"IF I WERE A FRAGGLE..." BACKSTAGE MAGIC TRIP REPRT; Mar28-APR 3rd '10- W/PICS &VIDEO
(Some interesting characters hamming it up inside the teacups at Disneyland)
If I were a Fraggle, I would choose to be the character who "likes to do laundry and cooks radish soup a lot" because I enjoy his main principle of beliefs and they are:
That there are two things in life that are certain........1) Death and 2) Laundry :lmao:.
I just booked this trip!:yay: Ok.....I have been up since 8 am yesterday and haven't yet caught 20 winks ..I am SOOOO UP for this trip!!!! And all introductions aside, my name is Kris and well......I am a confessed Disney nut who loves all things Disney. Recently, I took a serious look at the ABD's "Emerald Isle" vacation but the conversion from U.S. to Euro isn't where I want it to be at this time (possibly in a yr or so I will revisit this). So, as a nice alternative solution to this rather delicious moral delima, I chose this trip of a lifetime for many reasons:
1) I wanna know more about the history behind Walt's dream.
2) and of course.....let the "inner Goofy" in me come out and enjoy new places and have fun meeting new people who also enjoy all things Disney.
3). SEEING THE JIM HENSON STUDIOS! I L-O-V-E THE MUPPETS! :cloud9:
And speaking of the above reference, my favorite Disney character? Why.....it's Goofy.
OK - I have never been to DL and am looking forward to:
1) My very first trip to "Fantasmic' (crossing my fingers):goodvibes
2) My very first rice Krispy treat (dipped in chocolate of course):cloud9:
3) My very first seeing of the parades and fireworkspopcorn::
4). My very first ride onboard the Jungle cruise ride.
5). my very first ride in the teacups.
6). THE CALIFORNIAN GRAND HOTEL.
7). My very first SUCCESSFUL viewing of the "Hidden Mickey(s)" while seeing California Soarin (first & only time on the ride - Jan 2009 - ........I ducked!).
8). Seeing "Great Moments with Mr Lincoln" for the very first time (I tried seeing Hall of Presidents - Jan 2009 while in Orlando but it was closed for refurbishment).
9). misc...... OK.....will calm down for now. Will write more over the next few days
If anyone can give me some suggestions or tips as to better enhance this adventure, please feel free to post on this thread cuz I am looking forward to hitting the ground running when I get there.
Some questions I have for all of you are:
1) should I wear earplugs while watching the fireworks?
2) are there cd's of park music from either Disneyland or California Adventure? Where would I find them?
But one thing is for sure, The Fraggle "with no name" will be my traveling partner as he will be the appointed food critic and what not. And yes, in keeping with tradition of my trip reports.....any ABD "surprises" will not be a part of my trip report.....just lots of pictures and videos - where I am allowed to take them.
COMING UP NEXT:
my memories of having a conversation with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & his trusty assistant Beaker (years ago) and e-gads and gazooks! Can I pay someone to help me pack??
Oh you are gonna have a blast!
DL is very cool.
I have only been once BUT.....We wee there for 1 day before a cruise and for 3 days after a cruise.
It is very different than WDW.
IT IS WAY SMALLER.
And at first i thought a bit cheesy dont get me wrong....I came to really like it and FULLY enjoyed myself BUT have done WDW about 25 times and had to get a Different mind set on.
I willpost a couple picshere and on our cruise board too.
Hoo-ray for you! This is my #1 dream ABD trip! I can't wait to hear what you think of the Muppet studio. Our entire family LOVES the Muppets!
I hope you have a great time planning, dreaming and traveling!!!!
view from balconey at GAND CALIFORNIAN!!!!!!!
You are going to have so much fun! Love your trippy report name. (Mainly because I :love: fraggles!) Can't wait to follow all the details.
:thumbsup2 Thanks for the link. I'm along for the ride ...
About that view.....
Now that is a wonderful view:goodvibes ! What that is is considered (by ABD standards) a room upgrade - which means an additional charge by the ABD guest if they want that kind of a view. Though I do say I just encountered today quite a strange conversation(s) with ABD reps about what kind of a view we would have while staying at the Grand Californian.
AND it all had to do with me ONLY valueing a hotel room that has a balconey.
This I said as I relayed to them my experiences while at the Great Wolf Lodge at Williamsburg Va via my recently concluded ABD's Spirit of America trip (Sept 2009). I relayed to them that I am the type of ABD guest who really likes to unwind (after a "long" :lmao: day at the Disney parks or what not) with TWO chocolate chip / m&m cookes and wash it down with a chocolate milkshake as I have my feet propped up while I am relaxing/decompressing out on my hotel room balconey.
I went on to say that while at the Great Wolfe Lodge, I really enjoyed the full moon and the view of the outdoor water park while out on my hotel room balconey. For some unknown reason, these ABD reps assumed that I was wanting (WHAT IS KNOWN) a "Park view" (see above picture) or a view of Downtown Disney while I am at the Grand Californian.
**************THIS ISN'T WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR **************
What I valued was a room with a balconey (high floor) but enstead I was hit with vague responses which in turn, I thanked them for their time...hung up the phone....then called right back. On the third phone call, a ABD rep by the name of DIEDRA informed me that (during the course of the conversation) that I could be given a room with "A view of a parking lot" for all she knew.
So , again I thanked her for HER time.....ended the call on a positive close ....then hung up AND CALLED BACK AGAIN.....FOR A FOURTH TIME.
This time, I got a hold of a rep who said the following:
That she said ABD holds a block of rooms that (at Disney's Grand Californian) are standard inside COURTYARD views and that your balconey will be determined upon what floor and where your room is located. feeling now more satisified upon hearing her answer, I thanked her and again....ended the call on a positive close.
So, a few hours go by and I think a little (after calming down over the way ABD rep DEIDRA customer DISserviced me), I am writing this as to "go to bat" for future ABD DISsers who desire this kind of a room with this kind of a view.
Therefore, I am calling back ABD Saturday for a FIFTH TIME to discuss this issue and to make sure that they have in my profile that I like a hotel room located on a high floor and that the comments section on this vacation of mine clearly state my requests for a No charge room upgrade (if avail) at either hotel and at Grand Californian; to either a park view or Dwntown Disney view.
So, to wrap up here on this silly issue...the reason why I feel so strongly about this issue is I feel highly offended by Deidra's remark about possibly receiving a hotel room with a view of a parking lot.:confused:
I wouldn't feel this way if I was a dot com'er reserving a room at my local Motel 6 or even gosh forbid......my local Howard Johnson's hotel/motel.....[B]but these two hotels (on this trip) are not of this caliber and that I don't feel it is necessary to treat ABD guests as such/B] as in the way Diedra verbally treated me.:headache:
Moreover, after I got to thinking, I am reading in the USA TODAY's money section recently that the hotel industry's occupancy levels (nationwide) has fallen on average by 14-16% over the last 12 months and...........yyeess.....I also work in the hotel industry in the hospitality section of it and I know that as a whole, the entire hotel / amusement park industry is hurting for business.
Therefore, this is why I feel compelled to push this issue and see where it falls.
*** WISH ME LUCK *****popcorn::
WIll write more about my fav subject this Sunday as well as the update on my "request" for a no charge room upgrage if available at either hotel.
Well that is very sad..........
As i would have hoped that ABD guest would have gotten the better rooms for all the money that they are about to spend or have already spent.
That is sad......As i had hopedto take many ABDs in the future.
And a hotel room view is the icing on the cake for me.
I DEFINITLEY would not want to look at a parking lot.........
ALTHOUGH, knowing what i do know when you are in WDW looking at a parking lot would mean just that parking lot and some trees (MAYBE)
AT DL parking lot view would have to be a little better (although, still not what i wold want from ABD) becasue you are so compacted in, that you would most definitley have to see surrounding hotels, several city streets, I would have to imagine that you might even be able to cathc a glimpse of the monorail from a parking lot view.............BUT STILL PARK OR GARDEN WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER.
I will be interested to hear how this goes. I also spoke with my TA about the GC for our ABD BSM trip next year. I want to put in a bed type request and my TA said she was told to call GC a month beforehand to set this up. There's enough else for me to do in these next 4 weeks that its on next year's 'to do' list! :rotfl2:
Good luck with your phone call!
I'm going to throw out here a suggestion that if, once you get to the GC, you still don't like your room (view of a parking lot) that you bring it up to your Adventure Guides. When I was on Southwest Splendors, everyone but me and the family of 3 got rooms facing the river (it made sense for the family of 3, because all the river view rooms are King bed rooms, but for me...) The Adventure Guides *offered* to get me moved. So if you aren't happy -- say something! That's a part of the guide's job. No guarantee they can do anything if there's no rooms open, but you really need to ask.
In fact, I would suggest mentioning it to your Guides at the start of the tour. That way, they can communicate with the GC before you're checked in.
"the great 'room with a view' debate: Resolved"
:goodvibes A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE WRITTEN TO ME AND OFFERED THEIR SUPPORT AND OR SUGGESTIONS because it sure feels nice to have DISboards friends :goodvibes.
Ok....some pearls of wisdom to pass on to all of you so we can all avoid situations like one of us encountered on my recently completed ABD's "Spirit of America" trip (Sept 2009) which was:
They were housed (Hyatt at Penn's Landing via the Philadelphia part of the trip)......right next door to a wedding party.:scared1:
How do I know this?? Well, I make it a point to converse daily with all fellow adventurers and they told me. And yyeesss.......I met the Groom later on that morning while in the elevator (AFTER the ABD guests got moved) and said to him with my arm raised and my first clenched, "party on dude!"
With which he replied, "SWEET!" with both arms raised with fists clenced as he proceeded to do a rebel yell.
SO.......my pearl of wisdom I would like to pass on is I have learned the importance of making sure your "GUEST PROFILE" ABD computer screen is always up to date (whenever you call ABD) and that your guest preferences has been made very clear to ABD and to follow up on this approx 2 weeks prior to departure (with ABD) so that there is no confusion at hotel check-in.
Now....about that customer service issue with that ABD rep.....
Please keep in mind that it is very important to remember that it's not what one says but in how one says it and that furthermore, it is very important to have your "homework done" in relation to your issue and to be prepared to defend it.
So, I took a step back and gave ABD a call Saturday at 11:38am and did not finish with my phone call to them until 1:58pm. I know this because I was having fun working on a Disney photomoasic puzzle as I was conversing.:cloud9:
** And I finished about 1/3 of the 1000 piece puzzle **
The air was cleared (I recapped with her my previous posting and then some) and I get a feeling that I caught ABD's attention and that moreover I feel that it will be reflected in this upcoming ABD trip of mine:woohoo:
I can't say what nor do I feel comfortable revealing who I spoke with but I do have her internal phone number and have no issue speaking with her directly from now on. During the phone call, she also apoligized to me for that rep's incredibly poor behavior and assured me that ABD is here to take care of me. That felt good to hear because I have grown to love ABD and really appreciate what they do.
WE all have our "bad hair" days from time to time but I felt that this one rep needed some coaching and coaching she will receive from her supervisor.
Oh....and now for the good part:
From what started out as me coming home (while on the Disney cruise ship in January 2009) to 2 "big cookies" and a glass of milk always waiting for me in my refrigerator, has grown into a tradition for me. I always like coming home after a long day :lmao: at a Disney park or what not to something like that waiting for me.
Well....let's just say (after my over 2 hour phone call back up to ABD) that I have no worries about that NOR coming home to any hotel room during this vacation with NOT just a good view.....BUT A FANTASTIC VIEW including a balconey where applicable:dance3: & :woohoo: & :thumbsup2 & :cool1: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I have no worries about other issues as well but they are minor - still, I don't wanna give away anything here but I feel that they will be reflected back thru my trip popcorn::.
So to wrap it up here everyone......please make sure that not only your Guest profile computer screen is up to date with ABD but to please make sure that you make it very clear to ABD your preferences and that if you are not satisified over anything during your trip, please speak with your ABD guide as they are here to help you to resolve any issue to your satisifaction.:cloud9:
NOW......onto what I really am here to talk about -
MY PRE-TRIP REPORT:)
OR AS MICKEY MOUSE SAYS..........
"And now, On with the show!"
"the Fraggle who came to dinner"
......hey - look who came a knocking on my front door the other day?
So....the "Fraggle with no name" has decided to tag along with me and be the local food critic and what not for my upcoming "Backstage Magic" vacation. He prefers to be called the "Fraggle with no name" on account if you type his name into the computer, out will pop his name spelled as:
To avoid any confusion nor any hilarity over his first name, he just prefers to be called the "Fraggle with no name" or "FWNN" for short;).
I am having fun "studying up" on DL and Calif Adventure parks by buying the Birnbaum book the other day:hippie:. That book is soooooooo helpful and I would highly recommend it to anyone as a primer and a place to put your computer printouts from other things related to your trip. So, in between that and watching the Disney movie "Ratatouille" for the first time, I am beginning to have a pretty good feeling as to the pace of this trip which is:
* ;) Always expect the unexpected when you run with me on a Disney trip;)*
Speaking of that, FWNN has also brought along some party crashers who want to go with him on this trip:
AND who am I to say 'no' to? HHHHHmmmmmmmmm...hope I don't exceed hotel occupany in my room:lmao:.
BUT.....about my Muppet conversation I had years ago with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew....
TO BE CONTINUED....
(I'm off to watch the Disney movie, "The Parent Trap" for the very first time)
During the course of booking four AbD trips within the past 3 years, I have spoken to most of the AbD agents, including Deidra, and they have ALL been friendly and helpful. Not once has any of the agents been flippant or rude to me.
I don't know what happened between "knewton64" and Deidra to elicit such a response from her (allegedly). However, I would caution everyone not to form any negative impressions of Deidra based solely on his comments, which were most likely taken out of context. We don't know what exactly was said, or how it was said, during his conversation with Deidra.
I'm glad the AbD supervisor was able to resolve the issue to your satisfaction. Have a great time on your Backstage Magic tour!
Some clarification here....
Whereas I highly appreciate your feedback, the issue I have concerned the lack of customer service I received from the above mentioned ABD rep. I understand clearly that we all have our good C.S.R. days and our bad C.S.R. days BUT....that doesn't mean that you say to a highly valued ABD guest (during the phone conversation on last Friday) that, "For all I know, yur gunna receive a view of a parking lot."
That above comment is what I found to be extremely unprofessional and extremely demeaning to this ABD guest. This, combined with 2 previous ABD reps being very defensive about this topic (which by the way, I didn't initiate) involked me into thinking what is going on here and why are they being so defensive. Please re-read my above post for any further clarification on this if necessary.
Moreover, I also work in the hotel /hospitality industry and I am very well aware that words carry meaning and to be aware of what I say to our valued guests.
Therefore, since she chose to act in this way, I chose to take a step back for 24 hours and think of how to approach ABD on this CSR verbal mistsep as I believe firmly that you too would feel just a little concerned about receiving this kind of customer service on your ABD trip (considering all hotels nationwide are incurring a 16% drop in occupancy over the last 12 months).
But rest asssured everyone (as I am very customer serviced oriented) , I have no ax to grind with the above mentioned ABD rep and should I encounter her again over the phone, I have no problem conversing with her....after all -
:hippie: ** WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS**:hippie:
And lastly, yes - you (and others) are more than welcome to follow along in my trip report as I am looking forward to this adventure. I have done a lot of extensive reading and asking the right questions concerning this trip and will quite literally be hitting the ground running when I touch down at LAX in a little over 90 days.
I have done this because I believe very strongly in being an informed ABD guest as my biggest pet peeve is "running up the heel" of a Disney park guest who has their nose buried in a park map because they don't know where they are going :headache:.
On a lighter side, I have only witnessed one couple "Going Disney" on each other and that was within the first 10 minutes of me checking into the Caribbean Beach Hotel (Jan 2009). I have read about this and it was quite funny listening in (we were all at the hotel bus stop waiting for the bus to take us to one of the Disney parks) to their verbal fight. A fight while at all places - DISNEY.
What's your pet peeve? As a matter of fact, that opens the door to an interesting conversation so let me open up that question to all of you. What's your biggest per peeve while visiting a Disney park?
Feel free to list your answers below as the answers should be quite interesting to read;) .
NOW.....on with the show:goodvibes.
The great muppet 'Hare-raising" adventure, who 8 my Disney photomosiac puzzle?, misc.
(photo taken @ Smithsonian Institution of American History; Sept. 2009 during my ABD's Spirit of America trip)
Ok.....my rather unique Muppet adventure all started a long long time ago when I was in secondary school & was enrolled in a creative writing class. The assignment one day was to write a short story and gear it towards children.
I decided to write a story that concerned the learning of prepositions and surround it using a character of a frog.:goodvibes My short story got rave reviews (and a subsequent A from the professor) from all but then disaster struck a few months later as I learned a very important lesson in copywriting anything that you writepopcorn::. What do I mean by all of this? Well...
**It all had to do with Sesame Street**
So, here I am a few months later, flipping around the television channels in a vain attempt to find something to watch. I finally realize there is something to watch on the local PBS station but it would involve sitting through the last few minutes of Sesame Street. As I am noshing a bit on my meal, suddenly I drop my fork and stare blankly at the television screen; for I witness scene by scene, preposition by preposition......MY SHORT STORY!:3dglasses
After a few minutes of allowing my jaw to be picked up off the floor, I call my professor and ask him what should I do. He replied that I should call CTW and ask them. So, off I go and call up to NY to see what's up.
After getting bounced around from department to department, (they thought I was going to sue them), I finally landed in the legal department and spoke with a very nice young lady who advised me that their idea came into play 6 months AFTER I wrote my short story. I ended the phone call on a positive close and also obtained her fax number; which over the years has morphed into her e-mail address as we still keep in touch today.
Anywho - one year, she asked me (through her work contacts) if I would like to watch a filming of the Muppets. Of course, I replied that I would be delighted but I threw a curve at her & asked her if time permitted, would I be allowed a short conversation with them. She saw no objection to it & it was like I had died and gone to heaven watching the Muppets at work:cloud9:!
I sat quietly off in a corner and watched the days shoot and as they were wrapping up, look who I spy but Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his trusty assistant....Beaker:woohoo:.
I couldn't resist in asking the Doctor if he had any remedies for my "cranium folicle deficiency problem" (it was during this time that I began to lose my hair and take on the look of Dr. Phil):lmao:. After conferring with Beaker for a few minutes, both he & Beaker went behind what looked like a Muppet closed door and then reappeared after a few minutes. What puzzled me next was Dr. Honeydew had something in "his hand" and I wanted to know what it was.
It was a miracle I didn't bust a gut in a vain attempt from keeping myself from laughing WHILE still keeping eye contact (Dr. Honeydew has eyes?;)) with him as he "handed" me his solution.
He "handed" to me a small Bean Bunny plush doll and said to sing to him every night and that should do the trick:lmao:. I accepted his remedy with dignity and grace, thanked both him and Beaker for their kindess and exited the room. My pace was rather quick and the moment I got outside, I felt I have never laughed soooooooooooooooooo hard in my life:rotfl2:!
Now.....if that remedy of his would just work!:rotfl:
So as I count down the days left until my ABD vacation of a lifetime, I wonder just what new adventures await me. Only time will tellpopcorn::.
OK.....WHO ATE MY DISNEY PHOTOMOSIAC 1000 PIECE PUZZLE?
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