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Walt Disney World Day 1 Report

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trip Log:

Arrived at MCO about 4:15PM from LAX.    We were starving so stopped by the food court before heading to the Magical Express.  Made it to Pop Century to check in around 5:30 and we were out waiting for a bus to the Magic Kingdom by 6:15.  Arrived at the park just before 7:00 and as I stepped onto Main Street the familiar Electrical Parade introduction came over the PA system.  Watched the parade from the Train Station and then hiked down Main Street and veered into Tomorrowland.  Walked onto Buzz then the People Mover before doubling back to Main Street to find a spot for Wishes.  After the show hopped on the Express Monorail and then transferred to the EPCOT line.   Once at EPCOT spent some time roaming around Future World and taking pictures.  Found a spot for Illuminations about 9:15 and waited for the show.  After Illuminations joined the masses heading out of the park and boarded a bus back to Pop Century to call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations:

  • Had an un-eventful travel experience to get to Walt Disney World. No problems at either airport (LAX or MCO) or with the flight.

  • Used Disney's Magical Express service to get to the resort and had no problems with that either. We were the first stop so it was a quick trip. I was surprised that they had guests for Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Animal Kingdom lodge all on the same bus. The poor Animal Kingdom Lodge folks had quite a long bus ride once they reached Disney property being the last stops. One small change, they did not require us to go to the check in counter for the Magical Express we proceed directly to a podium and then out to the bus. All the other trips we had to go to the counter first.

  • The Pop Century Checkin quick, with no real wait time. I was surprised they did not have my second/continuing reservation linked to the first one, but it was a quick fix and we were able to keep the same room throughout the entire stay.

  • The entire check in process and the CM working the desk made it feel very business like and not very Disney like. Things seemed much like they would at any other hotel. Also they really did not take the time to ask about or talk about the resort at all. I did not ask since I had stayed there several times already but found it odd she did not even ask or try to engage us in conversation. It was a very un-Disney like experience. I did not really think much of it at the time until I reflected back on it and asked everyone else in the group their thoughts and we all agreed.

  • The evening was a bit on the cool side for me.. the weather channel said it was 51 when we left the room for the Magic Kingdom. Little did we know this would be a high temperature in a few days!!

  • Started off some bad bus luck as it took us over 40 min to get from Pop Century to MK entrance due to a couple of scooters that had to be loaded and problems with the process. I wish there was a more efficient way of doing this but it seemed like most of the busses for Pop Century had a scooter or wheelchair and quite a few times we ended up with the older busses that took forever to load/unload these.

  • The other two in my group both had problems with their Premiere passes. Seems when they had their pictures swapped at Disneyland it de-activated the WDW portion. So now they are curious if they will work correctly at Disneyland. I had no problems with mine, so far... They also had a fairly poor experience with Guest Relations. The CM there gave them a hard time about the pass saying it needed to have their picture on it since it was bought at Disneyland, which is not true on two counts.. first they purchased their pass from WDW and second it was re-issued from Disneyland and they do not print pictures on the Premiere passes, or were not when we had that done. So we were batting zero for two with CM interactions.. in the end everything worked out and was good, but it did cost them a good 15 minutes and some frustration.

  • I stepped onto Main Street just as the Christmas music faded and gave way to the familiar announcement of the Main Street Electrical Parade. It was great to see the parade again where it belongs.. in a Disneyland/Magic Kingdom park. There is just something about seeing it travel up Main Street that works for me.

  • The Magic Kingdom was not crowded, so it was great to be able to walk around and make it onto a few attractions in a short time between the electrical parade and Wishes. Was able to walk right onto Buzz and the Peoplemover. Could have done more but decided to head back to Main Street to catch Wishes.

  • Not quite sure why I stayed for Wishes. For some reason this show just does not agree with me. I am not sure why and have seen it quite a few times over the years but it just bothers me for some reason. Also this time of year it really does that you do not get to see a Holiday/Christmas version of the show unless you pay for the Christmas Party. For those of us not attending the party there is no Christmas entertainment (no parade, castle show, stage show, or fireworks) unless you go the few days around Christmas. Add in that they did away with the Christmas overlay to the Country Bears a few years ago and that they do not touch Small World or Haunted Mansion like Disneyland and the park has little to offer in terms of holiday entertainment. Some of the live performances such as the Dapper Dans do include Christmas songs but that is about it.

  • It was dark and hard to tell what was going on but the Monorails were slowing to a near crawl on the beam way near the Grand Floridian. I would say from when you crossed over the channel the electrical water parade uses to convention center was the area with the reduced speed. They did play a message saying something along the lines of a reduced operating speed, but no reason was given. Did anyone read or know what was going on?

  • Arrived at EPCOT with a good hour to go before Illuminations so spent some time roaming around Future World. Looking at the line board things seemed fairly calm in the park except for Soarin which had its usual long wait.

  • It should not surprise me, but it still does at how inconsiderate some people are at theme parks. Whether its the people who show up right at show time and stand in front of you, which is annoying by itself, but then to top it off they put a kid up on their shoulders which completely blocks your view and for bonus points have one of those lighted balloons in tow. Or those that talk the entire show. While watching Illuminations ran into another type. I was in an area where there was plenty of room and you could spread out to see the show a bit. There were a handful of groups standing near by me for the show, and most had been there for a while. Right before show time a group showed up (locals I would guess in their mid to late 20s) and they first ran right into me, then stopped about a couple of feet in front of me blocking my view, they could have shifted a couple feet in any direction and not been in anybodies way and I know they saw me since they already pushed right through me. I backed up a bit and shifted.. of course they drifted too. So for much of the show there was a dance going on, they shifted around then me or the other groups near by then they would talk or make comments throughout much of the show. The couple of us who had been waiting just kind of looked at each other. I probably should have said something but decided it was not worth it since there was plenty of space and I had seen the show several times but it was something I wanted to comment on... just because you are at a theme park does not mean you should not be courteous... or at least aware of our surroundings and considerate of others. Also just because you have seen something numerous times that does not mean everyone around you has so try to be considerate of their circumstances. You need to remember that for some it may be their once in a lifetime opportunity to experience that Disney attraction/show/experience and you should not be what they walk away remembering.

Pedometer Information for the day:







Walking Time

67 minutes