Marceline
Disneyland® Paris discovered
Disneyland Paris phased re-opening from 15th July 2020. See the latest official updates
ADVERTISEMENT - LOGIN OR REGISTER TO HIDE

Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November

Author Topic: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November  (Read 2789 times)

Malin

  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • ****
  • Posts: 483
Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« on: December 05, 2008, 02:07:36 AM »
Day 1 Arrival
16th of November 2008

We left Gatwick Airport on the fully booked Virgin Atlantic flight to Orlando Florida. Flight time was a short 8 hrs and 50 mins.

Upon arriving at Orlando in the Afternoon, it took another 15 minutes to leave the plane due to how slow people in the front are at walking off a plane. Thank god there was no emergency as we would of never all made it of the plane in quick time. Once leaving the plane I quickly passed by all the people that held me up previously and took my line at US Immigration. Trust me to pick the one line and the one person that was not only slow but did everything by the book. After seeing people who had boarded other lines after me already though and constantly seeing my lugage spin round and around I decided to join another line with a shorter wait and was though in quick time, but I think it was very poor that the whole leaving the plane and entering though US Immigration process took an entire hour. It also wouldn't hurt for some of these people to smile after all I will be spending money which will help benefit the State of Florida, how about a warmer welcome.

After collecting my lugage and clearing customs I was asked to put my case on another belt which would transfer it straight over to the other side of the Airport while I take a tram over. If I had known I would be waiting another 30 mins for my lugage to turn up I would have instead just taken it with me.

Meeting up with a rep I was transfered over to a Mears driver who helped load my lugage. A few other people were going to be riding with us, which was alright but I had a ticket already for Mickey's Christmas Party at the MK and did not want to be late, but luckily the driver was dropping me of at Disney's Pop Century first.

After tipping the driver I walked though the entrance to the Pop Century with Castmembers greeting me and welcoming me home. Towards the lobby which was rather impressive to look at, I spotted what seem like about 20 Castmembers in a group just talking and standing around with nothing to do. I was directed to reception and was checked in by a guy called Michael who was difficult to understand and not exactly full of excitment. After a few minutes of handing over my details I was given a map of the Hotel complex and shown my room, which would be in the Baloo buiding. Very easy building to find really as who could miss a 4 story high Baloo. Room was facing a lake offering some very nice views.

After spending a few minutes getting ready I was out the door down towards the buses. A few people were already in line waiting for a Magic Kingdom bus. I estimate it took about 15 minutes to turn up and the line behind me had already filled up passed the barriers. Also not everyone was able to get on, and so I'm sure some would of probarely had to wait another 15 - 20 minutes. This just proves how badly built WDW really is with everything so spaced out and it feels like you spend half your time either in line for a bus or on a bus packed in like a sardine. After 17 minutes on the bus we arrived at the gates to the Magic Kingdom, which makes a change to usually being dropped off at the Ticket and Transportation Centre, this was the first pro to staying on site as a guest.

Reaching the turnstiles I found absolute mayhem. Guest in front of me had asked a CastMember quite clearly if there could just go in and have a look, as there had tickets to the event on Wednesday, to which he said yes. I really don't no who was more stupid the CastMember for saying yes or the Guest for thinking he could go into a ticketed event to just look around. But he was denied access as I just walked passed laughing at how the incident could of been avoided had the CastMember been bother to listen to the guest properely, but this is WDW and no one cares what the guest has to say unless there are spending money, a fact I would encounter many times on my trip.

Crossing the turnstlies I had to wait in a mass of people who had formed waiting to collect there wrist bands. Its times like this where you notice just how annoying guest at WDW can be, as no one bothers to keep there groups together. So people were being called from the back to come forward.

I was impressed with all the lightening done for tonights event, especially with the Castle which was a jaw dropping moment. Not only did the lights look beautiful on the castle but the regular Castle lighting display gave it a extra wow moment. One minute it would be blue, next purple and than pink.

I decided to catch the first showing of Celebrate the Season, and took a spot in front of the castle. There appears to be a bit of confusion also on if you stand or sit, during this show as the Castmember says no rules are in place but some guest were screaming for others to sit down during the show, but in another showing everyone stood, so I'd be interested to know what the official rules regarding this are!

While waiting for the show to start a Castmember came along and insisted on seeing everyones wrist band, until he spotted what appeared to be two Imagineers in the front row and made a quick dash to them forgetting to check everyone else band, so he could do some sucking up to these two men.

Celebrate the Season I thought from a first time viewing, was a very cute character show, with plenty of performers and characters. Top marks on this as I enjoyed it a lot.

Than came my first encounter but not the last on how out of touch operations are at WDW, as I tried to leave the Castle fourcourt area with the Parade minutes to go and people blocking the path's. After fighting my way though the crowd I walked over to the Haunted Mansion to check it out after its refurbishment. It was great to see everything on this attraction working and in great condition, also the new effects were ok, but during the floating Leota effect you can clearly see the wires.

I than walked over to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland soaking up the atsmophere and seeing what was available. Its A Small Would was opened so I decided to do that one next. Wow I was not aware just how little leg room is given when given the front row on this attraction, it actually made for a uncomfortable journey. Good ride with nothing really looking to badly neglected, but the attraction could do with a bit of a clean up in the docking area on your journey back in as it was covered in dust.

I had heard about the free hot chocolate and cookies which sadly seems to be a real highlight for many guest when I over heard some telling other guest about the party's later during the trip. The use of attractions and free hot chocolate and cookies were always mention while the fireworks and other entertainment which I personally enjoyed didn't get talked about. Which made me think why do Disney bother with this sort of form of entertainement when a small minority of people don't apreciate it. Why not just roll out free cookies every night.

As for the cookies I found them to be very sweet, for my liking but it was a nice added treat for the price. I took my spot along Main Street for the Fireworks and I had the unfortunate pleasure of standing next to a couple who are the sort of guest that will talk not only out loud, but though out the entire show. What was even more comical was this couple than had a full scale dispute at the end because she had not bothered to look at the final shells exploding. Two very annoying and stupid people and there are well suited together, and I was glad to see the back of them.

Made time to check out POTC, and was disapointed to find the Davy Jones effect not working. You could hear him and see the smoke screen, but sadly no image, this effect remained broken during my whole trip.

Made my way over to Main Street to catch a spot for the next parade. Nice parade but most of the floats I have seen before in other parades the park has done.

Feeling exhausted I left the park and ran to catch the next bus which was just arriving. The Bus Driver on the journey back was great fun cracking jokes and getting everyone to sing along. He was one of the very few that not only enjoyed his job but was also good at it. Sadly finding more CastMembers like him was a much more difficult task which I will detail more later on, but for now this is the end of day one...
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Pete's Dragon

  • Substitutiary Locomotion
  • *****
  • Posts: 4971
Re: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 09:22:08 AM »
Great start to the report, I do hope there's a bunch of photos to come ( as I haven't been to WDW in exatly 20 years and would love so see how its looking)

Looking forward to day 2
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Malin

  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • ****
  • Posts: 483
Re: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 10:11:23 AM »
I did take a few pictures but mostly of the Parades, not much eye candy to look at when it comes to WDW, which hasn't changed that much in 20 years anyway and most of the farcades still remain. Disney's Animal Kingdom is the only park that offers the sort of detail that we expect from Disney park and can be found at Disneyland Paris. I'll try and post some pictures up soon anyway.

And thanks for the kind words I am trying to make this Trip Report more opinionated than a lot of my other Reports which just offer a rough discription of what I did each day. So you can expect to read a lot more on my thoughts of the Resort and its pro's and cons.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

dagobert

  • Substitutiary Locomotion
  • *****
  • Posts: 3557
Re: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 08:19:09 PM »
I know what you are talking about the US boarded service. We were also not treated very nice when we arrived in Chicago last year.

Good trip report so far. Can't wait for the pictures.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

davewasbaloo

  • Substitutiary Locomotion
  • *****
  • Posts: 3745
Re: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 01:08:38 PM »
Sorry to here that Malin. I don't really care if I ever go to WDW again because the standards have sunk so low. DL and DLP offer far superior experiences, with less cost, better climates and a better class of guests.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
since 2001 (many before that)

Malin

  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • ****
  • Posts: 483
Re: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2008, 01:22:45 AM »
Monday the 17th of November 2008
Day 2

During the night I had absolutely no problem sleeping and woke up around 6.30 am fresh and ready for a day in the parks. Turn the TV on to see if I could find some information out about the weather for today, and apparently it was going to be a cool day, by Sunny Florida standards which means it would be nice and sunny by my standards. However the night before at Mickey’s Christmas Party, I did feel the cold so just in case I decided to pack a jacket in my backpack. According to the Extra Magic schedule given on check in, Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be opened an hour earlier at 8.00 am which was a bit of luck as I would be planning to spend the entire day here.

After a quick shower and sorting out the general stuff like brushing teeth and gelling hair I left the room around 7.30 and pop down to the gift shop inside the Pop Century to buy a copy of the Mail Newspaper to catch up on the news in the UK and boarded the next bus to DAK, which arrived exactly at 8.00 am. A quick walk over to the entrance where I was handed by happy and friendly Cast Members a list of times, guide map and a sheet with what attractions would be opened for the first hour during Extra Magic hours.

As Its Tough to be a Bug was opened and near to the entrance I headed here first. I had forgotten just how far the stand by entrance was to the theatre and after a good 5 minutes I had walked around the Tree of Life and collected my 3D specs for the show. While its only a 3D movie, I still rate this show highly and its not really aged to badly like some 3D movies tend to do after 10 years in operation. My only complaint were the effects were a bit hit or miss in regards to the stink bug smell and the water. Also the Hopper AA is still a very impressive figure.

Walking towards the other side of Tree of Life I caught a beautiful and stunning site with a ton of Animals including dear stood in front of the Tree of Life, after a few moments with my mouth open, I tried to grab my camera but the Animals were gone. It was still an incredible sight and a small credit to Joe Rohde and his team for creating such a beautiful park.

Skipping Breakfast at the hotel I decided to find something inside the park and noticed Pizzafari was opened, so decided to see what was on offer at this early time in the morning. The choices were either a Breakfast platter or a Breakfast Pizza, so seeing that the later sounded more unique I chose that and a refreshing Apple juice. While I was paying for my breakfast I was asked if I would like to donate my change to Disney’s Worldwide Conservation fund, as I know the fund donates a great deal of money to Worldwide projects including Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, Channel Islands, which is something a bit closer to home, I was more than happy to give my money away.

Pizza was a combination of scrambled eggs, cheese and peppers, which was a bit on the dry side but quite tasty. After Breakfast I headed over to Camp Mickey & Minnie to catch the 9.30 showing of the Lion King. A line had already formed, however this being WDW Guest, in other words clueless, I just headed straight to the front of the line passing everyone else by, who had formed a single line. What is further evidence about how stupid and ignorant some Guest at WDW are, the CastMember were instructing everyone to fill in all available space, to which people just chose to ignore.

The Lion King show while not as good as the version currently found in Hong Kong Disneyland was still an enjoyable show, but a concerning sign to see was the show only 20 - 25 % full. I’m hoping it was simply because the earlier shows don’t reach capacity and not because after 10 years Guest have began to get bored of this show. Apart from the Monkey acrobatics, this show looked tired and dated in comparison to the newer and more modern version currently playing in Hong Kong. However by WDW standards it was still a fun show, we were sat in the Lion section during the performance and had a great view of the centre platform.

Leaving the show I noticed quite a few characters all dressed up in Holiday costumes, so out came the camera. After having a photo taken with Santa Goofy, and being handed a photo pass which I haven’t been bothered to use and likely will not be doing, I was approached by a CastMember and because I was in the right place at the right time, handed a Dream FastPass. This entitled me to use FastPass on 6 listed attractions only once for the day including Primeval Whirl which was closed for refurbishment. Also as I had already done Its Tough To Be A Bug, but on the bright side it also allowed me to cut the line for Dinosaur, Everest, Kali River Rapids and Kilimanjaro Safaris, so I decided to keep it.

After checking out a couple of Animal exhibits and a few shops I headed towards Rainforest Café for lunch. I was seated to a table almost immediately and handed a menu. Decided to go on a coke and the Blue Mountain Chicken sandwich, with chips. Found it quite amusing that the person serving pointed out that chips in America are actually crisp, and if I wanted fries I could pay a $1 extra. As I absolutely hate fries I went with the chips which I knew were crisp, but in a way it was good she pointed that out, as I am sure there are many Brits who visit that have no idea about this, even though its common knowledge. Sandwich was served very quickly, but chicken was a bit dry on the dry side. After paying the meal of and tipping the server, I headed back to the park.

Decided to head over to Everest first as I really wanted to ride this one as during my last trip, the ride wasn’t officially opened and early previews were being offered to CastMembers, DVC, and Annual Passholders but not regular Guest. After passing by a rather detailed queue which I wished I had more time to look at, I was at the front of the line and directed to a seat. The ride was very smooth and the scenery very nice to look at, shame to see some of the ride effects not working like the Yeti, but as you pass by him very quickly its not exactly noticeable. This is easily my favourite Coaster attraction at WDW, and I love the fact WDI kept it family friendly by not adding any loops. The theming was up to the standard you expect from a Disney E Ticket, and it helped explain the storyline. Everest is really just an updated version of the Matterhorn, at Disneyland.

After surviving my encounter with the Yeti I decided to use my FP on Kali River Rapids which was pointless as the wait time was 0 mins. Luckily I managed to avoid getting to wet, but was given the option of staying on, however I felt I had a lucky escape and did not want to chance it again. On the subject of Kali River Rapids I had not notice before the smoking smell you experience during the wood burning scene.

Kilimanjaro Safaris was next on the trip, which is perhaps in my opinion the very best attraction ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. Its certainly a attraction that offers you a different experience every time you ride it. On this trip we spotted Elephants, Giraffes, Crocodiles, Rhino’s and many other African Animals including a quick peek at the Lion who was sleeping. This attraction is the crowning jewel in the Animal Kingdom park and part of the main reason I rate this park as my all time favourite Disney park. It may not offer the same number of attractions as a certain Magic Kingdom or Epcot, but what this park does offer is a all round quality experience.

Looking at the times schedule I had about 10 mins before the next Flight of Wonder show. Its an alright show, but not something you will want to repeat over and over, but a nice 20 min attraction. Leaving the show I headed over to take the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch, which I have never done before. Reason for never taking the time to do this attraction was simply because it was branded as a waste of time from everyone I spoke to, and I kind of have to agree here. After boarding the train you are taken to the back of Kilimanjaro Safaris where you see the buildings that keep all the Animals at night, this part I thought was rather interesting as it gave you a idea to how huge the Kilimanjaro Safaris actually are. Arriving I left the train and was pointed towards a Animal Exhibit on some type of Monkey followed by a further walk into a building. Walking inside the building I spotted one of those talking and moving dustbins, followed by a series of offices and a room where surgery is apparently done on the Animals, and a couple of reptile tanks and that except for all the Characters roaming around the place was about it. So I headed back to the train. If WDW are looking at ways to cut cost in these recent financial times it should look about shutting this attraction first!

After leaving the train back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom I decided to plan the rest of my day out at the park. I really wanted to do the Nemo Musical but the only showing that looked good to me was the last one for the day at 4.45, so I decided I would do Dinosaur, and catch the Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade first.

I must be one of the very few that actually enjoys Dinosaur and while its no Indy, it is still a fun thrill ride. Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade was despite being advertised to start on the 28th the Christmas version. I had actually staked a place about 5- 3 mins before show time, as waiting any longer is not worth it. it’s a cute parade don’t get me wrong, but with the rest of the parks entertainment and attractions being so high in standard this kind of cheapens the park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom deserves a better parade, especially as DCA has the Pixar Play Pals Parade and Hong Kong Disneyland has a number of good parade’s played out though the year, while Animal Kingdom is stuck with this…

After the parade I walked over to Finding Nemo The Musical which I was a bit unsure about watching. I have heard some positive reviews from the likes of MiceAge.com’s Kevin Yee, but I just wasn’t sure if seeing the puppeteers handle the life size puppets would be distracting. Finding a decent spot in the theatre I notice CastMembers actually doing there jobs right here and making sure all available spots were taken, which after the mayhem I experienced the night before at the Magic Kingdom, it was good to see. A group sat next to me were trying to hold places back and the CastMember told them there couldn’t do that, to which these people were angry over. I have no sympathy for these sort of people and if you don’t keep Family Members together than its your own fault. The guy started to make conversation to me about it complaining about the rule until I said it was he who was in the wrong not the CastMember and in future he should keep all his party together as it was not fair on the other guest, and that he should be more considerate to others around him. It didn’t go down to well and not another word was said to me. While waiting for the show to start you could see Nemo swim around on the TV screens which were shaped like giant bubbles.

Regarding the actual show I felt it was an excellent production and well up there with Aladdin, from the sets to the costumes and even the music all blended in well together, and my concerns about seeing the Puppeteers would be distracting was not found. verdict a fantastic show.

Leaving the theatre Animal Kingdom was already closing for the night but I was unfortunately not ready to leave so I left the park and got on a bus over to the Magic Kingdom.

Dropping us of at the Ticket and Transportation Centre I made my way over to the Monorail. Approaching the gate I asked the CastMember on duty how long until next train which I felt was a quite normal question to ask, and his reply was he didn’t know. A great lot of help he was. During the trip the train stopped twice once for clearance and another time to do a routine test on the breaks. Would have probarely been quicker to take the Ferry at this point.

Finally arriving at the gates I headed over to Adventureland first. Jungle Cruise was the first attraction and we had a great skipper and he was actually quite witty and managed to pull the spiel of in a entertaining manner as well as adding his own material. It made for a entertaining trip. One of the funniest quotes was telling a Guest he was to cool for the Jungle Cruise when the Guest failed to react to the Elephant spraying the boat. After riding this attraction in Japanese and Hong Kong where its difficult to understand the skippers, it was nice to be able to ride this attraction once again in good English. Might just be me but a good skipper will either make or break this ride for you.

After another ride on Pirates where after passing though one of the tunnels I found about 50 pieces of already chewed gum stuck to the top, can no one be bothered to remove this gum or something which has built up over time. Next I headed over to Critter Country. On this cold night Splash was a walk on and I was given my on log, with CastMembers looking on thinking I was crazy. Splash is an all time favourite of mine but it all looked very stale and could do with a good paint. During the final drop I could hear the SpectroMagic music playing, but wasn’t to bothered about catching it as I knew I would have plenty of time later in the trip to catch it.

As Big Thunder was next door to Splash I headed here next and was seated in the front. Wow I do not remember this version being so rough to ride. A very rocky and jerky ride and you were certainly thrown about.

The Country Bears which have recently come back from a refurbishment were next, as I was heading towards the entrance the CastMember was instructing people that if there watched the show there would miss out on Wishes. The show was good and hats off to WDW Management for spending the money on this small crowd pleaser, but I still want the Christmas show back. Also a bit of advice to the CastMembers who watch over the show, your counterparts in Tokyo actually clap along and try and get Guest to join along, instead of just sitting there, looking at your watches.

Leaving the show I caught the last few minutes of Wishes and than headed over to Fantasyland. As both Fantasyland and Tomorrowland would be open a additional three hours tonight.

I enjoyed Mickey’s Phillhar Magic, Peter Pan, Small World, Buzz, People Mover and Stitch before calling it a day and heading back to the hotel. While entering the line I was held up by a women who was messing around with her stroller and happily continued while I stood there. As the bus was getting near I pushed passed her to evil looks from her and her Mother which frankly I really didn’t care about as these people were rude and not very considerate to let me go ahead. Another example of rude WDW Guest it that if you have a stroller the world has to go around you.

Today was a very productive day but I was happy it was over as I was exhausted.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

The Butlin Boy

  • When You Wish Upon a Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 6510
Re: Malin's WDW Trip Report 16th to 26th of November
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2008, 06:10:29 PM »
Great start to the report Malin, as someone who has only been to DLRP, it's great to see some opinions on the other parks. I can't wiat for the rest of your report, and to see your photos :)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »