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Old 12-07-2013, 02:39 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 54

Just left this morning - my impressions

We are at the airport now leaving Orlando. Here are some updates on questions that have come up recently.


4 Adults, 2 had never been to WDW before and my husband and I had been once before in January 2013. However, I did a lot of research and planning. We spent 1 day at Universal and about 6 days ParkHopping at WDW - about 1.5 days at each park, usually hitting 2 or 3 parks per day (we used buses mostly, but cabs on a few occasions) Plus we also did MVMCP on Thursday. We never made it to Rope Drop and we also did tours (Keys to the Kingdom and Wild Africa Trek - both in the morning.) which use up a lot of time.


We checked into Coronado Springs at 5 :30 PM on Saturday 11/30. We were issued the magnetic strip style Key to the World cards on check-in. We successfully used the cards to pull legacy FPs when we decided to do that.


The only days that we thought the parks were crowded were Saturday 11/30 (Thanksgiving weekend) and this past Thursday and Friday. Thursday was because 1) the football and cheerleading crowds were arriving, 2) we were at a not recommended park and 3) we left our resort at 10:30 AM. Friday was just because the football and cheerleading crowds plus the weekend arrivers. The rest of the week, we never waited more than 15 minutes for anything. We used FP+ and pulled no more than 2 extra paper FPs each day (we ended up giving away one set of legacy FPs at Hollywood Studios). Even on Thursday and Friday the longest wait was about 25 minutes for ToT

We went on:

Hollywood Studios: TSMM 3 times, ToT 6 times, RnR 1 time (it was just too rough on my noggin), Star Tours 3 times - plus rides and shows like The Great Movie Ride, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, One Man's Dream and Osborne Lights. We also had dinner at the Brown Derby at 7 PM.

EPCOT: Maelstrom x 2, Test Track x 2, Soarin' x 2, Mission Space x 2 and the boat from WS to Future World. We had fast-pass seats for Illuminations and did a lot of stopping at World Showcase.

Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest x 4, Kilimanjaro Safari x 1, Dinosaur x 1, Triceratops Spin x 1, Primeval Whirl x 1, plus we went to the bird show and the Maharajah Jungle Trek. We also went out to Rafiki's Planet Watch and watched them do a liver biopsy on a goat and hung out with the goats and pigs and sheep in the affection section. We also did breakfast at Tusker House at 10 AM.

Magic Kingdom (Not during MVMCP) - Space Mountain x 3, Big Thunder x 3, Splash Mountain x 2, POTC x 1, HM x 1, Buzz Lightyear x 2, Jingle Cruise and The Little Mermaid ride x 1. We also had dinner at Chef Mickey's and had FP+ for MSEP

MVMCP (12/5) - Space Mountain x 4, Peter Pan x 1, Winnie the Pooh x 1, Buzz Lightyear x 1, Dumbo x 1, Philharmagic x 1, and Little Mermaid x 1. We had dinner that night at BOG (5 PM) and toured the castle and waited for a picture with Beast. Cookies and cocoa were plentiful and easy to get. We watched fireworks and the late parade, leaving at around 11 PM.


I scheduled our FP+ before any tiering was put in place, but I did end up re-scheduling our FP+ reservations for Hollywood Studios and EPCOT the day before and the day of. I was able to get TSMM FP+ scheduled on the morning of our going to that park, so it's possible to use FP+ at the last minute. Same with getting Soarin' FP+ reservations on the day of our visit to EPCOT.

The tiering did bum me out because I wanted to get Illuminations AND Soarin', but it was manageable. Magic Bands were great - we loved the ease of use to getting into our rooms and the parks, checking in for FP+ reservations and charging things. Probably the only complaint was that the bands made it super easy to spend money so you need to be mindful of your budget.

As for Double Dipping, we only needed to pull 1 or 2 legacy FastPasses at any park because the lines were not that bad. We ended up handing off some Tower of Terror FPs because we had gone on it enough plus we had a dinner reservation coming up. The CMs at the legacy machines never gave us a second look when we used our KTTW cards to get paper FPs, so it's still working and you don't need to sneak around to do it.

Hopefully this alleviates the concerns of people who think FP+, Magic Bands, tiering and all that will ruin their vacation. It was a great experience and I am looking forward to doing it again soon
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
Using a certain word brings out a special kind of cray-cray

mesaboy2's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 27,183

Thanks for the report, and glad you had a great time!
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 54

One other thing worth noting is that dining reservations a couple of days before the date you want them were easy to get - we made reservations for breakfast at Tusker House the day before and there were lots of available reservations.

So if you didn't get your perfect ADR, check again a couple of days before and you might be surprised!
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