VWL Groupies & Lovers Thread (Special Collectors Edition: Viva VWL!), updated 13 Oct 2021

Flossbolna

Sea days are just so relaxing!
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
And since someone asked about new evening shows: We actually liked Harmonius well enough. I would have preferred something less about just Disney and more Epcot specific, but it’s ok. Impressive technology and great fireworks. Enchantment we have only seen without the projections and it has lots of interesting fireworks. The music is a bit of an odd choice if Disney songs. I would have loved a show with songs from the park for the 50th. This feels more like Happily Ever After 2.0.
The Waterpageant got an upgrade, too. That’s quite neat!
 
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sleepydog25

Been here awhile
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
We’ll be in HH next week in our other timeshare. Next April too but hoping to maybe take a few extra days and add on a few nights in DW. Maybe VWL. I so love that resort !
Are you here during the rainy weather this week? Not as much as a couple of weeks ago, but still quite wet around here. And, yes, VWL is a gorgeous place to be anytime.

The highlight was VWL however! My husband was really happy we got one more stay before the refurb. He hates the new “IKEA-style” (his words) of the latest refurbishments. But I think the rooms are in desperate need of a refresh, they look really worn. I spoke to a housekeeping manager in the elevator and she said it’s only a couple of months until the refurb starts.

We had a great studio: 4563. Dedicated studio, the very last one on 4th floor on the lake side. The only request I put in was “nice view”. It was a great view! Yes, if you turn right, you can see a utility area. But if you just sit and look straight it’s all nature and lake.

I have to say that I think that the Boulder Ridge pool and the cabins are starting to look better now that the vegetation is starting to grow in a bit more. I loved how they planted lots of pine trees and when you walk the paths you can smell the pine here and there. I think by 2042 the trees will finally be beautiful there again! 😉
Yes, IKEA-style is the perfect description. Clean lines but bland. As for the vegetation and landscaping, yes, it has come a long way. Sadly (cue the tiny whine violin!), the Wilderness Lodge will never get back its true wilderness roots. It's gorgeous but more resort-like now, and I will never forgive them for taking away the nature trail (and still, currently I think, the paved bike path to FW). For a multi-billion dollar profit entity, Disney is still chintzy, very Scrooge McDuck-ish. But, the Lodge is still a beautiful place to be and to hang out, no doubt. pirate:
 

jimmytammy

<font color=purple>Swivel, it's a hard habit to br
Joined
May 27, 2002
Hello groupies. Hope everyone is doing well. So how are you all feeling about the new shows? So many people are voicing negative comments about them. It is quite disappointing. Having only seen them on video I have to say they seem underwhelming but I hoping that in person they will be a lot better. I'm really sad that I never got to see Happily Ever After.
I liked Harmonius, and that's saying a lot coming from a big Illuminations fan, but the new one at MK(It impressed me so much, I cant remember the name :tilt: ),eh.
Like you, I really will wait to judge once seen live. Its like going to a concert, live, nothing beats it, but seeing the exact same show on a screen, just not the same
 

jimmytammy

<font color=purple>Swivel, it's a hard habit to br
Joined
May 27, 2002
We had a great studio: 4563. Dedicated studio, the very last one on 4th floor on the lake side. The only request I put in was “nice view”. It was a great view! Yes, if you turn right, you can see a utility area. But if you just sit and look straight it’s all nature and lake.
My mom and dad had that studio many years ago. It was a great view best I recall!
 

Disney loving Iowan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Are you here during the rainy weather this week? Not as much as a couple of weeks ago, but still quite wet around here. And, yes, VWL is a gorgeous place to be anytime.


Yes, IKEA-style is the perfect description. Clean lines but bland. As for the vegetation and landscaping, yes, it has come a long way. Sadly (cue the tiny whine violin!), the Wilderness Lodge will never get back its true wilderness roots. It's gorgeous but more resort-like now, and I will never forgive them for taking away the nature trail (and still, currently I think, the paved bike path to FW). For a multi-billion dollar profit entity, Disney is still chintzy, very Scrooge McDuck-ish. But, the Lodge is still a beautiful place to be and to hang out, no doubt. pirate:
I am so sad about the trail. Big big mistake in removing that. We loved to take that walk. The smell of the pine trees and seeing deer was so awesome. And yeah it isn't like a lodge anymore in the rooms. Just a resort you can go to anywhere. They better never touch the lobbies.
 

Disney loving Iowan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
So I had posted yesterday about the new shows. I was just watching a video from Molly and she was interviewing one of the Imagineers who worked on Harmonius. This was before it's debut. He was so excited about it and talked about all the work that he and the other people put into it. It made me feel so bad that people are talking so poorly about it. Imagine putting that much work into something and hearing people put it down. It has made me more determined to not judge the shows yet until I get to see them in person and then I'm gonna be open minded and give them a fair shot. Even if they don't wow me I at least want to appreciate all of the work that has gone into creating them.
 

sleepydog25

Been here awhile
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
So I had posted yesterday about the new shows. I was just watching a video from Molly and she was interviewing one of the Imagineers who worked on Harmonius. This was before it's debut. He was so excited about it and talked about all the work that he and the other people put into it. It made me feel so bad that people are talking so poorly about it. Imagine putting that much work into something and hearing people put it down. It has made me more determined to not judge the shows yet until I get to see them in person and then I'm gonna be open minded and give them a fair shot. Even if they don't wow me I at least want to appreciate all of the work that has gone into creating them.
I understand and agree about your point to give the new shows a chance in person first. Yes, the Imagineers do work hard and put thought and planning into the shows. Other CMs also put a great deal of effort into a myriad of other projects, from planning daily activities to the mundane task of stocking supply closets (yes, a lot of detail, planning, and organizing to do that). Also true, however, is that CMs are trained to be enthusiastic about pretty much any project or show or even new procedure. I mean, Disney didn't roll out the largely reviled Genie+ with a somber tone--they have shouted it from the mountaintop, extolling its virtues to all who will hear.

Another case in point: Rivers of Light in AK. I know Disney put years of planning and construction into creating the new amphitheater and water show. There was a great deal of excitement about that show, and some loved it. I saw it twice and was unimpressed. Regardless, it was never a huge hit beyond the first few months. Enter the new kite show. It even sounded boring in the descriptions, and the videos of it makes me embarrassed for the Disney CMs who perform this bandaid of a show. Yet, I saw an interview with an Imagineer who was gushing over the show, about how spectacular it is, how it captured certain emotional elements of the Disney spirit, etc. All that to say, while I do respect and appreciate the efforts of all CMs, in the words of a Huey Lewis song, "sometimes, bad is bad." pirate:
 

jimmytammy

<font color=purple>Swivel, it's a hard habit to br
Joined
May 27, 2002
Its a sad thing when Imagineers put their heart and soul into these shows only to have them fail. What some feel emotionally, others dont. We watch LegoMasters on TV and each time contestants get eliminated, I tear up, Tammy and Casey, on the other hand, heart of stone. Not that that's bad, its just how things affect us differently. Our daughter, soft hearted like me, will tear up at the slightest little emotional tug. Its how we absorb things. Illuminations always, always got me and our daughter, not so much with T and C.
Im not so sure these days that Imagineers are getting the heartstrings pulling tugs they once did. Is it because we are de-sensationalized by everything being at our fingertips and we are overwhelmed mentally? Or Is it because Imagineers have the disposal of the computer age at their beckon call, which may make their job easier than before, when all the drawings were done by hand, meetings were held in collaboration, rather than emails and texts being sent back and forth? Did we lose ourselves along the way over the last 20 years or so since the internet came along and since computers entered every home and every workplace? Just thoughts to ponder.
I love, love, love coming here each day to check out what's going on with the Groupies, and couldn't do so if it weren't for the internet. So I'm thankful in that perspective for it. But I also caution myself to not get too wrapped up in the computer beyond business emails, and FB and here, which are my 3 main places to be in the compute world.
As a young man, I loved the group Styx, but cant say I was a fan of the song "Mr. Roboto", but listening to the wisdom words of Dennis DeYoung these days, the song has touched me. A line in the song says, "machines de-humanize"
Are we at that point? Again, not meaning to be a downer, just wondering, have we lost our touch, have the Imagineers?
 

Disney loving Iowan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
I understand and agree about your point to give the new shows a chance in person first. Yes, the Imagineers do work hard and put thought and planning into the shows. Other CMs also put a great deal of effort into a myriad of other projects, from planning daily activities to the mundane task of stocking supply closets (yes, a lot of detail, planning, and organizing to do that). Also true, however, is that CMs are trained to be enthusiastic about pretty much any project or show or even new procedure. I mean, Disney didn't roll out the largely reviled Genie+ with a somber tone--they have shouted it from the mountaintop, extolling its virtues to all who will hear.

Another case in point: Rivers of Light in AK. I know Disney put years of planning and construction into creating the new amphitheater and water show. There was a great deal of excitement about that show, and some loved it. I saw it twice and was unimpressed. Regardless, it was never a huge hit beyond the first few months. Enter the new kite show. It even sounded boring in the descriptions, and the videos of it makes me embarrassed for the Disney CMs who perform this bandaid of a show. Yet, I saw an interview with an Imagineer who was gushing over the show, about how spectacular it is, how it captured certain emotional elements of the Disney spirit, etc. All that to say, while I do respect and appreciate the efforts of all CMs, in the words of a Huey Lewis song, "sometimes, bad is bad." pirate:
I get that they do have to be enthusiastic and you make some good points. Could you imagine one of them coming out and saying "Yeah this show is just ok" LOL
 

Disney loving Iowan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Its a sad thing when Imagineers put their heart and soul into these shows only to have them fail. What some feel emotionally, others dont. We watch LegoMasters on TV and each time contestants get eliminated, I tear up, Tammy and Casey, on the other hand, heart of stone. Not that that's bad, its just how things affect us differently. Our daughter, soft hearted like me, will tear up at the slightest little emotional tug. Its how we absorb things. Illuminations always, always got me and our daughter, not so much with T and C.
Im not so sure these days that Imagineers are getting the heartstrings pulling tugs they once did. Is it because we are de-sensationalized by everything being at our fingertips and we are overwhelmed mentally? Or Is it because Imagineers have the disposal of the computer age at their beckon call, which may make their job easier than before, when all the drawings were done by hand, meetings were held in collaboration, rather than emails and texts being sent back and forth? Did we lose ourselves along the way over the last 20 years or so since the internet came along and since computers entered every home and every workplace? Just thoughts to ponder.
I love, love, love coming here each day to check out what's going on with the Groupies, and couldn't do so if it weren't for the internet. So I'm thankful in that perspective for it. But I also caution myself to not get too wrapped up in the computer beyond business emails, and FB and here, which are my 3 main places to be in the compute world.
As a young man, I loved the group Styx, but cant say I was a fan of the song "Mr. Roboto", but listening to the wisdom words of Dennis DeYoung these days, the song has touched me. A line in the song says, "machines de-humanize"
Are we at that point? Again, not meaning to be a downer, just wondering, have we lost our touch, have the Imagineers?
Yeah I totally get that. Maybe our standards have become so high because of things like that, that no matter what they do we won't be satisfied.
 

Granny

Yeah, I'm a guy
Joined
Jul 25, 2001
Its a sad thing when Imagineers put their heart and soul into these shows only to have them fail. ......

Are we at that point? Again, not meaning to be a downer, just wondering, have we lost our touch, have the Imagineers?
I've started a response on this topic two times, and two times I've deleted what I wrote because it could be taken the wrong way. Suffice it to say that I don't know that Disney has lost its touch, but is more a reflection of society. Disney, like all corporations, is so afraid of offending anyone that their product ends up being rather bland (kind of like the VWL refurb). The Imagineers cannot be encouraged to take risks because any such risk is met with the crazy social media society. So the Imagineers are given new projects complete with a shiny set of political correctness handcuffs.

That said, I think the Imagineers do a great job within the constraints they are given. As for theming and design of new attractions, they look more like something you'd see coming out of a marketing focus group. Ideas that sound good at a conference table but in actuality they just aren't very good ideas. And I can't remember the last time Disney made a memorable movie for the same reason. I mean, they felt like they had to do "Moana" because of the flak they got from certain groups about "Lilo & Stitch" and their depiction of those characters and Hawaiian culture. :rolleyes:
Sorry for the rant. I don't show up often enough on this thread to come in with a soapbox in hand.

Despite everything, we are looking forward to a December trip. We haven't been to WDW in a couple of years now and are really looking forward to it. :)
 

Disney loving Iowan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
I've started a response on this topic two times, and two times I've deleted what I wrote because it could be taken the wrong way. Suffice it to say that I don't know that Disney has lost its touch, but is more a reflection of society. Disney, like all corporations, is so afraid of offending anyone that their product ends up being rather bland (kind of like the VWL refurb). The Imagineers cannot be encouraged to take risks because any such risk is met with the crazy social media society. So the Imagineers are given new projects complete with a shiny set of political correctness handcuffs.

That said, I think the Imagineers do a great job within the constraints they are given. As for theming and design of new attractions, they look more like something you'd see coming out of a marketing focus group. Ideas that sound good at a conference table but in actuality they just aren't very good ideas. And I can't remember the last time Disney made a memorable movie for the same reason. I mean, they felt like they had to do "Moana" because of the flak they got from certain groups about "Lilo & Stitch" and their depiction of those characters and Hawaiian culture. :rolleyes:
Sorry for the rant. I don't show up often enough on this thread to come in with a soapbox in hand.

Despite everything, we are looking forward to a December trip. We haven't been to WDW in a couple of years now and are really looking forward to it. :)
I hear you on that Granny. Very well said.
 

Corinne

DIS Veteran aka DVCTink
Joined
May 28, 2001
Its a sad thing when Imagineers put their heart and soul into these shows only to have them fail. What some feel emotionally, others dont. We watch LegoMasters on TV and each time contestants get eliminated, I tear up, Tammy and Casey, on the other hand, heart of stone. Not that that's bad, its just how things affect us differently. Our daughter, soft hearted like me, will tear up at the slightest little emotional tug. Its how we absorb things. Illuminations always, always got me and our daughter, not so much with T and C.
Im not so sure these days that Imagineers are getting the heartstrings pulling tugs they once did. Is it because we are de-sensationalized by everything being at our fingertips and we are overwhelmed mentally? Or Is it because Imagineers have the disposal of the computer age at their beckon call, which may make their job easier than before, when all the drawings were done by hand, meetings were held in collaboration, rather than emails and texts being sent back and forth? Did we lose ourselves along the way over the last 20 years or so since the internet came along and since computers entered every home and every workplace? Just thoughts to ponder.
I love, love, love coming here each day to check out what's going on with the Groupies, and couldn't do so if it weren't for the internet. So I'm thankful in that perspective for it. But I also caution myself to not get too wrapped up in the computer beyond business emails, and FB and here, which are my 3 main places to be in the compute world.
As a young man, I loved the group Styx, but cant say I was a fan of the song "Mr. Roboto", but listening to the wisdom words of Dennis DeYoung these days, the song has touched me. A line in the song says, "machines de-humanize"
Are we at that point? Again, not meaning to be a downer, just wondering, have we lost our touch, have the Imagineers?
Oh my goodness Jimmy, great post! Over the many years I have read your posts and had the pleasure of visiting with you and your family in person, and I have to say, we truly are kindred souls! Like you, I would always tear up during iIluminations! Also STYX, hahahaha they were my favorite back in the day! Mr Roboto ugghhhhhh
 

Lass70

Suddenly DVC
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Hi all! Long time listener, first time caller.
Just had an offer on a resale contract accepted. Now comes the wait for ROFR and then I can join the ranks of VWL Groupies!! Been looking for the perfect contract for a while. I LOVE the separation of the building so much more than that other side. We have a direct contract at Riviera and have been looking at other properties since we took that gateway drug. I fell in love with the VWL atmosphere. Can't wait!
 

sleepydog25

Been here awhile
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Hi all! Long time listener, first time caller.
Just had an offer on a resale contract accepted. Now comes the wait for ROFR and then I can join the ranks of VWL Groupies!! Been looking for the perfect contract for a while. I LOVE the separation of the building so much more than that other side. We have a direct contract at Riviera and have been looking at other properties since we took that gateway drug. I fell in love with the VWL atmosphere. Can't wait!
As a matter of clarification, the only requirement to be a Groupie is a love of the Lodge. However, that being said, CONGRATULATIONS! on your new contract (pending your ROFR). I know it's an exciting time for you, and we welcome your with open arms. Pull up a rocker, grab a spittoon, and sip on your favorite beverage as you join in our family. Welcome home!
 

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