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Thread: Tater and Family’s WDW Christmas Adventure 12/15/2011-12/21/2011

  1. #1

    Tater and Family’s WDW Christmas Adventure 12/15/2011-12/21/2011

    Travel dates: 12/15/2011-12/21/2011
    Travel method: Delta Flight, rental car
    Resort: Poly
    Accommodations: 1 room Club Level-Hawaii building
    Ages Represented in Group: 43-12
    Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Entire group-WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian
    Comments: This is our first trip to WDW during Christmas.

    Cast of characters: Tater-age 43, DH-age 40, oldest son (Shaggy) age 14 and youngest son (Trouble) age 12. The names of my sons in this report are a direct result of a very funny moment during our trip.

    Day 1-12/15/2011
    Having packed everything the night before all that we had to do when we got up at 2:30 am on 12/15, was to make sure our indoor cats and outdoor dogs had extra food and water. We had someone stopping in every other day to check on them, I still put out enough to feed about a 100 animals.
    We were running a little late getting out the door due to me fussing with my hair, I swore this trip I would wear make-up and do more than put my hair up. (I wanted the photo’s to look better). Good intentions and all, but that went out the window by day 4. We had an hour drive to the airport in Nashville, but still had time to stop for breakfast at Denny’s. I suggest the patty melt; I completely fell off the diet wagon at that point.
    Everything was going great up until the point I pulled up the Delta App on my iphone. It said we had a delay on our flight out of Nashville to Atlanta due to a technical problem. We were supposed to have left at 6:30 am, but didn’t get in the air until 10:15.



    We missed our connection in Atlanta, but got a later flight.



    We arrived in Orlando at 2:45 pm. Picked up our rental car from Thrifty and finally went under the most wonderful sign in the world at about 3:10 pm.



    I for one was a very cranky lady at this point, with almost no sleep the night before and all my plans thrown to the wind with our later arrival. But something about WDW, makes it all better. The Poly was beautifully decorated for Christmas. It was very tastefully done.







    Check in was easy, not too many people were there at the time, but some buses were pulling up as we were escorted to our room in the Hawaii building. While still checking in I had the CM put our 7 day park hopper tickets that I had purchased from Undercover Tourist onto our room keys.

    Our Garden view room was as expected, it felt like coming home. I can’t believe that I didn’t take a photo of the lounge or lobby of our building. I didn’t realize I hadn’t until we were sitting at the airport. Speaking of photos, I’m sorry that the quality isn’t that great. We had just gotten our iphones and thought the photos would be better, I didn’t take my camera.





    Last edited by Tater; 12-28-2011 at 10:36 PM.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

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    Once we got settled in and unpacked we headed over to MK, but not before going into the club lounge to have a snack. It was about 5:00 pm by this time, and they had started to server appetizers. I wish I had taken photos and written down what was served, but well ya know.
    We took the boat from the Poly landing, which had MK as the next stop.



    Crowd levels were still very nice at this point, my first in person look at MK all dressed up for Christmas was great, but it was nothing compared to what it looked like after dark. The first ride we went on was Space Mountain, which as a tradition is the one we always ride first. Why? Well simple, it was the first ride any of us ever rode at WDW.









    To be honest I don’t remember much more than that from the first day of this trip, we went on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad, then made a mad dash to Haunted Mansion just as the parade was getting over, so we didn’t have to wait in line very long, it was basically walk on or would have but we went on the Cemetery side of the HM queue.



    Trouble was making his impression of the Twins. We loved the updated ride, but I won’t ruin it for those who don’t know yet.
    When I finally got to see the Castle all lit up, I was like a kid. I couldn’t get enough photos of it.





    We made our way back to our room and were in bed by midnight. I went to sleep with the vision of sparkling castles and giant trees.

    To be continued...


    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  4. #3
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
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    Awesome report Tater! I'm looking forward to the rest of it! Great photos, too.


  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ericles View Post
    Awesome report Tater! I'm looking forward to the rest of it! Great photos, too.
    Thanks, this is my first go at doing a report. I will work on day 2 when I get off work today. Do y'all think I add too many photos?

    Oh and the photo of Trouble at HM, was a retake. When he first did it, the photo was way too dark.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  6. #5

    There can never be too many photos! But I learned the hard way that you can only have so many (10?) in a single post. hehe


  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by spectromen View Post
    There can never be too many photos! But I learned the hard way that you can only have so many (10?) in a single post. hehe
    yeah I found that out too. I had to take out a couple, but it went in flow with the story. They were not necessary for the story to progress. I have a whole bunch of the castle. I lost all restraint on photo taking when I saw it.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  8. #7
    Registered User lllmtz's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had the beginnings of a wonderful trip. Love the photos and can't wait to read/see more!

    Leslie

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lllmtz View Post
    Sounds like you had the beginnings of a wonderful trip. Love the photos and can't wait to read/see more!
    Thanks Leslie, I'm working on it now. Like I mentioned this is the first time I've done trip report and plan to have it printed in the photo book when I have it finished. (someday) LOL

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  10. #9

    Love the trip report and the photos!!! We love the Poly too! And Christmastime at Disney is so much fun! Can't wait to read more.....


  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pmilesdisneyfan View Post
    Love the trip report and the photos!!! We love the Poly too! And Christmastime at Disney is so much fun! Can't wait to read more.....
    Thanks, I had planned to write more tonight, but I still have to edit my photos. I should have taken my camera and not just used the iphone. We were so at the edge on the luggage I just didn't want to add the camera, extra cards, batteries and case. Oh well live and learn. I still have great photo pass photos.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  12. #11

    Lovin' the trip report so far! Can't wait to hear more! I am interested in hearing your thoughts about the Poly. I so want to stay at a monorail resort next time, but I can't decide which one....let me know what makes you pick the Poly over the other ones...thanks!


  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mickeymom5 View Post
    Lovin' the trip report so far! Can't wait to hear more! I am interested in hearing your thoughts about the Poly. I so want to stay at a monorail resort next time, but I can't decide which one....let me know what makes you pick the Poly over the other ones...thanks!
    Thank you, I'm glad you like what I have written so far. I'm or was a pro photographer (econonmy and burnout drove me out of it) so I love taking and sharing photos. I plan to link to more photos when the report is finished.

    This was our second stay at the Poly. As you have read, I have sons so staying at the GF isn't really an option if they are with me, but if my husband and I ever get there without kids, I want to stay at the GF. I know people stay there with children, it just seems too girly for my guys. The CR has never drawn any interest to me, the pool looks like something "Trouble" would like, so maybe we will try it sometime. We all love the homey feel that the Poly has, not formal. It feels very welcoming from the moment you step on the curb in front and I love that they say aloha. Makes me feel like I'll be back.

    DH took some photos of the lounge and other areas of the resort, I will post some or link to them later. I want to work on the report today, but we shall see. DH is going to pick up "my" new clothes dryer. Why does it have to be "mine" they all use it too.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  14. #13

    Thanks for the details! I look forward to the rest!

    I am totally with you...our dishwasher went out right before Christmas...Merry Christmas, Mom...you got a new dishwasher! Ha! We all eat...why is it "mine?"


  15. #14
    Zzzzzzz... Ohthatjeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    yeah I found that out too. I had to take out a couple, but it went in flow with the story. They were not necessary for the story to progress. I have a whole bunch of the castle. I lost all restraint on photo taking when I saw it.
    I took a photo of the crowd in front of the castle after they lit it one night. It's amazing to look around and realize that everything has come to a complete stop. (I have to sort through about two hundred photos of the castle myself.)

    And something to keep in mind for your next trip. All of the airlines (I can't think of any exceptions) allow for one carry-on and one personal bag which can include your camera bag (assuming it's not too large). I never pack my camera case.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ohthatjeff View Post
    I took a photo of the crowd in front of the castle after they lit it one night. It's amazing to look around and realize that everything has come to a complete stop. (I have to sort through about two hundred photos of the castle myself.)

    And something to keep in mind for your next trip. All of the airlines (I can't think of any exceptions) allow for one carry-on and one personal bag which can include your camera bag (assuming it's not too large). I never pack my camera case.
    Well at this point I had my sleep apnea machine in my roll around carry-on, which I could have taken out and carried separately. We do it that way in case we have things we buy while there, we can put in the carry on and the medical device won't count in the carried items. I got lazy and was so tired after packing everything else for 4 people. I also had my laptop. But I know how I am, if I had my camera I would have taken many more photos and not enjoyed just seeing everything.

    It's a narrow view when you view the world through a camera, I made that mistake on my first trip. Yes I have a lot of photos to look back on, but not as many experiences to remember.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  17. #16

    have never stayed @ the polly !!! weather was super while we were both there was it not ? last year wind chill in the 20s


  18. #17
    Self-proclaimed Diz nut
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    WOW--Club level at the Poly? I am SERIOUSLY jealous. Can't wait to hear how the boys ended up with their nicknames!! Bummer about having the delay. That happened to us once--our plane was hit by lightning, so they had to FLY another one in to take us down to MCO. Crazy.

    AWESOME start!

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by relaaxedwheniamthere View Post
    have never stayed @ the polly !!! weather was super while we were both there was it not ? last year wind chill in the 20s
    The weather was wonderful while we were there. I did want it to be a bit cooler, I guess to feel more like Christmas. But it really was great.

    Quote Originally Posted by TinaMouse View Post
    WOW--Club level at the Poly? I am SERIOUSLY jealous. Can't wait to hear how the boys ended up with their nicknames!! Bummer about having the delay. That happened to us once--our plane was hit by lightning, so they had to FLY another one in to take us down to MCO. Crazy.

    AWESOME start!
    Thanks, I'm starting day two now. I've been so busy, but the holidays are over so now I should have more time. We had to wait for them to fly in the part to fix our plane. We joked and said the pilot must have spilled his coffee.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  20. #19

    Day 2-12/16/2011 Friday

    The morning started out with us not waking up at 7:00 am as I had planned. I set the alarm app on my iphone, but since it was the first time I used it, I forgot to save it. I woke up around 8:30 am. I rushed to get my shower and get dressed before the guys took over the bathroom.

    As we each finished getting dressed we went to the lounge to grab some breakfast. The boys had cereal, DH and I had oatmeal and a bagel. They have nice mix ins for the oatmeal, I added brown sugar and cinnamon while DH had the same but with raisins. I don’t like the coffee there so I had a diet coke. Hey gotta save those calories somewhere.

    We made it out the door at about 9:45 am; yes we were in a mad dash to make up time. The first thing on the list for today was to go to Wal-Mart. Since we had the rental car, it was no trouble at all. We always go to the same Wal-Mart. They have some cute Disney tee shirts and other WDW souvenirs. We only bought the shirts this time. I goofed and grab a 2012 shirt and not the 2011. DH thought it was funny, but I didn’t. I tried to find one later at Down Town Disney on our last day, but couldn’t find anymore 2011. We picked up some snacks to keep in the room and a case of Snap energy drinks as well as a couple of cases of water.

    Back at the Poly, we put our purchases in the room and headed to MK. We had reservations at the Rose & Crown at 8:15 pm. The WDW Lines app showed EPCOT to be the park to avoid and MK to be the best park for the day. The app was correct, there were not too many lines to deal with, and wait times were less than 15-20 minutes.
    One of our favorites is of course Splash Mountain, which we rode a couple of times thanks to getting fast passes, the times were very close so we were able to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad between the two SM rides.

    We are the first 4 in the “Log”. A tip for those who don’t know, but you can take photos of the ride photo monitors when you come off the lines. The CMs won’t stop you. They are not the best quality, but will still capture the moment. When we came 2008, my DH asked a CM if they would mind if we took photos, she said no, that they were not even allowed to tell us not to take them.



    We took our time walking around; well I took my time looking in the shops while the guys followed me around. We did split a turkey leg; Trouble was the one who carried it, eating the most. The grease on his face did not take away from the joy reflected there as he ripped off another chunk of the tasty meat.
    The sea gulls were dive bombing the area around the area where they sell the turkey legs, so we moved on walking towards The Swiss Family Tree House. I don’t know how they did it but the guys finished the leg off about the time we came to the entrance of the tree house. Trouble wanted to go up to the top, so DH and Shaggy went with him, while I went ahead to get us Dole Whips.

    We were going to head out of MK not long after we finished our Dole Whips, but the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade was in full swing, I decided at the last minute to take some photos, near Main St I took some of the float I like the best.



    The guys took this as an opportunity to speed off to Space Mountain while the lines were shorter. They never watch the parades with me; I don't get to watch them either. We always take the time during the parades to get to some rides while the crowds are busy else where. Someday I’m going to find good spots and watch them all.

    One of the things I wanted to do this trip was to visit some of the other resorts. The Grand Floridian was the first one we went to, I lured the boy there with the promise of gingerbread cookies. So we took the resort boat over. It was so crowded there I couldn’t get a good photo of the gingerbread house. I don’t know who these people, I wanted to yell, “Hey move for just a second”, but of course I didn’t. But the tree was beautiful. We had our photo taken there by the photo pass photographer. They had a set up with studio lights. I wish I had known that, I would have packed nice outfits for a family photo



    A hidden Mickey!

    Last edited by Tater; 01-02-2012 at 08:30 PM.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  21. #20

    I had the bright idea to walk from GF to the Poly. Not a bad walk, but we needed to get a move on it if we wanted to make our 8:15 pm at R&C.
    We didn’t want to risk being stuck at EPCOT when the monorail stopped running since EMH were that night at EPCOT. So we went up to the room to get the keys to the rental and for me to grab my print out of our ressies, just in case. The drive over was easy, it was about 7:15 when we got through of the parking lot tram.

    The line for the photo pass photographer was too long, so we just took our own, the lights shining on the topiaries were really bad for this, but everyone else had the same idea. Our choices for a good spot were limited.



    The tree at the entrance to the World Showcase was huge.



    When I checked in at the R&C podium, the CM said if I was willing to wait an hour longer than my reservation time, she could get me a table outside. Well yes, I wanted to wait. We did that before and it was great to enjoy our meal while watching IllumiNations which started at 9:30 pm. We had to stay in the UK area so our pager would work. The boys killed time playing in the phone booth and I got us together for a Pooh and Tigger photo.

    Trouble


    Shaggy




    The guys sat down on the curb in front of the R&C but across the street to people watch as we waited. I walked over the bridge to France, took a left and went to get a slushie at the Kiosk located nearby. I got the Grand Marnier slushie. Oh my, it was so good, tasted like an orange creamsicle. I wish I had one right now.
    At 8:45 pm our buzzer went off, we were seated on the covered patio overlooking the water on the back side of the R&C. What a great place to watch the show.
    We split an appetizer because we didn’t know if we would like it, it was the Scotch Egg - Golden-fried Hard-boiled Egg wrapped in Sausage Meat with Mustard Sauce $8.99. Getting only one egg at that price, you can see why we split it. (Thanks for the menu info allears)

    DH & Shaggy got the Pork Duo - grilled brisket with mushroom ragout and braised pork with mashed potatoes and red wine sauce $15.99 (thanks allears). They said it tasted great, it looked and smelled very good. Trouble and I had the Fish and Chips - Battered fresh Cod served with English Chips $16.99, this was just ok; the fish was too greasy and not crispy. Which was a disappointment, it was much better the last time we were here. We were too full for dessert; we ate too much bread while watching IllumiNations, which was awesome and changed up slightly for the holidays.

    Everyone had Cokes except me, I had ice water and a mixed drink (I can’t find the name of it and can’t remember that was tall, yummy and came with a light up ice cube. Now what is funny about this is a family at a table near the rail, diagonal from our table had 2 girls with them. The youngest kept looking over at our table. You could tell she was watching the blinking light in my glass. When our meal was finished, they were still there. So I took the cube, wiped it off and walked over to their table. Her back was to me to I tapped her on the shoulder and said Merry Christmas. I gave her the cube and smiled. Her parents thanked me. I said you’re welcome and followed my guys out of the R&C. She had the biggest smile when I looked back as she held that blinking ice cube.





    With a full tummy, I was ready to sleep, but my guys had other plans. Since it was now EMH, the crowds seemed to thin a little. We headed for Soarin’, which was about a 30-40 minute wait. I was fine with that, since I wanted my food to settle. I love Soarin’ we were in section B middle of the middle row. There was a family next to me, adults no children and I think they were French. I had such a good time watching the man next to me. It was his first time, he lifted his feet when the trees came near and let out a little yelp.

    The wait for our next ride wasn’t that long, which was Test Track. I have never been able to get that photo at the end of the ride to make it to my photopass. They say to scan the photopass card. It has never worked.

    By now it was almost 12:00 am, I got them to go ride Living with the Land. We had the whole ride to ourselves. When we left the ride, they were saying last riders and waving a few people into the empty Soarin’ line, well we half walked, half ran and were the last 4 riders. We got to be in section B, front and center.

    By now we are worn out and EPCOT is closed and looking like a ghost town as we walk out to the parking lot. We were lucky enough to be parked close enough to just walk to the rental car, at that moment I was so glad we had it when I saw the lines at the buses.

    Snow flake lights on the pavement in EPCOT


    And so ends day two with four tired people that made their way back to the Poly and gratefully crawled into bed to fall fast asleep.
    To be continued…


    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  22. #21

    Your picture of the castle with the ice lights came out great! - better than with my SLR camera. Can't wait to read more.

    Michael and Kellis April 2014 Trip with Friends, Pop Century
    http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?205704
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    Our other Disney Trips (including our Disneymoon): Kelli and Mike's Adventures http://www.bochnik.com/

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by bochnikm View Post
    Your picture of the castle with the ice lights came out great! - better than with my SLR camera. Can't wait to read more.
    Thanks, and I can't believe how well some of the photos I took with my iphone 4 came out. I've taken many photos starting with a 35 mm SLR camera and even had my own darkroom. I advanced to a digital SLR. I have 2 other digital cameras. I'm a Canon snob, but none of those were ever fast enough to capture fireworks with out being blurred or having to be mounted to a tripod. I could never afford pro lenses that would have helped with the speed. I have awesome shots of the fireworks over the castle that I'm excited to share. But you all will just have to wait until I get to that day's report.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  24. #23
    Registered User houseofmouse's Avatar
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    Great report so far. I love all the pictures, they really make the trip report! Looks like a great trip so far! I would love to go one year for Christmas time to see all the decorations and the resorts all decked out.

    Have a Disney Day!
    You don't have to walk on water, it's how you walk on land.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by houseofmouse View Post
    Great report so far. I love all the pictures, they really make the trip report! Looks like a great trip so far! I would love to go one year for Christmas time to see all the decorations and the resorts all decked out.
    Thank you They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I figured putting them in would mean less typing for me. But really I love photos and trip reports so when you get both it's a win, win.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  26. #25

    i had the pork duo too @ r & c . sadly was not pleased with it . quality @ r & c has slipped recently .but you can not beat the location for the "BIG SHOW "


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