6/27/01 Land Experience Part 2

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by M. Bruyninckx, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. M. Bruyninckx

    M. Bruyninckx Earning My Ears

    May 18, 2001
    Our last evening on land was very special, steeped in pixie dust all the way. We arrived in time for extra large hot dogs at the Coca Cola spot on Main Street. Then John staked out parade seats while Lucy and I rode the carousel again and again! She loved the horsies and patted them while we rode, saying, “Good boy, that’s a good ride. Giddy-up!” When the ride slowed, signaling the end, she leaned over to kiss her horse every time. Her germ-squeamish mom squelched her fears of rotovirus and let her. What the heck, there aren’t any germs at Disney World, right?!

    The Spectro Magic parade is a creation of great genius. Where else would you find people of so many cultures, languages and faiths crammed together in such a small space all being nice together in anticipation? Lucy shook Mary Poppins’ hand and was patted by Gepetto. Believe in the magic!

    After the parade, we followed the crowds and shopped on Main Street. Once we bought what we thought were our last few souvenirs, we watched the fireworks display over the castle. It was a different experience watching the fireworks from the middle of Main Street and hearing the music that was well coordinated with special lighting effects on the castle. I hated leaving and tried to soak up every Disney moment. Our boat ride back to the Polynesian was bittersweet, but the next leg of our adventure was yet to come.

    High points and tips
    I was pleasantly surprised by the improved quality of the food at WDW. Our character breakfast at O’Hana’s was enchanting. Everything from the warm pineapple bread to the eggs, sausage, bacon, Mickey waffles, and potatoes served family style was delicious. Our waitress, Tina Marie, was a treasure. She has just the right amount of sugar mixed with spice in her personality and was very attentive of our culinary needs. Mickey, Goofy, Chip and Dale were ever-present. They interacted with everyone and patiently posed for photo after photo with a hug and kiss for all admirers. At one point the whole restaurant seemed to dance while the children marched to Simba’s song “I Just Can’t Wait to be King!” If you’re looking for an accessible character breakfast, consider O’Hana’s at the Poly. Save Cinderella’s Castle for lunch and use that morning to ride the rides.

    Our lunch at Cinderella’s Castle was delicious as well, and Cinderella and the Prince were in the lobby to greet people. The chocolate mousse dessert was so rich, it took three of us to finish it, and I usually don’t share my desserts. The service was professional, except we did have to keep requesting water. What is the rule against leaving a pitcher?

    We had a character dinner reservation for 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian. I kept trying to get Chef Mickey and only made this reservation as a fail-safe. Boy, am I glad we ate there. I can’t imagine Chef Mickey could have been any better. Winnie the Pooh and friends were everywhere. Piglet even colors with children while waiting to be seated at their tables. Lucy is a very picky eater, but her mouth was agape with amazement for the entire meal and I kept shoveling food in unbeknownst to her! The food choices were extensive and delicious. I had fudge for dinner and prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes for dessert! The warm bread pudding with vanilla sauce tasted like Christmas morning! Everything was yummy! Be sure to use the priority reservation system 60 days before you plan to be at WDW. It makes the restaurant experience accessible and pleasant.

    One of the benefits of staying at the Polynesian is riding the monorail. Ask the driver if you can ride up front with him. Barry, the monorail driver, invited us to ride in the driver’s seat for Lucy’s first ride and gave us an assistant driver certificate for our scrap book. It was disorienting to watch the monorail whiz over the track and approach curves in the line. Barry also gave us the tip about the bread pudding at the Park Faire buffet!

    Perhaps even nicer than riding the monorail, is taking the boat ride from the MK across the lagoon to the hotels. On our last night we sailed back to the Poly and watched the water pageant from a bench on the dock. There is s rumor that WDW is going to discontinue the boat transportation. I hope not. It is a charming part of the Disney resort experience.

    Don’t miss the parades. The evening parade is truly spectacular, but it was the afternoon parade that made me misty. Although the Disney characters are everywhere, the afternoon parade is a literal extravaganza of character participation. They are all there right in front of you, making eye contact and waving. At several points during the parade, they get down off their floats and invite children to participate in the parade. The fairy godmother from Cinderella took Lucy by the hand and led her in a dance, snaking around other dancers in the street. Lucy was also invited to rub Aladdin’s lamp and Captain Hook stomped his foot and bowed his head at her for a finishing touch. The MK gets hot and crowded in the afternoon and your inclination is to head back to your hotel for a swim and a nap, but just once stay for this parade. It will deliver everlasting memories for you to always cherish!

    I can highly recommend choosing the Polynesian for your stay. The grounds were beautiful, recreating a Polynesian location with authenticity. You are even given silk-flower leis upon check-in. The new lagoon pool is fun, but crowded. The water mice boats are zippy and the harbor patrol truly does monitor drivers. At one point two girls were towed back in due to reckless driving. (They almost crashed into us, so we were glad to see them taken off the water.) The room we had was large, spotless and inviting. We hope to request it for our next stay. The staff was so friendly, with ever-present smiles and so imbued with the aloha spirit, they added to the Polynesian mystique. There is so much to do at the Poly that you simply need more time to experience it all. More time is what we’ll be saving for. It was just so hard to leave!

    Next up, the sea experience.
  2. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2000
    I can't wait to read your cruise report. We were on the same cruise!

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