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Old 09-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
JAMIESMITH
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1437 Miles From Mississippi to Magical and Back

This trip report will cover my family's first vacation: a five night stay at Disneys Polynesian Resort in September 2012. This is a joint trip report which will be written by myself and my cousin Marie (mjohn9083). Marie and I were joined by my husband, Jamie, and our four year old daughter, Madilyn. Yes, my husband and I are both named Jamie. We will do our best not to be too confusing! The full introductions can be found in the pre-trip report here:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2956482

Trip Links

The Friday Before
The Trip Down
Magical Moments at Check In
Rapa Nui
Future World: Madilyn Loves to Soar & Character Spot
First Meal at Coral Reef
Naptime and Exploring the Polynesian
Evening at Epcot
Rise and Shine for Safari
Wet Is Fine If You Have a Swim Suit
Flights of Wonder
Wrapping Up at Animal Kingdom
Our Grand Dinner
Boat Ride to Magic Kingdom
So Much to do in Magic Kingdom
Overheated
Eeyore Stole Mama's Chair
Perfect Timing For a Parade
The Steam Train to Frontier Land
A Very Educational Boat Ride
Hallowishes and Captain Cooks
A Late Start and a Scary Character
The Secret of the Wings
Dirty Laundry
The Polynesian Luau
Breakfast at Akershus
The World Showcase
A Parisian Rendezvous
My Husband Is In Love With A Belly Dancer
Wishes On The Beach
Our Last Day at Disney and Our First Day with a Stroller
Princess of the Show
Star Tours
Time For Home Cooking
Countdown to Fun Parade
Mommy Meltdown

Final Thoughts & Photopass Photos

Disney Bucket List
Marie's Wedding
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Disney's Polynesian Resort (Rapa Nui) September 2012 1437 Miles From Mississippi to Magical and Back

Disney's Boardwalk Villas January 2015 Desperate For More Disney Magic




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Old 09-16-2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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The Friday Before

I don’t have any pictures to go along with this, but I wanted to start at the real beginning of our trip. On Friday, September 7th Marie got off work at 4:00 and was nice enough to pick Madilyn up from our Nanny’s house and bring her home. Nanny is Marie’s and my grandmother. She keeps Maddy on Fridays so that my mom has a day to herself. My husband and I got off work at 5:00. I filled up the car and stopped by Pizza Hut on the way home to pick up our dinner so I was the last one home.

We ate and Jamie and Marie washed our car while Madilyn and I took a bath. While my husband was in the shower, Marie and I loaded everything in the car except our ice chest. We set the alarm for 3:30 am so we could get an early start and we all went to bed early. It seemed like just a few minutes before the alarm was going off and it was time to be on our way!
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Disney's Polynesian Resort (Rapa Nui) September 2012 1437 Miles From Mississippi to Magical and Back

Disney's Boardwalk Villas January 2015 Desperate For More Disney Magic




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Old 09-16-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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The Trip Down

We made reservations for on the way down for one night at Lake City, Florida’s Red Roof Inn. That meant we would be driving eight hours on Saturday and another three on Sunday morning. There wasn’t much to see on the way down except the tunnel in Mobile, Alabama and the battleship there. We stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Mobile for breakfast around 9:00 so we saw some of the town, too. After the bridge in Pensacola, it started pouring down rain. By this time my husband had taken over driving. We saw three bad car wrecks. One of which he narrowly avoided being part of. It rained all the way to Lake City. I didn’t take any photos of the scenery on the drive down. The only one I can find is this one of Madilyn riding in the back seat. You can see her Disney Character Encyclopedia and Marie kitty.



We checked into our hotel at 4:30 pm. We ate dinner at the Red Lobster in Lake City- just down the street from our hotel. Endless Shrimp Here is a picture of Marie and Madilyn while we were waiting for our food.



If anyone needs a decent hotel at a good price a few hours away from Disney World, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Red Roof Inn in Lake City. Everyone was friendly. The hotel was quiet and our room was clean. We tried swimming, but the rain made it not so fun

One more picture. This is of Madilyn's stuffed animals on our bed at Lake City. There will be a few more joining these for the trip home!



We left Lake City at 6:30 am. If anyone is interested, it is feasible to get to Disney World without going through the toll roads. Just be prepared to contend with lots of red lights. We arrived at the Polynesian resort at 9:00 am.
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Disney's Polynesian Resort (Rapa Nui) September 2012 1437 Miles From Mississippi to Magical and Back

Disney's Boardwalk Villas January 2015 Desperate For More Disney Magic




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Old 09-17-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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Hiya neighbor!! I'm subscribed in. Looking forward to your TR. What part of MS? I'm from just outside of Hattiesburg in Petal.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstickets View Post
Hiya neighbor!! I'm subscribed in. Looking forward to your TR. What part of MS? I'm from just outside of Hattiesburg in Petal.

Thanks for reading! Marie and I have relatives in Petal on Old Richton Road! Marie graduated from Southern Miss so she lived in Hattiesburg for several years. We are all living just outside Meridian.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JAMIESMITH View Post
Thanks for reading! Marie and I have relatives in Petal on Old Richton Road! Marie graduated from Southern Miss so she lived in Hattiesburg for several years. We are all living just outside Meridian.
I know exactly where Old Richton Road is located. We live off Sunrise Road. Looking forward to more on your TR.
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MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek - BCV-Oct13 (TR In Progress)
Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey - Aulani-Sep12
Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? | BLT/VWL; May2012-Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
AKV/BWV; Nov/Dec2010; No Kids; Backstage Magic Tour; V&A; Lots of pics and video
OKW; May2010; DDP cost analysis; Wishes Dessert Party; Fantasmic
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Magical Moments at Check In

We pulled up to the guard house at 9:00 on Sunday, September 9th. My husband told the guard that we were checking into the Polynesian and was asked for his driver's license. The guard gave us a slip of paper to tape to our windshield and gave us directions to the Great Ceremonial House. Isn't that a great thing to call a lobby?

We parked under the awning and Marie went to find a cart for our luggage. The nice guy who brought the cart over to my car wouldn't let us lift a finger to help him unload our things. My husband left Marie, Madilyn, and me to check in while he parked the car.

He had a little trouble navigating the parking lot and actually ended up being locked out of it by one of the automatic gates! He had to get back to it from the main road. He was a little annoyed that I didn't answer my phone when he called. I didn't hear my phone ring during all the excitement at check in

Here's a shot of the water feature before you enter the GCH.



Allen checked us in at the Online Check In desk. When he first pulled up our information he paused for a moment and said that he would be right back. He walked around to the concierge and came back with two things. The first was a white box which he sat on the counter in front of Marie.



Inside was a pair of bride mouse ears that Marie had planned to buy during our trip. We found out later that one of her sorority sisters who is now a cast member picked them out for her!



The second box was clear plastic. Allen took a lei made out of real flowers out and put it around Marie's neck. You'll see better photos of it from when we went to the luau later in the week.



Marie also received a "Just Engaged" button. Madilyn got a "First Visit" button. Hey, it was my first visit, too! Allen bypassed the yellow leis and went for pink. He said that my husband could have pink, too since he was traveling with so many ladies.

A few of Madilyn and the water feature inside the GCH.





And the hidden Mickey in the floor



Then Allen noticed our room request and made a quick call to secure us a third floor room in the Rapa Nui longhouse. I requested this longhouse after seeing Tikiman's reviews of each one. My husband's one request was not to be on the first floor. We wanted to be in a quiet area of the resort near the Transportation and Ticket Center for the monorail to Epcot. We were also hoping for a balcony and double sinks.

I took a picture of Allen with Marie later in the week since he made her arrival so special



After we were checked in and heading over to bell services, my husband made it to the GCH from his adventure in the parking lot. Poor guy! The best bell man ever loader our luggage from the cart onto a golf cart and drove us to our long house where we got our first look at our home for the week
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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Great TR thus far.

I'm loving the pictures because they're bringing back memories from my wedding. I have wedding photos in front of that fountain and that area where your daughter is standing.

Excited to read more.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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Great TR thus far.

I'm loving the pictures because they're bringing back memories from my wedding. I have wedding photos in front of that fountain and that area where your daughter is standing.

Excited to read more.
Oooooohhhhhh! I had no idea you could have wedding photos done there! Very cool. Marie's in full wedding mode right now. We're 72 hours until go time!
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:13 PM   #10
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Rapa Nui

I forgot to mention the funny look Allen gave me when he realized we'd requested to be in the Rapa Nui longhouse. When I asked him about it, he said that most guests request Samoa or Tokelau and almost no one ever asks for Rapa Nui

Our first look at our long house.







Our wonderful bell man sent us up to our room (#3122) and said that he would bring our luggage right up. When he did my husband gave him a $20 tip (mainly because that was the smallest bill in his wallet at the time). I'm not sure what is customary, but I feel like it was sufficient.

The mats at the long house entrances.



The third floor hallway. Do you see the Mickey heads in the closest patterened carpet?



Storage space. The pretty lighted doors are closets. One of them does lose some hanging space due to the small safe. The coffee pot sits on the center counter with the fridge in the cabinet underneath. The bell man did tell us to leave the cabinet doors cracked so the fridge would stay cool.



Double Bathroom sinks



Duck in the bathroom...



Mickey head on the bed! We were really lucky to have two towel animals when we checked in, but these were the only ones we had all week.



The super comfortable beds.



First family portrait



One of Marie in front of the patio doors. People complain about how dark these rooms are, but opening the first layer of curtains lets in a lot of light.



Madilyn checking out the room.





And finally our wonderful view! Looking ahead and to thr right was the back side of Tahiti. Looking to the left was Tokelau. And of course all the beautiful landscaping in between

Towards Tahiti




Towards Tokelau



I swear we didn't see or hear anyone else in our building for three nights!
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Signing up.
Love the pictures of the Polynesian.
And that is such a spacial arrival package Marie had waiting for her.
Cannot wait to read more.

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Old 09-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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Signing up.
Love the pictures of the Polynesian.
And that is such a spacial arrival package Marie had waiting for her.
Cannot wait to read more.

Q
Yay! I'm glad you're here. I always enjoy reading your trip reports...speaking of which, you need to get to work!
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:51 AM   #13
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May I join in? We are freshly missing Disney so I am very happy I found your report!
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:29 AM   #14
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I live in Pascagoula and we are headed to WDW 10/26--so today makes one month left. I am enjoying you TR and photos. Our MS friend, Saintstickets owes us a TR from Aulani!! I am so glad to know there are more fans in MS. I live 35 miles from Mobile and I like going through both tunnels ( George Wallace is the one on 1-10 and Bankhead is the old one just north of it on Govt Blvd.)
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyjinx3 View Post
May I join in? We are freshly missing Disney so I am very happy I found your report!
I hope your family had a great vacation, too! I hate that we missed meeting one another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddyLu View Post
I live in Pascagoula and we are headed to WDW 10/26--so today makes one month left. I am enjoying you TR and photos. Our MS friend, Saintstickets owes us a TR from Aulani!! I am so glad to know there are more fans in MS. I live 35 miles from Mobile and I like going through both tunnels ( George Wallace is the one on 1-10 and Bankhead is the old one just north of it on Govt Blvd.)
Hi, neighbor! You don't see many people here from Mississippi! We ended up going through downtown Mobile in our quest to get from the Cracker Barrell to the George Wallace tunnel. We saw some massive homes!
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