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Old 09-23-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
DrAndreaDoesDisney
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Just Back! Contemporary Club Level (9/14-9/20)

My parents, my husband, and my 2-year old daughter just returned from Disney World. We stayed in linking rooms on the club level at the Contemporary. This was my tenth trip and my daughter's second. We visited last year and stayed at BLT. Overall, it was a great trip. We focused mostly on character interactions and shows rather than rides this year. Honestly, it was really great to enjoy the non-ride attractions that Disney has to offer even though my first love is the rides.

Here are some observations:

-We picked the Contemporary since we wanted to be walking distance from the MK. We would have stayed at BLT again but it was booked. The Contemporary is very busy, but the concierge floor was nice. However, the food provided should be a bit more diverse as many of the same items were served over and over again (e.g., peanut butter and jelly was served every single day for dessert and snacks, hummus was served one day and the next day it was served again mixed with shrimp).

-The monorail is really a MONOFAIL. I had read many complaints before we left, but boy I didn't realize just how bad it was. Every single trip was awful. It constantly stopped for technical problems. The delays were very frustrating and significant. Eventually, we just started taking the bus because it was quicker. If things continue this way, it is clear that the monorail hotels are not worth the extra money. This is particularly true since the monorails stopped running during EMH and you need to take a bus anyway. Guest services were aware of it because they randomly asked my father for his opinion when he stopped there to have an unrelated question answered.

-I didn't realize that the Magical Express can take three or four hours to deliver your luggage. We arrived at the hotel around 7pm and I wanted to put the baby to bed around ten. She ended up sleeping in the clothes traveled in since everything was packed in the luggage. Disney warns you about this but I didn't realize it. So just make sure that you have everything you need on you if taking the ME.

-This year we focused on a lot of the character interactions and it was great. Belle was particularly interactive which was appreciated. We did Mickey and Minnie three or four times. We pretty much saw everyone. I wish they had a fastpass for Tinker Bell because the wait was so long everyday. I just couldn't justify that line wait with a toddler.

-For the most part, I followed the Touring Plans app which seemed pretty accurate. The parks were definitely hopping but we didn't wait on anything longer that 15-20 minutes (most ride waits were about ten minutes. We were given two fast passes which we used at TSM (great ride!) and to meet Mickey at Town Square. We also got one fastpass to see the princesses on the last day. We really didn't need anymore fastpasses since the lines were short.

-We had a lovely day at Animal Kingdom. We did Rafiki's conservation area and petting zoo. We spent a good 90 minutes there. My daughter visited with Rafiki in his meet and greet three or four times! She colored some animal pictures. My parents had a great time looking at all of the exhibits and talking with the conservationalists. The petting zoo was done very nicely BTW.

-Food wise we didn't do as great as previous trips. Last year every meal was really amazing. This year, the restaurants weren't as good. We went to Kouzzina which was only OK though the child's meal was really good and healthy considering. Ohana was not my style as the food was very seasoned and saucy. My parents ate at the Artist's Point and they said that was the best meal but we stayed at the room because my daughter fell asleep.

-CMs are just amazing. They really go above and beyond. Their customer service is just unparalleled. It was actually inspiring. I left wondering whether I could provide better service to my clients.

-I also remembered how exhausting a Disney trip is! I am thinking about returning with my daughter alone for a week in January and doing it just the two of us on a slower pace and without herding the rest of my family around. But I am not sure whether that is practical with a two year old. It was very helpful to have extra hands to help!

I would be happy to answer any questions! Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
andyman8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAndreaDoesDisney View Post
The monorail is really a MONOFAIL. I had read many complaints before we left, but boy I didn't realize just how bad it was. Every single trip was awful. It constantly stopped for technical problems. The delays were very frustrating and significant. Eventually, we just started taking the bus because it was quicker. If things continue this way, it is clear that the monorail hotels are not worth the extra money. This is particularly true since the monorails stopped running during EMH and you need to take a bus anyway. Guest services were aware of it because they randomly asked my father for his opinion when he stopped there to have an unrelated question answered.
This! In just the last ten years or so, I've noticed has "downhill" the monorails have gone. I'm not a "Disney is declining" believer but I do feel that the monorails need some serious work.

To me, the monorails are my absolute favorite part of WDW but they are in desperate need of an update and dare I say (here it comes...) EXPANSION (queue dramatic music). I understand it's not going to happen due to financial reasons but I honestly think it would be really neat!
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
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Odd. We stayed at BLT from 9/16-9/20 and never had a single issue with monorail usage. It stopped just before the station on two occasions for about 30 seconds to wait for the monorail ahead to move, but otherwise not a single issue.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
larryz
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Thanks for sharing your observations!
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