itsmeamanda

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
While we were there they closed at 9:30pm. And security ushered people out. We were there for a family conference of about 5000 attendees. So the pool was always pretty busy. The Terrace pool (roof) was less busy than the grotto at ground level.

I also strongly recommend tower 2. We’d have to wait 15 minutes for elevators because our room was near the convention in Tower 1. We tried to take the steps (we were on the 8th floor) but they stopped at the 4th floor. I asked the desk manager, Tuan, how to use the steps and he said he doesn’t know. The tower 1 steps are confusing to him. I asked what they do in a fire and he said employees direct guests to the right sets of stairs. And he said they did have a fire on the 20 something for and it was chaotic. I don’t doubt that!

The food was good but really expensive. Like same prices as Disney food. It was $24 for my pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw, and drink at The Market. Red Lobster, McDonald’s, and Denny’s are very nearby. A long walk, but super short drive.
Thank you so much for your reply! I will ask for tower 2. So it's further away from the convention center? We were hoping to be able to walk to Red Lobster one night and maybe McDonald's and Walgreens. Did you happen to take the I-Ride trolley while you were there?
 

CarolynFH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 5, 2000
Now that you mention that, I totally see it! That's so sad, and unfortunately I think a lot of places are doing this.

I almost wish I would've done better research before booking. I'm bringing my son for his 18th birthday and graduation from HS trip.

We are both very fair and figured we could do the parks mainly a few hrs in the morning and go back in the evening. My fault for not looking into it better...oh well. Here's to hoping the extend them even a tiny bit, I would love to see the parks at night, especially since we probably won't be back for another several years.
I'm wondering if they might extend park hours as we get closer. I'm also going at the end of July.
It seems that they’ve been extending hours about two weeks in advance of dates. So keep watching - here’s pixiedust: that you’ll be able to stay late after sundown. DH and I were there last week and didn’t enter a park until 4 or later because of the heat, but we go frequently enough that we were happy with the few attractions we experienced.
 

lovethattink

TPAS Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Thank you so much for your reply! I will ask for tower 2. So it's further away from the convention center? We were hoping to be able to walk to Red Lobster one night and maybe McDonald's and Walgreens. Did you happen to take the I-Ride trolley while you were there?
No didn’t take the trolley. The conference kept us busy. My son was working the showroom and a speaker at 4 sessions. You can walk to those. It’s just HOT! About a 15 to 20 minute walk. If you have any other questions, feel free to email or dm me.
 

lchuck

DIS Dad #826
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Has the removal of masks and social distancing changed the arrival procedures for those who are driving to the parks themselves and trying to make it to "rope drop"?
 
  • wideeyedwonder

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2008
    Today I was seated next to strangers on Rise of Resistance, Mission Space and no more skipping a seat in Soarin’ between parties. We did not get a lot done due to rain. Asked Test Track if you could design cars yet and was told no.
    That was the one thing we really really missed; we love TT, but we realized that part of the fun was the interactive/car design feature/competition/bragging rights. I hope they bring the interactive part back soon.
     

    JLS

    Avs Fan / DVC Member
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2000
    Just back from 7 nights at Disney (AKL Jambo), followed by 2 nights at USO, and wanted to report general observations. I already gave a detailed report on our MK day on Monday 6/7, see post 11,096 (Page 555). But general observations:

    Mobile ordering is amazing - SO easy and convenient, and Disney has a great system for doing the oder first, then hitting the button when you want them to prepare it (i.e. you are there or just about there) and they make it very easy to change the window if you get behind schedule. We would order while driving back to the resort, click "here" when we were pulling in, and very soon be picking up food for hungry kids. Amazing to not have to wait in line. I appreciated it even more once we got to Universal - their mobile ordering is a hot mess. Easy to do on the app, but then you are forced into a very long line (30-45 minutes in places) with usually 1 window open and basically they are just preparing each order for the person who gets to the window. Defeats the whole purpose.

    Overall we found lines the during last 1-2 hours before park closing were as short if not shorter than lines in the morning, making me question the overall rope drop strategy and whether it was worth it (with my husband and 3 boys sort of complaining about having to do it). I think if you have to do SDD it is probably worth rope drop, but everything else at Studios is a manageable wait late in the day (park closed at 8). But be advised that if you aren't at rope drop SUPER early it really isn't worth it at all, the crowds build so fast. At the end of the day at AK - 6:55 p.m., we waited only 35 minutes for FOP and it was pleasant walking out of an empty park after, and the last 1-2 hours of the day at AK there is no line for Everest to speak of, maybe 10 minutes. If I was doing this trip completely over, I might consider pool time and lunch at the resort most days or lunch at designated park and then parks in the afternoon until close.

    The park reservation system is awful because it really limits your ability to be flexible. Later in the week we had MK reservations for a second day but the kids really just wanted to go to AK and of course we could not switch the reservation (I realize we could have entered after 2). Hope that system goes away next trip.

    Had a great day at Blizzard Beach. I like the 11 a.m. opening there - nice to sleep in and be able to still get there for opening. It was not crowded at all, despite a hot week, compared to many other times we have been there in the summer. Most slides were walk ons and there was no line for Summit Plummet by 430 p.m. Closed at 6 p.m., we stayed until closing.

    I was amazed at how slow bus boarding was (we only took bus once) and that they are still making a big point of spreading out groups and telling them where to sit, after you are crammed together in lines all day long in the parks and waiting in line for the bus crammed together. Same thing with some of the random spacing still going on in the rides - like Pirates the boats were launching half empty, spacing out rows after people are cramming together in line for 30 minutes. There is no distancing in the lines at all. The lines would be shorter if they were just filling the rides, and thus the situation seems counterproductive to safety (not to mention enjoyment).

    Not having character interaction or preshows or other entertainment absolutely takes that "magic" element away for me. Going to the parks is still fun, but not same overall experience.

    Epcot seems really tired and outdated right now. Were it not for my boys' desire to ride TT, we would not have needed to go this trip.

    Disney Springs - especially on the weekend nights - was an absolute madhouse and nobody wearing masks except in stores. Long lines to enter the World of Disney and for Lego. Early closures - 10 p.m. - meant that we could not finish our dinners and then get in line and get into the stores, unfortunately. We really enjoyed our dinner at Raglan Road - great food and entertainment. If you want to do Gideons, be there early. The virtual queue was 3 hours and closes typically around 630 to new entries. Insane for a bakery!

    I won't tack on Universal again after a week at Disney, it is just too much and everyone was burnt out by the time we got there. I would do a separate Universal trip of 3-4 nights. Having Universal Express there is amazing, but there is no masking at all there and it was extremely crowded. It would have been awful without the express passes. I would not recommend doing a day trip to Volcano Bay from Disney. We tried it on Friday 6/11 and regretted it. Extremely long lines just to enter the parking garage, then you have to take a shuttle bus to the park. Park was a madhouse, terribly long lines for food and the electronic pass for lines is awful because you can only get one at a time, so you can't ride anything else - even if only a 10 min wait - without losing your place in a big line (which were 60-120 minutes each). Getting out of there then exiting the parking garage took about 2 hours. Never again.

    That's about it. Fun trip, headed home exhausted. Did a ton, although not "everything". Next 7 night trip I plan to have just a 4 day ticket, 1 day per park until closing, and a down day between each. Consecutive park days with rope drops is not a recipe for success in my family.
     
    Last edited:

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    I’ve noticed this in the app here lately that a lot of the rides is hardly open in the mornings, what is going on?
    Really makes me want to rebook this trip in July, for the money and all the issues, I’m just not feeling good about it!
    Based on recent accounts, it looks like they are shifting away from everyone being able to start riding stuff pre-opening to more of a controlled rope drop at official park open for most things. Disney announced earlier this year they'd be transitioning to an early entry system for on-site guests, allowing them in 30 mins before off-site. I wouldn't be surprised if we hear more about that soon. Maybe they told us about the fireworks first to butter us up and drown the negative feedback when they roll out early entry and/or paid fastpass (for the avoidance of doubt, early entry is a definite as it has been announced, paid fastpass is just rumor).
     
  • bdiddy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2008
    Day 1: Left Universal’s Cabana Bay around 9 and got to Wilderness Lodge around 9:30 am. Left our bags with Bell Services and explored the resort and had breakfast at Whispering Canyon at 10:45. All the food was really good and our server was really fun. Only issue was we had a reservation and didn’t get the text our table was ready until 11 and it was almost 11:39 before she even took our order. The lodge is beautiful though and the convenience of the location to MK is worth the cost for sure.

    We took the boat over about 12:30. Had an issue with our magic bands not working and had to go over to guest services but it was a quick fix. We headed straight to Haunted Mansion since it’s my favorite. It had a posted 30 min wait but we were probably on in 15. We used the touring plans app to track the times since it was way more accurate. We all missed the stretching room.

    The weather has been off and on rain and thunderstorms all day. Overcast most of the time. After Haunted Mansion we went over to Pirates and as soon as we got in line, it stopped moving.
    We waited maybe 10 min but got out of line. I read later that there was some kind of power outage. We went up to Small World and we’re on 15-20 min. We came out and it must have rained hard while we were in. The app said almost everything was offline and the stuff that was still up, the waits we’re going up quick. No way were we going to wait 45 min for Pooh, Mermaid, etc…

    So then we went over to Tiki Room since the kids didn’t remember it. It stormed again while we were in there but was done when we came out. Ordered dole whips and sat down for a few min. DD got the Kokamora Float but said the syrup was way too sweet but liked it better when she mixed it all up. It tasted a lot like a pina colada then. It was cute though and the cake pop was good.

    So many rides were showing offline still so we decided to do some shopping, which I’m glad we did because at the end of the night, there was a huge wait to get into the main store.

    After we bought some stuff, we went on Buzz and were on in about 15 min. By this time Space was back up. Both posted and the TP app listed 45 min but we were on in 20. We then went to Splash since it was back up. Also a posted 45 min wait. We had a 7:50 ressie for Skipper and I was worried about making it in time but we did with 5 min to spare. It was probably an hour altogether on Splash from the time we waited and then rode. It was so humid though, everyone was melting and dripping sweat!

    Our dinner at Skipper was amazing!! So so good,
    I highly recommend it! The secret menu item - the Brazilian Cheese balls were so delicious, we ordered more of them. I got the corn cakes app as my main dish with a side of rice, DD the fish and DH the Thai noodles and we all loved our dishes. The coconut/pineapple bar dessert was delicious as well. They also seated us in the butterfly booth which was super cool.

    After dinner it was almost time for the park to close so we stopped at the castle and took some pics. It was wonderful heading to the boat instead of the buses with most everyone else.

    Got back to WL and went to our room. We got the cheapest standard view room but I requested a room request through TP and we actually got it! It actually has a view of the Contemporary, Space and the castle. And the new refurb rooms are gorgeous and our shower of all things is super cool!

    So not too bad of a day for our first day. We have another full day at MK and our last day we’ll spend the evening there too so it was nice not to rush around all day.

    Other random thoughts - almost no one is wearing masks .Even kids. I saw very few people with them on. If I had to guess it’s like 10 people for every 500 maybe more. It’s very rare. There also is no social distancing at all. It’s honesty like covid never happened and things are business as usual. If anyone has concerns about those two things, this would NOT be a good time to come.

    I felt the crowds were very manageable. It seemed very crowded in the bottleneck areas like fantasyland but overall but quite your typical summer crowd as we’ve experienced in the past. At least today at MK. We’ll see how things are tomorrow at HS.

    We haven’t ordered a QS meal via mobile ordering yet but what I don’t like is at our resort for example…our son wanted a cookie from Roaring Fork but the next time available time was 20 min off. Just to get a cookie. We ended up having to go buy a pack in the gift shop. Just seems like there would be a better way for guests that just want one quick item to be able to get them right away and not have to pick a time in the future. It’s also hard to plan out when you will be hungry or want a snack etc…especially with kids so I think that will be our biggest challenge this week.

    Tomorrow is HS day and I have the alarm set to get up and try to get a boarding pass. Luckily the cell service at WL is amazing so fingers crossed! We do have 2 more days at HS reserved in case to give us 6 chances . (Can you tell we are huge Star Wars fans?) Assuming we get it I’ll hopefully be able to switch our last HS day to Epcot.
     
    Last edited:

    merdie

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2013
    Can someone report what percentage of guests (especially those obviously under age 12) are not wearing masks today?
    We were at AK yesterday and very few kids in masks. Like 1 out of 10 few. I had my kids mask indoors, most were not. There is no more mask enforcement other than on transportation.
     

    DisneyFive

    When is the 3:00 parade?
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    I have to say, taking an Uber to the park and passing up the long lines waiting on buses was very nice. The driver was there 3 min after I ordered standing outside WL. Definitely worth the $10.
    I can totally see this. Considering how much money is spent on a Disney vacation, spending $10 a few times for an Uber makes total sense if it relieves the frustration of waiting so long for a bus.

    Dan
     

    RaisinToast

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2020
    Regarding buses, as far as CSR was concerned, I don't think we ever waited more than 15 minutes for a bus either to or from the parks and Disney Springs. We also always got on the first bus to arrive, with one exception. Our last night in the parks, we closed down HS, and arrived at the stop at 8:40ish to find about 75 people already there. Some had been waiting since park close for a bus to come. Finally, at 8:50 two buses for CSR came one right after the other, and we still had to wait for another bus after that one due to them filling. We finally caught a bus back at 9.


    Also, we had dinner at Sanaa on 6/7, and the AKL bus situation is not great. We bussed from CSR to Epcot, then waited 15 minutes for an AKL bus to come, but the other parties there said they'd been waiting a half hour. This was about 6PM. Fortunately we left in plenty of time and still got to Kidani an hour early. We finished up dinner around 8:45, and planned to catch a bus to either Epcot or Disney Springs and transfer. We waited 20 minutes and no buses arrived at all. A Disney Springs bus was supposedly 15 minutes away, but the arrival time kept moving later and later. It never did show up, but an Epcot bus did at 9:10. The party waiting for a Disney Springs bus said they'd been waiting since 8:30.
     

    JLS

    Avs Fan / DVC Member
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2000
    We haven’t ordered a QS meal via mobile ordering yet but what I don’t like is at our resort for example…our son wanted a cookie from Roaring Fork but the next time available time was 20 min off. Just to get a cookie. We ended up having to go buy a pack in the gift shop. Just seems like there would be a better way for guests that just want one quick item to be able to get them right away and not have to pick a time in the future. It’s also hard to plan out when you will be hungry or want a snack etc…especially with kids so I think that will be our biggest challenge this week.
    We were confused by this at first, but about 95% of the time when you mobile order the first time window option that pops up is NOW through xxx time (usually 20-30 minutes from now). All you have to do is order and then immediately hit the button "I'M HERE, PREPARE MY ORDER" and then you can get something like a cookie immediately. And even if there is no "NOW to XX time" time window (if the place is slammed), just order anyway and go right to the CM working there and say you are here and just trying to get a cookie or whatever (even if it is a meal, you can tell them your kids are super hungry or you are really pressed for time). The CM can view your order and click to have it prepared immediately. It is a great system, one example of a COVID improvement.
     

    robinb

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    It is a great system, one example of a COVID improvement.
    I really like that you can't get into the restaurant without showing that you have a mobile order that's ready. It really cuts down on extended table vulturing. Families can sit right away as soon as the food shows ready but they don't tie up the table forever waiting for the food runner like in the past.
     

    zackiedawg

    WEDway Peoplemover Rider
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2008
    We were confused by this at first, but about 95% of the time when you mobile order the first time window option that pops up is NOW through xxx time (usually 20-30 minutes from now). All you have to do is order and then immediately hit the button "I'M HERE, PREPARE MY ORDER" and then you can get something like a cookie immediately. And even if there is no "NOW to XX time" time window (if the place is slammed), just order anyway and go right to the CM working there and say you are here and just trying to get a cookie or whatever (even if it is a meal, you can tell them your kids are super hungry or you are really pressed for time). The CM can view your order and click to have it prepared immediately. It is a great system, one example of a COVID improvement.
    I really like that you can't get into the restaurant without showing that you have a mobile order that's ready. It really cuts down on extended table vulturing. Families can sit right away as soon as the food shows ready but they don't tie up the table forever waiting for the food runner like in the past.
    Just curious on one thing here - with the Quick Service dining options are there no longer ANY walk-up abilities? Have they gone to mandatory mobile ordering for all QS? I didn't see any indication of this when viewing the Disney site and clicking on various QS options - mobile order is mentioned as available, but not mandatory - I'll be headed up on July 2 and hadn't counted on requiring mobile order for the QS sites - I assumed walkup lines were still available?
     

    robinb

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    Just curious on one thing here - with the Quick Service dining options are there no longer ANY walk-up abilities? Have they gone to mandatory mobile ordering for all QS? I didn't see any indication of this when viewing the Disney site and clicking on various QS options - mobile order is mentioned as available, but not mandatory - I'll be headed up on July 2 and hadn't counted on requiring mobile order for the QS sites - I assumed walkup lines were still available?
    It's mixed. All the QS restaurants with seating had a CM at the door and a big sign with a QR code which brought you right to the page to order your meal. I don't recall seeing any walk-up lines at any QS with seating, but I wasn't really paying too much attention. There were definitely walk-up lines at snack-y type places like Friar's Nook and Aloha Isle and all the Epcot Flower and Garden places were all walk-ups.

    I would plan on Mobile Ordering. It's really easy and takes less time than walk-up ordering ever did. I even used my Disney Gift Cards to pay.
     


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