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View Full Version : We're Back! Park Vue Inn Review, Suggestion, Strategies, etc..... (long)


Luv Bunnies
08-13-2007, 12:21 PM
We drove down on Saturday, Aug 4 and spent the next 4 days at DLR - just got home last night after 3 days in Pasadena.

First of all, we had a wonderful time. We go to DL at least every 2 years so we know the place very well. We have 2 boys - 12 and 8. My parents and my sister drove up separately and we spent 2 days in the parks together. Our 3rd park day was spent mostly by ourselves and my sister joined us in the evening.

The was our first experience with an ECV. My dad is 81 and has sore legs all the time due to various medical conditions. I decided to rent him a scooter from an off-site company so he could ride it from the Park Vue Inn to the front gates. Even that walk would have been too much for him. It worked out really well. We didn't have to wait in line to rent one at the parks or run the risk of them running out. He was very careful about riding it around and parking it out of the way, but we were amazed at some people. A little girl jumped right in front of him at the entrance to Crush. He stopped as soon as he could but the mom still made a nasty comment for him to be more careful. We parked it near the river at DL when we were eating at Riverbelle Terrace. I noticed a little girl (about 2 or 3) climbing all over it. I told the mother rather sternly that, "It's not a toy!." She seemed embarrased and quickly removed her child. My dad looked up to see a whole family sitting/climbing on it. He approached them and said, "What part of private property do you not understand?" (He's a retired cop). The woman denied touching it but she knew she was caught. Why can't people just mind their own business and leave things alone that don't belong to them? :confused3 Since we had rented from a private company and made a $50 deposit, we really didn't want it to get damaged. Anyway, despite that, the scooter worked out well for my dad. We found the easiest way to go through crowds was for my husband and me to walk directly in front of him so he would have a clear path.

Now, on to the Park Vue Inn. I would say it was adequate but that's about all. The location is excellent. The crosswalk to the entry plaza is directly in front of the hotel. But, the rooms are run down. We had asked for non-smoking and the room reeked of smoke. We had a 2 room suite with 3 queen beds. My sister took the private bedroom and my husband and our 2 boys and I took the main room. There was a large dressing/closet area with a sink outside of the bathroom. The layout was fine and worked for us. It's just that we didn't find it to be very clean. My sister found a huge cockroach in her room one night.:scared: I ended up meeting it in the bathroom at 1:30 a.m. and my husband had to kill it with his shoe. We tried to trap in under the ice bucket before he finally killed it. We left the ice bucket on the bathroom floor, thinking maybe we'd get a new one. The maid just left it sitting by the toilet for 2 days. Didn't move it, didn't bring a new one. They were also weird about towels. We had 5 people in our room. One day there were only 4 towels, one day there were 9! My sister had to ask for more when the kids used towels for swimming. We ran out of toilet paper on the last night and there was no spare roll. My parents had a king room across the parking lot from us. It was very small with very little room to move around. They said it was fine for their needs. There was a space by the closet to store the scooter and plug it in to charge each night. Next time, we're planning to choose another hotel on Harbor Blvd. The Park Vue was OK but not the greatest.

Some advice for people going at this time of year - prepare for crowds! Everything was crowded, although DCA is less crowded and easier to navigate than DL. The pathways seem to be wider in that park and my dad had an easier time getting around with the scooter. We also found it much easier to find a table for lunch and places to sit and rest. DCA just seems to have a slower pace which is nice after a day at DL.

We spent a day at DTD last Sunday (just the four of us before the others got there). First we had breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen where I had some fun with Brer Bear. Being a bunny lover, I asked him where Brer Rabbit was. He pointed to his stomach. I must have had an extreme reaction because he backed away. My husband said, "Oh bear you don't know who you're talking to!" I kept telling him to come back to our table and he kept shaking his head. I told him to cough up the rabbit and the guy belched! It was so funny! I gave him a good lecture about not eating bunnies and people around us were laughing, probably thinking I was a freak!

World of Disney was chaotic all day but earlier in the day seemed to be better. We shopped in a lot of the stores and saw a movie (the Rat movie!). If you want to eat dinner at DTD, definitely get a reservation weeks in advance. We had a 6:00 p.m. reservation for Rainforest Cafe. A friend who lives in Costa Mesa met us there. We got right in at 6:00 and the wait time for walk-ups was 90 minutes! After dinner, we noticed that all of the restaurants had lines out the door.

As for park strategies, we followed a lot of the advice we're read here. We went to Early Entry on our first park day (just the 4 of us - mom, dad and sis didn't want to get up). We walked directly to Nemo along with the rest of the crowd and only had a 30 minute wait to board. The rest of the day the lines averaged 2 hours. We loved the ride and were glad we got there early to ride. Otherwise, we would have had to skip it.

We used Hydroguy's strategy of gathering Fastpasses all morning and saving them for later in the day. After an afternoon break and returing at 7:00 p.m, we used our Fastpasses for Splash, Indy, Space and Buzz. It was great to go through the Fastpass entrances when the stand-by lines were so long.

We spent our 2nd day at DCA and went back to DL that night for the fireworks. You have to see them at least once from Main Street. The 3rd day, my mom, dad and sis went to Newport to visit my aunt during the day. My sis joined us at DL around 7:00 p.m. We did a few rides and saw the 2nd show of Fantasmic. We ended up with the perfect viewing spots! We walked up just at the sit-down section had filled and they were roping it off. We asked the CM if we could stand behind the rope and he said yes, they were creating a standing section behind the sit-down area. So, we ended up standing right in the middle behind several rows of people sitting. We had a perfect view and were close enough to feel the spray from the river. My sis had never seen Fantasmic and she loved it. After the show, we were able to hit several rides with short waits. I took my 8 year old to the Matterhorn. The wait had been over an hour all day but we only waited 15 minutes after 11:00 p.m. We finished up on Peter Pan. My husband had found a valid Fastpass for Space lying on the ground in Adventureland. So, he went over there and used it. My sis took our 12 year old on Buzz and the Storyland Boats. We all met back at the Emporium at midnight.

In summary, we had a great time! By following a few strategies and tips, we never waited more than 30 minutes in any line. We were amazed at how many rides we were able to get on, even during the busy times, with minimal waits. My advice: pre-plan, do your homework, stay at a hotel within walking distance so you don't have to rely on a car or shuttle, make reservations for meals whenever possible, go to the parks early, gather Fastpasses in the morning to use later.

We're already planning our July 2009 trip. My husband will be attending a convention so the boys and I will be hitting the parks. So, I'm sitting here using my new Pluto coffee mug and dreaming about the next trip!:) pluto:

Casey's Mommie
08-13-2007, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the review! I love reading about other's trip to Disneyland. Sorry about the rude people and the not so clean room, but it sounds like you had a great time overall!

DisneySuiteFreak
08-13-2007, 01:37 PM
Where can we find Hydroguys Fastpass info? Also, when you tried to use the FPs, were there any CMs who were a little rude or scolding you for using it so late? Last year we got scolded twice at Big Thunder and once at Indy. They said, "These FPs have already expired. Your return time was _____. I'll make a one time exception to put you through this time. Next time please remember to use your passes before the return time expires. I felt like a little kid getting scolded by higher ups or something. It was very strange, especially when I know of several people who are CMs who have advocated using them even though they are past the return time. I even told one CM that we were told by other CMs it was fine and she still had a bug up her butt.:banana: Very strange...

Luv Bunnies
08-13-2007, 02:31 PM
Here's the link to Hydroguy's tips:

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1520483

Actually, none of the CMs said anything about us using Fastpasses after their time window had closed. We even had some from 9:45 a.m. and we used them at 9:00 p.m. The CM looked at them, thinking at first that we were 45 minutes early. Then she looked closer and realized they were from the morning and let us right in. When we were going on TOT, 2 of the 4 elevators were down so wait times were a little longer than usual. On the way in, the CM was telling people they could come back later if they didn't want to wait. He was saying not to worry about the closing time on your Fastpasses. You could use them anytime the rest of the day. I eas a little nervous the first time we used a Fastpass after its window had closed. But it ended up being no problem at all.

I once read a post that explained it this way: Suppose your Fastpass says you're allowed to get in line at 1:00 p.m. and you don't get in line until 9:00 p.m. Technically, you are in line at 1:00 p.m., you're just allowing everyone behind you to go in front of you. There's still a place for you in line even though you don't physically stand there. To me, that makes sense. The Fastpass reserves your spot in line starting at a certain time. The vast majority of people use their Fastpasses during their 1 hour window. The few of us who come later don't impact the wait times enough for anyone to be concerned.

kiwitravel
08-13-2007, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the great TR, we were considering Park Vue for our next trip (also July 2009) but may stick with Carousel, BWPPI or Tropicanna.

Luv Bunnies
08-13-2007, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the great TR, we were considering Park Vue for our next trip (also July 2009) but may stick with Carousel, BWPPI or Tropicanna.

Probably a good idea! All of those places have great locations. We are considering all 3 of those for our next trip, too. We stayed at the Desert Inn and Suites 3 times prior to this trip. On our last stay in 2005, we had a bad experience with the front desk people and vowed never to return.

kiwitravel
08-13-2007, 03:14 PM
We have stayed at Carousel and Tropicanna on our other two trips and they were both good, have seen good reviews of BWPPI here. We will be there late June early July 2009, so long to wait.....