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Old 03-06-2011, 12:17 PM   #1
Attempting another Griswald vacation
disny45's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 90

2/25-3/5 visit report

I have to say that this was probably the most crowded trip I have ever encountered( we usually go in Feb/March or May time frames when all kids are in schooland I take mine out of school).The forecasts for this week was low so my family and I decided to go during this time as we were catching the "end" of Presidents' day crowds and knew it would be 9 and 10's and then it was "supposed" to be 2-5's. I have to say it was CROWDED. At least 1 hour waits for Space Mountain, Toy Story, etc...Soarin' tickets seemed to be out by lunchtime the days we were at EPCOT.
If you did not make it to the parks 1st thing in the morning when the park opened you were in for a good wait at most rides.

We had a GREAT time as we have all been before and knew exactly what rides to get on and how to get fastpasses, but I think many , many people including Disney did not anticipate the crowds especially for Epcot and Downtown Disney boat rides all week as we waited for busses for 30min- 45 minutes and the boats took over an hour just to get to the front of the line to board.

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside which was completely booked up-but it did not seem bad unless you went to breakfast at the 8-9am time period. For most Lunches and Dinners the resturant was dead and wonderful for those who hit the parks early.
I do have to say if you did not have any dinner reservations -it was really hard to find a place you would like to eat that had openings or less than an hour wait like T-REX cafe or Rainforest Cafe while we were there.We waited almost 1 hour and a half for T-REX during the week and the LEGO tent was PACKED- it took my son almost 45 minutes to check out- but it was a Saturday night so...

The weather was pretty much great for the most part and the kiddos swam almost every day.

But again- going back to the crowds I think the free dining thing had an ENORMOUS impact on people going to Disney that for the most part noone really could predict- as well as the winter storms up north. We met many of people who had kiddos off of school ( because of snow)that just took off to Disney to get away from the snow.

For anyone thinking they can wing the dining- just be sure that you will be happy eating the quick dining service at the hotels just in case. If it's not appealing- try to make reservations as far ahead as possible- as trying to switch reservations to another resturant proved very difficult when we had issues with the transportation and would not be able to get where we needed to be in time.Plan at least 1 hour before you want to be at your reservation so if there are long lines for transportation and you don't make the 1st bus/boat you are able to wait for the 2nd or 3rd...

All in all- a nice trip as I had a handle on how to manage- but really felt for those who went on a whim.We tried winging the "touring plan" for the first couple of days and then soon realized there was no way it would work to do it as we normally do- so we HAD to make plans for the rest of the week. LOTS of cheer groups and football fans started arriving by this past THURSDAY and many said that they were staying this full week as did many people saying they got out of LA because of Mardi Gras.

We received great Disney magic from lots of characters at the parks- my dd and I sat by bathrooms waiting for our family members many times and my dd got to have interactions with Stitch,the Fairy Godmother, The White Rabbit, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy. It was just one of those crazy things-but made my dd's day as we were not going to stand in those lines in the hot sun to meet a character as we were with 8 other people who were not interested at all.

And then we spread the magic too by giving a little girl my dd's princess dress after we were done at the princess breakfast and all my children gave their glow necklaces away to little children on our bus when they were a bit cranky going back to the hotel.

WE did the EMH once at MK and have to say the LATE EMH was THE BEST! Seems like everyone left the park and we pretty much had the park to ourselves and were able to just walk on rides (10 minutes or less wait).
But worth mentioning that I did notice they had Fast passes going on during all the EMH which I can't recall them doing during our past trips ( but could be wrong)


My little princess
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #2
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Oh, I'm detecting nuttiness.
Brian_WDW74's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9,446
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Thanks for the report. We have a separate board for trip reports, so I've moved this thread to it.

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