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Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by kristieuk, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. kristieuk

    kristieuk DIS Veteran

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    We arrived home Sunday afternoon, and now I feel so blue - it never gets any easier coming home does it?

    We were only in Orlando for a couple of days as we love the beach too much and we had wedding stuff to sort out, but I thought I would do a review of what we did do and see that stuck in my mind:-

    Crowds - (MK and MGM) - the lowest we have ever ever experienced, even at this time of year. It was obvious just walking around that there were so few people there, and there were virtually no queues at all for anything - max we waited was maybe 5 mins, but most things were just walk on. Fantastic!

    Cinderella's Breakfast - DD loved this, although she was really shy. The breakfast itself is quite poor, but then that's not why we go is it! Cinderella was greeting downstairs, and then doing the tables were Belle, Mary Poppins, Fairy Godmother, Wendy, and Snow White. They were really attentive, and they didn't rush us at all. It was really well worth it.

    Cinderellabration - I was quite disappointed with the new show. I can't remember what it was called before, but is was so much more 'Disney' before - the new show has too few real characters in it - a few princesses, but a lot of other 'fillers'. It needs Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy to be a proper Disney show! It just wasn't the same. I don't know whether others would agree or not.

    Cinderella's Castle - was absolutely beautiful all decorated for the 50th anniversary celebrations. It's a shame that they will ever take them down, they were really special.

    Christmas Decorations - were up this time last week, which seems earlier than previous years, but maybe we didn't go at the same time. Anyway, they were fanastic, and just added to the Disney magic! It really gets you in the spirit of things - for all of you going over the next few weeks, I am so jealous. It was just lovely.

    The New Stunt Show at MGM - can't recall it's proper name, but it was awesome, real hair raising stuff. Those guys are awesome (and something about real life stuntmen in leathers to cheer up an afternoon!). This is definitely something to see if you haven't had chance yet.

    Fantasmic - as fantastic as ever! What else is there to say?

    Sheraton Safari - a really nice hotel, 5 - 10 mins drive from the Disney gateway. We had a suite which was huge with good quality furniture. We didn't really get use of it, but if you are staying in Orlando, it would be great to have the extra space, and we payed just $99 / night on special rate. The pool looked really nice too. We would definitely stay there again.

    Delta - where to start? I actually like the flight itself - the planes always seem new, the food is good as far as airplane food goes, the crew are super friendly, and even the pilots are down to earth humans (ours was telling us the football scores as he was getting them through halfway across the Atlantic, and just chatting generally).

    But : when we arrived at Tampa for our connecting flight through Atlanta home to Gatwick, we were told that flight no longer existed. It had been replaced by a new flight number leaving 15 mins later. We were told by Delta that our UK agent (Airline Network) were informed, and they should have rebooked us onto the new flight. They hadn't, and the new flight was full. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and about an hour at the check-in desk with a bored 6 yr old, they eventually managed to get us a flight to Gatwick out of Cincinnati, but we ended up waiting hours, and losing our allocated seats to Gatwick - the only seats available were in row 41 that don't recline. This is the last thing you need after 2 weeks of trying to relax - all that hassle!

    I've called Airline Network and they say it's not their fault. Their system does automatically update with new flights, but Delta should rebook passengers, not them. I can see we're just going to become the ball in a ping-pong match, but it's just so annoying when you spend time planning and making sure everything is ok to be messed around, and no-one will even apologise!

    Another gripe, even though I called before we flew to check baggage allowance (and told 32kgs x per person), checked in at Gatwick without problems, checking in at Tampa coming home, we were told we would be charged $25 for each bag over 50lb (I think about 22kgs!). I explained what we had been told, and even pointed to the boarding card holder we had from the way out that states 32kg x 2 per person, but she wouldn't budge. There were 5 of us with 8 peices of luggage ($200!!). Her attitude was that 'London were mistaken', and pulled out one of her boarding card holders to prove her point - but this said 32kgs!! Despite this, and much arguing, she insisted we pay, and refused to check us in if we didn't.

    By now, I was so cross, and much to her annoyance, I emptied the heaviest things from the cases, put them into our hand luggage holdalls, and checked them (there was luckily no queue!). It was just so annoying - and what does it achieve?? Health and safety is 32kgs, so it's not that, and none of us were over the total 100lb per person, or anywhere close. Had we been given the right information, we would have just taken more bags, that's no problem - I just didn't appreciate being held to ransom at the check-in desk.

    She did say most of the major airlines were introducing a similar policy over the coming months - whether that is true or not remains to be seen.

    Anyway, we are home, safe, sound (but cold and sad), so I suppose that's all that matters. Thank you so much for everyone for all the information and advice. Here's to planning next year!
     
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  3. KayleeUK

    KayleeUK Still here.....

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    Apart from the flight, sounds like you had a lovely trip :)
     
  4. wils

    wils <font color=ff6633>Has had Capt. Jack Sparrow on h

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    All sounds lovely bar the getting home part! It's great being there with low crowds isn't it - you almost feel spoilt
     
  5. Miffy2003

    Miffy2003 <font color=orange>I've got Saratoga Springs - mak

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    Welcome home, Kristie!!

    I totally agree with you about most of what you said - Fantasmic, CRT etc :)

    What bizarre behaviour from the flight check in lady though!
     
  6. eyoreaud

    eyoreaud <font color=peach>Who? Us? Nosey? NEVER!<br><font

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    :cold: Welcome back Kristie :cold:

    Glad you had a good holiday. It's such a shame your flight home was such a disaster though :grouphug:

    Audrey ::MinnieMo
     
  7. angel659

    angel659 <font color=peach>Have A <font color=deeppink>Magi

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    Hi

    Welcome back!

    I agree with the cinderella show. I thought that as soon as I watched it. It really needs Mickey etc dancing around the stage.

    Pleased you had a great time!
     
  8. wicket2005

    wicket2005 <font color=deeppink><marquee behavior=alternate>H

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    Sorry to learn about your return journey problems, what a nightmare. Still at least you had a fantastic time otherwise you wouldn't be feeling so blue now. I hate coming home too.
     
  9. kristieuk

    kristieuk DIS Veteran

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    I'm a strong believer that the only way to partially get over the post holiday blues, is to have the next one booked! It's funnny how may people here do exactly that isn't it! I sometimes feel like my life becomes one big countdown!
     
  10. Merylj

    Merylj DIS Veteran

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    Pleased you had a great time, I`d have been very upset by the hassle at the airport!
    There are all those new rules about being bumped from flights (not that I`m entirely certain what they are :confused3 ) As you booked in the UK can trading standards help?
    We returned a week ago and I agree about the blues!
     
  11. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

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    Sounds lovely ~ except for the trip home.
     
  12. Pootle

    Pootle <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    Kristie: I arrived home on Saturday after spending a week in Florida so sounds like we were there for some of the same time as you.

    Agree about the crowds, or lack of, and definitely about the decorations being up earlier. We were so surprised since we have never seen the Osborne Christmas lights at MGM at this time; they are usually just putting them up when we are there.

    Your flight home sounded dreadful and it was what Airline Network did to our booking one year that stopped me using them for flights (like you, we ended up on the non-reclining back row after my early booking and seat selection). I wrote to complain and didn't even get an apology - just an acknowledgement and flimsy 'explanation'. But, I reckon this has cost them many thousands of pounds' worth of my business since!

    Glad to hear the rest of your trip was so good; and wasn't the weather near-perfect too? :sunny:
     
  13. kristieuk

    kristieuk DIS Veteran

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    Glad you had a wonderful time too! Yes, the weather was wonderful. Down near Sarasota where we stayed, we barely saw a cloud for 2 weeks, and even in Orlando, it was in the mid 80's the couple of days we were there. I think a cold snap was forecast for this week though (but then thats still high 60's!)

    I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with Airline Network. We have used them before, a lot of times for car hire, and this is the first problem we have had. I do always prefer to book directly with the airline because you know where you are then, but AN were a lot cheaper for the same flight. I would think twice in the future - it's only when you come to need help that you how good they really are.
     
  14. Laurafoster

    Laurafoster DIS Veteran

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    We had a problem with "over weight" bags once due to being given the wrong information aswell. I managed to buy this holdall last year that is really light and packs completely flat. That way if they argue about it at check in i can just transfer some heavy things over! Just make sure to pack the bag near the top lol!
     
  15. jns

    jns <font color=cc3366>Tries hard to get the jelly off

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    Totally agree
    Please bring back Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy
    with a family of all boys
    we only watched half of it

    big change from last year when we wached Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy and the gang about ten times

    welcome home
    let the saving and planning begin again
     
  16. Miffy2003

    Miffy2003 <font color=orange>I've got Saratoga Springs - mak

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    Moira :wave2:

    Welcome home, I am glad you had a great trip too :)
     
  17. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    welcome back!!

    we totally agree with you about Cinderellabration - we thought it was the worst thing ever....
    the only good thing about it, is it shortened the lines in Tomorrowland each time there was a showing...

    as for Delta.....we had problems with them and we didn't use the same booking company you did....Delta somehow "lost" some of our reservations for the return trip to new york....fortunately they had seats available on the plane that they could rebook, but they were total idiots about it...

    we flew several of the US domestic airlines this year and of them, Delta was the least professional and had the worst ground service...

    as for weight, since the overseas portion of our flight was on an international carrier (not Delta), Delta had to honor the overseas carrier's weight allowances (even though they're higher than Delta's)....but if you fly the US carriers, most of them have lowered their weight allowances both domestically and internationally (for example, continental lowered theirs)...
     
  18. gbrchill

    gbrchill Mouseketeer

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    We didn't bother with Cinderelabration at all (DS is 9 and has an aversion to anything remotely "pink"). We just enjoyed the lack of people that Cinderelabration created.

    :) Chris.
     
  19. Scottish-Helen

    Scottish-Helen DIS Veteran

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    Glad you had a good trip and experienced low crowds. Re your flights Delta shoulod have rebooked you onto the new flight and then sent what is called a queue to Airline Network who were holding your reservation. They in turn have to "action" or accept this change in the airline booking system.

    Somebody has to take responsibility as this is awful to hear.
     
  20. kristieuk

    kristieuk DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for that information - it's useful to know what the procedure should have been - it might help in being able to establish exactly who messed up. But I feel it is so much hassle writing letters and waiting for responses, particularly at this time of year when there is so much else going on. I will do it though, simply out of principle.
     
  21. Scottish-Helen

    Scottish-Helen DIS Veteran

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    Let us know how you get on :)
     

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