Monday, January 26, 2009

Disney Vacation

Okay, we're back. I must say, it was probably the worst Disney vacation I've had, though not for anything Disney did. And since most of our Disney vacations have been great, being "the worst" is not necessarily bad. But...still...

First there was the stresses of worrying about the weather, and whether we were going to get airborn on Saturday the 17th. Well, the weather cooperated. So we found ourselves a-wing to MCO Orlando, and the magic of Disney.

Which, for me, starts the minute you get to that Disney Magical Express line. We boarded our bus bound for Animal Kingdom Lodge, and off we went. My kids watch the video with the enthusiasm they usually reserve for their video games, so even THAT seems magical.

The hotel was gorgeous. It's a fabulous place, and we were the only ones on the bus going there, so the driver was telling us about the restaurants (which we didn't get to eat at on this trip) and the animals and such. The lobby is spectacular, right up there with the decor of the Polynesian (up until now, our favorite resort, and it still may be), and the grounds are just as nice.

The service at the front desk was good, but not as good as I'm used to at Disney. There were little things they didn't give us - like our "Perks" book, and no one said "Welcome Home" like they always have everywhere else we've stayed since buying into the DVC. The concierge service was good; we haven't had much occasion to use the ones at the other hotels, but this time we needed to get park tix for Grandma and Grandpa.

Our room was fabulous, but then it should have been - we treated ourselves and the grandparents to a two room DVC villa. The views were good. We could see the animals out in front of our window every morning, though we could see the fences that enclosed them clearly. No illusion there. Those animals weren't going to be roaming off the grounds.

We rented a car that night and headed right to a park. Most stuff was pretty much walk-on, which was what we were hoping for during the week. It was a nice night, too...cool but not cold.

But of course, as the week went on, the temps dropped, and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, it was actually pretty darned cold outside. And it was CROWDED! Everywhere we went it seemed like there were crowds. Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of tours, many from Brazil. Those tour directors were standing in the Fastpass lines, with stacks of tickets, collecting Fastpasses for their group members. I guess that, coupled with the holiday on Monday, was enough to boost the crowds, but still... None of the popular rides was what I'd call "walk-on", except for Big Thunder Mountain for a while on Wednesday morning when we got to the Magic Kingdom early.

It did finally warm up on Friday, and we spent a great day at Epcot, topped off by a really good dinner at Le Cellier. And that night was Extra Magic Hours at Epcot, so that would have been nice, if we weren't leaving on Saturday at 9 am. But as it was, we had to get back to the resort to pack, and we had an early wakeup call, so even though my boys were whining about having to leave "so early" (it probably was still close to 9 pm when we left), we closed the books on our Disney vacation.

I'd write now about the flight, but this is long and I have to move on. So I'll save that mild horror story for another post, maybe Wednesday.

4 comments:

Future Guy said...

Sorry your vacation was less than perfect. Last week was probably Florida's coldest week in the last twenty years. (it was still more endurable than a Florida summer, IMO)It's a shame that freak weather conditions and an infestation of tour groups messed things up for you. And as for flying, well, these days you really can't expect a pleasant airline experience, inasmuch as the major American airlines seem to have adopted same customer service model as the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Scott said...

Thanks, FG. It was still a good week. I expected maybe mid to high 60's at the lowest, and pushing into the 70's at times. 50's with lows below freezing (and it felt below freezing in the dark and in the earlier morning hours. But we had plenty of warm clothing - we were wearing winter clothes when we left Chicago, and so could layer under our winter jackets. My next post will be about United, which has nothing to do with Disney, but was just part of this vacation...so...then I will get to the positives. :-)

Minako said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:
disneycloth.cwahi.net

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

Minako said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:
disneycloth.cwahi.net

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!