Trip Report The "Where Do I begin" Trip Report.....

Ok, first off let me get a few things out of the way. First off, if you're a Pixie Dust snorter than this TR is NOT for you. There will be some praise for Disney but overall the bad outweighs the good. So, if you're squeamish when that "other place" is mentioned then I bid you farewell.

Second, I will not argue with anyone over anything said in here. I will not debate with anyone that wants to say "well, my friend texted me and said it wasn't that bad when they were there". This report is done from first hand account and I know what we saw and heard.

Lastly, I am really not that good at doing TR's, with all of the note taking and keeping tabs and stuff, so I'll leave that to the rest of you pros on here. My TR will consist of mucho typing and then I'll either post pictures or put up a link to the pics. I'd rather spend my time reading y'alls TR's since they're much better!

So, on to the show!!


Going into our vacation the plan was to arrive on the 15th. We would spend the night in the Rodeway Inn on 192 before checking into the Ramada Convention Center on International Drive the next night. We would stay there from the 16th-20th while doing our 3 days of Universal. On the 20th we moved over to POFQ and began our Disney portion, with checkout coming on the 27th.

The Rodeway Inn is a decent little motel to sleep in. It was clean, comfy, and conveniently located. The Ramada was pretty nice as well, and was only about a 5 minute drive from Universal. Although we weren't on property we still got the early admission as well as 2 days of free dining from Uni. We ate at Pastamore and Pat O'Briens, since we didn't want to eat in the parks and lose ride time in there. They were both fantastic and we will be going back again for sure. I also got the chance to have a Krusty burger.....OH MAN!!

Ok, let me try to organize this a little better. I'll start another post and try to go day by day to try to stay focused...lol
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1- September 15th.

We got to Kissimmee in the afternoon, I think around 2pm. We checked into Rodeway Inn and headed to Cocoa Beach. Had a blast there, and we met a guy that taught us some cool tricks. One of them was that is you cup a medium/large size piece of kelp/seaweed and bring it to the shore, you can shake it and find tiny shrimp and little bitty fish. Really cool trick! We stayed there for about 2 hours and then headed back to the motel to rest up for the next day.

Day 2 - September 16th.

Up and at em!! My wife had her surfing school booked for the 6:45am session, so we had to get up and leave early. This would also be our first time ever going to one of the water parks. She had an absolute BLAST and she wants to do it again. I might even join her next time. We then turned around after the class and got our tickets to stay in the park. Unfortunately, I didn't drink any water so a little after park opening I had a heat headache and was feeling the bite of heat exhaustion. In case I've never mentioned it before(sarcasm) I stay hot and I do NOT like heat.

So after taking a couple of ibuprofen from First Aid I felt better. Me and my son spent most of our time on the lazy river mixed with some time spent at the wading pool at the Crush N Gusher. My wife and daughter are the thrill folks so they hit the other rides. Our only bad experience was when we were eating at Leaning Palms. While we were sitting there eating, a squirrel and some birds came up and starting eating some food under the table that had already been there. A custodial worker had worked her way over to our table and said "don't feed the birds". I wouldn't say she was being outright rude but it wasn't in a friendly tone AND she didn't even bother asking if we had dropped the food. To me this was an omen of things to come.

After we left the park we headed over to T-Rex for our 6:30pm reservation but they let us in early....yay!! The kids had chicken tenders and a burger and my wife had the Jurassic salad. I had THIS BEAST:



My God was that burger delicious!!

After that we did some shopping and got our Christmas ornament and some other items. After that we headed back to the hotel to pack up and get ready for the move to the Ramada. Day 3 coming up next.
 
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DisSplash

Well-Known Member
Holy meat Batman! How many hamburger patties were on that beast of a burger?! It does look VERY delicious tho -- you can just see the cheese oozing off that thing ... That's a total 'Man vs. Food' moment you got going on in that photo.

Where did your wife do surfer school? At the water park? I had never heard of that before.
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - September 17th

We weren't going to check in until later that night, since we had 3 days of Uni park touring to do. So, we headed up to the parking garage and got there nice and early. 3 day hoppers for Universal.....why, yes please! This is where my son and I faced our fear. After we spent the early hour (8-9) with the wife and daughter in Hogsmeade we headed for Jurassic Park to plunge to our deaths.

Let me say that watching this ride on YouTube does NOT prepare you for the final drop. As we crested that last lift my eyes bulged out of their sockets like Jim Carrey in the Mask and I yelled OH MY GOD!! Somehow I managed to keep my eyes open and seconds later we're all having a good laugh, especially when we check out the ride photo. Check out http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/splash-mountain-drop-question.873713/page-2 to see the photo from that.

After that we spent our time bouncing back and forth between the parks, depending on what we wanted to do. We had an absolute blast. My only complaint is that at the Trolley ride they make you take photos before you get in line, which I don't like at all and they won't let you skip ahead.

As usual we hit the Makeup Show over at the Studios and as usual we loved it. We got this combo on our first show:


This show never fails to please, no matter which combo you get. We had Mel's for lunch, yummy. After park closing at 8:30 we headed over to Pastamore for our 9pm dinner. We had an outdoor table, which the wife wanted, and our food was great. Back to the hotel for rest.

Day 4 - 18th

Same as day 3 but without dinner ressies. I think one of these trips my son and I might set the record for most times on Cat in the Hat for one day.

Day 5 - 19th

Same thing again but this time we had 9pm reservations at Pat O'Briens. Again, outstanding atmosphere and great food!

Next post will start the Disney days!
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Holy meat Batman! How many hamburger patties were on that beast of a burger?! It does look VERY delicious tho -- you can just see the cheese oozing off that thing ... That's a total 'Man vs. Food' moment you got going on in that photo.

Where did your wife do surfer school? At the water park? I had never heard of that before.


Yeah, the surf school is at Typhoon Lagoon and it's $150 per surfer. It's roughly 2.5 hours long and doesn't include park admission after opening. It was pretty cool. I think she got a total of 10 waves to ride. Each surfer gets 2 waves and 5 turns, you can choose to either ride the initial big wave or the smaller one behind it. She had a blast but she said it's really physically demanding. I guess that's why most surfers are thin and in great shape huh.
 
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draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6 - September 20th

Ok, so here comes check in day. The plan is to sleep in a little bit and then head to POFQ to check in and get ready for MNSSHP. Everything goes as planned and then we get to the MK. We get there around 3:45 and they let us in and we get our locker to put up our costumes until later. We hit up some rides and had some fun until about 6pm, at which point we head up front to change into our costumes. Here's the wife and kiddos:



and then one of yours truly and the kiddos:



Oh...my....LORD it was packed. I know that Fridays are packed, but this was crazy. I know that they supposedly sell 10k tickets, but we've been to a sold out Xmas party and this party had WAAY more people. We had a pretty decent time until it came time to get a spot for the parade. We showed up about 45 minutes early and there was not one open spot along the whole route. With my wife and kids being shorter it would have done no good to stand behind others AND we're not the kind of people that try to squeeze in or put our kids in front of others.

Needless to say, my wife was not happy because the Headless Horseman is her favorite part of the whole party. So, we made the most of the night and got lots of candy.

Day 7 - September 21st

Now we start the official park days. Up first is AK. We got there a little before opening as usual and I like the way they let you into the lands instead of holding up front. First up is a ride on Dinosaur followed by the ladies riding EE. Then we headed to the Safari and got FP's to do it again later. We did the Safari 4 times that day and only on the first trip did we see the lions. Oh well.


The wife and daughter did EE quite a few times and Kali Rapids while the son and I rode the stew out of Dinosaur. We absolutely love that ride. It was funny because this guy in our Time Rover told one of the girls in his group that it was like an E.T. ride. We had Pizzafari for lunch, which was good. At park closing we had 6:30pm reservations at Rainforest Cafe. This is where it gets epic! We're seated and who do you think our server was?.......Yeah, ELVIS was our server!! it was funny because he looked JUST like Tobey Maguire in his Peter Parkle role, glasses and everything. We had a wonderful time there and headed back to the resort. After that we headed back to DtD and did a little more shopping and I think the kids swam while I napped pool side.


Day 8 - September 22nd

This was our first regular MK day. We did the usual touring of the park, with 6:10pm dinner reservations at Be Our Guest. You know all about the rides and attractions, so I'll skip to the meat and potatoes. New Fantasyland.....looks amazing.




I can just imagine what it will look like when the Dwarves coaster is finished. Now let me speak on BoG. Wow, just WOW.


This place was amazing. From the detail to the food, this was an awesome experience. Our server, Joe.......just amazing. This guy was so energetic and friendly. I seriously have NEVER had a better transaction with a server in my whole life. His interaction with the kids was so sincere and all, it was worth going there JUST to have that interaction. The steak......perfect!! I know that some of you military folks out there know what I mean when I say that I don't normally taste my food and sometimes I don't even chew. This steak was so good that not only did I chew this steak, but I let it linger so that my taste buds could continue to soak in the greatness that was abound! I was pleased that my wife and daughter were able to get in about 6-8 rides on Space Mountain, since I knew it would be closed half of the time. By the end of the night the feet were barking and we headed back to the resort for some rest.



To be continued......
 
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draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 9 - September 23rd

This was our DHS day. The Mrs. and daughter head to ToT and RnR while the son and I head to get TSMM FPs and jump in line while it's low. We were able to get 5 rides in(son and I) and 4 rides for the Mrs. and daughter with us using Fps, but I was amazed at how quickly they went. In 2008, 2011 and 2013 during our September trips I was able to get FPs up until 12:30 in the afternoon before they ran out. On this trip I picked up our last set at 10:25am and they were for 8-9(closing). Anyways, we had Sci-Fi for lunch, and I tried the NY strip steak. Next time I'll go back to the burger there. I had it prepared medium-well, as I had done at BoG but this was not that good. It was squishy and rubbery. Ah well, lesson learned. We ate at Pizza Planet for dinner, to break our usual trip to the Commissary. It wasn't too bad. The main issue we had was being soaked. It rained most of the day after 1pm and we got soaked. Another lesson learned....there's a reason the cheap panchos at Wal-Mart are a dollar. My wife even had to buy a pair of WDW sweat pants because hers got soaked and they weren't very durable against the rain and she hates being soaked with clothes stuck to her. Fourty-two dollars for WDW sweats....:cry:

One thing that irritated me was that during the main torrential part of the rain they had so much crap closed. Backlot and the Monsters M&G for starters. Anyhow, we ended the night on a good note and we had MUCHO fun in the animation class. We drew Donald and in the second class we drew Russell. We were tickled to be drawing Russell because my wife's sister and her husband adopted a little boy that looks JUST like him. My wife demanded that I buy her the "learn how to draw the characters" book, and we all know that a happy wife = a happy life. Besides, I'm getting pretty good at drawing the characters so having that book will be good for me too.


Day 10 - September 24th

Ok, back to the MK for our second MNSSHP. We were expecting this to be a better experience than the first party because this is on a Tuesday, right? Well.........For most of the day it wasn't too bad. We had our Crystal Palace breakfast at 8:10 and it was pretty good. We got out right at park opening so I went to get a locker while the Mrs. took the kids to Tomorrowland. I met up with them and we made the rounds until about 1 or so and we had lunch at Pinocchio's Village Hause. We love getting a window seat overlooking IASW, so that's what we did. Around 6pm we made our way up front and got changed again. Ok, so after learning our lesson about the Boo to You parade from the previous Friday, we headed to Liberty Square about an hour prior to the parade. Well, shucks, our usual spot is taken. No problem, we found a great spot right in front of the Christmas store right before the bridge to the hub. And then it happened.....exactly what hadn't happened all day. Yes, it started to rain. Not heavy, but heavy enough for ponchos. But that's not the kicker. The kicker is that we KNOW the HH won't be riding and my wife is now ready to throw me from the top of Cinderella Castle. The parade comes through and sure enough no HH and some of the parade sequences were changed to accommodate the weather. No problem, there's always the next parade....right?

Well, after finding the post on here about parade spots, we found the little sitting spot in front of Pecos Bills and plopped down for the second parade in hopes of it drying off enough for the HH. Well, we watch them rope off the other side of the street but not our side. We're thinking that they're about to rope our off, with nobody having come over to explain our boundaries. Well, as soon as we're on our feet a Brazilian family sits down. I go over to a woman that was on the same little wall as us and ask her what she was told in regards to the parade boundaries. Long story short, we just unknowingly gave up our spots to the Brazilians.

So, after explaining the situation to a CM, he tries to lead us to a spot about 150 feet away, telling us that there's room for us. As we approach I can see that there are people there but it looks like they're saving the front spot for other people. We sit there and tell the CM we don't want the spot and we don't want to be "those people" that show up minutes before. So, after some confusion and arguing I ask him if the little stairway entrances to Pecos Bills are ok to stand at. They are and we go there. Needless to say, there was no HH and again I am in hot water with the Mrs. Things are not going well. So far at the second party we've spent almost 3 hours waiting for 2 parades and no HH to show for it and hardly any candy and NO pictures with characters. After closing out the night on random rides we head back to the resort, wet, grumpy and tired.

Day 11 - September 25th

Ok, so things have got to get better. After all, this is MY favorite park, Epcot!! Things actually didn't go too bad here. We had a pretty good time. My wife did the pick-a-pearl experience and I LOVE the interaction with the Japanese CMs. So happy, so respectful, such a pleasure to interact with!! I forget what size pearl she got, but I think it was just shy of 8mm? We had lunch at I think it was Hacienda on the outside.

Good stuff there. After that we had 6pm dinner reservations at San Angel Inn. I was a bit bummed because I asked if we could wait for a water side table and I was told it might take up to an hour. Last year we had one in about 10 minutes. Well, we were starving so we took what we could get. Ah well, right. As usual we had the Carne Asada and as usual it was delicious! I really love the atmosphere in this place!!





EMH were from 9-11 so we took advantage of that and rode the stew out of some rides while most people were watching Illuminations. Maelstrom was looking good and we all LOVE the scent of the perfume they sell in there. My wife and daughter HATED the Test Track line but like the new version. They said there was a couple that literally dragged their kid onto Soarin, kicking and screaming. They said that the CMs looked uncomfortable and it was awkward for everyone. I can't imagine making your kid do a ride, is it really that serious?

And almost at the end of the night my son and I were about a camel's eyelash away from getting 101'd from Imagination with Figment. We were stuck in the eye chart scene for about 10 minutes but they got it running again. And my son and I ended the night with EO while the ladies went to Soarin. I sure am going to miss EO if they remove it. My son got a good chuckle from me while watching EO because I was doing all of the little movements along with MJ.

Overall we had a good time at Epcot.
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 12 - September 26th

Ok, so this is our final day at WDW. Time to make up for all of the problems we've had on the trip so far. CRT reservations at 8:05. We get there and what's that.....we're the first family in line? Fantastic! So we wait for Cinderella....and wait...and wait. I think it was 8:10 by the time she hit the lobby and took our pic. So we're thinking cool, since we're first we should get a table by the window, right? Nope. Ok, well we're only two tables away from the window and the windows are bit fogged up, but it would have been cool.

So, things are going pretty well and the crowds seem pretty light considering the park was morning EMH on this day. Then they came. I don't know where from, but they came. People.....lots of people. Around 1:30pm we decided to try Pinocchios again for lunch. As soon as we walk in it's a sea of people. Wow.....really? So we walk down to see if they opened up Tortuga Tavern, as it's been open on all of our previous September trips. Nope, 0 for 2. So we backtrack to Pecos Bills and walk into the ordering area. You couldn't see one square inch of floor, it was that packed. So while my wife orders, she tells me to go find a table and have the kids sit there. We ended up sitting by the condiment room AT TORTUGA TAVERN. Yes, it was that busy. So I leave the kids there with our bag so I can help the Mrs. with our trays. Here comes the other fun part, getting idiots to realize that in the confined space of the ordering room you DON'T have to stand side by side, especially when those with food are trying to exit to the dining area. There was more to this situation but I'll get to that in my closing comments.

Suddenly, the September crowds have now turned into March crowds, even Pirates is up to around 40 minutes. We walk around and hit the rides we want to do and try to make the best of our last day. It actually got better mid-afternoon until Wishes. This is where I became incensed with Disney. They are getting very HORRIBLE at crowd control and direction. They were blocking people from getting to the hub from the Tomorrowland bridge, instead they had a plaid standing there telling people to go back to the little pathway and go around. Well, that wouldn't have been hard if it weren't for all of the people and strollers leaning along those rails waiting for the fireworks. Then, it happened. The lights went off for Wishes. The collective groan from the herds of people trying to make their way around was almost deafening. At this point, I was separated from my wife and kids and I was just hoping they kept going to PoTC instead of looking for me.

It was insane trying to cross from the Plaze side to Casey's corner, total gridlock. On our past September trips I don't think I've ever seen that many people TOTAL in all 4 parks, much less in one park at the same time. It reminded me of the photos that some of you folks have posted during 4th of July and other peak times. So, I finally made it to PoTC and the family is waiting for me. To my surprise, the wife isn't mad as she said she just toughened up her shoulder and trudged on through. That's my girl!! I'm a very firm believer in your side/ my side and I move for nobody when walking in a path. I can't tell you how many people I bumped or bumped into me, even when they may have 8 feet of open space but they want to talk into me.

Anyways, so we do some rides while the zombies are all watching the sky lights and the plan as usual is to end the night and trip as the last ones on Haunted Mansion. So, we get into the queue about 2 minutes prior to closing and all is going well. I kill a couple minutes in the interactive part until the front CMs come up. Well, there were two ladies that were doing the same thing. For some unknown reason, the CMs decide to rush US through and tell us to step lively into the mansion. I look back and sure enough, the CM working the line that "swept" the line for guests is just standing there with the two ladies talking about the queue. No rushing them at all. So we get inside and the doors close. This means that those two ladies, that were in line BEFORE us, now are the last ones and were not hastily ushered into the building as we were. My wife and kids even said that the guy working to front door told them to "come on" in a slightly rude manner.

I'm now ****ed off. Not really because I'm not the last one, but more because we were rushed and those ladies weren't. So, I make the best of the ride and when we finish I find a lead/supervisor and I tell him what happened. Honestly, when I walked away he probably shrugged me off. I asked him for the names of the two girls and guy working the front and he said he's have to look it up. I find that hard to believe, so I just left. My plan was to just contact WDW guest relations via email. Ok, so we're upset at this point, but not quite boiled over. Yet...
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My son got a good chuckle from me while watching EO because I was doing all of the little movements along with MJ.

haha your a good dad, great trip report so far,

tell me how did u get free dining for UNI?

im a local and never knew u could there.:confused:


They had a stay and play type deal where if you stayed on-site or at a partner hotel for 4 days you got 2 days of free dining.
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Ok, so when I left off we had just been ushered through the Haunted Mansion and were a bit upset. That was just the calm before the storm. The MSEP is going on so I know we have to go around to get out, as it is headed to Frontierland and we won't be able to cross over. So, the plan is to go up the path behind the Liberty Square funnel cake place and go through the castle and around the hub to beat the crowds before the parade is over.

So, on the prior days when they have that pathway closed they have it roped off. Now, it's a little after 10pm, which is closing, so you'd think they'd have it roped off. Nope. We almost made it to the top when we were stopped by a lady and told the park was closed. I told her yeah, we want to exit through the castle so we can beat the crowds. She says we have to go back and wait for the parade to finish. I inform her that the other night I went the same way when exiting and we don't want to wait for the parade. It was a losing battle and now I am steaming mad. You guys have no idea how upset I am at this point. We stand by the funnel cake place waiting on the parade and at this point I'm telling my wife that we are NEVER coming back. I was furious.

On the way out, I wanted to stop at Town Hall and speak with a manager about their horrible crowd control and lack of common sense, such as locking in people who DON'T want to see the parade, but the line was about 10 people outside of the building. So apparently I wasn't the only one with issues. The line for the monorail was ridiculous at this point so we just waited for the ferry. By the time we boarded the ferry I was done with Disney. This is the first trip where I didn't even look back at the castle, Main Street, or the main entrance. As a matter of fact, I didn't look back the whole time. Even when we reached the TTC we headed to the car and left.

Now, this was supposed to be the last day, but a few days earlier my wife talked me into doing a Halloween Horror Night. So, we would be checking out on Friday, the 27th and heading back to Rodeway before hitting up Universal.


Day 13 - September 27th

Ok, so we slept in, which felt great. Packed up and then we let the kids get some swimming in. After the swimming we filled up our mugs and headed down the road back to Rodeway. We headed out to Wal-Mart for some last minute items and then headed to Universal for Halloween Horror Nights.


WARNING:::pIXIE DUST SNORTERS MAY WANT TO AVOID THIS SECTION!!!

IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO CRITICISM OF DISNEY AND/OR PRAISE FOR UNIVERSAL THEN PLEASE HIDE YOUR CHILDREN AND WOMEN AND COVER YOUR EYES!!! THIS IS NOT FOR THE FEINT OF HEART!!!







































Still with me?

Ok then. Let me start off by saying that Halloween Horror Nights is AWESOME. Basically, HHN takes MNSSHP, balls it up into a round wad and then punts it out of the stadium.

Seriously. Between two MNSSHP parties we got 5 bags of clearance aisle candy, soaked in rain, no character pictures and spent hours waiting for a partial parade. At HHN we got 8 awesome haunted houses, walkers throughout most of the park and we still got to ride most of the rides. People were drinking all over the place yet I never had trouble with people bumping into me, or any of the other things that happen at WDW.


Now allow me to vent all of the issues that we had on this trip. Again, if you're squeamish with Disney criticism then you might not want to look.


WDW ISSUES

Pirates ride- Fog scene and Mermaids not working all day on 9/26.

Pirates CMs- One girl just waved her hand and said "go on" while barely looking at us, another CM didn't even tell us which way to go at the FP+ merge because he was busy chewing his gum, another girl was working the little operation booth at the loading dock with NOBODY working the "how many in your party" spot right before it. She kind of got rude about us being over the "line" at the "how many" part but I'm sure she was feeling overworked and I don't blame her. How in the hell can you not have enough staffing for your rides? You've got someone working the FP+ merge, which might see about 5 people every 10 minutes instead of at the loading area.

Haunted Mansion- The queue has been turned into a cattle section, with FP+ sitting there empty while they accordion people in the queue. They want you to "fill in all of the empty spaces" just so you can squeeze your party back together 50 feet away. This leads to line cutting and MANY people getting separated from their party. This is a huge headache to families and I can see this leading to many issues with smaller children. I will say that there were a few times when they were at least smart enough to open the middle gate to allow people to skip the interactive part, but it wasn't open often enough.

Buzz Lightyear- Man, does this thing need an overhaul. It literally broke down/stopped 3 times with us in line on the 24th. That's one instance, as in three times within about 10 minutes. We finally just left the queue along with about 25 other people. As a matter of fact, I think there might have been two times on the whole trip where we got in line and it didn't stop for whatever reason(not including disabled folks). And we're talking a bunch of times here people because we came away with about 14 or more Galatic Hero buttons. There were several cars that didn't spin, a few that had non working guns or guns that wouldn't turn.


CMs- I should have made this the first issue, but I'm just winging it. This trip was the WORST in regards to CM interaction that we've had in our 7 trips. I'd say that MAYBE half of all of the CMs we saw smiled at us. Less than that actually spoke or gave any acknowledgment. Worst of all was the group of 7 suits that we came across at Epcot. This was around 9:40am, so it was only my family and this group of suits within a 200 foot radius. Not only did they not say hello but they didn't even acknowledge us. They walked within 9 feet of us and not even a head nod. I will say that the CMs that we did have good interactions with were great!


Crowd Control- My God, where do I begin with this? How about Disney changes the goal of the Pirates scavenger hunt to find a member of management that has a few working brain cells. Seriously, they literally threw their plaids and CMs to the wolves for the nighttime events. That little Wishes fiasco was embarrassing to say the least. I was furious about trying to get to my family but it wasn't the CMs fault, it was the fault of management for not controlling the crowds. They placed those CMs and plaids about 1 every 200 feet from the hub to the plaza to try to control hundreds upon hundreds of people and I didn't see one stinking suit out there helping them.

I was so furious because it was just a recipe for disaster for people with small kids. The opportunity to have little ones trampled is front and center. Heck, I had someone ramming their stroller into my right leg while someone else was pushing against my backpack. I had to stop and turn around and tell them that doing such things would not get me to move any faster as there were hundreds of people in front of me.

The icing on the cake was being told I couldn't go through the castle to exit the park and instead had to stay until the parade was over against my wishes. I even told her I wanted to speak to a manager and she ignored my request and went back up the path.


Food pricing- Are you serious? Yes, I know you're paying for the location and not the food, but $135ish at Sci-Fi for 3 burgers and a steak? The fricking burgers were $16 a piece. A PIECE. I realize it's their way of making up the free dining, but it can hurt the server because who honestly wants to tip someone $25 for bringing them some drinks(at a buffet)? Or CRT, where one plate of food and a drink or two costs $44. Ridiculous. If we go again we are NOT doing CRT.



That's about all I can think of for now so I'll finish here. There were good times had, no doubt, but it seems like every trip gets worse and worse on the Disney portion while the Universal part gets better and better. Heck, you can count the number of things that my son and I do at both Universal parks on both hands versus the dozens of things we do at WDW yet the employee interaction makes it more exciting and fun at Universal.

That really seems strange for me to say, because I'm a huge Disney fan and I grew up going to DL. However, you can't avoid the truth when it's right in front of you. Right now you have Universal putting in new rides and experiences while Disney gives us nearly empty FP+ lines while the queue lines get all jacked up. And that's another funny thing to me because Universal is owned by Comcast, and I absolutely HATE Comcast. I dropped their cable service and I would drop their internet if it wasn't for limited providers in my area. They have HORRIBLE customer service yet they're putting money back INTO the parks in a way that guests can enjoy. Meanwhile, the little chicken scratch that Disney isn't giving to it's shareholders and CEO is being used for stuff like FP+.


I will admit, we did book the bounce back for next September. Partially out of nostalgia, partially in hope that it gets better next time and the rest because who knows if they'll still have Free Dining next year other than the BB. I think they will, although I'd rather go back at the end of November, which my wife agreed with. If I'm going to be miserable with higher than average crowds I'd at least like to not be suffering from a heat stroke on top of it.

I know one thing, we ARE going back to Universal next year for the Potter expansion AND another round of HHN, whether we actually follow through with the Disney portion depends on how we feel and how we think they're headed. Right now it's not looking good.

Thanks for coming along for the ride folks. I don't mean to be a downer, I just try to be realistic. I hope Disney rights the ship because I truly do love it. Thanks and have a great day!
 

journ116

Well-Known Member
Firstly, thank you for sharing! I have no complaints about your WDW complaints...in fact, I had similar situations this past June!!

Many of your CM experiences were the same for me: i.e. little eye contact, sometimes simply ignoring guests, the "I know nothing" lackadaisical attitudes, poor crowd control, and serious lack of empathy! However, we did have two CM's who went out of their way to make our trip a bit brighter!

With only two days left in that trip, I was actually wishing to go home! Between the CM's, technical glitches, guests who should know better, and heat, no amount of pixie dust could salvage that vacation. When we finally pulled into the garage at home, I exhaled a sigh of relief and told my DH that, "WDW and me are done for the time being," because I had that bad of an experience.

Needless to say, my heart has softened and I will be giving WDW a second chance in February 2014...but, I will keep one thing in mind: no expectations...nada...zip...nil...zero. Besides, I don't want to sacrifice all the good memories because of a few lousy ones!

I truly and sincerely hope that your next trip is better!
 

sweetpee_1993

Well-Known Member
Been following along, Dray, because I knew you'd be honest & fair. It's been so long since I've been in one of the 4 parks.

One thing that stood out that DH has commented on in the past is how when you encounter the "suits" at WDW they mostly come off cold, indifferent, or like they're trying to avoid any eye contact. The avoidance is very cold. I've been a supervisor in a high stress job. No matter what leadership must always lead by example. If the management (or "suits") are avoiding guests or being indifferent what does that say to the front line? It's concerning. Truly.

I should mention that on Disney's ships if/when you encounter the officers (they're in crisp white uniforms) they nod, smile, or greet you. Even the captain!

Love that your wife loved her surf lessons. Isn't Typhoon Lagoon amazing? Its so different from the craziness of the 4 parks or what I remember of them anyway.

Very intrigued with your Uni experiences. Do tell about the HHN stuff! I want to hear more about this!
 

michaelnyc

Active Member
i agree totally with you
we sent eary sept 2013 for 14 days
the worst trip i have had in 18 years
cast members ignoring us, photo pass guy ignoring their lines and taking people off the street at a whim, face characters who looked tired and over worked, severe park over crowding, a friday 31th villains party that was the worst possible event in my disney history, a halloween party with incomplete decorations, sept crowds the largest i have ever seen, rude south americans cutting in lines pushing and shoving guests opening using damaging merchandise in stores with cast members watching and saying nothing, etc etc etc (and i'm south american so have all the right to complain)

what the heck is going on?
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Halloween Horror Nights is AMAZING!!

Seriously, I'm already a huge Walking Dead fan, so that was a bonus. They have 8 haunted houses, each with a different theme. They had Walking Dead, Evil Dead, Cabin in the Woods, Resident Evil, Havoc2, AfterLife(3d), American Werewolf in London and Il Llorna. On top of those, they had the Bill & Ted's Halloween Adventure show, which we skipped because I wasn't sure about the content, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute show. On top of that they had most of the rides open, except E.T., Twister, and Shrek. It was crowded but unlike my time at the MK I enjoyed it with the crowds.

My wife keeps saying she's going to turn me to the dark side, which will never happen, but Universal is quickly grabbing my attention because they make it fun and they aren't sitting on their butts putting out stale crap. The difference right now between money grabbing TDO and money grabbing Universal is that Universal is putting that money right back into the parks instead of their own pockets.
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And you see, that's another difference. Universal gets just as big of a Brazilian/South American crowd as Disney but the difference in our experiences is that they behave at Universal. It's amazing.
 

Runmyhorse

Well-Known Member
What did you think of Transformers, Springfield, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey?


Draybook really don't ride those, but I do and my daughter did. Transformer is one of the best rides we have rode in a very long time. LOVED IT.spring field we really enjoyed. It was. Nice addition to that area. Harry potter forbidden journey is great no matter how many times you ride it.
 

draybook

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
What did you think of Transformers, Springfield, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey?

Like my wife said, I don't do simulators or simulator-ish rides. I must say though, the queues and aesthetics are amazing and we LOVED the Transformers meet & greet. That was fantastic! I was also thrilled to be able to eat a Krusty burger, even if it was just a regular burger. Like I said, I do less rides and attractions at Uni but have a better time because of the workers there. Honestly, I think that the Horror Make-up show might be my favorite thing about the whole trip.
 

unkadug

Follower of "Saget"The Cult
Like my wife said, I don't do simulators or simulator-ish rides. I must say though, the queues and aesthetics are amazing and we LOVED the Transformers meet & greet. That was fantastic! I was also thrilled to be able to eat a Krusty burger, even if it was just a regular burger. Like I said, I do less rides and attractions at Uni but have a better time because of the workers there. Honestly, I think that the Horror Make-up show might be my favorite thing about the whole trip.
Why not...is it motion sickness inducing moreso that attractions that actually move?
 
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