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heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 07:04 AM

The Smith's take on the Poly July 2010-Finished!3/1/11
Hi everyone! This is my first TR, so please bear with me. I have lots of pics and lots of awesome memories!

Here's the family:
ME- Heidi, a physician coding specialist who works from home
DH- Rod, my wonderful husband of 16 years
DS- Anthony, my son who is 15
DD- Alexandra or Alex who is 13

Our Disney trip July 14- July 19th 2010. Our orginal plans were to head to Key Largo, so Rod and Anthony could scuba down there. Well the oil spill changed our plans, so we ended our trip July 20-July 23rd to a Universal Studos/Harry Potter trip.

Next post: Travel day and MK at night!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 08:03 AM

Arrival day and MK at night!

I am a huge Disney fanatic! I love to plan our trip, almost as much as the trip it self This year I decided to splurge and book my dream resort the Poly. I have always wanted to stay here and when the summer discounts were announced it was a go. I booked a standard view, request of close to the GCH and the pools.

Leaving home:
Our plane leaves the Des Moines airport at 6:50 AM, so we need to be there at 5:30 to check our bags and go thru security.

Rod at 4:00 AM
Alex at 4:00AM

Anthony at 4:00 AM

All happy and ready to go. We arrive at the airport on time and take off on time!! Our connection is in Memphis and Alex is hungry, for what?? A hamburger of all things at 8:30 AM. The lovely lady at the counter service eatery made her a hamburger and fries at 8:30 AM

Our connecting flight is on time and we are off to MCO---

ME here we come.
I have our ME packet and arrive at ME with three other families there. So excited to see the ME holding area

About 15 minutes after checking in with ME and waiting in line. A lovely couple on their honeymoon was behind us, staying at the Honeymoon suite at the WL. She had her wedding veil ears on, it was adorable!
Our bus comes up and here we go
Rod is asleep for the whole bus ride down!

Our ME driver was booking down the roads, no time to stop for great pics! Sorry, some of these are quite blurry

The Poly was the 1st stop:cool1: A few pics of our way in, again sorry they are blurry:

I used the online check in prior to arriving, so we quickly headed to the online check in area. I was 1st in line! A quick 5 minutes later, we were checked into our room at Niue, room 1705. Ground floor, huge patio, facing the volcano pool. Steps from the GCH and both pools. I was in heaven!
Here is a couple pics of our room and a lovely surpise waiting for us
And Anthony being silly with the pirate hat:
I had ordered a pirate booty surprise from Disney before arrival. It was a lovely, huge cooler filled with different beers around the world, I had them add some Budweiser too. There were all kinds of snacks, pretzels, mustard, chips as well. All and all a lovely basket. We used the cooler all week, as our fridge did not seem to keep items cool.

cont next post....

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 08:18 AM

On to MK

So we are all unpacked and decide to head to MK. Rod is still tired, so he heads to the pool.

A few pics of the Poly an our way to the Monorail station: The Poly is beautiful and the flowers and plants are lovely.

We get in line for the monorail

Here it is, about 30 seconds later!

We are on our way. We really liked how easy it was to board the monorail and take a quick trip to MK. The monorail stoped at the GF and then on to MK.
We knew that arriving at MK in the late afternoon, around 2:00 would be crazy crowds. We were right. There were no FP left for the three mountains and wait times were crazy long..75-90min. We decided not to go on any of the bigger rides, and do those tomorrow morning for MEMH.

Off we went to:Pirates! I have not been on this ride since the rehab and was excited to see the changes:

We really enjoyed the new ride and rode it twice!

We walked over to Frontierland to ck out the ride times and the lines were too long! But decided to take a pic at Splash Mountain our favorite!

Next up: more MK

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 08:33 AM

More MK
As we leave Frontierland, we head back to Adventureland to try a show, that I have never seen before...Tiki Birds.... I think that the kids will be borred, but they still enjoy a good show.
I loved the show, but the kids thought it was borring, but were willing to humor me :)

We decided that it was getting too hot, too crowded and needed a break back at the hotel. On the way we stopped by the castle and looked at the lovely mosiac tile artwork inside

We were on our way back to the Poly. On our way out we encountered the afternoon parade, just not feeling we made our way thru the throng of people back to the monorail. Deciding we need a break, swim and food before more MK

Coming up: Just Alex and I head back to MK

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 08:47 AM

Alex and I take on MK
After a good rest, Alex and I decide to go back to MK. Rod and Anthony were too worn out and wanted to stay at the Poly to swim and relax.

Alex and I headed to Fantasy land. I wanted to try Snow White. I have heard mixed reviews about this ride, but as Alex is 13, I knew she would not be scared.

Thoughts on Snow white, ehhh...just ok ride. Glad I went once, can't say I will do it again.

On to PhilharMagic 3D! Alex and my favorite 3D show in all of WDW. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, especially the Be our Guest seen. Seeing it in 3D is just amazing!!

Next we head to Tomorrowland...on to Stitch. I know this ride is not well liked, but for some reason, we LOVE it. Strange I know!

Alex found this little guy. She is pretty much out of stuffed animal craze, but fell in love with Mickey!

The next attraction that we wanted to try, that have not got to in the past is the Monter's Inc laughing floor. I did not have any expectations of this show, just wanted to see what it was all about. Alex and I really liked it and will try it again next year!

Up next: Buzz! Buzz is one of our favorites, so we braved the 45min line.

After Buzz we were done, exhausted, hot and ready to head back to the Poly

Up Next:
EMH MK, poor sick girl and Anthony and I take on MK in the AM

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 09:03 AM

Morning EMH at MK and Alex gets sick
After arriving back at the Poly last night, Alex told me that she was not feeling well. I figured, the long day and heat had gotten to her. She seemed to sleep well, but woke up stating that her stomach hurt but wanted to try to go to MK.

We all got up, had a little bit of fruit for breakfast and headed out to MK on the monorail. It was Morning Early Entry, so we wanted to be there in plenty of time for that. We arrived at 7:45, down the Monorail ramp we go and Alex throws up, right at the entrance in front of everyone. Now she is embarassed and really ill. My lovely husband says that he will take her back to the Poly to rest while Anthony and I tour MK. So off they go, back to the Poly. Anthony and I decide to hit some of the big rides, get fast passes for her if she feels up to it later and then ck on her.

First up Space Mountain. Anthony gets in the regular line, while I grab some fast passes for later. The line, flies by.... We ride it 3 times in a row with no waiting.

We head to Fantasyland to ride Peter Pan, as I knew the line would be too big later in the day.

I took a pic of IMWA, as I knew that I would not be able to get Anthony to go on that one again!

By this time it was 9:00 AM and Frontierland was opening. We position our selves for the rope drop and head over to our favorite Splash Mountain.

Next up, Big Thunder Mountain

UP Next: Many, Many Brazilian tour groups!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 09:38 AM

Brazilians and more Brazilians
On to the Haunted Mansion, as we are headed there, we see..... a huge yellow t-shirted Brazilain group. They are in front of us, this will become a reoccuring theme through out our trip this year. I found this group to be well mannered, but just huge in numbers!

By this time we were hot, hot and ready to go check on Alex. We headed back to the entrance by way of the castle. I saw the Fairygodmother, but the line to see her was way too long, so I took a side shot:

Took a pic of this beautiful horse on the way out:

Out of MK we went, back on the monorail and on to the Poly.

Here is why I LOVE Disney and the Poly staff. We went back to the room to check on Alex and found her not feeling well, but had stopped throwing up. Good sign! I went to Captian Cooks to see if they had anything she could eat, luckily enough they were serving chicken noodle soup. I wanted just the broth for her and asked the CM who was checking people out if I could just have a cup of broth and explained that my daughter was sick. She said to hang on a minute and she'd be right back. The CM came back with a cup of broth, saltine crackers, apple sauce, grapes and a refillable mug with Sprite in it. She gave all this to me at no charge! What a wonderful CM!!

Food in hand I came back to the room and the Mousekeeper was there. I explained to her that I have a sick child in the room, so could I just give her the dirty towels. She not only took the dirty towels, but made a towel animal, gave us new towels and toiltries and took out the garbage. She was wonderful!

Alex was very thankful for the broth and managed to keep some of it down, but knew that she would not be able to go to the parks today. She was so disappointed to not be able to ride her favorites, Space and Splash mountain. As we were not staying Club level there was not a DVD player in the room, nor does Disney have pay per view movies. I took a chance and went to the GCH and asked the concierge desk if they had a DVD player we could use or rent, explaining that my daughter was not able to leave the room today. The wonderful CM said not only could we use their DVD player, but he gave me a gold key with access to the Hawaii Club building to have full access to all of their movies. He called the Hawaii building to let them know i was coming. He also upgraded our park tickets to park-hopper so Alex could go back to the MK when she felt better. At this point I am about in tears, I am so greatful for this wonderful CM.
I hightail it to the Hawaii building and the wondeful Club staff lets' us rent three movies to return at our lesure and a 6 pack of Sprite for her. As I am leaving the building, so thankful and greateful to the wonderful staff at the Poly...i lose it a little and cry in happiness.
Alex is thrilled with her movies, so happy that she can go to MK again and tries the Sprite.
I go back to the GCH, ask for the manager on duty to express my thanks for the wonderful staff at Captian cooks, our mousekeeper, the Club staff and the concierge staff.

At this point we are all tired and a nap seems to be what we need.

Up next: Anthony and I head to MGM(I know the name has changed, but I can't help it)

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 10:17 AM

July 15th PM at DHS
Well, Alex is still not feeling well and is not up to going anywhere. Rod and Alex stay in the room for some movie watching and relaxing, while Anthony and I decide to go to DHS.

A quick walk to the bus area at the Poly and we are at DHS 15 min later.

We know that it will be crowded and we are right. More Brazilian tour groups are here and no FP available at ToT and RnRC or TS!

The wait for RcRC is 90minutes, so we decide to skip riding it and take a couple pics:

It is getting dark now, so we head over to ToT! Our favorite DHS ride! The line time is posted 75min, but we thought as long as we are here and all the rides have long lines, lets just do it. The que is lined with misting machines that help keep down the heat, we appreciate it! As we made our way around the seemingly never ending que line, we met some really nice people. It made the time seem to go faster!

A couple of inside pics:

After our ride, we decided to go and get something to eat. We found Pizza Planet. I didn't take any pics, but Anthony's pizza was really good and my salad hit the spot.

After some much needed food, we were ready to head out of there

Back to the Poly and hit the sack, next up we finally tour as a family

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 10:37 AM

Finally the whole family at AK
Yeah, Alex is feeling better! We are off to AK this AM, ready for rope drop! Ak is our families favorite park and were really excited to have everyone be together.

As we were prepared for the July heat, we still could not get over how hot and humid it was even at 8:15 AM, already sweating! I needed to wipe the humidity from the camera lens on this one:

Love the detailing at AK:

Rod and Anthony waiting for the lines to open up:

Here we go, its time to open and a cute little truck comes up with characters. A nice little show to start the AM:

Rope dropped and off we go to EE! We love EE, our favorite ride by far at AK. Had to ride it 1st thing and get FP for later. The crowd was huge!

I think EE has a wonderful que lines and so much to look at and take pics of:

We are almost ready to board!

We rode x3 and then finally had our fill! On to the rest of Asia:

My favorite pic!


Lizard-monitor I think?

My favorite fountain:

AK continued.....

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 10:57 AM

More AK
After EE, we decided to head to the Safari. We missed the Safari last time and really wanted to see it.

On the way we check out some of the Tree of Life:

Stoping to play the drums in Africa:

On to the Safari, we had a great driver and front row seats!

We stop to check out a cute shop and Alex finds her hat of the vacation:

Next up: It's Tough to be a Bug! We love 3D movies and this is our second favorite. I love the que thru the tree and the awesome effects of the seats!!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 11:08 AM

It's Tough to be a Bug at AK
Here we are going to Bugs life, as I call this movie.

My favorite!

Alex with her hat and bug glasses!

Inside the theater:

Now that we are done with the movie, we are hungry!! I had made reservations for the Rainforest Cafe,per my sister's recomendation. We had a lovely lunch, no pics though of the food. I had a lobster mac and cheese, heavenly!!
Here we are at lunch: horrible pic of me and goofy pic of Anthony and Rod

Lovely pic of all of us, our awesome server took!

I can't remember the name of Alex's desert, but something about a lava flow. It was huge! A chocolate lava cake with a sparkler on it. She was so happy!

Up next Dinoland!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 11:23 AM

Off we go to Dinoland, happy, bellies full and ready for the heat!

1st ride to do--- Dinosaur!! Rod, Alex and I love this ride...Anthony not so much. He has really never liked dark rides and this one has dark and things that jump at him. But he is a trooper and will go on it again with us :)

That thingy in Alex's hand is the sparkler from her desrert. She thought it was so cool, she hung on to it for a while

Dinosaur done, what next? We decided to ck out Primeval Whirl. I hate this ride and was happy to see 60min wait, so the kids let me take a couple pics and not ride it!

The crowds and heat were getting to us, so off we go back to the Poly for some much needed rest!

Up next: Alex and I head to DTD!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 11:40 AM

Alex and I get our shop on, DTD
Alex and I left the boys at the Poly, as they are not really into shopping and would much rather swim at the pool Turns out they were adventureous and took the monorail from the Poly to the GF to eat that night. Good reviews for 1900 Park Fair

Alex and I head to the bus stop at the Poly. This was the longest bus trip, but we knew that it would take longer than the parks. I think our wait and trip time was 45min.

We were glad to get to DTD and were hungry! I wanted to try the T-rex restaurant, but did not have reservations. We thought that we would give it a try and see if we could get in at a decent time. The wait was 15 min! Yeah! About 10 min later we were seated! Our seats, right by an awesome dino and right outside of the ice cave, perfect!

I had a wonderful mushroom ravioli and Alex had the bronto ribs, that were just ok.

On to the Lego area:

Couple more cute pics:

Done shopping we headed back to the Poly to check out Wishes from the beach. Alex wanted to swim and watch the fireworks from the pool, so Rod, Anthony and I watched from the beach. I loved that the music was pipped in. I grabbed a pineapple drink and took these blurry pics----they are awful, I blame it on the pineapple drink (Lapu Lapu ?)

After the fireworks, it's bed time! We are exhausted, in a good way :)

up next- EPCOT!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 11:58 AM

Epcot, here we come
Well, today is our EPCOT day. Love that the location of the Poly lets you walk to the TTC and then take the EPCOT monorail.
The walk from the Niue building to the TTC was about 6 minutes, not too bad in the AM when the temps were down.
We have never been to the TTC, so we were not sure what to expect. I found it easy to navigate and found the EPCOT monorail easily.

Big lines for rope drop, but we wanted to see Soarin, which we missed last time. A lovely lady sat with us while we waited to be let in the main gates. She was an EPCOT expert, us not so much. We did not spend much time in Future world last time, I was not exactly sure where Soarin was! She saw us looking out our map, trying to figure out and offered to help us get there. What a nice lady!

Not another picture Mom!

Our plan ready, we followed the massive crowd to the FP machine for Soarin. The FP machine next to us had a lady entering in 100 tickets for FP's for a tour group. Disney did not have a dedicated FP machine for tour groups which was a shame as people behind her had quite a wait. I let a family that was right behind her a head of me. They were so grateful!

Soarin FP in hand we head of to TT. We love TT and couldn't wait for the ride!

On to Mission Space. I did not let my kids ride the Orange side last time, I am terrified of this ride. I am clausterphobic and can't handle spinny things! Well this year, Alex tried the Orange and Anthony tried the Green. They both loved this sides!

Love the hat!

Up Next Soarin!

heidijanesmith 01-28-2011 12:36 PM

Dive Quest- surprise for Rod and Anthony
Before we headed back to the Poly for a break, our FP was ready for Soarin'. What an awesome ride! We were front row, the highest glider!

After Soarin, off to The Seas and Nemo ride. This ride was ok, but the kids did not like it. I loved the attention to detail outisde the building and got these cute pics!

During the ride, these pics did not come out too well:

As I stated before, we were to go scuba diving in Key West at the end of our WDW trip. Anthony has never dove in the open ocean, so he was bummed to say the least, when the oil spill ended his chance of diving. Well, Alex and I decided to suprise them by booking the Dive Quest tour as soon as we could. We did not tell Rod and Anthony that they would be diving until we got back to our room for a well needed break.

Here we are relaxing, eating and feeding the cute ducks that would come to our porch ever day.

After a good nap and swim, we were off to the TTC headed back to EPCOT for Dive Quest:

Dive Quest was at 5:30, so we checked into Customer Service area 30min prior to their Dive time. Alex and I do not dive, she was too young at the time Anthony was certified and I can not equalize my ears! We waited with 8other divers, 10 total for the dive master to come and get them. The dive master checked everyone's certifcation and took the divers away! We could not come with them backstage which is a bummer, but I understood. From the boys report, they got to go back state through EPCOT to The Seas Aquarium, watched a video, got dressed in their gear and got ready to dive. Took about an hour to get the pre-dive stuff done.

Alex and I took off for MS again, while we waited. She went on the Orange side x3 and then we both went on TT again.

An hour later, we headed to The Seas to watch our boys dive. The dive took 45 minutes. Here are some pics of the boys hamming it up and really enjoying them selves!

Up Next: Alex and explore The Seas

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