Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: Barefoot Pool Bar

After a long day at a Disney World park, there is nothing better to do than to unwind at the pool or on the beach at the Polynesian Resort with a drink in hand.

The Barefoot Pool Bar is located at the main pool and offers frozen or on the rocks drinks along with beer, wine and some non-alcoholic choices.

(Pina CoLAVA at the Polynesian Resort, WDW)

I choose to try the Pina CoLAVA, which is a Pina Colada with Raspberry syrup. It was good and really hit the spot on a warm evening. But what made the drink even better was being able to enjoy it while sitting on the beach watching the sunset. It doesn't get any more relaxing than that!

(sun setting at the Polynesian Resort, WDW)

Almost as good as Hawaii, almost.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Packing for Disney

This was Siena's first trip to Disney (did I mention how excited I was to take Siena on her first trip to Disney...like jumping up and down excited!) and the first time I have ever taken a baby to Disney. There was so much planning, organizing and packing to do.

What to pack?
There is so much to pack for a trip away from home with a baby. From diapers to formula and a stroller to nightlight, I created a check list to use, which you can find here.

Some items on this list you might not need. I have chosen to bring my own stroller, where you could just rent one each day at the park, however with a baby I want a stroller that can recline for better napping. In addition, you would not have to bring a pack-n-play, most hotels can provide you will a portable crib, I just prefer my own. This list is a guideline, feel free to modify it to what you need.

What to bring to the park each day?
I used a backpack to carry all the items that I needed for Siena each day at the parks. The backpack has several compartments, which made finding items I need easier, however you will have to open each compartment to go through security. In the first compartment, I will have diapers, wipes, a changing table pad, a burp cloth, a blanket, and a change of clothes. The second compartment will house all her feeding items: bottles with liners, formula (I am using the little packets that are premeasured), a sippy cup, baby food, spoon and washcloth. The remaining items will be in various small pockets: purell, pacifiers, pacifier wipes, sunscreen, infant pain reliever and teething medicine.

To make lunch and dinner for Siena easy while in the park, I made up packets. I took a ziplock bag and put a disposable bowl filled with cereal or baby food (the baby food will have to be added the morning of, along with a frozen gel pack), a disposable spoon and washcloth.

Each night I repacked the backpack with diapers, formula packets, a bottle of water, new burp cloths, clean bottles and new 'food packets'.

This system worked really well for me. I never found myself missing anything at the park, in addition I did not have too much to carry.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mickey Ears...Chapeau Hat Shoppe

Classic Disney...Mickey ears with your name embroidered on the back. I had to get a pair of 'ears' for Siena. I knew there was a shop on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom that did the embroidering, I just was not sure where it was. We found it on the right side of Main Street after Tony's Restaurant.

The shop has a large selection of 'ears' and offered several types of font and thread coloring for the embroidering. We went with the original Mickey ears ($11.95) with the embroidering in 'traditional' font in white ($3.00).

Once we picked out our 'ears' and paid for our order, it was only about five minutes until the embroidering was complete. The personalized Mickey ears is a perfect souvenir for Siena's first trip to Disney World.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Disney - It's all in the location

I have been to Disney World several times, however this is the first time I have taken a baby (8 months old). I prefer to stay on Disney due to the proximity to the parks and the guest benefits (like free transportation, sending your packages back to your hotel and the best one...extra magic hours). I normally stay at a moderate hotel level or at the Shades of Green (the military hotel). But for this trip we decided to splurge and booked the Polynesian Resort...it was so worth it!

Upon check-in, we received leis and an aloha greeting. We had opted to use the online check-in service, which allowed us to verify all of our information online and provide a credit card for the remaining balance. Then when we arrived at the hotel, we looked for the online check-in desk and our welcome packet was waiting for us.

Our room at the Polynesian was located in the Tokelau building on the first floor, which worked out perfectly for us. The building was centrally located. It was close to the main pool, the ceremonial house, and the Ticket and Transportation Center (which you can walk to, to catch the monorail to Epcot). Not to mention the quiet pool was located right next to our building.

Our room was large...it had two queen beds, a day bed (great for night-time feedings for our little one), two chairs, a dresser and a desk. The room also had two closets, a mini-fridge and a safe. You can request a crib, however we opted to bring our own pack-n-play. Something I really liked about the hotel room (which is kinda funny), the lights on the headboard and one by the daybed are on dimers, so you can turn them on as bright or dim as you like. We used them like a night light...perfect! One thing I worried about being on the first floor was that we would hear a lot of noise, however that was not the case. We never heard any noise, it was so quiet.

The Polynesian is located on the Magic Kingdom resort monorail line. It was very quick to hop on the monorail at the ceremonial house and to be at Magic Kingdom in minutes. Or walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center and hop on the monorail to Epcot.

Before going to the parks (Magic Kingdom or Epcot), we loaded our baby into the stroller, added our bags and rolled her out of our room and onto the monorail. When we got to the park we rolled her off the monorail through the gates and were on our way. When we needed a break, we jumped back on the monorail and back to our room to cool, off take a nap, or go for a swim.

The only thing I disliked about the hotel was that the bus service to Hollywood Studies, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and the water parks is shared with the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian which makes the trip to and from those locations longer.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Polynesian and look forward to future visits!

I have not covered all the activities and amenities that Disney's Polynesian Resort offers. For more information on the Polynesian Resort click here.

Watch for future blog postings about our recent trip to Disney World.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Siena at 8 Months

· Cruising in her walker all over the house, including chasing Sugar Ray

· Pulling up on anything that stands still for a moment

· “Army” crawling all over the house and boy is she fast

· Thinks that Sugar Ray is her best friend and personal toy – he is so good with her and lets her pull his ears and collar, stick her feet and hands in his mouth, poke him and pull on his fur

· Getting into everything including destroying magazines, pulling all the DVDs off the shelves, and pulling all the dirty clothes out the basket

· Taking naps to her Dozy Dolphin playing the ocean tune

· Still waking up once a night for a feeding

· Will not stay still on the changing table, constantly flipping over to her stomach

· Babbling all the time including saying "mama" and "baba"