Trip report

#1

Let me preface this by saying, any negative experiences we had at WDW over our trip is not going to deter us from returning early 2006. It will help us prepare better, and those experiences gave us great perspective on the some of the discussions here. We have already started planning a spring trip. However, there were some very disturbing things, IMO, Disney should address, and some others, which I realize Disney has no control over, and are simply personal biases on our part, that impacted our trip in a negative way.

The Cast

Curtis-Yeah, it’s me
DW-Beth
DD-Lexi(age 6)

I am going to structure our report by park, since we moved from park to park, each day, not staying a single day, at any one park. This was done by design, by the way. I’ll grade each thing we did, from 1-10, and if the score is particularly high, or low, I’ll offer some comment. The score is sort of a combo of what I, my DW, and most importantly, my DD thought of them. I opted not to add all the mundane details of each day, and hit the highlights.

Magic Kingdom

What we did-Buzz Lightyear(7), Carousel of Progress(8), Cinderella’s carousel(7), Country Bear Jamboree(3), Dumbo the Flying Elephant(7), The Haunted Mansion(2), Mad Tea Party(7), Snow White’s Scary Adventure(7), Space Mountain(8), Wishes(8), Spectromagic(9), Dream Come True Parade(9).

Where we ate-Flame Tree BBQ(7)

Comments-My DD loved the parades, and fireworks. They were a lot of fun. The Haunted Mansion was a hour of our lives we’ll never get back. Overall Magic Kingdom was the best of all the parks. For us, the atmosphere is what Disney means to us. After starting our trip at Epcot, I was very thankful to get to Magic Kingdom. If there is “magic” to be had, for us MK is where it’s at.

Epcot

What we did-Ice Station Cool(1), Honey, I Shrunk the Audience(1), Test Track(9), Illuminations(10), World Showcase(7), The Land(5), The Living Seas(5), Innoventions(3)

Where we ate-Liberty Inn/Yakatori House/Yorkshire Fish Shop(8), Sunshine Season Food Fair(5)

Comments-We were very disappointed in Epcot, Future World. Aside from Test Track, which was a lot of fun, we just weren’t feeling Epcot. We walked World Showcase, the night we watched Illuminations, and enjoyed it much more. The food was tasty, and the feel was more fun for us. Once again, it felt more like Disney to us.

Animal Kingdom

What we did-Camp Minnie Mickey(10), Dinosaur(9), Flights of Wonder(7), Kali River Rapids(7), Kilimanjaro Safari(8), Triceratops Spin(7), The Oasis(8), Festival of the Lion King(9), The Tree of Life and Trails(8).

Where we ate-Tusker House Breakfast(7), Flame Tree BBQ(8).

Comments-Aside from MK, AK was our family’s favorite park, by far. Camp Minnie Mickey was great for DD, because she met so many characters, and she loved Dinosaur. The Festival of the Lion King was very cool, and really there was nothing disappointing, about this park. I wish we had been able to see it another day.

MGM Sutdios

What we did-Beauty and the Beast(9), Playhouse Disney(8), Tower of Terror(10), Stars and Cars Parade(9)

Where we ate-Backlot Express(8)

Comments-It’s unfair to grade MGM, because it wasn’t a full day. The day were were at MGM, it was a total downpour, almost the entire afternoon, and made it impossible to enjoy the rest of the day, so we just headed back to our room. Doing the rest of MGM is our top priority on our next trip, because what we did get to do, was a lot of fun, especially my DD’s favorite, the ToT.

Downtown Disney

What we did-We shopped, silly!(10)

Where we ate-Planet HollyWood(10)

Comments-We really loved Downtown Disney, mainly because we love to shop…lol. We were able to get our DD’s best friend a GOH Badge, for her upcoming WDW trip, and so much stuff, for our soon to be Disney Bathroom, not to mention presents for all our family. Totally rewarding experience. Eating a Planet Hollywood was great. I love all the movie memorabilia, and the LA Lasagna, and DW’s Fajitas were super good. Even my DD’s chicken strips, which were hand breaded in Panko, were great. It started pouring while we were there, and we were able to spend the time, at DisneyQuest, which was fun. Next time we go back, my in-laws are going, so my DW and I will get to experience more of the adult part, which we are looking very forward to.

The water parks

Blizzard Beach(2), Typhoon Lagoon(2)

Comments-Completely underwhelmed by the water parks. Slapping Disney in front of the name, doesn’t excuse them from being just water parks. Lines were insane, and the slides weren’t as rewarding as we hoped. Half a day, that could have been better spent elsewhere. Won’t bother on the return trip.

Boardwalk

What we did-Ate at ESPN Club(9), walked the Boardwalk and looked around the resort(2)

Comments-The food and more importantly the atmosphere at ESPN Club was a lot of fun. Great wings, great sanwiches, great service, and very immersive experience for a sport fan. Did some good shopping there as well. The rest of the Boardwalk was pretty nice, but the nasty looks we got, from the Boardwalk guests, and we looked around the resort, ruined that part. Let me point out now, and I will again. I would never stay at one of those more expensive resorts, after going through several on this trip. Never. I have no desire to spend a week, rooming around such pretentious folks. Most of them probably don’t make as much as I do, but they sure wanted me to think they did…lol.

Our Resort-We stayed at All Star movies, and were very pleased. It felt like a Disney resort, whereas, the others we went to, for either a CM, or whatever, lacked that, and I was thankful, we didn’t blow the cash on a more expensive resort. I don’t think my DD’s birthday would have been as magical, if she didn’t walk out, under the Herbie every morning. The staff was polite and helpful, and aside from one luggage service worker, who should be terminated(will explain in a moment), we had nothing negative about our resort. We ate at the food court a couple of times for Breakfast, and lunch, and were always happy with the quality of food, as well as the prices. We had the re-fillable mugs, and used them a lot. Nice value. The other guests at the resort were never a source of distraction or frustration. We had pizza delivered to the room, the evening of the gullywashing storm, and it was great. We just sat together and ate, and talked about our trip, with no distractions, or rude folks. Very relaxing.

My one beef with the resort. One CM, who worked in the luggage department, dropped my carry on bag, as it was being loaded into the limo on the way home, and I saw her from the lobby, as I was getting my family out the door. Everything dumped out, and she scurried to get it all wedged back in. When I asked her, she lied and said she didn’t drop anything. I told her, I watched it happen, and at that point, she feigned a lack of understanding of the English language. That kind of thing makes me really sick. Well, low and behold, we get home, and some of our souveniers were broken, from when she dropped it. I called the resort, and they assured me, they would send us replacements, and they would speak with the CM.

Other Stuff-

Character meals/experiences-The strength of this trip, was my DD’s character interaction. The GOH badge worked great, as more than half of her 15 or so autographs were personalized to her, because of it, and I’d say half of the CM’s who spoke with her, called her by name. The Character Meal at Cape May Café, we give a big 10. The characters(Minnie, Goofy, Chip/Dale) all came by at least 4 times during our meal, and Goofy sat with here, for several minutes, while she talked to him. Chip and Dale are her absolute favorites, and she was able to get some quality time with them, 3 separate times. First, at MK, then at the MK Parade, and finally at the character meal, and she was in heaven, and she just knew they remembered here, and that’s why they kept coming around. The character meet and greets at AK were awesome also. I can’t wait to get the pictures back, and put get them online. Character interaction at MK was sketchy, but AK more than made up for that. MGM, we didn’t get to do much, because of the weather.

Our flights-A total nightmare. Our flight from KC, to DFW was late, and made us miss our connecting flight, to Orlando, and we were stuck in DFW for 2 extra hours. Our flight our of Orlando, was delayed nearly 2 hours, and there was no connecting flight, our of O’Hare, that late, so were had to overnight in Chicago. It totally stunk, but we will never use that airline again.

Our transportation-StarTours was great. We called them, from DFW, and told them we’d be late, and our driver was there, with the Towncar waiting for us. He was as nice as could be. On the other end, when they picked us up, for go back to the airport, they sent a limo, and that was great. Prompt, helpful, and overall a great experience.

The buses at the park were also great. Maybe we just got lucky, but it seemed we always caught the buses just in time, and had very little waits. Most of the CM’s were fun and personable, and one girl in particular, Alisha, saved our vacation. We had a PS for 9:10 at Cape May Café, and took a bud to Epcot, to catch the boat, to the Beach Club. Well, we had the wrong day, and the park wasn’t open(thought it was the EMH day). We were sunk. We stopped at Alisha’s bus, and asked her advice, and told her our problem. She hopped on the radio, explained it to her supervisor, and boom, she turned her light to special, and drove us straight to the Beach Club, so we got our table. Thank you Alisha. You saved these lost travelers from Kansas.

My spot to vent-

I was really disappointed too see how many grown men and women, seemed to lose all sense of manners, once they passed through the doors of those parks. They wonder why their kids act out, when they have zero consideration for other travelers. I have always been a polite person, perhaps overly polite, and Disney should offer classes on park etiquette, before folks are allowed in the park, and where you stay, or how much money you have, shouldn’t have any bearing on whether or not they have to go.

Also, if you are going to be rude, and I decide to call you out on it, please don’t pretend you suddenly don’t speak English. It makes you look stupid, and you aren’t fooling anyone.

Also, an open letter to any potential Disney travelers, don’t confuse being fat and lazy, with being handicapped. I can’t tell you how many times, I have the backs of my legs run up on, by those motorized scooters, only to turn around and see either a big fat person, or a parent, and their kid, out for a little ride. I blame Disney firmly for this, and there should be some sort of rules governing who can and who cannot have those things. We wonder why America is getting fatter.

I will again touch on how rude many of the guests at the resorts were, we visited. The attitude we saw was pretty evident. I got a big kick out of the little glances at my family and I, got when we came through a resort. There was one guy in particular, with his cell phone nailed to his head(another huge pet peeve of mine, from this trip), who gave me this sort of up and down look, at the Boardwalk, as if to say, “why are you here”. The amount of pretentious guests wasn’t excessive, but there were enough to make it frustrating.

There was also a mention, on another thread about foreign guests. Let me say this much. Of all the guests I encountered, the majority were not from the United States. It felt great to run into a family from United States, I could talk to. No offense to the diverse cultural population at WDW, but for us, it was excessive, and a little overwhelming at times. I am not saying they were any better or worse, but the language barrier was very frustrating at times, especially when I didn’t believe for one minute, it existed.

Overall, the trip, for my DD, was awesome. She was almost completely oblivious to the negative things I mentioned above, and I was glad. She got to meet almost every character she wanted, and rode all the rides she wanted. This trip was for her, not my DW and I, and we tailored the experience to her. We will go back, and we’ll be better prepared to deal with the things we didn’t like, as well as the things we did.

#2

I am not really sure how to respond!! I am glad your daughter had such a good time!!! I wish your experience, personally, was better!!

One comment about the man on the boardwalk!!! Never let someone who looks at you that way make you feel inferior!!! No one is inferior and they have no right to make you feel as such!!!

I hope your next trip is a more positive experience!!!

#3

Like I said on the other thread,I take exception to your don’t confuse being fat and lazy,etc,remark. I think it was un-called for. You don’t know the reasons for these people’s situation,and for you to make the remark you did wasn’t too nice.(BTW,I am a large person,so I guess I take remarks like that personally).

#4

I agree with your comment about the motorized scooters. Although I have to also add wheelchairs to the mix. If I could only count how many times I have seen a family with someone in a wheelchair waiting to board a ride, and then later seen the same family at a different ride with a different person in the wheelchair! Using a wheelchair to get a quicker entry onto the ride…pretty sad!

#5

Curtis -

I found your trip report refreshingly honest. I can understand many of your points. I hhave had an expericne or two with rude guests who I hear speak English and then suddenly forget it when I call them on their rudeness. It is frustrating. I love the multi-cultural environment, but like everywhere else, there are rude people. Now, I do not like the fact that people use the scooters to jump in line. I have seen the same thing and it frustrates me. I’m not talking about people who are using it for reasons that are legit. I am talking about families who alternate using it. It upsets me to see them jump ahead in line when not one of them need the wheelchair or scooter. Thanks for sharing your report. I am glad to see you are going back and are going to use your experinces this trip to make the next one better. Oh one more thing. There are pretentious people everywhere. When the man looked you up and down and stared at you like that, you should have done something obnoxious like he was. I dispise cell phones and the people who take them everywhere and have conversations for all to hear. They are great for emergency situations or for tracking your party in the parks…but other than that…I just don’t have that much to say to anyone…lol I had to laugh at your “manners lessons” you suggested. I only wish that WDW had something like that…many guests need them. Again, thanks for the report. I enjoyed reading it.

#6

I’m right there with ya, Curtis. My 9 year old DS was literally RUN OVER last year by a very big person on one of those scooters! She hurt him and made him spill his ($8 a pound, a-hem) jelly beans. Then, to add insult to injury, she yelled at him!

It sounds like you had a good time. We really like AK, too, but MK does have a certain magic!

#7

My good friend is a CM at Indy/Sounds Dangerous in MGM. Her foot was run over by one of the scooters, holding a very large person, and it broke several bones in her foot!! Not only did she have to leave work that day, she was put on light duty for several days which basically was sitting in the office all day. The woman on the scooter told her that if she hadn’t stepped in her way, her foot would not be hurt now. The woman didn’t offer an apology and didn’t even stay around til Disney Security got there, she just motored off! As a CM myself, I hate when this happens. I’m honest about when we use the scooters (or wheelchairs!)- my grandmother is 82 and she loves Disney World, she just can’t walk around the entire park. I understand if you really need them- but just cause you’re overweight?? When I was on my program, my roomie was overweight, she got a wheelchair while she was in the park one day, and she got pushed around. :dry: Luckily I was not there for that to happen!

This is my other gripe in ways of the wheelchair battle. I understand the concept of strollers for young children. That’s useful, I understand, but it’s not cute for anyone in the crowd when parents let their kids push the strollers around. I can’t count the ammount of times when I was working that I was hit by a kid pushing a stroller. Maybe that’s just me! Sorry, not trying to upset any parents or anything…

#8

No offense, but take all the exception you want. If you aren’t one of those folks, abusing the scooters and wheelchairs, you have no reason to. maybe you are, I don’t know.

I watched enough folks swap seats in their wheelchairs and scooters, with other people in their groups, jumping out of the chair, to get on rides after they got through the line, in the handicapped access, adults letting their kids push them around, and running into people, wasting time on the buses, to speak my peace. By the way, I am 280, and I walked around 11 miles a day, at Disney, per my pedometer, and never once did I think I needed a wheelchair or scooter, to give me a break. I wasn’t indicting an entire population, but there was heavy abuse of the chairs/scooters, at WDW.

#9

Thanks, Dana. I hope no one misunderstands me, about our trip. Watching my DD walk through the parks(in particular MK), was the best feeling in the world. There were countless times, when we were meeting characters, at the parades, on rides, at the fireworks, where the look of awe and excitement on her face, made me want to cry. It gets me choked up, just recalling it. When she would just walk up to us, out of the blue and give myself or my DW a big hug, and remind us, this was the best birthday ever, it made all of the negative things meaningless. I brought them up, only as a point of reference. If my DD hadn’t had the time she had, those things I brought up, would have mattered much much more, but she was essentially oblivious to it all, so in the big picture it didn’t even matter.

Thanks for the comments everyone…

#10

Curtis -
I defintely did not misunderstand your meaning. Your trip report stated MANY positive aspects of your trip. You also stated you are going to learn to plan better to avoid the negative things that unfortunately do happen. You didn’t let them consume you.

Alma - Curtis wasn’t calling you out. You and I both know of the abuses of the wheelchairs in the parks. Unfortunately, some of the people who do this are overweight while the others are just rude. Of course you can look at a person and tell if they need a EVC, but when I see that person a half hour later walking and someone else in the chair…well it makes me a bit angry. I think this is what Curtis was referring to. Weight should not be a reason to use a wheelchair. That was his point. I hate that you got your feelings hurt. I don’t think that was his intention at all. :heart:

#11

Any particular nationality involved here, or just foreigners in general?

What was so bad about Haunted Mansion that you only gave it 2/10? I know it’s not as good as the Paris version but most people seem to love it. I’m interested to know what your problem was.

#12

I too enjoyed your report. I do have to say that I agree with mickaholic and that just b/c someone is “fat” does not mean that they are using a special chair b/c they are lazy. Different illnesses affect peoples bodies differently and it is not nice to judge. I do agree that anyone using a special device, and those that are healthy need to be kind and polite to each other and ramming people in the back of the knees is very rude no matter what your size.

Also, I thourghly enjoy meeting people from different parts of the world and I espically love that WDW is a great place to do this. To learn about other parts of the world and to hear what others think of our little spot in the world. Kinda puts things in perspective sometimes.

That is horrible what the CM did with your suitcase. I hope that the resort does in fact replace your broken items. Please keep us posted.

I am glad that you and your family had a wonderful time and I am glad you are going back.

Thanks for the TR.

Lisa

P.S. I just wanted to re-post this here with this one edit. I did not realize that the person in the wheelchair was switching with others so that they can jump in line. I DO find that extemely rude and horrible.

#13

Two different nationalities actually.

As for the Haunted Mansion, we thought it was just dull. Maybe it was because we rode it toward the end of the trip, after so many more exciting rides, but considering how long we had to wait to get on, there just wasn’t much happening.

#14

Your report was interesting. I’m glad your little girl had such an enjoyable time. hI do find myself agreeing with LisalovesMickey. WDW is such a wonderful place to enjoy so many different experiences and culture. It can be intimidating to people who are not used to travelling to different countries. I can understand that. You felt offended and hurt at the “Deluxe Resort guest” giving you perceived “once over” and judging you. Perhaps the people you’ve judged feel the same way. After all - we’re all foreigners outside of our own country. And I wish I was Elle McPherson. Hope I haven’t offended you - but tolerance is great word. (I agree that rudeness and wheelchair switching is unacceptable.)

#15

I’d be interested to know exactly what nationalities they were. Care to share that with us?

#16

Who did I judge? The folks who faked not understanding english, after they ran into my legs with their scooter, they had no business having in the first place? You are too funny. Read what I wrote, and comment on it, rather than taking my words out of context to get on your soapbox, please. I have no problem, with cultural diversity, but using your culture as a tool to act like a fool, doesn’t fly with me. You don’t agree, fine, but IMO, it’s sad if you do.

#17

Not really, only because I am in no mood for a sermon, from any of the self-righteous, or any flaming from anyone here, of those nationalities. Where you from T, I’ll let you know if you can rule your nationality out. :wink:

#18

Curtis,you’re getting a bit nasty here. Why are you so defensive?

#19

Well like it says on my profile, I’m from England. Flaming’s not my thing, but I think it would be interesting to know which two nationalities have incurred your displeasure. In for a penny in for a pound as we foreigners say. Spill the beans! :wink:

#20

Not the English, that’s for sure…lol. There were actually several English families at our resort, and they were nice as could be.

As for the beans, let me think about it…lol.