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Category: Aloha

Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 3

Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 3

We checked out of Bay Lake and brought our bags to the Polynesian where we stayed for one night.   We had breakfast at Kona then took the Monorail to EPCOT.  It was two days before the start of Flower and Garden but a lot was in bloom and smelling FANTASTIC!


We hit our favorites:

We explored more of the flowers including those at the Canada Pavilion.

We then took the Monorail back to the Polynesian.  We hadn’t received the text that our room was ready so we set up to enjoy some Dole Whip and the front desk informed us that the room was in fact ready and had been – they just didn’t send the text for some reason.   Either way – perfect timing.


Like anyone else who has stayed at the Poly DVC I can confirm its absolutely gorgeous.   We stayed in Pago Pago only for one night and it was one of the major highlights of the trip.

We put on some Hawaiian music and relaxed in paradise.

We had reservations a Morimoto in Disney Springs for an early dinner.   This is where my second cautionary tale regarding Uber begins.

  1. We thought they would be able to pick up in the DVC parking lot near Pago Pago – they are not allowed in so we had to walk to the lobby.   This makes sense in hindsight.
  2. We were waiting at the lobby when a cast member asked us if we were waiting for Uber.  She informed us that the GPS locators often send them to the Grand Floridian instead of the Poly and this in fact happened to our driver.   I would recommend texting your driver and confirming the resort location.
  3. There is so much construction at Disney Springs right now and they really only allow cabs to drop off on the West Side – even if you are trying to get to the Marketplace so if your goal was to cut down on walking – waiting for the bus might be the better option.
  4. Pickup for Uber at Disney Springs is in the “Strawberry Lot” – that’s on the other side of West Side so if you are coming from the Marketplace Area it could be a trek.  We were going directly to Hollywood Studios and still thought this was easier than bus hopping.

morimoto Balls

Morimoto makes one hell of a Singapore Sling!   I highly recommend.

We went to see the Star Wars Fireworks AGAIN after dinner because they are THAT GOOD.   Since we had already taken 2 Uber rides we figured we would take the bus back to the Poly – at park closing.   This 45 minute exercise in patience reminds me why I try to be at a resort that is walking distance or linger in the park after hours until I’m forced out.

We closed out the evening at Trader Sam’s Grotto.

trader sams

Last time we were there – they said they couldn’t do anything for vegetarian food (outside of sushi) but this time they offered tofu for the lettuce cups!  It was so tasty!

tofu lettuce cups

On the walk back to Pago Pago we stopped at the Tiki Terrace outside the Grotto to listen to the ukulele player.  He was so good I would say its worth the visit alone to see him perform.  Aloha!

Good Day on the Disney Park Blog

Good Day on the Disney Park Blog

October 1st was a great day on Disney Park Blog.

First, there was a post about the 13 Reasons Disney Park Fans Still Love Horizons Today. I think I could come up with another 50 more.   It captured everything about the future that was exciting and hopeful wrapped up in a Disney dark ride.


And to balance out the aloha we got a new wallpaper from Jason “Tiki” Tackett featuring the Retro Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort icons!

Trip Report March 2015!

Trip Report March 2015!

This trip was the fastest ride in the wilderness!  Once again – conference time during the Flower and Garden – this time at the Dolphin.  Last conference was in 2013 during the same time but at the Contemporary.   I could get used to this!






We showed up 30 min before rope drop to catch the Magic Kingdom opening.   As we speak I still have the Loading the Train/Casey Junior song in my head and it was worth it!  Then we leisurely hit a whole bunch of rides with minimal lines!


  • Peter Pan’s Flight – LOVE the new queue.  Done really well with great Disney attention to detail.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – this was our first ride!  I definitely want to try it at night which is brave as hell for me if you know how this ride ends.
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Orange Swirl and Dole Whip break at Sunshine Tree Terrace



epcotlogo_thumb[2]For lunch we were going to take the Monorail from Magic Kingdom into EPCOT but it was down for repairs so we had to take the resort bus to Boardwalk and walk to Germany where I tried the wine flight for the first time.



After some rather epic carbo loading we went back to the room for a nap.  Then we headed to Hollywood Studios.  I AM PSYCHED that damn hat is gone!  I heard that the day after we left the spotlights were back too.



While there we experienced the Great Movie Ride in the front row – a totally different experience this way!  Completely immersive.   Since the front row is shorter than other rows to accommodate your Director/Actor Guide through the movies – it can really only sit 2-3 comfortably but I think its worth asking to sit up front if the size of your party allows.

Last, but certainly not least we finished off the park with One Man’s Dream then headed to the boat for “dinner” at Beaches and Cream.  Helpful tip.   If you ask yourself “Should I have the No Way Jose for dinner?”  – just refer to the name of the dessert for your answer.


After hitting three parks the day before we kept it to EPCOT and the Flower and Garden Festival for the day.

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After looking at all the flowers we went to breakfast at Sunshine Seasons in The Land. This is one of my favorite breakfast places because with the breakfast platter you get potatoes that have both peppers and onions and you get a biscuit.   Then of course you are rewarded with a charming, and nostalgic boat ride.

  • Living with the Land
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track – even with a Fastpass this takes forever.  I’m not sure i’m that into it.
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Woof.  I haven’t done this in at least 15 years.  Stupid Judy.  Stupid Energy.   I think that was my last time unless this sucker gets an overhaul.  Its a shame too since its the only thing left that references space (Big Bang) that I can physically entertain without getting sick.

We had lunch at the Flower and Garden Kitchens before heading back for some conference time.   For dinner we had late reservations at La Hacienda.


We were able to see Illuminations from inside the restaurant and made it back to the International Gateway in time for the last boat to the Dolphin.   Its so awesome to walk through EPCOT with barely anyone else around – until you see them locking up gates and then you get terrified you will have to walk to the front of the park and take a cab.



WORST.  BREAKFAST. BUFFET. EVER.  Captain’s Grille.   The cheesy potatoes casserole tasted like a foot.  How can you not have good potatoes at a buffet?   There wasn’t a ton of variety.  Mom ordered a la carte and it was very good.

We walked around Hollywood Studios for a bit after a conference session but there really wasn’t a lot going on.   It bums me out.  Tatooine Traders used to have so much more variety.

We went to Downtown Disney which was a total shit show for parking while its under construction.  When we were there we came across Wentzel’s Pretzels Snack Stand.   I don’t fancy myself a pretzel eater but this was SO GOOD and so PERFECT for a warm, salty snack.  I actually think of it as one of my favorite Disney meals this trip!

The reason we went to Downtown Disney was because Robert Jimenez did a signing at the WonderGround Gallery and I was able to purchase a print and get it signed.

Robert Jimenez – Pele Ablaze

For dinner we went to the Polynesian – our first visit for the new lobby.   I’ve been keeping an open mind till I saw it for myself.   I don’t like it.  Its just another hotel lobby now, a very nice one, but not a place I would go out of my way to visit like I used to the old place.   Maybe once the rest of the construction is done it will have the full effect? Trader Sams will change all this.

We tried to get walk up table service at Kona Cafe but it turned out they were full.  What they did do was let us order off the Kona Cafe Menu but sit against the wall at Kona Island.  This worked out because we got to have our backs turned towards the lobby – like we were shunning it.  Still, I couldn’t help feel like the Paper Boy from Spaceship Earth (see #5).

One last trip to MK!

  • WEDWay People Mover x 2
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Electric Light Parade
  • Wishes – it was 56 degrees!

The new landscaping in front of the castle hub is fantastic!  Offers a serene place to view the castle. I wonder if it will be open for enjoying like a park in-between parades and fireworks.



We had lunch at Chefs de France and just enjoyed the flowers and comfortable air before heading home.

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See ya real soon!  (November…)

Dizzneeland, The Happiest Hell on Earth

Dizzneeland, The Happiest Hell on Earth

Last week’s episode of the Simpsons titled The Man Who Came To Be Dinner had just a little bit of everything to keep me entertained.  I actually saved it on my Tivo which I haven’t done with a Simpsons episode in ages.   Not since the Simpsons visited EFCOT Center have I been so enchanted.

1.  They go to Dizzneeland – there are a VARIETY of nods to the park that make the episode worth watching.


2. They make numerous references to Star Wars and “Dizznee’s” relationship in having attractions related to it in the park.

storm trooper

3. Their version of the Enchanted Tiki Room combines Start Wars with Jabba The Tiki Hut!

jabba the tiki hut

4.  They go into OUTER SPACE and visit the planet Rigel VII.  Not to be confused with the real life Rigel, a star found in the constellation Orion.



This episode also didn’t follow the typical [insert guest star voice and one time character here] formula.   Definitely worth seeing.

Sept/Oct 2013 Trip Report – Hollywood Studios & EPCOT

Sept/Oct 2013 Trip Report – Hollywood Studios & EPCOT

Days 4 & 5: Hollywood Studios & EPCOT

We changed rooms from Bay Lake to Beach Club so the focus of the rest of the trip was around these two parks.  Also, it was HOT!  High 80’s.

Tuesday (EPCOT/Hollywood Studios)

  • Captain Cooks (Breakfast)
  • Monorail to EPCOT
  • Art of Disney – I think almost the whole Collectible portion of the tiki room merchandise was on display for purchase!
  • Yacht Club Lobby to meet a friend (and sit in the AC)
  • Boat to Hollywood Studios
  • Mai Tai from High Octane Refreshments

  • Muppets
  • Sci Fi (Lunch) – FINALLY tried the Vegetarian Sheppard’s Pie!  It was good, but shouldn’t be combined with a Mai Tai on a wicked hot day.  Ugh.
  • Hotel Room Hang out
  • Tutto Italia (Dinner) – The Tonnarelli is incredible.
  • Go-Go’s (again)
  • Illuminations

Wednesday (Hollywood Studios/EPCOT)

  • Beach Club Market Place  (Breakfast) – Cheesey Potato Casserole!!

  • Toy Story Mania
  • Tower of Terror (x2) – I LOVE it when the queue looks creepy with mist!

  • Great Movie Ride – kinda weird using the new queue line
  • Biergarten (Lunch)
  • Japan (Sake Bar)
  • Nap Time!
  • La Hacienda (Dinner)
  • Spaceship Earth