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Old 09-14-2010, 08:41 AM   #1
WheresFigment?
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 55

1st trip to Disney, from a Disney Skeptic (9/10-9/13)

So, the time has come for my first trip to Disney. I guess that's not technically true, as I believe I went when I was around 5, but I barely remember it, and it was a day trip if anything. This was also my BF and I's first vacation together!

I am 22 and he is 24. He was raised on Disney and has been dozens of times-- I was raised in a limited-tv household and didn't see many Disney movies as a kid, so I was a bit unconvinced about the whole thing. I am not a big fan of crowds or waiting in line, so I was a bit worried about the whole thing. I would have been more excited to go to Universal since I went several times as a kid for TV auditions at Nickelodeon Studios!

We stayed at Pop Century, in order to try to keep costs down since we were only going for a weekend. We're back now so this isn't going to be a live trip report, but I'll start with the plane flight down.

We are from Western MA so we flew out of Bradley Int'l in Hartford. I've flown almost 750,000 miles in my life so I have seen pretty much everything and flying is no big deal to me, while BF flies for work about every 3 weeks so he's pretty much a pro too. This was just another early haul to the airport for us. Our flight was at 7:40am and we took off for the airport about 5:45am on Friday morning.

Security was uneventful (except for waiting for the xray guy to admire my iPad as it went through the machine) and we installed ourselves at our gate about 15 minutes before boarding. We had a window and middle seat on a nice new Airbus A320, and the flight took off half full so there was no one next to me on the aisle. BF is 6'1 and he had enough legroom, which was pretty impressive. We settled in and were going to have a nice flight except:

the huge family (9 people) with three kids who were under the age of 7 or so, who spent the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes yelling, screeching, shoving, climbing, and generally being complete terrors. The flight attendant pretty much just had to station herself in the aisle to wrangle bolting children and the noise level was just incredible. The mother looked consistently amused by her children's antics (smiling, laughing, taking pictures) the father looked much-abused and beleaguered. It became obvious they were going to Disney, and this would serve to be a nice prelude for the tone of the rest of our trip.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
WheresFigment?
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Arrival and ME trip

Other than the children, the flight went smoothly, we had a nice landing around 10:15am and headed off to ME. The only hitch was the ME CM at the beginning of the line sent us to the wrong line, but there were only 2 other groups waiting so it was no big deal. We hopped on the bus and headed off. We didn't check any bags, so there were no hassles, and we arrived at the resort in about 30 minutes. We did online check in, added our park tickets at concierge, and headed up to our room, 1259, parking lot side of the 50s building. I would begin to realize just how nice this was when we'd go past the hippy dippy pool and hear constant screeching and yelling at all hours of the day and night-- thank heavens we were not poolside. We were also at the end of a walkway, so very little foot traffic, thank heavens for that too.

We decided to hop a bus to Downtown Disney, where I acquired my first florida sunburn.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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So, off we headed to the buses out front to trot off to downtown disney. We took a wander through everything, I bought a pair of flip flops at Curl since I didn't realize how painfully hot it was going to be and my sneakers were insanely hot to wear. Pretty soon we were beat by the heat and stopped for a beer at Raglan Road-- guiness for him and wagner's for me. We headed off to earl of sandwich for a lunch and frozen lemonade, then it was back to the hotel, where I began to realize what I was really in for on this trip.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #4
WheresFigment?
Earning My Ears
 
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Posts: 55

Now is a good time to make a comment about our hotel and why I don't think we'll ever stay there again.

We are obviously both childless, and I'm an only child as well (he has a younger sister.) I don't generally mind kids, but the sheer number of kids and resulting noise in this hotel were borderline intolerable. I have NEVER seen so many badly behaved children OR adults in one place in my entire life. You could not step out your hotel room door without being run over, barreled into, or witness to crying, whining, screaming, yelling, or general total lack of control. The buses were full of being kicked, yanked on, more screaming, yelling, shrieking, loud adults, drunkenness, etc. There was a distinct and total lack of class amongst the other hotel guests, that was NOT reflected in the general composition of the park crowds (met a lot of really sweet and well behaved kids at the parks, actually). In addition, there was at least one large foreign tour group, that traveled in herds and seriously blocked up the food court at mealtimes between the language barrier and trying to understand the dining plan.

We stopped by a Moderate (POR) and several deluxes (CR, Poly, GF, SSR) and their guests were NOTHING like this. We saw people walking quietly, kids speaking at normal volumes, a distinct lack of running and yelling, and the parents actually looked like they were enjoying themselves instead of looking drunk or tired.

We had an OK time, and the hotel room itself was fine, but the other guests have pretty much guaranteed that we'll never stay there again, and we are considering never even staying on property again. It was truly horrendous.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:03 AM   #5
WheresFigment?
Earning My Ears
 
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On to the parks: We had a thoroughly enjoyable day at Epcot on Saturday, with very low crowds. I got to get my figment toy (a large reason for our taking this trip was so I could replace a much-loved Figment toy that my mother decided to throw out) we saw Captain EO, and had a lovely wander through the world showcase.

We had a nice lunch at Via Napoli, which was very busy at 2pm when we went there-- we were seated within minutes of arrival, but drinks were slow to arrive and the pizza took about half an hour. It was worth it though as the pizza was phenomenal. We also had a window seat which provided us a nice view of the italian square, at least until people decided to park a bunch of massive strollers right there

I have a small rant about strollers, coming from the perspective of a very frequent traveler: If you are traveling, or even going someplace where you will have to frequently load and unload your child and fold and unfold the stroller, WHY do you bring some huge cadillac monstrosity of a stroller? I saw double-wide strollers with cup holders, hydraulic brakes, underseat baskets loaded with stuff etc that took people endless amounts of time to fold and haul onto the bus, or were causing people to do higher math to maneuver them through shops and lines etc, never mind the gate check disaster at the airport. There is a product called the "umbrella stroller" that is designed for this. They are lightweight, fold very small, and sure, you will have to give up your cupholders and whatever other features (air suspension? I don't know) but your back and your fellow travelers who are annoyed with the pile of double wide strollers taking up several seats on the bus will thank you.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:07 AM   #6
WheresFigment?
Earning My Ears
 
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Sunday we did the Magic Kingdom, but by this time the heat and humidity (it was well above 90 and very sticky the whole time we were there) was getting to us and we spent most of the afternoon back at the hotel napping. We did return for Wishes, or tried to, as 10 minutes before the show was to start a huge thunderstorm ripped through. We spent about half an hour trying to stay dry in a phone booth by tomorrowland terrace, until finally they announced wishes had been cancelled. We had EMH that evening, but we decided we'd had enough and headed back to the hotel to crash.

I had a good time, but I don't know how anyone can survive Disney with actual crowds-- I thought it was a bit crowded for my liking, but BF kept saying it was "so dead" and he'd "never seen it this empty." I'm sure we'll go back because he is addicted, but I think I am still not quite sold on the whole experience.
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