Many people book the Disney Resorts and then spend all their time at the parks. They rush out first thing in the morning and then come back to their room so tired they fall into bed to rejuvenate for the next day at the next park...spending upwards of $400 a night.
However Disney invites everyone to come and visit the resort even if you are not staying and many of the people wandering around are visitors.
The resort hotels are designed to transport you to another place, so even though you are in Florida you are for all intents and purposes actually have traveled to the western Pacific!
First of all parking is free. You can park up to four hours for free in the hotel parking lot.
Inside the resort there is shopping at the gift shops, restaurants open to all and beautiful floral arrangements everywhere.
The decor and art glass are divine!
There are two floors of lobby seating areas where you can enjoy the music and people watch!
Every day at 3:45 hula lessons are given to any who wish to participate in the lobby area. During the week it is geared for children but on Saturday's the lessons are designed for all ages. Visitors and hotel guests all participate.
From the second floor lobby we caught the monorail and went for a ride past the Magic Kingdom and through the Contemporary Hotel and back to the Polynesian Resort. A birds eye view! You want to enjoy the monorail early in the evening though, its very crowded later when the parks are closing.
We then meandered through the pathways and enjoyed the landscaping and gardens.
We discovered when we arrived at the beach that a bonfire was going and cast members were on hand with sticks and unlimited marshmallows for everyone. They are there every night at 7:30 to 8:30 at all the resorts.
We watched the sun set while roasting them and enjoyed the beach lounge chairs at the invitation of the cast members. My daughter and grandson posed for me against the night sky as we waited for the next event!
You can see it from the beach but I walked out the the dock to see the Disney Electrical Parade. It glided across the lagoon at 9:00 for the
enjoyment of all. Each section lit up as it passed by. There were quite a few sea creatures featured
and gasps of surprise and oohing and aahing were heard from all. A special tribute to America ended the parade. It was glorious.
Following the parade at 10:00
we saw Tinkerbell slide down the castle tower and the fireworks "Wishes" show began.
Even from across the lagoon they were fantastic!
The show is about fifteen minutes of spectacular fireworks in unusual shapes as well as the traditional fiery color bursts.
Following the show we bought pineapple ice cream at the Pineapple Lanai. I recommend it highly but next time I will share, the portion is very generous! I also would choose the mixture of pineapple and vanilla ice cream. They also serve it in tall glasses floating in pineapple juice!
Later we took the little shuttle boat over to the Magic Kingdom and back to the resort.
It was beautiful to enjoy the lagoon by moonlight, and
a perfect end to the evening.
As we left for our condo near Disney World late that night, we saw the tired hotel guests coming back from the parks on the monorail and trudging back to their rooms, having missed the relaxed evening at the Polynesian Resort we enjoyed. All for free except our ice cream dessert!
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