We are back! We had a great time, but there were definitely a few meltdown moments courtesy of our resident demon-child - uh I mean - almost 3 yr. old. If I have the stamina to relive them, you'll get to hear all about them.
Our flight left Milwaukee at 7:30a uneventfully and landed in Orlando as scheduled at 11:05am (would have been 10:05am for us, we lost an hour due to the different time zones). Katie was a little cranky mid-flight, but otherwise did pretty well. Thank goodness for the snack and drink the stewardesses pass out - that was just enough to keep her entertained enough to avoid a real meltdown. We used Disney Magical Express which meant that we just checked our baggage in Milwaukee and it arrived at our hotel, Disney picks it up at baggage claim for you and takes it to your room. They also put you on a bus and take you to your resort. This worked pretty efficiently considering how many people are moved through the system each day - and the service was great - everyone was really nice. It did take about an hour and a half though from touchdown until we were in our hotel room- time would be the major drawback - but for Sean and I who both hate driving in unfamiliar territory with a cranky kid (make that 2 cranky kids - Alex was kinda tired too) it was actually kind of nice to just surrender to the process and let Disney worry about it and we'd get there when we got there.
So we arrived at the Polynesian Resort on Disney property at about 12:30p. Our luggage didn't show up til sometime later in the afternoon - but we were told to expect that and had brought what we needed to go to the parks in our carryons. We stayed in room 1924 which was just an ordinary garden view room, but it was awesome! I think I am so spoiled after staying at the Polynesian that if/when we ever go back to Disney, I likely won't want to stay anywhere else. The hotel itself is nice but nothing that can really compete with big top notch places (not like I've ever stayed anywhere top notch - but this is just nice - not WOW in that respect). What made the Polynesian so great was the location/transportation. We were right on the resort monorail, so getting to the Magic Kingdom was just 10 min. each way - to go to Epcot we walked about 10 min. to the Transportation and Ticket Center and rode the monorail from there (about another 15 min.) - getting around to the parks was so easy on the Disney transportation - I'm so glad we didn't rent a car! It saved us the money and was much less stressful for us. We did have to take buses to MGM and Animal Kingdom, but since we spent the majority of our time at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, that wasn't too bad. Staying at another Disney property from which we'd have to take all buses would make the Disney transportation much less desirable, I'm afraid.
R2D2 in the parade
After we arrived at the Poly we had planned to go to MGM for the rest of the day. After a quick lunch at Captain Cooks (the turkey sandwich with bacon on multi-grain bread was really good!), we arrived at MGM about 3pm. The parade was just starting, and although I snapped a few pics, none turned out really good cause we didn't really have the best view for picture taking. Katie and Alex enjoyed the parade though - but it was HOT. Well, those of you used to the Florida weather will probably not think so - it was about 89 F - and felt really humid.
We headed to our 6:30p reservation at the Sci-Fi dine in theater and were seated about 15 min after check-in (10 min after our reserved time). It seemed everyone but us was on the Disney dinning plan, but they don't let you do that on the land and sea package, so we were paying for all food out of pocket. I didn't mind though cause it kept us from over eating and we were able to share portions several times on the trip and spent far less than we would have on the dining plan. At Sci-Fi, Sean and I split an adult cheeseburger and fries and each ordered a milkshake (choc for me, strawberry for him) The kids each ordered a kids hamburger and Alex ordered an Oreo milkshake. The milkshakes were really yummy! We were sort of surprised that the kids hamburgers seemed to be the same size as ours! It worked out though cause Katie would only munch on the fries, so DH and I split her burger too and actually got a full burger each that way.
Then it happened - Katie must have been more exhausted from the heat and travel than I thought cause suddenly she was whining and had that look that every mother extinctively knows means that her kid is going to toss his/her cookies right now. And she did. Luckily her plate was bowl shaped on the bottom and we caught every last drop there. I felt terrible, both for pushing her so hard she got sick, and for the poor waitstaff person that had to clean the mess. At least I kept it contained for her and we tipped very well. The waitress was very nice about it though, and Katie hadn't really acted sick before that, just tired.
We went back to our hotel, and Alex and I went for a little swim and watched Wishes (the fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom) from the pool at the Polynesian. Another great plus for the Polynesian's awesome location.
I'll try to write more tomorrow - Day 2 was the Magic Kingdom and the Hoop Dee Doo! :)