We just got back from a 6 day trip (5/30–6/4) to WDW and we generally had a great time - it’s Disney of course! However, I wanted to first post some issues I had during the trip because that will be much shorter than a full fledged trip report.
First off, my traveling party was me (Dad) and my 13 y/o son and 15 y/o daughter. My wife took a girls trip to Vegas so we took this trip to WDW. I had hotel points with Sheraton/Westin, so we stayed at the Dolphin for free and the flights on UA were only $266/person. So all in all - not as expensive as our usual Disney vacations.
Day 2 - MK
I’m a big planner like everyone most on this board and I had a custom touring plan for all my parks including this day at MK. Generally I get my three FP+s for the mid morning/lunch time and we always rope drop to hit the E ticket rides that we don’t have FPs for. My FPs were for BTM;7DMT and Splash. We planned to rope drop and hit Space twice before moving through the rest of Tomorrowland.
We get to the park 35 minutes before opening (thank you Minnie Vans!) and proceed to the rope at the entry to Tomorrowland. We wait till opening at 9am (and if you are not familiar with current park opening rules, you must walk behind a line of CMs that lead you to the attraction.) In this case Space. No running past the CMs. So a bunch of guests (idiots like me) walk up to Space only to be greeted by the ride CMs telling us Space will be having a delayed opening! Throw that touring plan out of the window.
My beef is why couldn’t the CMs at the rope to Tomorrowland inform the guests (cattle) that the ride was not going to be open at the park opening so that we could make an informed decision to start somewhere else. It was frustrating, but we adapted and were still able to ride Space without much of a line later because I just kept monitoring the app to see when it opened and we rushed over there.
Day 3 - AK
I could not secure a FP for FOP on this day, so the plan was to RD the park (EMH at 8am) and hit EE a couple of times along with Dinosaur and other rides. We had a FP for Navi River, EE and Kali and we were going to do FOP standby after lunch, rather than first thing in the AM per a touring plan optimizer recommendation.
Well we get to the park early and walk over to Pandora just to check it out. The line is building for FOP and my daughter suggests that we just go for it, but I say to “trust the plan”, so we go to the rope at the entrance to Asia for EE first thing. We wait for 20 minutes for the park to open and guess what? We, and some other fools, slow walk behind the CMs to EE only to be greeted again by CMs saying that EE will have a delayed opening! I was very angry at this point because of the lost opportunity to start at FOP. We rushed back to FOP and now the line is at least three times as long as when we first entered the park, but unlike MK there are not that many options for E ticket rides, so we just got into the line and waited it out. It took about 65 minutes, which based on what has been reported wasn’t bad. The ride is amazing.
Day 4 - MK
Generally, we had the same touring plan as for day 2. Rope drop to do Space twice. This was an EMH day with 8am opening. We were going to concentrate on Fantasyland attractions in addition to the “Mountains” rather than Tomorrowland as on Day 2.
Well you guessed it - slow walk to Space . Within about 50 yards, one of the cast members reports, Space will be having a delayed opening. Wow! At least they told us before we got to the entrance this time. So my family peeled off and hoofed it to BTM with plans to hit Splash on standby after, except Splash was having a delayed opening as well. Needless to say, Disney has some areas of improvement in getting the rides up and running at opening.
Day 5 - AK
We had a noon FP for FOP on this day, so plan was to rope drop EE a couple of times first thing. It was an EMH day with an 8am opening. After EE, the plan was to hit dinosaur and then Primeval Whirl. At 9am, the Safari ride would open so we had an am planned with little or no lines.
Well with our luck - you know how this story is going to end - EE has delayed opening!. The only silver lining here, is that we slept a little later this AM because we stayed at MK the night before till midnight. so we didn’t get to the park until 8:05am. Consequently, I checked the MDE app before walking to EE and learned that it was not up and running. We filled on the first hour with some other attractions until Safari opened. EE was up later some we still were able to get 2 standby rides plus a FP ride on it.
I had ADRs for table service lunch and dinners each day. We like table service for lunch just to take a break from the sun and park crowds and not have to jockey with others like you do for quick service. Anyhow, every ADR I had (9 total over the trip) except 1 (Plaza Restaurant) was 15 to 20 minutes behind the scheduled time. I understand that an ADR isn’t like an actual reservation, but again I feel that this is an area for improvement. At Liberty Tree Tavern, they were running 30 minutes behind schedule. There was one guy with a family of 6 who was on the verge of making a scene.
These worked great to get dropped off directly at MK in the AM if you don’t want to wait for the busses. They are pricy at $25 per trip, though. However, on the night at MK where we stayed until close at 12 midnight, there was a Minnie Van snafu. We ordered before leaving Main Street because from our experience it takes about 10 minutes to show up.
We were at the allotted bus stop (#11) waiting and I am checking out the Lyft app to see where the Van is. Well the app shows that our pick-up spot is the TTC, not MK as it should be, so I try to contact the driver by text and call, but guess what - the drivers cannot accept texts or calls while driving for safety reasons. So I continue to watch the Van go towards the TTC and I panic and cancel the ride fearing that they would list me as a no show. I order another Minnie Van - AND THE SAME THING HAPPENS!. The pick-up area is the TTC, not MK. I try to call this driver, fortunately he answers my call and says he is coming to the MK pick-up point.
In the meantime various Minnie Vans show up at spot 11 to pick up other guests and I point out the TTC/MK problem to one of the drivers and she says - yes there is a glitch on the Lyft app and I should contact the driver to advise that we are at MK and not the TTC. I ask how can I contact the driver when the policy is that they won’t respond while driving and she has no real answer.
My beef here is that I already took to Minnie Vans to MK in the AM and one of the drivers IMO should have mentioned this issue, so guests wouldn’t panic when then see the TTC listed for pick-up instead of MK. It’s weird because when you book it to go to MK - it accepts it, but pick-up has this glitch because other Lyft cars are not able to access MK directly.
All in all it took us 50 minutes to get back to our hotel from MK for the princely sum of $25 and we watched 3 busses leave from MK to go to our hotel during the wait - oh well, we live and learn.
Other than those issues, we had a great time. My next rant will be when I receive my credit card bill for the trip!