Not Really a Trip Report But. (UK Visitor)


#1

This isn't really a trip report, just a couple of observations which may illuminate other visitors thinking the same as we did. (And I'm sure not all will agree with us, this was just our view)

We visited WDW in late October from England, flying direct on BA from London Gatwick. The whole flight experience was painless although the flight was delayed about 30 minutes due a baggage issue. Landing in MCO was easy, however we found the computer kiosks for ESTA visitors painful, as it refused to read my fingers and I had to lift my young daughter for the photo. We had to declare that we had handled horses and been on a 'farm', but the additional checks here were no trouble.

We'd ordered a transfer from Tiffany Towncars, but this was nowhere to be found when we got to the pick up point. After phoning them they said they didn't turn up for international flights until called as they weren't authorised to wait at the airport. After a couple more chasing calls then they arrived, after that point, the driver was great and the transfer excellent.

We stayed at the Grand Floridian and used the reservation fax service on this website to request a room, and got one 4 doors down from the one we asked for - so pretty perfect result here! I was surprised to find no ability to make tea whatsoever, or at least any idea how to, but after some comments here I discovered that the gift shop sold milk and we could use the coffee machine with no coffee in it to do hot water together with our tea bags from home. The room, and particularly the beds were comfortable with a great theme park view. (rooms 534x).

The only real 'good to know' notes about the hotel were that they will automatically charge your room bill to your credit card at the end of the stay unless you have actually told them not to. We had to get them to reverse this as we wanted to pay quite a lot in cash at the end as we had dollars we had purchased when the dollar:pound rate was a lot better. Our only argument with the hotel was over room service breakfast - the dining plan information clearly said we could have a meal in the room for 2 dining credits, all inclusive of tips and everything, but we were charged $12.95 delivery fee and the front desk insisted that was correct. They did refund it without any real problem, but still said however that the charge was right.

Meals, we loved Narcoosses, California Grill and The Boathouse. For Character meals, Cinderella's Royal Table was excellent for that and also Cinderella's dinner at 1900 Park Fare was also great entertainment - mainly because of the step sisters.

Some places, in particular Citricos, Coral Reef and 'The Wave of' we found the meals varying from slightly to significantly over salted which did spoil them somewhat.

We also ate at the Brown Derby, Akerhaus, Be Our Guest, Mama Melrose which we didn't think were anything special or particularly good food.

Epcot Food & Wine was brilliant value by using Dining Plan snack credits, very happily ate our way around this way!

We thought the Wonderland Tea Party booked at 1900 Park Fare from 2-3pm was brilliant, was just 4 other children and no adults (children had to be left), and they had an hour of fun with Alice and the Mad Hatter.

Halloween Dessert Party was great, table right at the front to watch the fireworks, but everyone had a good view as there was only a second row of tables anyway and so nobody needed to stand.

Flight back was no problem again, although it also was delayed 30 minutes by baggage/cargo too!

Linus


#2

It sounds like you had a great trip and you did a great job in your planning! Thank you for sharing!


#3

Thanks for posting, I do like a good evaluation. Would you have changed anything? wish you'd done more or less? and how did jet lag effect you? Were early mornings easy and late nights hard?


#4

Thanks for sharing your insights! Sounds like you had a lovely holiday! :smile:


#5

We are planning to return again for the same period next year, I should have added that for our own personal likes the climate in late October in Orlando was perfect, it was nice and warm, we had about 10 minutes of rain the whole time, and no hurricanes, what could be better?

I guess what we will change next year is that we probably will take a villa with kitchen next time, what we haven't decided on is whether we'll going the DVC rental route or stay offsite, although our feelings at the moment are more 'onsite'. We'd be choosing the villa route for two main reasons, firstly that it gives you a bit more downtime to have breakfast at 'home' before you set off and also whilst we enjoy eating out, it would be nice to have some days with a diet closer to we are used to (less salt, more salad!) and it would be good to have that choice too.

I don't think we realistically could have done more without being totally exhausted and maybe a chill out day before we fly back rather than rushing in those last park moments, but overall we all loved it how it was. Personally I'd like to fit in a trip to Kennedy next time though!

Jet lag wasn't too bad, the first night we woke up at all the wrong times, and as we didn't sleep much on the plane home (overnight) the next day was awful, but nothing to complain about. Our daughter is 7, so we didn't really do late nights anyway, although we did still have three nights (Fantastic, Iluminations and MSNSHP) and they were fine.

Linus


#6

We always find the jet lag is worse coming home! Not sure if it's the Disney withdrawal effect or the night flight (I find plane sleeping difficult)!
The first time we went to Disney, we had a villa, the second time, an apartment, and subsequent visits have been onsite. I did enjoy the villa, for the same reasons you are considering one, but after staying onsite, I love being in the Disney bubble. I want to be right where the action is!
We are staying at the GF for the first time next October, agree that October is a lovely time to visit, so liked reading your views on it.
Kennedy SS is great to visit, even I enjoyed it and I didn't think I would!
Try a trip to the beach too, lovely :wink:
Thanks for sharing :grinning: