Disney World Resort Hopping 101: The Basics

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Welcome to Walt Disney World!

Resort Hopping is a great way to spend some down time on your Disney World vacation.

Maybe the parks are crowded and you want to get away from the hustle and bustle.

Maybe you have an extra day of vacation without tickets and want some fun ways to fill your time.

We do it every trip and it’s a lot of fun.

Here are our Resort Hopping 101 Tips:

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Transportation options at Disney World

Use Disney Transportation

Use Disney Transportation when traveling between resorts.  It’s free.

The Monorail travels between three of the resorts, some resorts have boat transportation, and Disney buses travel to all resorts.

gondola

The gondolas will have great treetop views of the parks! Yes, the Skyliner windows open, but there’s no AC in the cabins. Could be very hot to ride these in the summer!

The Disney Skyliner gondolas will be up and running later on this summer.

During peak times of the year, Disney has started charging for daytime resort parking ($25) and/or limiting resort parking to guests with hotel reservations, not just dining reservations.

Make a Dining Reservation

Part of the appeal to resort hopping is to try the restaurants at the resorts.

All of the deluxe resorts boast fine dining options with award-wining restaurants. Some even offer entertainment and character dining experiences.

Plan on dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at one of the resorts on your resort-hopping list, and make a reservation in advance. This will guarantee you a spot at a table during your resort adventures.

Don’t Try to Do It All

With over 25 resorts at Disney World, it would be unrealistic to expect to visit them all when resort hopping, and it would take away from the fun and enjoyment. Set realistic expectations in regards to the number of resorts you plan to visit in one day.  Pick one or two things you’d like to do at each resort, and don’t be disappointed that you can’t do it all. It just means you’ll have to visit again!

Go on a Travel Day

If you only have part of a day at Disney due to your arrival or departure time, spend the time resort hopping instead of purchasing a ticket to the parks (now over $100/day for a single park ticket) when you can only spend a few hours there. You’ll save some money by not buying a park ticket, and you will find plenty of fun and magic at the resorts.

Be Prepared

You most likely need many of the same things resort hopping as you do spending the day at the parks. You might want to bring a poncho or umbrella in case it rains as you’re traveling to and from resorts, you’ll want your camera and/or phone, comfortable shoes, or anything else you find you need at the parks.

Also, if you have dining reservations at a fine dining location, like California Grill or Victoria & Albert’s, there is a dress code, so make sure what you’re wearing is in line with their dress code.

Dedicate at Least Half a Day

Resort hopping takes time.

It’s wise to dedicate at least half a day to resort hopping. If you try to visit more than a few resorts in less than half a day, you’ll find yourself rushed and most likely unable to do everything on your list. With half a day or more, you can plan on having a meal, a snack, and have time to explore lobbies and shopping places without feeling rushed.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House.

We love the Grand Floridian’s annual Gingerbread House!

Resort Hop During the Holidays!

Christmas time is truly a magical time at Disney World and that especially includes the resorts!

If you find yourself at Disney World during the Christmas season, make an effort to do some resort hopping. The deluxe resorts go above and beyond in their decorations. All have giant Christmas trees with decorations that correspond to the theme of the resort.

There is a life-sized gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian, and you can purchase delicious gingerbread cookies there. At least 5 other Disney resorts have gingerbread displays, all unique.  Check them all out!

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The annual Beach Club Resort Gingerbread Carousel

But, be aware that in late 2018 the parking guards really started cracking down on limiting parking to resort guests only at the deluxe resorts during the holiday season.  It’s best to park at one of the other resorts on property like All Stars and take the Disney transportation bus around.

Here are a few of our favorite places to resort hop:

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Our #1 place to resort hop!

The Grand Floridian

You can catch a monorail directly from the Magic Kingdom or from Epcot by way of the Ticket and Transportation Center. There is also a water launch which is fun as long as it’s not cold out. From the other parks, you’ll have to take a bus.

When you get there, check out the orchestra that plays most afternoons upstairs in the main Grand Lobby. Make reservations for proper afternoon tea or for dinner at the fancy Victoria & Albert’s. Look for hidden Mickeys in the elaborate marble floors. This is also a very peaceful place to sit in the Grand Lobby and just enjoy the atmosphere!

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Resort hopping on a cool and rainy afternoon.

Polynesian Resort

Another monorail hotel, you can get to the Polynesian the same ways as the Contemporary or Grand Floridian. Once you get there, go to Captain Cook’s and get a Dole Whip, or get a tropical cocktail at the lounge outside of O’Hana or make a reservation for a family-style dinner at O’Hana.

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We love Dole Whip!

If you schedule your visit late enough, you can watch the Happily Ever After fireworks show over the castle at Magic Kingdom complete with the music piped in while you’re enjoying dinner!

DisneyÕs Contemporary Resort Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes

CR Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes tempting us!

The Contemporary

The Contemporary is a great place to visit. You get to the Contemporary the same way you get to the Polynesian resort since it’s a monorail resort or you can walk over from Magic Kingdom.

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Walkway between the Contemporary Resort and the Magic Kingdom.

Once you get there, browse the great gift shops here. These may be our favorite gift shops on property. If you’re hungry, head upstairs to the Contempo Cafe. It’s a quick-service eatery with a lot of unique options for everyone’s tastes. Try the pot roast and veggies – it’s incredible.

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Electrical Water Pageant: It’s very pretty with the float lights reflecting off the Seven Seas Lagoon.

You’ll also find character dining here at Chef Mickey’s. If you’re resort hopping at night, you can watch the Happily Ever After fireworks show over the castle from the 4th floor observation deck and catch the nightly Electrical Water Pageant.

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Don’t forget to stop in at the Wilderness Lodge and check out the huge Christmas tree! So pretty!!!

Wilderness Lodge

To get to the Wilderness Lodge, you can take a boat from the Magic Kingdom or Contemporary Resort, or a bus from the other parks. This is one of our favorite places to explore. Go on a search for hidden Mickeys. Watch the geyser erupt outside, or sit in the immense lobby straight from our National Parks. Take a close look at the towering fireplace.  Book a dinner reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe – it’s one of the most fun and family-oriented restaurants on property. Roast some marshmallows over the campfire outside (free). You can also catch the Electrical Water Pageant going by at night.

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Here’s a funny shot, trying to get all of us in the photo! Our waitress was so nice!

The Yacht & Beach Clubs

These resorts are sister resorts, sharing a fabulous pool, in the Epcot resort area. If you’re at Epcot, you can walk out the back entrance at the International Gateway between the France and United Kingdom pavilions and continue on the sidewalk straight to the resorts.

Try a kitchen sink sundae from Beaches & Cream soda shop. Sit on the sandy beach and watch the Friendship boats go by. In the evenings, catch a movie under the stars on this same beach. Go to the lobby of the Yacht Club and visit with the Captain. Browse their gift shops – they’re some of our favorites!

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Disney Boardwalk – See it during the day, but come back at night…it’s magical!

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is a great place to resort hop in the evenings. You can get there the same ways you can get to Yacht & Beach Clubs, as there are sidewalks that connect the three resorts.

If you’re hungry, try the walk-up pizza by the slice window or grab a sweet treat from the Confectionery. There are always street performers to watch and plenty of benches and tables to sit and enjoy the ambiance.

You can rent a surrey bike here as well. Catch a sporting event at the ESPN club. If you stand on the bridge between the Boardwalk and the Yacht & Beach Clubs looking towards Epcot, you can view the 9pm IllumiNations fireworks at the end your day.

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We love the new Happily Ever After fireworks show!!  ❤

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two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

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Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

   

 

Disney Bounding as Princess Moana and Friends

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Fun ideas to Disney Bound as Moana.

Disney Bounding: When Disney fans dress up as contemporary versions of their favorite characters and go to the theme parks.
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Disney Bounding is a way of dressing up as your favorite character using inspired color palettes, accessories, and clothing styles to look like the character, without actually being in a Disney costume. You simply use items from your own wardrobe to pull together a terrific look.

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Coral and tan with seashell accents.

Princess Moana is one of the easiest Disney princesses to Disney Bound to!  Her colors are beautiful – coral and tan.

You can also Disney Bound as other characters in the movie like Maui:

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Disney Bounding as Maui

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Maui

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Ocean colors for Te Fiti

Other Disney Bounding ideas:

Disney Bounding as “Frozen” characters: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/disney-bounding-3-frozen/

Disney Bounding as Dole Whip or Orange Bird: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/disney-bounding-2/

Disney Bounding as a Disney Princess: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/disney-bounding/

Now, Disney Bounding is different than Cosplay, which is dressing up exactly like the characters.

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Cosplaying as Moana characters.

You can’t get into the Disney Parks dressed liked this, except at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights.

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Moana signed my signature book.

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Meeting Moana!

 

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Meeting Moana at Disney’s Aulani Resort.

We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

***

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The whole family meeting Moana at Disney’s Aulani Resort.

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Hello Moana!!!!

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Moana and Hei Hei at the Polynesian Resort.

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January 2019: Moana in her winter costume (note the sleeves and leggings).

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I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat and restore the heart to Te Fiti. — at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu, Hawaii.

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Meeting Moana at Disneyland in June.

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LE Moana pin.

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She was so friendly and nice!

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Close up of her cool island shoes!

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We love this song!  ❤

 

Meeting Disney Legend ‘Auntie’ Kau’i at the Polynesian Resort

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Hanging with Walt Disney Living Legend, ‘Auntie’ Kau’i Brandt.  She’s 84 years old!

Although not as well-known as Disney Legend Richard over at the Grand Floridian, Disney’s Polynesian Resort also has a Walt Disney Living Legend working there:  cast member Kau’i Brandt, better known as Auntie Kau’i to the guests.

At age 84, Auntie Kau’i has been with Disney’s Polynesian Resort almost since it opened.

She moved from the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 1971 to first open the Polynesian show at Disneyland in California, and then moved to Florida to open a similar show at Walt Disney World. She was the master of ceremonies for both shows, and now serves as a cultural representative at the Polynesian Resort.

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Her lei-making table with beautiful finished leis for sale.

Guests can find Auntie Kau’i in the first-floor lobby of the Great Ceremonial House of the Polynesian five days a week making leis with fresh flowers and pretty ribbons at her table in the corner of the children’s area. She is quick with a friendly smile and delights in showing guests how leis are made.

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All the leis smelled so beautiful.  This is a carnation lei with rose colored ribbons (next to it is a candy lei for kids!).

She creates her leis from real flowers for guests celebrating their honeymoon, anniversaries, or family celebrations. (All resort guests receive a pretty, free silk flower lei when they check-in, and also get one when entering the Spirit of Aloha show.)

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Wearing our leis.

These special leis can be custom-ordered in specific colors and flowers in the adjacent gift shop for $10 – $20 apiece. Auntie Kau’i said she creates about 20 lei necklaces, bracelets, and headbands for guests each day.  How cute would that be if you were getting married at the Polynesian and everyone wore one of these?!

Children are invited to make lei necklaces and bracelets out of pasta and candy. Modern tradition holds that carnation lei symbolize love, but a fresh flower lei is a beautiful gift that needs no reason to give and enjoy.

Auntie Kau’i also teaches guests how to dance the hula. The lessons are complimentary and last about 15 minutes. Women and girls are invited to don grass skirts and are given instruments to play to accompany the ukulele music. During the lessons, Auntie Kau’i and another cast member take turns demonstrating the graceful movements while the guests mimic them. Then, the guests put it all together for their finale. So much fun!

Auntie Kau’i has been dancing the hula since she was 6 years old. On Saturday mornings, she also teaches free dance lessons for two hours at the Polynesian Resort.

Stop by and say hi to her!

You can read more about her interesting life’s story here:  Growing Up Hawaiian.

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Checking out the gift shop.

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The Great Ceremonial House Lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, entryway.

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The light fixtures high above the lobby.

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View from the monorail of the Polynesian Village Resort.

Don’t forget to try the delicious breakfast at Ohana’s!!!!

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Elly & Hawaiian Mickey.

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Caroline having fun with Stitch.

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Brunch at Ohana’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort: Our Restaurant Review

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Ohana’s is on the 2nd floor of Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

We’ve eaten at Ohana’s several times now, but only for brunch.

Ohana, of course, means Family. The food is served family style to your table.

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Lilo and Stitch at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Brunch is a delicious Hawaiian-themed character breakfast with Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch all wearing their luau costumes and leis.

Reservations are hard to get, especially for breakfast, as it’s very popular.

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Ohana’s signature Pineapple-Coconut Breakfast Bread. So good!

We were on-time for our 10:30am brunch reservation and were immediately seated and given a basket full of yummy, freshly-baked Hawaiian bread.

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Mickey Waffles and Stitch Waffles!

Ohana’s serves the breakfast food family style to the table, in gigantic metal bowls with large spoons to serve yourself onto your individual plates.

We were really excited to get some chilled “moonshine” juice just like they serve at Trail’s End restaurant, but here it’s called P.O.G juice, which stands for pineapple, orange and guava juice.  It is perfection.

Carafes of P.O.G. juice.

Carafe of chilled P.O.G. juice for the table.

We love the Mickey Waffles and order them whenever we can.

Mickey Waffle

August 2019: Fruity Pebbles Mickey Waffles!  These might not be available all the time.

The day we were there, they not only had Mickey Waffles, they also had Stitch Waffles too!  Super cute!

Food photos!

Food photos!

While we were enjoying our breakfast, Polynesian Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch all came by our table to visit us.

We had a great time with the characters!

I had forgotten how short Stitch is!  Halfway through breakfast, Hawaiian music started playing and all the kids got up and started parading around the restaurant, laughing with the characters.  So fun!

Cost:  $40.47 per person. Tax is included; gratuity is not included. A standard, non-alcoholic beverage is included in this price.  Cast members get a 20% discount.

Note that the price of this meal varies based on the time of year (peak season vs regular season), and also on the day of the week (weekday vs. weekend).

We ate it all!

We ate it all!

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August 2019

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Breakfast Menu, August 2019

Served 7:30am – 12pm, $40.47 (includes tax, but not gratuity)

The ‘All you care to enjoy’ meal is brought table-side by servers. Sweet bread, fruit, breakfast skillet, and Mickey Waffles with warmed syrup are brought to your table as soon as you’re seated.  You may request seconds.

Basket of Sweet Hawaiian Breads

Seasonal Fruit

Hawaiian breakfast platter for the table includes:

Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs) – made fresh, hot & delicious

Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes) – island-style potatoes, with caramelized onions & scallions

Pua’a (Pork) – pork breakfast sausage links & smoked bacon

Mickey and/or Stitch Waffles – with warmed syrup

Beverages:

Unlimited P.O.G. juice – the juice is a blend of pineapple, orange and guava juices

Milk, hot cocoa, bottled water, coffee, and tea
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Some photos from our brunch:

Enjoying a Character Breakfast at 'Ohana

Enjoying our Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana.

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The food was so delicious!

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Yum!

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Mickey leading a parade of kids around the restaurant.

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Elly with Lilo. (Look at that basket of Hawaiian Bread!)

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Lilo was great!

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Having fun with Stitch.

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Elly & Hawaiian Mickey.

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Polynesian friends invite you to join Mickey for autographs and pictures. A family photo is taken before you are seated.

A photographer will bring the photo to your table during the meal for you to purchase if you wish.

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We love the theme-ing of this restaurant.

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It’s actually not a very big restaurant.

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Aloha!

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Throwback Thursday: Christian meeting his favorite character, Stitch. #TBT

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Cheers to the new year!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

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Ohana’s Character Breakfast with Friends at the Polynesian Resort

Polynesian Mickey stopping by our table.

Polynesian Mickey stopping by our table.

My best friend during the summer program, Ricky, and I planned several more character dining experiences near at the end of my time at Disney.

The day after trying the fabulous breakfast buffet at Trail’s End Restaurant, we planned a character breakfast at Ohana’s at the Polynesian Resort.  Fewer coworkers were able to come with us because of their hectic work schedules, so I invited my roommate, Hannah, to come along. She loves Lilo and Stitch, and hadn’t met them yet in any of the parks.  (She wasn’t able to come with us for our roommate breakfast at Crystal Palace a few weeks ago because of work.)

Unfortunately, when I woke up the morning of the breakfast, I immediately realized that I was sick. Really, really sick. I could barely stand up in the shower and my skin felt so sensitive that the shower water actually hurt my skin.  (This is the downside of working at a world class theme park.  You are exposed to germs and viruses from across the planet every day!)  I knew I couldn’t bail on my roommate and all my coworkers; I had to go to the breakfast no matter what.

We were all dressing up for the fancy breakfast at 10am and had to catch a cast bus to the Polynesian.  Because the buses sometimes run late, and the fact that we’re all college kids, I’m always surprised when the whole group is actually ready on time. I think it must be because most of my coworker friends are ICPs in the international program.  They have a different sense of time and are always punctual.  They’re rarely, if ever, late for anything.

Our group with Pluto

Our group with Pluto

We got to Ohana’s and were immediately seated and given a basket full of yummy, freshly-baked Hawaiian bread.  Ohana’s serves the breakfast food family style to the table, in gigantic metal bowls with large spoons to serve yourself onto your individual plates.

My friend Ricky is always checking his phone!

My friend Ricky is always checking his phone!

I was really excited to get some more chilled “moonshine” juice just like they served at Trail’s End restaurant yesterday, but here it’s called P.O.G juice, which stands for pineapple, orange and guava juice.  It was perfection.

Carafes of P.O.G. juice.

Carafes of chilled P.O.G. juice.

I love the Mickey Waffles and order them whenever I can.  I was happy to see that they not only had Mickey Waffles, they also had Stitch Waffles too!  Super cute!

Food photos!

Food photos!

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Lilo stopping by.

While we were eating, Polynesian Mickey, Stitch, Lilo, and Pluto all came by our table to visit us.  I had forgotten how short Stitch is!  Halfway through breakfast, Hawaiian music started playing and all the kids got up and started parading around the restaurant, laughing with the characters.  I loved it!

We ate it all!

We ate it all!

After we were done stuffing ourselves silly with eggs and waffles, half our group went to the Magic Kingdom to play, and the other half – my group – caught a cast bus to the Animal Kingdom to get to work on time.  I was feeling worse and worse as the breakfast wore on, but still had to make it to work. I ended up working for just two hours before I couldn’t take it anymore and asked for an ER (early release from shift).

I wasn’t sure if my feeling sick was related to getting stung by a bee the day before or not, but I think so.  I should have taken more Benadryl before leaving my apartment.  I told my managers that I thought I might be having an allergic reaction to my bee sting.  My managers were so kind and immediately sent me home with some Benadryl from the first aid kit.  I got an ROS – Relief of Shift on my record.  It isn’t a point or a negative mark, but if you get a lot of these on your record in a short period of time, it can look bad.  This is the first time that I’ve missed work during this program.

I went home and immediate took a long nap.  I had get better fast because my friend Ricky had planned a great International Lasagna Dinner for later on in the evening and everyone was coming to it.  I couldn’t miss that!

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Breakfast Menu, July 2015

Served 7:30am – 11am, $24.99

The ‘All you care to eat’ meal is brought table-side by servers. Sweet bread, fruit, breakfast skillet, and Mickey Waffles are brought to your table as soon as you’re seated.

Basket of Sweet Hawaiian Breads

Seasonal Fruit

Hawaiian breakfast platter for the table includes:

Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs) – made fresh, hot & delicious

Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes) – island-style potatoes, with caramelized onions & scallions

Pua’a (Pork) – pork breakfast sausage links & smoked bacon

Mickey or Stitch Waffles – brought tableside by a server

Beverages:

Unlimited P.O.G. juice – the juice is a blend of pineapple, orange and guava juices

Milk, hot cocoa, bottled water, coffee, and tea

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

***

Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Resort

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Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Resort.  We had tickets to the 5:15pm first seating.

One of my Disney Bucket List items was to try the Spirit of Aloha dinner at the Polynesian Village Resort.

I knew it would be awesome, but it is pretty expensive.  The prices are based on the levels of seating.  I got tickets for the category 3 seating, which is in the very back for a little under $50 per person.

Normally, cast members can get 40%-50% dining discounts at the really nice restaurants on property.  Unfortunately, there aren’t any CM discounts for the Spirit of Aloha show.

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We had two Category 3 seats, right in the middle. With tax, it was $122. No discount for CMs.

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The all-inclusive menu.  All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Hawaiian luau.

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It all looked so good!

A very friendly waiter sat us at an awesome two-person table, right at the front of the upper floor seating.

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I saw a lot of guests ordering Pele’s Fire Punch, the house cocktail drink made with rum and pineapple juice.

Soft drinks and ice water are complimentary, but if you want to splurge, you can also order specialty, alcoholic cocktails.

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Perfect!

I got some nice white wine to go with my dinner.

When you get to your table, the “cold” dishes, i.e., the salads and Pineapple-Coconut bread are already set out.

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Three cold salads and fresh pineapple chunks.

It’s family style eating, so you just grab what you want and put it on your own plate – which is shaped like a palm tree leaf!

My favorite was the cold noodle dish on the far right (Soba Noddle Salad). Yum!! I loved that everything was pineapple and citrus flavored!

The main course was SO much meat!  Almost too much!

I really liked the bar-b-qued ribs and the pulled pork.

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The meat platter:  Aloha Pulled Pork, Polynesian Pork Ribs, Roasted Chicken, and Vegetable Medley.

By the time I got around to sampling the roasted chicken breasts, I was way too full to even try them!

All throughout the dining, there was an INCREDIBLE show onstage with live music and Hawaiian dancing!

Photos from the dancing during dinner:

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Native Hawaiian dancing.

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Huba-huba!!

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Yes, please!

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Hawaiian Fire Dancer.

Here are some more photos of the Spirit of Aloha show:

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The final course of the luau was the BEST part!

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Huge dessert serving of pineapple-banana bread pudding.

It was pineapple-banana bread! Omg YUM!!!

If only I had saved more room, I was totally obsessed with this pineapple-banana bread pudding!

Coupled with fresh pineapple and warm caramel sauce, this bread pudding was to die for!!

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Too full to finish it! 😦

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Everyone got a flower lei when they checked in.

Absolutely, this is one of my most favorite experiences at Disney this summer!

I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a unique dining experience and definitely for anyone who loves pineapple!
🙂
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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

***

The Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

20 bungalows built out over the lagoon in South Seas style.

The 20 Polynesian bungalows are built out over the lagoon in “South Seas style”.

Disney’s first over-the-water bungalows at the Polynesian Resort were under construction during my entire first program.  They just opened up a month before I arrived in May.

My friend and her aunt were staying at one of the bungalows and invited me over for an afternoon visit.

What can I say?  Wow!!

The bungalow’s theme is “modern Polynesian style in the spirit of aloha”.

The newly renovated lobby.

The newly renovated lobby of the Polynesian Resort.

My first stop after arriving at the Polynesian Resort was to see the newly redesigned lobby of the Great Ceremonial House.  This has been controversial because they’ve removed the old fountain in the center of the lobby, which was surrounded by lush, flowering plants, and replaced with a stone Tiki figure.

New light fixtures

New light fixtures

While it certainly opened up the lobby and Disney did put in a few more chairs for seating, along with a huge glass lighting fixture, I don’t know that it made it better.  Now it just looks like a lot of other upscale hotel lobbies.

Enjoying my Starbucks.

Enjoying my iced coffee Starbucks drink.  Ahhh!

I walked through the lobby and around the renovated pool area.  This too was closed and under renovation during my entire first program.  They’ve put in a large kiddie pool area and it does look nice.

Walking over the the bungalow.

Walking over to the bungalow.  Only 117 “feels like” temperature!  ❤ Florida in the summer!!  😉

The bungalows – 20 in all – are just a short walk away.

All the bungalows are 2 bedroom, 2 bath (room for 8 guests) and feature a private back deck with plunge pool.

Private pools on deck.

Private pools on deck.

Comfortable lounge furniture in arranged on a back deck that runs the length of the bungalow. A separate private seating area features hanging chairs.  I so wanted to cool off with a dip in the private plunge pool!  I can’t believe I forgot my swimsuit!

Relaxation time!

Relaxation time!

I could get used to this private deck!

I could get used to this private deck!

Each bungalow was supposedly positioned just right for an idyllic view of Magic Kingdom fireworks from the back deck at night and have speakers that can pipe in the music along with the Wishes fireworks show.

Watching Wishes from the deck.

Watching Wishes from the deck.

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Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

***

Breakfast at Ohana at the Polynesian Resort

Enjoying a Character Breakfast at 'Ohana

Enjoying a Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana.  (Photo taken before being seated.)

Caroline and I used our 50% dining discount coupon to enjoy a character breakfast with Lilo & Stitch at ‘Ohana at the Great Ceremonial House.

The huge breakfast is served family style on platters, with the Disney characters of Mickey Mouse,  Lilo and Stitch visiting the tables.

We had a great time with the characters!

The food was so delicious!

The food was so delicious!  Sweet breads and fresh fruit.

Yum!

Yum!  Huge serving portions.

Mickey leading a parade of kids.

Mickey leading a parade of kids.

With Lilo.

With Lilo.

She was great!

She was great!

Having fun with Stitch.

Having fun with Stitch.

Elly & Hawaiian Mickey.

Elly & Hawaiian Mickey.

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Polynesian friends invite you to join Mickey for autographs and pictures. A family photo is taken before you are seated. A photographer will bring the photo to your table during the meal for you to purchase if you wish.

Breakfast served 7:30am – 11am

‘All you care to eat’ sweet breads, potatoes, breakfast skillet meals, and fruits are brought table-side by servers.  Mickey waffles brought to you by another server.

The general price ranges for this breakfast meal are as follows:

Adult price range: $22.36-$26.62

Child (ages 3-9) price range: $12.77-$14.90

Tax is included; gratuity is not included. A standard, non-alcoholic beverage is included in this price.

Note that the price of this meal varies based on the time of year (peak seasons vs regular season), and even on the day of the week (weekday vs weekend).

Mickey Waffle

Fruity Pebbles Mickey Waffle!

Breakfasts Menu, April 2015

Seasonal Fruit Bowl for na Keiki

Breakfast Basket of Sweet Breads

The huge breakfast platter for the table includes:

** Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs) – made fresh, hot & delicious

** Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes) – island-style potatoes, caramelized onions & scallions

** Pua’a (Pork) – pork breakfast sausage links & smoked bacon

** Seasonal Fruit

Mickey Waffles – brought tableside by a server with warmed syrup

Beverages:

Unlimited Juice, Milk, Tea, Cocoa, and Coffee – The house juice is a blend of pineapple, orange and guava

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***  

Lunch

Two Disney Sisters