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Old 12-17-2004, 04:45 PM   #1
CaipiraBob
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Just Back From Polynesian Concierge 12/11/04 - 12/15/04

Just Back From Polynesian Concierge 12/11/04 - 12/15/04


We've just returned from an excellent trip to the Polynesian Concierge. Rather than several different links to the same trip I'll summarize different aspects of this visit into one post. I know people like multiple posts, but I am far too lazy to indulge in such. Please note that I take no remorse in the random slaughter of the English language that is about to follow.


We arrived around 11:30 AM Saturday morning. The valets and porters promptly addressed us. We received a very pleasant greeting and were quickly brought to the Hawaii building by the porter. He brought us to room #3510.


I need to mention this right now. We had made requests for 8 different rooms on the third floor in Hawaii. Per the following list (courtesy of Tikiman's writings) our request read:


3RD FLOOR
3504 good views of the castle with some trees to the left
3505 good views of the castle
3507 good view of the castle
3509 may be high enough to be looking over the trees. (been there, it's good.)
3511 clear view to the castle
3512 clear view of the castle
3516 clear view of the castle
3517 clear view of the castle


We understand that they can't meet all requests, but the problem was that room #3510 has a tree directly in front of the room. NO VIEW OF THE CASTLE! My jaw about hit the floor. That was really all I wanted a lagoon room view for. Room #3510 is the WORST room you can get for this! I recommend that you bring an axe should you be compelled to stay in this room. You'll have to cut down the palm tree to see anything.


Well, here's the MAGIC part: I went downstairs and spoke to Becky at the concierge desk. I explained my hope that they might have a room with a view of the castle. She worked her magic with the keyboard and got us into room #3505 - The third floor "Tikiman View" !


When we saw the view, we were in heaven. The kids at that moment realized they could see the castle from our room and were pointing to it. We knew we were "there" at last!


Thank you from my heart, Becky!


So anyway, we decided to head down to the lounge for a rest and take in the sites. We had scheduled the kids for the Neverland club. They were jumping up and down waiting to go back, that's how much they love it. We walked around the resort and took in the sights. When the NL club opened, we brought the kids over and made preparations for our evening.


For our first night, I had decided to bring my wife to "Boston Lobster Feast". I had never been to an all-you-can-eat lobster house and was well willing to "experiment". We found the restaurant easily with the help of the concierge desk who printed exact directions on how to get there. The restaurant is similar to what you would expect from the "Red Lobster" franchise, with the obvious difference. We happened to be there for the early special, and the meals ran $20 per person. The Lobster bisque was great, not knowing what to expect. The lobster was perfect, and all I can tell you is that the value is as good as it sounds. We only made it through two helpings.


So after this, we headed to the parks. We valet parked, then hopped on a monorail to MK. We strolled around and took in the sights, lights and all of the decorations. Beautiful! Slightly crowded, but we had no trouble making our way around. We rode POTC and shopped. Then headed back later to get the kids and enjoy the fireworks. We made sure we stopped by the lounge to pick up an assortment of the chocolates and snacks they provide. Perfect!!!


Sunday morning brought us our first day at MK. I made a mistake with an earlier post stating problems we ran into on Monday, I lost track of the days...it was Sunday! We got in within 20 minutes of the park opening and headed to Fantasyland for the kids. Wonderful to hear the kids so happy about coming back to the park and seeing the castle. We stopped for a quick photo with the Disney photographers. This is a great service and I recommend that people use it.


We arrived in Fantasyland and I looked around. Wait for "Snow White": 5 Minutes - WOOHOO! We decided to hit Mickey's Philhar-magic, because that was the kid's favorite. We strolled over and saw no line whatsoever. There were two CM's out in front however. They greeted us with sad smiles and said the attraction wasn't working, but would open as soon as possible. "OK" we said, we were right next to Peter Pan, so we went there. Our hearts began to drop a little when we met more CM's with the same sad smile on their face. "We'll open as soon as possible..." they said.


So that was two for two. We did an about face and headed over to Snow White's. That one was working, so we went for our first ride...at last! We went to "Pooh's" next and that was about a 5 minute wait. Then we did several other attractions that varied from "Tom Sawyer's Island" to my son's first ride on Space Mountain (he liked it, but didn't want to do it twice.)


That afternoon we headed back to the resort. The kids wanted to hit the pool so we went there for two hours. Later we took them back to the NL Club, which they were begging for. My wife and I then headed over to the Contemporary, where we had a wonderful meal at the Concourse Steak House. This night we had both the Rib Eye and New York Strip with a side of Béarnaise. We could only eat half of the meals. Delicious meal and I can recommend the Concourse Steak House for a moderately priced Steakhouse.


We picked up the kids before the MVMCP fireworks at 9:15PM. It was a chilly evening so we opted for chocolates and cordials and the "Tikiman" approved view from our balcony. If you have never seen this show, it is phenomenal as seen from the Polynesian. The finale fills your entire field of vision, I kid you not. Afterwards, the applause rings around the entire lagoon. It's extremely impressive. I should add that the fireworks for the MVMCP are a step up from the normal "Wishes" fireworks. Either way it's a show you must see when you visit.


Monday morning was our MGM day. We headed directly to MGM via our own car, using the resort pass for free parking. We went directly to the "Playhouse Disney" attraction where there were only some 30 people ahead of us. We were seated shortly and enjoyed the show for what I think is our last time, as it seems our children are now growing out of that stage where they enjoy it. I get a twinge as I write this thinking about how fast they are growing! I'm glad we did this now instead of waiting...


We made our way through MGM for most of the day with 5 minutes waits or walk-ons. It was wonderful compared to last year, when we went the weekend and week after Thanksgiving (the same strategy of early mornings worked nicely then.) We saw all of the major attractions and I even got my 7 year old DS to ride "Rockin' Roller Coaster" with me. He enjoyed it, but one ride was enough. Good boy...he's OK until DD can ride. Then he's going to have some competition, as she cannot wait to ride.


It was a great day. That afternoon we made our way back to the resort where the kids wanted to swim again. After a nice meal at Kona Café (which was more than we could eat) I went ahead and took them. Yes, this was fairly cool weather, but the pool's heated so we let them have at it while I let me wife rest some (my turn was the day before.)


That evening we toured the resorts and rode around on the monorail because the kids got a charge out of it. We tried the lounge offerings that evening. We hung around the Polynesian after that and walk along the different beaches. Later we picked up some of the deserts in the lounge and took the children back to the room to watch the evening's fireworks display. These evenings were really special for us as a family. We'll sometimes stay at a hotel on the beach for the Fourth Of July to watch fireworks and it's great to hear the kids remember the fun we've had in previous years. We hope we're giving them a good foundation of memories with which to go forth and build their own families some day. If nothing else, I pray they are able to enjoy the same feeling I have as I watch them play and have fun at Disney.


Tuesday arrived and it was time for an encore visit to MK. This time everything was working when we arrived and there were absolutely no lines. "Snow White" Wait: 0 minutes - WOOHOO!!! Off we go... We hit M'sPM first this time and then PP's. Then we made our way over to WP and finally Snow White. Following that the Carousel and Dumbo, which had a malfunction while we were riding it (it was my first time.) We hit all our favorites that day.


Did I mention that it was a crystal clear blue sky nearly every day we hit the parks? Well, we paid for it with chilly weather. I don't know how this Southern boy got through all those New England winters but my blood is sure thin now. 38-45 degrees at night and 65-70 during the day. Should be paradise, right? Well nearly...


So that afternoon we did our thing around the resorts and had a lunch that again was more than we could eat. That evening the kids were begging to go back to NL Club and we stopped by the lounge for their "pot stickers". We later made our way to Narcosi's (sp?) where we snacked on their crab cakes and some of their seafood soup. It was delicious, BTW!!!


After waddling our way through the resorts again we finally picked up the children and went back to our room to view the fireworks. All I can tell you is that if "you want it all", stay at the Polynesian Concierge in room #3505. The view is incredible. Again, the MVMCP show blew us away. What a great memory we carried away of that show. Amazing.


The next day we departed. I finished packing and my wife took the children to the nearly empty parks to say "Goodbye" to the castle. The valets and porters were lightening fast and we had everything packed in the car within 15 minutes of our call. Awesome. Two and a half hours later we were back home. Reality, but a refreshing reality after a wonderful stay.


So how do I assess this trip? Excellent. CM service was better than ever.


High points: Polynesian Concierge service was outstanding. I made a huge deal of the maid service the last time. There was no such problem this visit. I consider it a closed issue. The room was beautiful, the sliding glass door had been cleaned (that is a BIG THING with us.) and the other details were covered fully to our satisfaction. One day we had returned to the room to find that the tip we left was still there after the room was cleaned. I took the money and went back outside, where I ran into a staff member whom I asked if they knew who cleaned the room. Just then the maid walked out from an adjacent room with a load of sheets and stuff. The other CM asked if she had cleaned the room and she turned to me and asked if there was anything she could do? I held out the money and said, "You forgot your tip." She laughed and explained that I had not placed a note on it and (duh, I should have known.) and so I followed up with "I'd like you to have this." At any rate, she was good enough that it was worth having another CM around to witness a guest being pleased enough to seek her out to tip her.


The valets and porters were great. Coming or going I do valets $2 at Disney. They flew.


Polynesian Concierge staff was outstanding. This was the best rip with the best service yet, and my fingers will wear out before I type this enough.


Low points: I had stated in another post we ran into a lot of mechanical breakdowns at the Magic Kingdom. The worst was when we were on the monorail and they had to shut it down. It was the bad kind, involving "CTRL-ALT-DLT" (or whatever they do at Disney) to completely reboot the system. When we approached the Contemporary the speaker announced we were arriving at the Polynesian. The monorail started to slow down eerily as we entered the Contemporary and there was a general fear that they were going to open the doors outside of the building. I'm sure this would not happen, but we had already seen a complete reboot of the system for the first time and people were concerned about what would be next.

This could have been a disaster had the crowd in our cart not been so pleasant and patient. Everyone sat quietly or made jokes about the situation. It was a happy and fortunately well-groomed crowd, and no "heavily cultivated personal scents" permeated the atmosphere, such as those that had brought so much olfactory distress the previous year one hot day while waiting in line. The monorail started again after a few minutes and we finally got back to the Polynsian.


We saw several rides shut down or had them malfunction while were on them. These were not the type of boarding "disruptions" one might see with accommodating specials needs individuals. They were breakdowns resulting in total stoppage. People were calling it "The Broken Kingdom". Fix the parks!!!


This really concerned me. On this trip we saw the CM's going all out to make magic, but the equipment failures were causing them major problems. Disney needs to give these people something to work with. Walt Disney would have never tolerated half hearted maintenance, and if nothing else, Disney's lawyers should be all over this to ensure no mechanical failures occur with guests present. Everyone remembers Big Thunder Mountain...


OBLIGATORY NEAR-HYSTERICAL COFFEE GRIPE:

I nearly forgot!!! To those of you for whom Coffee is the nectar of life: Bring your own! The Concierge does have an automated Espresso machine now. To my delight, it makes a decent cup of "Nescafe" (sp?) java. Yet I haven't found anything that compares to my own percolator or Espresso machine at home and at work. In addition, the machine only functioned for two days as an espresso machine, serving only Nescafe coffee, which doesn't count.


Also, you cannot use tap water for your percolator or espresso machine at Disney. Disney tap water comes directly from the 7 Seas Lagoon. I'm just kidding, of course. However, the fact remains that it is undrinkable swill. You can ask the concierge lounge service for fresh water and receive it. No problem. Either way, unless you can do without, prepare in advance and bring your own machine.


This is important stuff, as I'd willingly fly to Brasil for a cup of minha amiga Donna Maria's Sunday morning brew (tanta saudade!) in Praia Grande (provided it was February and Carnaval.) Y'all aint never had coffee unless you've had it in (or made by a native of) Brasil, Colombia or Sicily. Fellow caffeine addicts will agree, this is nothing to mess around with. Coffee is proof that God loves all of us and wants us to be awake to appreciate it.


So other than this, no complaints. I thought it was a great trip. Hope you enjoyed the report.
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As the rose bush gave roses in bloom, Pixinguinha gave roses in song.

And each song was like a flower, with it's own perfume and color.

And he, who was a poem of tendernous and peace, has left us a bouquet of musical roses that we shall never forget.


- "O Mundo Melhor De Pixinguinha"
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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Hey, where is everybody?! This is a great review!! Thanks for the Polynesian fix, CaipiraBob
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:15 PM   #3
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Great review Bob. Glad you had such a great stay.

We had a nice stay there in October but had booked a lagoon view room and ended up with a gardenview room. That's a long story but we really missed that magical view. Glad you had it!
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Old 12-17-2004, 10:25 PM   #4
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CaipiraBob...Thanks for the great trip report. I have always wanted to stay at the Poly it sounds just fabulous to watch the fireworks from the balcony! When I was young we used to go to FL (Sanibelle Island sp?) for the 4th and we always watched fireworks on the beach and did sparklers what great memories that created :D ! I hope you have many more magical stays!
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Old 12-17-2004, 11:01 PM   #5
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you make me wish I was there!!!!!!!!!

we stayed at poly 2 yrs ago..kids still begging to go back. did poly concierge as well but not lagoon view.
but your description has made me rethink this alot.

thanks for very informative review
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Old 12-18-2004, 06:48 AM   #6
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Hi...

We had the same room duirng our 11-29-04 thru 12-6-04 stay. Is it not the BEST! I also wrote a trip report in this board approx 12-7 04 12-8 that mirrors your thoughts.

Love "OUR" room!

Pat
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Old 12-18-2004, 07:00 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks everyone!

I forgot to mention one big thing:

I think it was Sunday night I placed an order for Chocolate covered Starwberries. My wife loves them and you have to order them 24 hours in advance. They delivered them exactly to the minute specified on Monday night, I could have set my watch to the knock on the door.

Well, these things are DELICIOUS! I scored major points with my wife, too. The photos are priceless. The funny thing is that the kids are not so much into sweets and chocolates. So when we offered them they turned their noses up at them. They prefer yogurt and cheerios....GOOD! We snarfed those babies down in one night.

So if you want a fun treat, try the chocolate covered starwberries. They're fat free, at the least the strawberry part. Hey, we weren't there for "Atkins", were we? ; )

The service really made the trip this time. They did a really, really good job all around. The more I think about it, the more I can say it was the most noticable improvement over previous years.
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As the rose bush gave roses in bloom, Pixinguinha gave roses in song.

And each song was like a flower, with it's own perfume and color.

And he, who was a poem of tendernous and peace, has left us a bouquet of musical roses that we shall never forget.


- "O Mundo Melhor De Pixinguinha"
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Old 12-18-2004, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaipiraBob
Chocolate covered Starwberries.
Spel chekar is my fiend.

*sigh*
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As the rose bush gave roses in bloom, Pixinguinha gave roses in song.

And each song was like a flower, with it's own perfume and color.

And he, who was a poem of tendernous and peace, has left us a bouquet of musical roses that we shall never forget.


- "O Mundo Melhor De Pixinguinha"
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Old 12-18-2004, 08:08 AM   #9
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What a great post, Bob! I like yoiur writing.
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Old 12-18-2004, 08:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaipiraBob
Just Back From Polynesian Concierge 12/11/04 - 12/15/04

He brought us to room #3510.

Room #3510 is the WORST room you can get for this! I recommend that you bring an axe should you be compelled to stay in this room. You'll have to cut down the palm tree to see anything.
LOL!

Thanks for the great review. I'm glad they were able to find a good view for you. We've been lucky and 3505 was the room we had on our two visits there.
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Old 12-18-2004, 02:21 PM   #11
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3505 sounds like the DIS'er room! LOL We stayed in 3505 for a week a few years ago, and really loved it. It was our first and only stay at the Polynesian, and for the most part really enjoyed it. Hope to get back there sometime soon.
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Old 12-18-2004, 03:16 PM   #12
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Great post!!!!!!
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Old 12-18-2004, 03:49 PM   #13
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Great post, I have always wanted to stay at the Poly maybe next time we will. Sounds like a great time. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2004, 12:18 PM   #14
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Fellow caffeine addict. . .

Is the new cap/espresso machine the only coffee offered in the lounge now? We always enjoyed the very strong espresso the staff made behind the scenes--is the new espresso as decent as the old, made to order, variety? While I wouldn't carry my addiction to caffeine nearly as far as you--both my husband and I enjoy a strong fix in the a.m. We've found the concierge coffee fairly drinkable, but if it's now all Nescafe`--I'm not sure we'll be pleased. Why, oh why, do these managers mess with success????
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Old 12-19-2004, 01:30 PM   #15
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Thanks for the report and great room you ended up in. How did I do on the descriptions of the views?

Aloha

Steve
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