Hi all! Figured I’d give my trip report while I’m in Disney withdraw. This trip it was myself, the hubby and DD8, DS6 and DD3. We live in Atlanta and drove there.
We split our stay between the Polynesian and staying offsite at a townhome. For us its a great balance between some of the perks and the glorious space and privacy of a rental property. We did 3 days MK, 2 days EP, 2 days HS, and 2 days AK.
Property: Polynesian was in rough shape construction-wise. However we were in Fiji building facing the GF and weren’t bothered at all. The location was great. We were on the first floor and could walk out from our patio onto the beach to walk around or enjoy the fireworks at night. Could also hear the spirit of Aloha dinner in the evening. It was so very magical. The main building area opened up while we were there and while it was nice to get rid of the curtains I found the main area rather blah and miss the waterfall that they removed. We stayed at a 3 bedroom townhome in Crestwynd bay and it was great. The drive to the parks is great and even shorter to AK and HS than the Polynesian was.
Dining: We did dining plan for the days we were on property. Sorry folks but not a big fan of dining plan. Worrying about keeping track of snack credits and using them all is something I could do without. Also it’s SOOOOO much food. We started to feel pretty disgusting after the second day. Please tell me I’m not the only who thinks this? Our big hits were 1900 park fare dinner, Ohana dinner, nutella waffle at Sleepy Hollow, and lunch at 50s Prime Time. Our duds this time Crystal Palace lunch and Biergarten (which we typically love). These the food was just OK and the buffet lines were 15-20 minutes. We did do dinner at BOG and the food was alright but the atmosphere was great. We did a eat around the world day at Epcot and it was so much fun. It was great for a family of 5 because we could share and not get full so we just ate all day.
Parks: Ranged anywhere from a 3 to a 9 on the parks we visited. Steered clear of MK and Epcot 24-26. I will say, as so many others have, a good touring plan is key. Also utilizing early morning, napping and then coming back and staying late is awesome. I couldn’t imagine waiting 90 minutes or more for some of those rides. We did fast passes for either later morning or late afternoon after naps. We’d then hit low wait rides (like Tiki room) and have our sit-down meal. By then it would start to lighten up as people left or started staking out spot for nightly show(s). I will say by doing this I couldn’t tell any difference in our days on what was a 3 and what a 9.
MK: Early morning and late night was so enjoyable. Did catch a second and late showing of Celebrate the Magic. First time seeing this and it was awesome. Walked right up to castle area right before it started and had a great seat. Second shows rock. Elsa freezing castle show is cool but man is it packed! Snow on main street was so great. It was so magical, I cried (I’m an easy crier)
Epcot: I could spend day in the World Showcase between the regular entertainment and the special holiday ones. Our biggest hits were Chinese Gymnasts, Japan Drummers, Mexico holiday singers/dancers and Chinese New Year dancer. Whoever suggested the Cronut at Epcot. Oh my! That was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Thank you.
HS: It really stinks when the sky opens up during a Fantasmic show. Not only does the show stop but you are now in the middle of an open auditorium with a million other people trying to get out. This was Christmas eve but we rolled with the punches and laughed about it. We got soaked to the bone and went back to the room, changed and were back by 9:15pm. Enjoyed an empty park for closing and EMH. Always bring two pair of shoes. Our sneakers were soaked. We came back with our hiking/waterproof shoes (Keens and Merrells) and had nice dry feet despite the puddles.
AK: Love the wilderness explorers but it take a whole day it you want to do them all. Take that into consideration.
Touring plans: Were pretty close with exception of HS and AK. There it time for the show and walking time to next location but it doesn’t factor in the time for some of the larger auditoriums to empty. This is a good 10 minutes plus add extra time if you need to go find your stroller. That’s a big bottle-neck.
Characters: Longest wait our entire trip was an hour for Baymax. Those character lines are excrutiatingly slow. We did the picture frame mat signature thing. We needed two we collected so many. Good thing I brought a back-up in case. Kids loved it. Gaston was awesome, as were Cinderellas’s step sisters. Cried (again) at Anna and Elsa my 3 year old was so happy. DD3 broke out into song to tell Elsa how much she liked “Let it Go”. Chip and Dale were probably my favorite. We had just watched one of the classic Mickey’s - the one where Chip and Dale are in Mickey’s Christmas tree and keep getting Pluto in trouble. We talked to them about it and it was so funny.
Pin trading: This was our first time doing pin trading. What fun! We did this as filler while waiting for something to start or when wait times were still long. We also spent a day visiting the resorts and downtown disney doing shopping and pin trading. Kids and adults both loved this. Highly recommend.
DTD: parking is a disaster which makes traffic a bigger disaster. It’s kind of like childbirth in that many people have talked about it but you don’t know what it’s like until you experience it.
I think next time we will split our stay between the townhome and Boardwalk. I love the Boardwalk. We sat there one evening after spending a day at AK and enjoyed some food and people watched. It was so nice. I’d love to do that before going to bed. I’ve been back only a few days but already want to start planning another one. I’m so glad there are others like me on here.