Trip Report Trip Report?


Maybe a few words.


We need time for things to happen.
Original Poster
It's time for wrap up!

Thanks to everyone for following along on this impromptu live TR.
We are back, I am slightly depressed (we all know the feeling), but all in all it was good time.

As most of you know or have figured out, I am generally a positive person. I feel like I am not a pixy duster or doom and gloomer but somewhere in the middle. I think I used the term Pixy Gloomer or Doom & Duster before...something like that.....HAHAAHA.

Anyway, what I am saying is, I do complain like everyone else, but I usually do it quickly about something specific (parents not parenting, scooter and stroller drivers out for blood, etc.) to get it out of my system and then move on to a happy state of mind.

I won't lie, there were a couple of moments of some major family drama on this trip that I didn't share for obvious reasons.
But we're family, we're stuck together, we love each other (for the most part..😆 ) so we regrouped we discussed, we got through it and it ended up being an amazing and fun trip with a ton of good memories. This was all despite some things not being perfect....speaking of which...

The Low lights -
  • CMs from different lands 'on-stage', i.e, Haunted Mansion, CMs on MSUSA doing crowd control,
  • CMs from different lands onstage doing team huddles in the middle Liberty Square
  • CMs in horrible moods.
    CMs on phones having full 5-10 min conversations 'on-stage' standing in the middle of Pecos Bill.
  • CMs generally looking disheveled - I believe the loosening of standards has given folks free reign to look however they want, Here's the thing, I am all about expressing yourself. I had long hair for years, I have tattoos, I have earrings, I have a beard, I find purple hair and nose rings cool and on women super attractive. I have zero problem with being yourself and in no way do I believe it reflects the type of worker or person you are. However, tattoos, beards, wild earrings etc. colored hair can look in character and make sense in certain lands and areas and in other lands/areas not so much. Also it I feel it it's not a lot to ask that "your look" should be maintained well kept etc.
I do believe there is a way to maintain standards and still let people express themselves. You want to wear black nail polish, HM is the place for you, not the CBJ. You want long hair and a beard, BTMR is waiting for you but probably not Space Mountain. I don't know maybe it's just me.

Also something weird I noticed, so many trash can doors were left unlocked/ open. Like almost everyone I saw. It was strange.

Anyway, you may have noticed..... there is theme here. CMs are spread too thin and over worked and it's starting to show.

Genie Plus and ILL - I went against my previous statements and used both at times this trip. I think ILL is ridiculous, but sometimes necessary when busy, because of how they're running things right now: not enough employees, the need for Park passes, etc.

Genie Plus could possibly work (and be more affordable) would be much better if the app itself didn't s-ck so bad.
I like that you can use it in the park you're in and then stack some decent rides for the afternoon, evening at your 2nd park.
Based on my experience these were the best value vs. experience:

1. Original FP paper system
2. Genie Plus
3. Fast Pass Plus

Max Pass at Disneyland was really the best, but we're just talking WDW here. LOL

The noodles at Ohana - Ok you took them away, instantly brought them back...but changed the recipe? Ugh..Not bad, just not the same.
Also - I am searching back to remember a time when we had a good server at Ohana'. It's been at least 4 years. I don't know what's going on, but this used to be hands down our best dining experience every year. Not so much anymore.

Now to the important / positive stuff...

The Highlights -
  • Brown Derby - First time and we enjoyed the meal beginning to end. Expensive but worth it.
  • Space 220 - Over all amazing and immersive dining experience, expensive, but food was exceptional and I definitely felt like we "went someplace"
  • Baseline Taphouse - I honestly was scratching my head everytime I saw anyone making a fuss about it. It was like my view on mini-golf, like, "I can get this experience 10 times over 3 min from my house, who cares!?" Then we went there grabbed a beer, a charcuterie board and sat down. I realized, wait a minute, I can't hear any screaming kids, I didn't get my ankle folded by a stroller, I can see all the wild WDW park goers, but I can't really hear them, I can only hear classic rock songs sung in folky acoustic renditions, this beer is delicious. Wait! This is a freaking oasis!!! You can see the beautiful dry, hot desert dunes, but you're in cool pool of water and have a refreshing drink in your hand! It all makes sense.
  • The lights on Spaceship Earth - look amazing! I know it's not that big of deal, but it truly is a stunning sight to see the prettiest girl in school all lit up.
  • The Suites at AoA (and the resort in general) - These are still a decent value for a family, plenty of room and privacy for a grown family of four. Decent transportation and food options.

Finally, I've said it before and I will say it again. I TRULY appreciate these times with my family, I feel extremely fortunate that my adult kids still want to hang with us, and just like their mom and pop's become kids again for a few short days. It truly is some form of magic.
That's what has kept us coming back.

Will we be back? I don't know. Right now it looks like maybe a trip to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon may be up next for next year.
We had actually saved up for annual passes and were planning for some weekend trips etc. later this year.

Chappie deciding APs not coming back anytime soon changed everything. Our money is now going toward a trip NOT WDW related this summer.

Although it was not one of our better trips, and the magic vs. value did indeed feel diminished for the first time, it was not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, just not the same.

I don't know what the future holds, but I am truly grateful I got to spend 9 days with these three people in a place we still (for now) love and appreciate.

Come on WDW get your act together!!! We're hanging on for dear life and rooting for you to turn things around.

For now here is more visual proof we had a good time this year:

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Well-Known Member
"Finally, I've said it before and I will say it again. I TRULY appreciate these times with my family, I feel extremely fortunate that my adult kids still want to hang with us, and just like their mom and pop's become kids again for a few short days. It truly is some form of magic.
That's what has kept us coming back."

This! This is what keeps me wanting to go back. Thanks for a great report @ShookieJones and final thoughts - they are really going to help me out. So glad you overall had a good time and still found some magic.


Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! I really enjoyed following along! I would have to think something was wrong with your family if you didn't have some major family drama when you are traveling with two young adults!! The important thing was you were able to deal with it, move on, and continue to have a fantastic trip!! Hope to hear about your trip to California next year!


Premium Member
Shookie, those were some interesting observations you shared in your TR wrap-up. It's good that you were able to balance out the pros and cons of the trip, so that you all still had a fun vacation (minus a little drama, but that's normal for families). Thank you for the variety of photos you shared as well. Enjoyed your TR, and wishing you and the family many more happy vacations in your future! :)


Well-Known Member
I truly enjoyed your report along with everyone else, and agree that anyone that's been there recently can see a change in the Cast Members. I guess I don't know enough of them to know what their life on stage is really like, but it does seem like some of them don't like the job they are in at all. That being said, I just had one of the best trips ever, so I get feeling torn about coming back. Your Poly postcard pic is one of my favorites and I'm glad that you were able to hash it out as a family, and the kids are old enough that everyone can split up when needed. Completely agree on the lights on Spaceship Earth. Walking out at night and watching "Colors of the Wind" with my niece who used to sing it at the top of her lungs as a little, was one of my favorite memories of my trip! Keep us posted on your travels! I'm sure we Magicians agree we would like to follow Shookie on a trip that doesn't involve WDW too! Thanks so much for sharing this one.

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