UPDATED 4/5/19: The Slowpokes' Guide to WDW aka the kids 1st trip! - A Sept 2018 report

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by dbb727, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. TheOneWithTheTriplets

    TheOneWithTheTriplets DIS Veteran

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    I just stumbled onto your report and I can't wait to hear more. We're taking our three girls, who turned 5 in November, next month(!!!) for their first trip. The more I read your report, the more similar it sounded.

    My girls are starting to understand how exciting the trip is, as I let more things leak out. They got really psyched when, at the intro to one of our Disney movies, I told them we'd get to go through a princess castle just like the movie. That alone totally sold them!

    Mine, too. We wanted out first trip to be pre-k year...

    ... for exactly this reason. Magic is so real to them right now, and I can't wait to see how they react to all of the Disney magic.

    I've got all but Sanaa and The Wave booked for us, too!

    This is the difference between a 2adult/1child estimate and a 2adult/3child estimate. The character meals are SO PRICEY in relation to the kids' daily meal plan cost that it was a no brainer for us. We're estimating that we'd be as much as 50% higher on our costs if we went OOP for our planned meals.

    We considered the same but landed on February over September. I wanted to have it be cool enough to enjoy the parks throughout the day. If it's warm enough, we'll swim, but it's not a deal breaker. The September humidity this year would have been rough for us.

    I just made a rule with myself that I have to finish taking down Christmas decorations before I can start packing for my (52 days away) Disney trip. I have the things that I've purchased specifically for the trip already aside, but the suitcases can't come out until the tree comes down!

    We're definitely on this bandwagon. The girls have outfits for each day, which have been planned in relation to which characters we'll be meeting.

    Ok, so I won't take it that far, but then again, I'd be shoving 9 extra dresses in! My girls each have favorite princesses that they want to wear, so we end up hitting all of the highlights between their outfits each day.

    I believe I purchased this same pack on Amazon a few weeks ago. I was excited to see an assortment with both kid and adult sizes.

    I think we're telling them on Friday about travelling the following Monday. They are just at such a rough age right now when it comes to repeating questions multiple times (and then times multiple kids). I spent all of December counting down the sleeps until Christmas and I don't want to start that nonsense all over again.

    Hubby just got Global Entry, which includes pre-check. At the very least, he and the kids will be able to go through that line. I'm hoping I'll luck out and get it as well.

    I can't wait to hear more about your trip!
     
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  2. DLo

    DLo DIS Veteran

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    following along. Both my boys' first trips were at 4. I think that is a great age! looking forward to reading more
     
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  4. dbb727

    dbb727 Mouseketeer

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    Absolutely. I think it actually makes me more flexible and able to go with the flow bc i’ve Already thought through plan A, B and C.

    Bummer, I’m so sorry. Sounds like your trip was very similar to ours then, you’ll see my husband didn’t ride much either and we had to move at a snails pace with the way he was walking. Fingers crossed your December trip goes much easier!

    Thanks! The Minnie bow I had made a long time ago, but the rest were all purchased from Etsy. I try to be crafty when time allows and I’m proud to say I did make one of DD’s dresses for the trip but the majority of dresses, bows and headpieces I relied on the expert Etsy crafters.
     
  5. dbb727

    dbb727 Mouseketeer

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    I think I bought it from CafePress. Basically I just did a google search because I figured it would be easy to get him to wear a pub shirt. The Zachary Levi reference is interesting, never heard that before, but maybe its the beard?? DH decided to grow it out this summer so I'm actually still not used to seeing it on him in pics.

    Thanks for joining along!:welcome:
     
  6. dbb727

    dbb727 Mouseketeer

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    The Polynesian!
    Travel Day, Part 2
    We've arrived!
    I was wrong in my last post, after looking back at the timestamps on my photos I realized our airplane landed at 12:40pm. We loaded the DME bus at 1:15pm and arrived at the Poly at 1:50pm, so only 70min after landing at MCO, not bad. I had checked in online but we didn't have a room assigned yet so we stopped at the front desk to pick up our leis, check our magic bands were set up correctly, and ask for buttons -> the kids received 1st trip buttons and DH & I sported Anniversary buttons as we were celebrating 11 years that week. I also wanted to make sure they knew we'd arrived and were waiting on a room. This didn't prove to be helpful though as we still didn't get assigned a room until after 4. We stayed on the DVC side so I knew check-in wasn't until 4pm, but was secretly hoping for a little pixie dust to get us in sooner but no such luck. I had anticipated this and we had our bathing suits and change of clothes in a carry-on, so off to the pool we went!
    IMG_1365 (1).jpg

    First, we quickly toured the Grand Ceremonial House and found our way to Captain Cook's to pick up some lunch. I was surprised by the small size of this QS location. Only one line to order and a few drink coolers?? There are two seating areas but both seemed small with tables squished together. The only hotel QS locations I've visited in the past have been Carribean Beach and All Star Sports and those were huge cafeteria style, so I guess I was just a bit surprised. Maybe because there is also outdoor seating or because at deluxe hotels there are other dining locations so there are less people needing quick meals?? We never found it overly crowded but I would imagine during a busier season it could be difficult to navigate. Of course the fact that we had a small roller bag and a double stroller wasn't helping matters.

    I knew we had an early dinner tonight so DH and I split the grilled chicken sandwich and the kids split the chicken skewer kids meal. No standouts, but everything was tasty. And then, I saw a magical drink at the table next to us, so I asked them where to go to buy a ............Lapu Lapu. Drinking out of a pineapple just makes everything more fun right?


    Arrival-lobby.JPG
    So we made a quick stop to the 2nd floor for Momma to get a drink and then headed out to the pool. This was a great way to start vacation!


    We headed to the big volcano pool and set up camp. Since DH's back was in bad shape, he took a muscle relaxer and laid down under an umbrella which means I don't have any pictures of us at the pool because I was trying to keep two children alive and not loose them. They do provide life jackets at the pool, but unfortunately they were all in use except for one so I put it on DS and then watched DD like a hawk. DD thinks she can swim, but obviously not reliably enough in an unfamiliar crowded pool when my attention was split with her sibling. And of course, they both kept wanting to go different directions so that was a fun challenge to constantly rangle them. So much for relaxing.

    Eventually DS was getting tired so I plopped him on a lounge chair next to dad, gave him some crayons (which actually were half melted since it was above 90 degrees) and prayed he would take a nap. It worked out great since then I could focus solely on DD. We went over to the kid splash area, and once she got brave enough to go down the little slide, she didn't want to stop and went down it at least 30 times. And I think DS did nap a bit so another #momwin.

    Polynesian-Kids-Pool.jpg
    I didn't take any pool pics that day but here is one from the internet of the kids area.

    Sidenote: I saw people mention on the boards that the online check-in texting didn't work well, and that was our experience as well. I kept checking periodically and never received a text. (Well thats not exactly true: I did receive the text 9 days later on 9/25 when we were already home!) The room number DID appear on the MDX app though, under the area that lets you open the door from your phone, so that may be the better place to check if you are anxiously awaiting assignment.

    Originally my plan was to do an hour at the pool, then go to the room to freshen up, head to Trader Sam's at 3:30 to get in line for 4pm opening so we could relax there for a bit before our 5:20 dinner at Ohana. Well, it was now 4:10 and we still didn't have a room assigned so the Trader Sam's dream was slowly slipping away...

    It was getting too hot and miserable to hang outside any longer so we packed up and headed to the front desk to check on the room situation. It was busier now, so while waiting in line is when I thought to check the MDX app and saw that we did indeed have a room assigned. I was called up next so I confirmed with the desk that our room was ready, and then we were off to Tokelau 2nd floor.

    I wish I had taken a few more pics in the room before we unloaded our stuff but you can always google if you are interested in the layout or redesign of the DVC rooms. I had wanted to stay in the studio villa because I liked the layout with two bathrooms, fridge/microwave "kitchenette", queen bed, pull out sofa plus the kid size pull down bed.

    IMG_0949.jpg
    Bathroom #1 with walk-in shower and sink was assigned to DH.
    IMG_0952.jpg
    The kids and I took over bathroom #2 which has tub/shower combo, separate sink and the only toilet.

    Murphy-Bed-Studio-Polynesian-Villas-and-Bungalows-from-yourfirstvisit.net_.jpg
    The pulldown bed was so cute and perfectly sized for, it became DD's homebase during the trip.


    We rinsed off and changed very quickly, no time for the blow dryer, and headed back to the GCH.

    I'd heard that Trader Sam's is small and fills pretty quickly when it opens but I was hoping there was still a chance so we stopped there first. It was about 4:30, no line outside the unassuming, almost hidden door. I peaked my head in and was met by the hostess. She was so sweet and explained how the bar works, it is first come seat yourself, at times it may be standing room only since it is a bar, but they were currently at capacity so she could put me on the waitlist and then text us when space became available. If we didn't show up within 10min of the text then they go to the next person on the list. Current wait time: approximately 1 hour. :sad::sad::sad:


    I knew that wasn't going to work with our dinner reservation, but I let her put me on the list just in case. We actually got the text about 35-40 minutes later so not terrible but we were about to be seated by then. Instead of TS, we headed upstairs to the area outside 'Ohana and relaxed with drinks there. Tambu Lounge was closed while we were visiting, so instead they had two bar carts open and a seating area outside the restaurant.
    tambu.jpg
    IMG_0954.jpg

    I ordered a Backscratcher and DH had a beer or a Mai Tai, I think. Since we were outside the
    restaurant, the drinks were served in plastic cups and then the bartender handed me the "included" backscratcher on the side so the kids had fun playing with that.

    IMG_0954.jpg

    We checked in a little early at 'Ohana and were able to get seated right away. We actually had great luck with that this whole trip, never having to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated which I know is not guaranteed even with an ADR, and so very appreciated when you have small children. We had some other poor luck with restaurant situations later in the week, but the seating time was never the issue.

    'Ohana (and actually all the
    restaurants we ate at) was new to us. It seems 'Ohana is a very polarizing ADR. It's obviously very popular and difficult to book even at 180days out. Some people regard it as a tradition and go on every trip. Other people complain that the service is rushed, the entertainment has dwindled or that the food is nothing more than cheap frozen appetizers. So what was our experience???

    We LOVED it! I have no problem with multiple items being brought out at once, I prefer that over waiting long periods for food, but maybe some people regard that as being rushed and not having true courses? I dunno, but we had no problems with the flow of service. DH loved the warm bread. Salad was ok. The noodles, potstickers, veggies and wings(athough super sticky) were delish and my favorite part of the meal. I think we got refill on the wings and potstickers. We enjoyed the
    skewered beef, shrimp and chicken wth the shrimp being the favorite. The chicken had a bit of an odd rubbery texture but was cooked through(I always worry about raw chicken) and tasted fine. Overall, our server was attentive and offered us more food. They even offered to bring out "kids food" but we eat Asian fusion style food often so I knew they'd be fine with what was already on the table. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant but had a view of the castle just past the Volcano so it would have been a great place to watch fireworks if it had been much later (Fireworks not til 10pm that night due to MNSSHP).
    IMG_3084.jpg
    YUM!!

    About halfway through the meal, they did the coconut race. My kids were being shy so I went with them and each grabbed a coconut and broom stick. DS had no idea what was happening so I pushed his coconut. DD started out strong, but about 5 steps in, her foot got stepped on. She was wearing sandals and apparently it REALLY hurt her toe so she stood and cried hysterically for the remainder of the race :sad2: While I was attempting to push both coconuts and drag both kids to the finish line, DH decided to start video-ing. He didn't see the meltdown since we were rounding a corner, so he thought he was doing a good thing capturing the moment; instead we just have video of me embarrassingly laughing and then yelling at him not to video me haha. :rolleyes1

    Anyhow, we returned to the table and enjoyed dessert which cheered everyone up. Rice Krispie treats for the kids and banana bread pudding for the adults. This is the only food I didn't love, and kinda wished I had asked for a rice krispie treat instead. I know some people swoon over this bread pudding but I'm not a banana person so it just didn't work for me. I could have eaten a gallon of the caramel sauce though.

    I've reached my photo limit so I'll finish up our travel day in my next post, then it's on to Magic Kingdom the next morning!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  7. SweetSerenity

    SweetSerenity Thank you evenin' star!

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    Hi, I'm in. I've always wanted to stay at the poly so thank you for your details
     
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  8. poooh

    poooh Mouseketeer

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    This photo came out so cute! I want to stop at the Poly to get a lei and a Lapu Lapu just for the photo now. :rotfl:

    Oh, no. I wish the venue was a bit bigger to accommodate more people but I guess the small size adds to the experience and makes it more intimate.​

    I'm glad you enjoyed your meal! I've never tried 'Ohana but I usually enjoy the restaurants that have very mixed reviews.
     
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  9. sheri18

    sheri18 Mouseketeer

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    Joining in....great report so far...can't wait to read more...we are leaving in 3 days...11 of us...kids age 1-10...can't wait...
     
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  10. starousse

    starousse DIS Veteran

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    Joining in
     
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  11. lauren_elizabeth

    lauren_elizabeth Disney World Lover

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    The Poly studios look gorgeous! I love how they have 2 bathrooms!

    What a fun meal at Ohana! Definitely one we love to visit, too!
     
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  12. dbb727

    dbb727 Mouseketeer

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    What is with that darn bathroom fan?
    End of Travel Day, Sept 16, 2018
    It was still early when we finished dinner at 'Ohana (about 7pm) and we probably could have gone to check out Trader Sam's then (kids are allowed until 8pm), but it had been a long travel day so we headed back to settle into the room and unpack. It was such a pleasant walk through the property back to our room, our 1st chance to experience the feel at nighttime. My DS absolutely LOVED all the Tiki torches and he starting doing this adorable hand movement and saying "pop" everytime we passed one, as if he was turning the light on himself like a Jedi or spiderman or something. He did that the whole week, and would be sad during the daytime when there was "no fire." They were setting up a movie on the lawn and people were enjoying the pool, but we were looking forward to unwinding in our room. I do wish we had an additional "rest day" at the resort because I would have liked to do some of the extra activities like yoga, or making tie dye shirts, or watching a movie under the stars, but we'll look forward to that when the kids are older.

    I had placed an order in advance with Instacart so at some point I had to walk back to the GCH to meet the driver. Since I had alcohol included in the order I needed to show ID, otherwise they could have left the bags with bell service. I had priced out Instacart vs. Amazon Prime Now, I think Amazon didn't have pull-ups or some specific item I needed so we went with Instacart. I had never used them and found a "first timer" coupon, but wouldn't ya know I forgot to use it! o_O Oh well. The experience was otherwise seamless and easy. Basically, I bought a case of water, diapers(DS is potty trained now but wasn't during the trip), wipes, a few snacks and breakfast items for the room. Another reason I liked the studio villa was that it included a fridge so we had some cold items like yogurt, milk and cheese. Oh and I made sure to order a 6pk and some wine since I knew we'd be back in the room early with the kiddos.

    At home, our schedule is usually awake by 6:30am and kids' bedtime between 7-8pm. DS naps ~2hours midday and DH pretty much stopped napping after her 4th birthday expect on rare occasions. Another reason I wanted to go in late September, and specifically picked this week because it was the beginning of shortened hours. For most people, this is probably a bummer that the parks close earlier, but I was excited to see Happily Ever After and Fantastamic scheduled at 8pm since I knew we couldn't last any later than that. Even 8pm was going to be pushing it for DS. Oh and another fun fact, sometime a few months earlier, DS's internal clock started waking him up everyday between 5-5:30am. We couldn't ever figure out why but I tried to look at it as a positive that we'd be up early and ready for rope drop! :tigger:Of course, as luck would have it, my normally early risers slept great through the trip and I actually had to drag them out of bed each morning.

    Just a few other observations on the Polynesian Villas Studio. The blackout curtains worked great, as someone on the boards told me they would. Probably the reason is was hard to awaken in the morning, but if anyone is worried about creating a dark room for naptime/bedtime, they definitely did the trick. The "kitchenette" area is very small in these studios, just a minifridge with a sink and small counter, then a mounted microwave and small cupboard with disposable plates/bowls/plasticware. It was a small space but worked for our short trip; if we were there for a full week or wanted to eat in the room more frequently, it would have been difficult. The only wierd and annoying thing about the room was the bathroom fan- specifically bathroom #1 (shower only)since it was closer to the beds and in order to get to the kitchenette, closet or other bathroom, you would have to pass bath #1. Well the fan is motion sensored for some reason, and INCREDIBLY sensitive. Every time you flinched near the doorway, that loud fan would come on. And the doors for the bathroom were "barn door" style on a track, that was also incredibly loud to open/close. So in order to get the fan to stop being triggered, we would close the bath door, but that risked awakening a napping child. What a nuisance. I think by the third day we had it figured out, but still I feel the need to rant about it.

    IMG_0953.jpg

    Here is a random pic of the entryway in our room, lots of the square footage is in this entry and bathrooms area so there was even plenty of room to park our double stroller. If someone had a wheelchair or ECV, it'd be ample space as well.

    We got the kiddos settled in their new Mickey/Minnie pjs and settled off to dreamland.
    IMG_0957.jpg
    Alarm set for 6:30am with a goal to eat breakfast in the room and get to the park between 8-8:30am for rope drop....sounds easy, right? Turn in for the next installment to see if we can actually get out the door on time! - >
    Chapter 6: Can We Make it to Rope Drop?


    Sept 16th: steps counted: 7,600
    miles walked 3.3mi
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  13. VAtink

    VAtink DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! We were there the same week as you, actually arrived the same day! Agreed the humidity was awful that week. Can't wait to read more!
     
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  14. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

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    Joining in! We're staying at the Poly DVC studios from 2/5-2/9, when we leave for a Disney Cruise. I'm particularly interested in this:

    I've been thinking of doing this, but never have. Our plane lands around 10:30, we'll be to the Poly by noonish, and we have dinner at Ohana that night (just like you, too, lol). We just plan to hang around the pool and resort until the room is ready and dinner. We'll have a day at MK, dessert party that night, then a day at AK with DAH MK that evening. Friday will be a pool day, then we'll leave Saturday. So.... I think having some breakfast stuff in the room would be awesome and so convenient. Do you just have it shipped to the resort address, with an attention to your name/room number? Seems perfect!

    Looking forward to your report!
     
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  15. ADS2508

    ADS2508 Mouseketeer

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    Haha... at the end of every vacation I say I’m going to put in down time and then I end up with jammed packed plans.

    That fan is on the resort side as well. I appreciate its power but it went off often while we were sleeping and woke me up constantly. Thankfully the kids slept through it.

    I love the photo of them snuggling up. So sweet. Sounds like a good way to end a travel day.
     
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  16. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

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    This fan sounds like a problem to me! Were u able to just keep the door shut?
     
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  17. dbb727

    dbb727 Mouseketeer

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    We do sound similiar, except TRIPLETS! Wow! I can't wait to see your adorable trip photos, I hope you'll do your own trip report!



    So true! Yes, if we had been 2adult/2child I think it would have made a difference and the meal plan would have been more advantageous. I wish we could have gotten free dining but it wasn't available at the Poly during our dates. At least, with one under 3 I feel like we got a little break. DD would be so excited during character meals that it was hard to get her to focus on eating, but luckily DS ate aenough for the both of them each time so I felt we got our money's worth.


    Yeah, I basically just kept a pile in the guest room, and kept adding to it in the months before.


    I agree! I don't think I could cart around 9 dressess and acccessories either. Will y'all bring a single or double stroller? Even if the kids don't use it, which I bet someone would, it can at least haul around extra items.
     
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  18. dbb727

    dbb727 Mouseketeer

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    :welcome:
    I love hearing from/reading about other people's experiences during the same timeframe. It is so interesting to me to see how different people experience similar events and how people choose to spend their time.
     
  19. mustinjourney

    mustinjourney DIS Veteran

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    Agreed. When they're 4, they still think it's all real. After 5 or 6, they understand that the characters are playing pretend, so it's not quite as much fun.
     
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  20. mustinjourney

    mustinjourney DIS Veteran

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    We took our oldest out of Kindergarten for a week (first week of December) just a month ago. Didn't miss a beat. I wouldn't "sweat" it.
     
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  21. mustinjourney

    mustinjourney DIS Veteran

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    I'm in a similar boat -- just turned 38 a few weeks ago and have various ailments. Luckily, I do not have spine issues -- just arthritis in my knee and a bad hip...and occasionally I will get intense neck/shoulder/upper back pain, but I think that is from bad posture sitting at the computer. Muscle relaxers definitely help with that type of pain.

    A few drinks on the plane are also helpful. :drinking:

    On our family trip last month -- I forgot to ORDER the stupid tags until 2 weeks prior to the vacation. This was like my 8th trip in three years -- you'd think I'd remember these things. Of course, the tags got held up over the Thanksgiving holidays and didn't show up until the day we left.

    SHHHHHH!!!! Don't give away all the secrets!!!

    Have you not noticed how many people do not have their magic bands or DME papers out when they get to the front? EVEN AFTER THEY SHOULD HAVE NOTICED THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF THEM HAVING TO GET THEM OUT???

    There are so many oblivious people at Disney.

    This happens a lot at bag checks and tapstyles too.
     
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