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Old 06-25-2009, 01:10 PM   #1
ryansall
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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!

To recap for those who didn't read my PTR (and that would be most of you ), 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
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!

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.

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.

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

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.
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Me 32, DW , DS 8 , DD 3

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Old 06-25-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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Your kids are so cute. We are getting ready to go ourselves on 7/6
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.

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.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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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!
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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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.
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PTR Easter '10 - Lose the Weight and the Trip will be Great!

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Me 32, DW , DS 8 , DD 3

[COLOR="Red"]WDW Vet - Trips in '82, '98, '00 and every year, 2-3 times a year from '01-'09

Next trip: April 5-11 - Current PTR and October 13-17 (adults only! Woo-hoo!)

DL Trips in '01, '05, '07
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:45 PM   #7
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Star Wars...nothing but Star Wars

Okay, I know I used that joke in my last post, but I love me some Bill Murray.

So, day 2 of our trip began bright and early, with a quick run to Capt. Cook's for bacon and eggs, then two cups of coffee and pastries from the Kona coffee bar. In the room, we had DS's usual breakfast of cereal that we had purchased at Wal-Mart, and DD's breakfast of bananas and yogurt. After eating, it was pile in the car and head to the Studios time!

Today was DS's day. We planned on a full day of Star Wars Weekends before spending the evening relaxing. So, he was psyched for Star Wars.



We got there early, so we could see the stormtroopers on top of the entrance. Those guys are hilarious!





As soon as the gates opened, the stampede began! We had a plan - TSMM FPs, and then GMR followed by Star Wars mania. So I sprinted to TSMM to get FPs. Then I saw the line! It stretched all the way back to Voyage of the Little Mermaid!



I waited patiently, taking a couple of pictures while I waited to get up front.





After about 15 minutes, I got the FPs for 1:00 p.m. and headed back to GMR, to meet up with the family. DS and DD were playing in the courtyard, trying their hands in different celeb hand prints.



We had a great movie ride (yes, silly pun) and headed from there over towards Muppets, as we were planning to grab FPs for Star Tours, but our TSMM passes weren't up yet. First, though, it was snack time already, so we went to the Writer's Stop, and discovered a great surprise.



DW and I love Castle, the new detective show on ABC, because we're big Nathan Fillion fans from his work on Firefly. So to see this poster was a great surprise.

We grabbed some cookies, including the carrot cake cookie from the Writer's Stop and chowed down for a few moments on the bench looking over at the speeder bike. Then...



My kids are weird, in that they love old TV - black and white Mickey cartoons, Schoolhouse Rock, Silly Symphonies and the Muppets. So they were thrilled to see this.



Finished with Muppets, our FP time was ready, so we went to Star Tours first to get new FPs. We were a few minutes early, so we waited and saw a minute of the trivia challenge on the Jedi stage.



At that point it was decision time. The procession of Star Wars celebs began on Hollywood Boulevard at 11, so if we wanted to see it, we had to camp out near Indy, then somehow fit in lunch before our TSMM time at 1 p.m. What to do!

Next: Parade or not to parade? An angry DS, Wicket's Warehouse silliness, and
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Me 32, DW , DS 8 , DD 3

[COLOR="Red"]WDW Vet - Trips in '82, '98, '00 and every year, 2-3 times a year from '01-'09

Next trip: April 5-11 - Current PTR and October 13-17 (adults only! Woo-hoo!)

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Old 06-29-2009, 03:21 PM   #8
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what crazy lines for TSM fastpasses
looking forward to the rest of your day
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
shannon47142 what crazy lines for TSM fastpasses
Yeah, I've done the TSMM sprint about 5 times now, and that is the worst I have ever seen it. Must have been a Memorial Day weekend thing, I guess. That combined with Star Wars Weekends.
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Join me as I view all the Disney films in order at the Disney Film Project

PTR Easter '10 - Lose the Weight and the Trip will be Great!

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Me 32, DW , DS 8 , DD 3

[COLOR="Red"]WDW Vet - Trips in '82, '98, '00 and every year, 2-3 times a year from '01-'09

Next trip: April 5-11 - Current PTR and October 13-17 (adults only! Woo-hoo!)

DL Trips in '01, '05, '07
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Your family is adorable!! Love the pictures of Tom Sawyer island as I have only been on the disneyland island!!
Looking forward to more!!
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:52 PM   #11
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Enjoying your TR. Did you guys stay in Rarotonga? That's where we stayed. Loved the location!

Looking forward to more updates.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #12
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SunnieRN Your family is adorable!! Love the pictures of Tom Sawyer island as I have only been on the disneyland island!!
Looking forward to more!!
Thanks so much. I'm very attached to them. We really enjoyed TSI, and we'll probably go back next time we're there. It doesn't hold a candle to Disneyland's island now that it's Pirate's Lair, though.

Quote:
Disneyvirg Enjoying your TR. Did you guys stay in Rarotonga? That's where we stayed. Loved the location!
We did!

It was an amazing location. Right out of the Great Ceremonial House and take a right and you're at the room. Just a short walk to the pool. For someone who has mainly stayed at Pop or All Stars, it was very nice. Easy to get to food, pool, beach, car and buses. Awesome!

Quote:
Pikester Love your TR! Both my DS11 and DS8 love Star Wars. Someday I want to go to Star Wars Weekend.

Castle is a great show! I've loved Nathan Fillion since he was on One Life To Live. Got a big kick of how he made a "Soap" joke in one of the episodes of Castle.

So did you enjoy the race in NH?
You've got to go to Star Wars Weekends if your kids love Star Wars. It's the best opportunity to see every possible character, get pictures and really make the kids' day.

Isn't Castle the best? DW and I were huge Buffy fans, so we first saw Nathan Fillion on Firefly, by Joss Whedon of Buffy fame. I've followed him ever since, and Castle's the first show that stuck! We love it. Monday nights are wine, cheese and Castle night in our house.

I was working at the race, but it was kind of fun. The travel was not, though. 9 hours in a plane Saturday, a missed flight and two delays on Sunday. That's what you get when you plan a last minute trip.

Quote:
PracPerfPatricia OMG-good heads up for TSM-fastpasses-we will make sure to be there as early as possible for rope drop...

I don't think your kids are wierd at all for watching the old Dis cartoons from the 30s or the Silly Symphonies or Schoolhouse Rock (my kids watch them too...)

What's this about a carrot cake cookie???

You had mentioned earlier that there was a store that you could buy/make lightsabers at the Studios-since DS is now into Star Wars (to the great delight of DH-unfortunately DD never quite shared his enthusiasm) I'm sure the two of them would be thrilled to make them-do you know the name is/can you still make them?
Yeah, get there early for TSM passes, or you'll be out of luck later.

Glad to see my kids aren't the only ones enjoying the old cartoons. They're just better. Not that I run a blog for that sort of thing.

Carrot cake cookie! It's divine. Like two slices of carrot cake with cream cheese icing in the middle. Drool....

The store at the Studios that has lightsabers is Tatooine Traders, right at the exit of Star Tours. I don't know if they still have them at Once Upon a Toy at DtD or not.

Sorry for no updates yesterday, but it was DD's 3rd birthday! We celebrated all day, but I'll try to post a TR update later today.
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PTR Easter '10 - Lose the Weight and the Trip will be Great!

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Me 32, DW , DS 8 , DD 3

[COLOR="Red"]WDW Vet - Trips in '82, '98, '00 and every year, 2-3 times a year from '01-'09

Next trip: April 5-11 - Current PTR and October 13-17 (adults only! Woo-hoo!)

DL Trips in '01, '05, '07
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:56 PM   #13
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I think our families would get along great. I love Castle and love me some Nathan Fillion. Also my girls have some of the Muppet Shows on DVD and my youngest loves the "old school" cartoons
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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Disgruntled Children and the Solution

Alright, so when last I left us, we were in the Studios, with a decision to make - watch the Star Wars parade or head back to TSM to use our FP and have lunch. Could we do all three?

A little backstory - DS had been on an allowance system since January. The goal was to teach him responsibility. He had to learn to clean his room, do his homework, read a book above grade level (he's trying to get an Accelerated Reading certificate) and take a quick shower. We told him to save some of his allowance for SWW, because he would inevitably want some of the toys they had there.

Of course, being a 7 year old boy, he didn't save any, and when we got to WDW, all he had left was his $25 gift card he got for Christmas from some friends of ours. So as DW and I are deciding how to manage the parade, TSM and lunch, he's doing this:



And suddenly exclaims, "I want to go to Wicket's Warehouse."

To explain for those of you who haven't been to SWW, Wicket's Warehouse is the big open space right next to TSM, where they stock all the SWW merchandise. It usually has horrendous lines, and it was not in our plans. But, we had told him we would let him have this day to do mostly what he wanted. What to do?

DW and I insisted that he see the parade, because he's a Star Wars fanatic, and especially loves clone/stormtroopers. So, we told him we would watch the parade, ride TSM, eat lunch, ride Star Tours, then do Wicket's Warehouse. He consented, but not happily.

So, we watched the parade, including stormtroopers:



More stormtroopers:



A few clone troopers:



More stormtroopers:



Folks, I could go on like this for a while. DW tried to take as many pictures of troopers as she could, because she knew DS would like them. But all through the parade, he looked like this:



We figured he was hungry, but also grumpy about not getting his way to go to Wicket's Warehouse. The parade finished, and we headed through to the backlot to get something to eat. We ate at Studio Catering Co., which refreshed everyone. Very good grilled chicken and black beans and a salad that DW and I shared.

After lunch, DS and I rode Star Tours, which, combined with lunch perked him up, as we waited for our TSM FPs to come due. So, we toured the backlot area. I managed to find the Singin' in the Rain umbrella for the first time.



DS posed as a Stormtrooper, which made him happy.



Soon, it was finally time for TSM! While there, the ride broke down while we were in line, so they called in a supervisor. So we waited, and waited. We passed the time taking silly pictures of the kids.







The ride got fixed after about 10 minutes, and I look over as I'm getting ready to get on the ride, and there's one of my former co-workers! He's the back end operations supervisor at the Studios now, so we chatted briefly then it was time to rock TSM!

We finished that, and DS finally got to go to Wicket's Warehouse.

So, after all that commotion, what did he get? Two action figures he could have bought for about 2/3 the price at Target.

It was his money, though, so we got them and left, and headed to our last Studios attraction of the day, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.



This was another one DS had been clamoring to do. He's a big Indy fan as well, so we kept meaning to do this, but the times would always not work out. You can tell he was happy.



Unfortunately, the other member of our traveling party was not feeling so great.



As far as we could tell, she wasn't sick, but tired. We had monitored her carefully today, to make sure there were no problems after the previous evening's rain and her freezing experience in Crystal Palace.

We watched the show (loved it!) and decided to call it a day at the Studios. I still wanted to see Block Party Bash, and thought DS would enjoy it, but we figured discretion was the better part of valor, considering we had several more days to go. But there was a stop to make on the way back to the hotel...
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PTR Easter '10 - Lose the Weight and the Trip will be Great!

Visit my May 2009 "I'm sick, no I'm sick" Trip Report

Me 32, DW , DS 8 , DD 3

[COLOR="Red"]WDW Vet - Trips in '82, '98, '00 and every year, 2-3 times a year from '01-'09

Next trip: April 5-11 - Current PTR and October 13-17 (adults only! Woo-hoo!)

DL Trips in '01, '05, '07
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:24 PM   #15
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at least your son ended the day happy
love the umbrella pose
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