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Florida Trip – Day One – Monday (9/21)

October 2nd, 2015 Comments off

When I was booking our flights for our Florida trip, there were two non-stop flights to Orlando to choose from – 6:30 am or 11:40 am. We went with the later one since Midway airport is a longer drive from the house than O’Hare. That gave us the ability to sleep to a decent hour, make sure everything was packed and the rats were fed, and stop at McDonald’s to grab breakfast on the way. We left Joe’s SUV at Midway’s Park Ride & Fly lot just like we did when we flew to Arizona in 2009. My only complaint with them is I printed a coupon for 20% off their posted rates and instead they just deducted one day of parking which screwed us out of $2.

Southwest Plane

Our flight was a lot bumpier than any past ones I’ve been on. Joe said it seemed normal to him, but I’m the anxious one, so I was freaked out by every move the plane made. It didn’t help that immediately after take-off, which started with a quick whip around the corner onto the runway (no holding of the brakes like most of the other takeoffs I remember), there were several sharp turns to get us on course. Due to our boarding position we were seated behind the wing too; I prefer to sit either over or in front of it.

Our flight to Orlando was just over two hours but due to the time change it was after 3 pm when we arrived. After picking up our rental car from Enterprise, we headed straight to the Art of Animation Resort to check out our room. We got the Little Mermaid suite with a king bed which was adorable. I didn’t take any pictures, but below are two I grabbed from Disney’s site to give you an idea of how it looked.

LittleMermaidRoom1

LittleMermaidRoom2

It wasn’t very big, but it was incredibly clean, not to mention cute. Plus we spent very little time in the room anyway.

After dropping off our luggage, we drove to the Target in Kissimmee to pick up some snacks. We got a case of bottled water, beer, Doritos, Cheez-Its, a box of Entenmann’s frosted chocolate donuts, and a bag of Little Debbie mini powdered donuts. It occurred to us we should have gotten dinner first, and then gone to Target, so we wouldn’t have been limited to buying non-perishables, but that didn’t end up being a big deal since the mini-fridge in our room didn’t get cold enough to trust it with anything other than drinks anyway.

We had dinner at a place called Rosie’s Smokin Hot BBQ. It was dead at the time we arrived so we were a little worried about the quality of the food, but it ended up being real good. I had a grilled chicken rice bowl and Joe had a brisket platter with sides.

After dinner we went back to the hotel to drop off my leftovers (this was before we realized the fridge didn’t get very cold) and then headed over to the Polynesian Village Resort to explore. It was dark by this point and we walked along their beach area past these cute bungalows on the water until we came across the main building that houses multiple restaurants and a gift shop. We were really loving the tropical theming; too bad the standard rooms start at $450/night and the bungalows go for $2400!

Polynesian Village Resort

We bought a cute magnet at the gift shop (gotta love Disney’s Magicbands – you tie your credit card to them and use the band to make purchases) and then went outside to their Pineapple Lanai to grab a DoleĀ® Whip Soft-serve Swirl which we took to the beach. We found two chairs and enjoyed our dessert while watching Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant. At the same time we could also see the Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular in the distance. It was very fun and relaxing.

Afterwards we headed back to our resort to explore more and take photos of the area. Our immediate area was made up of three buildings with the Little Mermaid theme, but there are a total of four sections featuring The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars.

This photo was actually taken later in our trip:

Art of Animation Building

Photos of the Art of Animation resort on Flickr

Photos of the Polynesian Village resort on Flickr

Categories: Excursions, Photos Tags: ,