A Midsummer Night's Polynesian Dream
When we arrived in Walt Disney World on our first night in May, the parks were all already closed. It was only 10 pm. I would not stand for that, so I took a convoluted string of buses to the Contemporary (why oh why did I not take a taxi?!). When I got to the Contemporary, I began taking photos immediately. I figured the monorail would probably not be operating for much longer, and to get to the Grand Floridian and Polynesian before it stopped, I’d need to be quick. I spent about 10 minutes taking photos, then headed up to the monorail. It was closed already.
At that moment, I paused, and was overcome with the feeling I had made a huge mistake. If the monorail wasn’t running, did that mean buses back to Downtown Disney weren’t running? Would I be stranded there (a taxi still hadn’t crossed my mind at this point)?! I thought I had heard that the last bus to Pleasure Island leaves the resorts at 1 am, and the last bus from Pleasure Island to the resorts leaves at 2 am, but now I was doubting that. I walked briskly (something that would become a common theme of this trip) to the concierge desk, and asked about the buses. Sure enough, I was right about the 1 am time. Phew. Then, I realized I had no way to get to the Polynesian besides going back to Pleasure Island and repeating the previous steps! Wait a second, I thought, the bus that dropped me off also made a stop at the Polynesian, and the Contemporary was the first stop on that loop. It thus stood to reason that if I boarded the Downtown Disney bus, it would stop at the Polynesian before the Contemporary. At least I thought that was right, I was so tired at this point that I was basically moving around on auto-pilot.
When the Downtown Disney bus arrived, I asked the bus driver if he stopped at the Polynesian before returning to Downtown Disney. I’d like to claim this was a rhetorical question, but it wasn’t. When he said, “I will for you!” I responded, “REALLY?! Thanks!” To which he laughed and said that he always stopped at the Polynesian after the Contemporary. I immediately turned and saw a bus half-full of people and realized that should have been a pretty good indicator of this. Like I said, I was really tired.
I didn’t even really know what I might photograph at the Polynesian. I just really wanted to visit the place on our first night. Even though we’ve never stayed there, and probably won’t be able to afford to do so anytime in the foreseeable future, it is without question my favorite resort. From the beautiful tropical plants to the fragrant smell of the lobby to the signage all around the resort that really screams “Vacation Kingdom of the World” the Polynesian seems to have it all. Tired as I was, walking around that beautiful and lush resort was like being a part of a waking dream.