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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Default Disappointing Disney Vacation -- Arrival Day

    For me, the anticipation of an impending Disney trip is almost too much to bear. I excitement builds with each encroaching day. It's Christmas Eve and I'm nine years old again. I get that excited.

    But not for this trip. I was very apprehensive from the moment I made my reservation. On this trip, it was just my DS10 and me. Two guys. We left the house at 3:45 AM, drove to Globe Transportation to park the car and get our shuttle, and arrived at the airport around 4:50 for a 6:35 AM departure. All good. My saying is:

    "The Disney Trip is Still Perfect Until You Arrive."

    Southwest kept changing our flights for weeks leading up to trip. What started as a 7:00 AM. non-stop flight became an afternoon departure, complete with a four-hour layover in Nashville with a 5:00 PM arrival. After I complained, they managed a much shorter layover in Baltimore with a 10:30 arrival. Everyday up until yesterday, I checked to see if our flight was once again changed. It wasn't. (The return flight was though.) We use the Southwest Self-Serve kiosks to check-in and get our luggage tags and boarding passes, but immediately receive an error message. We need to find customer service. Panic sets in. The line is formidable and no one from Southwest is even at a counter yet. The trip is in trouble already. My son has anxiety issues and is on medication and soon becomes panicky. Turns out, the kiosks are not turned on until 5:00 AM and once a representative makes them active, we proceed to print our paperwork and check our bags. Security in Greater Pittsburgh Airport was a breeze and soon we are terminal side with breakfast in hand.

    I had received a text message yesterday, informing me my room was ready, complete with a room number. It stated the fourth floor, which surprised me because I thought Trinidad rooms only went to the second floor. No matter. We are wearing jeans now because it is only 43 degrees, but we have shorts in our carryons and we will change in our room and head out.

    New protocols have us grab our own bags and bring them to the Magical Express. My son spots ours quickly and we are on our way. Our new Magic Bands we ordered work and we are told it may be about on hour before a bus is available. I fear we will miss our dining reservations. A bus is ready for us to board in only 10 minutes though. We stow our gear and are assigned a seat.

    As we enter Disney property, I receive another text message, stating my room is NOT ready, but that I will be notified as soon as it is. Temperature is 80 degrees already. We have jeans on. We check our bags at Bell Services, walk to the new Skyliner, which is a wonderful means of transportation, and get to Hollywood Studios with much time before our Dining Reservations at 50s Prime Time Cafe.

    My son is not a rider. He's not a thrill seeker. He is sweet, and somewhat timid, very bright -- almost too bright -- and has anxiety. For weeks he was nervous about this trip, but very excited to shop at Galaxy Edge's Market Merchants. Extremely excited. That's all we talked about prior.

    "Dado, I think they have location-specific toys there."

    When we get there, Disney has a COVID Precautionary Line, limiting the number of groups in the shopping district at a time. The line is about 20 minutes long, but visually appears much longer. When it is finally our turn to enter, we learn of their policy: Only one group in a kiosk at a time while two or three other groups stack up behind, awaiting their turn. It's our turn. It's my son's turn to do what he's been talking about for six weeks, but I can sense his anxiety building. (A parent knows.) He is acutely aware that others are watching JUST HIM SHOP as he frantically looks for something he likes. Shuffled feet. A few mild groans or sighs as he returns to something he previously spied. He settles on something I'm certain he has no interest in.

    "I'll take this."
    "Are you sure?"
    "Yes. Can we go now?"
    "There are many other shops here. Want to look in them first?"
    "No. I want to go. Can we be done now please?"

    My heart broke. For weeks, this was what he looked forward to most, but Disney's insane, torturous procedure to allow ONLY ONE GROUP in a merchant while the others stacked up behind, was too much pressure for him to endure. We left. We never returned.

    It was nearly 2:00 PM and time for our first attempt to snag a Boarding Pass for Rise of the Resistance. I've read all the posts. My alarm goes off and I switch to cellular. I try. Fail. Try again. Fail. Try again. Fail. Try again. "All passes have been distributed at this time." Oh, well. I still have Saturday and two more attempts.

    Lunch at Prime Time Cafe was sad. The place is known for its lively atmosphere and "homey" feel. Unfortunately, social distancing had the place at about one-quarter capacity. You could hear all the TV dialogue. (A first for me.) I had the chicken (of course.) Delicious. So did my son.

    We receive a text our room is ready and since we are wearing jeans and it is 90 degrees now, we leave the park without riding one ride. Skyliner back. We go to our room to call for our luggage, but our phone doesn't work. We are in Trinidad so I have a long walk ahead of me. As I am on my way, a Mousekeeper tells me there is a phone by the vending machine. I use that to get our luggage.

    Phone doesn't work. USB ports don't work. Batteries are dead in the TV remote. Issues. Once our luggage arrives, we unpack, freshen up, and head to Disney Springs. Our dinner is at The BOATHOUSE. (I don't know why they use all caps.) My son has the Firecracker Shrimp. A picky eater, he LOVES it! I get the lobster roll after some oysters on the half shell. All Amazing!!!!! Best meal of the entire trip if you ask me. Service was terrific. We grab a coffee and brownie and go back. Our arrival day was nearing its conclusion. All in all, I was still excited to be in my favorite place. Our room was Pirate themed with a gorgeous water view. Sadly, this was one of the better days.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    I am so sorry. I'm the same way, get sooooo excited about a Disney trip. I hope you were able to find some moments of "magic" despite all of the challenges.
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibelieveindisneymagic View Post
    I am so sorry. I'm the same way, get sooooo excited about a Disney trip. I hope you were able to find some moments of "magic" despite all of the challenges.
    I did find "Magic." For one, Cast Member are still amazing. They are placed in an impossible situation, where they must make sure COVID protocols are followed, while doing it with a smile. They were great. As far as atmosphere though, I could not find my happy place. My fear is this will linger much longer than just 2020. I hope I'm wrong.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Florida
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    Sorry you had such a rough start. I'm glad you liked your dinner at the Boathouse. We've always had good meals there!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Davenport, FL
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    Sorry your first day was less than stellar. I tried to get on Rotr... never happened. I was there just for that so I went home. I had a great day at a crowded Columbus Day at Magic Kingdom. I just love the atmosphere there.
    Marci
    9/2/12 DLH Half Marathon
    10/12 VGC
    WDW Trips
    7/05 12/06All Star Movies
    12/10 ASMO/CBR
    4/11 POFQ
    8/11 OKW/AKL Kidani 1st DVC stay
    SSR/AKL 8/13 AKL Jambo 12/13
    AKL Kidani 4/14 Vero Beach 5/14 & 6/14 Boardwalk 6/14

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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    va beach, va usa
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    Thank you Marci. You are a ray of sunshine.

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Do you think Prime Time Cafe is worth taking some newbies to? I was thinking it would be good for the chicken, but I don't know if it is worth going if the antics aren't there. I'm sure we could get fried chicken that is just as good and costs less somewhere outside of the parks.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    Do you think Prime Time Cafe is worth taking some newbies to? I was thinking it would be good for the chicken, but I don't know if it is worth going if the antics aren't there. I'm sure we could get fried chicken that is just as good and costs less somewhere outside of the parks.
    Not in its present state. The chaos and crowd noise are part of the allure of going to “Grandma‘a Big Family Dinner.” (Get your elbows off the table!) It was quiet, too quiet for me. A newbie will have a less-than-accurate impression of one of my favorite venues. That’s my opinion. Of course, if they come now, that will be their impression of the whole of Disney World.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeetrie View Post
    Not in its present state. The chaos and crowd noise are part of the allure of going to “Grandma‘a Big Family Dinner.” (Get your elbows off the table!) It was quiet, too quiet for me. A newbie will have a less-than-accurate impression of one of my favorite venues. That’s my opinion. Of course, if they come now, that will be their impression of the whole of Disney World.
    I will take it off the plans then. Thank you.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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