On Monday morning instead of going to work, we loaded up and headed for Orlando for a quick Christmas and late 25th Anniversary combo trip to WDW.
We were delighted that since Amber and her family adopted a dog this summer we've been able to dog swap on vacations. Even better, they live on the way to the airport, and we weren't leaving at the crack of dawn, so we could just drop him off on our way. He was right at home with Zoe and her people, who include two little boys that LOVE to throw the ball for fetch and were a bit disappointed when it turned out Zoe wasn't into it. Andrew even told his teacher he needed to skip school to stay and play with Evan.
The weather was really cloudy all the way down, to the point that all you could see outside the airplane windows for nearly three hours was just a white fog. It did clear right at the end enough to at least SEE fluffy clouds from above.
I'd done the online check-in and we'd included requests for a view of the marina and a balcony. We'd made sure to have those noted on the reservation along with our anniversary and even called the week prior to make certain they were on record. But upon landing, I received a text saying our room was ready in Aotearoa 1216. That's about as far from the water (and the rest of the resort) and on the first floor.
We stopped in at the front desk to reiterate everything in the hopes we could get a room we wanted, but they said there was nothing available until halfway through our stay, when we'd have to pack everything up and move for the last two nights. For this price, this will be the last time we stay here. It's a beautiful place but the far-flung room looking out at the road and a piece of the monorail track is not worth it. Will post more on the resort in a separate post.
The concierge did gift us a handmade fresh lei that Auntie Kau'i' had made that day.
this me trying to not be disappointed by the room assignment
I mean seriously, how much more out of the way could it possibly be?
It almost isn't even on the resort MAP!
This was the view. That's a road with the blurred lights. And the monorail track.
Ugh. It looks way better at night, btw.
So, we split for the Magic Kingdom for the last couple of hours it was open.
One of the big perks of staying at the Poly is its proximity to the MK. You can hop the monorail (although not from my back patio) from the resort around to the park, or get on a boat. You know, the ones on the water I really wanted to be near? And sail over.
The Photopass photographer at the train station overlooking Main Street had a cool little lens to change the lights into Mickey heads.
Photopass is included in my annual pass, so any pictures they take, you just scan your Magic Band and have them immediately in your account to see, download, etc. I literally pulled out my phone walking down Main Street and this was already there.The Magic Band also is your resort room key, your park tickets, and payment method as well as what gets you into your chosen FastPass (line skipping) experiences each day. It's PIN protected if its lost, too.
I had made a Space Mountain FastPass selection for that evening in the last hour so we headed off to Tomorrowland first.
waiting for our spaceship at the gates
We found Bob's friend Brian in Tomorrowland and he waited on us to ride before we wandered around the park together.
Brian & Bob and castle
We hadn't eaten since the airport in Denver pre-flight, so we stopped in at Pecos Bill's in Tomorrowland. Their vegetarian nachos with sweet potatoes and black beans, piled high with guacamole and salsa was so good. I also had a Country Bear jug, because, you know, nothing like kicking off a Disney vacation with a moonshine jug hanging from your hand the rest of the night.
My main goal of the evening was to watch the new projection show in front of the castle at park closing, so we maneuvered into a good spot with the masses.
thank you, good balloon parent, for tethering the balloon down low!
tall guys. Always tall guys in front of me. Or those damn balloons that parents don't tie down during shows. You'll see those as we go through our week long tour.
Anyway, the show ended right at park close, but the shops stay open at least another hour, so wandered through those before leaving.
the shop windows of the largest store on Main Street, The Emporium, are each done in a different scene from A Christmas Carol.
We opted to take the boat back as we'd done the monorail earlier. The boat is definitely my favorite.
oh look, rooms with water views . . .
Tomorrow: A Tour of the Disney Resort Christmas Decorations!