Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Trip Report Tuesday - WDW Day 10 // A Closer Look at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort & My 1st Solo Trip to Magic Kingdom!

Day 10 - Sunday, December 2, 2017

Aloha!  On this gorgeous and oh so sunny Sunday the crowd level was predicted to be incredibly high in the parks.  Since we were in the midst of a 17-day trip (which allowed for ample park time) we'd planned to spend this morning/afternoon at the resort, that's how it began anyway.  It unfolded differently, in the best possible way!

Going on a solo stroll through a quiet resort in the early morning allowed me the perfect opportunity to truly take in all the details and snap all the photos my camera clicking heart desired!

The Polynesian Village Resort has such a lovely lobby year round, but this beautiful Christmas tree sure takes it up a notch!

As previously mentioned, BouTiki is one of my favorite resort shops.  Seeing these guys decked out in their holiday best is too cute too!

The free time on this fine morning allowed for a wonderful conversation with a cast member as I gazed upon this darling display.  He shared some information about the photos before me.  Seeing from his name tag that he wasn't a Florida native we began talking about Christmastime in the Sunshine State.  I was delighted to chat with this older gentleman and hear that he was enjoying his "retirement years" now as a Disney cast member adding magic to the days of guests from near and far!  Interactions with cast members who love their jobs and share a mutual love for Disney always  add joy to Disney days!

Every time we visit the Poly I love spotting "Hidden Mickeys" in the bamboo along this stairway!

After taking in all the beauty of our resort, I decided to do something I'd never done before this day.  I told my family I was going to make a solo trip to the Parks.  I thought of it this way, if I were at home and someone asked me, "If you could do anything today what would you do?"  I'm pretty sure taking it slow (even in the midst of heavy crowds) at Magic Kingdom all dolled up for the Christmas season and taking all the photos I wanted, would be at the tip top of that list!  So, that's exactly what I did!  I boarded a boat at the Poly for Magic Kingdom and began my first completely solo trip from start to finish!  In the past I have stayed longer than my family to shop, but never have I gone, enjoyed the Park any way I chose, and then left when I felt fully satisfied with the magic I took in.  I was giddy for a new-to-me Disney experience!

Once again, in my beloved Annual Passholder line into the park!

Mickey's Christmas Carol
Window Displays Along Main Street U.S.A.

It was incredibly hot in that bright Florida sun when I thought about how I'd never sampled a sip of LeFou's brew.  Time to check that off my must-try list!

When I arrived I spotted a fruit and cheese picnic platter that I simply couldn't resist, so lunch time it was!

How perfect is this lovely picnic platter along with the beautiful sipping sweetness of frozen apple juice with toasted marshmallow topped with passion fruit-mango foam?! 

There wasn't a single spot open at a table or bench near Gaston's Tavern, so I decided to walk up towards Tomorrowland and grab a seat along the walkway and do some people watching from a semi-shaded spot.  

Love this sign!

 Although it was crazy crowded there was one ride I couldn't resist, Carousel of Progress!  In all my years of adoring this ride I have never once had to wait to board it, but on this day that would change.  It was so crowded that a group was taken in and I had to wait for the next "show".  I actually LOVED that that was the case!  Hooray for people enjoying this classic created by Walt himself!  Another first, inside there were people seated on each side of me.  The guy to my left said as we exited, "I'll have that song in my head for the rest of the day now!"  I agreed that it's super catchy and easily gets stuck in your head, but went on to say that I can't think of a more positive song you could have stuck in your head though!  "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day!  There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away!"

After a super sweet solo visit to Magic Kingdom I boarded the boat back to the Polynesian.  

Pass this beautiful pool and on to Tokelau I go!

Before long the fam was ready to head out for our evening at Epcot.  I'll never forget walking this gorgeous pathway that day and literally saying, "Is this real life?"  It was incredibly beautiful and I certainly soaked up the surroundings not taking a moment of the tropical swoon-worthy scenery for granted!

We arrived during our Frozen Ever After fastpass time to find people in the standby entrance with a whopping 2 hour and 20 minute wait!  I enjoy this ride, but am so thankful for fastpasses as I would never wait that long! Yikes!

Dinner at Coral Reef
That evening we had reservations at the Coral Reef.  We'd talked about it before leaving the resort and the girls weren't really in the mood for it.  It is pretty pricey, so we were fine with them forgoing the meal there if it wasn't something they were really looking forward to.  Plus, I never frown at the idea of a dinner date with my man!

Jason and I had eaten here once during a "just the two of us" vacation back in 2011.  That meal was incredible!  We were seated beside the large aquarium, had excellent service, and all of our food was scrumptious.  We went into this meal looking forward to yet another delightful dining experience.  Sadly, this food looked a lot better than it tasted.  The lobster bisque came out instantly, but tasted like something pre-made and warmed up.  I am a big fan of steak and typically order it whenever it's on the menu.  Honestly, I could've gotten a better tasting steak at any local or chain restaurant.  In the end we spent over a hundred dollars on a mediocre meal.  However, we did enjoy the atmosphere and most of all, each other's company.  I will add that Disney restaurants are known for being inconsistent, so don't let my experience that day stop you from dining here if it interests you.  Perhaps your experience could be more like the one we enjoyed seven years prior.

Before meeting back up with our girls we strolled through The Seas Pavilion.

Under water "Hidden Mickey" and Manatees

Reunited as a family we boarded a Living with the Land boat. We always enjoy this ride and it's extra special during Christmastime!

Hidden Mickey!

Hidden Reindeer Mickey!

Mommy/Daughter Munch Date
Jason and Princess headed back to the resort while Little One and I lingered longer for some extra deliciousness!  We popped over to the Refreshment Port where I'd anticipated trying their seasonal cronut!  I didn't realize that they were still serving their regular cronut (I somehow missed it on the menu). So, in an attempt to cut the wording from "Chocolate Peppermint Glazed Croissant Donut" down a bit I simply requested a cronut and Little One's forever favorite, chicken breast nuggets and fries.  The cast member handed me a regular cronut and I shared my mistake in that I meant to order the seasonal sweet and how I obviously said the wrong thing.  Oops!  I asked if I could change my order.  Upon my request two sweet and (unnecessarily) apologetic cast members insisted that the original was mine too!  They gave me two tasty cronuts for the price of one!  I was tickled pink and could see that they were delighted to add a bit of magic (and yumminess) to our evening!  

We took our goodies to a table nearby.  It was a beautiful night with a lit Spaceship Earth ("Epcot ball") behind us and World Showcase's tall Christmas tree in all it's glory before us!  We enjoyed all that we could, then took the regular cronut to go.  We'd later share it with our loves who headed "home" to the resort ahead of us.

As you can see, Little One purchased another souvenir from the Japan pavilion that night, adding to her Rilakkuma and friends collection! 

So cute!

We hurried back "home" to catch the Electric Water Pageant.  Jason and Princess were already waiting on the beach and we met them there just as the show was about to start.  Afterward we started walking back to our studio and I shared with Jason, on this our final evening at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, that my only regret about our time there was that we'd never gotten to watch the fireworks from the resort's beach and that I never felt the sand between my toes there.

More Disney dreams come true, straight ahead...

Midway back to our room we realized that fireworks were beginning just then!  We quickly grabbed a spot on the beach...

...and I kicked my shoes off!

I went to bed on our last night at the Poly feeling fully satisfied with our stay!  We enjoyed our room, our private balcony, the dole whips (and dole whip floats, my personal favorite), the beach, the views, and the terrific tropical atmosphere.  I loved that each cast member that passed us throughout our stay there said, "Aloha"!  The next morning when we'd hear it it would mean, "Goodbye", but we were moving on to what is deemed by many the best Disney resort at Christmastime for our final six nights of our trip and we could hardly wait!

Thanks for visiting today!  Can't wait to share our check-in at the newest Disney Vacation Club Villas and much more next week!

Also, don't forget to check out the video footage from this day at my family's YouTube Channel, 
Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!
Direct Link to the Video of Day 9 Part 2:
Join me in the adventures to come!
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  1. I would love to have a day to myself at the Magic Kingdom. We love the Carousel of Progress. In fact, the shirt I wore on my MK day said "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow.." on it!

    1. You're a girl after my own Carousel of Progress loving heart, Dara! :)

  2. Gorgeous photos!! We ate at Coral Reef in 2015 - I had a steak that I loved, Paul ordered a seafood pasta dish that was "meh." Sounds like it's really hit and miss! :) But you're right, the atmosphere is pretty great.

    1. Thanks, friend! I had so much fun taking it slow while solo and photographing the Poly and Magic Kingdom that day! :) So true - it is hit and miss, but the atmosphere is fantastic! ;)

  3. Oh my goodness! What a spectacular day! <3 Thanks for taking us along!


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