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Trip Report We Kept Genie in the Lamp

50 years later, what goes around comes around.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 with an admission charge and an attraction ticket system. Admission got you into the park (and onto the free If You Had Wings, sponsored by Eastern Airlines) but every ride required a separate ticket (A,B,C,D,E) which varied in price based on the attraction’s “value.” E-tickets were the most expensive (this is where the expression “it’s an E-ticket ride!” originated) and cost 90 cents apiece. Ticket books bundled A-E together for a reduced cost, but there were never enough E’s (and always leftover A’s and B’s.) Not to worry though ~ each land had its own ticket booth (think tiny kiosk) where individual attraction tickets could be purchased (assuming your parents said yes. 😉)

This was the system for over a decade. The introduction of all-day Passports (and eventual Park Hoppers) was a welcome relief for guests ~ ride what you want as many times as you want for no additional cost. Yes, you had to wait in line. Lines that often were very long. But it was a SIMPLE system.

When Fastpass was introduced at the turn of the century, it required some strategic planning and lots of extra walking to obtain the paper FPs in order to “skip” a line. Fastpass+ exacerbated strategic planning to a whole ‘nother level. But it was a FREE system.

Genie, Genie+, Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane have thrown SIMPLE and FREE out the window. And now in 2021, we’re back to admission and paying for attractions.

But not us.

At least not this trip.

This vacation was a respite for me as I grieve the recent loss of my father. It was a time for memories and nostalgia. A time for keeping things simple.

I’m ready to share if you’re ready to read.

Who: Tuvalu and Woody
When: October 22-29, 2021
Where: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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If you’d like to read about my very first trip to Walt Disney World:
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
View attachment 602262

1) "I put my heart and soul into these costumes and you forget the gloves and wear brown cargo shorts and mint green shoes???

2) Cliff Clavin Fun Fact- " Well Norm you do know that it is illegal is 37 of the 50 States in these United States of America to have a combination of more than 5 patterns and/or colors in any one outfit."

pay up george wendt GIF


3) Gotta love the socks and crocks!!


Max
Phil Dunphy Thumbs Up GIF
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
agreed, a few weeks ago was my 11th lifetime WDW trip (BTW my first one was at age 6 at Christmas 1971), we managed fine without Genie+ and LL .......BUT can foresee that as crowds and lines increase with this holiday season and in 2022 as 50th celebration continues and pandemic wanes, many folks are going to be frustrated with need for Genie+ and LL to best manage their trips, adding $$$ to an already $$$$$ trip
It is sure going to be interesting watching this play out, especially next month!

If you listen closely, you can almost hear a Sousa march playing loudly behind this post.
I Like Yes GIF by Saturday Night Live


BefArtyPooh

Or shorten it to just fartypooh 😂😂
I am so stealing this.....:hilarious:
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
DUNKIN DONUTS, EARLY MORNING, NOVEMBER 23RD

A random woman in line behind me reads the back of my sweatshirt aloud.

RANDOM WOMAN IN LINE BEHIND ME
I sure hope a ghost doesn't follow me home! What's that from?
I am slightly caught off guard with it being early in the morning. I turn around to show her the front of the sweatshirt with the hatbox ghost.

ME
Oh, it's Disney.

RANDOM WOMAN IN LINE BEHIND ME
Oh, I thought maybe you were Wicca or something!

ME
Schitts Creek Comedy GIF by CBC





acting schitts creek GIF by CBC
Re: Random woman~

the lion king jaw drop GIF

Fozzie Bear Reaction GIF


Re: your gifs~

Donald Duck Lol GIF

Laugh Laughing GIF


Thanks for sharing!!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Sunday, con’t

It was time for Woody and me to leave MK for a lunch reservation ~ one that I was able to move to today from Tuesday. And while the Contemporary may be within walking distance, we decided to arrive via the sleek, futuristic transport system from 1971.

Fifty years later a monorail entering (and exiting) a hotel is still pretty cool in our opinion.

As is this amazing mural by artist Mary Blair.

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Why a southwest themed mural in a futuristic hotel? Hint: the main level is named the Grand Canyon Concourse for a reason!

We popped into Bay View Gifts before heading down to the lobby level. Some different 50th merchandise caught our attention.

This was the ball cap I told you about @TrolleyFollower91.

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This monstrosity is a CANDY BAR. :jawdrop:

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As we wandered around the store I saw a couple who strongly resembled @PineapplePrincess and her hubby….so much so that I sent her a PM to inquire if she was in the world. (I wasn’t comfortable approaching the woman.) Turns out it was only her doppelgänger!

We had to take the stairs since the escalator was broken (not an occurrence.)

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The lobby renovations were complete and we liked what we saw!

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Kids area

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The gorgeous Mary Blair artwork gallery.

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This print (by itself on another wall) fascinated me!

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Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
More retro photographs line the hallway down towards the check in desk. They are fun to view and even guests without a reservation are allowed to take a peek at them.

15025F83-3F6D-436B-BCAF-1A33E4232E89.jpeg


New lounge seating in the former Wave blue room. Much brighter area now.

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The space for dining is essentially a windowless banquet room. Years ago this space held the arcade, snack bar and an awesome shooting gallery (similar in style to the one in Frontierland.) People complain that the room lacks charm and is akin to eating in a basement, but I’ve never felt that way. Woody and I both were impressed with the transformation from The Wave to Steakhouse 71.

BA0B69E9-CCD4-4E4D-9D4C-A2B60B7C8A9A.jpeg


We were especially impressed with our genuinely warm and very attentive server. She was the polar opposite of our Trail’s End server the night prior. We selected our entrées based on her recommendations and she was spot on!

Woody had the turkey club on house-made brioche. The turkey is roasted in-house daily. It is not sliced deli style but carved (and was delicious!) He was leaning towards pasta salad as his side until I mentioned how much Em and I liked the crispy parmesan waffle fries. After just one fry he commented on how good it tasted.

C821FFD1-A132-4AF9-B332-042DC356FADC.jpeg


I couldn’t eat at Steakhouse 71 and not have steak…or at least beef of some kind! The lunch options included steak “frites” (hanger steak with chimichurri), Salisbury steak, prime rib sandwich and the stack burger.

I went with the “frites” and had no regrets!

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As much as I wanted to try the signature chocolate cake, I was way too full. Woody was satisfied also. We were most pleased with our first visit to this restaurant ~ and it won’t be our last!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Woody and I were curious about the tower’s conversion to Incredibles theme so after lunch we took an elevator up to the 10th floor. (Nothing special about the 10th floor, just a random button push. ;) ) We had seen pictures of the interior of the rooms and did not care for the refurb at all (really “in your face” themed @dryerlintfan.) Would we like the exterior/hallways?

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We had mixed feelings. We have no plans to stay at the Contemporary anyway. Our last stay was for one night a year ago, for nostalgia purposes. We honeymooned at the resort (and it was my first Disney resort as a child) so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

1C89463E-4BFD-4746-8F6B-5A51E249D687.jpeg
 

Nunu

Wanderluster
Premium Member
More retro photographs line the hallway down towards the check in desk. They are fun to view and even guests without a reservation are allowed to take a peek at them.

View attachment 602881

New lounge seating in the former Wave blue room. Much brighter area now.

View attachment 602882

The space for dining is essentially a windowless banquet room. Years ago this space held the arcade, snack bar and an awesome shooting gallery (similar in style to the one in Frontierland.) People complain that the room lacks charm and is akin to eating in a basement, but I’ve never felt that way. Woody and I both were impressed with the transformation from The Wave to Steakhouse 71.

View attachment 602883

We were especially impressed with our genuinely warm and very attentive server. She was the polar opposite of our Trail’s End server the night prior. We selected our entrées based on her recommendations and she was spot on!

Woody had the turkey club on house-made brioche. The turkey is roasted in-house daily. It is not sliced deli style but carved (and was delicious!) He was leaning towards pasta salad as his side until I mentioned how much Em and I liked the crispy parmesan waffle fries. After just one fry he commented on how good it tasted.

View attachment 602884

I couldn’t eat at Steakhouse 71 and not have steak…or at least beef of some kind! The lunch options included steak “frites” (hanger steak with chimichurri), Salisbury steak, prime rib sandwich and the stack burger.

I went with the “frites” and had no regrets!

View attachment 602885

View attachment 602886

As much as I wanted to try the signature chocolate cake, I was way too full. Woody was satisfied also. We were most pleased with our first visit to this restaurant ~ and it won’t be our last!
Your dishes at Steakhouse 71 look great, good portions for a lunch menu, too. Your steak (burnt ends, yum!) is calling my name. Hope you try the chocolate cake next time you're back! ;)
 

MinnieM123

Premium Member
Love the retro photos and designs for the Contemporary lobby renovations, and for Steakhouse 71 !!! ❤️ (Plus, you know, I can never see enough photos of Mary Blair's extraordinary tile, in the Grand Canyon Concourse!) :happy:

Now, in comparison to the winning formula above, I didn't care at all for the other designs on the upper levels -- with the Incredibles theme. And your final photo above (the overhead view) with the Incredibles color scheme, was disappointing (to me, anyway). I thought the previous colors were far more welcoming.
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
I have the same nostalgic feeling when walking into the Contemporary as you do because it was one of the original hotels of Walt Disney World and when going there as a teenage in 1975, I felt like I had walked into the future! That monorail was so captivating as it glided through the hotel center and the architectural structure was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It's a must do on every trip to WDW. We were so thrilled with the renovation of the former Wave restaurant and fell in love with the retro photos that line the wall when walking into the restaurant check-in area. So glad that you enjoyed the food for lunch because we are eating there in December! We actually have an early breakfast reservation and a dinner reservation, so we'll get to really experience the menu offerings!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Your dishes at Steakhouse 71 look great, good portions for a lunch menu, too. Your steak (burnt ends, yum!) is calling my name. Hope you try the chocolate cake next time you're back! ;)
Hope to try that cake in 23 days!

We were so thrilled with the renovation of the former Wave restaurant and fell in love with the retro photos that line the wall when walking into the restaurant check-in area. So glad that you enjoyed the food for lunch because we are eating there in December! We actually have an early breakfast reservation and a dinner reservation, so we'll get to really experience the menu offerings!
Double-dipping, you say? 😁 You’ll have to let me know how breakfast is and we can compare notes on dinner!

How sweet of @Tuvalu to take time out of Thanksgiving with the family to share some Disney magic with us! Hope you’ve enjoyed a wonderful day! Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving too! 💕
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Love the retro photos and designs for the Contemporary lobby renovations, and for Steakhouse 71 !!! ❤️ (Plus, you know, I can never see enough photos of Mary Blair's extraordinary tile, in the Grand Canyon Concourse!) :happy:

Now, in comparison to the winning formula above, I didn't care at all for the other designs on the upper levels -- with the Incredibles theme. And your final photo above (the overhead view) with the Incredibles color scheme, was disappointing (to me, anyway). I thought the previous colors were far more welcoming.
uh huh yes GIF


I love this one... what also strikes me is the (back)background; the vacant area where GF would become. Rarely do you see photos of what used to be in what spot... Excellent nostalgia
Make sure you see the photo in person on your next visit. It mesmerized me for several minutes.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Sunday, con’t

We whooshed on the monorail back to the Poly. Though the sky had changed from sunshine to cloud cover since our Steakhouse 71 lunch, we headed to the Oasis pool anyway. It was a day our room was due for for “light housekeeping” (every-other-day replacement of towels and emptying trash) and the housekeeper was working her way towards our room.

Woody and I lounged for over an hour (did not go in the water) then returned to an unserviced room. Since there were no housekeeping carts in the hallway (and it was after 4 pm), we assumed our room had been forgotten and went ahead with our showers. I was in the middle of mine when there was a knock on our door ~ the housekeeper! :banghead:

It was sprinkling as we readied to leave for our dinner ADR (another ADR that we had picked up earlier in the day.) We grabbed our umbrellas. Our plan was to monorail to the MK and transfer to resort bus.

Rain intensified while we were on the monorail….
EC7C44BD-5DD3-4193-84B1-CD7A6119D26C.jpeg


….and became a MONSOON when we disembarked at the MK. Even with our large umbrellas, we got soaked (what happens when it rains sideways!) We hurried for the bus depot, unsuccessfully avoiding the deep puddles along the way.

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To add insult to injury, the bus was delayed in arriving ~ then had to load an ECV once it did. We ended up being 30 minutes late for dinner.

But Tuvalu (you may be thinking)….didn’t you drive to WDW? Why didn’t you take your car to the restaurant?

Three reasons:
1. Woody dislikes driving on vacation.
2. We were going to a park after dinner.
3. We had a primo spot in the Poly lot and didn’t want to lose it.

However our wet, shivering bodies made us second guess our decision. And now there was the possibility we couldn’t be accommodated since we were so late.

I approached the check in desk with trepidation.

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The CM said she could work us in but couldn’t tell us how long the wait might be. We passed the time watching the lifeguards prepare to reopen Stormalong Bay.

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Our wait wasn’t long at all and soon we were summoned inside.

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Our table was next to a half-wall with a plexiglass partition. As we waited for our food (our usual burger/grilled chicken sandwich) we watched the party on the other side of the glass receive their Kitchen Sink sundae. The sundae was obviously a surprise to the youngest, a boy about 6, whose eyes nearly popped out of his head when the sink was set before him. It was so adorable and I wished someone had recorded his reaction!

It prompted me to record Woody’s reaction to his No Way José. :hilarious:

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He almost finished it (and would regret doing so later.)

My chocolate marshmallow sundae had the BEST topping-to-ice cream ratio and I had no regrets eating it all.

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Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
The rain was done for the evening but our clothes remained damp. It felt good to be out of the a/c as we strolled to Epcot. Surely the earlier monsoon would have cleared guests from the park, right?

Wrong. Oh so wrong. We hadn’t seen shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in Epcot since before the pandemic. World Showcase was uncomfortably crowded and any thoughts I had of a romantic walk around the lagoon were quickly extinguished.

Woody and I inched our way towards Future World. (Until the Wallcot refurbishment is completed I will continue to refer to the front of the park as Future World, not whatever those new names are.) Wait times for Figment, Soarin’ and LWTL were ridiculous. I suggested checking out Mouse Gear’s replacement….Creations Shop.

What a boring, unimaginative name. And what a dull gift shop. Mouse Gear was Epcot’s flagship store and had a distinctive layout with lots of different merchandise. Always a must do for me when in Epcot. Creations Shop immediately became a must don’t.

Such a disappointment.

Thought about visiting the new Club Cool but the line was out the door. The saving grace for the night was this little beauty….

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We were very entertained by the Beacons of Magic show.

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I was a skeptic when reading about the new lighting on SSE (would it ruin it?) but seeing it in person was really cool.

I was a skeptic about Harmonious too. Those barges have ruined the lagoon. Would the show overcome my skepticism?

I can’t tell you. Haven’t seen it in person. Didn’t feel like hanging around for a couple more hours with those crowds.

We got to ride the anniversary monorail ~ and saw MK fireworks while on our way to the TTC. :happy:

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