New Year 2019 at Polynesian & Magic Kingdom

Happy New Year from Uncharted Parenting!

The blog has sat neglected for too long, and I’ve missed sharing the photos and stories from a few family vacations in my time away. Now as we head into 2019, it’s time to breathe new life to this old space, starting with our most recent getaway…

Disney’s Polynesian Resort in the morning light

It pays to keep checking availability with Disney Vacation Club. Because guests can cancel their reservations up to 11pm the night before a stay, there is always the chance that something new will pop up at the last minute.

That’s just what happened a few days before the end of the year, and I jumped on the Lake-view Deluxe Studio at the Polynesian without hesitation. It was December 31, one of the most expensive nights for DVC points, but the chance to spend New Years Eve across the lake from the Magic Kingdom fireworks was definitely worth it!

Getting there wasn’t easy, with holiday traffic clogging the Disney roads, but we arrived early and our room was perfect. We were on the ground floor looking out over the last few bungalows, with a great view of the ferryboats as they went back and forth to the park. Both boys loved sitting on our patio watching the lake.

He may not look happy, but that’s just his “concentrating while talking” face

Our first evening began with lunch near the pool, followed by the obligatory pineapple dole whip floats. There was a special New Years Eve party and countdown starting at 6pm; Disney does it twice, both for kids who can’t stay up late, and to handle the high demand for fireworks viewing.

We watched the fireworks from the main pool, which has a great view of the castle directly across Bay Lake. Although we couldn’t hear the music (speakers were on the beach, but sound didn’t reach the pool) the fireworks display was amazing, beyond anything I’ve ever experienced at Disney. And as the grand finale went off, beach balls and blow-up pineapples rained down on the pool from the top of the volcano! (You can see one of the beach balls in that photo of Kasper above.)

Playing in the pool before the New Years Eve party started up

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast in the room (vegan Tonga Toast and Mickey Waffles), packed up, and headed over to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours. We had a few fast-passes booked, but our first stop was the Swiss Family Treehouse, a great place for the boys to stretch their legs. I took them up and down a couple times before we rode Pirates, and then Jamie took them on another treehouse tour after lunch.

Lunch was at Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper’s Canteen, a restaurant with a name so complicated I never say it the same way twice! They have some great vegan options, and the decor is a fun adventure-theme that plays off the nearby Jungle Cruise. Jamie ordered the Perkins Thai Noodles (substituting extra tofu for the chicken) and I had my favorite: Curried Vegetable Crew Stew.

After lunch we went for a ride on the Tomorrowland Speedway, known in our family as “the race-cars”, and Kasper was finally tall enough to ride! This was his first experience on the Speedway, and will be his last for several months as the attraction remains closed during construction of a new TRON ride. I’m glad we snuck in one time around the track before they shut down the very next day!

Kasper’s first ride on the Tomorrowland Speedway!

All that fun must have tired him out, because Kasper was sound asleep before we made it across the park to our last fastpass. We skipped the Small World boat ride and watched a Muppet show in the streets of Liberty Square before making our way back across the lake.

We made a quick stop at the car to grab our pool bag, then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the Lava pool. Both boys enjoyed playing with the life-size connect four game (found at many DVC resorts in the pool area), and we had nearly two solid hours of fun in the water. Between the pool, the huge splash zone, and the Pineapple Lanai, the Polynesian is definitely one of the boys’ favorites.

Even though we’re starting our third year as Disney Vacation Club members, this was the first time we stayed a single night and did just as much as we usually do for a whole weekend. It opened the door for many more last-minute getaways, getting us excited to start blogging and sharing videos again. (A video from this trip is in the works, stay tuned…)

Now that we know how to pack and plan so that one night at a resort can feel like an entire vacation, expect more fun highlights of other DVC resorts in the future!

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