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Old 02-03-2013, 07:01 PM   #196
Izzieheartscindy
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I just found your trip report and am all caught up. It sounds amazing so far and I can't wait I hear the rest!! I'm also dying to stay at Poly. We were at Wilderness last year and were supposed to do Poly next year but decided to do a longer POR royal guest room stay this year instead since DS will still be free for flights and Disney. Poly will have to wait another 2 years so I'm loving reading about your trip!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:18 AM   #197
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That is a seriously sweet room!!!

Once again, loving your pictures. The one in the ToT hotel lobby is spectacular.

Congrats, again!!!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #198
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How exciting! I love the Pixie Dust you got. I would have been in a panic at the check in desk myself. So glad that you got into such a beautiful room.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #199
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Yay, Poly pixie dust!!!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:04 PM   #200
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Day Three - Monday 1/21 (part two)

So.. the boys were indeed able to talk me into leaving my beloved Poly room.

We walked over to the Ticket & Transportation Center to catch the monorail to Epcot. (Loved the closeness of the Tahiti longhouse to the TTC!)



Here we are at Epcot !



We were really starting to enjoy having our Photopass+ , which I had pre-purchased before our trip. I don't know if it was because it was the one thing that I paid for out-of-pocket or what, but the boys were definitely more on-board with seeking out Photopass photographers on this trip. (yay!) We soon discovered that there is certainly a wide range of various personalities and creativity among photographers, so my advice is to not be afraid to seek out the fun ones!

We got one particular one who was quite hilarious (or perhaps un-hilarious, depending on your perspective).. We walked up to him and handed him our Photopass+ card. I say, "Hi there, Can we do some kind of fun photo?" His response (in kind of a deep mobster-type accent) was "What? Ya want a Tinkerbell or sumthin'? I'm probably the most uncreative person in this park." Really? Did he actually just say that out loud?! DBF piped up with something about the "happiest place on earth" and then DS started repeating that Tinkerbell line over and over the rest of the day. Ha ha. You sure do experience a lot of interesting people at WDW.

Speaking of "interesting people", what about the one crazy guy who boarded a completely full bus we were on. He (immediately upon boarding) started loudly badmouthing all the "so-called gentlemen" (his words!) on the bus who didn't immediately get up & offer him, his wife, and their 3 kids their seats.

OMG!

I saw tons of people (including us) give up their seats on busses or monorails to moms/babies/kids, but sometimes when it's a really packed bus, there's not much you can do, especially to find them 5 seats? If you're that hateful on Disney's "free" transportation system, I'd recommend renting a car! Okay, I'm off my soapbox now! How did I get on THAT subject - sorry!!! I just love Disney so much, I could never imagine being that psycho while on vacation!! PHEW!

Anyways, back to photo-taking, so here we are in front of Epcot & luckily we found a really fun photographer, so we ended up with quite a few cute photos .. Yay!!!





Inside Epcot, DS signed up for an Agent P mission, which he ended up really enjoying. If we had more time, he would've done it more than once.



He chose the United Kingdom pavilion for his mission.



The clues and surprises are really so clever!! This appears to be just an ordinary light......:



Nope, it's a clue !!



Disney is so cool.

After the mission, we only had time to explore a few countries (United Kingdom, Morocco, France and Japan), then it was time to return to the Poly for our dinner reservation at our all -time favorite resaurant, 'OHANA!





Goodbye Epcot, we'll be back !



Back at the Poly, we had time to watch the fireworks from our room before dinner...



what a view !!!



We were so excited to eat again at 'Ohana. Hands down, our favorite meal at WDW.



we were in full-tropical mode! : )



We were seated right by the fire-pit, which was nice for me because it was toasty warm over there & I'm always cold..



Our meal was soooo good. We loved everything.

DS for some reason is obsessed with the pot-stickers. He asked if we could have a few more & our waiter brought us seriously the HUGEST platter with WAY too many on it. DS's eyes about popped out of his head.. He was thrilled, ha ha!



We tried not to stuff ourselves too full, because we knew what was still to come.....

Normally we don't go ga-ga over desserts all that often, but this thing is absolutely AMAZING !!!!



As much as we love this restaurant, we know if we had one closer to home we'd be in big trouble !!!!

After we rolled ourselves out of there, we enjoyed a leisurely walk back to our room..



I wish I could capture the beauty of the Poly grounds at night on my camera, but I just couldn't pull it off.. I really loved walking down all the tiki torch-lined paths.. Heaven!!



DBF loves to give me a hard time about my Disney obsessions.. We are currently in the beginning stages of landscaping the backyard of our house, and as we were walking back to our longhouse, DBF asked me "So, if I can somehow figure out a way to transform our backyard into 'THIS' , does that mean I don't have to be drug all the way across the country to this place anymore?" He is so rotten!!! But hey, a Poly-themed backyard... um, yeah I can deal with that! All we need are some tiki-torches, some water and a........ volcano! --- How hard could that be!? LOL!!!! I think he better watch what he jokes about !!!

Anyways, we return to our room, and are happy to relax into bed. This has been such a great day!!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #201
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Great pictures. Have never walked the grounds at night unless it was going back to a room. Looks like I'm missing a lot. Koodos to the PP seems like he was fun. Man on the bus, ohLord he could have always waited for the next one and gotten five seats then. Shut Up you are no more special then the next "normal" person. Can't wait for the next day.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #202
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Ok, awesome day and magical night!!!

The photopass pictures are great, but can I tell you that I am just blown away by the one in Morocco.

I think I would be ok that view! Beautiful!

Yummy meal! My son is obsessed with potstickers too.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:20 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post


My son is obsessed with potstickers too.

Really? That is TOO funny! Must be a "boy" thing!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:00 PM   #204
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Awesome updates! We were on 1st floor Tahiti as well when we won our trip
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:40 AM   #205
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great updates. So happy you got such great rooms too!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #206
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You look quite at home there lounging in the Poly chair in your room! And to watch Wishes from your room with a view like that - PARADISE! LOVE it!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:52 PM   #207
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Day Four - Tuesday, 1/22 (part one)

Today was our day to go to Animal Kingdom. DS and I really love this park!

This day was supposed to be a bit cooler - a high around 65. It was pretty chilly that morning, but we were hoping that as soon as the sun got going it would be a little warmer..



This day is definitely going to have to be recapped in two parts because I always go photo-overboard in this park. I just love all the animals, all the plants.. this park is so photogenic! As you can tell, anything tropical or green is definitely my thing! What can I say? I'm from ugly ol' brown-desert-Nevada!

We did great on time this morning and got to the park before it opened. Our KTTW cards wouldn't work right to admit us. EEK. We were afraid that somehow our park hoppers didn't get transferred correctly with all the confusion at the Poly check-in the night before.. However at the time we were at the new RFID entry side and the CM said they were still working all the bugs out, so "maybe it was them, not us". They asked where we were staying & quickly confirmed our tickets were still valid on their handheld computer-thingy and we were through the gates... phew! We hoped we we weren't going to have any more trouble with our hoppers!

We headed straight for Africa, for the Kilimanjaro Safari. DS loves the safaris.

We had a great ride - all the animals were out & about, posed perfectly for their photos to be taken, ha ha!













I brought my handy-dandy zoom lens for my camera.. It was cool to see some of the far-away critters more closely!!



After the Safari, we headed to our favorite ride of all Disneyworld, Expedition Everest!



DS was beyond THRILLED that we got placed in line for the FRONT ROW! He was jumping up and down like crazy!!

Of course I think sitting in the front row was also a great opportunity to take some awesome photos and video!

What? Doesn't everybody take photos while on a roller coaster?







The view from the tippy top:




Here's a link to a VIDEO of part of our ride!

(Warning: lots of screaming, fyi !!)





We had two heart-stopping moments where DS almost lost our Photopass+ lanyard... He's at that age where he insists he's just as responsible as an adult, but still manages to have a lot of kid "moments".. haha. This time, he realized he left my precious lanyard in the pouch of our car!

I panic... (as in TOTALLY freak-out!)

Luckily I realize that the CM's are well-trained & very efficient in pin-pointing which train is which and checking the pouches as they rotate back around. In no time we are reunited with our lanyard, PHEW! Losing anything photo-related during a trip would be completely devastating!!

So after all that excitement, we grab a Fastpass for Expedition Everest for later and then head off to find some more rides & adventures...



We rode Primeval Whirl for the first time.. We never laughed so much, that ride is totally silly!





Here's our photo from Dinosaur. It is totally hilarious!

I look like I'm laughing, DS looks like he's scared & DBF is all like "When's lunch". (men!!)

And that little guy behind DS is too funny!!



We went back to ride Everest again. This time we got the very back row, so it was fun to see which was best - the very front or the very back..

Verdict: the front, most certainly !!

After EE, we headed over to eat for the first time at Flame Tree BBQ.

The food was good, but what was even better was the atmosphere..



I loved eating in this pretty setting, by the water, with a view of Everest in the background.

There were hardly any other people around! I love finding peaceful spots like this, amongst all the park craziness.

You're welcome, family, for all my diligent Disney research!!!!



DS decided this little begging guy was the bird-version of our dog, back at home. Ha Ha!



Love this photo .. It also reminds me how proud I was that DS chose NEON GREEN for the bands on his braces the week before our trip. Kids, gotta love them !!!



(to be continued in part two..........)
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:43 AM   #208
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Day Four - Tuesday 1/22 (part two)

After lunch we headed to Its Tough To Be a Bug. I always love strolling around the Tree, seeing what kind of animals we can spot.



The show was great as usual.. All of the 3D, well I guess 4D shows at Disney are just so fun and we really enjoy all of them.



More pretty scenery..




Crowds today seemed LOTS better , the worst we waited for anything was about 20 minutes.

We are indeed seeing a lot of those South-American teen tour-groups and they can be a little crazy. Luckily they're usually wearing matching bright shirts and waving a big neon flag, so anytime we saw that coming our way, we would exercise our right to get the heck out of the area.


Time to hit the trails to see some more animals:




This hippo was SO COOL to see close up!!



What about this guy.. Isn't he cute?





The gorillas are always so interesting to watch & their eyes are so haunting to me!



This little guy was too funny to watch. He had the best time playing with this green tub!







Near the tigers, DS started jumping up and down calling for me to come over by him.. He said he found a "Hidden Tyler." He totally cracked us up.. too funny!



Afterwards we managed to spot DiVine for the first time! She was really interesting to watch, part magical, part beautiful, and part kinda CREEPY!



Animal Kingdom closes kind of early at 5pm, but that actually worked out well because we had the evening to do whatever we wanted to do. We originally had a dinner reservation, but we decided to cancel it and not be tied to any kind of schedule for the rest of the day.

Since we were on that side of the "World", I thought we should take a little bus ride over to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I love checking out all the other resorts, and seeing what they're like.

I always thought the AKL looked neat online, and was originally considering choosing it for part of our trip, but it never really appealed to the boys..

Okay, first of all - the lobby. WOW.



It reminded us of the lobby from our stay at the Wilderness Lodge, same shape/basic design.

It was really beautiful and so detailed... We walked outside and explored some more. DS thought it was really neat that you could see animals from your room.



The pool area was really gorgeous...



The boys really changed their tune.. they loved it here. DS said, "Can we stay here someday?" DBF just pretended to ignore us... he just LOVES it when we talk about "next time" when we haven't even finished our current trip!

The details and theming at some of these resorts are just amazing. The only drawback to AKL for us is the transportation, as we all really love having options other than busses, and we especially enjoy all the boats (we're from the desert, remember!). For some reason, we had quite a wait heading out of there, which probably sealed the deal with the boys on us ever staying there (boo!) .. Oh well!

We finally made it back to the Poly. The boys decided to swim a while in the quiet pool, while I did a little laundry. Luckily laundry was close enough that I could go back & forth checking on it and sitting by the pool watching them swim. (Plus it gave me an excuse to chicken out on swimming because it was too cold for me.. The water was heated really nicely, but you sure do freeze for a little bit when you get out.. brr! )

As you can see, we are the ONLY crazy people at the pool



After swimming/laundry, we ate dinner at Captain Cooks, which was yummy. I had the "grown-up grilled cheese", while the boys had flatbread pizzas. Followed by a round of Dole whips, which is clearly the best part of Captain Cooks!!!!!

Afterwards we watched the fireworks again from the beach, followed by the Electrical Water Pageant a bit later.



Time to go to bed! It has been a really great day.

Goodnight castle.. we'll be seeing you up close tomorrow!

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #209
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Great updates! We loved it when we stayed at AKL! Your pictures are just beautiful! Disney should pay you for that one at Everest with the car coing out of the mountain!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:33 PM   #210
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Great update. Love the look on DS's face coming down EE. That last picture is beautiful.
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