Update 2/16: NOW I feel magical! ~ A July 2012 TR

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Simba22, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    Thanks, guys! :goodvibes

    It's...umm...going! I hate being new at a job! I feel so stupid when I don't just KNOW how to do something! It's getting a bit easier but I feel so overwhelmed!

    :hug:
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    I apologize in advance for the picture quality you will find throughout this TR. Most of my family member's relied on their cell phones to take pictures and they look great on a 2 inch screen but in real life, not so much.

    And I'm sorry for the lack of pictures to start off with traveling is pretty basic and boring for most of us!

    OK so here we go!!! (deep breath)

    On Sunday, July 8, my cousin Tom and my brother Mike drove up to our apartment to spend the night, since Lumar and I live closer to the airport. We got up at 3:30am on Monday, packed up the car, and headed out just after 4:30am. We arrived right at 6am and there was hardly anyone there so we made it through security in no time.

    Me, Lumar, Mike, and Tom were scheduled to arrive in Orlando at 10:50am.
    My cousin, Toni and her fiance Josh, were scheduled to arrive at 12:10pm. Since it was just over an hour, and Toni and Josh had never taken DME before, we decided we would wait for them at the airport.

    Well by the time we get there and get off the plane, it’s after 11am and we’re all pretty hungry. We checked the TV monitor to find out which gate Toni and Josh would be arriving at (find that their flight has been delayed 10 minutes), and then decided to hang out in the main lobby area near the arrival gates for a while. But after like 10 minutes of that, we were so bored that eating was really the only thing to do. So we headed over to On The Border for some lunch.

    I was halfway done inhaling my beef empanadas before I remembered that I forgot to take pictures. I’m sorry to say that this becomes a trend on this trip.

    We finished eating probably right around noon, and the server asked us if we wanted any boxes or drinks to go. My brother was in the process of chugging down his beer (yes, beer before noon…) and the server asked him if he would like to take it to go.

    Now, we’re from Connecticut. We literally had Blue Laws preventing the sale of alcohol on Sunday until about a month ago. So when the server asked him this, he thought she was joking. After a good minute of going back and forth, she finally convinced him that he could REALLY take his beer to go.
    I can’t even describe the level of excitement that this elicited from him.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So we finished eating, took the leftovers to go (although I really don’t know why we bothered) and went to meet Toni and Josh whose plane had just landed.

    For those of you who did not read my PTR, Toni and Josh never received their DME packet. So when we got over to the B side and downstairs to the DME counter, the two of them had to wait at the desk for their boarding pass. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long, but we had JUST missed a bus going to OKW so we had to wait about 15 minutes for another one.

    Finally we were on our way!

    [​IMG]
    (Toni and Josh on their first ever DME ride!)

    continued in next post....
     
  4. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    So now we’re going to backtrack just a second.

    My sister, Steph, and her BF, Rob, drove down from South Carolina. It was to be a 9 hour drive. They originally told me they were going to leave around 3am and planned to get to OKW around noon.

    They left at midnight.

    So they got to OKW at 9am. On the dot. Seriously.

    I had done online check-in the Friday before we left, and I told Steph that although Online Check-In generally helps your room to be ready earlier than 4pm, there was almost no way it would be ready for 9am. She said they were OK with that, and they asked to be texted when the room was ready...they were going to hang at the pool.

    Now here comes the really fun part.

    Our DME bus finally arrived at OKW at around 2:30pm.


    [​IMG]

    There 421 people in line to check in. I get called over to a really nice but maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed CM. I don’t know why, but Tom follows me. She can obviously only check in one person at a time…but whatever.

    In the meantime, my sister and Toni get in line to check to see if their room is ready yet (Steph, Rob, Toni, and Josh were all sharing a room).

    My CM asks for my name instead of my reservation number which I thought was odd, but again, whatever. She found my packet with no problem.
    Then she gets to Tom and Mike’s room. Again, she asks for a last name. She can’t find them in the system.

    She must have asked 8 times “how do you spell the last name again?”

    By now, Tom is getting angry…we’re all hot and tired and sweaty and hungry.
    “Do I need to speak to someone else?” He asks – rudely, I might add.

    “Well let me have your reservation number” she FINALLY says. What a novel idea! :idea:

    Basically...Tom is in the system under Tom M. III , and my brother is in the system under Mike T. Jr so when she was just typing in the last name she was pulling up me, my sister, or Toni, but couldn’t find Mike or Tom because of the suffix. I WISH I was kidding when I said it took 15 minutes to figure this out.

    She then proceeds to tell us that, while my and Lumar’s room is ready, Mike and Tom’s is not.

    Oh, and they’re in building 12 while the rest of us are in 14.

    The other four come over to us and say that, apparently, their room is ready. But my sister and Rob were mad because they never got a text message saying so, and they were super bored at the pool for the last 6 hours.

    So we schlep everything upstairs, Lumar and I are on the 2nd floor, Steph’s room is on the third.

    [​IMG]

    You see those windows to the left of the tree on the top floor? That was their room.

    There are no elevators in building 14.

    Some pics of our room, 1422:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I just want to point out that I LOVED our balcony. I would have spent hours out there reading in the peace and quiet if I could have!

    The view from said balcony:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Lumar and I invite Mike and Tom to stay with us while we wait on their room.
    Steph calls me not 5 minutes later to say that even though the CM at the front desk gave them room keys, their room is NOT ready. So they sent Rob and Josh back to the desk to find out what was going on.

    Apparently, the manager of housekeeping came over and cleaned their room himself, apologizing profusely because he had no idea WHY their room wasn’t ever cleaned.

    At 4pm, I finally convince my brother to take a shower in our room. He never checks a bag so he had all of his clothes and shower stuff with him.
    Tom, on the other hand, did not listen to me when I said to pack clothes in his carry on, and I felt awful because at this point I never even thought about him getting his luggage from guest services. So he’s fuming now, sitting in our room, giving the CM on the phone a hard time about how it’s now 4:15 and his room isn’t ready yet.

    We had dinner reservations at T-Rex for 6pm. I wanted to leave at 5pm to make sure we had some time to get there.

    At 4:45, we finally decide to go downstairs to check on their room again, since we have to leave soon anyway.

    Me and Lumar as we left the room:

    [​IMG]

    Tom and Mike go into the desk while the rest of us went to check out the DTD Boat situation. The boat was closed due to an impending rain storm.

    Although from this pic of the pool (which we never used), you would never know it:

    [​IMG]

    The storm was actually to my back when I took this one.

    Mike and Tom are just coming out of the lobby as we’re heading to the bus stop. Tom goes to bell services to at least get his luggage. The CM says “They just brought it to your room.”

    He tells her that the lobby just told him that his room wasn’t ready yet.
    At that point, his cell phone beeps and he has a text message saying their room is ready.

    The other 6 of us get on a DTD bus, Mike and Tom say they’ll meet us there ASAP.

    At 5pm, my brother texts me and says they just got to their room and they have no shower curtain.

    We get to DTD around 5:10 and decided to get off at the Marketplace and browse through WoD for a while:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lumar is a hat guy. What can I say?

    At 6pm Mike texts me they are finally waiting for a bus. I checked us in at T-Rex, but the girl told us we can’t be seated until the whole party is there. But she told us not to worry because we won’t lose our table.

    At 6:30 he says they have seen 4 MK buses, 3 Epcot buses, and 3 DHS buses, but no DTD buses, and the boat is still not running.

    He we are....waiting at T-Rex:

    [​IMG]
    (Toni, Josh, and Lumar)

    [​IMG]
    (Steph, Lumar, and Rob)

    [​IMG]
    (Rob - and some kid who totally photo-bombed AND got caught picking his wedgie)

    [​IMG]
    (Steph and Lumar)

    At 6:45, Mike texts and says they are finally on their way.

    They finally arrive at just about 7pm and we’re seated. Tom is so angry, he's red. He doesn't speak until we are all actually sitting at the table.

    My brother tells us that they ended up going to lobby again because a bus hasn't shown up and the CM sent out the MANAGER. The manager listens to their whole story about their whole experience so far, puts a $150 credit on their room, and gets someone to DRIVE them to DTD.

    Now that all of that hullabaloo is over with, we can all sit down and EAT!
     
  5. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    41,617
    Ali, this is NOT the beginning I wanted to hear about your stay at OKW after I raved about it. But I am so glad to hear they made it right.

    Didn't you just love that balcony? Mark and I want to get more use out of it this trip (we had Andy with us on the last trip and wanted to get in as much as we could with him so we didn't relax out there as much as we would have liked).

    Great start to the TR.
     
  6. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    4,418
    So glad everyone in the group made it Disney!

    But, man what a start at OKW! You have me quite leery about our stay there this fall. Although, it was good to hear that the manager really did try to help ease the pain of the hassles with the credit.
     
  7. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,989
    Wow, what a start to your trip!!! Glad that OKW was able to right the situation somewhat, that must have been very frustrating! At least you guys didn't lose your table at T-REX!
     
  8. ILMICKEY

    ILMICKEY DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,446
    Holy Heck! What an awful first day. This is definitely not going to be your average blah blah blah trip report is it?

    I think I would have drank that $150!
     
  9. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    It's OK Kathy! It's not your fault! I didn't totally hate OKW but that first day was a doozy...and the last day was not so great either but we'll get there!

    I did love that balcony! I sat out there and read for a while a couple of days while waiting for the mob to assemble. I loved that it was surrounded by trees and super private.

    It wasn't terrible, I swear, and it's a REALLY pretty resort. We just happened to have a string of unfortunate events happen. But when we had an issue, they really did do their best to make it right.

    It was super frustrating but it all worked out and we ended up like the place well enough! I think it was all just made worse by the fact that we were all starving!

    Are my trip reports everaverage? I felt like this whole trip was loaded with "If it's not one thing, it's another" moments. But I guess that's to be expected when you're traveling with so many people who have no idea what the heck they're doing.

    That's what I said about the $150 credit! That would have totally been my booze money! I think that's most likely what my brother used his $75 for although he claims to not remember...
     
  10. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    13,608
    Thanks. I was gone for a while but posting a new pre tr now. (shameless plug). Anyway just figured it was time to come back.


    Rough start there but $150 is nice. Hope the rest of the trip goes smoother.
     
  11. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    So when I last left you, Mike and Tom had finally arrived and we made our way over to the check in booth at T-Rex.

    They had put together several tables for us, right in front of the bar, so we could all sit together (something we had been worried about since when I booked all of our ADRs, I was told that we might end up at different tables).

    [​IMG]
    Giant dinosaur as soon as you walk in

    [​IMG]
    The awesome bar area

    Our server was awesome...I can't remember her name but it was something different...like Aqua, or something.

    I did not take pics of anyone's food, but I know that most of us got burgers, except for Toni who got the fish tacos. She did say that they were really good, and Mike told me that the burger he got was his favorite meal of the trip. Seems strange to me that a burger would be your #1, considering all of the amazing food we ate, but who am I to judge? The kid likes his cheeseburgers!

    [​IMG]
    Toni and Josh perusing the menu

    [​IMG]
    Lumar and Steph waiting for food to come

    [​IMG]
    Tom and Josh

    [​IMG]
    The Raspberry Pina Colada that I got and downed in about 30 seconds

    [​IMG]
    Mike and Tom, feeling much better after having had something to eat!

    [​IMG]
    You can barely see Toni all the way in the back but she's there!

    So after we all finished eating, I started the internal panic about splitting up the bill. I didn't know if they could, because they automatically add in an 18% gratuity, but none of us carry cash. That's when our awesome server told me that she could split it up however we wanted it, and the tax would still be added in accordingly. No math involved! Yay me! :yay:

    So after dinner, we had plans to go to DHS since they were having EMH. I have no idea how the heck we got there, so let's just say that we *POOFed* there.

    I know it was late when we got there...probably around 9:30 or so. Yes, that's late for people who have been up since 3:30am!

    [​IMG]

    Another trend for this trip...I hardly took any notes. I'm sorry.

    I know we went on ToT because the wait was only like 10 minutes. The wait for RnRC was like 120 so we definitely skipped that, and the wait for TSMM was like 80 minutes so that was a no-go either.

    Since there wasn't really anything else to do, and it was on both Toni's and Steph's list of things they wanted to do...we went on The Great Movie Ride.

    [​IMG]
    Steph and Rob waiting in line...I can't tell if Steph is mad at him in this pic or not. Her angry face and her 'I'm listening intently' face are the same.

    [​IMG]

    Let me just say, that I was embarrassed on the ride's behalf. :sad2: Just sitting in the loading area, you can see how badly this ride shows it's age. The trees that line the mural on the left side are all brown and wilted looking (and I don't even think they're real so for FAKE trees to be dying, there's a definite problem). The poor CM we had as our guide was new...and by new I mean she told us that she's only been working there "a couple of weeks."

    So, naturally, the ride stops in Munchkinland. And she has NOTHING to talk about. She tried to pass the time by giving out "fun facts" about the ride. But the only one she knew was about the witch and how it was the first AA of it's kind and people always thought it was a real person.

    Which, by the way, they don't anymore because she moves so stiffly now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When we FINALLY got off, I could tell that people were disappointed and I wished there was something else we could do that would act as a pallet cleanser...but the waits for TSMM and RNRC were still too long and we were all feeling exhausted anyway. We decided to call it a night and head out. As we were leaving, Steph mentioned something to me about how GMR wasn't what she expected. I told her that people have been complaining for a long time that it needs a make-over and she understood...but between that and the issues we had at OKW earlier that day, she told me she wasn't really feeling the Disney Magic.

    I felt horrible, but I hoped that going to Epcot the next day would help to turn things around!
     
  12. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    4,418
    I hear so many good things about T-REX! That Raspberry Pina Colada looks fantastic! I could really go for one of those right now.

    So sorry y'all didn't have the best start to the trip between OKW & DHS. Really hope some Disney magic came y'alls way the next day. :goodvibes
     
  13. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,989
    Glad you guys enjoyed your meal at T-REX!!!

    Unfortunately, yes, the GMR is no longer a great representation of the Disney magic! It just needs a bit of help. Badly.

    I hope your friend was feeling more magical soon (but I'm guessing that's what your TR is in reference too - so theoretically it happened eventually!! :thumbsup2)
     
  14. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    13,608
    Glad T-Rex was good. I have had 2 good meals there. Pricey though.

    GMR does need a make over. I need to see the Cowboy version being I have not seen it yet.

    No one wanted to do Star Tours?
     
  15. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    I really like T-Rex..Been there three times now and really enjoyed it. And like I said, my brother told me it was his favorite meal of the whole trip!

    Things DO get better, I promise! :laughing:

    It really does need some help. I have to be honest, part of me is really surprised they have let it go for so long, but at the same time, I know it doesn't draw a crowd the way Star Tours does, so it made more financial sense for them to put money into ST instead of GMR. But Holy Dust Bunnies was GMR just...sad...:worried:

    Yeah, it IS pricey, but what isn't in WDW? I've just resigned myself to the fact that I'm paying decent money for the privilege of eating in The World. I think I've only ever seen the Cowboy version once and it was years ago...and I might be making that up.

    Funny you mention Star Tours... I just found that I did actually take some notes this night so I'll backtrack a bit in my next update!
     
  16. M303871

    M303871 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Glad things are starting to get better, we had problems checking in on our last trip in December and had room keys issued to our group 3 times before they got it right. Looking forward to the next instalment.:thumbsup2
     
  17. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    Was it also at OKW or a different resort?
     
  18. M303871

    M303871 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    No we were staying in the tree house villas, which we love and would highly recomend, not sure how well the busses are as we took the autotrain out of VA and drove everywere we went. I should do a TR for our next trip but I am just to lazy:laughing:
     
  19. DisneyCrafter

    DisneyCrafter DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,572
    Oh, gosh. I always feel bad when I read TR updates about people bringing family/friends to Disney who've never been before (or since they were a kid) and they just don't feel the same about it as you do. I think that's why I'm so defensive of it and I don't really encourage people to come along with Greg and I, I want to keep that magic all mine. pixiedust: However, I'm guessing by your title that at least someone did feel the magic!! :)
     
  20. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    Sorry I've been neglecting my TR! I always feel bad for those people too and now I'm one of them! The good news is that at the end of the trip, everyone had a great time and told me that it ended up not being as expensive as they anticipated, which is definitely a plus...and everyone also told me that we did more things than they thought would be possible...no one was expecting to do everything they wanted to, and not only were able to do that, but we got to do a lot of things multiple times. Of course, there are bound to be hiccups along the way but thankfully, we were all adult enough to understand that stuff happens!
     
  21. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,680
    OK so now that it’s been almost a month since I’ve updated….

    I remembered that I actually did try to take some notes on my phone, so for those you wondering:

    When we arrived at DHS on our first night, we did ToT first, the line for RnRC was 2 hours so we skipped that, we wandered past TSMM but the wait was 90 minutes so we went over to Star Tours instead. We checked TSMM again the wait was still 90 minutes so that’s when we headed over to the GMR.
    Right before we got in line for GMR, my cousin Tom and my sister, Steph, went over to the churro cart. She got a pretzel, while Tom asked for a bottle of water. The CM asked if he wanted anything else and he said he had been thinking about getting a churro but it was a bit on the expensive side (I think he said it like $4 or something outrageous like that). The CM said “well we’re closing up soon anyway so here you go,” and gave him one for free. I think that definitely made him feel better after all the stuff he went through earlier with the room!

    *******

    (I don’t recall if I mentioned this already or not, but I found that I was having a lot of problems taking pictures on this trip. It was so humid that the lenses on our cameras would fog up constantly, and there was legitimate haze a lot of the time so if it looks like we’re standing in the middle of a cloud, it’s because we were. Even inside, the AC would be cranking but our bodies were radiating so much heat from being outdoors that it would still cause fogging in the lenses!)

    On our first morning in WDW, everyone was up and ready to go by 7:30am so we hopped on a bus to MK and scurried along the pathway to the monorail. We had breakfast reservations at Ohana for 8:30am, and I know the line to check in is always long and notoriously slow, so I wanted to be there a bit early. Well, after cramping our legs from speedwalking up the monorail ramp, we are told that the resort monorail is down and they were running buses to all of the resorts on the circuit.

    Sweating profusely already, we speedwalked back to the bus stops and got on a bus.

    After a stop at the Contemporary, we finally arrived at the incredibly gorgeous Polynesian.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I waited in line for about 10 minutes to check in and after we were given our buzzer, we went to hang out in the little waiting area.

    [​IMG]
    (Josh and Rob)

    [​IMG]
    (Lumar and Mike)

    Our buzzer finally went off and as we headed over to the entrance, one of the greeters waves to us to follow him. He tells us in a very heavy German accent that his name is Dieter, asks us if we’ve been there before (Lumar and I were in the front so we say yes) and as he turns around and keeps walking, I can hear him still talking, but can’t hear a thing he’s saying. We get over to the counter with the bread baskets on it, he hands me the basket and then points to a table and says “you sit there.” We were all just kind of like “ummm...OK….” We sat down at our table and Steph leans over and says "Well that was awkward." We all agreed, and when we saw other greeters bringing in guests, carrying the bread baskets to the table for them, Toni says “why did he make you carry your own bread?” I just shrugged because I truthfully had no idea. I guessed that Dieter was new and although it was strange, I brushed it off.

    After inhaling two baskets of bread, our skillet of food came out and we all attacked it like it was the first meal we’d had in weeks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lilo came over to visit first:

    [​IMG]

    Then Stitch:

    [​IMG]

    Then Mickey:

    [​IMG]

    And finally Pluto, who definitely gave us the most laughs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pluto then invited us to join the parade and we kept saying no, we're OK...we want to eat, etc.

    He would not leave our table until we all got up and followed him.

    Now, for those of you unfamiliar with it…it’s meant for kids…they give you maracas and play music and you walk the whole restaurant. It was really awkward since we’re all in our mid to late twenties and had no children with us…so we ducked out as soon as we could. After a while were able to laugh about it but it was REALLY...just...awkward! There's no other word for it!

    After we finished eating, I sent my brother Mike over to check on the monorail situation. It was still down, naturally, so we walked the path from the Poly to the TTC. Thankfully, the Epcot monorail was still up and running so we hopped on and arrived at Epcot at about 10:15am.

    The first thing we did was get FPs for Soarin’, then we rode LWTL. Everyone actually really enjoyed this one…I love the boat rides but a lot of people find those attractions boring so I was pleasantly surprised to hear them all say how cool it was.

    We still had a couple of hours before we could use our FPs so we went over to Figment, where Mike, Toni, and Lumar, had some fun in the gift shop:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Toni and Josh wanted to check out Innoventions so we headed over there and most of us took a break while the two of them wandered around.

    After that, we went over SSE. My brother still has not sent me the pictures he took on this trip, and I know that he took pictures of their screen but I can’t share them with you. He and Tom both acted like they were sleeping when their ride photo was taken so it looks pretty funny. However, the best one was definitely Rob:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I laugh hysterically every time I see these pictures. Maybe it’s just me…

    By now it was about 12:30pm so we headed over to World Showcase, and for the first time ever, I walked through one of the shops in France:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page