Got back from the World on Sunday. Great week. 9th Disney Trip for me (75,76,87,94,94,99,03,07,09)Here are the details:
Party: 2 Adults, 3 kids (boys 8, 5 & 5).
Resort: Cabins at Fort Wilderness
Basic Dining Plan
Generally a really great week at WDW. Was really hot and humid at the week start (no surprise) but temps cooled through out the week as rain came through. Wait times for us peaked at 40 minutes. Longer wait times existed, but we used Fastpass to bypass those. Soaring hung out around 70 at peak, Splash Mountain also hit 70-80. Toy Story Midway Mania was always 70+.
Dinner Notes: Used the Meal Plan for the first time. It was great. It was a lot of food. Too much for the little guys. We had left over snacks at the end of the trip too. Plan on using it again in the future. Awesome value, didn't get all of the ADR's we wanted so had to eat at 2nd and 3rd choices sometimes. This was with booking at the start of the 90 day Window.
Sit Down Meals:
Boma (*****) Awesome dinner as usual. Boma is great. If you've never been to Boma go.
Kona (***) Dinner was good, service for a party of 6 was not good. Volcano Dessert was spectacular.
The Wave (*****) Best Dinner of the Week. Great food, fantastic Service.
Grand Floridian Cafe (***) So so. Good dinner, great location, but we were turned off by the Guest Self Parking at GFR. Why is this the only location with the dorky guest parking behind a second gate which is a pain to get through? (I know because of the Road access that splits the parking lot. But still, yuck.)
Chef Mickey (*****) Best Character Breakfast. 'Nuff Said.
Planet Hollywood (****) This was a compromise on our last day, 'cause there was no way were going to make our ADR for breakfast. We cancelled it, and ended up with a walk up at DTD. Great service. Was surprised by the food, which was good.
Whispering Canyon (*** (Should be higher though)) THis review is biased due to a 5 year old meltdown. I can't praise Whispering Canyon staff enough, for doing what they do every day. But it was a little much for one of my guys who doesn't like noise. Note to the uninformed, Whispering Canyon is NOT for a romantic getaway. Bottomless Milkshakes also tend to spoil dinner appetites of kids. Will go back in the future though.
New for Me:
AAA Diamond Parking: Used it for the first time. Double Fine Awesome. It's like getting access to handicapped parking. Great at DAK and EC, close at Studios (Stage 40) and we never did parking at TTC.
Kim Possible: Fun addition for kids at World Showcase. I was a little annoyed in Japan by an agent though.
Toy Story Mania: Rocks. Standby got a little crazy though. 110 minutes averages in the evening.
Spaceship Earth Redo: Hmmmm.... I like the tweaks to the ascent, but think the change to the top is kind of a letdown. The descent is humorous, and the kids thought it was very funny. Not quite as inspring as before.
Jungle Cruise at Night: This is based on a Lou Podcast reccomendation. JC at Night 100% better than in the day. The evening lighting makes the audio-animatronics seem better. Jungle Cruise FOREVER! Kongaloosh!
Monorail Drivers License: Never got one of these for riding in the cab. Kids went crazy for those.
Ft. Wilderness Meadows Pool; Recent refurb was great for kids. New water slide is fun. Entire pool is 3 1/2 feet deep so you don't have to over worry what happens to kids.
Stitch's Great Escape: Say what you will about Alien Encounter, but it would get a reaction from you. Stitch Escape seams like a band-aide. This is the first Disney Attraction that I think was actually poor. Bad writing, and the dark sections have no real pay-off. Bouncing on the head and "Miss me?" got a chuckle from me but that's it. Only do it if you have done everything and there is a 5 minute wait.
Fire at Epcot on Wednesday Night. Was in the Monster Pit behind Planet Cool. RCFD units were there and that West passage underneath Spaceship Earth was closed for fire access.
Noticed some grounds keeping issues due to cutbacks. Not quite as clean and trim as in the past.
No towel animals from our housekeeper. Even with a tip. :(
Bummed out about the canned screams at TOT and Crickets at Wilderness Lodge.
Electrical Boat Parade was great. Hadn't seen it since 76. :)
Forgot how hard the water is at the Fort Wilderness Cabins.
Small Pool at Ft. Wilderness felt more like a sauna.
Pleasure Island feels empty and sad.
Audio animatronics should be seen from a distance. Pirate and Haunted Mansion are the closes you should ever get. The Great Movie Ride felt dated and the AA's just weren't great. Except the Witch. Noted that a Briar Rabbit at Splash Mountain was down on our first day, frozen in full audience view, and later in the week had still not been repaired, but was not easily visable from the boats anymore.
Used our Garmin with Hertz rental car. Hate using Disney Transportation except for the monorail. Worked great and we never got lost in the maze on Disney Property.
Final word of advice: Take a break with your kids. The last 3 trips we have always gone back for nap-time. Do it and save your vacation. We let our guys get a 3 hour afternoon nap, and they handled a MK EMH pretty well. We didn't stick to the bitter end, and we paid attention to their level of tiredness. Do it and you can avoid the yelling and screaming that unfortunately you see all the time.
Went to DVC for a presentation. Right now you get a magic fastpass good for 3 board right now fast passes. Definitely worth the presentation. Gettting closer on a DVC purchase I think. Bay Lake is VERY attractive but 50 years is a Loooooooong time. Saratoga Springs and the Treehouses may fit my family better. Maybe scoring a Saratoga Springs resell is in the cards. :)
Great Vacation. Now I need a vacation to rest up after this one. :musa: