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ADP - Live From Disney World

#41 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:12 AM

Great Studios update Aaron!
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#42 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:03 PM

Thanks for finding out about the sushi place! It is a little weird, but I imagine they charge it that way for the DDP because the regular plan has no appetizers, and at least this way, they can keep people from feeling like they're just going to lose their TS when they can't get into Ohana or Kona. It seems like a pretty poor choice for the DDP however, given that the prices are on par with a lot of the CS places, and there's no dessert (although Lou said you can get anything you want from Kona there as well, so maybe you'd get the dessert off their menu.)

I suddenly got a flash of "old" when I remembered that when I was little, you could never plan to meet up with people at DL, because inevitably, someone would pick "in front of the castle" to meet up, and you'd sit there with the other 50,000 people also waiting to meet up with people, and you would never, ever find them, because there were no cell phones and no way to get in touch with someone once they were out of earshot. The times, they are a changin'.
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#43 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:23 PM

QuickGold said:

Great Studios update Aaron!


Thanks Matt. Wasn't sure if you'd have time so I went ahead and took some photos of the construction, etc.
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#44 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 07:32 PM

Monday, July 21st

Hi Everyone,

We are back from our day at EPCOT. We spent the morning and afternoon in the park. This is the first day of our trip we spent time in a park after 2:00PM and it showed. The heat and crowds were tough to deal with. We had to use fastpass and go into attractions and shops to cool off. The Magic Kingdom had evening extra magic hours last night, but instead of going to the Magic Kingdom this morning we went to EPCOT instead. The crowd levels at EPCOT this morning and afternoon were higher than I expected. Since we went against our touring strategy it showed with higher than usual wait times.

Attractions we experienced today were Living with the Land, Soarin (fastpass), Test Track (fastpass), Spaceship Earth, Grand Fiesta Tour, World Showcase, and Figment. Wait times were anywhere from no wait on Figment to 90 minutes on Test Track.

Here are some photos of our time at EPCOT this morning.

Good morning to Spaceship Earth
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The entrance to Innoventions where we spent some time today.
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The crowd at Innoventions Plaza
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Mexican band playing inside the Mexico pavillion
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Fireworks barge being transported to the World Showcase lagoon
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Sour apple Margharita from Mexico. Sorry, couldn't wait to try it.
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After we left EPCOT we jumped on the bus to Old Key West. We checked into the Hospitality House and received our room keys and had our luggage sent to our room. We have a great room located in the Hospitality House section of the resort; building 11. We have a great view of a fairway of the Lake Buena Vista golf course. We walked through the Hospitality House gift shop and grabbed some food at Goods to Go for dinner. That is the counter service location located at the back of the Hospitality House.

Here are some photos of Old Key West.

The breezeway at the Hospitality House
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The view of LBV golf course from our deck
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So that's it. Tomorrow we have an early flight out of the Orlando airport. We will be checking into the airline check-in desk at the Hospitality House very early tomorrow so we can get our boarding passes and check our luggage. We will catch the Magical Express bus and be on our way to the airport. As they say "The Party is Over" for now. The dreaded departure day is upon us. We had a great time as we always do. I'll have another post tomorrow afternoon of our departure and then some final observations of our trip.

Thanks for following along. :lol:

Up Next:
Departure Day
Magical Express to the airport
Some Observations

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#45 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 07:36 PM

Jeanine said:

Thanks for finding out about the sushi place! It is a little weird, but I imagine they charge it that way for the DDP because the regular plan has no appetizers, and at least this way, they can keep people from feeling like they're just going to lose their TS when they can't get into Ohana or Kona. It seems like a pretty poor choice for the DDP however, given that the prices are on par with a lot of the CS places, and there's no dessert (although Lou said you can get anything you want from Kona there as well, so maybe you'd get the dessert off their menu.)

I suddenly got a flash of "old" when I remembered that when I was little, you could never plan to meet up with people at DL, because inevitably, someone would pick "in front of the castle" to meet up, and you'd sit there with the other 50,000 people also waiting to meet up with people, and you would never, ever find them, because there were no cell phones and no way to get in touch with someone once they were out of earshot. The times, they are a changin'.


You're welcome Jeanine. I know what you mean about the cell phones. It's happened to us a few times. We had to call the other to find out where they were.
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#46 User is offline   COH#1fan 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:12 AM

ADP said:

Jeanine said:


I suddenly got a flash of "old" when I remembered that when I was little, you could never plan to meet up with people at DL, because inevitably, someone would pick "in front of the castle" to meet up, and you'd sit there with the other 50,000 people also waiting to meet up with people, and you would never, ever find them, because there were no cell phones and no way to get in touch with someone once they were out of earshot. The times, they are a changin'.


I know what you mean about the cell phones. It's happened to us a few times. We had to call the other to find out where they were.


It's a good thing some cell phone plans come with free minutes between phones on the same carrier. :mrgreen:
"In an age of fads, copycats, and rapidly changing trends, you have chosen to stand out from the rest and be an individual. We applaud your courage and self-expression. Thanks for being a part of our show today. Don't ever change. The world needs more people with your spirit." - The Citizens of Hollywood
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#47 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 08:06 AM

Snuggie said:

ADP said:

Jeanine said:


I suddenly got a flash of "old" when I remembered that when I was little, you could never plan to meet up with people at DL, because inevitably, someone would pick "in front of the castle" to meet up, and you'd sit there with the other 50,000 people also waiting to meet up with people, and you would never, ever find them, because there were no cell phones and no way to get in touch with someone once they were out of earshot. The times, they are a changin'.


I know what you mean about the cell phones. It's happened to us a few times. We had to call the other to find out where they were.


It's a good thing some cell phone plans come with free minutes between phones on the same carrier. :mrgreen:


Boy! You said it. It's a nice perk and worth the $5 extrra per month on our plan.
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#48 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:59 PM

Tuesday, July 22nd

Hi Everyone,

We are back in Indiana. Everything went very well this morning with our departue. Magical Express worked out great, the resort flight check-in desk worked great, our flight was on time and went very well. Our luggage was waiting for us in the bag claim area in Indianapolis.

Bell Services at Old Key arrived at 6:15AM to take our luggage to the front. I went with it to the airline check-in desk while Kim and Anna finished breakfast in the room and double-checked everything. Checking in at the airline check-in is very convenient. I told the Cast Members my flight number and airline. They checked my ID and printed out our boarding passes. They tagged our luggage and I never saw it again until we arrived at our home airport.

The Magical Express bus was right on time at 6:50AM. We made one additional stop at Saratoga Springs and then headed for the Orlando airport. When we arrived we retrieved our carry-on items and headed straight for the security line. Looking at the size of the Airtran check-in line on level 3 it was a good thing we had already received our boarding passes and checked our luggage or else we may have been waiting a while. It was very long.

Bottom line, the Magical Express process worked very well. The resort check-in service worked like a charm as well.

While we waited for our Magical Express bus to arrive I snapped a few photos of the lobby area at Old Key West.

Sitting area
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Front desk check-in/check-out
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Our Magical Express motor coach was very comfortable. Here's the final photo I took of our trip. Our Magical Express motor coach as we walked away.
Posted Image

Here are some of my thoughts about this trip:

Transportation:
Our transportation was excellent the entire trip. We had very good luck all the way through with wait times. I don't think we waited more than 25 minutes for a bus, boat, or monorail the entire trip. Most of the transportation Cast Members were very nice and courteous. One thing I did notice this trip is the air conditioning in all of the vehicles seems to have been turned down. It wasn't as cool in the vehicles as it usually is. We honestly didn't mind though. We always thought the transportation vehicles were too cold inside.

Our Magical Express experience was again positive. It was on time, efficient, and comfortable. If you plan on staying on Disney property your entire trip you should take advantage of it while its still a free service.

Theme Parks:
The parks remain crowded in my opinion. Even though crowds were less than we expected its still a crowded experience. Fastpass and a good park strategy did help; however, I still did see wait time of 90 to 120 minutes. It would be crazy to wait in line that long for an attraction.

One other observation was strollers. The number of Disney strollers has signicantly decreased. I believe due to the severe price increase There is more space in the walkways. If Disney's intent was to reduce their strollers in the parks it has worked. Although the walkways are still crowded it does help not to have to zig zag past those big plastic strollers. A number of guests are buying the $50 Kolcraft umbrella strollers as well. They are much smaller than the Disney strollers.

The parks were very clean. We didn't notice any places with trash or needing paint touch-ups. The bathrooms were clean as well. The attractions ran smoothly with no breakdowns while we were in line or on board.

Most park cast members were kind and polite. We did run into the occassional few who were a bit grouchy, but otherwise our experiences with them was terrific.

Resorts:
Our resort stays were very good. I was very happy with our accomodations; especially at the Wilderness Lodge Villas. The Polynesian grounds and room were wonderful. We spent the afternoons, in most cases, at the resorts. The grounds were very well taken care of. We saw maintenance teams trimming bushes, cutting shrubs, and painting exteriors. The rooms at the Polynesian are very big for a standard resort room. Of course, being in a 1 bedroom villa at the Wilderness Lodge and Old Key West does kind of spoil you.

Dining:
I can't really put my finger on it, but the food during this trip was probably the worst we've experienced in a while. I'm not trying to put a damper on anybody else's upcoming trip, but what we experienced this past week was somewhat disappointing. Our best meal of the trip was breakfast at The Wave and then dinner at Trails End. The food at the other restaurants was disappointing, or at least not what we were used to. The counter service locations were not too bad. Pretty much what we've experienced in the past, but the table service locatiions were not up to par.

Service at the restaurants was hit and miss. Some servers were tough to find. Some even completely forgot a request like refilling a glass. Others were very good. They did what you would expect and even went out of their way to be kind. The server(s) at The Wave were simply the best. I can't explain why they just were very good. The Wave wasn't very crowded when we dined there, but it still was a nice change of pace to have great service.

Other Observations:
The prices of souveniers continue to rise. To me $40 for a Disney T-shirt is too high considering the quality of the T-shirt. Wind shirts, pullovers range anywhere from $60 to $90 depending on the logo style. I hope this is not a continual trend.

Avoid the parks in the afternoon during the summer months. I can't say it enough. I noticed a huge difference in our moods and park enjoyment when we stayed in EPCOT all afternoon yesterday. The previous 6 days we left the park around 1:30 and returned around 6:30. During the 5 hours in between we relaxed, enjoyed the resort, did some swimming, and had some lunch. It made all the difference in the world. During those 5 hours on most days it rained on and off. We pretty much avoided the rain and thunder during the afternoon when we were out of the parks. By the way, I took my pedometer with me on this trip and I walked a total of 37 miles. Although I'm pretty tired from a lack of sleep my body feels pretty good considering the amount of walking we did.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words during this live report. It's been fun! Until next time, see you right here on the Studioscentral.com.

Next Trip Home:
October 18th - 21st - Walt Disney World - Food & Wine
October 21st - 25th - Universal Orlando - Hard Rock Hotel

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#49 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for a wonderful trip report Aaron. It truly is a great example of what anyone else should base their reports off of. Glad you had such a great time!
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#50 User is offline   queenofthehouse 

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 09:48 PM

I enjoyed your Live Report. Thanks for sharing and glad you return home safely.
Maureen
(Lowell's Mom)
Mad, Mad, Mad about Disney!

May 21-28, 2013
Wilderness Lodge
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#51 User is offline   bigBrian 

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:53 PM

Very Nice trip report, I really enjoy trip reports that have lots of photos thanks for taking time out of your trip to post yours!
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#52 User is offline   PixieDust 

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:01 PM

sounds like you had a great trip report!
Jeanne
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