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Walt Disney World Day 4 Report

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trip Log:

Started off the morning packing up at the Riverside.  We took our bags to bell services and had them transferred over to Coronado Springs.  Ate breakfast at the Mill and then went back to the room to grab our carryons.  Hopped the first bus that came, which happened to be Downtown Disney, and then transferred to a Coronado Springs bus.  Checked in the new resort and luckily the room was ready so we dropped off our carryons then headed for EPCOT.  Stopped by the Land and grabbed a Fastpass for Soarin and took a ride on the Living with the Land boat ride.  After our ride visited the Imagination institute and then headed out for Canada and a late lunch at Le Cellier.  After lunch walked around the World Showcase, stopped to listen to some of the storytellers as well as the British Invasion along the way.  Decided to head back to the Resort to see if our bags arrived and to gather warmer clothes.  Had our bags delivered and then caught a bus the Magic Kingdom.  Fought our way through the Christmas party crowd and entered the park a little after 6:00pm.  Wandered down Main Street and found a spot for the Castle Lighting.  Watched the lighting and took some pictures then grabbed a hot dog at Caseys.  After eating the park was closed to us so we headed down Main Street as the party was just getting started so we got to see the snow effect on our way out.  Hopped on the express monorail (well it was a 3-4 train wait).  Then transferred over to the EPCOT line.  Headed for Soarin and used our Fastpasses even though they were not needed, the line was nonexistent when we went in, there was one as we were exiting.  Spent some time in the Mouse Gear shop and then decided to use the single rider and walked on Test Track.  After Test Track went to find a spot for Illuminations.  After the show joined the herd and headed for the busses and back to Coronado Springs to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • Our morning was taken up transferring resorts. We had to leave the Riverside due to not being able to get a room for the rest of the nights because of the Pop Warner football/cheerleaders taking over the resort, so we headed to Coronado Springs. The transfer process went smoothly, it just took time... We checked our luggage in with Bell Services and they took care of them, no problem. Our carryons we took care of and decided to take a bus to Downtown Disney and transfer to Coronado Springs, no problem except it was a 35 minute wait for the bus at Downtown Disney.

  • Upon checking into Coronado Springs we were a bit disappointed with the CM working the front desk. First she seemed really confused and she was not very helpful at all. We asked some questions about the resort (since it had been 10 years since we last stayed there). Also we asked about the newly remodeled rooms and her quick/short answer was "Yes some were but yours was not" and she closed the door on asking about moving to one even. To top things off she did not even give us a welcome packet and when we asked about the ground floor instead of the 3rd floor we were assigned again we got a brief answer "you are on the third floor". She did not even hint at looking anything up or trying to accommodate us. I was extremely disappointed with this level of guest service. At least she could have looked at something on the computer and said there was nothing available or something.

  • As we hiked out to our room we realized two things. One is that the courtyards make this resort a bit confusing and secondly that we lucked out in our room location. We were about half way between the main lobby and the bus stop 2. This turned out to be really good because we were the first stop for most routes to get off (or on) or we could go to the lobby and hop on the bus without having to ride around the resort. All but one bus route start at stop 2 then go to 3 and 4 before going to main lobby, stop 1. One route starts at one and goes through four.

  • Secondly we noticed some subtle differences between the two moderates. First is Coronado Springs had the same shampoo selection as the Contemporary where as the Riverside had the same as Pop Century... secondly the towels at Coronado were of a better quality and the beds seemed a bit larger. The TV at the Riverside was better. The dining choices and prices at the Riverside were more to our liking. At Coronado Springs everything seemed to cost a bit more. For example a danish was $3.95 vs $2.50 at the Riverside and I think it was about $3.00 in the parks. The CM working the Rix Quickservice location told us that Disney did not own/operate the food locations at Coronado Springs.. that is why their mugs and prices were difference. That seemed odd to me but I had no reason to doubt her. The Coronado Springs food court is the Maja Grill and features a good selection of food, but again high prices. For a cheeseburger and fries it was $11 and then you have to add on tax and the 10% service charge where as everywhere else quick service is $6 or $7.. table service is $11-13.

  • We had lunch at Le Cellier (due to there being no dinners even though I called about 160 days in advance). The food was great as always, I swear the steaks are getting smaller.. the service was slow as usual.

  • After getting warm clothes we headed to the Magic Kingdom to see the Castle Lighting since they said there was a possibility of bad weather later in the week. No sign of the Christmas Tree yet, but all the taping gear was gone.

  • There was a Christmas Party starting at 7:00pm, park closing, and the lighting was at 6:30 and we arrive just after 6:00. So it was a short visit before we were being asked to leave. We did see the kick off to the Christmas party and it was interesting but again it bothers me that the snow effects and other special events are only for those who pay extra.. as it is we are already paying quite a bit.

  • I thought it was great how the Castle show characters have moving mouths and eyes.. just as the day time show and the Night Before Christmas show, wonder when or if these costumes will make there way to Disneyland?

  • Not sure if it was my anger at the party concept or what but the snow effect seemed weak compared to that of Disneyland. I even thought the snow at the Studios looked better.

  • Speaking of Disneyland comparisons as I looked at the castle I was asked what I thought of it compared to Disneyland's. Overall the WDW version is grander and impressive in its scale, just as the castle is.. but I think the Disneyland one is more detailed and a better presentation. WDW's is a lot of lights and during the day they blend in nicely due to the netting being painted. Where as some of Disneyland's looks a bit tacky during the day, except for the snow on the turrets, I think that looks great during the day.

  • Since we had to leave the MK we were stuck in the exit chaos. We were talking to a CM near the exit and he said the monorail was a quicker way to go (even though the line stretched down the ramp and wrapped a bit. It ended up being a three train wait. We watched the boat and we did manage to beat the first ferry we thought we would be on, but only by a minute or so. So it was about a tie, mostly due to the monorails being backed up at the TTC. We had to stop 3 times before making it into the station.

  • Spent the last part of the evening at EPCOT visiting a couple attractions then catching Illuminations again.

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