Brief Trip Report Sept 30-Oct 6 2017

Hi guys!! Brief on my, DH and DD 6 Caribbean Beach Resort, DDP, 1 MNSSHP Trip.

First off the weather was rainy and windy, mixed with humidity, in true FLA fashion. We dressed for summer and had ponchos when needed. You couldn’t tell a major hurricane just came through the weeks before, most anywhere near MCO and WDW property.

Arrived in MCO, 4pm. Magical Express, by 4:20pm. We were on the road by 4:40pm. TVs weren’t on, that was a let down, but no biggie.

Arrived at CBR 5:15pm. The construction was noticeable, but didn’t steal any magic! Did not get room request. I asked for close to transportation on the website and that may have interfered with the process through TP, not sure. We had to get our mugs at the food tent/truck set up near the pool. It was good to see offerings and that’s when the construction was most visible. There’s no throughway from Food/Pool area to Martinique, you have to go around through walkway between resort and parking lots.

7:50pm at Chef Mickey’s (CM). Shuttles from CBR to WDW were a non-issue, especially being at TN, its the third stop, both ways. Centertown (food/pool) is 2nd and really doesn’t get much traffic.

Tip: walking to Contemporary from WDW is a 20 min walk, 15, maybe, if you’re an adult, in decent shape, but you’ll earn that buffet, if you’re eating at CM. CM was our first reservation and Table Service Credit (TS) and the best of the trip! Awesome, I don’t care how old you are or how many times you see the Characters!

UP SIDE RESORT: Our luggage was in room when we got back at about 10pm. Glad there was no hiccup there. Sleep…CBR rooms are lovely. The beds, even the murphy, were extremely comfy and my family is picky! The fridge is small. Used Garden Grocers, awesome! I got a gallon of milk so I had to take out a shelf. In case your wondering an adult could sleep on murphy, with legs bent up. I fit, but I’m 5’3’’ and I like to move more anyway, a super single is too narrow.

DOWN SIDE; the free style machines are in each island unit, 3 bldgs. each, walking to get to it, when your not in the one it is in, kinda sucks! Once the cola syrups were all out…I mean c’mon!

Tip: we were at Trinidad North (TN) and the closest Island market for grab and go was Martinique. Aside from sweets, basic drinks, wine for one, couple of domestic beers, a couple sandwiches and salads, nothing except the giant cinnamon roll was worth a snack credit. Especially for the walk.

Day One MK. Fantastic!!! It rained for like 30 mins after opening, and on and off through afternoon. Ponchos helped that. Beauty and the Beast experience is different and nice. All other rides were the usual. I expected more from Mine Train, but DD6 hated it. She loved BTMR at DL at age 4, but now, no coasters. She says she “realizes the danger now.” LOL!! Columbia House was first Quick Service Credit (QS). This place was awesome, dining on second floor had great view of Rivers. Had 2nd TS reservation at Grand FL, Happily Ever After Dinner, so decided to take an afternoon rest and come back to WDW at like 6pm, before MNSSHP kicked us out at 7pm-ish. I say “ish” because unless you use your magic band for a ride, it’d be a while before anyone noticed you didn’t have a MNSSHP Band. We had the 7:40pm TS so we split anyway and headed to GF by monorail. The meal offerings were decent, the strawberry soup is remarkable, and character experiences were phenomenal. If you engage with Lady Tremaine and the girls they are great. The Prince, meh, but Cinderella was cool too, of course!! The food was pretty good too, but I feel CM is better.

Day Two EMH AK. Beelined for FoP, couldn’t get a FP, wrong move, waited 75 mins, AK said 120mins, TP said 47, but after we got off ride the line was about half what it was when we waited. You can’t win em all. Plus DD 6 did not like. We found out on this trip, DD6 does not like coasters or virtual flight stuff (FoP and Soarin’) too much right now. We tried to tell her Mickey wouldn’t let dangerous rides operate, but kids and their phases. Moving on. Used TS3 at Donald’s Tusker House Bkfast. Alright. I tried all the cultural foods and didn’t care for any. The Mickey waffles were also super thick, in a chewy, bad way. Sad. The “jambo” juice they serve is bomb though. It rained on and off. I hoped some would scare off due to rain…nope. TP said it would be a 5 day, it felt like a 6 or 7, especially with people using strollers as a weapon and turf grabber. Don’t get me started on some people in electric scooters. It hurts to get run into by one of those. Please be more aware. That’s all I say. Ride times were all off as a result, I think. We decided rather than rest midday, we’ll rest in park and stick it out the whole day, thus avoiding two security checks. Worked well and saved walk time overall (to/from shuttles at resort and park) keeping in mind, CBR shuttles are almost always furthest away. So took in shows to rest. Nemo was interesting my DD 6 loved it more than Lion King (she fell asleep). FP Rivers of Light, worked perfectly. We were late due to being on safari, but with 2 mins to spare had front row seats. I think they seat from top down?? BTW…Next to Fantasmic, its the best night show, we thought.

TIP: Wilderness Explorers was a hit with my DD6.

Day 3 Epcot. We learned the all day method works best yesterday. One way back and forth, one security check, less walking. So night before, I revamped my 9 am-1pm/7pm-11pm with a TS4/5 at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ 5:30pm reservation plans to start later. Now I cancelled MBBBQ, added a Garden Grill with the Eat to the Beat Concert tix res at 4:40pm, taking it from 1TS to 2TS (TS4/5 for us). Our plans now started at like 2:30pm, since it was a LMH we went until 11pm. We got to sleep in, enjoy some pool time and had the Epcot shuttle to ourselves. Plus, the band playing just happened to be one of my DD6 favorite bands!! Many said DD 6 would like this park least, she loved it. We used our 5th day ticket to go back there the last day of trip. Maybe its genetic, last I went to WDW, it was 1982 and Epcot has just opened. It was my fave as I really dug Spaceship Earth. Well, dated as it is, it was DD 6’s fave too! Test Track was totally cool. Mission Space:loved both, but you really feel the G Force in Orange. DD 6 survived both despite her anxiety beforehand. Club Cool is cool. Try it. World of Color…meh. The Lands were fine, but crowded due to Food and Wine, so we just walked and looked, except for Mexco en route to the 3 Caballeros ride.

Tip: Garden Grill is overlooked and underrated. This place had the BEST FOOD, hands down of any character meal we had. It rotates…around Living with the Land, which is a great and informative ride! C’mon man! How awesome is that!?!

Day 4 HS! Again late start and with HS, you can do it in 1/2 a day, unless you’re shopping at every store. We did Star Tours 3 times! Used TS6 at Mama Melrose Fantasmic VIP package. Killer deal. The meal was nice, we were tired of buffets, and we have never said that before. We were so full, we tried to decline dessert, I mean we hadn’t even used, but a few of snack credits by then. Anyway, glad our waiter insisted. Passion Fruit pearls…YASSSS! Rock and Roll Rollercoaster was the best!!! The. Best!! No DD6 did not go. She doesn’t even watch the Muppets, but loved the movie there. Loved the Beauty and the Beast play as well. Hated ToT, was proud of herself, but said, “Never again.”

TIP: The Muppets 4D movie really is worth it.

Day 5 Disney Springs in the day. It rained for like 2 hours and so we spent a grip of cash at the Disney store. It’s just what happens. Had Morimoto reservations, but had to use QS for “street dining” only, not in restaurant, so we went to Wolfgang Pucks…Delicious and totally pleased it ended up that way. Way more bang for a QS credit.

Resort last afternoon. Can I just say I love that rain doesn’t stop the magic!! Swimming and activities keep pushing through, since most know rain is short-lived. The slide at the CBR is freaking awesome for all ages, shapes and sizes! It was worth staying despite construction, especially since we received the $75 daily credit on a gift card. Although the buffet is only a QS, again, we were sick of buffets. The food trucks had 3 entrée items to choose from and weird sides. I really wished for restaurants. Again, we lived.

MNSSHP at MK 7pm. We could have gone at 4pm, but went at 5pm because its open until midnight and we had a day there already so this was about the trick or treating, catching missed or favorite rides and shows! DD6 dressed up as Mal from the Descendants, we bought the outfit at HS the night before. She brought 2 Cinderella and a witch. She wore Cinderella to have dinner with her and decided to scrap witch. It worked well. seeing as how we didn’t need to worry about the mountain rides it was smooth sailing. Speaking of which, how does Small World know when you are on a boat to say Goodbye personally? We didn’t notice when we went on the first day or even 1st of 2 times we went that day, but we did the last. Magical!! DD6 was amazed at how awesome Mickey is to his guests! The Boo to You Parade route was packed as we focused on treats. I made the quick decision to use a QS at Pecos Bills…perfect! We ate outside and watched the parade go by in front of us, sitting and eating, no waiting or saving spots needed! sweet! The Halloween Spooktacular Firework show was wonderful! The best firework show and the graphics against the castle were so cool!

TIP: go to a MNSSHP. You must!

Day 6. Flight left at 5:30pm, we had Magical Express Reservations for 2:30pm per policy. We had from whenever (10am in this case) til about 2pm to hang at a park. It didn’t rain, at all, and we wished it had. It was blistering and muggy all through Epcot. We rode Spaceship Earth two times, for the A/C, shade and rest. The place was hopping! However, DD6 wanted that to be her final park and its closest so we were good with it, having been at MK 2x. Mostly saw the lands and burned through about 8 snack credits sampling the worldly flavors. It was awesome and Test Track at night seems faster than in the day. It’s probably just me.

Left for MCO. Sad, but glad to not be walkng 10-12 miles a day. Yes, that is logged. Glad to not have to fight double-strollers or electric wheelchairs for a while too! And yeah, I guess it was time to go home to our puppyman. I still miss WDW everyday though.

We’d stay at CR again. We do want to see the new looks, but our dream is to stay at the Poly next time…guess we’ll see. Hope this was informative to someone.


Great report

Re your comments on the FOP queue and wrong move

We did FOP at ropedrop - this was the longest queue we’ve ever been in for any ride b the queue moved very quickly - it took about 75 mins

We did it on another evening when the queue was half as long - the queue moved very slowly and took nearer 2 hours

So I think the ropedrop queue (in our experience) for some reason moves far quicker than the night time queue

Any ideas why that might be guys?

Thanks for the report! I’m looking forward to ROL. It gets mixed reviews, but it’s always good to hear that its worth it. We love MNSSHP! The Christmas party is good too, but not as fun as MNSSHP. Did you feel you got your money’s worth with the DDP?

Yes the DDP was very worth it! Even though we didn’t snack the way I thought we would, the character, Eat to the Beat and Fantasmic VIP meals were the key. I think if we would have used our TS credits to eat at regular dining, it wouldn’t have been. I have to say that not having to worry and price things out Day by Day is also very worth it to us.

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Totally agree! My family of 3 LOVED our experience at Garden Grill. Food was delish! We each favored a different entree and had seconds. The character interaction was also above and beyond! We saw the characters several times and they spent a good amount of time with us. Great if you can catch the ride before your meal.
Thanks for sharing! Love when folks share the magic !!

At rope drop, or really before rope drop as FOP and NRJ have been opening 30 minutes before…there is no one in the FPP lines for the first 30-45 minutes until FPP starts. So the line moves constantly with no stops for the FPP people. As soon as FPP starts, they will take 10-12 FPP people for every 2-4 or so standby people. So even though the standby line appears shorter later, it will easily take twice as long.

Perfect answer. Thanks.

That makes sense. At rope drop we never stopped moving in the queue. At times we were moving very fast as well. Which was great seeing as how the queue seemed so long.

In the evening it was painful slow moving and depressing in comparison. With the queue half as long. People were sitting down on the floor in the queue. People were giving up and leaving the queue.

Ropdrop queue despite being huge is the way forward I think without fast pass

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Absolutely! I will only do FOP at rope drop (arriving at least an hour before), or with a FPP. We were able to ride it 4 times during my October trip, 3 times with pre-booked FPP and one with FPP grabbed in the afternoon, day of. Amazing ride!