Archive for February 2014

Orlando Stroller Rentals - Review

Monday, February 24, 2014

I already said my peace about strollers for big kids. We briefly considered whether or not we would rent a stroller for our almost seven year old, but decided fairly quickly that it would simplify our trip to have one available for her. We would need one regardless for her younger brother and it when he has something she doesn't... I also imagined it would help navigate us more quickly, provide a place for her to sit, and make for a safer (though not swifter) exit with the crowds at the end of the day. We had such success on our first trip with Orlando Stroller Rentals and enthusiastically booked again.

I briefly debated between the City Mini Double and City Mini GT Double. The City Mini Double is recommended until five years old or 47". Caroline was just over 48", but well within the weight limits for both. For the additional ten dollars, it was well worth it to not have her bellyaching on day three that she was squished. Our total for the 5-7 day rental with tax was $90.95 and included a rain cover at no cost. Additionally, all rentals include a small soft sided cooler (ice packs not included) that proved helpful for bringing in drinks or other "keep cold" items. I simply chose pick up and return times that made sense with our schedule and didn't give it another thought. I didn't worry, I didn't wonder, I knew it would be a great experience.

When we arrived at the Wilderness Lodge, we were escorted directly to our room. It was not until after we had lunch that we swung by Bell Services to inquire about our stroller and groceries. They rang back to the storage area and within a few moments our stroller was wheeled around the corner and a bellman was pulling a cart with our groceries. SIMPLE. The stroller was precisely what we ordered, in excellent condition, and free of any visible melted ice cream or cookie crumbs unlike my own stroller at home.

 
Here the kids are at the boat launch for our last ride to the Magic Kingdom. It was chilly in the mornings and there was ample room beneath for the rain cover (that we needed twice), the soft sided cooler from the rental company, and coats for everyone.

 
The kids had PLENTY of space and our daughter insisted on keeping the canopy up most of the time on her side. (This was the source of much frustration for her Dad who thought she was "missing everything.") She was not squished AT ALL. Our son spent a good part of the trip on my shoulders, but that was mostly due to him needing some TLC due to his unexpected character anxiety. They each made themselves at home, tucking their own items besides them, snacks bags and drink cups. There are lots of strollers at WDW, from many different companies. You can see the tag there on the back that identified this as our stroller. We could have tied something on to make it more identifiable in a see of look a likes, but we never had a problem locating ours, even after it became part of Cast Member Stroller Roulette.

 


It was easy to operate, fold down, and maneuver. I may have clipped a few heels on my turns pushing, but that had NOTHING to do with the stroller and everything to do with me not paying attention.


We decided to catch the parade at Animal Kingdom and just rolled ourselves right up to the edge shortly before it began. I ran for Frozen Lemonades and the kids sat happily in the stroller, dare I say patiently waiting? Caroline never would have tolerated waiting the fifteen minutes for the parade to begin if she had been standing and sitting on the ground. The stroller served as the perfect parade seat for them and Steve and I were able to lean on the handle bar for some support.

The only thing annoying about our entire Disney experience was other people and how pushy they can be. We were clearly in this spot, the kids were obviously sitting right there and people kept positioning themselves so tight to them that our kids at times couldn't see as well. If we gave them an inch to get through, they somehow squirreled their way to the front and were practically on top of the kids. My husband SEETHED over this. There is not much you can do and luckily, the kids seemed completely unaffected. It's a really minor thing, but it kept happening. Moments like this more than made up for our temporary annoyance:


This is just one of the several parade performers who stopped and came over to the kids to wish them "Happy Birthday." It is almost as if they have a Birthday Button beacon and there will be an entire post about that, but wow, I cannot say enough about celebrating a birthday (or in our case TWO) at Walt Disney World. It was incredibly special.

At the very sad conclusion of our trip, we simply returned the stroller to Bell Services and went on our way. We were incredibly pleased with our Orlando Stroller Rentals experience, from start to finish. I'm not sure when we will be back at WDW, but I know we will book again and I expect it will be as simple and straightforward again.

*This post is in no way sponsored by Orlando Stroller Rentals, just a reflection of our excellent experience with there superior service.*

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Fast Pass + as a Day Guest - how?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day Two of our recent trip review got all jammed up with FP+ and our experience using the kiosks, so instead of having a lot of FP+ and not a whole lot about all the fun we had, let's share a little bit about our experience with FP+ as day guests.

We were a room only reservation, so we were essentially day guests who also happened to be wearing Magic Bands. It was confusing at times for cast who saw us walk up with our bands and immediately wanted to redirect me to the My Disney Experience app, but chilly mornings meant this didn't happen a whole lot because I was usually wearing a jacket. Pre-trip I could barely keep up with the roll out information because all the parks were rumored to be going exclusively FP+ by the end of January. Two days before we arrived that is exactly what happened. I panicked because there was so little information available about how this would work, what to do, how to do it, all my go to strategies we GONE. I listened to Podcasts, read everything online I could get my hands on, and I had a plan that I hoped would work for our selections.

Day Two, our first day in the parks, was our first attempt at using the Kiosks. The lines at Town Square Theatre on Main Street were long, so Steve and I split up for the first time of the trip. He remained on Main Street with the kids to meet Pluto and I headed to Tomorrowland for the kiosk by Stitch.




Other FP+ Kiosk locations at Magic Kingdom are City Hall (I would AVOID), Mickey's PhilharMagic (I would AVOID), Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland, Splash Mountain, and inside Heritage House in Liberty Square. If you are booking FP+ day off, bypass the Main Street kiosks and head as far away from the hub as possible. Stitch was not bad (especially when using the Tomorrowland Terrace shortcut), but I had a great experience at the yellow tent at Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland on our second day at Magic Kingdom. That is where I would head if I had to book day of again with the kids because it puts you right in Fantasyland. For the more adventurous, I might go to Splash or Liberty Square to get closer to Splash or Thunder and potentially avoid having to select at least one of those for FP+.   

Here you can see the location of the yellow Storybook Circus tent with the route I took to get there. I left my family at the Merida Meet in the Fairytale Garden beside the castle and did a brisk walk to the tent where I was only the second person to arrive. The CM I spoke to told me that it had been like that since they transitioned and there was hardly ever a line. I was back to Merida before she even arrived at 9:15. If you are planning to do this, I might also suggest trying the train since the stop is literally beside the kiosk. (I snipped this from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/magic-kingdom/map)


For our first day at Magic Kingdom I was trying for Big Thunder (my daughter's favorite), Peter Pan (because that line is OUT OF HAND) and Enchanted Tales with Belle (due to its popularity and the long waits). I ended up with Big Thunder, Peter Pan, and Fairytale Hall with Rapunzel. The available times for Enchanted Tales with Belle were all too late in the day given our evening plans. Rapunzel had been a no go during our last trip due to lines that at the time I thought were horrific, but in comparison to the ladies of Frozen was NOTHING. Point is, we weren't waiting over an hour back then and we wouldn't do it this time either. That went over like a melted dole whip. I knew the trip would not be a success without a Rapunzel sighting, so that was an easy second choice for us and was a fun Mother/Daughter Father/Son split later in the day. 

The cast member assisting us recommended that I take a photo of the screen to reference throughout the day, but the reservations showed up on My Disney Experience no problem because our son had a four day park hopper attached to his Magic Band. I did as I was told because I am apparently a good little Disney Guest and here is the blurry shot I took of the selections. A phone taking photos of the screen of another device is not really optimal, but we could have used this for the day if we had to.



A note here about tickets that are not attached to bands seems important. We had access to view our reservations on My Disney Experience because my son was linked up through his ticket, but we could not make any changes from the app. Any changes had to be done at a Kiosk. We only did this once during our trip on the last day when an attraction had a short wait time. While my husband and daughter rode Thunder, my son and I went to the Kiosk in Frontierland near Diamond Horseshoe and walked right up to a CM with a mobile device. That switch actually led the way to one of the most magical parts of our trip.

Other FP+ Kiosk experiences of note from this trip:

Animal Kingdom:

We chose Disney Outfitters, just over the bridge from the Oasis and directly behind the big board that lists all the attractions. (I snipped this from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/animal-kingdom/map/)


This was probably the longest wait for a kiosk we experienced and it honestly wasn't bad at all, maybe five minutes. Other locations we could have used, Expedition Everest, Primeval Whirl, Kali River Rapids, or Creature Comforts on Discovery Island.

FP+ Selections:

Kilimanjaro Safari, Finding Nemo and Primeval Whirl. Since we were headed directly to Everest, there was no need to select it. I think based on how the day went, that we made good choices for our kids needs and we had plenty of time to explore the trails and enjoy the park.

Epcot:

We split out fourth day between Hollywood Studios and Epcot, which meant we also had to fully commit to one park for our FP+ experiences. Since we planned a morning at the Studios, we saved our FP+ opportunity for the afternoon when we knew the waits would be longest and FP+ would be more necessary. We rolled the dice that we could get something later in the day. It was a risky experiment. We took the boat from Hollywood Studios to Epcot (around 30 minutes) and entered through the International Gateway between the U.K. and France just after 3PM. When I get to the Day Four you will understand why I am not exactly sure of the precise location of the Kiosk at the Gateway, but I am guessing it was outside of the World Traveler on the left just as you walk in the gates.

Other locations for kiosks at Epcot are the tip board in Future World Plaza behind Spaceship Earth, Guest Relations in Future World, Soarin, Mission:Space, and in the Future World West walkway, near The Land.


FP+ Selections:

Choices in Epcot are limited to begin with due to tiering, but they were even more limited because of the hour we arrived. There were no more times available for Soarin', so at least we didn't have to make a decision between that and Test Track. Since you have to choose three options, we also picked Seas with Nemo and Maelstrom. The only one we really needed was Test Track and we planned it around our dinner. If it had not been broken down during out return window, it would have been perfection, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Overall:

We had no issues using the FP+ Kiosks during our stay. It would have been nice to not have to split up and rope drop a kiosk, but given the circumstances of our plans, the kiosks worked out just fine. The only hiccup was the Studios Epcot split day. It would have been nice to not have to make a selection for so late in the day, but given what actually happened that day, we might have been really stuck if we had made prior selections and needed to alter them on the fly. We took a big risk with this half day hop, but it worked out reasonably well. The kids LOVED scanning their bands for FP+. Our daughter would ask us at the start of each cue if we had a fast pass for this one. She LOVED it. Our son, who had just turned four, needed absolutely zero cuing by the last day. Here he is scanning through the second pedestal for Buzz.




Using kiosks the day of is not terrible so long as you can be flexible and you have a general plan of what you would like to accomplish that day. Be willing to split up, be prepared, and you too can have a pleasant FP+ experience.

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Wilderness Lodge Resort - Review

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It is difficult to give a review of a place you absolutely love.

Wilderness Lodge has a very special place in my heart. It takes your breath away when you step into the cavernous lobby and yet, it still somehow feels cozy and welcoming. It is the work of architect Peter Dominick, Jr who also designed the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland and the Animal Kingdom Lodge at WDW. It is no surprise that our brief time at Animal Kingdom Lodge has me inspired to consider it for another trip. Inspiration so clearly comes from the National Parks and Native American traditions of the Northwest and the Grand Canyon. It is gorgeous and the detail is absolutely amazing without being completely overwhelming.

It was a stop on my shuttle from Vista Way to MK back in the day. The hotel was practically brand new back then at just four years old. My shuttle also stopped at the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, but it was the Wilderness Lodge that left me awestruck, without ever stepping foot inside.

This was just after our arrival. Could my kids BE any different. One running maniac and one exploring every nook and cranny.





The Wilderness Lodge is like the non-monorail monorail resort. It has the pleasure to sit behind the welcome gates to the Magic Kingdom, but lacks the actual resort loop capabilities. Or does it?

Transportation options are unique and easy. From the lobby elevators, a left takes you down a corridor to the bus stops, a right takes you past the pool and along a wooden path to the boat launches. Those boat launches bring you speedily to either the Contemporary (access to monorail or a short walk to MK) or direct to the Magic Kingdom. There was not a morning where we were waiting for a boat that we did not get on the very next one and there was not a ride to Magic Kingdom that took more than fifteen minutes. The boats were such a pleasant experience, even on cooler mornings or in misty weather. PLEASANT. Somehow even our bus rides were lovely and there was something special about passing through the gates to the Magic Kingdom and feeling like we were back home. It was the kids' touch point that we would soon be back at the Lodge. (For my Western Ma crew, it was the Friendly's sign in Wilbraham.)



The resort is very well rated by guests and it is clear why. At the low end of the deluxe category, I sometimes hear it referred to as "moderate plus." The square footage is a bit less than other resorts in this category, but you get a corridor instead of a walk out door and the amenities of a deluxe stay.  It is very well priced for what it offers and not once during this trip did I think, hmmm, are we really getting a deluxe experience? Don't call this a moderate plus. It's definitely Deluxe. Caroline loved our nightly turn down service with chocolates on the pillows. She more than once told me how much she loved our hotel, especially the super soft blankets and that they made her bed each day.



Our room (5166) was at the very end of the left side of the "horseshoe" of the hotel with a straight on view of bay lake (hello Electric Water Pageant!). Our view also included the main courtyard pool, Red Rock Geyser, the boat launches and (as we learned late into our trip) a view of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom through the windows of the living area or from either of our two balconies. Yes, we did hear the boat horns early in the morning and late at night and yes, we did hear the geyser until it stopped each night at 10PM. This did not bother us one bit. It reminded us where we were and how lucky we were. The room was well-appointed with plenty of space for not only our stuff, but for all four bodies and a huge double stroller. We landed in a Deluxe room (!) with a separate sleeping and living area. We easily could have had another couple or small family with us in this space. There was plenty of storage (hall closet, dresser, and large armoire in addition to plentiful space in the bathroom area) and a wet bar in the main living area which came in handy for snack stashing and hand washing. We wanted to have a balcony to escape to at bedtime and we had that and then some with this space. We fell in love with the Wilderness Lodge and our upgrade to deluxe accommodations might have had something to do with that, but it is easy to love this place.  The following photos were taken from the Old Faithful Club (!) which we also had access to. It provided a picture perfect view of the lobby below and the architectural details that make this place so special.


 
 
 
 
 
See those stairs over yonder? They go to the roof. I know this because we went all the way up at the end of day 2. It was the absolute highlight of our trip. I can't wait to tell you about it. 
 
Steve's take: He liked it better than the moderate we stayed at last time because it had more of a hotel feel. He liked the boat, which felt like an added perk and something different because you didn't have to wait for and ride on the bus. He liked the pool and the grounds. The highlight for him was the lobby. He wishes we had spent more time there.  

Last time, Caroline was most sad about leaving our rented stroller. This time, it may have been a tie between the pool and the resort itself. It's hard to leave such a wonderful place, but it makes it all the more fun to plan the next trip.
 
 
In reflection, I wish we had a whole day to spend at the resort. I could have curled up in the lobby with a cocoa or cocktail and been quite happy watching the kids play games with the Activities Team. We never made it to Whispering Canyon, not even for breakfast! I'm sure that is a punishable offense! I didn't eat nearly enough Magic Cookie Bars. I should have walked to Fort Wilderness. We should have rented those little boats and tooled around the lagoon. We should have spent more time on that balcony (maybe if it had not dropped below 50 at night?).

Isn't that always the way? That's the amazing thing about Disney World, you cannot possibly do it all. There is always something to save for next time. A mid trip resort day would be a break from the rush and it would let me fall more in love with this perfect resort. I am already angling for a longer trip next time to try to make all of those things happen. Even then, there will surely be another long list of things we missed, but another trip at the Lodge sounds heavenly.

This last video is from our last walk back to our room after the Amazing Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise.

 

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Widerness Lodge - Roaring Fork - Review

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roaring Fork is located on the ground level of the Wilderness Lodge, beyond the lobby to the left, just a stone's throw from the pool or the walkway to the boat launches. I suspect it might be named for a fast flowing stream within Great Smokey Mountain National Park in TN. The location is small with a good selection for each meal. We had lunch there on our arrival day. This had been planned in advance on our itinerary and I was really looking forward to my sandwich having read the reviews online.

This is my Roast Beef and Blue Sandwich, with chips (10.19). It was hearty and flavorful. The bread was fresh and delicious. The homemade chips on the side were amazing and Steve stole a few while I was busy gushing over how wonderful my sandwich was. I have a soft spot for blue cheese and this hit the spot. I was more than full until dinner. Look at the size of that sandwich! It was as big as my head!

 
Steve ordered a cheeseburger with homemade chips (9.99). He did not really enjoy his burger. He was starving from our long morning and a cheeseburger seemed like a good idea. In my opinion, burgers at WDW leave a lot of room for improvement. I should add here that despite his "ehhh" experience on day one, he went on to have several more cheeseburgers during our visit, with varied but mainly "meh" results.
 
Connor had a personal cheese pizza with grapes, applesauce and milk (5.99). In typical Connor fashion, he barely touched his pizza. "My belly hurts," which is code for, "I don't feel like eating this and I know if I tell you my belly hurts, you won't make me." Steve helped himself to a piece and though he said it was better than the burger, that isn't necessarily saying very much. The kids enjoyed the fruit and milk, which is all I could really ask of them after such a crazy morning and all that excitement over hurrying to the pool.
 
Caroline chose the Pasta Marinara minus the sauce with grapes, applesauce, and milk (5.99). She likes plain pasta with butter, so it was a kick in the pants to pay for sauce she wasn't eating. On the positive side,  at least it wasn't pre-mixed with sauce which she would have absolutely refused. We grabbed butter in the dining room and she was able to mix it up herself. She ate nearly all of her meal and most of her fruit.
 
To round it all out we added two regular sized fountain drinks for the adults who desperately needed caffeine (5.98) and a Magic Cookie Bar (3.59) for me because HOW COULD I NOT?!? We were quickly acclimated to the cost of eating at Disney with a lunch bill of $53.60. yowza.
 

This was our one and only visit to Roaring Fork, not because we were turned off, but because we had other plans and just didn't get back there. I had wanted to try one of the flatbread pizzas, but opportunity was just not on my side. We were there around 1PM and it was not overly busy, however I more than once caught myself wondering how hairy it would be to manage the kids and two trays of food in such a small place. There was not a lot of room to negotiate the fountain drinks or to cue up to the register. Coincidentally, this was our first use of the Magic Band to make a purchase and Steve's band didn't work right away. This is when we learned that our eager Magic Band user Caroline did not in fact have charging privileges, which was honestly a relief.  It took a tiny bit of finesse and we were off to find a seat in the limited, but clean dining area. The cast member managing the space was very friendly, helpful, and was the first person outside of concierge to wish the kids a happy birthday.
 
Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Roaring Fork. Everyone was able to find something they would enjoy and the side options for the kids were healthful and more importantly PORTABLE. We left with an applesauce and a bag of grapes for later. I'm looking forward to another Roast Beef and Blue Cheese Sandwich on our next trip to the Wilderness Lodge.

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Trip Report Day 1 - January 23rd, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

There is so much information to share and I have been trying to organize myself in a way that makes sense. Talking about one topic naturally flows into another and then another and the posts would be ridiculously long. Too long. I thought a good starting out point would be a day of the trip; what we did, what we saw, where we ate (I literally have every single receipt), what we bought, and then reviews and further discussion points or tips from that day as separate posts that will eventually link back to the appropriate day of the trip. Did you follow that? Me neither, but let's get started.

It was the day we had been counting down to for quite some time; our travel day. We flew JetBlue on a very early morning flight. We had thought about giving the kids a half day at school and going mid day, but the flights didn't work out that way and if I had to choose between having a day in FL or a day in MA, I was definitely going FL.

 
I had prepared the kids' backpacks (with a bit of help from their aunties) with snacks, amusements, books, and stickers. With Connor needing his own seat this time around that left us with a quandary; who would sit with the kids? We booked four seats in one row, the kids and one parent together and the other one just across the aisle. I figured I would sit with them and Steve would sit solo, but he surprised me by asking to sit with them on the flight. I read two magazines, I read my Kindle, it was dare I say a relaxing flight. Truthfully, he knew he would have more room sitting with the kids who were scrunched up together in their two seats watching a movie, but it was nice not to have to open snacks, search for things in their bags or do anything kid related for three hours. Thanks for that!

We landed in MCO just before 11am & since we were using Magical Express to get to our resort, we just followed the signs to Disney's Magical Express.


 
There was quite a long line formed to check in. Steve looked at me because clearly our kids were balls of excitement ready to pop and a line like this was not going to be a successful way to start this trip. This was our first Disney moment. They were announcing resorts and asking those going to certain locations to step forward and we followed directions quite well. I winked at Steve and whispered, "DELUXE" and he rolled his eyes. He puts up with a lot of Disney and he deserves an award of some kind for supporting this amazing trip's mission.

Caroline got to Magic Band (yup, I am making it a verb) through the first station to check us in and then Connor banded through the second one just before you exit the airport terminal. They were well prepared for someone lacking in the height department because they lowered the desk all the way down for him to scan through. MAGIC.
 
Our shuttle was scheduled to make stops at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge and the Contemporary Resort. Third stop wasn't too bad and the kids sat together just ahead of us watching the old time Disney cartoons and the preview videos of what they would be doing for the next few days on the bus. I was grinning ear to ear. A happy Connor kept checking on us.


Walking into the Wilderness Lodge is impressive. It is so tall and open and gorgeous and it may very well be my happy place. I think the theming is perfection and the lobby just begs to be sat in. We didn't do too much sitting down there, but we could have sidled right up that fire for a very long time with a mug of cocoa. Caroline spent a fair amount of time around the corner trading pins with the resort's pin book.


We had a wide open agenda that afternoon. The kids were tired from traveling and were yet somehow full of energy because we were ACTUALLY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD. We checked in and the kids changed into bathing suits before we grabbed some lunch at the Quick Service restaurant, Roaring Fork. The pool was the only thing on the agenda until dinner and Caroline wanted to GET ON THAT SLIDE. I had read lots of reviews online of course while planning and I had an agenda for my lunch.

I highly recommend not just choosing your restaurants, but reading some reviews to get a sense of what your best options will be. Steve took one look at my sandwich and said, "WOW, that looks amazing." He also did the same thing at Hollywood Studios when I insisted on Buffalo Chicken Nuggets. He looked at them across the table with such affection that I had to share them. READ THE REVIEWS! You don't want to have to share your buffalo chicken.  

Caroline wasted no time getting into the pool and trying out the slide. Steve was a good sport and swam with her. The pools are heated, so it was certainly not cold, but the lifeguard staff were walking around in long pants and winter coats. I just smiled and explained that we were from Boston and it was 1 degree when we left that morning. We only meant for this to be a short swim, but she was having so much fun so we let her keep going for almost 90 minutes. This would prove to be a fatal error.




I snapped this photo of our room was from the beach on Bay Lake. Our home away from home was in the top right corner of this side of this shot. The right most balcony was ours and you can kind of the see the SECOND balcony just the right of that. We had an amazing view of the grounds, the boats, the geyser, and the lake (including the Electrical Water Pageant). We were incredibly lucky.

 
 
Connor was not at all interested in swimming, but he sure looked cute in his swimsuit playing in the beach sand looking for Hook's buried treasure and matching his hands up the various paw prints he found in the area surrounding the pool. He thought these were raccoon prints. Disney details. 
 

By the time we pulled the fish from the pool, our bags had arrived in the room and I made quick work of unpacking myself and the kids into a huge armoire in the room. We got everyone changed and freshened up and we were off for our first adventure; the Polynesian for dinner at O'Hana.

I had planned to take a short ride to the Contemporary and then hop on the monorail to the Polynesian from there, but wouldn't you know the monorail had just started a non-peak time refurbishment (January 21st - March 31st). Awesome. That meant between the hours of 11am - 7pm there would be no resort monorail. Not one to panic, I had made a new plan to go to Magic Kingdom and then to Polynesian via boat. So we hopped on a boat to the Magic Kingdom instead and wow, the lines to get on a resort launch to the Poly were way more than I had anticipated for a late afternoon trip. The monorail closure was definitely an issue. We had left ourselves over an hour to get from the Wilderness Lodge to the Poly and it was not going to be enough time. We took a cute candid shot on the boat anyway. It was the first of many photos Connor refused to be in. I am glad we just smiled and took the photo anyway, we would have missed this very happy moment.

 


We met up with my cousin and his lovely girlfriend (Orlando locals) at the lobby a few minutes late for our 5:10 ADR. I might have convinced the kids that there was a real volcano at the Poly. The meal was fun, plentiful, and delicious (again, full review of that forthcoming), but the kids were an absolute waste. I had aspirations to grab a dole whip at Captain Cook's and watch Wishes from the beach, but the kids were definitely not going to make it. (I never got a dole whip this trip!) With a long day behind them and very early busy day ahead of them, we headed back to the Wilderness Lodge for the evening. Knowing it might be difficult to get from Poly to Lodge via boat, my cousin offered a very generous ride. We headed right upstairs to the Old Faithful Club to soak in the resort for one more moment before putting the kids to bed. I got a SECOND Magic Cookie Bar because WHY NOT?

Steve and I put the kids to bed and sat out on the balcony watching the boats come and go. We cracked open our Yuengling and pretended not to shiver waiting for the Electric Water Pageant to come by (9:35). We were here, it was real, and we had amazing plans for our second day at Walt Disney World.

This was the perfect way to end our night (video is shaky, but what a nice view!)

 

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