Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Dream Disney Vacation - Day One

Stacey - That's me!
Matt - My cute husband!
Nancy - My mom!
Diane - Matt's mom!

October 9
Note:  Pictures for Day One will follow soon.  I decided to break it up for this trip report so I can keep my posts as short as possible. 

The day had finally come and of course I didn't get to bed as early as I would have liked.  I aimed for 9:00 p.m. but climbed into bed to watch Flipper at around 10:00 p.m.  The alarm went off at 3:30 a.m. and I had felt like I only slept 15 minutes.  No matter.  Matt and I finished our packing up pretty quickly and we were out the door and loaded into Matt's parents car by 4:45 a.m.  Only 15 minutes behind schedule!  That's pretty typical for us. 

When we were 15 minutes away from the airport we decided to stop for a potty break at Mickey D's.  I decided to occupy the handicap stall.  When I finished my business I looked down to realize that there was no toilet paper.  Of course the toilet was tucked WAY far away from the door so having my mother-in-law pass me toilet paper over the stall proved to be difficult.  I had to do the classy pants-around-your-knees walk. 

Security at the airport seemed pretty hectic at first but it moved very quickly.  The rest of the gang used the restroom and my mother-in-law got coffee then we waited only ten minutes before we boarded our plane.  There were crumbs on my lap tray.  Gross.  In case you're wondering... I chose peanuts and my usual ginger ale. 

Once in Florida we made our way down to Disney's Magical Express check-in.  Only this time, no check-in!  We walked straight to the podium and got in our line that would take us to the Polynesian Resort.  While we were talking about what time we woke up that morning a family of three behind us told us that they woke up at 1:30 a.m.  The conversations went something like this.

Us:  "Oh, where are you from?"
Them:  "Michigan"
Us:  "No way!  Where abouts?"
Them:  "Sturgis"
Us:  "Sturgis, Michigan?  You're kidding!  Us too!"

How often does that happen?!  Not very often let me tell you!  My mother-in-law knew one of the women looked familiar and that she'd seen her at the gym before.  Their family was staying at Bay Lake Tower.  For some reason we didn't exchange names but.. more on that later in my trip report.  :)

Magical Express was wonderful as usual and we were the first stop.  Our moms enjoyed taking pictures of themselves while Matt and I watched the welcome video that plays.  Walking off of the bus at the Polynesian was a "pinch me" moment.  I couldn't stop smiling!  The check-in desk seemed a bit busy.  Standing in the lobby I started to look around and a flood of emotions came over me.  This was what I'd waited so long for.  The trip I never thought would really happen.  I started sobbing.  Right there in the line to check-in.  This was a prime time for our moms to take pictures of course.  "Oh look at Stacey crying!  Awww."  *click*

Our packet was waiting for us but not everything was inside.  The gift card seemed to be missing and the desk couldn't find it.  Also, our Garden Grocer order couldn't be found right away despite the fact that I got the call from Garden Grocer saying that it was delivered.  The cast member at the desk assured us that they would track down both the groceries and the gift card and call me when they did. 

We headed up to our room... only a short two or three minute walk from the Great Ceremonial House.  Third floor lagoon view room in Aotearoa.  I have to be honest that when we were walking to the room I was nervous that the view wouldn't be as good since the longhouse sits further back than the rest.  Of course it all ended up well and we could even see the castle if we stood on the left side of the balcony.  The room was pretty much spotless.  I know there have been reports of unemptied trash cans or bed bugs but we saw none of that.  The desk must have found the groceries quickly because they were delivered as soon as we got up there. 

Captain Cook's fed us a very good lunch.  I like the touch screen ordering very much though my mom seemed to have none of it.  Every time we used it she made us order for her.  She ordered the pork sandwich.  Diane and Matt both got the adult grilled cheese.  I ordered the soup of the day... vegetarian chili!  Everything was really really delicious.  We found that the "chips" were actually more like crunchy flatbread.  Most chips didn't seem cooked enough so they were chewy instead of crunchy.  Weird.  I finished my chili before anyone else so I walked around and took pictures nearby.  The new cabanas were really nice but it looked like no one was using them.

After lunch we took the monorail to Magic Kingdom and got our park tickets from Guest Relations.  The park seemed really busy right away.  We made our way up Main Street and took in all the sights and smells.  The Confectionary.  The Bakery.  And finally... Cinderella Castle.  I could tell Diane was really enjoying herself already and was in awe of finally seeing the castle in person. 

We made it to Tomorrowland and met up with a new friend of mine that works at Space Mountain.  Ashley and I met back when she worked for American Idol Experience.  She said that Space was actually down at the moment but people were still waiting in the very long line with hopes that they would start running very soon.  Ashley took us through the FastPass line and past what seemed like a million people.  I thought maybe she'd have us join in the line at some point but nope!  She literally walked us right up to the loading platform and let us ride in the first car.  By the time we got up there the ride was operating again so we were off!  I really like the new music because something is better than nothing.  The ride was MUCH smoother than the last time I rode but the vehicles are still terribly uncomfortable. 

Ashley walked us out of Space Mountain and then we said our goodbyes.  She was off work and we were off to play in the Magic Kingdom!  The crowds were really intense on this day.  Buzz Lightyear was even a 40 minute wait!  But thanks to some awesome FastPasses that a wonderful cast member gave us ;) we waited only five minutes!  We hit up Peter Pan and the steamboat and then got FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  While we were waiting for our ride time we rode Splash Mountain, Enchanted Tiki Room, and Hall Of Presidents.  My mother-in-law was really nervous about her first ever roller coaster ride.  My mom decided to sit out and wait for us so Matt and I walked the brave Diane into the queue.  I am happy to report that Diane LOVED Big Thunder and even asked to do it again before we went back home!  Hearing her laugh through the entire ride was music to this coaster lovers ears!

Now that our tum tums were all wound up we decided to eat dinner at Pecos Bills.  The line was long which seemed to be the trend of the day.  When Matt and I were ordering I turned back to look at the ordering computer and noticed that there were two vegetarian options that are not listed on the menu.  A veggie taco and a veggie wrap.  I didn't ask what they entailed but at least I know now that they modify the taco and wrap for us veggies!

Anyone else ever get truly wet on Pirates Of The Caribbean?!  We did in the front row!  Maybe we were top heavy since they crammed all four of us in the front of the boat.  I think I got more wet then than on Splash Mountain!  After Pirates we went back to Fantasyland and finished off with Mickey's Philharmagic and the carousel.  We originally planned on staying for Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes but the majority of us were too tired to stay in the parks so we left and went back to the Polynesian. 

My mother-in-law and I inquired about getting a microwave and got one sent up to our room right away.  We all tiredly unpacked our clothes (except Matt who lives out of the suitcase) and I watched Wishes from our balcony.  I did notice a little noise from the luau but nothing annoying.  I found it quite pleasant actually.  While everyone else got tucked into bed I took my shower.  Can I just say that I could have stayed in that shower all night?!  It was heavenly!  Finally, it was my turn to get some shut eye and be ready for a full day at Hollywood Studios.


  1. What a wonderful first day! There's nothing like finally arriving after waiting so long for a trip. Love the Polynesian. Yes, Space Mountain seating is still uncomfortable. But so fun! Looking forward to more. :)

  2. Wonderful!!! I love the report - so fun to read! And I'm even more excited for pics.

    I totally know how you must have felt arriving at your "dream come true" trip at the Polynesian. And the lack of sleep made you even more emotional, I'm sure. I'm glad that it lived up to your expectations!

    It sounds like you got a hell of a lot done for it being so crowded. Awesome start to the trip! After reading this, I can't wait for my first day. First days are the best, with all of the anticipation and excitement of checking in and just being at Disney!

  3. We always have to get up super early for our trips too. And I never get much sleep the night before. Excitement usually wins...haha.

    I noticed last time we didn't have to go to the ME check-in last time either. Just straight to our bus line. It was nice.

    I predicted (to Graham) that you'd cry when you got to the hotel! I totally called it! Woohoo! :)

    Bed bugs scare me so much. And they are really making a comeback all over the country. Before we set our bags down, Graham throughly checks the room....haha.

    I really hope you get out to Disneyland some day. Their Space Mountain is so much better and more comfortable.

    I'm glad Diane liked Big Thunder. It was my first Rollercoaster too!

    What did you order at Pecos Bills? That's where I had the veggie burger that I hated back in January.

    So how did it go with four adults in one hotel room? I'm not sure I could handle sharing a room with my Mom and mother-in-law....haha.

    Did the microwave cost extra?

  4. It was the trip of a lifetime!!! I just loved Big Thunder Mountain, I could have rode it again & again...............

  5. Sherri - Thank you so much for reading the blog and following along!

    Ellen - We really did accomplish a lot on our first day. I was very impressed. We bypassed some major attractions because of lines but we finished them all up on another day. More on that later though :)

    Jill - Way to call my crying spell! Ha!

    We fully intend to try and make it out to Disneyland next year if we can. Did you see on Netflix that there are a bunch of new Disney Parks movies on Watch Instantly? We just started the one on Disneyland.

    From Pecos Bills, Matt and I ordered the veggie burger. I added the onions and some ketchup and mustard. I like it but it's definitely not as good as the old burgers (Boca). Matt devours them.

    Having four adults in one room wasn't bad but it also helps that we are all early risers (except Matt. The hardest part is the showering schedule. For the most part I was the only one who showered at night no matter how late it was. Otherwise we'd have four people fighting for showers in the morning. My mom was originally supposed to take a shower at night as well but she would always come back to the room and fall asleep. Haha.

    No extra cost for the microwave. It's just unavailabilty that may cause you to not get one.

    Diane - Next time we are getting you on Space Mountain and Expedition Everest!

  6. I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and I really have been enjoying reading it. I am a TOTAL Disney Nerd, too. :) I am also a midwestern girl (Northwest Indiana). If my husband would let me, I would go to WDW every month! Sadly, we do family vacations every 2 years....so I will just have to live vicariously through you! Staying at the Polynesian is also my dream (we are going to stay there when we go back in 2 years), so I can't wait to hear more about your stay!

  7. Stacey, thanks for posting about your trip. I can't wait to hear the rest and see the pictures. It's amazing how you can describe what you are doing and I can picture exactly where you are standing/sitting/riding. We can't take the kids out of school anymore for trips when it is not busy, so I thought it would be a while before we got back there, but hearing other people talk about the Magic.....