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View Poll Results: Which Resort Do You Think We Enjoy More?
The Polynesian Resort 3 30.00%
Animal Kingdom Lodge 2 20.00%
Hated them Both Equally 1 10.00%
Loved them Both Equally 4 40.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-21-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of WDW? AKL And THE POLY(November 22nd )

Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of WDW? AKL And THE POLY

Hello everyone. This trip report is, in reality, my first major foray into the world of online posting. I figure with a year or more until our next trip to the World, reliving my last trip would be a fine way to pass the time. Disney therapy I guess! I hope somebody out there finds a measure of enjoyment in sharing this report with me.

The Cast:

DW- Heather (age unknown) the brains and conscience of our little family. A medical doctor by day; superhero mom by night. Any trip to Disney World must first be approved by Heather. So be nice to her!

DD6- Salem. Our little butterfly; fragile and sensitive, so handle with care. Nevertheless, she is brilliant beyond her years. Everyday I am amazed with how much better her brain works than mine.

DD2- Emily. Our little devil child. Every family has one, or at least needs one. With a mischievous smile on her face, trouble followers her where ever she goes. She is fearless and hilarious. She brings so much joy to our lives, simply by being her.

Me- Anthony. Im a stay-at-home Dad/student. With my thesis only a month away from being due, I thought it would be a good idea to go to Disney world instead of spending Heather's week off working on it. Priorities people! On the bright side, after many sleepless nights following our trip, the thesis did get finished on time.

Our vacation was split between a stay at the Polynesian resort for the first 4 days and Animal Kingdom Lodge during the last 3.

My thought process was fairly simple...while staying at the Polynesian, we would spend the majority of our time at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Where the monorail access allowed for very short and enjoyable rides to the parks. Then transfer over to AKL and spend our time at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Where a bus ride is required no matter which of the two resorts we stayed at.

The big bonus was saving over $400 from a weeks stay exclusively at the Poly, and being able to spend time hanging out with Giraffes at AKL.

The second bonus was the dining plan. Like many people we debated doing the dining plan, but really wondered if we wanted to commit to it for the required 7 days we were on property. The split stay enabled us to do the dining plan while at the Poly (4 days) and not be on it while at AKL. Thus allowing us to go to some of the more dining plan-friendly restaurants (i.e. the ones that cost more than Id be willing to pay out of pocket) during the first half of our trip, and eat at others that cannot be justified in using a dining plan credit for.

Last edited by Yahweh; 11-22-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #2
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Please can we go to Disney!

This, I am embarrassed to admit, is the plea not from my children, Salem and Emily to Heather and I, but rather a question I repeated for 3 months straight to Heather, starting sometime in late July 2012.

One point to be noted is that we just got back from Disney world in May last year, and to begin planning another trip so quickly seemed absurd to Heather.

Disney Trip, may 2012

Two things, however, I had in my favor:

First, to quote Game of Thrones, winter is coming. Even in July, for those of us who live in Canada know the inevitable arrival of winter is always around the corner.

Heather does not like winter

Neither do I!

Second, our youngest daughter Emily was set to turn 3 on March 25, and we all know what happens when our children turn 3; they become paying customers.

Heather finally gave the resigned go ahead and look into it, and we'll see statement sometime in early October. This is the inexorable first step to the alright go ahead and book it, concession that we all long for.

I was able to find a direct flight from Halifax, N.S. to Orlando for $1480 for the four of us. Which is about as cheap as you are going to find flying out of the Maritimes. I also knew that Disney was currently offering a 35% discount on their deluxe resorts early in 2013.

By Halloween I got the go ahead to begin the process of booking a trip to Disney world for late January. Not a ton of time, but with a little bit of persistence I was confident I would be able to plan a great trip!

Up Next, Planning Almost as Good as the Real Thing

Last edited by Yahweh; 04-24-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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I'm in! Can't wait to read about the split stay!
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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Planning. Almost as Good as the Real Thing!

There is case to be made that the early stages of planning a trip to Disney marks the beginning of ones vacation, even if the trip itself is still months away. When I allow myself to drift, even for a moment beyond the present, and think about all the expectations I have for the up and coming trip, the anticipating of the joy on my girls faces, the present day always seems a little bit brighter.

I LOVE PLANNING A TRIP TO DISNEY WORLD. Using capitals letters do not do justice to how much I live for this most pleasant of chores.

With three months to go, Heather is already exhausted from the non-stop Disney talk. The never-ending restaurant reservation changes, the constant updates on which parks we are going to be at on which days. The shouts of joy from me when a hard to get restaurant reservation time comes available and the fallout of having to change four other reservations in order to accommodate the new one.

I was especially excited to get into the last night at the California Grill before it closes months for renovations. Took three weeks of checking four to five times a day before one became open.

On our last trip to Disney World we went to the California Grill and it was fantastic! Beautiful view, wonderful service, and the girls loooooved the gummy sushi.

Ohana was another really hard one to get. In hindsight, it may have been better if we didnt get so lucky with Ohana. More on that later.

Our agenda was finally finalized...at least until we arrived
Disney Trip 2013

Day 1 Wednesday Jan 30(AK, HS, EP, MK*)
-Leave Halifax 6:00am
-Arrive in Orlando 10am
-Captn Cooks or Be our Guest (CS1)
-Magic Kingdom (12:00pm-4:30pm) .
THE WAVE 5:00 (TS1)
-Bed early :

Day 2 Thursday Jan 31(AK, HS, EP*, MK)
-Magic Kingdom EMH 8am-10 am
Epcot Afternoon

Day 3 Friday Feb 1(AK, HS, EP 11pm, MK*)
KONA CAFÉ 7:45AM 430231306792
Magic Kingdom 9am-1pm
Columbia harbor house (CS2)
California Grill 5:50 430261488554

Day 4 Saturday Feb 2(AK, HS 8am, EP, MK 10 pm)
Tangerine Cafe(CS3)
Epcot pm/Hotel
OHANA 5:05(TS4) 430231333025
Magic Kingdom Nighttime?

Day 5 Sunday Feb 3(AK, HS*, EP, MK)
Any Park
Head to Animal Kingdom Lodge
JIKO 6:15 PM 430091508942

Day 6 Monday (AK 8am, HS, EP 9pm, MK)
Animal Kingdom am
Downtown Disney Afternoon
SAANA 5:00 430091513949

Day 7 Tuesday Feb 5(AK*, HS, EP 8am, MK)
Hollywood Studios
Back to HS for the Fantasmic 7:00

We used a travel agent from Pixie Vacation to book the trip. They were very nice, but next time I think I'd rather just do it myself. We had originally book for seven nights at the Polynesian. But when I had the epiphany to do a split stay with the AKL, I had to make all the changes through the travel agent. Who in turn, had had to go through Disney. This ended up being much harder than doing than it would have been doing it myself. Because this was all done through email, there were weeks of uncertainly while waited for the agent to get back to me.

But at least we got these Disney bags free by using Pixie!

All in all I was pleased with the plans that were made. Super excited about the restaurants. And before I knew it was time to leave for Nova Scotia. The day before our flight, has finally arrived.

Up Next, "Goodbye Canada. Hello Canadian Pavilion."

Last edited by Yahweh; 05-20-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:40 AM   #6
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Hi Goofy78! Welcome. I'll try and get a new post up today. Salem is really enjoying doing this with me. She loves the little smiles and loves seeing pictures of her the dis boards.

Every hour or so she asks if I have posted a new one yet So I'll get back at it today
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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"Goodbye Canada. Hello Canadian Pavilion."

The day before our 6am flight to Orlando, we had to decide on ONE of three options

1. Sleep the night before at home, and get up at 1am and drive 3 hours to Halifax to catch our flight.

2. Spend the night before at one of the airport hotels ($200) and take the shuttle to the airport around 4am.

3. Spend the night at the girls' grandparents house which was less than an hour from the airport. Get up at 3:30 am and drive to the Airport.

No option really sounded great, but we chose to stay at with the grandparents the night before. Resolved that wed go to be early that night and be a least functional for our first day at Disney.

As they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men, I went to bed around 10pm but the spent the next 5 hours in bed wide awake. I finally dragged myself out of bed at 3am, warm up the car for the girls, and got everything ready for a quick getaway to the airport.

Emily was not quite ready to be awake!

The girls thankfully slept another 45 min on the way to the airport. We arrived at Halifax International Airport around 4:15am and prepared ourselves for customs. The line-up was surprisingly long for that time in the morning. We quickly realized that they were not even open yet! At 5am they began to bring people through. Considering how long we were standing in line, the girls did amazingly well.

By 5:30am we were through customs and able to sigh a big relief. Our flight was pushed back 45min to 6:45 am so the plane could be de-iced. But at that point it wasnt a big deal. The delay gave us a chance to grab breakfast before we boarded.

The flight down was non-eventful. The girls by that time were very restless. We were hoping theyd sleep during the flight, but the excitement of the airplane and being so close to arriving was not conducive to napping. It felt like a very long flight! We arrived just after 10am Orlando time&sunny and 80.

After changing out of our Canadian gear and into summer clothes we headed for the Magical Express.

We stopped for our first picture with Mickey!

I love the Magical Express. It marks for us the first attraction we do while at Disney. Some may make the case for the the mini-monorail, but for me, there is nothing quite like the excitement I feel when I see the buses all lined up and spot the one with the name of our resort on it.


We were first in line for our bus, and after a bit of a wait we got on. Salem and I sat in the front seat, Heather and Emily in the seat beside us. We were off to the Polynesian!

Our and first trip to Disney World last year, we stayed at Coronado Springs. While we enjoyed the resort, we couldnt be more excited about being on the Monorail line for this trip. Taking the buses to the parks with two little children and a stroller was probably the least enjoyable part of that trip. I cannot tell you how often we ran to catch a bus, and folded up the stroller in haste, and quickly realized it still contained multiple full Disney cups of liquid (usually coffee). Am I the only one who does this?

Our trip from the Orlando airport to the Polynesian, Salem and i spent counting the number of signs that had something to do with Disney World on them. I forget now how many there were, but enough that we never had to wait long for another to come along.

The most important sign, of course, is the iconic Disney World: Where Dreams Come True sign. This is followed by the Magic Kingdom sign.

Finally our bus pulled into the Polynesian Resort. We have arrived!

Up next, The Polynesian: Our First Impressions

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Old 04-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #9
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Welcome WiiGirl!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
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Joining your TR. Love the idea of a split stay between The Poly and AKL. I been contemplating adding on two days at AKL myself so can't wait to read more. Your family is lovely
'89 & '90- Travelodge-Hotel Plaza Blvd,'92 & '93- POFQ,'94-YC,'95 & '96-WL,'97-CSR,'06-AKL,'07-Disneyland Hotel,'09-OKW,F&G '12-BWI,MVMCP '12-BWI,F&W '13-AKL

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Old 04-23-2013, 10:27 PM   #11
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Trip sounds good so far!!! I can't wait to read more!
KatDH DD 7
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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Welcome Katcar and SJS! Very pleased to see some people from the North-East popping on.

Our next trip to Disney World, We'll likely drive to Maine, New Hampshire or Boston and fly out there. Any recommendations or advice about which airport to choose would be greatly appreciated. Boston seems to be the cheapest but the furtherest way from Prince Edward Island.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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The Polynesian: Our First Impressions

Oh the Polynesian...

To be honest, I didnt have high expectations for the resort itself coming into the trip. We booked the Poly primarily for the location. Ive read enough reviews and opinions about how the Poly was a bit run down and in desperate need for major renovations, that my hopes for loving the resort were very low as the bus turned into the resort grounds.

The opposite was true for AKL. I had diner at Saana our last trip, and spending time at AKL for those couple of hours was probably the highlight of our trip. I thought at the time, man do I wish I did not to have to take a bus (well, two buses actually) back to Coronado Springs. I would have love to stay at AKL for good!

Salem and Emily saying hi to our dining companion at Sanaa in 2012 trip

Its funny how expectations can shape ones experience.

Anyways, we got off the bus and headed straight to the Grand Ceremonial hall. We were immediately greeted by a number of Cast Members Aloha! As we walked through the doors and entered the GCH, I breathed in for the first time the famous Polynesian Scent. My first impression was, Okay, nice smell, but it was hardly worth further thought. As our vacation progressed, how I felt about the Polynesians scent changed: more on that in a later post.

Salem and I at the Second Floor of the GCH

Check-in was very quick and we were excited to learn that our room was over at Tokelau longhouse. Perfect. Tokelau was centrally located from the GCH, the TTC and the Pools. We were on the bottom floor, which was fine, and had a pleasant view of the grounds.

The girls both received their very own Leis. They were so pleased by this.

Due to construction blocking the quickest path to our Longhouse, we got a bit lost the first time to our room.

But when we found it, the automatic door inside was stuck and only opened part way. So we squeezed ourselves though the door and went to find our room. I did notice the hallway carpet was very rundown and, all and all, outside the room wasnt in the greatest shape. This didnt bother me, however. I was much more concerned about what the room would be like.

When we opened our room door, my first thought was, WOW, what a huge room! I had no issues with the room what so ever. We open our patio door, and the girls were able to run outside and were fascinated by the grass there. Much different than the grass when have in Canada.

While the girls were getting settled, I took a walk by myself back the GCH to see if our stroller had arrived from Orlando Strollers.

The first mistake I had made planning this trip, was the stroller rental. With Salem being six now, we had decided not to do a double stroller this time, and instead opted for a single with a standing board on the back. Because of the trip down being so early in the morning, Salem and Emily were exhausted. They both wanted to sleep in the stroller for much of our time at Disney World, but with only one seat, much of the time they sat there together and neither slept much. Should have gotten the double stroller!

Anyways the stroller was there waiting for us. After I went exploring the GCH for a few mins, before I returned to our room to see if the girls were ready to go to the park.

Amazingly after all the traveling we had done, it was still only 11:30 am and we had a whole day ahead of us. After a quick trip to Capn Cooks to grab our Disney Mugs, we headed upstairs to catch our first Monorail ride!

Last edited by Yahweh; 05-18-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #14
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Hi joining in on your adventure. I so wish my husband had your Disney enthusiasm. Great job so far.

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Old 04-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #15
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Welcome Mrs Grumpy!
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