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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Default Disappointing Disney Vacation -- Day Four

    Cast:

    DS: 10
    Me

    Yesterday threw me for a loop. We waited from 7:00 AM until 8:23 AM for an Animal Kingdom bus and only one came, taking only one group. Would today be the same? I noticed yesterday, the crowd seemed heavier than the previous two days. Much heavier.

    Hollywood Studios is reserved for today. Rides open at 10 AM, with park opening at 9 AM. My son and I arrive at the Trinidad bus stop around 7:10 AM. Today, we will be much more proactive, regarding buses. At 7:40 AM, I've had enough. One HS bus had come, taking only one group. The rest of the buses are either Internal Shuttles or Magic Kingdom. Uber. He's there in minutes and we are on our way to HS. It should only take a few minutes and we should arrive at or around 8 AM, plenty of time before things open. On our way to the HS Parking Lot, Disney has the road coned off and is turning all approaching cars around. We have to head back out and wind up off Disney property. The driver says, they will probably remove the cones around 9 AM. He'll take us for a coffee. We drive to McDonald's, grab a coffee and try to time it so we return around 9 AM. Our timing is good, but the parking lot gates are backed way up. We just want dropped off. It takes us a few minutes to get through the gates and he lets us out to get in line for entrance. To borrow a line from "A Christmas Story," the line was backed to Terra Haute! In fact, as my son and I were walking to the end of the line, the line was growing faster than we were walking. The end was moving away from us as we moved toward it. Would we enter before 10 AM and have a chance at Rise of the Resistance?

    We get into line (finally) and start walking toward security. It moves quickly, but we don't enter the park until 9:47 AM. Bear in mind, I was at my bus stop just a little after 7 AM.

    The information page in the Disney Television stated the park opens at 10 AM. We had never ridden Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway and get into line, which is already at 90 minutes. We find out the rides opened at 9 AM, not 10 AM as advertised. As we get in line, the line is stopped by cast members as it is now at full capacity.

    The announcement comes that the opportunity for ROTR is approaching. I ready my app. I'm on it this time. Anticipation. Nervous fingers. The button becomes active and I press it. It comes to the riders screen and STUPIDLY I hit "Select All." It selects the people who are back in Pittsburgh, too. Nothing available. I go back and see my mistake. I try to quickly de-select those not here, leaving just my son and I. I try again. Fail. I hear screams. "WE GOT ONE!!!" Try again. Error message. "WE'RE IN, DAD! We need to exit the line now." Still no luck for me, but others are having success. FAIL!. Reload. FAIL. More shouts of exuberance as other secure their passes. ALL HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED!! "Sorry, son. We have one more try."

    I have been hearing rumors at the parks of Disney selling VIP Passes, which operate just like FastPasses, except unlimited and at a fee. No one has verified that to me though. We enter the pre-show area. There, I see a FastPass line in operation with just a handful of people. They may be disabled, but everyone appears very fit. (You can never tell outwardly what may ail anyone.) Still, it appears the rumors may be true. I ask the CM. He assures me this is purely for those requiring special access.

    The ride has a very interesting effect before you board, but it is disabled and you just walk to the loading area. I'm disappointed because I wanted to see it. As we enter our train, I'm reminded of the Great Movie Ride and I miss it. The ride is very cute. The effects are impressive. Disney is doing a lot of video mapping on the audioanimatronics. The train vehicles operate independent of each other. The technology is impressive, but I doubt I'd wait 120 minutes again to ride it. It's cute and worth one look, but not that cute.

    After the Railway ride, we head over to Star Tours. There is only a 20 minute line here so we get in. Once again, we see very nubile individuals utilizing the FastPass lane. Hmmmm. Star Tours is great. My son loves it. We decide to give Galaxy Edge another look and head there. We begin to explore it fully. There is so much detail. I use the mobile app for Ronto's Roasters for lunch. Unusual looking meal, but I really enjoy it. I think it was a sausage. Then we go to Docking Bay 7 for dessert. Again, entertaining looking food, but tasty. My son and I are having a decent time. There's a slight show taking place by some Storm Troopers. There are so many ambient sounds throughout, it feels like a real place.

    Smuggler's Run is only 90 minutes and we decide to get in line. It moves quick, but I'm enjoying all the detail on the Millennium Falcon. I'm in no hurry here. There's are little voice-over skits that are very cute to entertain through the wait. As you are about to enter the ride, it feels like you've boarded the Falcon itself. For me, this was better than the ride. I LOVED IT!!!! We stunk up the joint on the ride, but my son thinks he is the reason we didn't crash. "I Saved us, dad!! I can fly a spacecraft and saved the day there (Mission: Space,) and saved the day on the Millennium Falcon. That's two I saved!"

    We exit through Galaxy Edge's rear and go to Toy Story Mania. The line is past "One Man's Dream," but moves quickly. I whip him, but he handles the loss well. It's raining when we exit and the park thins just slightly so we re-enter the line and he has a rematch. He loses again, but his accuracy is much better and he wins several rounds.

    1:58 PM. Do or Die!. I'm ready. Active. "Nothing Available." Reload. "Error Message." Reload. "Nothing Available." Reload. Error Message. Switching to WiFi. Reload. "All Have been Distributed." We will NOT be riding that this trip!

    Saucer ride. Cotton Candy. One more TSM whipping for good measure, then we watch "One Man's Dream." He's fascinated with Disney's imagination. I thought he'd be bored, but he was very drawn in.

    He doesn't want to ride Tower of Terror or Rock n' Rollercoaster. He'd like to shop. Unfortunately, the line to enter the stores is too long and we decide to leave.

    I've been to Walt Disney World many times in October. It is generally when I go. The park appeared to be filled exactly as it would be on any non-COVID October day. M&MRR was at or near 120 minutes most of the day. As was Smuggler's Run. Rock 'n Rollercoaster was between 90-120 throughout. So was TOT. Unwilling to wait to enter a store, we head to the Skyliner.

    Yesterday, I had called Guest Services to ask why our beds weren't being made. They explained it is part of the minimally invasive procedures designed to keep both guest and cast member safe, but would make the bed if I requested, which I did. It's nice to come back to a freshly cleaned room with made beds when on vacation. Everything was nice and tidy.

    We have 8:15 PM ADR for House of Blues tonight. My son and I relax for a bit in our newly made beds before readying to head out. We arrive at the bus stop at 7:00 PM. Plenty of time since CB is very close to Disney Springs. At 7:25 PM, one bus stops at our bus and opens his doors and says, "Sorry folks. No one got off so no one can get on." There are two groups ahead of us. We have to Uber. Again! Uber arrives within three minutes and we are on our way with time to spare.

    Disney has a flashing sign posted "DISNEY SPRINGS AT FULL CAPACITY." What does that mean? The line of cars to enter the parking lot is long and slow. I call House of Blues to inform them I may be late and they are understanding. As we enter the parking lot, Disney guards are turning the cars around and ushering them back onto the highway. "Let us out here!" A cast member runs over to me. "Get back into the car, sir."

    "I'm a Caribbean Beach Resort guest and I have ADRs for 8:15 and you guys are NOT providing appropriate bus service and my son and I are walking to an entrance." He points the way and allows us to proceed.

    Our dinner was great! My son gets the voodoo shrimp. I order from the Smokehouse. It's delicious. Ribs and brisket. With a Beer! Mmmm. For dessert, I get the bread pudding. It is so good, but it is so heavy. After only one-third, I can't eat another bite.

    We explore the shops on the West End. There's a slight drizzle, but Disney Springs is extremely crowded. We walk to the bus stop and as always there's a long line at our stop. At night, however, they overwhelm with buses and we are loaded and on our way back quickly.

    As we are on the bus, I realize, I have not seen one character yet. Not one. No Mickey. No Minnie. No Pluto. No Goofy. No Donald. Not one of them, except in the cartoons of the rides. I realize that's what's leaving me feeling so empty. Oh sure, they had Drizilla and Anastasia doing some mock fight show, but that's it.

    I know Disney is a corporation designed to make its stockholders money, but when I get on that property, I fully suspend belief and buy into "This Land is owned and run by Mickey and his friends." But none of them are there. It's being run like Kennywood Park at the moment. Utilitarian. Not Magical. I want the Fantasy. I want the Magic!!!

    As we prepare for bed, I begin to worry about tomorrow. It is our last day and it is the Magic Kingdom. What if the bus situation to the MK in the morning is as bad as the last two days? Should I go to Centertown instead? What if the line there is long? Uber? Where would it drop us? Transportation Center? How long to get to the Magic Kingdom from there? When would they allow us to enter? Would the road be blocked again? Should we arrive ridiculously early? Should we eat breakfast at Centertown and forego the early lines and arrive late?

    I'm not excited for tomorrow at all. I'm anxious.

    And my son keeps asking, "How much longer do we have to stay here?"
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

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  3. #2
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    May 2019
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    Ever consider just enjoying the scenery and relaxing?
    Just sayin.
    I never once enjoyed a trip anywhere that was non stop itinerary. Disney is no different. Best trips there have all been days where we hardly went on rides and mostly just cruised around looking at things and searching for snacks and pins.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #3
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    There was no itinerary. No FastPasses. No ADRs, except for dinner. Arrive at a bus stop at 7:10; enter the park at 9:47. Is that enjoying the scenery? I’m there for my 10YO.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

  6. #4
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    Mar 2004
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    Arizona
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    I didn't feel the magic with RotR when we were there in December. In fact, I was pretty bitter with the way Disney handled the entry into the park. It doesn't sound like it has really gotten any better with their misinformation for their onsite guests either. Disney has turned into just another business, not a magical one. It makes me sad.

    With that being said, I had promised some kids I would take them to Disney before my visit in December and certainly before all this Covid stuff happened. I'm just going to do what I need to do to make it magical for them. It is disheartening that your son was asking how long you had to stay there instead of wanting to stay longer.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    ...It is disheartening that your son was asking how long you had to stay there instead of wanting to stay longer.
    While we were there, Disney extended my annual pass year another three months. I told my son and immediately he yelled, “NO!!!”
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

  8. #6
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    Oct 1997
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    INTERCOT, SC
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    The continuing problems you are having with just getting basic transport to the parks is probably the one thing that would discourage me more than anything else from going right now.

    Part of the enjoyment of Disney vacations to me especially when I was commuting to work was to not have to drive for a few days.

    The fact that you are staying at a Disney resort and are being forced to pay for an UBER because you are waiting 45 minutes and multiple busses just to get to to your destination- the whole reason you are at the resort - is beyond frustrating.

    One user above mentioned enjoying the scenery which is fine for us adults - but when you have kids, and they are at a theme park, there is an expectation to do stuff. I totally get that.

    You’re paying a lot for services not to be delivered as promised. I totally understand the frustration.

  9. Likes Park Hopper, Cinderelley liked this post
  10. #7
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    "Its being run like Kennywood Park." Kennywood is a GREAT park but does lack good customer service. Sorry to hear that is buses were not running like they should be, and you missed ROTR.
    First visit 1976
    Offsite 1982/1985/2000
    Disneyland July 1996
    AKL 2002/Sept 2011
    Paradise Pier-DL July 2005
    Contemporary Sept 2006/Nov 2014
    Port Orleans-Riverside Sept 2008/July 2014/Nov 2018
    Port Orleans-FQ-Nov 2012
    Paradise Pier-DLH DL 2013/2015/2017 and D-23 Expo

  11. #8
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    I love 10 minutes from kennywood and truly love that park. Didn’t mean to disparage it. lol.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

  12. #9
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    Mar 2004
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeetrie View Post
    While we were there, Disney extended my annual pass year another three months. I told my son and immediately he yelled, “NO!!!”
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  13. #10
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    Jul 2001
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    Florida
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    Sorry to hear how frustrating it was for you to navigate to and parks and in the parks.
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

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