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Old 10-14-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
Baloo and Bagheera
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Just Back -- Comments/Trip Report

Okay, so we're not "just back"..... we were at WDW from 9/19-9/24. Some background -- Party consists of me, Wife, dd4, and ds2. The kids had experienced WDW in April but felt we needed to take advantage of our county's new Fall break (Cobb GA) and headed down for Free Dining. Here are some observations and comments on our trip:

* All-Star Movies: This place was perfect for us. My son can't get enough of BUZZ and the Andy's Room section of ASM was perfect. We requested this section when booking and brought it up again at check-in. I would say the theming works when a young boy yells "HI BUZZ" every time he enters his section of the resort.

* Free Dining: We were on the Quick Service Plan and enjoyed it. We made an attempt to find the best recommended QS restaurants and succeeded with Flame Tree BBQ (outstanding), Columbia Harbor House (terrific), and Pizza Planet (very good). We began the week conserving snack credits and wound up having too may at the end --- bringing a few cinnamon rolls back home from the Main Street Bakery was fine with me.

* Tickets: Our tickets (cards) included everything - park tickets, room key, dining plan. The problem was that if I took dd4 to Thunder Mountain with the plan to pull FP's and ride standby, and DW and ds2 (back in Tomorrowland) wanted to get a snack when we were gone for that hour -- they couldn't use our credits (I had the MYW tix for FP's). I went to the Guest Service desk at MK and asked if we could separate our park tix from our dining plan and they couldn't understand why I would want to do that --- then told me it would mess up my dining plan so they wouldn't recommend it. Am I the only one that has brought this up? I'm sure this issue has come up before and I'm curious about the response.

* Mickey's Philharmagic: This attraction is always amazing and never disappoints any in our party.

* Walking: I doubt this plan is in any guidebooks, but how about this chain of events????: We're in Frontierland, the kids are asleep in the stroller, and we have plans to see Fantasmic! that evening. We decide we can maximize the sleep by running the monorail to TTC, changing to the Epcot monorail, and strolling World Showcase if they both stay asleep (we never have to take them out of the stroller). Wouldn't you know it -- they both slept perfectly. When dd4 woke up in England and I asked her if anything was different she said, "Hey -- how did we get to Epcot?" Hilarious! Anyway, now it's time to head to DHS for Fantasmic! and we decide to WALK (thanks DW!). The first part was okay, strolling down the Boardwalk -- the rest of the way: HORRENDOUS! Don't try this at home.

* EPCOT: DW loves EPCOT and we decided in advance that we would maximize our time there. We ended spending time in Epcot on Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs -- but didn't miss anything we wanted to do in other parks. Park Hoppers ROCK!

* VIA NAPOLI: First, let me say that the Italy Pavilion is remarkably more inviting/intriguing due to the addition of the back section -- which is mostly the building that houses Via Napoli. The architecture is beautiful (almost looks too clean/new) and a pavilion that I have previously ignored looks much better. Secondly: I was SOOOOO excited for this ADR! The review: Not so good. We made the mistake of eating pizza at Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD that lunch and it was significantly better than the Via Napoli offering. We are NOT complainers -- My response to a bad meal is to typically tip 20%, don't say a word, and never come back. In this case, the manager asked DW about her experience on the way out while I waited for the check -- she didn't pull any punches. When she told him our crust was burnt and our waiter had the four of us using two forks for half the meal, he came to me and made it right. I will definitely give this place another shot and hope that our first experience was not great because of the 'newness'.

* La Cantina de San Angel: Brand spanking new counter service spot that we hit one evening. DW and I split beef nachos (they were just okay -- think Applebee's) and dd4 and ds2 had the Cheese Empanadas. This was a HUGE success. I was wondering when ordering why they didn't have a simple cheese quesadilla for kids but was happy with how my kids ATTACKED the empanada. Great menu choice!

* PARADES: I'm not a big parade guy. I loved the parades with my kids this trip. MK was perfect, including a barber shop spot for Move It, Shake It (or whatever they call it). Block Party Bash at DHS was terrific and my kids had a BLAST. I know they're putting a new PIXAR parade out there in January (isn't the current one a Pixar parade?) and I trust that Disney will make it great ---- but BPB is pretty strong.

* Fantasmic!: Whatever ROBO says about when you should get in line, trust it. I thought that in September it wouldn't be too bad --- I was wrong. Only two shows a week means EVERYONE is there 45 minutes before. THIS IS A GREAT SHOW! In comparing the three nighttime shows, I think that Fantasmic! is the best and a complete MUST SEE for my family. I even use the crazy exclamation point at the end of the word I like it so much.

* Transportation: We have always been BUS people. The buses made sense to us. However, we drove to DTD one day and on to Epcot afterward, and the post park experience was much better than the bus drama that always occurs. Let me say this --- THE BUSES ARE GREAT. If I flew, I would never rent a car, I'd take the bus. However, we drive --- and I think that every park would work out better by driving except for MK, which we'll continue to bus to. This is a BIG SWITCH for me who at one point swore by the bus service.

* Pixie Dust: In line at Triceratop Spin, the CM gave dd4 a dinosaur finger puppet. dd2 wanted a piece of the action and she gave him one too. Very cool. We try our best to 'pay-it-back' every time we leave a park by passing along unused Fast Passes. This becomes an exciting part of our trip as DW looks for the right number of people to pass magic to.

* Cast Members are GREAT. That's all I need to say. Check into an everyday business travel hotel and you'll recognize the difference immediately.


We are already looking at September 2011 for our next trip and are eyeing the MODS this time. Our history is CR, Poly, Pop, and ASMo -- any suggestions?
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:10 AM   #2
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If your looking at the mods, I would suggest CBR. I think with younger kids that new pool area would be fabulous.

Thanks for the report. We live about an hr north of you guys. We love the buses too. After driving 8 hrs I like to park the suburban and let Disney drive. But we enjoy the car for DTD and resort dining. We spend most of our time at the BWV's, therefore we walk to Epcot and DHS and then bus to MK and AK.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:22 AM   #3
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Good report - and sounds like an excellent Disney trip. You covered a lot of ground during your week, but it did not sound rushed. Great tip for anyone traveling to the World.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baloo and Bagheera View Post
* Tickets: Our tickets (cards) included everything - park tickets, room key, dining plan. The problem was that if I took dd4 to Thunder Mountain with the plan to pull FP's and ride standby, and DW and ds2 (back in Tomorrowland) wanted to get a snack when we were gone for that hour -- they couldn't use our credits (I had the MYW tix for FP's). I went to the Guest Service desk at MK and asked if we could separate our park tix from our dining plan and they couldn't understand why I would want to do that --- then told me it would mess up my dining plan so they wouldn't recommend it. Am I the only one that has brought this up? I'm sure this issue has come up before and I'm curious about the response.

I've not had that happen to me before. When I went with my sister's family a few years ago there were 7 of us in a villa with MYW tickets. We went our separate ways and didn't have any problem using the credits individually.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:24 AM   #5
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I have asked to have my tickets removed from the KTTW cards. This was due to having annual passes but had to get one day tickets for free dining. I have read in the past that doing this right away before you use the cards doesn't mess up the dining. When I double checked with the CM about this, she didn't know anything about things getting messed up. We did not have any problems during the trip so I would ask again next time.

I will second CBR as one of our favorite. Our 6, 4, & 2 year old daughters all loved the smaller of the two slides in the pool. They also have a great pirate ship kiddie pool.
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2014: July - BWV, Mar - BLT, Jan - VGC
2013: Dec - AS Sports/BWV , Nov - BWV(W&D 1/2), June - BWV/BCV, ), Mar - BLT/Fantasy Western Caribbean, Jan - BWV (Goofy)
2012: Nov - BWV (W&D 1/2), Aug - Offsite (Disneyland 1/2), June - BCV/WLV, Mar - AKV
2011: Dec - Pop/AS Movies, Nov - Pop, Oct - Dream Bahamas Cruise, BCV (W&D 1/2), July - Pop, June - Offsite, April - Pop
2010: Oct – Wilderness Lodge, AS Music (W&D 1/2), July – Caribbean Beach, April - Pop
2009: Dec – Offsite, Nov - Caribbean Beach, Oct - Coronado Springs, April - Pop
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:37 AM   #6
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That was a great report. I'm glad you all had such a wonderful time.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:59 AM   #7
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Glad you had a great vacation and I'll confirm the two PP answers that CBR would be a great fit for your family! The new kiddie pool area is WONDERFUL!
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:05 AM   #8
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Sounds like you had a great trip. We learned to drive to all the parks but MK. It's just so much easier when dealing with kids and a stroller.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:11 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing! Sounds like a fantastic time!!!
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntfrannie View Post
I've not had that happen to me before. When I went with my sister's family a few years ago there were 7 of us in a villa with MYW tickets. We went our separate ways and didn't have any problem using the credits individually.
If I understand the OP, he had the KTTW cards with him to get FPs for the entire party. If the others were in TL without their ticket/card, they could not use a snack credit.

We have never encountered this because my family is a party of 3. My DH is always the FP volunteer but we always meet right up again. We don't often separate. But I could see where this could be a problem in a larger family.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
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I've moved this thread to the Trip Reports board.
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