By: Debbie Boehm
Is it really possible to be enthusiastic the umpteenth time you say those words? The answer is yes! Planning a trip to Walt Disney World is exciting and fun.
The beauty of Walt Disney World is that there is a resort to suit every budget and every desire. From the grandeur of the Grand Floridian to the fun of the Pop Century, it’s all there. Four theme parks, two water parks, two miniature golf courses, a downtown shopping district, golf resorts, amazing restaurants and experiences are all there for the taking.
This is the story of my next trip with my husband. For this trip we have chosen to travel in April and stay at the Polynesian Resort. The choice was easy – it has the ambiance of the islands with the sights, sounds and smells that remind us of our honeymoon. Many of the rooms have balconies or a patio which we have been missing at the moderate level and the convenience of the monorail can’t be beat. Within moments we can be at the Magic Kingdom or on our way to the Epcot monorail loop, a short ride away. In addition, there is a boat launch which transports guests to the Magic Kingdom.
For meals the Polynesian Resort offers some nice options – the Kona Café, the home of Tonga Toast; ‘Ohana, where family is most important and the kids are encouraged to participate in the coconut races during meals; and Captain Cook’s, which is more like a coffee shop and has the distinction of serving the famous Dole Whip. (Editor’s Note: Don’t miss the Adult Grilled Cheese too! It is one of the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever eaten!) At the hotel there is a counter by Kona that is a coffee bar by morning but converts to a sushi bar at 5 pm. There is also the Tambu Lounge located right next to ‘Ohana. I’ve heard that the Lapu Lapu is a must-do.
We chose to travel in April for a number of reasons. The crowds are supposed to be a tad bit lower because we are avoiding spring break as well as the Easter and Passover holidays. The weather can be quite warm but the humidity is not as bad as it can be in May. Plus, spring is a lovely time to visit Walt Disney World with the Flower and Garden Festival underway and the Flower Power Concerts at the America’s Gardens Theatre opposite The American Adventure.
The Dining Plan is another choice we had to weigh. When evaluating whether or not the Dining Plan is something that works for your family, look at web sites with menus and prices. When planning, choose the meals you are most likely to eat. Don’t forget beverages, appetizers and/or desserts and then compare that to the cost of the Dining Plan. For our purposes, on this particular trip we will not be purchasing the Dining Plan. We are Annual Passholders and are using a discount on our room.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. This means that for the first time in 13 years our Sunday breakfast will not be at The Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. This time we will be having our breakfast at The Kona Café. We are making no other dining reservations for this trip. On previous trips we have eaten at the best buffets and restaurants on property. This time we plan to eat at Sommerfest in Germany instead of Biergarten, to have a ham and cheese croissant sandwich at Boulangerie Patisserie in France instead of Les Chefs de France and to eat lamb at Tangierine Café instead of Restaurant Marrakesh. While we were busy eating at the table service restaurants there were many delicious options that we’ve missed. We’ll be exploring new options and have more time to explore the nooks and crannies, to have a carrot cake cookie at Writer’s Stop at Hollywood Studios, to stop and smell the roses at both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot and take time to relax and people watch.
That’s the story of how we chose our dates, location, dining and special events. I look forward to the hospitality of Polynesia and reporting back to you about the step outside my comfort zone.
Aloha and Mahalo!