• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

A Spirited Valentine ...

csmat99

Well-Known Member
So I just debriefed a coworker who was at the world for the last week. He is a 'disney is awesome' guy.. he doesn't study it, he just thinks the WDW experience is incredible and Disney is magic.. kind of guy. He has two kids (4 and 8) so he is prime demographic. He pays for a deluxe, he buys the dining plan.. he uses a travel agent. Disney's prime type of customer. When I talk to him about the realities that I know of and my longer term experiences with Disney, it usually falls on deaf ears because he doesn't have the same perspective.

Anyway.. chatted today after he's back from a stay at AKL in a savannah view DVC room. First thing he talked about? How awful the buses were.. like.. almost ruin my vacation type of tale. Waiting 40mins for a bus.. or stories like 'bus service started at 4pm to DS, but first bus didn't show until 4:30, and with traffic we didn't get to DS until almost 5:30'. Remember, this is the guy who just pays to make problems go away.. and his take away was "AKL was cool, but I'll never stay there again due to the buses". And it wasn't just 'at park close', but problems moving between locations.. problems moving between resorts.. complaints about the AK bus sharing stops with the water parks and of course the different AK stops. It also took them more than 2hrs to get to his resort on Magical Express due to slow boarding and multiple drop offs. Arriving at 1am after a 2hr ME experience was not a great kickoff for his vacation.

He didn't do parkhoppers, and actually said he was glad he didn't, because he felt like he would never be able to use them due to how long it was taking to get anywhere with the buses.

My takeaway from my visit the week prior was I was amazed by how bad traffic has gotten around property now, even during the normal daytime hours.. where are all these people coming/going ??? Driving on property used to be an easy alternative because it was pretty much carefree except at park closing.

But was shocking to me was this was the first time this guy has ever been anything but 'Disney can do no wrong'. The conversation was really he was talking about NOT going back to WDW after this experience. The transportation issues drug his enjoyment of his trip down that bad.
Personally it amazes me that people want to take the buses. I always get a rental. They are always dirt cheap at MCO and parking is free anywhere I would go since I was a DVC member. So much easier to get around and you can control when you need to get somewhere. Only time I would take Disney transportation is if I parked at BW and took boat to Epcot. I can get my rumors from here instead of bus driver. :rolleyes:
 
flynnibus said:
He didn't do parkhoppers, and actually said he was glad he didn't, because he felt like he would never be able to use them due to how long it was taking to get anywhere with the buses.
You should have told him that hopping between parks doesn't require buses unless he's doing Animal Kingdom. :)

But I get your/his point: buses are a pain in the butt because of how they're operated. There's never an excuse for why it should take more than 30 minutes from your hotel room to the front gate of the park via any mode of transit for any theme park on earth if you're "on property". Only at WDW is that a crazy notion. I get that WDW is decentralized and massive, but it's clear that their ability to cope with demand on the buses and monorails is severely hindered by some cubicle dweller and/or scheduler.

For those who say "it's a complex system with hundreds of routes and tens of thousands of riders" I say: it was their choice to make the resort in this fashion and their reputation suffers because they can't accomplish transit in a timely manner. There's never an excuse for a bus for each resort not running every 10 minutes during busy periods and every 20 minutes during light periods. Even if there are 5 riders- city buses operate like this and there's no reason Disney shouldn't too. It's not about managing demand, it's about the convenience you should expect when WDW offers such a system. Now we're seeing gondolas to help alleviate the problem in some cases... hah.

Anyone remember the "15 minute guarantee" with Fastpass way back when it opened? If you returned at the proper time and you waited more than 15 minutes from the start of the queue to the preshow/ride, you could say so and be offered another fastpass for your trouble. Maybe they should start that up on buses. Give drivers fastpasses and give them the discretion to hand them out in order to solve issues with crowding/delays on the buses. It shouldn't be necessary but it's in line with the "oh you have a concern/comment here's a fastpass have a magical day" way of doing things. :)
 
As far as Volcano Bay is concerned- the placement is terrible but they had few options. Anyone whos saying 'billboard'- I'm wondering why none of Florida's other 10+ parks are by the freeway- tourists and locals don't just see a waterpark on the side of the highway and decide to go. This isn't like Vegas where everyone competing for fickle dollars. I'd guess that at least 90% of Orlandos visitors know which parks they're going to, so advertising a waterpark near a freeway isn't going to help.

They wanted the convention spaces at Royal Pacific and Sapphire to be close which ruled out placing VB closer to the parks. I'm still wondering how they're going to handle parking for the employees and guests - shuttles aren't going to solve the complete lack of parking availability. I have to wonder why they couldn't move the Loews back of house from behind VB, and then they'd have plenty of room for parking and such. Those office/maintenance buildings could have been moved right across Sand Lake easily to free up space to make VB better accessible for employees and/or guests.

I understand that Universal had limited options for VBs placement, and they did the best they could. But it's not ideal and I really don't think the location was for advertising purposes. It's just a very minor positive for a location that's riddled with negatives.

Still, it's a million times better located than Wet'n wild for a multitude of reasons. Besides, location should and does take a back seat to lots of other things that result in this park being of the worlds top waterparks.
After they finish this around the park


And a lot more greenery to come through out the park, the only time you will be aware of the outside world is when when you are one the towers. I'm going to wait until about a year after the park opens and a lot of the foliage has had time to grow in before I would even begin to declare fail.

And everyone on I-4 sees this



I'm less concerned about it being a billboard and more concerned about pile ups when they blow that thing off at night.
 
After they finish this around the park


And a lot more greenery to come through out the park, the only time you will be aware of the outside world is when when you are one the towers. I'm going to wait until about a year after the park opens and a lot of the foliage has had time to grow in before I would even begin to declare fail.

And everyone on I-4 sees this



I'm less concerned about it being a billboard and more concerned about pile ups when they blow that thing off at night.
I'm sure after a few years when foliage has grown up the views will be fine. Noise is another thing but very minor in the grand scheme of things- still crappy/un"immersive" though.
 

AJH219

Well-Known Member
I returned from my first Disney cruise aboard the Wonder yesterday and HOLY COW its as amazing as everyone has ever said. I literally cannot think of any other way to describe using anything other than magical :hilarious: Hands down and by far the best Disney vacation I've ever taken. I will write a more detailed review after the hectic finals week has ended, but I just wanted to throw out there that I'm addicted to DCL.
 

Kman101

Premium Member
Shh, no one's supposed to question Universal. They do everything right and everything is amazing ... (and for the record, I was just there Saturday and had a fantastic day with low crowds and little wait)
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
Shh, no one's supposed to question Universal. They do everything right and everything is amazing ... (and for the record, I was just there Saturday and had a fantastic day with low crowds and little wait)
What Universal does much better than Disney is make movies offshore in non union countries that offer big tax breaks then charge as much as Disney for tickets, DVDs and pay per view. That is why Universal produces animated movies for half the cost as Disney does.
 

BubbaQuest

Well-Known Member
I'm less concerned about it being a billboard and more concerned about pile ups when they blow that thing off at night.
Me too!! Merging onto I-4 is already bad enough with all the lost tourists. I fear the chaos with a volcano erupting at the same time! I'm envisioning a freeway shoulder packed with cars so people can take selfies.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Spirited Quickees (because they are the best kind!):

For all of the excitement over the 'Star Wars Cruiser'/AbD/Comic Con type boutique hotel experience, I would caution patience. As a kind Spirit wrote me today, "this isn't something that will happen in near term."

Said source also says that while designed for WDW, this is something that will be considered for Anaheim too. (And who said Bob Iger and TWDC isn't looking to make SW seem more important than the rest of DL? ... Oh yeah. Nobody.)

Despite Bob's fixation with SW and China, don't expect any SW product of substance to find its way to those parks soon. While people over there seem to love Marvel, his other big buy, they are not rabid fans of Rey, BB-8 and Princesses with hair buns. Indeed, I've had multiple people tell me that the temporary SW Launch Bay in SDL is one of the least popular attractions (not that it is one) in the park.

Will get back to China in a bit, but just want to make sure I was very clear that the Club 33s coming to WDW will simply be small upscale private bars at first. No gourmet restaurants. ... And before Tom Amity decides to break news that was broken here a long time ago, let me again spell out that a new Haunted Mansion eating venue/experience is coming to the MK, despite the mixed reviews of the Skipper Canteen.

Word from Ops people is that most of Pandora could open tomorrow and could have been open weeks ago now. No word on when (if?) unannounced soft openings will be starting. Also heard is that WDW leadership has no real idea on what to expect when it does open on everything from park visitation to how it will effect the rest of WDW's gates. There is a fear that DHS could be a ghost town this summer if the buzz on Pandora is great.

Heard from a friend that Frozen at HKDL is a done deal, even if TWDC winds up paying for it entirely. Heard from another that the Maelstrom/EPCOT clone will be shelved for a new unique attraction with another small scale attraction that will be a sleigh-themed clone of the Mater ride from DCA (that also will be a TSL ride in FL and a BH6 ride in Tokyo). I don't have confirmation of the unique attraction (meaning not the LPS ride headed for Anaheim and Tokyo post 2020), but it certainly sounds more plausible than repeating the EPCOT mistake (it is a crappy attraction, even forgetting its location, sorry).

D23's annual CrazyFest/Expo is approaching and people want to know if there will be P&R announcements. The answer is yes. But if this is anything like the last one, expect them to go back and forth on what will be announced right up until showtime.

I generally only give shoutouts to Disney Blogger/Lifestyler to the Stars Tom Bricker (@WDWFigment if he is around here), but was unable to sleep a few nights ago and instead of looking at the home made 'materials' sent to me by adoring fans, I instead read a non-outlet store column by that dude Derek Burgan on what apparently were the six least popular restaurants at WDW based on a sample-size of 122,000 (we all know why @Len Testa is loaded, right?) from TP: http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/22/s6_wdwlowestrated/

They were: 6.) Garden Grove at the Swan; 5.) Portobello at DS; 4.) Bongo's at DS; 3.) Picabu at the Dolphin; 2.) Planet Hollywood at DS; and 1.) STK at DS.

What I found interesting was that all of the above were non-Disney owned and operated locations/third parties. They were all places that didn't cater (with possible exception of the last one) to the O-Town blogger crowd or the Mommy Bloggers or even Disney fans per se. And except for STK, which is likely simply just a bad concept for WDW, they are old and tired (these results were before PH's recent redo). Considering I'm a fan of 3-6, I'll simply say that it's amazing what WDW addicts will tell themselves to enjoy a meal at a place like Chef Mickey's, The Wave, Le Cellier (more for value and what you have to go through than food quality), Be Our Guest, Cosmic Ray's, Electric Umbrella, any QSR at DHS etc. Don't want to give Derek too much extra pub here, but it's amazing how people will turn their noses up at say Portobello (a favorite of mine for the last dozen years) yet eat at Tony's Town Square ... or say that Garden Grove's atmosphere lacks atmosphere, yet have a character meal at Chef Mickey's etc.

Finally, just a word that I'll be taking a leave shortly. I do have visits to DLP, SDL, TDR and DLR in the pipeline and am not sure whether to drop in one by one with some thoughts or wait and do a long deal. Leaning toward the dropping in after each visit ...
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One other quickee:

No, Fire Mountain isn't happening now with a Moana storyline anymore than in the 90s. Back then, it was killed very quickly because Disney didn't want another 'extreme' type attraction after having issues with the sensory theater thriller -- Alien Encounter.

Noting has changed. The FM plans featured a ride system that would have fit in well at IOA or BGT. That was never going to fly then. It isn't going to now. I know the plans have been dusted off, but the MK rule is every attraction needs to be fine for a sensitive seven-year-old (or 77-year-old, like me!) While I am quite sure that an amazing FM concept could work with this film, it just won't happen at a castle park in the swamps.
 
Spirited Quickees (because they are the best kind!):

For all of the excitement over the 'Star Wars Cruiser'/AbD/Comic Con type boutique hotel experience, I would caution patience. As a kind Spirit wrote me today, "this isn't something that will happen in near term."

Said source also says that while designed for WDW, this is something that will be considered for Anaheim too. (And who said Bob Iger and TWDC isn't looking to make SW seem more important than the rest of DL? ... Oh yeah. Nobody.)

Despite Bob's fixation with SW and China, don't expect any SW product of substance to find its way to those parks soon. While people over there seem to love Marvel, his other big buy, they are not rabid fans of Rey, BB-8 and Princesses with hair buns. Indeed, I've had multiple people tell me that the temporary SW Launch Bay in SDL is one of the least popular attractions (not that it is one) in the park.

Will get back to China in a bit, but just want to make sure I was very clear that the Club 33s coming to WDW will simply be small upscale private bars at first. No gourmet restaurants. ... And before Tom Amity decides to break news that was broken here a long time ago, let me again spell out that a new Haunted Mansion eating venue/experience is coming to the MK, despite the mixed reviews of the Skipper Canteen.

Word from Ops people is that most of Pandora could open tomorrow and could have been open weeks ago now. No word on when (if?) unannounced soft openings will be starting. Also heard is that WDW leadership has no real idea on what to expect when it does open on everything from park visitation to how it will effect the rest of WDW's gates. There is a fear that DHS could be a ghost town this summer if the buzz on Pandora is great.

Heard from a friend that Frozen at HKDL is a done deal, even if TWDC winds up paying for it entirely. Heard from another that the Maelstrom/EPCOT clone will be shelved for a new unique attraction with another small scale attraction that will be a sleigh-themed clone of the Mater ride from DCA (that also will be a TSL ride in FL and a BH6 ride in Tokyo). I don't have confirmation of the unique attraction (meaning not the LPS ride headed for Anaheim and Tokyo post 2020), but it certainly sounds more plausible than repeating the EPCOT mistake (it is a crappy attraction, even forgetting its location, sorry).

D23's annual CrazyFest/Expo is approaching and people want to know if there will be P&R announcements. The answer is yes. But if this is anything like the last one, expect them to go back and forth on what will be announced right up until showtime.

I generally only give shoutouts to Disney Blogger/Lifestyler to the Stars Tom Bricker (@WDWFigment if he is around here), but was unable to sleep a few nights ago and instead of looking at the home made 'materials' sent to me by adoring fans, I instead read a non-outlet store column by that dude Derek Burgan on what apparently were the six least popular restaurants at WDW based on a sample-size of 122,000 (we all know why @Len Testa is loaded, right?) from TP: http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/04/22/s6_wdwlowestrated/

They were: 6.) Garden Grove at the Swan; 5.) Portobello at DS; 4.) Bongo's at DS; 3.) Picabu at the Dolphin; 2.) Planet Hollywood at DS; and 1.) STK at DS.

What I found interesting was that all of the above were non-Disney owned and operated locations/third parties. They were all places that didn't cater (with possible exception of the last one) to the O-Town blogger crowd or the Mommy Bloggers or even Disney fans per se. And except for STK, which is likely simply just a bad concept for WDW, they are old and tired (these results were before PH's recent redo). Considering I'm a fan of 3-6, I'll simply say that it's amazing what WDW addicts will tell themselves to enjoy a meal at a place like Chef Mickey's, The Wave, Le Cellier (more for value and what you have to go through than food quality), Be Our Guest, Cosmic Ray's, Electric Umbrella, any QSR at DHS etc. Don't want to give Derek too much extra pub here, but it's amazing how people will turn their noses up at say Portobello (a favorite of mine for the last dozen years) yet eat at Tony's Town Square ... or say that Garden Grove's atmosphere lacks atmosphere, yet have a character meal at Chef Mickey's etc.

Finally, just a word that I'll be taking a leave shortly. I do have visits to DLP, SDL, TDR and DLR in the pipeline and am not sure whether to drop in one by one with some thoughts or wait and do a long deal. Leaning toward the dropping in after each visit ...
Awesome readings while I wait for another episode of Better Call Saul