Pooh Sized Review - Just Back from 5 Days - Brief Highlights and Lowlights

Frankiemack

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Hey Everyone! My DD10 and I just returned from our 1/19 to 1/24 trip and I wanted to share some highlights/low lights from our experience. We knew it would be a busy MLK weekend so made sure to plan in advance. We booked a Magic Your Way Package with a Standard Room at All Star Music. At our 60 Day Mark, we made FP+ Reservations and I took advantage of Online Check-in.

POOH SIZED NOTES: I’m 5’10’’ around 360lbs. I am big all around and carry heavy in my upper body/belly through my thighs. I wear 4XL shirts, 50 size pants, size 60 sports coat jacket and 20.5 neck size dress shirts. I went in with low expectations and expected to have trouble on 7DMT and FOP at a minimum. I fit on EVERYTHING! FOP was tight – the cast member came over and told me to breathe in deep, a quick push and I was in. Sure, my back hurt a bit, but it was well worth it! 7DMT was another one that worried me. I squeezed my legs together and got the lap bar to click twice. Sure, it was digging into the sides of my legs but again, I made it and it was tolerable for the duration of the ride. THANK YOU Disney for always accommodating guests of all sizes.

Cast Member Service – This was by far the biggest disappointment of our trip. It’s been 5 years since we’ve been but the level of service provided was widely poor with few exceptions. The cast members seemed to interact more with each other than the guests. Many didn’t greet us with the typical smile we were used to and the magic seems to be long gone. A few follow guests agreed and made similar comments to me about the dip in service we’ve grown to expect. While Disney used to be the standard for excellent service, something’s changed and I wouldn’t be comfortable making that same wide assumption. Again, not all – but most were less than average experiences.

Amazon Prime Now – Great experience, ordered snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic) around 11am for delivery between 6 and 8. Arrived 7:10 and was in our room before we got back around 9:30. Only downside, we ordered a few refrigerated items that were simply left in the bag and not put in our fridge as some of shared. It may be because all items were packed in the same brown bag.

ASMU–When we arrived and went to check in for our DME, I received notification that our room was ready and received a complimentary upgrade to a Family Suite! Super excited. Great lobby service and clean overall. Food court food was always fresh and good QS. The Family Suite leaves a bit to be desired as it’s really just 2 rooms mashed together, but for a free upgrade to have a 2nd bathroom, it was awesome.

DME and Onsite Bus Transportation – We had very timely and convenient bus transportation throughout our stay. DME was quick and easy as was resort transportation. The time schedules were accurate and we never had an issue. The only thing that needs some help with all of the AS resorts is the bus access lane. We often waited 5 to 10 minutes when coming back from parks to get through the resort entry gates. There has to be a better way…

Disney Springs – Ok, we didn’t eat here, just went to check out some entertainment and shops. I was slightly disappointed. More luxury stores than I recall and crazy amount of people. We went in a few shops and headed out. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll be ok skipping this on future trips unless I want to eat at a specific place.

Animal Kingdom – Sunday, our first park day. We had FP for Safari, Everest and FOP. It was a busy park day as expected. We arrived at 8:35 and were in Pandora by 9. FOP was 90 minutes already and quickly climbed to 240 minutes where it stayed most of the day. Here are a few attraction notes that stood out:

· Na’Vi River Journey: Walked right on at 9 but was disappointed. Aside from the animatronic, it was underwhelming and quick. Glad we didn’t wait.

· Dinosaur: Still underrated – we were about 50th online when it opened around 9:30 and always have a good time.

· Primeval Whirl: TERRIBLE – much rougher than any other wild mouse rides we’ve been on.

· FOP: Amazing – not 4 hour wait amazing, nothing really is.

· Rivers of Light: Maybe it was the cold/windy weather, but I didn’t enjoy this. The wind impacted the visual effects on the water I think, but even if it didn’t, I kept wanting a little more. I don’t know what, but I feel like this missed the mark.

Epcot – Monday/MLK. We had FP for Frozen, Mission Space and Nemo. We failed FP here – definitely the toughest park to plan out FP. The waits weren’t terrible all day…I expected the park to be more crowded than it was. Security here took the longest. I think it was our bag checker, taking each item out and being super slow – it was about 20 to 30 minutes.

· Soarin: We headed there first thing – 20 minute wait. I missed the original version of this ride, wasn’t overly impressed. (Maybe it’s because we rode FOP the day prior!)

· Mission Space: We opted for Green – my daughter gets motion sick and I wasn’t taking the chance. Right decision, even after green she felt a little meh.

· Festival of the Arts: My daughter being an artist had a great time looking at all of the art and watching the demonstrations on stage. Trevor Carlton was a rockstar painting live on stage! Amazing work. Not to mention the food/snacks – we enjoyed a bunch and really didn’t have a bad thing. We purchased artwork from Kinkade and their artist on hand hand-sketched and signed the back – my daughter had an awesome discussion and interaction with him.

Hollywood Studios – We had FP for Slinky Dog, Star Tours and Tower of Terror. Overall, not a super busy day, but was more crowded than I expected.

· Rock N Roller Coaster: We arrived at 8:45 and made our way here. Walked on twice. This was my DD10’s first upside down roller coaster and she loved it!

· Tower of Terror: Always fun, waited about 20 minutes – well worth it!

· Slinky Dog: I liked this more than I thought I would. It was a cute/fun ride. Glad to had FP as the waits were more than 150 minutes for most of the day

· Toy Story Mania: Always fun – the wait was posted at 40 but was unfortunately around 85. FP definitely slows this down a ton

· Frozen Sing Along: I dreaded this but enjoyed the humor in the show. Surprised me for sure

Magic Kingdom – We had FP for 7DMT, Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. It was a busy day but manageable for sure. We arrived around 8:10 and made our way to BTMR and Splash Mountain to start. Sadly, there were 2 specific Brazilian youth groups that were ridiculously obnoxious and rude. They ruined the experience of a few attractions and were poorly supervised.

· BTMR – 10 minute wait at opening, still a fun ride. I’m still waiting for a drop!

· Splash Mountain – Walk on essentially as it was chilly in the am

· Jungle Cruise – Always fun but the tour guide interaction was so scripted and felt forced – wasn’t as good as some past experiences.

· 7DMT – Quick but fun. See above for Pooh sized notes, definitely a tight fit!

· Haunted Mansion – The above mentioned group totally ruined this experience. The group was chanting and loud during the queue and while on the ride were actually banging on their cars and stomping the entire time. Couldn’t hear the stories or sounds. Cast members ignored this and their group leaders seemed to be joining rather than stopping. A few parents made comments and even loud gestures – but that of course just eggs them on to be louder. It was a sad, unfortunate experience.

· Buzz Lightyear – This is always fun, especially when your DD bets she can beat you but you know how to get a perfect score every time.

· Space Mountain – Enjoyed this more than I remember and nothing changed, maybe it’s just been a while and I had low expectations

All in all, we still had a great time as we make the best of every interaction. We took our time through the parks and walked 54 miles in our 5 days. Memories that will last a lifetime.
 

disneyseniors

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Thanks for sharing your trip report! It's good to hear it was not super crowded on the holiday. It's too bad the foreign tour groups had to ruin some rides for you. I will never understand why Disney tolerates this kind of behavior. They tend to ruin it for the other paying guests. I know money is all important to them now, but come on!
All in all, it sounds you and your daughter had a great time:)
 

lcc2

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
I really enjoy these type of trip reports. I wasn’t sure which mission space to do with my kids but now I’m definitely leaning more towards GREEN, lol. You did alot of what we plan to do so this was great info. Thank you for sharing.
 
  • sunflowerfields

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    I really enjoyed your trip report! Thanks for sharing. So many of the things you rode are on our list too. I like to hear others experiences. Your info on rides addressed things I have been wondering about.
     

    summerw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2011
    Sounds like a great trip! I miss the original soarin took. At least they kept Putty.

    As far as the tour group, or anything that prevents you from enjoying the ride, I would definitely approach a cm at the end and ask to ride again. They may say no but I’ve always found them to be accommodating if it’s something not your fault that prevents you from enjoying a ride. Even if the cm’a weren’t as friendly, they have always tried to help us enjoy our day as much as possible.
     
  • Bigjayfanclub

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2016
    I really enjoy these type of trip reports. I wasn’t sure which mission space to do with my kids but now I’m definitely leaning more towards GREEN, lol. You did alot of what we plan to do so this was great info. Thank you for sharing.
     

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