Day 4 - Jawa IssuesI 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: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.
- Spaceship Earth
- Living with the Land
- Sunshine Seasons (for the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie)
- The Living Seas
- Gran Fiesta (now featuring animatronics!)
- 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.
Day 2 - Magic Kingdom and Hollywood StudiosThe 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
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.