Trip Review (May 11 - 18)
I loved reading trip reviews while planning my family’s first trip to Disney and - let’s be honest- I want to relive it for a few minutes. Sorry in advance for the length!
We stayed at the Poly in a standard view room. The resort was nice and the location was great but it always felt very busy (we couldn’t even find chairs at the pool on the first day!) Our room was in the Rarotonga building. We had a view of the monorail which my girls (almost 3 and 5) loved. It was also quiet and very close to the pool and main building and we had a connecting room with my parents.
We were on the deluxe dining plan so we had a lot of TS meals. Our first day we did the Supercalifragilistic breakfast at 1900 Park Fare, spent time at the pool, and had dinner at Ohana with a view of the castle. I would go back to Ohana for the noodles and potstickers but would skip Park Fare next time. After dinner we watched the fireworks from a side beach with only two other families- great end to the first day.
For our second day we headed to Epcot for an 8:15 breakfast at Garden Grill. We arrived at 8 and were seated right away. The food and characters were good and we were out in time to be the very first ones on Soarin. This day we met a TON of characters (favorites were Joy and Sadness, Daisy, Baymax, and Jasmine) and rode almost every ride. We had FPs for FEA (loved), Spaceship Earth, and Nemo before lunch. I was able to pick up a same day TT FP and my 5 year old got to ride it twice to her delight thanks to rider swap. There was an awesome Toy Story playground set up for F&G Festival right next to TT which my 2 year old had a great time playing on during the rider switch process. We had lunch at Biergarten (fun and authentic food) and dinner at Akershus. Akershus’ character interactions were a little rushed but the food was different and tasty. The highlight of that meal for my girls was meeting Belle in her yellow dress. The highlight for my husband and I was eating in air conditioning. After dinner we headed to check in for the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party. I can’t recommend this enough. The seats were great and my girls were selected to lead the crowd to FEA after Illuminations. They were given lightsaber- looking glow sticks to lead the way. Once we got to FEA, they had to knock on the gates and ask to be let in- so cute and we were first on the ride with front row seats!
We headed to Hollywood Studios for EMM the next morning. We were in the park by 7:10 and they were trying to direct everyone to breakfast. Luckily we waited for the opening of Toy Story Land instead because they began letting people in at 7:20. We went to Toy Story Mania first, then Slinky Dog and Alien Swirling Saucers, and spent the rest of the time in line to meet Jessie and Woody (worth it - they were so sweet with my girls). The rope drop crowd headed in just then and we hopped in line for Buzz once that passed. We had FPs for Rockin Roller Coaster (parents and girls had one for Disney Jr. dance party), Star Tours and Beauty & the Beast show. DH & I had planned on RD’ing ToT but the wait time was 85 minutes at 9:15, so we ended up swapping out our Star Tours FP for a FP for ToT later in the evening. After the Beauty & the Beast show we grabbed a Minnie Van to the Boardwalk for the Bon Voyage breakfast (good food and character interactions) and then took a break. We were back at the park at 4:30 and went on Star Tours with no wait, saw the Frozen show and met Olaf, had dinner at HBD (yum but took forever) and met BB-8 before going back to the resort. ToT was hands-down my favorite ride.
We had another early morning the next day for EMM at MK. This was worth every penny. We met all 4 princesses and rode: 7DMT (x2), Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Little Mermaid, and Small World. We then met Merida and had breakfast at Cosmic Ray’s before doing 2 of our FPs (Mickey &Minnie / Enchanted Tales with Belle). My 5 year old did BBB which was adorable. Luckily Castle Couture is right across from the castle - we let my 2 year old pick out dress so she wouldn’t feel left out. They also have a photo shoot spot set up there and that photographer took some great pictures of my girls. They also got to meet the Fairy Godmother! At this point there was a torrential downpour so our FP for Big Thunder got converted to a multiple experience pass. We decided to hang out under the castle while we waited for our CRT reservation. Our ADR time was 1:05 but we weren’t seated until 1:50! However, the food and princesses were great and it was worth the wait. After lunch we used our multiple experience pass at the Haunted Mansion before heading back to the resort for the rest of the day for some much needed respite! DH & I had a date night at CG that night. We had planned to go back to MK after dinner but, despite having 6:50 reservations, we didn’t get our entrees until almost 9. So that didn’t work out . . .
Our next day was a resort day, but my mom had purchased the Princess Tea at the Grand Floridian for my 5 year old’s birthday present. This was cute but not worth the exorbitant price in my opinion- maybe my daughter was a little young for it. It was a lot of singing and story telling and then Aurora came at the end to meet all the girls individually before doing a parade with them from the Tea Room to one of the GF gift shops. They had a photo pass photographer at the gift shop take a group shot then the girls had individual photos taken with an Aurora doll rather than Aurora which I thought was strange. Also, the girls got a certificate which was filled out by a cast member sitting next to another Aurora doll which was not-so-subtly for sale. I would not recommend this experience. I would, however, highly recommend Story Book Dining at Artist Point where we had dinner. We took two boats to get there which was an experience in itself! The Wilderness Lodge is gorgeous and the Evil Queen was on point. The food was delicious. On the way home we saw the fireworks and the water parade from the boats. This was probably my favorite night.
The next morning we had an 8 PPO breakfast at Tusker House. This was hands down the best breakfast we had and it was super neat to be in the almost-empty park. After breakfast we RD’d Everest but DD5 was (barely) too short to ride so we rider switched. Next we caught up with my parents and DD2 on the Gorilla Falls trail, met Pocahontas, and used our FPs for Safari and Na’vi/ FoP. We had lunch at Satauli Canteen (grateful to have a salad). My girls played in the Boneyard, we walked some more trails, used a FP for KRR, met Minnie/Mickey, and saw Kevin. My girls eventually fell asleep in the stroller so I picked up a 4:30 reservation for Tiffins and my husband and I had a great meal while they napped. The girls woke up right before we got on the Minnie Van back to the resort. We swam when we got back to the Poly and watched the fireworks from the main beach which was pretty crowded. The night before our AK day a cast member pixie dusted us with 2 multiple experience FPs when I called to ask what time the bus would come the next morning which was a nice surprise.
For our last day we headed back to MK which had EMH. We were behind schedule because the monorails were down but we made it to the park by 8:03. We met Tinkerbell and rode Teacups, Dumbo, Little Mermaid and Barnstormer before the park opened. My husband took the girls on Peoplemover while I did Space Mountain. We used a FP for Pirates. Breakfast/ lunch (10:40 ADR) at CP was surprisingly good and the Pooh characters were awesome. My 2 year old (just barely shy of 40” ) played in the playground while we rider switched Splash (FP). That day we also did Barnstormer a few more times and 7DMT (thanks to TP tip to modify!) We caught the parade and then took an appetizer/drink break at Skipper Canteen while DD2 napped in the stroller. We used a same day FP for Buzz Lightyear and then had an awesome dinner at BOG. We ended this very long day with an After Fireworks Dessert Party. Even though we were too full to eat the dessert it was worth it for the reserved seating.
Our final day we had breakfast at Ohana. My daughter got to do the parade holding Mickey’s hand which was a wonderful end to a great trip.
I know everyone on here is an expert but, on the off chance there are any questions, I’d be happy to answer! Thanks to you all for your tips and helping make our first trip to Disney magical. Next up: land/sea adventure 2020!