November 18 at AK

We, DM, DS29, DD24, flew in on the 17th, a Sunday. We took the Magical Express to Coronado Springs. We did not get the room we requested through the touring plans website. Our room was in the Ranchos section. We landed at 5:00 pm and did not get our luggage until close to midnight. The hotel is beautiful and the room was large with 2 sinks (outside the bathroom) a good sized cupboard/closet and lots of counter space. For the price, I would stay here again. The restaurant food was expensive, but they did have a food court with less expensive fare. Folks should know that the hotel will pick up your luggage from your room at a specific time if you make a reservation with bell services. We had our luggage picked up and stored at 6:00 am and were at the bus stop for early entry to AK at 6:30 am. I don’t know if our stop was the 3’d or 4th at CS, but there were people already on the bus. They hit our stop at 6:53 am. So, the buses run more than an hour earlier than park open time. At AK there were maybe 50-60 people ahead of us. We walk very fast, but don’t push or shove and by the time we reached FOP in Pandora there were maybe 80 folks ahead, but 300 plus behind us. You have to get the first bus from the hotel! The ride did not open early. We were off by 8:30. I wasn’t able to get a FastPass for FOP even 60 days out, so there you go. We rode it again around 2:00 pm when the app said 90 minutes. It was 90 minutes and it is a dark and boring wait. The ride really is excellent and I’m glad we did it, but we would probably never stand in a 90 minute queue again for it. After Rivers of Light we took the bus back to CS, picked up our luggage and headed for Universal, where we had Express Pass and could relax for the next 3 days. There just has to be a better way at Disney. Too many people and not enough headliners to dilute the crowds.

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I’m sorry your day was less than delightful. I agree that Disney is far from relaxing. It does require a lot to navigate it, and it’s almost always at a gung-ho pace.
Thanks for the information about CSR.
Had you had a chance to read the post here about same day drops for FPP? We were able to get same day drops for FOP at the second drop of the day.

I hope Universal was a great vacation.

Yes, I knew about the drops, but the fast passes I could get were all later in the day and would have required rescheduling of all of them and even my tech-savvy kids thought that would be too much trouble. We wanted to enjoy the park and not stare at our phones. We did use the ride-time app. Over the years we have done Disney 5 or 6 times, but I hadn’t been here in probably 8 or 9 years. DD was there 2 years ago- before Pandora. I am a compulsive planner, but this is almost beyond my skill level and will to tackle. I had made reservations at Rainforest Cafe for lunch for us and that was still very good. I love a sit-down meal to rest and rejuvenate for the rest of the day in the park. We had an excellent time aside from that and rode everything we wanted to ride and some things twice. Universal was wonderful. It’s nice to spend time with adult children.

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I miss the old WDW, myself. :heart:

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Yeah, I miss the paper FPs - I was so happy to find they are still a thing at DLP and DLR when I visited those! The tech stuff is nice but I loved the whole “You go join the Test Track line, I’ll grab some FPs for Soarin and meet you there” game. Will always remember going direct to the TS(M)M FP machine at opening and still only getting a 5.30pm return!

More generally, I feel genuinely sorry for those that can’t afford to stay on-site for 60 day FPPs, or just don’t know about those, ADRs, or go in without any sort of plan because it’s “just” a theme park. My first trip there was with my Mum and Dad in ‘88 and although it was a different World then, it’s only when I started planning my own that I came to appreciate how much it takes to organise a trip. And of course just to be able to go at all! I owe them a lot :blush:

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