if they found any humor in that? I think I said, “Uh, yeah, thanks.”) This time, we just really didn’t feel there was a legit reason to be wearing the give-me-free-stuff-and-endless-attention-because-“We’re Celebrating!” pins.
Now that we had our leis and matching pins and room keys (no room yet, though), we had to take a picture in our new home:
Then, we brought the luggage out to bell services to store until our room was ready. Now it was time to explore the Poly!
Is it just me or does it look like this Tiki Guy is sneaking up to get me?
We were a bit hungry and these looked good (and were good):
Notice the picture behind them. Dug liked this picture and we thought about buying it, but decided to wait until later. However, this evening, the picture will take on an ironic new meaning and we don’t end up getting it.
There was a really cool gallery we wandered through. I took some video of it. Dug thought this picture (titled “Hook”) was pretty cool:
I wish we could take this one home:
And, in case you’ve ever wondered how Michael Jackson would have looked if he were made entirely of candy:
Anybody see a Hidden Mickey in the decorative wall?
Such pretty scenery everywhere you look!
I wish I could put one of these signs up at work!
Who knew Mickey and Minnie had kids?!? This was up high on a shelf in the Boutiki. And Mickey moved, by the way.
At 10:50am, we decided to make our way outside, by way of Captain Cook’s. Just to scope it out and make sure the “treasure” was there. Not a very good still from my video camera, but what an awesome sight:
Continued in next post...
We wandered out to the marina area. It would be so fun to rent a boat and head out on Bay Lake someday. We walked past the Volcano Pool and decided that we would have to test out that waterslide at some point in the next 24 hours. Then, Dug saw this beautiful beach:
And I saw this amazing oasis:
We had to try it out. I took some video:
Believe it or not, Dug took this picture of himself:
We enjoyed several very pleasant minutes in the hammocks, then saw a boat coming, so headed over to the dock. We were going to the Magic Kingdom! But, only to go to Guest Services. Boring, I know. But we had tickets to get!
We boarded the Mermaid 1 and enjoyed a lovely cruise across the lake to the MK. This was a cool shot Dug got:
At some points during our trip, I started to feel like Disney was really Walt’s tribute to transportation. This moment shows what I’m talking about. We’re on a boat, watching a monorail go by, which is in front of a train going by. Gotta love all the ways to get around WDW!
We headed over to Guest Services and got in line. Yes, a line! We didn’t have a Touring Plan or a Fast Pass for this one! It actually was one of the longer waits of our trip. The reason we were in this line is because we had ticket changes to make. Our POR stay for the last week of the trip was booked as a package, so 10-day park-hoppers (and the DDP) were attached to it. We wouldn’t be checking in there for a couple days, so we needed our tickets. But, we also wanted to upgrade to Annual Passes. Figured we might as well do it at the same time. And get a Tables in Wonderland card, mostly for future trips. I was a little worried about getting the tickets early. My understanding from asking on the Dis was that it was possible, but not necessarily easy, to do this. And that the MK Guest Services was our best bet. Finally, we reached the front of the line. Explained what we wanted and….no problem at all! Yea for Disney! We walked away with our new APs and a TIW card a few minutes later.
Then, we headed for the resort loop monorail. Seemed strange to go all the way to the MK and not go in, but we had to eat lunch! Plus, our plan was Epcot for the day. We enjoyed the ride on the monorail, going through the Contemporary, and made it back to the Poly. Once again, the Poly had entertainment upon walking in:
Then, we headed to lunch:
I did not expect Captain Cook’s to have computerized ordering kiosks. I was momentarily confused, but we figured it out. We’d looked at menus in advance on allears.net and had tentatively been planning on splitting the Aloha Pork Sandwich, but the Hawaiian Flatbread won out that day. And, of course, a Dole Whip to share. We got pineapple/vanilla twist:
We were sharing food when possible for the first few days, since we were paying OOP until the DDP kicked in. The impetigo made this slightly more challenging…and risky, I suppose. I cut the flatbread in half, so that was fine. The only way to handle the Dole Whip was for me to eat my half first, then hand it over to Dug to finish. Worked out okay for me! The food was all delish!
We hoped our room might be ready by that time, but no luck. So, after lunch, we wandered around the grounds a little bit and checked out the views:
We were already loving the Poly! :love:
Up Next: Epcot!
Day 1 - Saturday, January 16, 2010 - Epcot Afternoon and Kona Dinner
After lunch and our Poly grounds exploration, it was time to actually go into a Disney park! I believe we walked from the Poly to the TTC, then took the monorail over to Epcot. Got the monorail-overview of Epcot and soon we were strolling in.
If you couldn’t tell already, these first couple days of our trip were intended to be pretty relaxed. No rope drops, no commando-style touring, no solid itinerary. Our last trip was all of these things, each day. Because this was a longer trip, we were hoping to get a little relaxing in too. The first couple days, especially, as they were expected to be the most crowded of our trip, due to the MLK holiday weekend. This is why we were going to Epcot this day—supposed to be one of the less crowded parks. We were arriving mid-afternoon, so we had no plans to do any headliners, just some of the more minor attractions.
So, seeing as it was pretty much a walk-on, we headed to Spaceship Earth. Got on quickly and enjoyed the ride. Our previous trip, the video at the end did not have our pictures in it (not sure why?), so we were excited to actually see ourselves (and not just some animated faces) in the future. It worked! (And, no, I have no idea what's on top of Dug's head.)
We went to one of the video kiosks afterwards and we had our SE video sent home to us. Funny, though, I videotaped it while on the ride and watched the home version now…they switched our characters to the opposite roles!
Next, we strolled over to The Land. Not for Soarin’, but for Living with the Land. We knew that it was going down for renovations soon, plus it had been down during our last trip, so it was high priority for us. Dug had never been on it and the last time I rode it was back in 1990! I should point out that I love boat rides of any sort, so I was excited. Turns out we both really enjoyed the ride, seeing all the food growing there. Oh, by the way, the wait was fairly short for this, maybe 10-15 minutes? We actually did have to wait, so not a walk-on, but not too bad.
Last trip, we had been mesmerized by the intoxicating smell coming from Sunshine Seasons, so we had to try it this time. Snack time! Again, we were still paying OOP, but decided to each get a snack from the bakery there.
I got this:
Dug got this:
Dug was looking forward to exploring Innoventions, so we thought this would be a good day to do that. We headed over to Innoventions West. The first thing we ran across was Smarter Planet. It was just a bunch of interactive video kiosks. We each took one. Dug took a survey on his. I played a card-matching game on mine. I did fairly well at this, so Dug tried it too. He beat me, of course, so I had to play again. I ended up playing a few times until I beat his score.
The next thing was in ThinkPlace, called Run Time. It’s where you actually get to be the character(s) in a video game. You go into a little booth and are told to act out some running, jumping, and dancing. Then, you go to a videogame terminal and actually play a video game where you are the character. You can also have it emailed home to you, so I just played it right now!
At one point in Innoventions, we peaked in a window and saw a conveyor belt of Cabbage Patch dolls being diapered by men. Interesting…we figured we should check it out. When they were getting ready to start a new show, we wandered in. This was SlapStick Studios by Velcro. It was a fun (and not crowded at all) show. First, they had a few kids come up and build towers with Velcro blocks. It ended up being pretty amusing watching each team attempt to build the tallest tower that doesn’t fall over. Next, they had a couple guys come up. Dug got picked! And he got to do the crazy Velcro doll-diapering game. Against a guy who actually had children and had diapered them before! Guess who diapered and Velcroed the most Cabbage Patch kids to their apron?
Yea for Dug!
Next, we did The Great Piggybank Adventure. This was my request, as the accountant in the family. It consisted of carrying around our little piggy to different game stations and trying to fill him up towards our selected goal, by doing well in the games. I think the goals were a vacation (um, we were already doing that), college (we already paid for that, thanks), a bedroom makeover (no need for that), and retirement. We picked retirement, which I thought I remembered hearing is the hardest one. But, not sure. Anyway, we did very well, but came up just short of the goal. Oh, well!
The last exhibit we did was Where’s the Fire? This was a pretty fun game too. The whole group of people is split into two teams on two different sides of the house. Each room, you have to zap the fire dangers on each video screen. Whichever team gets the most wins. Although Dug and I did well (I think we got all the things in every room), our side of the house didn’t win. Oh, well, still fun.
Of course, after that, we had to head over to Club Cool for a drink. Last trip, we sampled everything, so no need to have any Beverly this time! I love the Costa Rica Fanta, so had some of that. I also like the Mexico and China drinks (both fruity). I should point out that even though neither of us drinks caffeinated drinks, we have whatever we want here. One, because I don’t know if they are caffeinated. And two, it’s not like we’re going to run out and buy them at home too. So, special treat.
At this point we knew we should head back to the Poly. Our room was ready and we wanted to get our bags in there before heading to Kona for our 6:05pm dinner ADR. So, we took the monorail to the TTC and walked back to the Poly. By the way, such convenient transportation at the Poly!
Since we were only staying at the Poly one night, we weren’t terribly concerned about where our room was, but put in a request anyway. We had heard Tokelau was conveniently located, so we requested that. Turns out we got it. We got room 1924, which was on the ground level. I had heard that balconies were preferable, but that sometimes the patios on the ground level were nice and private. Ours was pretty nice, if not super private, but not bad. I think I have a picture of it coming on Day 2 morning.
The bell service people retrieved all our bags. They offered us a ride with our bags on the golf cart to our room. Yea, another ride! We hopped in and sped off to Tokelau. Apparently Dug didn’t take any pictures of our room and I just took a bit of video in the dark. The room was very nice, but here’s all you can really see from my video:
Hopefully Day 2 morning I’ll have some more video I can pull stills from. I haven’t watched it yet, but I know I took a little video.
We still had a bit of time before dinner. One of the things I’d packed was a small foot massaging pillow Dug had got me for Christmas. And I packed the batteries. We had not used this one yet, though. I say “this one” because he actually bought me another one (same model), which I liked, but returned it (with the brand new batteries still in it :headache:) thinking he could find a better one (like shiatsu, instead of just vibration). Well, this was the best we could find to bring with, so he re-bought the same model. We were looking forward to the foot massage. I put the batteries in and turned it on. Nothing. I knew it wasn’t the batteries, as they were brand new. Tried and tried, but this one wouldn’t turn on. No foot massages for us! Just wasted space in my suitcase. Oh, well. Even the best-laid plans can’t all work out, right?
After a bit, we headed out to Kona Café for dinner. On the way, we spied a hidden Mickey in the lobby carpeting:
As for Kona, yummy, yummy, yummy is probably all I really need to say, but I’ll elaborate anyway. Again, still OOP, so found stuff to split. I should mention that we often split things when we go out to eat at home, so this was nothing new. We have similar enough taste in enough things that we can almost always find something we agree on. We ordered the Pan Asian noodles with both chicken and shrimp. I don’t like shrimp (or really anything that lived its life in water…), so that was for Dug and we removed it from my portion (had two separate plates). We considered having a Lapu Lapu, but opted to wait and have an Island Sunset for now. (Description from allears.net: Captain Morgan original spiced rum, Parrot Bay coconut rum, melon, and peach combined with our guava-passion fruit juice). I’m a fan of pretty much anything with peach in it, so we enjoyed (with two straws, of course). I love the bread at Kona! Probably too much. We ended up getting a second, so each of us essentially ate an entire loaf of it! No wonder I was so full I could hardly eat our delicious Banana-Chocolate Crème Brulee for dessert! Before I show you the pictures, this would be a good time to point out that you’ll probably notice a common theme of slightly-eaten food. We kept digging in, then going “hey, pictures”, making the food look as whole as possible, snapping the photo, then resuming our food-fest. Here you go:
We were planning to use our Tables in Wonderland Card for the first time to get 20% off on this meal. As we got the bill, Dug realized it was back in the room. I was preparing to jog back to the room and get it, but our waitress made an exception and let us use the discount without the card on us. How nice! But, don’t worry, she was well compensated for her kindness: we didn’t realize until several days later that we must have tipped her twice! We’d forgotten that TIW automatically adds an 18% gratuity to your bill. And we tipped her. That explains why our bill was so high for just one split meal and drink! Oh,well. You live, you learn. It was a delicious meal and not our last at Kona.
Up next: Fireworks from the Poly Beach!
Also known as: Sand is Bad :furious: :sad:
Plus, will we be able to counteract the upcoming bad event with some Disney magic? pixiedust:
Your pictures of the Poly is getting me excited about our upcoming trip! And the food pictures are making me drool! Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip.
The food pictures were making me drool as I posted them too. I told my husband that I'd kill for Kona bread, Pan Asian Noodles, and Chocolate-Banana Creme Brulee for dinner tonight. Unfortunately, that's not happening. :sad1:
Hopefully I'll get another update done tonight or tomorrow. More Poly stuff to come!
That sounds like a really nice day at Epcot, even without the headliners, so to speak - and dinner looks fantastic. :goodvibes
Hi! I finally made it over. You have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time (hanging my head in shame over my TR that has taken me approx 7 months to write). I like that you both are having your input.
Yay for Pan Asian Noodles! That sounds so good right now. Much better than anything that I ate today. I'm not a seafood person, either, so I've never tried it w/ shrimp.
The Poly looks amazing. I really hope we can stay there someday. How nice that you got to walk around and just enjoy the property. Can't wait for your next update!
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