Day 4 – Jawa Issues
I can’t tell if I was overwhelmed later in the day from all the fun I had the night before at Trader Sam’s, or was depressed to have to leave the Polynesian, or if meeting Kylo Ren was that overwhelming but I wasn’t feeling magical on day 4.
The day started out great – I got breakfast from Captain Cooks and brought it back to the room. We stayed at the Poly till check out time at 11am and walked around the resort. The new pool looks so relaxing! I hope there is a chance for me to experience it in a few years.
We left our bags to be delivered to Beach Club and took the bus to Hollywood Studios AGAIN. We had to see the Jedi Training again and we also checked out Watto’s Grotto and Launch Bay.
I got the BB-8 soda cup I had been eyeing since we got to the parks and within an hour almost lost it to a Jawa!
After the Jawa encounter I was already excitable but then we did the Disney Visa Character Meet and Greet. I didn’t ask who we would be meeting and they have it all hidden around corners. When I walked in and Kylo Ren was there I almost crapped my pants. I had so much fun I can’t wait for the park ‘s full concept to be put together.
We finally got to ride Tower of Terror and for the first time in forever (no, not Frozen) I was able to take the queue to the left side of the bell stand and could see parts of the lobby I haven’t been able to check out for years.
It was starting to get hungry and a bit tired so we took the boat to Beach Club to find out what was up with our room. For some reason the online check in didn’t work and we got a text that we needed to see the front desk. They fidgeted with our magic bands for about 15 minutes then gave us the room number.
Before going to the room we had lunch at Beaches and Cream which was the definite highlight by far of our stay at Beach Club. We got to our room and it was so run down looking it was depressing. ESPECIALLY after a stay in the brand new Poly Villas. It was actually uncomfortable.
We walked around World Showcase and had a light dinner at the Boardwalk because I wasn’t feeling it.
And check it! You can see the Star Wars fireworks from the Boardwalk! Although you need to really be there to experience its full effect.
Its always hard to say goodnight to your last night in the Park. But the excitement about the Egg Hunt I had for the next day kept my spirits up!
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:
- Spaceship Earth
- Living with the Land
- Sunshine Seasons (for the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie)
- The Living Seas
We explored more of the flowers including those at the Canada Pavilion.
- Gran Fiesta (now featuring animatronics!)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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!
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!
Day 2 – Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
The view of the sunrise from our room at Bay Lake was amazing! It was 44 degrees so there was also some mist over the water.
Since we were at Bay Lake we had a quick breakfast at Contempo Cafe then took the monorail to Magic Kingdom for opening. They opened 20-30 min early and since it was a Sunday and my fast passes were for Hollywood Studios later in the day – I was nervous we wouldn’t be able to do what we wanted. We did almost EVERYTHING!
On this trip – I found a new favorite thing. Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan queue actually feels magical. It is details like this that make all the difference and this is now a must see for me on my next trip.
Then onto our favorites:
- Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
On our walk to Be Our Guest for lunch – we happened upon a babbling brook on a beautiful spring like day without a cloud in the sky.
Hollywood Studios for a Star Wars Experience!
After a nap we took the bus to Hollywood Studios. We put our fast passes to use and hit the Great Movie Ride. This is where we encountered an unexpected character.
We roll up to the iconic yellow brick road ready for action – and nada. No munchins, no sound, just a lifeless yellow brick road. Our show guide was great and tried to keep the show going with Wizard of Oz songs but then a maintenance guy shows up from under the well and breaks the flow and like its nothing special and says “Ya get no show?” and then a few other dudes show up and shrug their shoulders an push some things and we move along.
I rejuvenated my spirits by becoming an Honorary Disney Citizen at One Man’s Dream. We then used fast passes to get on Tower of Terror but only half the elevators were moving and the line came to a standstill. After a few minutes we turned around. This is a cautionary tale because once you tap to use a fast pass but don’t tap the second time you are in some fastpass limbo. It was the technical version of…The Twighlight Fastpass Zone.
We got some dinner at Backlot Express – a surprisingly good “galactic” salad with black beans and avocado along with some “Corellian Spice Fries”. While we ate we watched the Jedi Training show that got us pumped for the Symphony in the Stars Dessert Party.
The party was cute – my only complaint is that I wish there was seating. The Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks were SPECTACULAR! The coolest firework shapes – strobes, bees, star shapes, Saturn shapes and the MUSIC! You get the chills from the music and the drama of the fireworks combined with other Star Wars sound effects. It was also, hands down, the LOUDEST firework display I have ever witnessed.
You can see the full show online but it doesn’t do it justice.
We watched the Electric Light Pageant before going to bed. The music is just too ridiculous to ignore.
As a way to honor our first and likely last annual passes we used up the remaining days of our passes along with some DVC points to check out a few resorts and the parks on a 5 day trip. There was lots to see with the new Star Wars stuff along with the start of the Flower and Garden Festival. This was one of the BEST TRIPS I’ve ever been on – mostly because we didn’t over plan and went with the flow (I also had the best company you could ask for – my Mom!). The next few posts will go through each of the five days on the trip.
Day 1 – Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake
Now that Uber picks up at MCO we decided to avail ourselves of this service. Word of caution – this was pricey. I’ve taken UBER TO the airport from the parks and it was about $22 (and this proved to be true with this trip too). Since a regular cab is about $60 from the airport to the parks, I figured that even though UberBLACK is more expensive it would still be worth it. I was NOT expecting $20 in airport fees alone. Uber does offer fare estimates that did indicate it would be this expensive so I recommend checking that out.
We dropped off our bags at Bay Lake and went to the Contempo Cafe for lunch. The Contempo Vegetable Salad had tofu and quinoa and was actually quite good!
Since we did online check-in we got the message that our room was ready via text and headed there and ordered our bags.
Since the perk of Bay Lake is the quick walk to MK we went there even though it was mid-day on a Saturday. The lines were NUTS but we were able to visit the Enchanted Tiki Room. The weather was perfect so it was nice to just walk around.
Since it was the last day of the trial of same day reservations for the Skipper
Canteen – we were able to get a reservation for dinner. The place is pretty big, has an eclectic but really good menu and a great amount of detail in each of the themed rooms. There is fez case in the corner near the bookcase! I wish I could spend the whole day with a Jungle Skipper.
After dinner we rode the Wedway People Mover and for the first time in years we had a ride with no issues! I was almost bummed because it made the trip shorter. We capped off the evening at the Top of the World Lounge then ran back to the room so we could watch the Electric Water Pageant.