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Old 12-24-2008, 10:46 AM   #1
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Gianna'sPapa's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Elgin, Il.
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Unconventional Trip Report...Impressions

Due to a heavy work schedule, I didn't want to start something that I couldn't finish. So this will not be the conventional hour to hour, day to day trip report. In short form, I will give my impressions of some of the things that have been of concern or discussion by Dis'ers.

First, this was the Christmas trip my wife and I had always wanted to take, but couldn't because of family obligations. We were there from November 30-December 6th, staying at POP Century.

Hotel: POP Century was great. We did the whole reservation thing including the fax. We got exactly what we asked for, king room-first floor preferred (70s). Perfect! The CM's were great, total kudos! Everything from mapquest directions, helping to pack Christmas presents for shipping home and questions. The frozen Cokes were a highlight, I even got my wife started on them!

Refillable Mugs: This has been a hot topic over the last several months. We did what we normally do and bought new mugs. What we observed was quite unbelievable. About halfway through the week, my wife, not a Dis'er and quite unsolicited, stated "Are we the only fools who keep buying mugs?" We saw every type of mug being used, old Port of Orleans, old POP Century, stainless steel, plastic bottles. Most of the time this was right in front of CM's. Nothing was ever said. THE DEBATE GOES ON!!

Restaurants: Crystal Palace:great CM's directing the characters, made sure each character made an appearance. Through no fault of the CM, we missed Pooh and the CM made sure we had a picture with Pooh before we left. Food was very good.
Coral Reef (Candlelight Processional Package): We had seats next to the glass. There have been complaints of the size of the portions/cost. The portions weren't overly large, but I left completely satisfied. Yes, it was pricey and a little noisy. My biggest complaint was, parents who accompanied their children from other parts of the restaurant down to the glass. They had very little consideration that people were eating as they piled in to see the fish. One mother returned to her table from the restroom with her two little girls and couldn't get back to her table. She finally had to ask the parent if she would let her get back to the table. Because of the Candlelight Processional package, I felt it was worth the price.
Kona Kafe and Boma (breakfasts):Both outstanding food and service.
Mama Melrose Ristorante(Phantasmic package):The highlight meal of the trip. Great service (waiter Ken-kudos), great atmosphere, great food. Just a totally relaxing meal. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Shows:Candlelight Processional (celebrity-Brian Stokes Mitchell)- Phenomenal!! Great show. Highly recommended.
Phantasmic:Another highly recommended show.
Very Merry Christmas Party: Highly recommended, a lot of fun, even for an older couple!! Great parade, a lot of interaction with CM's!
Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights-Worth the price of admission!!!
Hoop-De-Doo Review:One of our favorites since we are long time RV'ers and have spent quite a bit of time at FW. Some have said it is not Disney-esque. Maybe but it is the essence of FW. We had tier one seating next to the stage. We became part of the show, the actors interacted with us, even posing for pictures during the show. We had a great time.

Photopass Photographers:We pre-purchased the CD and took full advantage of the photographers. They couldn't have been more accomodating and helpful. A little story: My wife decided to sleep in the morning of Animal Kingdom (not her favorite). As I started in, I asked the photopass photographer for a picture in front of the main gate. He asked if I was alone, to which I replied, "Sort of, my wife is still sleeping back at the hotel." He stated," Doesn't she know that there are very many pretty ladies at Disneyworld and she shouldn't let you out by yourself!" He then asked two passing ladies to pose for a picture with me, just for my wife!! This was the type of interaction and fun only Disney CM's can manufacture.

Transportation:We used a rental car and buses, whichever seemed more convenient for that day or thing we were doing. For those AAA members, we used the Diamond Parking areas for our rental car. That was another great service/perk.

Overall, it was the trip we dreamed of taking. All the planning and my Dis lurking paid off in spades. I really can't think of how it could have gone better!! Thank you, to all the Dis'ers for the information you have posted. It was invaluable, even to a veteran Disney person (I first visited Disneyland in 1958). If anyone has any questions or needs more information about something specific, just ask.

Last edited by Gianna'sPapa; 12-24-2008 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5,145

It sounds like you had a nice time! I'm glad you had a nice trip.

Reading your report reminded me of why I keep going back to Disney...yes, it's not the cheapest vacation out there, but every time I go, I have a GREAT time. For the most part, I've had great CM experiences, great restaurants and an all-around great time.

Happy Holidays to you!

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