ALOHA! The Poly FAQ~ Spring 2010 Edition

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by BreezysMom, Mar 18, 2010.

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  1. Tess

    Tess DIS Veteran - 1997

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    Yep, it is behind the Contemporary near the pool area. You can't miss it. I have photos of our children from the time they were very young. It is one of our yearly events.
     
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  3. SeaSpray

    SeaSpray Disney World fan since 1976

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    Welcome back, Tess! :sunny: I can't view the pictures until I get home from work later. :surfweb: I'm looking forward to seeing the concierge menu changes, we'll be there in 6 days!! :woohoo:

    I miss it too! :(

    P.S. I love seeing your new 2010 Polynesian Pout pic!! :thumbsup2
     
  4. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    Thanks for sharing your pictures Tess! Living vicariously through others helps to make the wait more bearable! popcorn::
     
  5. jetskigrl

    jetskigrl No mumbojumbo here

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    Ohh, the pictures are wonderful!! I can't stop checking this thread for more updates and pictures, LOL. We received our luggage tags from ME yesterday and that really makes our trip seem real now, LOL.

    I'm looking forward to your update and to hear about the changes to concierge menu.
     
  6. bluejasmine

    bluejasmine DIS Veteran

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    Great pics Tess, I cannot wait for our Sept trip! I have just been agonizing over which LH to request, I was thinking Figi or Samoa but Nuie(sp?) looks nice too! I just would like a balcony to have breakast on and sit on in the evening close to GCH, Id like a decent view, doesnt matter what as long as it isnt parking lot or TTC..Ive wanted to stay at the Poly since I was a little girl of 4 so I am so excited, I just hope Im not building myself up to be dissapointed, I mean I highly doubt I will but you know how it can be when you've built yourself up for something..
     
  7. mdrob214

    mdrob214 <font color=deeppink>Denise a.k.a. Mikki and Pooh

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    Great pics, Tess! I can't wait now--4 more days!:cool1:
     
  8. BabyFu18

    BabyFu18 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for posting your pictures Tess, they were great! Makes me even more excited...
     
  9. Tess

    Tess DIS Veteran - 1997

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    As most of you know, we spent the week before vacation stressing about whether or not we would be flying or driving. While it was not a pleasant week, thankfully the Spirit pilots worked out their issues prior to our flight on 6/19. After packing for a driving trip and repacking for a flight--I was ready for vacation to begin. :love:

    Pre-flight: For those of you who are interested, the night before our flight was spent at the Four Points Sheraton in Romulus. This is a really nice little hotel with good amenities, park & fly packages, and convenient to Detroit Metro. We had two rooms booked (king and connecting queens).

    Unfortunately when we arrived there were room issues. Ultimately we ended up with connecting double queen bedded rooms and given $10 off each room for the night which was really sweet. As you could tell from the photos, we were also encouraged to have a drink in the lobby while we waited.

    We would happily stay at the Four Points again. I believe this was our third stay at this property. It is nicely decorated, well maintained, clean, and reasonably priced. When you deduct the cost of parking, the room is around $30 per night--even less when a courtesy discount is applied. :thumbsup2

    Flight/TPA: We had a 6:00 a.m. flight out of Metro to Tampa. Remember, I said we were flying Spirit Airlines and managed to snag last minute fares perfectly timed with our trip dates for the value price of $18 each. The only catch was flying into Tampa. For $18 we decided it was less costly to fly, rent a car, and drive to Disney.

    After awakening at the ridiculously early hour of 3:00 a.m., we arrived at Metro around 4:15 a.m. and were met with HUGE crowds in the North Terminal. Since flights had only just resumed, none of the passengers were able to pre-print boarding passes and had to check-in prior to security. Yep, there were also more Spirit flights departing near in time to ours and this place was a zoo! It was so crazy we were actually afraid we might not make it through security for our flight. Spirit was on top of the ball though and had enough attendants to handle the masses. Everyone made it through and with surprising speed.

    Our flight departed on time and landed a tad bit earlier than the expected 8:28 a.m. arrival. We quickly deplaned and easily navigated our way through Tampa International. In case you feel the need to travel (or score great fares as we did) through TPA, we found the airport very user friendly and the staff/TSA quite friendly. That's not something you find every day.

    Baggage claim was really fast especially when compared to DTW or MCO. Our bags were literally arriving as we made our way to the carousel. We grabbed our three suitcases and headed toward the ground transportation door where we found an Alamo/National shuttle waiting. We were checking in for our rental car at the Alamo kiosk within ten minutes.

    Hot Tip: If you have the need to rent a car from Alamo or National out of Tampa--they do not offer "standard" size vehicles. You can book the category thereby paying a lesser amount and will automatically receive a full-size vehicle. ALSO, while at the kiosk (and still unaware of the lack of standard sized vehicles) you will be encouraged to upgrade from a standard to full-sized vehicle for a mere $11--no need, you will get the upgrade for free. :rotfl2:

    We chose a dark blue Impala and were off from Tampa International with directions in hand and all before 9:30 a.m. The drive from Tampa to Disney was estimated at 1.5 hours. In actuality, it took just a bit over an hour and we were not speeding. We also stopped in nearby Kathleen to pick up some groceries (adult beverages) from Publix.

    Returning Home: We arrived at the Polynesian around 10:30 a.m. and were promptly greeted under the Port Cochere. Our bags were loaded and the Bell Captain was notified that we had arrived and CMs in Hawaii were contacted. We were informed that our room was not yet ready and our luggage stored. The bell services attendant offered us a ride to Hawaii which we declined in favor of walking ourselves back. Our kids promptly took off for EPCOT while we went parked the car and strolled back to Hawaii for check-in.

    Our check-in was smooth, friendly, and efficient with nary a glitch. We were assigned room 3530 (no complimentary upgrade this year--can't win 'em all I guess). As luck would have it, our room suddenly became available as we were checking in. The cynic in me always wonders if the room was actually ready upon arrival, but someone is in cahoots with the bell staff to insure more folks are tipped. (We almost left our luggage in the vehicle and unpacked ourselves. Instead, we opted to not be cheap. :rotfl:) In either event, Ron and I decided to have the luggage brought to our room.

    Bell services arrived within minutes and Ron and I quickly unpacked. I tried to text our kids that we were headed their way, but for some reason my phone would not connect to the carrier's service. Odd, the phone was working fine before. We took Ron's phone (which we were loathe to do because he gets so many business calls) and figured we'd grab a seat in the shade and call Sprint while enjoying EPCOT.

    We were on a monorail by around 11:30 a.m., headed to Morocco for a bite of lunch and the hour long conversation with Sprint. Lunch was great, but the call to Sprint was fruitless--somehow my phone "fried" overnight and it isn't even a year old. This did create problems for the week since my phone was the emergency contact, etc. while we were gone. A few more calls were made to change that status and we were back on track. Chalk it up to a vacation snafu--we all have them. :confused3

    Weather: I won't bore you with more minutiae of our trip. Suffice it to say, the weather was SPECTACULAR! When we were there with the kids last May, we had one week of lovely and endured the second week of record breaking rainfall and cool weather that Florida had ever experienced. We had a ball, but it could have been a much happier trip. On the bright side, we all got cool Mickey rain jackets that we brought back this year. Further, those jackets never left the closet on this trip.

    It was HOT and we LOVE hot! There was only one bit of rain our entire trip--arrival day in the late afternoon/evening. Ron, Taylor, and I decided that we were not venturing out because we were exhausted from the early flight. Ty, on the other hand, had to see Illuminations. Unfortunately, he got soaked since he didn't have an umbrella and a downpour ensued around 7:30 p.m. or so.:lmao: He hightailed it back in time to see the new Summer Nightastic show at MK and enjoy some desserts and cordials.

    Summer Nightastic!: The new summer fireworks show at MK is impressive. The array of fireworks is huge--honestly they shoot from one side of MK to the other and sometimes all at once. That said, we all enjoyed this special fireworks presentation and watched it almost nightly, but Wishes has more of a storyline to it.

    Main Street Electrical Parade is back for the summer and we did go up to MK to see it while it is there. We've always enjoyed MSEP and it didn't disappoint. The wait, however, is ridiculous. It is this "camping out" stuff for fireworks and parades that usually keeps us from MK. Typically, we watch the fireworks from the beach, lounge, or balcony at the Polynesian. It is a much more sane and pleasant experience.

    That said, this year the crowds around the Polynesian were huge. I am not kidding when I say that each and every lounge chair, swing, hammock, and a good bit of sidewalk space was occupied. My advice is to go to the dock and watch from there. (The lounge is always an option if staying club level.) We found for the most part that it was deserted until near in time to the show. There is a speaker on the right side of the dock facing MK and the sound is good.

    The newly installed Tower of Terror sequence is da bomb! All of us thought this was great fun--so many more full drops and partial drops than the older sequences. We managed to get on several times while we were there and loved each and every ride.

    Crowds: We have been going to Disney since 1992 with most of our visits being in mid-June. We have also visited in July, August, October, and May. We have experienced crowds and smaller crowds. This year the crowds were HUGE! We were so thankful that we have experience in navigating Disney and not first timers.

    In all of our visits we noticed that the parks become more crowded right at 11:00 a.m., for whatever reason. We are usually headed from the parks around that time or off to EPCOT for lunch or to avoid the crowds at the other three parks. When we are attempting to leave between 11-12 noon, it is like salmon swimming upstream. This year, however, rope drops were more crowded than I have seen in many years--if ever.

    Here's an example. We arrived at DHS on Thursday at 8:20 a.m. (yeah, we did get a later than normal start--Thanks Ty!), but it is still fairly early. When we arrived, the security tent was no longer allowing folks to pass through into the courtyard/ticketing area because it was full of people! You couldn't even pass through the "bag free" area into the courtyard/ticketing area. They didn't begin to pass folks through until the pre-opening at 8:50 a.m. We were stuck outside the security area and by the time we rolled through the festivities at Sunset Blvd. were over and guests were dashing to TSM, ToT, or RnR. We got lucky and only had a 20 minute wait for TOT. We opted to go single rider on RnR, but it took a good 40-60 minutes (single rider) despite it being only 9:30 a.m. or so. Luckily for us, we only intended to hit DHS for ToT and RnR because we were headed to EPCOT for lunch at LeCellier.

    All in all, those two rides took us until around 10:30 a.m. Yeah, you don't want to know about MK or AK. . .:sad2: My advice, go early and get out early, especially if the heat persists in Florida.

    Grounds/Room: The Polynesian has some of the loveliest gardens on property. There were crews working on the gardens constantly while we were there. Everything was looking quite lovely and inviting. There were painting crews touching up the smallest spots on the Tiki huts and I really found nothing in disrepair.

    Our room (3530) was totally tidy and mousekeeping did an excellent job. We had one night that our room was somehow missed for turndown, but that was corrected after a quick call from a concierge CM to mousekeeping. Everything within the room worked well and we had no complaints.

    The beach/volcano pool area was crowded each and every day, except for the TWO (yes, I said TWO) closures due to kids pooping in the pool. The initial closure was a full 24 hours. It began early on our arrival day and ended early the next a.m. If you saw my pictures on Photobucket, you saw the empty volcano pool early on in the series. Why for the love of all things aquatic can parents not adhere to the swimmy diaper rule? The first closure created a huge overcapacity in the quiet pool. That was also shown in my pictures.

    It appeared to me that there were a good many more loungers on the beach than in years past. They were usually full, but there were a good number of them. As always, the volcano pool/beach area was packed--oftentimes even in the early morning hours (prior to 10 a.m.) and all day.

    The quiet pool is our refuge and heaven help you if you are seated at "our" table. ;) We can stare daggers with the best of them. It is our M.O. to hit the pool by 1:00 p.m. and earlier if possible, weather permitting. This year we were at the quiet pool right on schedule and sometimes before. Only one day did someone have the audacity to take "our" table. ;) They moved rather quickly after our arrival, thankfully.

    While the quiet pool is typically just that, this year it wasn't so much. Frankly, it was driving us and most of the other adults around the pool crazy. The little kids (life jackets, etc.) were overrunning the shallow end and the tweeners taking up residence in the deep end. The blood curdling screams were enough to send shivers down your spine. There were many adults grumbling about the lack of courtesy at the quiet pool. After all, it is a "quiet" pool. I realize my fellow guests have paid a handsome price to visit the Polynesian, but a dull roar would be better than the volcano pool type behavior. :rolleyes1 Now not all the children were out of hand, but enough that it caused adults sitting around the pool to complain. . .

    I was also surprised that even the quiet pool was getting a work out in the early morning. Our departure day flight wasn't until 9:24 p.m. We opted to sleep in (or the kids did) and have a swim until around noon (late check-out granted). Ron and I arrived at the pool around 7:15 a.m. and soon thereafter we had a good deal of company. In years past, we would have the pool to ourselves until later in the a.m.--guess others are catching on.

    Concierge Lounge Food: I will freely admit that we are fans and friends of Chef ****. His presence in the lounge is going to be sorely missed by those of us who are repeat and/or long-term repeaters. I hope our devotion isn't coloring my opinion of the evening and dessert services, but we found it totally lacking.

    Kim has assumed chef responsibilities and there was a young man helping her out. A new chef was hired and I didn't have the pleasure of meeting him, but Ron did. I will say that I hope the new guy is a people person in addition to being a good chef--those skills are crucial to anyone who is trying to fill ****'s shoes. Ron and I have agreed, it is the staff that has kept us coming back to the Polynesian and spending the money for concierge level service. If that experience declines--it will no longer be worth it to us.

    I won't repeat the crudites, cheese, crackers, and pineapple/caramel sauce. These were all available nightly along with pb&j, hummus, pita bread, and the usual cocktails, soft drinks. Here were some of the menu changes we found:

    Saturday: BBQ pulled pork, spinach balls, and some very strange fruit concoction purported to be salad yet served in a teeny, tiny square container. We found the pulled pork to be the same as in previous years and were disappointed that we received a "spinach ball" instead of the previously offered scallop/bacon wraps. Whatever the "salad" concoction was it was just okay--Ron disliked it and the rest of us thought meh. :confused3

    Sunday: This menu was the same as found on the menu I posted last fall. Chicken satay, duck pot stickers, Asian slaw. The chicken was dry as a bone, but the pot stickers and slaw were fine.

    Monday: Sushi and Kona Salad. Kim does a great job with sushi and the salad was good as well. There was no change from the fall menu.

    Tuesday: Pork skewers, some type of fried bread with cherry flavoring, and yogurt shots. Once again, the skewers were dry and tasteless. The cherry bread balls (who knows what they call them) were okay, but not what I would consider an appetizer. Yogurt shots, really? :confused3

    *SIDE NOTE*--This evening in particular, the club level piggies were out--no I don't mean food consumption. Large groups of people descended upon the lounge wearing wet swimwear and no shoes thereby soaking seats for later guests to enjoy while they were fully dressed for the evening. I won't even get into the boorish behavior of leaving the dishes, cutlery, drink containers, etc. scattered all over the tables. :headache: This really chaps me no end. I really don't care about the swimsuits BUT put your shoes on and be dry first!

    Wednesday: This evening was the same as the menu from last fall. Kona wings, pork dumplings, luau salad. Tasty, tasty, tasty.

    *Side Note #2* This evening there was a lovely dipping sauce for the dumplings. A child (old enough to know better) used the serving spoon to dollop some sauce on her dumplings. She then licked the spoon and put it back in the bowl. Thankfully, kind of, there were many eyes who caught it. Kim took the bowl away and apologized because now there was no sauce for others until she made more. It was a warm sauce with garlic, soy, etc. and she had to physically prepare more. :sick: Sometimes all you can do is shake your head at things that happen. :eek:

    Thursday: Vegetable spring rolls, meatballs, and canapes. The spring rolls were hard as a rock, the meatballs nothing special (BBQ sauce on the side and fairly common tasting--picture Gordon's Food Service frozen type), and the canapes were nice. There was a nice variety of canapes and I enjoyed the salmon ball and shrimp canapes.

    Desserts: The various types of mousse offered (caramel, chocolate, strawberry) were really nice. The brownies nothing special and the tarts fairly uninspired. The dessert offerings were minimal with only three types available each night. This is no change from last year when things were being cut all around the concierge levels. Probably encouraging more folks to book dessert party reservations. ;)

    Breakfast: Nothing changed here. Oatmeal and fruit offered daily along with bagels. There was a rotation of cinnamon buns, mixed mini muffins, and croissants--a combination of two each a.m. The usual cereals, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, and Raisin Bran as well as fruits: bananas, apples, oranges. Wish I could report better coffee--alas, it is the same old Nescrape.

    We didn't go back to the lounge on Friday opting instead to dine at San Angel and head back to Tampa just after 5:00 p.m.

    I wish I could be more positive about the evening service, but the transition from Chef **** to someone new will take time and there are bound to be growing pains. I'm sure it will all work out in the end. :thumbsup2

    I think that about covers everything--this really did become a humongous post. I should have put it on the trip reports board I guess--although it really doesn't pertain to much more than our beloved Polynesian.

    One more thing I should note as much as I hate to do it. I'm still not sure if I will be contacting the resort or not--I'm undecided. When you are warned to lock up your valuables--do it.

    Our daughter brought a minimal amount of $$--less than $40 which she had stowed in her wallet, inside a purse, inside her carry-on which was stored in the closet on top of the safe. She had the money on arrival and took her purse with her to EPCOT while we checked-in. Thereafter, she removed her ID, left the money in her wallet, and put the wallet, purse, a sweater and other items in her carry-on back. The bag remained in the closet all week. She removed it when we departed and it went into the rental car while we went to EPCOT along with all of our other belongings. At no time did she purchase anything that wasn't room charged.

    On Sunday, after we returned home, she put birthday money from her grandparents into her wallet and all her cash was gone. That was the first she touched the wallet since her arrival at Disney. Her ID was in her camera case along with her park ticket and room key. She had no need of the wallet while there.

    I really, really hate to think that the cash was taken by a mousekeeper, but we are at a loss what else to think. I just thought I would remind everyone that you can't be too careful. Taylor should thank her lucky stars that her Ipod didn't go missing too. It was also in the carry-on. Still, it really irritates me that someone would take $$ from a poor college student. :mad:

    Oh yeah, one last tidbit. Some time ago there was a discussion about extra pillows and blankets in the closet. I did not recall there ever being more than a single pillow and blanket in the closet for the daybed. I was surprised to find this year 2 pillows and 2 blankets stored in large zippered heavy plastic bags. This was pretty important to someone in the past and I thought I'd mention it. I don't remember who wanted to know, so I hope he/she reads this. :hug:

    Okay, guys sorry for the length--hope you enjoy the read and the pictures. Here's the link again for anyone who may have missed it. Disney Pictures 2010 There's a slideshow toggle in the upper right corner and hit refresh if it gives you a "bad request" message. Photobucket is acting goofy. Please ignore any grammatical issues or typos--this took forever and I was short on time! :lovestruc

    Let me know if you have any questions about the post.
     
  10. Tess

    Tess DIS Veteran - 1997

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    Thanks Terry--I got a kick out of the too close up one that was taken right before. That's why I didn't delete it.

    No worries--if you don't enjoy it, there is always another resort out there for you. You never know until you try!

    Aloha to all of you and thanks! I just finished my book about our stay!
     
  11. dizneechic

    dizneechic DIS Veteran

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    Wow Tess, thanks for all of the info. It sounds like in general your trip was great, although what a damper for your DD once home. Thanks for the reminder though to lock stuff up, I am typically a hider and bring a lot more than I should so will definitely take note and be better myself.

    Having never experienced CL myself it will be interesting to check out the food from an unbiased perspective. Everyone speaks so fondly of Chef ****, I wish we had the chance to meet him before he left. Now I know though that Weds my be the tastier night, so maybe I'll switch our arrival night (Tues) to dinner at Kona and enjoy CL treats on Weds instead of our original plan to do the opposite. :thumbsup2
     
  12. DeborahB

    DeborahB Mouseketeer

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    I know, it's too funny, there is a whole bunch of us overlapping! Do you have your green mickey head or ribbon?
     
  13. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    Tess,
    Thanks for posting that very detailed trip report.
     
  14. DeborahB

    DeborahB Mouseketeer

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    Ok, that's great. I will definitely look for it there (and I'll let you all know!) if I am successful! I didn't realize it was no longer offered at CL. When did that happen? How sad, because it was so good and unique to the Polynesian!

    I don't mind changes when it's for the better.
     
  15. 916chipndale

    916chipndale You've got a friend in me It all started by a mous

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    No what is it?
     
  16. 916chipndale

    916chipndale You've got a friend in me It all started by a mous

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    Good report tess sound like you had a good time sorry about your daughter losing her money I really want to try club level but were alright with regular garden view.
     
  17. DeborahB

    DeborahB Mouseketeer

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    Alot of DISers use a lime green mickey head to identify that they are from the DISboards and it's just a paint swatch from the Home Depot which carries Disney paints. Another thing is a lime green ribbon, small or otherwise, some people tie it to their backpack, bag, or even pinned to their shirts.

    Not everyone uses this and even when some do, you may not meet another DIS family. It can be hit or miss. I figured since we had quite a few people at the same time the chances of meeting might be better! That's about it!
     
  18. Tinkerbellie16

    Tinkerbellie16 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Certified <font colo

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    Tess - Love the photos and the report - thanks for sharing! Sorry to hear about the $ and you should definitely inform the hotel. If others are having this issue, perhaps with more feedback they can find out what is happening.

    MsStinkerbelle - thanks for the pictures - I found the Neverland rules & schedule to be helpful in planning my trip :)
     
  19. Zuzu03

    Zuzu03 DIS Veteran

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    LOVE your name!!! ;)
     
  20. think-like-tink

    think-like-tink DIS Veteran

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    TESS-I loved reading your report and seeing the pics. AMAZING it was. We have 33 more sleeps. DH is looking forward to staying at CL. He says he will enjoyed being "pampered" before leaving for Korea for a year. I look to make this vacation the best for him and the kids.:thumbsup2

    I forgot...did you say what kind of view you had?
     
  21. jetskigrl

    jetskigrl No mumbojumbo here

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    Looks like we will be at the CL at the same time (36 more days for us)!!

    Thanks so much for the report Tess!! I love reading all about it. Sorry about the $$ problem though :-(
     
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