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Old 06-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
PIRATEGIRL007
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 13,771

Just back 6/2 Random Ramblings from our trip

We just returned from 8 days in the WDW parks on 6/2. I'm going to try to do a full report later but here are some random observations:

Wyhndam Bonnet Creek- first 'offisite' visit, loved it. Would buy there if the price was right, didn't feel like we missed any of the magic. Had 2 bedroom condo very spacious and had room to spread out. It was clean and well maintained. The pool and common areas were beautiful and I recommend if you stay at WBC to skip WP&M option, you kids will love the pools and splash area enough to stay there and play and save you the $$. Only cons was no wi fi in the rooms but they had wired internet you could use for free. I had work to do and I didn't really like being tethered to the kitchen counter but it was maneagable just a little uncomfortable.

Driving vs WDW busses- as our first full offsite visit we drove to all the parks, from WBC it was easy except for MK. The hassle of parking, tram to TTC, then boat or monorail was a pain in the rear. We needed lots of extra time in the morning and in the evening when we drug ourselves back to the exit the task of going thru all that again was almost too much. I thought bus people were bad about not getting thier kids out of strollers and being prepared to board, but that was nothing compared to tram users. After 6 rounds of loading the tram we had 3 families on ours that held up the tram for another 10 minutes to fold thier strollers and such. It was mildly irritating to say the least. I'd rather wait on 2 loads of the bus and stand on the way back to the resort than do that again. When we return to WDW we will still use the busses we don't find the benefit of driving to the other parks outweight the cost to rent a car. If we have a car we will drive to DTD and maybe DHS and AK but it's not that big of an advantage.

Crowds- the parks were more crowded that this time 2 years ago IMO. We go to WDW often and are used to low crowds (like September) and late May/early June is nothing near low. It was moderate to heavy, most crowd calendars had an '8' or '9' rating and that was dead on in my expereince. We followed alot of best park advise from easywdw.com and as usual the predictions were dead on. We hop alot so we got to test out the predictions from there and touringplans.com, easywdw was dead on and TP seemed better with predictions this year but thier per park levels still seemed off to me. SWW at DHS was a madhouse as usual but a little better than 2 years ago, I'd give it a 9.75.

SWW- this year seemed much more organized and better laid out than before. Moving Hoopla to the main stage was a great idea but it will never be perfect. When adults in he 5th row put thier kids on thier shoulders it's just a domino effect and hard to see over the super tall human towers unless you are right up front. The merchandise tent being out behind RnR was great, really kept the crowds dispersed throughout the park. Charecter greetings seemed to go faster this year as well. JTA signs ups did not though, we arrived at 745 park opened at 730 and waited 45 minutes to get our kids in. Our kids waited patiently with us and we witness a dad come up with no kids and get his 3 into the show by requesting a manager. That was really disappointing to us and the 50 or so kids around us that witnessed it. Overall we had a better experience at SWW this time than in 2010.

Rides- we got to experience some broken attractions this time a little more than usual but the 2 biggest waits we had were 100% the direct cause of guest behavior. At Living with the Land someone decided to jump out to exit quicker and we had to wait thru a reset of the ride, it took about half an hour. This was during the 9-10pm hour and we missed riding Soarin' again and missed our boat back to the Boardwalk so we had to walk to the front, ride a WDW bus to DHS, then BC/YC and then Boardwalk. It took about 45 extra minutes. We also go stuck at Haunted Mansion right next to the conveyer belt b/c a kid got sick on the entrtrance walkway, we were stuck for about 25 minutes hearing the loading spiel over and over. It was disappointing that we were stuck and could not leave even if we wanted to. At least we weren't in the 'splash zone' or there may have been a bigger mess. We saw BTMRR down several times and POTC as well. We used expired FP past thier window on BTMRR on one of those days with no issues. After experiencing the 2 break downs we did it made me start wondering how many are Disney's fault and how many are b/c of guest.

FLE Construction and new things- We got to see Storybook Circus for the first time, it beautiful, pictures do not do it justice. We also saw a construction worker riding the 2nd Dumbo to test while we were on our Dumbo ride. Barnstormer theming was great and I love to see how WDW transformed this old ride into something new, it seemed so different even though it was the same ride. Over the wall lots has been done on the Casey Jr splash pad you can really see it taking shape and they had some water running to a few of the features on the day we were there testing it. We also were told on our tour there would be some charecter greeting areas added to Storybook Circus. We got to be on the very last tour of Marceline to MK that rode Snow White the day before it closed. For us that was really special and we are glad we did the tour so we could experience it.

Dining- we did not do DDP b/c offsite, we love DDP and really missed it. We used TiW and ate maybe 1/3 of the TS meals we would have had we had DDP. I havn't calculated everything yet but at first glance it seems we spent more with TiW than we would have paying for DDP. We will be evaluating the exact costs and probably going back to DDP for our next visit in Sept. DD10 at off kids menus all week, never had any issues with that even though we told them she was over 10 (and we did not buffetts). Highlights of TS were Le Cellier, it was great as usual and everyone enjoyed it. Lowlight was Rain Forest Cafe but we expected that, we only ate thier b/c our IL's refused to budge on the ADR. It wasn't bad but just ok. And so loud it makes Chef Mickey's seem like the library.

Gay Days- I knew well in advance of GD and we went to those parks anyway. I didn't say anything to DH or DMIL or the kids. DH noticed pretty quickly b/c of a rainbow Mickey head display and he and I talked about how the blow up online is way out of proportion for GD (amoung other things, like Pop Warner). We saw alot of families being families just blending in, not any outrageous behavior or anything inappropriate. We didn't see any massive displays of PDA (actually for once didn't see any all week, it was odd, probably b/c the heat, I didn't want to hold DH's hand in that heat much less start making out, I'm way too sweaty) and only a few unique tshirt slogans but no cussing and nothing worse than you would see on a normal park day. We did both AK and DHS on the GD designated days. Crowds were not low, but not crowded either, it seemed GD had little effect on them. DMIL had no clue on saturday we were at AoA looking at the new resort and she saw one of the planes flying above with the GD banner and asked when it was, I told her we had been at the parks on the designated days and she said she noticed nothing out of the ordinary at all, just lots of families being families. We saw more rude people and blatent cussing from SWW participants.

Stroller- DS6 (will be 7 this friday) went stroller free this trip. He is the absoloute laziest kid I know (and will tell you that himself) and he did fine. An example of his self admitted laziness:
DS: is this where the HISTK playground is?
Me: yes, we we will go there later this week and let you play.
DS: it's really cool, I like it but can we ride rides instead? At least you get to sit down on the rides for a few minutes.

Once all week he said he was tired but that was it. We didn't have a problem keeping up with him (which was my biggest concern) and we are glad we didn't revert to the stroller. We took a break almost everyday for at least 2 hours and that seemed to help even though he ran around the condo almost the entire break time. We loved being stroller free.



That's all for now, hopefully when I get caught up on my work I can do a full report.
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