Yesterday was the day we picked to stay out of the parks and visit some of the resort hotels (along with Downtown Disney). I slept in until almost 11:30am and woke up to my cell phone ringing. My mother-in-law called to make sure we were OK–tornadoes had ripped through central Florida overnight and killed at least 15 people. The storm was about 50 miles north of us, so we were not impacted. Our thoughts go out to those affected by the devastation.
We met my brother at the Polynesian Hotel for lunch. Many of my childhood trips to Walt Disney World were spent at the Polynesian and it remains one of my favorite hotels. The Kona Cafe is a newer addition to the hotel, but we ate there last time we visited as well. I had a chicken in peanut sauce dish with sticky rice and macaroni salad that had too many peppers for my liking, but tasted very good.
We hoped on the monorail and visited the Contemporary Resort. One entire wing is being torn down to build a 15-story tower for use by the Disney Vacation Club. This hotel feels a little dated now, but it was fun to walk around the expanded arcade and the outside pool area. And you can’t beat having a monorail line running right through the heart of the place.
Returning on said monorail to the Polynesian, we walked those grounds and took some photos while the girls played on the beach (both the Walt Disney World album in the travel section and the Florida 2007 Trip album in the private section have been updated).
We drove from the Polynesian to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which we had never seen. I was very impressed with the level of detail in the lobby and common areas and loved the smell of the restaurants in the main building. There were huge crowds waiting to get in, so I’m sure the food is wonderful. They seem to know their audience too–the upscale restaurant had filet mignon with macaroni and cheese! This hotel reminded me a lot of the Grand Californian at Disneyland–the atmosphere was very upscale. We saw lots of animals from the observation areas and had a great time there.
My brother took the tired girls home while my wife and I drove to Downtown Disney. The crowds that had been missing from the parks were all at Downtown Disney. The place was packed! Wall-to-wall people everywhere and it took us a while to find a place to park.
We shopped at Virgin Records, World of Disney and Disney Sports stores and had dinner at the Earl of Sandwich. I ordered the Earl’s Club, which wasn’t really a club sandwich in the traditional sense, but was made with some awesome bread. The place was packed and was worth the wait.
Today: Animal Kingdom and Everest!Originally published by DK on February 3, 2007 at 8:08 am