Skipping the parks

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We just returned from a trip to Disney World, but it wasn’t our typical trip of going to the parks all day everyday. We didn’t go to the parks at all. This wasn’t our original plan however, I made a mistake. After we left our 10 trip last August (2016), my wife and I started talking about our next trip and about a month later we decided to go in April. It sounded like a great plan, we had enough DVC points to do April and our summer trip and all we had to do was upgrade our annual passes. This is where the mistake was made, since we didn’t plan to go in April during a black out date we bought Gold Passes. Since we didn’t upgrade our tickets before leaving from our trip in August, we wouldn’t be able to upgrade until we arrived for our April trip. This was a problem. Since we could not up grade until we got there, we couldn’t get our fast passes sixty days in advance which was a major problem being the second busiest time of the year. That being said, my wife and I started to discuss skipping the parks and making it a relaxing trip. My wife did have one requirement, we had to do a character meal with Mickey. I was able to get an ADR (advance dinning reservation) at O’hana, most of our meals were planned outside of the parks by coincidence this trip anyway. We thought we would be at a roadblock when we broached this subject with the kids and decided if they wanted to go to the parks we would. When we talked to them about it, they were all for it. There was no need to convince them no parks on this trip.

Kidani, our favorite resort was the place we called home for the first part of our trip. During our stay I expected to be at the pool a lot more however, this was not the case. We were actually very busy. Our first day we had arrived later than we expected, barely unpacking and getting to our Boma reservation on time. After a long relaxing meal at Boma we headed back to the room. We had a Savannah view of the Pembe Savannah which is where the Okapi can be found, this made my youngest daughter ecstatic she loves the Okapi and they are her favorite animal. The next morning we had our O’hana breakfast at the Polynesian. After enjoying our meal, we rented mouse boats at the Polynesian marina. My wife stayed on shore while I took each of the kids in turn out on the boat. My kids loved it. We had it for about an hour giving each kid a 12-15 minute ride, with our DVC discount we paid $37.00. After completing the ride I took a closer look at the boat rental prices. We should have taken out a Boston Whaler which would have fit all six of us for pretty much the same price and I have my boating license and am comfortable operating a boat especially one that small. I think we will definitely do it on our next trip. On the following day we spent the day at the pool and doing the bead activities at the resort (see our post of Bead Activities at Animal Kingdom Lodge for an in depth look). The kids also did cake decorating at Sanaa before heading out to dinner. For dinner, we met up with my co-blogger and his family at Kona. The meal was great and the kids really enjoyed seeing each other on vacation. After enjoying the good food an good company we made a stop at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. We parted ways and my family took a monorail ride to the the Contemporary where we walked to Bay Lake Towers. We went to the Top of the World Lounge and watched Wishes, the kids loved it. Then next day we slept in a little bit and went to Disney Springs. We started off with lunch a Paddlefish, the meal and service were great!! I had the signature Bloody Mary which was delicious. Having had a large meal at Kona and food at the Top of the World Lounge plus two buffets earlier in the week, my wife and I were looking for a lighter fare sort of. We got two orders of the lobster corn dogs to share with the kids. Five out of six of us thought they were great, my wife and I got soup and salad. The kids each order something different from the kids menu, snow crab legs, shrimp pasta, beef skewers with potatoes and green beans and the last meal was a burger and fries for my youngest. The meals my wife and I had were well portioned, the kids meals however, were huge. My oldest son, 8, whom we jokingly say has a tapeworm, eats non stop and could not finish his meal. This was the first time my daughter got snow crab legs and had just asked me for help opening it when Kristian of the wait staff came over and cracked it for her giving us a tutorial in the best way to open it. We are from coastal Connecticut and are all familiar opening a lobster. This was similar, but watching Kristian opening the crab was fun to watch. After lunch we did a little bit of shopping and collecting some transportation cards before we headed back to the bus to Kidani where we had some dinner and toasted marshmallows. The next morning we had to pack up and check out.
After we left Kidani we checked into the Polynesian. Our Polynesian stay was courtesy of my co-blogger. He had points that needed to be used or lost and asked if we wanted to spend a night at the Polynesian, who were we to allow the points to go wasted so of course we said yes. Once again Mike, we can’t thank you enough for putting up the points needed for our family’s first stay at the Polynesian. When we checked in, Mike and his family met up with us. We all went to the pool and the kids loved playing together. After the pool we had a great meal at Narcossees. After Narcossees, we walked back to the Polynesian and the kids played on the beach. After the kids played a bit, it was time to head back to our rooms. The kids got cleaned up and put their pajamas on. We then met up again (all rooms were next to each other) for the Electrical Water Pageant. After watching we went to the lobby, I ran back to my room and made popcorn for everyone for Wishes which we watched from the beach.
The next day it was time to check out. After leaving the Polynesian my family went to the Whispering Canyon for a late breakfast. We then went back to the Polynesian where our car was parked and took a last ride on the monorail doing the Epcot loop. After completing our monorail ride it was time to head home.
Our non parks trip was fantastic and I can definitely see us doing this again.
We would like to hear if you have ever done a non parks trip and what you did. Comment here, on Twitter @disneyhelp or on Facebook at Disney Perspective. Or if you are a Disney fan from Connecticut follow our sister page @CTDisneyFans.