Beth's Annual Me, Mom & Sister Trip 2013


#1

Got back last night. This one was a doosy! Totally awesome things happened, and one incident that has put such a sour taste in my mouth with a certain disney resort, that I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stay there again. And to be honest, has put a shadow on my love for Disney. I’m not quite sure how much detail I’m going to go into, as the incident involved my Mom and out of respect for her, I probably will be quite brief, but I can assure you the night Manager of Villas of Wilderness Lodge is dispicable!

Probably won’t start report right away, as I do like to include photos, but right now, they are “stuck” on my camera phone, as it’s misbehaving, and I can’t get them off the phone. So, as soon as I get that figured out, I’ll start.

But, I can say the weather was perfect! Crowds were horrible for October. One Cast Member was talking to a guest at Pirates saying Disney was trying to figure out why it was like Christmas crowds (they extended Magic Kingdom to 3am one night!) I picked this time of year for easier scooter maneuvering for my Mom. Didn’t work. People were very nice for the majority of the trip…there’s always that one self centered idiot (that I told would have bad karma the rest of the day for his attitude!) But, there was still a lot of giggling and fun to be had.

I did want to mention, for those who didn’t get picked for testing Magicbands, we really got the raw end of the deal during this transition. We never got any fastpasses. As I mentioned on another thread, they were always either gone, or so many hours in advance (8 hours) that it didn’t work for us. For example, we got to Epcot at 9:14am. We walked directly to Sorin, where Fastpasses were already at a return time for 4pm! This was yesterday, so we had to catch Magical Express at 3:30pm, so we got in line, as to not miss it. By the time we rode the ride and walked out, Fastpasses were totally gone. How in the world could they have gone through all of them that quick? Definitely not from the amount of people who were at Epcot that day, who were commited to being there. No, they got snatched up by everyone sleeping in, enjoying their meals somewhere else. I’m sure its a great perk for them, but we just got left in the dirt, and don’t feel Disney thought this through. Left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wonder how many others felt the same way. A simple fix of acknowledging that we weren’t on the same playing field as Fastpass+ and provide maybe a universal fastpass per day for us would have even things out. Nope, we just got left out!

Wow, I just reread my thread, and I have to say this is probably a little more negative than my usual trip reports. Sorry people, there are many good things to share with you also. Just want to get my photos fixed first, and I’ll share those with you soon.


#2

Can’t wait to hear all about your trip.


#3

Hope there was more positive then negative for you.


#4

Soarin’ I know EVERY trip we have been on, we do Akershush EARLY (hour or 2 before park opening). I will go look to see if I can get FP for Soarin. All but 1 trip, the FP machines were open and people eating breakfast in EPCOT were all getting FP’s. By the time the park even opened FP were well into 2hrs post opening. If you add early EMH, they will get deep into the day quick.


#5

No early morning emh. Park opened at 9am, and I’ve been to Disney enough to know the patterns with crowd sizes, etc. This was certainly out of the norm, along with all the other FP times. They were out of the norm for all days, all parks. Mind you, this is not a rant about poor me not getting on a ride. Its to acknowledge that a large group of people were misfortunate to miss out on Disney offerings to which I feel should have been corrected.


#6

that is odd this time of year…so MagicBands the cause plus crowd - that is an issue


#7

I keep reading here and other places how the crowds have been great at what used to be “off peak” times…this was the case with us our last visit. The value season when rates go down due to attendance was packed—POFQ was full and so were the parks. Not the worst we have seen (ie New Years Eve) but busy busy for a down time.

i don’t think there are any more true “slow” days anymore!!

I can’t wait to hear more about your trip. I’m sorry you had issues—that’s never good—but I hope that the positive far outweighed the negative.


#8

the first full and second week of October are now Fall breaks for several states - why do you think they block out discounts for then?


#9

Dana, my kids have Fall Break for two days around Columbus Day, but my wife (A teacher in another district) does not. If she did, we would certainly be there.


#10

[QUOTE=bethishooked;1139174]Got back last night. This one was a doosy! Totally awesome things happened, and one incident that has put such a sour taste in my mouth with a certain disney resort, that I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stay there again. And to be honest, has put a shadow on my love for Disney. I’m not quite sure how much detail I’m going to go into, as the incident involved my Mom and out of respect for her, I probably will be quite brief, but I can assure you the night Manager of Villas of Wilderness Lodge is dispicable!

Probably won’t start report right away, as I do like to include photos, but right now, they are “stuck” on my camera phone, as it’s misbehaving, and I can’t get them off the phone. So, as soon as I get that figured out, I’ll start.

But, I can say the weather was perfect! Crowds were horrible for October. One Cast Member was talking to a guest at Pirates saying Disney was trying to figure out why it was like Christmas crowds (they extended Magic Kingdom to 3am one night!) I picked this time of year for easier scooter maneuvering for my Mom. Didn’t work. People were very nice for the majority of the trip…there’s always that one self centered idiot (that I told would have bad karma the rest of the day for his attitude!) But, there was still a lot of giggling and fun to be had.

I did want to mention, for those who didn’t get picked for testing Magicbands, we really got the raw end of the deal during this transition. We never got any fastpasses. As I mentioned on another thread, they were always either gone, or so many hours in advance (8 hours) that it didn’t work for us. For example, we got to Epcot at 9:14am. We walked directly to Sorin, where Fastpasses were already at a return time for 4pm! This was yesterday, so we had to catch Magical Express at 3:30pm, so we got in line, as to not miss it. By the time we rode the ride and walked out, Fastpasses were totally gone. How in the world could they have gone through all of them that quick? Definitely not from the amount of people who were at Epcot that day, who were commited to being there. No, they got snatched up by everyone sleeping in, enjoying their meals somewhere else. I’m sure its a great perk for them, but we just got left in the dirt, and don’t feel Disney thought this through. Left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wonder how many others felt the same way. A simple fix of acknowledging that we weren’t on the same playing field as Fastpass+ and provide maybe a universal fastpass per day for us would have even things out. Nope, we just got left out!

Wow, I just reread my thread, and I have to say this is probably a little more negative than my usual trip reports. Sorry people, there are many good things to share with you also. Just want to get my photos fixed first, and I’ll share those with you soon.[/QUOTE]

Beth, did you ever see a kiosk to get a FP+? I was reading on another board about kiosks that were available, but I didn’t see them! All the times that I asked about FP and was told only FP+ was available! Nothing was said about a kiosk!?

Sorry you had other issues during your trip! I’m looking forward to your TR!


#11

Mmmm. Not happy about all the less-than-magical stuff. Looking forward to the TR!


#12

I’ll be eagerly awaiting your report Beth - and I’m so sorry that you ran into bad luck and such unpleasantness! Please don’t apologize for giving us your experience. Not everything is “magical” at WDW. Circumstances happen. Although I have to admit that we didn’t suffer any effects from the Magic Bands (Sept. was much slower than Oct. sounds), it’s good to hear everyone’s views. I’m still skeptical about them myself.


#13

[QUOTE=FairyGranmama;1139189]Beth, did you ever see a kiosk to get a FP+? I was reading on another board about kiosks that were available, but I didn’t see them! All the times that I asked about FP and was told only FP+ was available! Nothing was said about a kiosk!?

Sorry you had other issues during your trip! I’m looking forward to your TR![/QUOTE]

I was told there was one in each “land” at Magic Kingdom and I NEVER seen them and I looked! I have no idea.


#14

I didn’t see them either. I was also kind of keeping an eye out for them, even though we didn’t qualify to use them, as my curiousity was up. But, I never saw one.


#15

Okay…Let’s get this started (and yes, I was finally able to get my photos off my phone. I believe I’m showing my age here, as my DS’s girlfriend had to help me with it!)

We left Chicago Midway on Saturday morning, arriving to MCO a bit after 11:00am. Smooth flight, which is always a good thing! As we got down on the lower level to head towards ME, you could see in the distance massive crowds. I’m thinking, no…it can’t all be for ME. Yup! We usually arrive on Sundays and we always just walk up to ME, stand in line for maybe 10 minutes and off we go. Not the same process for Saturdays. Massive amounts of people, to which it took us over an hour to get on a bus. In my normal chatty fashion, I started talking with a gentleman who was directing the flow of people. I asked if this was the norm for Saturdays. He said for Southwest alone, they have 40 flights arrive within a 2 hour span around this time. He pointed over the crowds and said “I have to get 11,000 people through these doors over that 2 hour span.” I’m thinking, hmmmmm…could this be a sign for bad crowds at Disney. That answer would be YES!


#16

Ouch, that’s a lot of people. We usually travel the first half of week depending on fares and find like you, wait 10 - 15 mins and get on bus.

Note to self, never travel to disney on saturday.


#17

[QUOTE=bethishooked;1139216]Okay…Let’s get this started (and yes, I was finally able to get my photos off my phone. I believe I’m showing my age here, as my DS’s girlfriend had to help me with it!)

We left Chicago Midway on Saturday morning, arriving to MCO a bit after 11:00am. Smooth flight, which is always a good thing! As we got down on the lower level to head towards ME, you could see in the distance massive crowds. I’m thinking, no…it can’t all be for ME. Yup! We usually arrive on Sundays and we always just walk up to ME, stand in line for maybe 10 minutes and off we go. Not the same process for Saturdays. Massive amounts of people, to which it took us over an hour to get on a bus. In my normal chatty fashion, I started talking with a gentleman who was directing the flow of people. I asked if this was the norm for Saturdays. He said for Southwest alone, they have 40 flights arrive within a 2 hour span around this time. He pointed over the crowds and said “I have to get 11,000 people through these doors over that 2 hour span.” I’m thinking, hmmmmm…could this be a sign for bad crowds at Disney. That answer would be YES![/QUOTE]

Wow…we usually arrive on Saturday mornings to no line no crowds downstairs at ME! We are usually on United and arrive mid morning but again…times do change…


#18

Finally got on a bus. It was actually not bad at all with the wait for ME, as we were surrounded by really nice people/families. I starting chatting with one family who had never been, so giving some tips, etc. and then others joined in the conversation. So, as we go throughout my trip report, and I know I will probably be mentioning how crowded it was more than once, overall the masses of people were great…friendly and happy.

We were the first stop, at Villas of Wilderness Lodge. This was my first stay here, and definitely beautiful. Very pleased that our room was ready, as it’s always nice to settle in before heading out to the parks. We decided once organized to head on out to MK for our first park. This is one perk I definitely like about VWL is the boat. So much easier for Mom to get on that with her scooter (for buses, she is very nervous about loading it on the bus, so I’m the official bus loader). The crew member was awesome! Chatted with us, giving a lot of history about the waterway, etc.

Here we are on our first of many boat rides to MK. Oh, I should add that we had an addition to our annual Me, Mom and Sister trip. That’s my Aunt Lois! We invited her to be my Mom’s traveling buddy! It was great to have her with us!


#19

Arrived at MK, kind of in a state of shock. Honestly, I know it was Columbus Day weekend, so I did forewarn everyone that the weekend would be crowded and probably die off by Monday, as when doing my research, I kept reading that FL, GA and the East don’t get days off of school, and I know our parts, they only get Monday off. Well, it was really, really hard to get around, especially with a scooter. But, we managed and got on our first ride, the People Mover. This is one of my Mom’s favorite rides, so when we finished, I asked the CM if we could stay on it one more time, as with Mom and her cane, it would be hard to get off and then get back in line. He was so sweet. Addressing my Mom “Honey, you can stay on this ride for as long as you want.” That’s the Disney I love! Just as we were finishing up in tomorrowland, a dance party broke out with Goofy, Pluto and Stitch dancing in the streets. We had so much fun with that. Stitch came over and started dancing with Mom (while on her scooter of course!) It was too cute, seeing her giggling. I have a video of it. Not posting it though as it didn’t transfer too well to my computer, video kind of jumping and I can’t get sound (I know, I have to learn to figure that out too!) Besides, she would probably ring my neck if I put that on for everyone to see!!!

Made our way around MK. Over time we started hearing rumors that they extended the hours to 3am! That would have been fun to be in the park at those hours, but with it being a travel day, we decided to call it a night at a reasonable time.

Here’s Aunt Lois, and then my Mom and Sister, enjoying some quiet time on the riverboat ferry. Did I mention the weather was perfect? It was. Mid 80’s, light fluffy clouds with a gentle breeze. You can kind of see it in the pictures that everyone was enjoying the day!


#20

Sunday, October 13th - Animal Kingdom Day! This is one of my favorite parks. We got there in the morning, just after opening, headed on over to Safari, to which was already at 65 minutes so headed over to FP with a return time of 2:35pm already. No problem, plenty of things to do (including shopping, to which my Mom and Aunt Lois loved!) Made our way over to Festival of the Lion King. Tears in my eyes every time I see this show! We had good seats, and one of my highlights of the trip was one of the main singers, the big dude with the deep singing voice (I know, I should know his name, but it’s escaping me at this moment!) came up to me and grabbed my hand and winked at me. Totally awstruck!

We ate at Flametree BBQ and then headed for safari. There’s a new baby giraffe that is just getting use to the busses, so for now, they are not allowed to stop and look in the giraffe area. So, here’s a picture of the baby. Not the best picture, but we were moving when I snapped it. I also misbehaved in that after safari, I asked my Sister and Aunt if they would be interested in Dinosaur, telling them that it’s definitely bouncier than safari, and loud. Well, I guess I didn’t explain it well enough, as they kept teasing me that I tricked them into the ride, and that they probably wouldn’t have gone if they knew what they were in for!