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Old 04-27-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
Texas Crude
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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A Few Thoughts From a First Trip

My DD 4.5 and I (daddy-daughter trip) just got back from a week at WDW. This was my first trip as an adult, and her first trip period. A few thoughts below, some of which may be too frank for some!

1) Stayed in one of the Royal Rooms in Port Orleans Riverside. I liked that I got to stay in a beautifully landscaped and more adult themed resort while still giving my daughter possibly the best themed room anywhere. Struck a good balance of "staying immersed in Disney" but not getting "Disney overload", if that makes sense.

2) Found the boat to DtD to be extremely convenient and a pleasant experience. Didn't get to spend as long as we'd have liked in DtD (went there for the afternoon after we arrived on property, but headed back for an early bed time), but thought it was pretty fun. T-Rex was as loud as advertised, and though my DD wasn't frightened (more on this later) by the noises, we didn't enjoy it. We actually left about 5 minutes after they sat us down and ate elsewhere.

3) The Ghirardelli sundays were amazing. $9 a pop is a bit much, but I'll get another next time we go.

4) Signed my DD up for The Bayou Pirate Adventure (another bonus from staying at Riverside -- I got a break at my resort!). One of the best kept secrets at WDW. She had a blast, I got a nice break. She's eager to do this again with her little sister when we go back.

5) CS at Riverside was impressive. Loved the pasta bar. Ate there more than I should have.

6) On our last day we had to catch the 10:30am Magical Express, so we were at the resort for breakfast. I was SHOCKED at how crowded it was. Are people really that lazy that they can't get themselves to the park in time for rope drop?

7) I was also shocked at how many parents seemed to think that yelling at their child for something insignificant was the best way to spend their vacation. We were standing in line to see Tiana (45 minute wait), and there was a cute little 2 year old in line right behind us. As you could expect, the 2 year old had no interest in standing still in line, and wanted to go do something else. In fact, she said several times that she didn't want to wait in the line, and would rather go somewhere else. The mother, though, was insistent (and got pretty nasty) that they wait in line, because "you really want to see Tiana, so we have to wait in this line!". Is the vacation for you, or for your daughter? If you're there for your daughter, go do something she wants to do! This was just an example, but I can't even count the number of times I saw this kind of stuff happening. "Don't touch your sticker, or it won't be sticky anymore! I told you not to touch it! Why are you still touching it!" Clearly the kid doesn't care, so why do you? Drove me nuts.

8) I understand I don't know the whole story in all of the cases, but whatever. Being fat should not qualify as a disability. I understand not everyone's body type mirrors that of Adonis, but most everyone's body is capable of being fit enough to walk and wait in lines like the rest of us. Flame me all you want, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

9) ETwB was pretty amazing, so long as you understand it's a character experience and NOT a ride. We waited 45 minutes to meet Tiana, and 45 minutes to meet Belle, but the experiences weren't anywhere near the same.

10) Best character experiences were (in no particular order): Gaston, Rapunzel, Tinkerbell, Belle. I thought the actors had a really good grasp on their characters and brought a lot of fun to the interactions. My daughter liked Cinderella a lot, but she was pretty blah. Aurora seemed the most blah. They need to pull her out of the rotation or search Ebay for a personality they could get her.

11) I hope the new mermaid ride is still under construction. Compare this to Peter Pan, and you see how much better it could have been. While Pan isn't particularly exciting, you do get the sense that you're in Never Never Land. The building materials are hidden from you, you don't see the ceiling or any lights. Mermaid seemed like a ride some dude put together in his basement. The music and animatronics were great, but when you look up you see all the stage lights like it's a play down at the YMCA. 90% complete.

12) Not sure if a pineapple-vanilla swirl pineapple juice float counts as a "Dole Whip", but if it does, then this is every bit as good as advertised! DD and I planned on splitting one, and then I found myself back in line for a 2nd!

13) CRT was $90 well spent. Not sure I'd do it for my full family, but for the 2 of us it was totally worth it.

14) Started the trip off with a 7:15 breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Food was mediocre, but I'd do it again. Character interaction was great, and it really set up the "magic" for the trip.

15) Smushed penny collecting was a hit. Cheap fun and a long-lasting souvenir. We filled up about half of the book with them and it was one of the most fun things we did.

16) Hollywood Studios was a let down, but a TSM was a 10. Great, clever ride. Appeal for all ages. The rest of the park sucked though... we got there for 8:00am EMH and left by noon. My DD liked rides, and there just weren't many. We did TSM 3 or 4 times and TT. Saw the Disney Junior show, and played in the Honey I shrunk everyone place, then gave up and went back to MK.

17) Animal Kingdom was alright. Didn't think my DD would be tall enough for EE, but she managed to stand on her toes without getting caught so we gave it a whirl. Pretty intense by Disney standards. Both liked it.

18) The safari ride was awesome.

19) Dino-Rama is extremely tacky. Something I'd expect at six flags, not at Disney

20) Dinosaur ride was fun, but louder than necessary. Seems like they could durn the volume down 2 or 3 notches and not lose any of the experience. It just hurt my ears is all.

21) They seriously need to lay off of the dumbo-type rides. Dumbo is enough. Not every park needs one, and MK doesn't need 3.

22) Loved Photopass+ and will likely get it every time we go.

23) Disney transportation was fine. I can see how it'd be problematic in peak times, but when we went I can't imagine finding a car more convenient.

24) Mickey's Philharmonic has to be the most underrated ride in the park.

25) Buzz's Ranger Spin needs an upgrade. Fun concept, but you can hardly see where your laser shoots, and you don't know which targets to shoot at (are they all worth the same amount?) Different colored and stronger beams would solve half the problems.

26) Struggled to fit MK into 2 days. Struggled to fit half a day into any of the other parks (didn't do Epcot).

I guess that's it for now. Overall I loved the trip. Am looking forward to going back when my youngest is 3 or so and we can go as a family. Have zero desire to take an infant or a toddler.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
rachel09985
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I basically agree with everything you say

We just stayed at a Royal room too and I loved it!! It was gorgeous.

I just got back too and did notice a lot of parents yelling at their kids, it was sad!

In the Ariel ride I noticed that the middle part where the sing under the sea is very bright and you can see everything. It needs to be darker.

I love the dole whip float too with pineapple/vanilla. My favorite way and yes it is considered a float

I love philharmagic too and agree that there is too many "dumbo" type rides in mk!

Sort of disagree about Chef Mickey's breakfast though! I loved the food!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
Texas Crude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel09985
I basically agree with everything you say

We just stayed at a Royal room too and I loved it!! It was gorgeous.

I just got back too and did notice a lot of parents yelling at their kids, it was sad!

In the Ariel ride I noticed that the middle part where the sing under the sea is very bright and you can see everything. It needs to be darker.

I love the dole whip float too with pineapple/vanilla. My favorite way and yes it is considered a float

I love philharmagic too and agree that there is too many "dumbo" type rides in mk!

Sort of disagree about Chef Mickey's breakfast though! I loved the food!
Agree on the Ariel ride ... That's actually The room I had in mind when I mentioned this. You can also see every other clam mobile and the occupants the entire time, I don't ever recall seeing another guest in either Pan or the Haunted Mansion.
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