March 4-7, 2018 "Just Back" Experience

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by adelaster, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. adelaster

    adelaster DIS Veteran

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    Reading the "just back" threads is always tremendously helpful for me- so here's hoping this helps out some folks too.

    Stayed on property and in the parks every day Sunday-Wednesday. Animal Kingdom Sunday, Epcot and Magic Kingdom Monday and Tuesday, and Magic Kingdom Wednesday morning. Disney Springs at least once every day Sunday-Tuesday.

    Rode:

    • it's a small world - fastpass
    • Spaceship Earth - fastpass
    • Peter Pan - fastpass
    • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros - walk on
    • Kilamanjaro Safari - fastpass
    • Na'vi River Journey - fastpass
    • Walt Disney World Railroad - walk on
    Wanted to ride but unable to:
    • Living with the Land- down @ fastpass time and when checked back
    • Peoplemover- down when attempted to ride
    • Flight of Passage - unable to get a fastpass 60+ days out
    • Seven Dwarves Mine Train - unable to get a fastpass 60+ days out
    • Peter Pan second time unavailable
    • Kilamanjaro Safari second time unavailable
    Did see single-rider availability for Na'vi River Journey while refreshing.

    Crowds:

    This was my first visit to the Flower & Garden Festival- crowd levels around a 7 according to Touring Plans. Last visit was week leading up to Christmas with 9/10 crowds- too crowded to see the world showcase or Pandora.

    Animal Kingdom:
    • Pandora was very impressive- I loved the theme/detail. It was however, very small.
    • Pandora shop was too crowded for me to get inside.
    • Pandora and Animal Kingdom as a whole are not very sensory-friendly. Lots of loud sudden yelling/drums.
    • Really enjoyed the safari, wasn't sure what to expect but found myself pleasantly surprised.
    • Na'vi River was very cool, but not likely to ride it again because the Shaman is absolutely terrifying and so loud.
    • Bio-luminescence in Na'vi ride was awesome,would like to see Pandora at night sometime.
    • Disappointed to learn that Rivers of Light has seating similar to Fantasmic- an experience we tried last time and would not repeat. For those of us who can't handle crowds like that, I wish there was a way to watch. Skipped it, as our Fantasmic crowd experience was abysmal.
    • Cotton-Top Tamarins very cool- wish they had larger enclosure. Most people probably don't realize they are critically endangered, and that more people visit the Animal Kingdom daily than there are left of them in the wild.
    Epcot:
    • This is a very sunny park- I think I anticipated more shade then there was. Will bring a hat next time.
    • Most drunk adults observed here, expect behavior accordingly.
    • Loved the topiaries, food stands, flowers. Beautiful festival.
    • Morocco/Mexico/Japan most impressive pavilions
    • If you are trying to get the annual passholder magnets, they are located beyond the unmarked sliding glass doors between Club Cool and the Fountainview/Starbucks building. Several castmembers unaware.
    • When we picked up the passholder magnets a castmember tried to give us tickets - "good tickets" she said, to the Garden Rocks show. We politely declined, but she continued to press us- quoting and naming their songs. My husband had to say "I know who Night Ranger is, my dad listened to them" and I officially lost the laughter battle. With all due respect, it is impossible to take the Garden Rocks lineup seriously. It is not meant for us, that's fine. Don't push it on us.
    • Check ALL stores at the front of the park for merch. I found things that were "sold out" one place in the others. (As an aside, I even saw the orange bird plush at Once Upon a Toy in Disney Springs, which baffled me.)
    • Epcot had the worst Starbucks I've visited on property by far. Both of our drinks were made poorly, one incorrectly.
    Really enjoyed the following from F&G booths:
    • Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili Ranch Sauce (Morocco)
    • La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush (France)
    • Orange Blossom Twist (Canada)
    Magic Kingdom:
    • Ducks and bunnies deserve a raise
    • Happily Ever After fireworks/projections were fantastic. I went twice to try to see the parts I missed. Definitely try to get a spot where you can see the projections, the show relies on them heavily.
    • Though I only visited early morning and later evening, crowds were pretty healthy size consistently. Tuesday morning I had the train station to myself for a while though. Birds, blossoms, and Fritz Lang were definitely a high point.
    • It is very difficult to navigate this park in the dark and especially just before the fireworks- even before the lights dim. Areas are blocked off, cast members direct you with flashy lights, it's crowded and congested- in short- avoid it or have a good plan if you are sensitive to any of the above.
    • Bathroom conditions were worst in this park-definitely got the sense there is not enough staff to keep up.
    General observations/thoughts:
    • Transportation was more crowded than it was during Christmas- property and magical express buses, boats. Monorails were about the same. This really surprised me. Waits were still 30 minutes tops- usually under 20.
    • Crowds better than Christmas, but not by a remarkable amount. I wouldn't let crowds alter your decisions significantly- plan around what works for you, what you want to see, of course trying to avoid the largest known crowd holidays/events.
    • Watch actual lines/signs- many people just follow crowds/people in front of them. Examples of this include: Starbucks, entrances, bag checks, Casey's, etc. Most places have multiple lines. People were even doing this at the airport in front of magical express- there were at least five lanes open, but one line was massively longer than the others. It's so stressful when people don't pay attention to their surroundings!
    • None of the Starbucks at the parks have cinnamon. Anyone know why?
    • Pleased by the turn-taking for photos near some of the topiaries.
    • Majority of cast members are fantastic. I hope they know how much their work is appreciated- working with the public isn't easy.
    • Deluxe Burger has onion rings. This isn't a secret per se, but it isn't obvious on the menu. They are very large and pretty good.
    • This trip really cemented for me that I think I just enjoy the west coast parks more. I still want to experience more of Disney World- plan on going back in the autumn of this year at the least. I am also really looking forward to visiting Japan's parks some day, and anticipating the new rides/worlds Disney develops. Avatar seems like a strange choice, but it proves there is such potential for bringing more fantasy worlds to life. Some parts of property are really showing their age- Epcot's Future World especially needs attention.
    Negative observations/thoughts:
    • People need to cool it with the aggressive stroller driving. It's a tool for carrying your youth, not an instrument of war.
    • Leave your child's pants on, please. I saw things I did not anticipate nor need to ever see at Disney Springs. Don't take their underwear off in public. This was really jarring-not talking about a toddler either.
    • Cast members on the Magic Kingdom train literally have to repeat "stay seated stay seated not yet stay seated" etc. - thought this was unbearably pathetic. Whenever they stopped telling people to sit, they tried to get up. This leads me into my next observation...
    • People need to listen. On the boats, I witnessed an older couple talking over the captain's instructions. The captain called them out on it, and asked them what he said. They didn't know. On another boat ride, which consisted of my group of two and another group of two the captain asked us to sit "one group per side". We boarded first, and then the other couple proceeded to sit on the SAME SIDE. The captain had to ask the other couple to move. I can't figure out if people just think they know everything/know better or are just so selfish they don't listen. Either way, very unnecessary source of stress.
    • Incredibly loud, and thus I assume drunk, parents boarding a boat in the evening and proceeding to hoot and shout about their children and cackle at their inside jokes as if the rest of the packed boat did not exist. Respect towards others is just as important on Disney property as it is anywhere else.
    • The parents who boarded a boat after 10:30 p.m. from Disney Springs with a very sick, tired, and under-dressed for the cold weather toddler (under two for sure) who was screaming, inconsolably, the entire 20 minute ride. The mother was trying to get him to quiet, the father did not even look in the child's direction. That was our final boat ride- the one that was supposed to make up for the drunk parents the night prior. :)
    • Large parties where one or two people would cut, and then the rest of the group would ask to go through because part of their group was ahead. Unnecessary.
    • Overall low manners in the crowds. While I consistently find myself saying "excuse me" or "I'm sorry" should I accidentally bump someone, I only heard it back once from a woman in a scooter. I'm more accustomed to people being polite to each other- holding doors, using manners, etc. At Disney two parents will plow past me at the monorail exit without blinking. Groups will spread out blocking entire paths without casting a backwards glance. People will shove without flinching. It always catches me off guard and definitely pulls me out of the "magic".
    • Cough and sneeze into your elbows or inside your clothing. On a related note, I unsurprisingly caught the flu on this trip again.
    Some basic bus etiquette:
    • If the bus is full, please sit up in your seat. Man who decided to slouch on a packed full bus, forcing me to choose between having his knee in my crotch or trying to hold on one handed the other direction while on the steps, ew. Of course I chose falling all over the other side.
    • If the bus is full and you are an adult man holding your child securely and monopolizing two full metal bars, do not then encourage that child to also hold the surrounding hand straps because it is funny/cute to you. Again, I and the person near me were struggling to find an available surface until the child let go of the straps.
    Drinks I purchased on property that were absolutely not worth the money:
    • HippopotoMai-Tai - Was good the last time I had it, unimpressed this time. Excellent and swift service at the Tiki Terrace though.
    • Front Porch Freeze - Absolute waste of money.
    If Disney were listening:
    • More recyclables and wider-spread recycling options on property.
    • Passholder bag check. Why is this not already a thing?
    • Love the sanitizer stations located throughout the property.
    • Enable/empower cast members to handle drunk/inappropriate behavior. It's a slippery slope, but vacation doesn't mean "act how I want" without caveat. Smoking in non-designated areas, people using strong language without being approached, general disregard for clearly posted rules- feeding wildlife, etc.
    • Missed having more of the passholder food discounts, but definitely stopped more often at the places that still have them. Huge incentive for us to spend at certain locations over others.
    • Earl of Sandwich is looking rough- while I'd hate for it to close for a refurb it really needs attention.
     
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  2. MikeandReneePlus5

    MikeandReneePlus5 DIS Veteran

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  4. jhoannam

    jhoannam DIS Veteran

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    Drunk people is why Epcot is only a half-day Park for us.
     
  5. Davey Jones II

    Davey Jones II DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the detailed report. Glad River Journey is getting some love. BTW, the Shaman is not meant to be frightening at all.
     
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  6. Momof2Singers

    Momof2Singers DIS Veteran

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    Well this is depressing........ never encountered the drunks in Epcot; probably because we don't stand still long enough to notice; but rudeness is something that drives me crazy, unfortunately we run into it every time we go and big, tall, loud dads are the worst. I'm not sure if they think their size will get them up front....:) I thought one was going to slap my daughter because he couldn't get in front of her, if he did get in front, none of us would have been able to see anything. Those cameras in my face too...I am standing, watching the parade, the spot I had staked out 40 minutes ahead of time, and a girl with her arms stretched out in front of my shoulder literally with her phone in my face, touching my chin....I said excuse me, she just kept doing it...I had this same issue when I was in China. Hoping when I go during Christmas it will be a more jolly group.

    Hopefully your next trip will be more magical. Always enjoy the trip reports.
     
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  7. Farro

    Farro It's a pasta! It's a grain! What?

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    Luckily I must float around WDW in some kind of magical happy fog :rotfl: , I never really notice the rude people.
    Maybe one or two stick out from our last trip in October, but that's it. Or maybe it's because I live in Chicago and am used to the crabby, crowded CTA.
     
  8. adelaster

    adelaster DIS Veteran

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    Love Chicago! I only do public transit when there. My impression is Chicago is gruff, but not rude. Disney rude is more like getting trampled at a Walmart vs. grumpy people cramped in a space. Make sense?

    I try to stay in the fog, I want to- but I'm a bit on the hypersensitive/observative side. Can't turn it off really.
     
  9. adelaster

    adelaster DIS Veteran

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    I still enjoyed myself, and there were highlights, but the oblivious and sometimes selfish nature of other guests is definitely a bit of a downer. I'm going to try and take my mom back in may- her first visit in like 25 years- so nobody better mess with her magic! My husband got shoved and I didn't see it, but if someone shoves my mom it won't be pretty. :) More than anything it's just a shame that a place we all go to escape and have fun is brought down by such easily remedied behaviors.
     
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  10. MICKEY4EVER!

    MICKEY4EVER! Mine! Mine! Mine!

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    Usually when I go to Disney, I'm amazed at how friendly everyone is (guests). This past trip was just the opposite. I witnessed a grown woman practically fling a tantrum at The Seas in Epcot because my two year old was blocking the path momentarily. She was getting increasingly impatient as it took me a couple of moments to gather him up.

    As I was apologizing, the dad got super sarcastic with me and yelled at me "yeah...you really SOUND sorry!" :sad2:

    It's supposed to be the happiest place on Earth! Lol! Glad you had some fun moments despite the stresses you endured. :flower1:
     
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  11. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Y kant Donald fly?

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    I've been to WDW a half dozen times since 2002 and have never once seen a noticeably drunk guest.
     
  12. adelaster

    adelaster DIS Veteran

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    I've been three times since aug/sep 2016, and have seen more than one. We might have different definitions of intoxicated.
     
  13. absolutmey

    absolutmey back for Dark Side 2018!

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    Thank you for your reviews.
     
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  14. WDW_Ding

    WDW_Ding Ohana means family.

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    I've never noticed....did you ask any of the staff there?

    Is this the new-isa place at Disney Springs? We ate there a while back and thought it was really good. Wasn't even crowded.

    Amen!!!

    That. Is. A. Great. Idea!

    I only wish there were more!
     
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  15. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    Sounds uber-crowded. From the reports I've read this year and last, I don't think we'll ever go during March again.
     
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  16. cdnusagurl

    cdnusagurl Mouseketeer

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    I'm really hoping late April is nothing like this. We're going the week of April 16th and although it's a marathon weekend, I'm hoping the spring break crowd will be long gone by then.
     
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  17. WDW_Ding

    WDW_Ding Ohana means family.

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    Touring Plans puts the parks in the 4-6 range for crowds.
     
  18. rockinmom

    rockinmom Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for sharing, especially the sensory information. I am taking my autistic son 1 month from tomorrow and it helps me know what to anticipate. Your input is much appreciated!
     
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  19. ChipDale

    ChipDale Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for your helpful and honest report. Unfortunately, manners and common courtesy seem to be a thing of the past. I'm glad that you still were able to enjoy yourself. :)
     
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  20. DVCGreg

    DVCGreg Earning My Ears

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    Amazing Information! Love the humor in your writing :)

    ~DVC Greg
    #dvcrentals
     
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