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Old 04-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #16
Carol17
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Can't wait to read your report! A little confession: For years, when we have taken the monorail, we would look at the Poly and say, we will never stay there. It just looked too...70's. From a distance, it seemed dated and unattractive. Well, we have changed our tune! We did a little DIS research and realized that this is a beautiful resort! We have stayed at YC, WL, BWI,Contemporary, AKL,CBR...and last year was the Poly. Loved it! We are going back next year and will return to the Poly. We are converts!
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Carol17 View Post
Can't wait to read your report! A little confession: For years, when we have taken the monorail, we would look at the Poly and say, we will never stay there. It just looked too...70's. From a distance, it seemed dated and unattractive. Well, we have changed our tune! We did a little DIS research and realized that this is a beautiful resort! We have stayed at YC, WL, BWI,Contemporary, AKL,CBR...and last year was the Poly. Loved it! We are going back next year and will return to the Poly. We are converts!
That's funny because I used to think the same way! That's before I discovered DIS and learned what Poly had to offer. We would love to go back at some point.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #18
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I see you will go back in 2 years ~ will you go in April again? We are also planning a 2014 trip, just not sure what time of year yet. A lot will depend on the school schedule. Luckily we had a late spring break this year (I live in AL and most of the schools had their break in March).
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #19
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I see you will go back in 2 years ~ will you go in April again? We are also planning a 2014 trip, just not sure what time of year yet. A lot will depend on the school schedule. Luckily we had a late spring break this year (I live in AL and most of the schools had their break in March).
I don't think we're going to be able to go in April next time but not completely sure. It all depends on what kind of flexibility we have with DD's school schedule. Our spring breaks are always on Easter week so definitely will be avoiding spring break week. I would love to go back during late January like last year, but I really enjoyed using the pool this time around and would like to do that again. So that leaves us with summer months, possibly late August? I know the heat and humidity will be an issue.

So I'm in the same boat as you. Not sure yet.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
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Joining in! We took our first trip this last Feb and stayed at the Poly. We loved it so much. I am now planning a trip with my cousin for her graduation and I really can't afford it, but I just can't stray from the Poly! I had such a wonderful time in Feb and I just can't give up the conveniences of the transportation, 24 hr Capt Cooks, etc. So I am along for your TR to get excited for my July trip
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
I don't think we're going to be able to go in April next time but not completely sure. It all depends on what kind of flexibility we have with DD's school schedule. Our spring breaks are always on Easter week so definitely will be avoiding spring break week. I would love to go back during late January like last year, but I really enjoyed using the pool this time around and would like to do that again. So that leaves us with summer months, possibly late August? I know the heat and humidity will be an issue.

So I'm in the same boat as you. Not sure yet.
We've been late January 2 years ~ the crowds were great, but I enjoyed the pool this time too!! It will be hot in August. We actually start school the first week of August, so it's either summer (not what I want to do, IF it is the only option, we would probably go last week of May/first week of June). I'm hoping the girls will have a couple days off in October for a fall break; if they do, I might just pull them out for a few days then.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #22
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Dave,

What resorts have you guys used over the years?
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:28 PM   #23
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The intro photos definitely reeled me in :
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:05 PM   #24
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Poly

Can't wait to read your report. We went to the Poly twice to Kona. It was beautiful!!!

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Old 04-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #25
DaveinFallsChurch
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Originally Posted by solana131 View Post
Joining in! We took our first trip this last Feb and stayed at the Poly. We loved it so much. I am now planning a trip with my cousin for her graduation and I really can't afford it, but I just can't stray from the Poly! I had such a wonderful time in Feb and I just can't give up the conveniences of the transportation, 24 hr Capt Cooks, etc. So I am along for your TR to get excited for my July trip
Welcome!! I have to agree with everything you said about Poly!

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Dave,

What resorts have you guys used over the years?
Charity, in 2008 we stayed at All Star Movies. We thought it was good. Didn't spend much time at the hotel though so hard to comment on the food and pool options. In, 2011 we stayed at Saratoga Springs because my parents went with us and we needed a 2 bed room suite. We liked it a lot especially with all the dining options in walking distance at DTD.

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The intro photos definitely reeled me in :
Thanks!! I'm in trouble though since I put out the good stuff up front!

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Can't wait to read your report. We went to the Poly twice to Kona. It was beautiful!!!

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Thanks for joining in! We really enjoyed Kona as well!
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:26 PM   #26
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Saturday, April 14th Ė Arrival and SeaWorld Morning

Ok, as Peter Pan would say, Here we gooooooo!

We were flying out of Baltimore (BWI) Airport at 6:40am. The airport is about an hour drive from our home in Northern Virginia. There are closer airport options but weíve always enjoyed flying Southwest Airlines to Orlando especially since there are no baggage fees. (I know, I sound like one of their commercials) And when you have a 5 and a 2 year old, no baggage fees can save you a LOT! To give us a little extra sleep time, we have been spending the night before our trip at the Four Points Hotel located in the airport. And thatís what we did this time. Checked in on Friday night around 8:30pm and everyone went straight to bed. Would have checked in a little earlier but there was a three-car accident on Beltway heading out of DC and it took us about 30 minutes to drive through a 2 mile stretch.

On Saturday morning, DW and I woke up at 4:15am. Once both of us were ready, we woke the kids up at 4:50 and we were out of the hotel by 5. Kids were pretty excited although a little groggy. Canít blame them with such an early start time. Our plane departed without a delay, and 1 hour 45 minutes later, we landed in Orlando. Of course no one got any sleep during the flight. The kids kept both of us pretty busy during the flight. But I donít think I would have been able to sleep even if I had the opportunity because I was as excited about the trip as the kids, if not more! During the flight, I was also rehearsing in my head the plan titled ďOperation: Get out of MCO ASAP!Ē I mean, the whole point of leaving at the crack of dawn was to maximize our first day so it would be a shame if we ended up spending more time at the airport than needed.

My father-in-law was flying in from Columbus, OH to join us for this trip. His Southwest Airlines plane was scheduled to arrive only 10 minutes after ours. So the plan was that DW and the kids would wait for him at baggage claim while collecting our bags while I head to the rental car desk to check in. We were renting a minivan from Dollar this time and to save time, I had enrolled in their Express program where I entered credit card and license information online. The website said that at MCO I would still have the check in at the desk but there would be a designated line for Express card holders. I figured, by the time I got our minivan ready, FIL would have met up with my family, have their bags collected, and would be waiting for me on the curbside.

The plan worked too well! When I got to the Dollar rental desk, there was a sign that pointed all Express Members to head straight for the garage. So, I figured that they must have a separate check-in area at the garage. Once I got there, I saw my name on their electronic billboard stating my car was ready to go in spot number 2! So, all I had to do was hop in and pull out of the garage after showing my license to the attendant at the exit. We had a Kia Sedona Minivan. Not as cush as the Town and Country we had last year (the sliding doors and trunk were not automaticÖWHAT?) but we were only paying $280 for an 8 day rental so I was perfectly fine with that! That whole rental process turned out to be too short! I had to circle the airport twice while waiting for the rest of the family to come out on the curbside. Anyway, the kids were excited to see Grandpa. We secured the carseats at the curbside, loaded the baggage, and we were on our way to SeaWorld.

This was our third trip in 4 years. And each time we started our trip by visiting SeaWorld before encasing ourselves in the Disney Cocoon. So I was able to drive to SeaWorld without needing a GPS or a map. I was so proud of myself . Not that itís difficult, but still. The minivan two cars in front of me at one of the two toll booths was not doing as well. He decided to use the opportunity at the tollbooth to ask for directions. It involved handing the attendant a business card or something. Then he handed her a map. Then she took the map in to mark it with a pen. About two minutes went by like this before the grungy old looking pickup truck behind us gave a loooooong honk. The attendant was not too pleased with that and shouted something back. DW and I made sure that the attendant knew it wasnít us that honked by giving looks to the truck behind us. Not that I donít honk when Iím driving in DC traffic. But honking in Florida? Why would anyone have a reason to honk here so close to the most magical place on earth?

By the time we entered through the gates at SeaWorld it was exactly one hour from the time we exited our plane. One Hour! That has to be some kind of record, right? Okay, even if itís not, Iíll just keep telling myself that.
(Sorry, I am now realizing that I didn't take any pics during my record breaking getaway from MCO. Probably was too focused! )

After a brief bathroom break, applying sunscreen lotions, and checking in at guest services for the Behind the Scenes Tour scheduled at 3:15pm, we headed over to Dolphin Cove. Last time we were there, we were able to get in line easily for the dolphin feeding. However, that was during the last week of January which had far fewer crowds. The line for the next scheduled feeding was much longer this time around when we went by. We decided to skip it this year and headed over to the Stingray Lagoon. DW bought some feeds and FIL, DW, and DD got to take turns feeding and petting them as they swam by. I had no idea that stingrays could do this:


They were swarming and poking their heads and mouths out of the water looking for food! They were acting like dolphins! FIL got a little wet from all the splashing the rays did.

We then headed over to the viewing section of the Dolphin Cove. Didnít get to see much from above the water viewing area. But once we got to the underwater viewing area, the kids got a very up and close view of the dolphins.



Next we got in line to get seats for our favorite show at SeaWorld, Blue Horizons. It just has so many different elements including the dolphins, high wire acts, and birds! DD had been talking all morning about wanting to sit in the splash zone. She remembered from last year that the first few rows got splashed on when the dolphins did their tail whips (is that the correct technical term?). DW and I were a little skeptical about this request because the last time she got soaked at our local zoo after playing underneath one of the mist cooling stations, she was NOT a happy camper. So we decided to test this out a bit. We knew that there was very little chance of any water reaching the last row of the splash zone. And thatís where we sat. DD was happy with it at first since the bleacher was stamped with the words ďsoak zoneĒ on it. The show was great once again. Itís such a high energy show!






Well, as expected, we didnít get splashed and although she enjoyed the show, she had a little pout on because she didnít get wet. DS loved the show as well.

Next Up: Shamu Gives Us a Proper Welcome!
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:06 PM   #27
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love the SeaWorld pics!! I can't believe in the past 4 trips we never made it over there ~ next time!!

How was Saratoga Springs? We drove through OKW (are they kind of set up similar?) ~ thinking we will need at least a 1 bedroom next time since we'll be an official family of 5 since youngest DD will be 3 then. But it just seemed so spread out ~ I mean, how do you refill your mug? Can you park at the pool if you drive to it?
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:27 PM   #28
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love the SeaWorld pics!! I can't believe in the past 4 trips we never made it over there ~ next time!!

How was Saratoga Springs? We drove through OKW (are they kind of set up similar?) ~ thinking we will need at least a 1 bedroom next time since we'll be an official family of 5 since youngest DD will be 3 then. But it just seemed so spread out ~ I mean, how do you refill your mug? Can you park at the pool if you drive to it?
We liked staying at Saratoga Springs although I think it lacks the Disney atmosphere that we were encased in at Poly. The suites are very comfortable. We were in a 2 bed room suite which came with a full kitchen and a spacious living room. You're right, the buildings are much more spread out but I don't think this is much of an issue if you have your own car or rental. If you didn't, then I think it would be a bit more inconvenient especially if you got assigned to a building that further away from the central lobby building. Parking is VERY ample so you could easily find spots near any particular building. They have a main pool next to the lobby building. They also had a "satellite" pool in the Grandstands buildings which is where we stayed. And if I'm not mistaken, they either are in the process of or finished putting in a third pool. Not sure about the refill mug question since we didn't use it then.

Overall, it just felt like we were staying at a generic condo. It was very quiet too during our stay.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #29
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Great start Dave! Now I guess I had better start on mine. Well, maybe tomorrow afternoon or evening I'll really get started on it.....lol
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:32 PM   #30
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Great start Dave! Now I guess I had better start on mine. Well, maybe tomorrow afternoon or evening I'll really get started on it.....lol
Thanks Charity! I can't wait to read your trip report!
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