Trip Report Better than expected, but...

Okay, I'm still quite jet lagged and just finished unpacked, which involved emptying out the suitcase on the floor and sorting through it that way, so if I'm a bit ditsy you know why.
Hate Heathrow, Virgin please go back to Gatwick. Flight long, but, comfortable.
Arrived at Pop and got a great location in building 9 top floor, very happy. Noticed the room wasn't as clean as you would expect, but, whipped out the disinfectant wipes and had a quick wipe over. Got my instacart order and realised I'd ordered way too much, but discounts meant it didn't cost that much. I hope the mousekeepers enjoyed all the groceries I left behind.

First day I woke up at 4am!!!! The food court didn't open until 7am (why?) so I never had breakfast there during the entire trip because the lines for MK and the Skyliner were huge even before 7am. So a light breakfast every morning in room and had breakfast elsewhere later. This was pretty much every morning throughout the entire two weeks.

Transportation: I absolutely love the Skyliner, even though there were long lines every morning for people going to EPCOT and DHS the lines moved quickly and the wait times were far less than the days of buses, however, I shared a cabin with a lady who had a real fear of heights and they should still lay on regular buses as not everyone enjoys being high up over the water and at park closing it was the same, mostly long lines, but, not always and I just strolled down to Beach Club with my mug for a hot chocolate and the line was reduced by my return and I had a nice beverage for the short wait. With the buses, MK and AK have great locations for the bus stops and again, despite huge crowds they moved the lines really quickly with extra buses. Disney Springs is still a trek and to put a CM at the walkway to the buses wanting you to do a survey while you are racing to get the bus is another Disney bad idea.

Reservation system,Genie, Genie+ and LL. A big F for fail. I never used Genie, I bough Genie+ on the last day and managed to get a refund because it was useless, LL never used. The reservation system is a dangerous joke. Huge crowds waiting for RD and then a mad dash to get to the pay for rides to avoid the extra cost, all you need is one person tripping and falling and there could be a disaster, the ambulance chasers who advertise incessantly on TV must be ready and waiting for that call from someone who will be injured during the first five minutes after RD. CMs occasionally yell out to people to not run, get ignored. What does it have to take for the Disney management to realise the FP+ system is much better and safer. As for the reservation system, another system of control that is actually pointless, as I mentioned elsewhere, I hadn't realised you had to 'unlock' the hopper by going into the reserved park, even after 2pm, I was initially refused entry into MK at 8pm because I hadn't gone to DHS as per my reservation, I asked for the logic of that, it couldn't be an issue concerning capacity because I would be allowed in if I had 'unlocked' the hopper in DHS, of course they couldn't answer and I was sent to guest relations to have my ticket 'unlocked'. Also, on my last day, I had reserved MK weeks ago and I was told I hadn't a reservation when I tapped my magicband, I just whipped out my phone and showed them the reservation, so they let me in, my MB never worked properly once while I was there, I got the blue ring of death everytime, I swapped fingers, still happened and they refused to sort it out. I noticed a lot of people had the blue ring of horror, but, as to whether theirs was a one off or they had the same problem as me I don't know. There was never a need for the reservation system, but, now it is here it is pointless. I also managed to do all the pay for rides including ROTR twice! Without laying out a penny and never waited more than 75 minutes for any, Skyiner resort guests who are happy to RD, don't ever pay out for the Rat at EPCOT, by the time all the other resort guests get into the park and walk up to the Rat you could do it twice. Of course, that is so long as they open WS at 8am for extra hours, something that they should do, strolling around after the Rat was wonderful and chilling.

Hotel: Arrived, had an easy check in and was delighted with my room location. The CM told me I would have clean towels every other day and a light dusting and vacuuming if neccessary and tea,coffee etc replenished at the same time, the bed linen would be changed after 7 days. The reality was different. I had to go down after 9 days to ask for my bed linen to be changed because I could not get hold of housekeeping by phone, I also had to tell them that sandwiched in the face cloths was a wadge of thick black hair, not a strand, but, almost a clump, the tea/coffee was not being replenished and I think that a towel that I had left on the floor to be replaced had simply been picked up and put back on the rail, or at least I hope that was why it was stained. The room was neither dusted or hoovered and quite frankly I left the room cleaner than when I checked in. There is no reason for this type of housekeeping, it's the management I blame, but, at the same time, the housekeepers should do the little that is expected of them now compared what was expected of them pre Covid. I wiped everything down daily because getting an afternoon nap simply wasn't happening because the room checks happened at that time and I know it's only 20 seconds, but, when I'm trying to kip those 20 seconds to make sure I'm not hiding illegal immigrant, narcotics, doing a Led Zeppelin or Walter White aren't 'just 20 seconds' for me.

The Parks Experience: I actually had a great time, I did nearly all the rides I wanted to and did get to do all the biggies. The crowds were large, but, to be honest, no bigger than I've seen previously, the difference being that because of the lack of FP+ and the ridiculous system of Genie+, the lines would get stupidly long very early on and there were the dangerous free for all at RD there was no stagggering of the crowds you would get with a FP+. I was there for two weeks and on my own, so I could get by without them, but, for a family with children on a limited time they may be persuaded to do Genie+ and LL andwhen they have the experience I had with it may have read the non refundable part and not made a complaint thinking 'caveat emptor'. No, go to a CM and complain if you have the same experience as I had, on at 6:58am and not getting any ride until 12:15pm and immediately on scanning your band not being able to get another until 7:45 pm so paying $8 for each ride. My advice is to avoid buying it in the first place. That aside I found the park experience pretty good, being an early bird helped, the days of a lie in have gone the way of the afternoon nap. However, whenever I had to complain I always made it clear to the CM I didn't blame them, it was those in their Ivory Disney Castles who are to blame for the silly changes made to a perfectly good system.

Food: Sanaa breakfast, outstanding. Kona Cafe, Macadamia Pancakes, so good, but as I was out of practice or maybe foot wagging lady, I only managed to eat half as their was simply too much. I ended up cancelling my other ADRs because I wasn't in the mood for them. The resort menus seemed to be the same everywhere, but, I will admit, I enjoyed the Pot Roast at Pop, I rarely eat in the parks, but, I was happy to have my Fruit and Nutella Waffle at Sleepy hollow again, hello old friend. I was disappointed I couldn't use my dining credit at Earl of Sandwich despite it being listed as part of it everywhere, but Ghiradellis were the opposite, I even used it to buy a tote bag to put all my chocolate in. I did end up snacking more than eating proper meals because I do find the portions too big and the long lines everywhere didn't help. I did use the mobile ordering, but, more often than not the food seemed to be cold like it was not freshly made, so that got knocked on the head pretty quickly. Still have gained weight though.

Conclusion: It went better than what I was expecting after reading what other people were saying, but, this is from a solo guests point of view. But, Disney is taking the Mickey (no pun intended, or is there) the changes they have brought in, using Covid as an excuse, are nothing more than cheapskating and money making. They are improving CM numbers if the number of 'earning my ears' tags are an indication, but, G,G+ and LL are not fit for use and people shouldn't be fooled into buying them unless it's the last full day and if your first park is MK and you really have to do Space Mountain and 7D. With the food courts not opening until 7am and many people already in line for transportation to get to the parks for early opening (the one good thing) there is not thought for the guests. Even if you can only get a danish and a coffee at 6am it's better than locked doors. The cleanliness of facilities was hit an miss, some restrooms were spotless, some were disgusting, cutting the custodial staff during a time when cleanliness is at a premium is another illogical move, again though, it's cheapskating and the blame is management level.
The transportation was the one thing that felt greatly improved, the Skyliner is responsible for that positive vibe. Watching Harmonious (very enjoyable) and not having to traipse through the park to a long line at the bus stop was truly magical, the same with DHS and having a shorter walk to the buses at MK and AK and it felt like a good system at park closing was terrific.
I'm not expecting Disney to ever go back to the way it was even 5 years ago, but, if they bring in something that makes the experience worse then it shouldn't remain, especially if what it replaced worked perfectly in the first place. If there is one thing they could do to improve the guest experience it is to bring back FP+ and the old MDE, I would go so far as to suggest it be free for the first time you use it on an attraction and perhaps make a charge for a repeat turn on the experience, but, what do I know. All I know is that mad dash at RD for ROTR to avoid the 3 hour wait that will happen by the time the park opens to everyone will not be quite as much a stampede as it is now and could save Disney money in a litigation case when an innocent person walking as they should is knocked over and injured by a sprinter with a stroller while CMs said and did nothing to stop him because they know that no one listens to them.

One final thing, please watch your kids, waiting for the MK bus one morning the CM was having to tell kids to stop climbing on everything while the parents did nothing, a little boy tripped and fell off the planter he had been asked not to climb, he was lucky and only scraped his knees and hands, but, he had a fright and it was not a good start to the day for him, so please, don't think the CMs are being mean, they are actually caring about you and your child's safety, so do as they ask.

Diamond Dot

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
How about this! Buzz and Stitch on stage together for a photo op. There are some positives about not having meet n greets at the moment.

Wicked Sisters

Active Member
In the Parks
So lovely to read that someone has been to WDW from the UK. We are going next year in September so it’s good to hear everyone’s experience and thoughts of the new things in place. So pleased you got there and had a great time.

Diamond Dot

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Can I ask how the dining credit worked?
Do you have the free dining credit that came with early bookings? If so then it's really easy. When I checked in the CM sent an email to me and that linked to a 'gift card' which I put in my Google pay wallet. It worked nearly everywhere (Earl of Sandwich being one place that refused take it oddly enough). You just told the CM that you had the dining promo and they scanned the bar code on the card and that was it, the balance left came up on the screen and was on the receipt. Easy peasy and way more flexible than the old Dining plan. I used everywhere from Kona Cafe to Mickey bars and as it was like cash more than credits there was none of the nonsense of trying to get 'more bang for your buck' that people advised you to do with DDP.


Well-Known Member
Nice report, not buried in hyperbole. Your analysis seems realistic and reasonable, and is helping ease my own anxiety about my upcoming trip.

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