Quick update - 1 week, Swan Reserve

Waiting to head to the airport. Thought I’d do a quick update on what we found this week. (Two grandparents, two parents, two 7 year old twins. The third try at a trip, finally able to go because the kids are vaccinated, everybody’s boosted, and 4 out of 6 had recent mild breakthrough cases, so we figured we were as safe as we were ever gonna be.

Overall, I’d give the trip maybe a 7 out of 10? Part was completely out of Disney’s control - the weather was not great.

It was crowded, way more than I expected the last week in January. Genie and touring plans was too much for me to handle, so I gave up on touring plans. Genie was often glitchy - the early morning attempt often didn’t go through and I would have to retry, which of course would lose the time I was trying to book. During the day, it keep defaulting to thinking I was in the MK, and I would have to change that to see what was available every freakin’ time. There’s some work to be done there. It would help tons if you could chose a LL time, rather than just being assigned the next one.

Staffing for me mostly showed up in that the parks weren’t as spotless as I am accustomed to them being. Not terrible, just not Disney standard.

It was very challenging to find places to eat if I didn’t have something booked far, far in advance. That said, Cinderella’s table, Space 220, Be Our Guest, Coral Reef, Oga’s were some of their very favorite experiences for the whole trip. (And our server at Coral Reef was absolutely top notch.) The pizza at Via Napoli was great. We are big fans of mobile ordering - best quick service was Satuli Canteen, and the new BBQ place in America at Epcot. Ended up eating indoors way more than we originally planned because of the weather. Staffing issues showed up at CRT - our server was super nice, but there was a long wait between app and main, and in the very long meal I only managed to get one soda refill, plus I finally gave up and snagged a spoon for the grandkids myself off the station

Swan Reserve - a total backup (originally had rented points for a two bedroom at Animal Kingdom - nothing available in DVC rentals when we changed the trip, so ended up here because DH has Marriott points.) Eh. The whole “this is a Disney hotel” is really kind of so so - had a lot of trouble keeping and linking my reservation to MDE, which affected both my early dining reservations and some of my Genie issues. The bus takes you to the transportation center at MK, not the park itself which is a pain in the ***. The rooms are tight - we couldn’t get a cot. Staff was nice, though, and there’s nice natural light in the rooms, and good drinks in the lobby bar.

The kids loved all the “missions.” Pirate’s Treasure, Figment’s Palette in the art show, Wilderness Explorers. (Special kudos to Anthony at the Pirate’s Treasure recruitment center, who really went out of his way to make a few things work for the kids.) DGD, who is very type A, would tell you Millennium Falcon is best ride ever, because she got to be an engineer, and they keep track of your efficiency percentage. She is very proud of her 90%. Also really liked the sing alongs. DGS prefers Mission Space (green) and - kids are odd - adores the Enchanted Tiki Room. The bird show at AK was a big hit all around. Grownups’ favorite rides, no doubt whatsoever, are FOP and ROR.

It was good. Glad we went. But honestly, not the same magic as the last time, 3 years ago. The most unsafe I felt, Covid wise, was the way they kept packing you into waiting rooms before shows - Muppets was EXTREMELY tight. And of course all the inside meals. DH and I are prepared for the possibility that we might get sick, and accept it. (Boosted, not high risk.)


Thanks for the report. I agree- FoP & RotR are glorious! Unlike anything anywhere else.

Agree. Though also here was a spot that the crowd just ignored the “everyone step forward” instructions. Many of us murmuring to one another “yeah that’s not happening” with a chuckle.

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