This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment (UPDATED 9/13 with final bonus chapter)

pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Agreed. On that trip, we spend one day at a water park and left in the afternoon, spent time just hanging out in the room before heading to dinner. We got to see more of the resort that time.
::yes::
So then a good reason to stay at a nicer resort. :)

I can't go on little sleep for very long. Never once pulled an all-nighter in college. After about 2 a.m., I would just start to malfunction.
I have to function. Planes don't stop flying just because I'm tired.

I don't know how you do it, to be honest!
Hmmm... That's interesting, actually. I started to answer you with a glib "I just do it", but...

I suspect that everyone has their normals. We all do things that after a while you don't even think of.
Well, a midnight shift is kinda like that. Except I do groan and say "Ugh. I have to work a midnight." But when you do it every 8 days... or more often... you kinda just get used to it?

I'm sure it would be much different if I owned DVC and went to Disney every year. I might not feel the need to go to the parks all the time if that were the case. Plus, DVC makes the deluxe resort more palatable in terms of price.

But when I only go once every few years, I'm trying to squeeze the value out of the money I paid and maximize park time like @pkondz . 'cause it ain't cheap!
Yes. Agree. I don't plan on ever getting DVC. I go to too many other places. But if I did...
Then definitely can see taking advantage of the resort... a lot.
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
I'll likely be renting our DVC points now. Either that or go over to Vero Beach. More likely rent. Seeing the current prices per point for renting, it's not that expensive especially if you stick with Su-Th and non-peak times of the year. Considering what I just paid for Pop, DVC points rental wouldn't have been much more and in retrospect, would've been better. I also like to relax between park days, so having the option to cook something and just relax is nice. Having more than 1 bathroom and more than a foot or two of space to walk around the beds is nice as well. If you're there solo and just crashing and burning each night, then yeah, I get that.
I found some good deals renting from friends a couple of times. It works for me. But mostly all I need is a clean bathroom and bed, so I'm happy wherever.

So then a good reason to stay at a nicer resort. :)
Right.

I have to function. Planes don't stop flying just because I'm tired.
True. But if you had more fully-trained staff..

Hmmm... That's interesting, actually. I started to answer you with a glib "I just do it", but...

I suspect that everyone has their normals. We all do things that after a while you don't even think of.
Well, a midnight shift is kinda like that. Except I do groan and say "Ugh. I have to work a midnight." But when you do it every 8 days... or more often... you kinda just get used to it?
It's weird how our body clocks get set up. I used to get up at 6:00 a.m. for work every day. And it was ok. Now I get up at 5:45 a.m. You wouldn't think 15 minutes would make a difference, but...I still don't feel like I'm used to it. And it's been 2 years.

Yes. Agree. I don't plan on ever getting DVC. I go to too many other places. But if I did...
Then definitely can see taking advantage of the resort... a lot.
We've been tempted by DVC over the years (who hasn't?), but we come to the same conclusion. We like variety too much, and we like not being tied down anywhere. If I owned DVC, I'd feel like I had to use it (there's that "squeeze the value out of it" idea again). I like doing something different each year instead. It works for us.
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Chapter 2: For The First Time In Forever

You’re welcome for that earworm.

When you visit Walt Disney World, you’re actually visiting three Disney Worlds in one. The first is Timeless Classic Nostalgia Disney. This is the Disney World that is almost exactly as you remember it from your childhood. It never changes—Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s A Small World, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of th—whoops. Sorry, it almost never changes. This part of Disney draws us back to re-live the great memories of our youth.

The second is Cutting-Edge Breathtaking Technological Advancement Disney. This is the Disney that blows you away with every new attraction they build. It’s the new experience, the exciting, creative How-Did-They-Do-That? sense of wonder that is utterly addictive, and makes you crave more. It draws you back again and again to fee that same sense of astonishment. It sparks the imagination like nothing else.

The third is the one we unfortunately can’t avoid, which is Brazenly Greedy Corporate Disney. This is the Disney that is hell-bent on squeezing every last nickel out of your pockets, whether it be charging for parking at the resorts (despite already high room rates and an ocean of pavement available), closing the parks to regular guests so those who bought extra tickets can party at night, reserving the best fireworks viewing areas for those willing to pay for the dessert party, etc., etc. I understand that Disney is in business to turn a profit, but some of the heavy-handed tactics can really rub you the wrong way. The only way to fight against such practices is to refuse to go, but most of us obviously haven’t reached that tipping point yet.

Over the course of our trip, we would encounter all three versions. After all, they’re all tied together. I’m happy to report that we’d scored a victory over Evil Capitalist Disney. In March, they’d announced that they would begin charging for parking at all of the resorts for all trips booked after a certain date. And wouldn’t you know it—the summer discounts were not offered until just after that date. But we managed to beat the system—we booked a trip on the deadline, and then were able to modify it without cancelling in order to take advantage of the discount. I never got charged for parking. Take that, Evil Corporate Bean-Counters!

Incidentally, the justification given for the parking fee was that “it would bring them in line with industry standards.” In English, that means, “everybody else is doing it.” Funny—I thought you wanted to be above industry standards.

Ahem. Let’s get to the fun stuff. Today would be spent visiting Timeless Classic Nostalgia Disney.

I normally try to avoid the Magic Kingdom on weekends, since it typically draws locals visiting for the day as well as those guests who (like me) have just arrived and figure they need to take little Skeeter and Mary Sue to see the castle right away. The best way to avoid crowds at Disney World is to do the opposite of what most people do. But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom. So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).

We got up early and ate a quick snack for breakfast in the room. The plan was to try and make it to the Magic Kingdom in time for Rope Drop. We had our van with us, but decided to take the bus. I figured I’d drive to every park in order to save time, but in the case of the Magic Kingdom, I wasn’t convinced it would help. By the time we parked, unfolded the stroller, walked to the tram, folded up the stroller, took the tram, unfolded the stroller, walked to the ferry or monorail, folded up the stroller, transferred to the ferry or monorail, rode the ferry or monorail, unfolded the stroller and then made it to the gates, the bus probably would have caught up.

The kids were excited. The adults would be, too, once the coffee kicked in. Someone already had his autograph book at the ready.



One advancement I love at Disney is the TV’s displaying the approximate arrival times of the next bus for each park. One thing I don’t love is the way the times keep fluctuating. We watched in despair as the expected arrival time for the Magic Kingdom bus kept moving backwards: 8:38….8:39…8:46(!)…brief hope as it moved up to 8:43…8:45…etc.

Eventually, the bus showed up and we got on the road. We arrived at the Magic Kingdom just after 9:00. I wasn’t too worried about missing the opening show at the castle. Ever since they moved it and took the train out of the show, I haven’t been as excited. There was something about seeing all of the characters arriving on the train first thing in the morning.

Pro Tip for Dads: do the Dad thing and wear the cargo shorts. I stuffed everything I could into my pockets in order to avoid the bag check line. Totally worth it. I learned this on the first day, when I did not wear cargo shorts.

Of course, Julie had to go through the bag check every day anyway so it didn’t save us any time, but I was still happy to skip it every time I could.

Finally, we were inside the gates! What was the very first thing we did?

Take photos, of course.









We did not in any way plan our outfits for this trip, but I really thought everyone’s t-shirts looked great together in our photos. They really popped with color.

Obligatory family keepsakes done. Time to go to the rides!



When we turned the corner on Main Street, we all turned to Drew. “Hey, Drew. What do you see?”

“Um…Mommy?”

“What about up there?”

“Oh. The castle.”

It’s always a treasured family moment when you build up something for months and get a completely underwhelmed reaction.

Anyway, I know for sure that no matter his outward reaction, Drew was excited to go on some rides. And I can present documented proof. We reached the castle hub and decided it was a good spot for yet another family photo. And when you’re 4 years old and have been looking forward to Disney World for months and your family ALREADY TOOK STUPID PHOTOS JUST FIVE MINUTES AGO, you really don’t want to take photos again. This reaction is totally legitimate. The idea of taking photos again put him in a very foul mood.

On any of our vacations, I usually present a handful for consideration for the family Christmas card, which is kind of pointless because we can never decide on the best one and end up doing one of those collages of all of them where they’re so tiny you can’t really make out what’s in each photo anyway. But this year, it’s no contest. We have a winner. I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.



The photographer saw Drew’s reaction and gave us a “what do you want me to do?” look. We just said, “Go ahead! Take the picture!”



Everyone’s smiles look so good because we’re laughing at Drew.



I mean, it just doesn’t get old, does it? Let’s add some extra magic!



Eventually, we got one where you can almost see his face.



Finally, it was time for Drew’s first ride. Our plan for the day was actually to avoid most of the headliners—the idea was to try and warm Drew up slowly, getting him used to the rides, and then gradually move up to the bigger, faster ones. So, even though we had a FP later in the day, we went first to a classic: Peter Pan’s Flight.



We figured that line first thing in the morning was the best it would be all day, and we were right. Drew enjoyed seeing the various rooms along the queue. The he climbed in between Julie and me for a trip in a flying boat…and I’m happy to report that he loved it. You always forget how dark and loud Disney rides can be for little kids (even the tame rides), so that was a relief.

Peter Pan definitely hits the nostalgia spot for me. It's very short, but it feels timeless. I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.

Speaking of relief, our next stop was the Tangled Tinkle Spot. Which isn’t all that exciting, but I have to admit that this poster made me laugh:



We continued to play it safe and headed for another classic that we didn’t want to wait long for: Dumbo.





Two rides, two successes. Even if Julie was dumb enough to let Drew have the controls.

We wandered back towards Fantasyland and decided to go for another easy one: the Little Mermaid. But while we were there, we noticed a rather disturbing sight. Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!



We ducked inside the ride in order to avoid being attacked ourselves. And once again, Drew did great. Even the parts of the ride with Ursula in full maniacal laugh didn’t faze him. For the rest of us, the ride is...fine. I don't think any of us go nuts for animatronic dark rides, but it's air-conditioned and the music is good.

At that point, thing were going so well that we decided to test ourselves. We checked the app and saw that the wait time for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was posted at only 25 minutes. When do you ever see a wait time like that, for that ride? And Drew was doing so well…

We decided to go for it. After all, this wasn't only Drew's first time on the Mine Train, but also the big kids'. And after catering to their little brother, they were ready to try something a little more up their alley.

We jumped in the standby line. And we immediately came to a standstill. We crawled along the line. Periodically, there would be an announcement that the “dwarves had encountered some poisoned apples, and there would be a delay”. Ugh. The kids were getting bored. We started having the “should we bail?” conversation. But we stuck it out. All in all, we waited about 40 minutes.

As we got close to the end of the line, Drew started having second thoughts. He saw the mine cars leaving the station quickly, and started to get worried. “I don’t want to do this,” he said. Julie and I started reassuring him, telling him it was a fun ride, not scary, he’d watched it a thousand times on YouTube already—all the usual stuff. This only served to make him start to dig in his heels more.

He’s a stubborn kid. Takes after his mom.

But after much cajoling, we got him into the mine car. We pulled down the lap bars, watched the cast members go through their final safety checks, and then we were off!

Drew held on for dear life, but when we reached the end, he looked at Julie...and smiled. He loved it! On his first day, Drew conquered the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.





The big kids had the same opinion as Julie and me. The Mine Train is cute, and a nice little warmup ride. We all wish it was longer.

Fresh off our successful first roller coaster, we headed to Adventureland. There was no stopping us now! We hopped in line for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Sure, it's dark and spooky and there are skeletons and thunder and lightning and a drop in total darkness, but Drew had already ridden the Mine Train. Surely he could handle this!

Well, he handled it perfectly. And stop calling me Shirley.

Really, Pirates was no problem. I wish I had a more exciting story to tell you, but he did great.



By the way, the new redhead scene...exists. It didn't ruin the ride for me, but I'm not sure it was necessary, either. I get that you don't want to promote treating women as objects, but I'm also sure you don't want to promote burning and looting cities, and that's shown in the ride, too. Portraying something doesn't mean you're endorsing it.

We intended to grab lunch after Pirates, but Drew spotted the Magic Carpets and wanted to get in line right away. He was a machine! We obliged and waited through maybe one or two spins before it was our turn.

I got to ride with Drew, so I had to instruct him on the controls for the carpet, which of course is a completely different ride than Dumbo. I mean, one is an elephant and the other is a carpet. It's night and day.



Satisfied with a full half day of rides, we moved to a seating area nearby to celebrate Drew's fearlessness on the rides. Let there be peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for everyone!

And there was much rejoicing.



Sigh. Apparently that isn't a proper celebration for some people. You can tell by the expressions on their faces. If only there were someplace nearby that would make everyone happy.

(cue Hallelujah Chorus)



Now THIS is a proper celebration.

The temperature outside was now approximately equal to the surface of the sun, so we needed to eat our Dole Whips (floats for the adults) fast. Mine barely lasted long enough for a glamour shot.



Mmmm...Dole Whip...

If that doesn't get a Drooling Homer Award for Excellence in Unpretentious Dining, I don't know what does.



I'm going to leave you guys here. Well, not literally. Sorry, I can't afford these for everyone. But have a virtual Dole Whip on me.

Coming up Next: A 12-year streak is finally broken. And will our luck on the rides continue?
 
  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    True. But if you had more fully-trained staff..
    Well, that part is getting better. We have one recent qualification and another is 1/3 of the way through and looking like he'll be successful.
    But... there will always be midnight shifts to work.

    It's weird how our body clocks get set up. I used to get up at 6:00 a.m. for work every day. And it was ok. Now I get up at 5:45 a.m. You wouldn't think 15 minutes would make a difference, but...I still don't feel like I'm used to it. And it's been 2 years.
    Hate to tell you this... it doesn't get easier.

    We've been tempted by DVC over the years (who hasn't?), but we come to the same conclusion. We like variety too much, and we like not being tied down anywhere. If I owned DVC, I'd feel like I had to use it (there's that "squeeze the value out of it" idea again). I like doing something different each year instead. It works for us.
    Yep. I hear that.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    You’re welcome for that earworm.
    You are a cruel, cruel man.

    Pirates of th—whoops. Sorry, it almost never changes.
    :laughing:

    Or should that be.

    :sad:

    This part of Disney draws us back to re-live the great memories of our youth.
    ::yes:: Absolutely. I wanted so badly to see HM. When I finally did, I was over the moon. And I knew nothing about Peter Pan... and that ride thrilled me to my core.

    The second is Cutting-Edge Breathtaking Technological Advancement Disney. This is the Disney that blows you away with every new attraction they build. It’s the new experience, the exciting, creative How-Did-They-Do-That? sense of wonder that is utterly addictive, and makes you crave more. It draws you back again and again to fee that same sense of astonishment. It sparks the imagination like nothing else.
    And yet you don't list any.
    Perhaps FOP might fit the bill?

    The third is the one we unfortunately can’t avoid, which is Brazenly Greedy Corporate Disney.
    <sigh> Yeah.....

    This is the Disney that is hell-bent on squeezing every last nickel out of your pockets
    And it's unnecessary. They could rise above that. They're already making more money than anyone else... Scale that back a bit and you'll have legions of fans for decades to come.
    They're risking alienating (or pricing out) the very people that make them the money in the first place.

    whether it be charging for parking at the resorts (despite already high room rates and an ocean of pavement available),
    grrrrrr....

    The only way to fight against such practices is to refuse to go, but most of us obviously haven’t reached that tipping point yet.
    Yup. And that's what they count on. And yet... there are people who are refusing... but there are still more that will keep going. Myself included.

    I’m happy to report that we’d scored a victory over Evil Capitalist Disney.
    woot!

    In March, they’d announced that they would begin charging for parking at all of the resorts for all trips booked after a certain date. And wouldn’t you know it—the summer discounts were not offered until just after that date.
    Wow. Nice.

    But we managed to beat the system—we booked a trip on the deadline, and then were able to modify it without cancelling in order to take advantage of the discount. I never got charged for parking. Take that, Evil Corporate Bean-Counters!
    Was that by design? Or just a happy coincidence?

    Incidentally, the justification given for the parking fee was that “it would bring them in line with industry standards.” In English, that means, “everybody else is doing it.” Funny—I thought you wanted to be above industry standards.
    Very well said.

    I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom.
    It is. It's listed in the Disney corporate by-laws:
    "No Disney guest shall, at any time or for any reason, upon first visiting the Walt Disney World Resort Orlando, visit any park other than the Magic Kingdom upon their first visit. Any and all transgressions will be immediately reported to administration where the transgressor or transgressors will face punitive action which may include, fines, jail time or even a life-time ban from all Disney parks and attractions."

    Magic Kingdom in time for Rope Drop. We had our van with us, but decided to take the bus.
    Good call.

    By the time we parked, unfolded the stroller, walked to the tram, folded up the stroller, took the tram, unfolded the stroller, walked to the ferry or monorail, folded up the stroller, transferred to the ferry or monorail, rode the ferry or monorail, unfolded the stroller and then made it to the gates, the bus probably would have caught up.
    Caught up?
    It would have dumped off a load of passengers, returned to the resort, dumped those passengers off at MK before you even got on the ferry or monorail.


    Okay, maybe not. But the UOG lists all the average travel times, and for every resort, Disney transportation is considerably faster than driving since you bypass the TTC.


    One advancement I love at Disney is the TV’s displaying the approximate arrival times of the next bus for each park. One thing I don’t love is the way the times keep fluctuating.
    Yeah... I remember that. Not quite useless, but... room for improvement.

    the opening show at the castle. Ever since they moved it and took the train out of the show, I haven’t been as excited
    I was never a big fan, but.... yeah, I can see that as being a disappointment.

    Pro Tip for Dads: do the Dad thing and wear the cargo shorts.
    I do!

    I really thought everyone’s t-shirts looked great together in our photos. They really popped with color.
    :lmao:

    Time to go to the rides!
    RUNNNNN!!!!

    “Hey, Drew. What do you see?”

    “Um…Mommy?”

    “What about up there?”

    “Oh. The castle.”

    It’s always a treasured family moment when you build up something for months and get a completely underwhelmed reaction.
    :rotfl:

    We reached the castle hub and decided it was a good spot for yet another family photo. And when you’re 4 years old and have been looking forward to Disney World for months and your family ALREADY TOOK STUPID PHOTOS JUST FIVE MINUTES AGO, you really don’t want to take photos again. This reaction is totally legitimate. The idea of taking photos again put him in a very foul mood.
    I'm with Drew. I feel the same way.
    "Can we just..."

    "NO!!!"
    Doesn't matter what is said after "just".

    I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.

    Perfect! :lmao:

    we went first to a classic: Peter Pan’s Flight.
    Perfect! I don't remember if that was my first or second ride... but I'll never forget... "Oh, brother. Not another dumb track ride... holy crap! We're flying!!!!"

    I’m happy to report that he loved it.
    Good!
    How could he not?

    Peter Pan definitely hits the nostalgia spot for me.
    ::yes:: See above.

    I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.
    Even before I knew that, I loved that scene. Still do. You're flying over London!

    We continued to play it safe and headed for another classic that we didn’t want to wait long for: Dumbo.
    That was brilliant of Disney to make two of them. Cut wayyyyy back on the lines.

    Two rides, two successes. Even if Julie was dumb enough to let Drew have the controls.
    :laughing:

    Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!
    Holy cow! (er... crow!) Those things must be at least seven feet tall!

    For the rest of us, the ride is...fine. I don't think any of us go nuts for animatronic dark rides, but it's air-conditioned and the music is good.
    Yeah... that's about all I have to say about it. I suppose it is classic Disney style but.... I can see this ride disappearing in the future.

    We checked the app and saw that the wait time for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was posted at only 25 minutes. When do you ever see a wait time like that, for that ride?
    Never. That's when.

    All in all, we waited about 40 minutes.
    Still... not all that bad, really.

    He’s a stubborn kid. Takes after his mom.
    :laughing:

    Oh, man. You are in trouble now.

    But after much cajoling, we got him into the mine car.
    Cajoling: (defn) The act of prying a child's fingers from restraints in order to force him to do that which he does not wish to do.

    Drew held on for dear life, but when we reached the end, he looked at Julie...and smiled. He loved it! On his first day, Drew conquered the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
    Great!

    Love this shot! :)

    The Mine Train is cute, and a nice little warmup ride. We all wish it was longer.
    Yes. To all of that.

    Well, he handled it perfectly. And stop calling me Shirley.
    You're taking all the fun out of this.

    Too bad...



    Really, Pirates was no problem. I wish I had a more exciting story to tell you, but he did great.
    Do you really wish you had a more exciting story? Hmmmm????

    By the way, the new redhead scene...exists. It didn't ruin the ride for me, but I'm not sure it was necessary, either. I get that you don't want to promote treating women as objects, but I'm also sure you don't want to promote burning and looting cities, and that's shown in the ride, too. Portraying something doesn't mean you're endorsing it.
    I haven't seen it... And I'm already not that thrilled about it.

    We intended to grab lunch after Pirates, but Drew spotted the Magic Carpets and wanted to get in line right away.
    No... anything but that!


    Seven. Times. in. a. Row.

    I got to ride with Drew, so I had to instruct him on the controls for the carpet, which of course is a completely different ride than Dumbo. I mean, one is an elephant and the other is a carpet. It's night and day.
    Well, duh. Sheesh. Completely different.

    Satisfied with a full half day of rides, we moved to a seating area nearby to celebrate Drew's fearlessness on the rides. Let there be peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for everyone!

    And there was much rejoicing.
    Yusss!!! There it is!





    Sigh. Apparently that isn't a proper celebration for some people. You can tell by the expressions on their faces.
    :lmao:

    (cue Hallelujah Chorus)
    Hallelujah!!!

    Mine barely lasted long enough for a glamour shot.
    Uh, huh. The sun. Sure.

    If that doesn't get a Drooling Homer Award for Excellence in Unpretentious Dining, I don't know what does.
    ::yes::

    But have a virtual Dole Whip on me.
    I'd rather have a real one.

    Seven months....

    A 12-year streak is finally broken. And will our luck on the rides continue?
    Hmmm... the word "finally" makes me think this is a good thing....
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    I'm sure it would be much different if I owned DVC and went to Disney every year. I might not feel the need to go to the parks all the time if that were the case. Plus, DVC makes the deluxe resort more palatable in terms of price.
    Plus if you lived half an hour from a Disney park and could drop everything at a moments notice to go out and wait four hours in line for a limited edition mug, you would have a different opinion of value of park time and such.

    But when I only go once every few years, I'm trying to squeeze the value out of the money I paid and maximize park time like @pkondz . 'cause it ain't cheap!
    See above comment. When you have a "subscription" to Disney, it changes your philosophy.

    It's weird how our body clocks get set up. I used to get up at 6:00 a.m. for work every day. And it was ok. Now I get up at 5:45 a.m. You wouldn't think 15 minutes would make a difference, but...I still don't feel like I'm used to it. And it's been 2 years.
    It's weird. I used to get up at that same time and drive 2-3 hours each way to work and since I stopped doing that I have a hard time waking up before 9AM.

    We've been tempted by DVC over the years (who hasn't?), but we come to the same conclusion. We like variety too much, and we like not being tied down anywhere.
    We totally drank the Kool Aid. And I would also like to go other places, but when we go to Disney we know that Fran can get where she needs on her scooter, we will have good food, good service and be well taken care of. It's not that we don't go other places but in her situation a known thing is a good thing. Plus with as many points we have we can always rent some each year for some extra $'s.

    If I owned DVC, I'd feel like I had to use it (there's that "squeeze the value out of it" idea again). I like doing something
    That's what we do, squeeze the value. We wouldn't be happy at a value, so if we can't use the points we rent them. I really like bringing folks along who wouldn't otherwise get to go to WDW like Naked Jim and my parents.
     
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  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Plus if you lived half an hour from a Disney park and could drop everything at a moments notice to go out and wait four hours in line for a limited edition mug, you would have a different opinion of value of park time and such.
    four... hours...

    Was it a solid gold mug?
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    four... hours...

    Was it a solid gold mug?
    Go troll my FB posts, you'll see that she was quite happy for our score of four hatbox ghost mugs for such a wait. She has a giant smile on her face, not like the ones on my TRs.
     

    QueenJen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2012
    The first is Timeless Classic Nostalgia Disney.
    The second is Cutting-Edge Breathtaking Technological Advancement Disney.
    These are what I am thinking about after being away for a few years....and not renewing our DL pass this year. Some time away works wonders.

    Brazenly Greedy Corporate Disney
    Boo hiss boo hiss

    I never got charged for parking.
    Score! :woohoo: I'm sure Disney will rectify this oversight by charging you 10x as much on your next trip.

    I thought you wanted to be above industry standards.
    They do. If everyone else is charging $20, they'll charge $30. They haven't reached the level of charges for parking at certain sporting events. I've seen $50++++ (some places this included a bumpy dirt lot) :scared1:

    I normally try to avoid the Magic Kingdom on weekends
    Good strategy (those days are excellent rope drop, then leave to enjoy the resort)

    So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
    Totally get this....it's his first time.

    We got up early and ate a quick snack for breakfast in the room.
    This is the type of crack trip reporting we've come to expect.....no details or photos of said snacks. ;)

    One thing I don’t love is the way the times keep fluctuating.
    Some things never change - it's funny how a digital sign with times can tug at your emotions. Woohoo....bus is almost here.....20 minutes later....WHAT??? it's delayed again. I think we might use the strategy of picking our park by whatever bus is the first to arrive. We won't bother to book any fast passes or ADR's. :rotfl:

    Take photos, of course.

    So cute - great family photo.

    We arrived at the Magic Kingdom just after 9:00.
    Are you sure? That clock on the train station looks like it says 8:00. :lmao:

    We did not in any way plan our outfits for this trip, but I really thought everyone’s t-shirts looked great together in our photos.
    Agreed - you were all in sync with your choices.

    I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.
    :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao: I love this - absolutely fantastic.

    I mean, it just doesn’t get old, does it? Let’s add some extra magic!
    It really doesn't get old. I continued laughing at each shot. It doesn't look like Tink's magic helped.

    Even if Julie was dumb enough to let Drew have the controls.
    He looks so happy.

    And Drew was doing so well…
    He really was.

    He loved it! On his first day, Drew conquered the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
    Fantastic - that was brave of you guys taking him on that so quickly. Great shot of you and Drew after his victory! :jumping1::cheer2:

    And there was much rejoicing.
    That is not a photo of rejoicing. Although - I could totally enjoy pb&j for lunch at Disney (as long as someone else made and carried them)

    we needed to eat our Dole Whips (floats for the adults) fast
    and follow up with a snack like this. I'm sure everyone enjoyed this treat.

    A 12-year streak is finally broken. And will our luck on the rides continue?
    Hmmm....is it big thunder? I think the ride luck will continue.....maybe not if you take him on haunted mansion.

    See above comment. When you have a "subscription" to Disney, it changes your philosophy.
    Agreed - although we are not DVC (have really considered it) - just having the pass for a few years (and living close by) changed how we toured the parks. Go for a full day at a slow pace = ok. Go for a couple hours and enjoy = ok. Get there, realize it is too crowed and turn around and go home = ok. Gone are the days of having to arrive at opening and try to stay 'til closing and absolutely exhaust ourselves.
     

    buteraa

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2008
    Yay for Drew and all the rides! That castle picture with him turned around is honestly the best picture I've ever seen in any of the trip reports. Just adorable!
     
  • figment52

    <font color=royalblue>Oh man, I checked out the we
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2003
    The Christmas Card photo is worth the price of the trip!
     

    docsoliday1

    DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2008
    I found some good deals renting from friends a couple of times. It works for me. But mostly all I need is a clean bathroom and bed, so I'm happy wherever.



    Right.



    True. But if you had more fully-trained staff..



    It's weird how our body clocks get set up. I used to get up at 6:00 a.m. for work every day. And it was ok. Now I get up at 5:45 a.m. You wouldn't think 15 minutes would make a difference, but...I still don't feel like I'm used to it. And it's been 2 years.



    We've been tempted by DVC over the years (who hasn't?), but we come to the same conclusion. We like variety too much, and we like not being tied down anywhere. If I owned DVC, I'd feel like I had to use it (there's that "squeeze the value out of it" idea again). I like doing something different each year instead. It works for us.
    We've done most if the DVC resorts

    SSR
    OKW
    VB
    HH
    WLV
    BLT
    AKL
    BWV
    BCV
    haven't done the new ones (GF, Poly and CC).....yet.
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    Cool. I'll have to make sure we are prepared with the proper camera gear.
    And you'll do a great job at capturing it as always.

    Hopefully this chapter helped! I don't know how much more I'll have about Coronado since we spent most of our time in the parks!
    It did! It was nice getting your take on location and seeing some photos.

    All I can say is...I tried.
    That's all any of us can do.

    :rotfl2::rotfl2:An excellent point. Although we really love visiting the city itself.
    Oh don't get me wrong. I love the sights and the FREE museums!!!

    Also amazing how we just add the extra night with barely a glance at the cost.
    Easier than losing a sock in the dryer.

    One of the few foods that is the same coming in as it is going out! :rotfl:
    So, kinda like raw oysters but the other end.
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    I normally try to avoid the Magic Kingdom on weekends, since it typically draws locals visiting for the day as well as those guests who (like me) have just arrived and figure they need to take little Skeeter and Mary Sue to see the castle right away. The best way to avoid crowds at Disney World is to do the opposite of what most people do. But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom. So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
    Sound reasoning. I'd bet money it's exactly it. But, as you say... tradition.

    Eventually, the bus showed up and we got on the road. We arrived at the Magic Kingdom just after 9:00. I wasn’t too worried about missing the opening show at the castle. Ever since they moved it and took the train out of the show, I haven’t been as excited. There was something about seeing all of the characters arriving on the train first thing in the morning.
    They really traded The Sentimental Disney for the Money Grabbing Disney on this one. Morning Train tours for cute shows. Sad.

    On any of our vacations, I usually present a handful for consideration for the family Christmas card, which is kind of pointless because we can never decide on the best one and end up doing one of those collages of all of them where they’re so tiny you can’t really make out what’s in each photo anyway. But this year, it’s no contest. We have a winner. I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.

    :lmao::lmao::lmao:

    Peter Pan definitely hits the nostalgia spot for me. It's very short, but it feels timeless. I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.
    I dunno. For me knowing that made the ride even cooler.

    Two rides, two successes. Even if Julie was dumb enough to let Drew have the controls.
    It'll happen again when he's, hmm... .around 16.

    We wandered back towards Fantasyland and decided to go for another easy one: the Little Mermaid. But while we were there, we noticed a rather disturbing sight. Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!
    Run away!

    Drew held on for dear life, but when we reached the end, he looked at Julie...and smiled. He loved it! On his first day, Drew conquered the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
    WOOT!!!

    By the way, the new redhead scene...exists. It didn't ruin the ride for me, but I'm not sure it was necessary, either. I get that you don't want to promote treating women as objects, but I'm also sure you don't want to promote burning and looting cities, and that's shown in the ride, too. Portraying something doesn't mean you're endorsing it.
    Preach!

    Now THIS is a proper celebration.
    YUS!!! The champagne of MK.

    But have a virtual Dole Whip on me.
    Dang you're generous!
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom. So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
    It really is...

    The kids were excited. The adults would be, too, once the coffee kicked in. Someone already had his autograph book at the ready.

    He looks so excitied!

    One advancement I love at Disney is the TV’s displaying the approximate arrival times of the next bus for each park. One thing I don’t love is the way the times keep fluctuating. We watched in despair as the expected arrival time for the Magic Kingdom bus kept moving backwards: 8:38….8:39…8:46(!)…brief hope as it moved up to 8:43…8:45…etc.
    I think the time changes has to do with how many people are loading and if there are ECV's. But yes it is hard to watch it go up and down. Butt at least you have any idea how long you are going to be waiting-is.


    Great family photo! We are always so excitied to get in the park that we skip this spot usually.

    It’s always a treasured family moment when you build up something for months and get a completely underwhelmed reaction.
    My girls did the same thing the first time. We had gotten up early and flew down and were so tired already and were like, ok now what?




    The photographer saw Drew’s reaction and gave us a “what do you want me to do?” look. We just said, “Go ahead! Take the picture!”
    This is hilarious!

    We figured that line first thing in the morning was the best it would be all day, and we were right. Drew enjoyed seeing the various rooms along the queue. The he climbed in between Julie and me for a trip in a flying boat…and I’m happy to report that he loved it. You always forget how dark and loud Disney rides can be for little kids (even the tame rides), so that was a relie
    We have taken to doing Peter Pan first thing so we can walk through the que. It is a great que.

    Ahh Yes! We have started a tradition of an annual picture in front of that poster. They are the best bathrooms ever!

    I love the angle on this photo. I need to try thins next time with the girls.

    All in all, we waited about 40 minutes.
    That is still not that bad!

    Drew held on for dear life, but when we reached the end, he looked at Julie...and smiled. He loved it! On his first day, Drew conquered the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.



    I love it! Way to go!!!

    What is wrong with the girl in the front of the boat?
     

    Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    When you visit Walt Disney World, you’re actually visiting three Disney Worlds in one.
    I really like the way you put this. Very true, all of it.

    I never got charged for parking. Take that, Evil Corporate Bean-Counters!
    I did pay for parking my rental car. I knew about the fee and it was my choice to have the rental. It still was annoying. I just wonder though how easy it is to get out of it. When I checked in, the guy just asked if I had a car. I answered honestly. Could I have just said no? He didn't ask for any kind of proof either way, like a license plate number or anything.
    Something interesting is that I only had the rental for 7 days, and the trip was 10, so on the 7th day I wen t to the front desk and told them I didn't have a car anymore, and they took the parking fee off. Again, no proof of this was requested.
    For the record, I'm going to be honest in that situation if it comes up again. But just curious about those who may be tempted to cheat the system.

    But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom. So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
    My first day is always MK. Even if it is a weekend. And my last day is MK. Recommended parks and trip planning go out the window a bit for the first and last day.

    Someone already had his autograph book at the ready.

    Hmmm...the book is out, but it appears he is not yet awake....

    We watched in despair as the expected arrival time for the Magic Kingdom bus kept moving backwards: 8:38….8:39…8:46(!)…brief hope as it moved up to 8:43…8:45…etc.
    I found this happened often too.

    Pro Tip for Dads: do the Dad thing and wear the cargo shorts. I stuffed everything I could into my pockets in order to avoid the bag check line. Totally worth it. I learned this on the first day, when I did not wear cargo shorts.
    I had never thought of doing that. Good tip.
    I wonder if there's a tipping point where they would ask you to empty your pockets, if it was obvious there was a lot of stuff...

    We have a winner. I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.

    Love it!

    Peter Pan definitely hits the nostalgia spot for me. It's very short, but it feels timeless. I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.
    I was always fascinated by the lights too.
    I always assumed they were actual little lights though. I hadn't realized it was paint dots. Cool!

    Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!
    Well, I guess that's one thing Disney didn't have in mind when they did the forced perspective thing.

    We started having the “should we bail?” conversation. But we stuck it out. All in all, we waited about 40 minutes.
    It's always a hard choice when it comes to bailing. But 40 minutes is not too bad.

    I wish I had a more exciting story to tell you, but he did great.
    Well, at least he didn't fall asleep on Pirates like the girl in the front row.

    By the way, the new redhead scene...exists. It didn't ruin the ride for me, but I'm not sure it was necessary, either. I get that you don't want to promote treating women as objects, but I'm also sure you don't want to promote burning and looting cities, and that's shown in the ride, too. Portraying something doesn't mean you're endorsing it.
    Well said. That was my feeling/thoughts too. The new scene was fine. It also would have been fine (in my opinion) had they left it as it was. There's plenty of things the pirates do that you don't want your kids doing. But that's why they're called pirates.
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    I'm finally here...I was washing my hair. It's really really clean!

    I don't care how old you are, driving under the Disney sign makes you feel like a kid again!

    I LOVE the family picture. Make sure you keep that for Drew's wedding.

    Yay for him doing so well on the rides! My niece hated dark/scary/moving/any rides and really put a damper on our trip.

    Jill in CO
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Well, that part is getting better. We have one recent qualification and another is 1/3 of the way through and looking like he'll be successful.
    But... there will always be midnight shifts to work.
    Yeah...I get that. But knowing how much overtime you work, I'm sure it would help to not have as many of those shifts.

    Hate to tell you this... it doesn't get easier.
    Gee...thanks.:sad2:

    You are a cruel, cruel man.
    Yes. Yes, I am.

    ::yes:: Absolutely. I wanted so badly to see HM. When I finally did, I was over the moon. And I knew nothing about Peter Pan... and that ride thrilled me to my core.
    Everything there was on a much higher level than the local amusement park. It was all like nothing I'd ever seen before.

    And yet you don't list any.
    Perhaps FOP might fit the bill?
    Absolutely! I figured everyone had their own examples and didn't belabor the point.

    And it's unnecessary. They could rise above that. They're already making more money than anyone else... Scale that back a bit and you'll have legions of fans for decades to come.
    They're risking alienating (or pricing out) the very people that make them the money in the first place.
    I agree 100%. It's certainly harder for me to go with my family than it used to be. With the constant price hikes, new fees, charging for premium events, etc., it's felt as though Disney World is becoming more of a playground for the rich than the family park Walt envisioned. Again, I know they are out to make a profit, but as you pointed out, that hasn't really been an issue.

    Yup. And that's what they count on. And yet... there are people who are refusing... but there are still more that will keep going. Myself included.
    Right. I will also probably always find a way to go back (or go to DL, or Aulani, or other properties), because I love it so much. But I don't go as often as I would like. And I find ways to save, like using the Visa rewards or not buying the dining plan (which I would absolutely consider at a reasonable price!). Ultimately, though, there's no real inexpensive way to do it. So I just won't do it as much.

    Was that by design? Or just a happy coincidence?
    More by hope. I saw the date for the parking fees to be implemented, and predicted that no summer discounts would be announced until after that date. That was pretty easy to predict. So I booked a trip with the hope that I could modify it and still keep the original "booking date" on file. But I didn't know if it would actually work. Saved me about $150.

    Very well said.
    Thanks.:thumbsup2

    It is. It's listed in the Disney corporate by-laws:
    "No Disney guest shall, at any time or for any reason, upon first visiting the Walt Disney World Resort Orlando, visit any park other than the Magic Kingdom upon their first visit. Any and all transgressions will be immediately reported to administration where the transgressor or transgressors will face punitive action which may include, fines, jail time or even a life-time ban from all Disney parks and attractions."
    Wow. Good thing we went there first!

    Caught up?
    It would have dumped off a load of passengers, returned to the resort, dumped those passengers off at MK before you even got on the ferry or monorail.


    Okay, maybe not. But the UOG lists all the average travel times, and for every resort, Disney transportation is considerably faster than driving since you bypass the TTC.
    Interesting. I hadn't looked all that up, but it felt right when considering the extra stop at the TTC. Good to know it's confirmed.

    Yeah... I remember that. Not quite useless, but... room for improvement.
    When you're trying to make rope drop, it's frustrating to suddenly see the time move back by 10 minutes for no apparent reason.

    I was never a big fan, but.... yeah, I can see that as being a disappointment.
    They do so many castle shows. Doing one at the train station felt unique.

    I'm with Drew. I feel the same way.
    "Can we just..."

    "NO!!!"
    Doesn't matter what is said after "just".
    ::yes:: I totally understood his impatience.

    I don't think we ever got a "perfect" shot in front of the castle. But I'm totally ok with that.

    Perfect! I don't remember if that was my first or second ride... but I'll never forget... "Oh, brother. Not another dumb track ride... holy crap! We're flying!!!!"
    Me too! I totally didn't expect that when I was a kid.

    Good!
    How could he not?
    :confused3

    Even before I knew that, I loved that scene. Still do. You're flying over London!
    It's still cool. When I was young, the amazement made me say, "How did they do that?" Now I know, so I say, "So THAT's how they did that....cool!"

    That was brilliant of Disney to make two of them. Cut wayyyyy back on the lines.
    Yes! I always hated it before when it was a 30-minute wait (at least) for a 30-second ride.

    Holy cow! (er... crow!) Those things must be at least seven feet tall!
    Run for the hills!

    Yeah... that's about all I have to say about it. I suppose it is classic Disney style but.... I can see this ride disappearing in the future.
    Certainly not one to wait long in line for. Dark rides are fine, I guess, but I can take them or leave them.

    Never. That's when.
    Which is why we jumped in line.

    Still... not all that bad, really.
    Not for that ride, no.

    :laughing:

    Oh, man. You are in trouble now.
    She sees everything I write here. She can give as good as she gets.

    Cajoling: (defn) The act of prying a child's fingers from restraints in order to force him to do that which he does not wish to do.
    ::yes:: More of that to come! :woohoo:

    Love this shot! :)
    Thanks! Me too. I have a few like this with the other kids when they were younger, too.

    Yes. To all of that.
    I do understand that they had originally planned a different ride and were constrained by the space they had.

    You're taking all the fun out of this.

    Too bad...

    Good luck. We're all counting on you.

    Do you really wish you had a more exciting story? Hmmmm????
    I'm gonna have to say no.

    I haven't seen it... And I'm already not that thrilled about it.
    It doesn't ruin the ride. It just seems unnecessary to me. I believe that we should work to avoid offending people. But I also believe that we've created a lot of unnecessary problems by going out of our way to find things to be offended about.

    No... anything but that!


    Seven. Times. in. a. Row.
    :faint:

    Well, duh. Sheesh. Completely different.
    And there's a spitting camel!

    Yusss!!! There it is!

    Yay.

    Uh, huh. The sun. Sure.
    It was pretty hot.

    I'd rather have a real one.

    Seven months....
    Oh, do you have something on the books now? Maybe you told me and I forgot.

    Hmmm... the word "finally" makes me think this is a good thing....
    Not necessarily...
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Plus if you lived half an hour from a Disney park and could drop everything at a moments notice to go out and wait four hours in line for a limited edition mug, you would have a different opinion of value of park time and such.
    I definitely understand how my views would change if I lived close and had an annual pass. If I'm only spending a few dollars per day it's not as big a deal. But I don't know that I would wait four hours in line for anything!

    See above comment. When you have a "subscription" to Disney, it changes your philosophy.
    Understood.

    It's weird. I used to get up at that same time and drive 2-3 hours each way to work and since I stopped doing that I have a hard time waking up before 9AM.
    I don't know if I could ever sleep till 9 anymore. Work and kids have beat the ability to sleep in out of me. Now I can't make it past 7:00 a.m.

    We totally drank the Kool Aid. And I would also like to go other places, but when we go to Disney we know that Fran can get where she needs on her scooter, we will have good food, good service and be well taken care of. It's not that we don't go other places but in her situation a known thing is a good thing. Plus with as many points we have we can always rent some each year for some extra $'s.
    That's another side of it. It is good to be able to go where your needs are able to be met. Overall, though, I like the freedom of not being tied down anywhere, so I can just choose what I want to do year after year.

    That's what we do, squeeze the value. We wouldn't be happy at a value, so if we can't use the points we rent them. I really like bringing folks along who wouldn't otherwise get to go to WDW like Naked Jim and my parents.
    Which is a very awesome thing to do!:thumbsup2

    This is hilarious!

    Very cute photo on the Mine Train. Drew is a real troopper!
    He really did great on the first day!

    four... hours...

    Was it a solid gold mug?
    Seriously. ::yes:: Or did it come with a TV in it?

    Go troll my FB posts, you'll see that she was quite happy for our score of four hatbox ghost mugs for such a wait. She has a giant smile on her face, not like the ones on my TRs.
    I remember seeing the photo on FB. But my thought was the same: "Four hours..." :faint:
     

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