Trip Report...long awaited

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Trip Report...long awaited

Unread post by BigRedDad » September 23rd, 2013, 8:17 am

My trip seems like eons ago and I have been slam busy since returning. I do not know if much has changed, but here is my story...

2 days before our trip, I was in a minor car accident. Although minor, I did have knee damage and whiplash. I called to inquire about any closer options with a manager and he said he would take care of us. We were booked for a Princess room in the Mansion buildings. My daughter and I arrived at about 9:30PM on Wednesday 02/27. Off to our room we go. After taking a few scenic misdirections, we made it to our room. It was not too far off and would aid in my travels with my knee. My daughter was amazed Princess Tiana let us use one of her guest rooms. After exploring the room, my daughter opened the cabinet door to the fridge and out ran a bunch of roaches. OK, I lived in FL and understand the roach issue. However, at about 10PM with a 7yo, its not something I want to deal with. I call down to the Front Desk. They are very apologetic and said an exterminator would be there at 12AM. I explained that it was not acceptable and asked if another room was available. I explained the situation with the accident and my knee. He was able to locate another Princess room that was ALOT closer for us. I cannot say how helpful the staff was at the resort. They were nothing short of what I expect at WDW whenever I go. They all deserve great praise.

The Good....
The grounds are well kept and beautiful to walk through. The entire staff was willing to help and assist with anything we desired. I wish I could remember everyone by name, but there is only one person that I can. His name is Birdie. He is the elderly greeter at the Lobby. Always cordial, fun to talk with, and thoroughly enjoys his job. My daughter lover greeting him every morning and chatting with him. On days he was not there, I had to explain that he is not like Mickey Mouse and needs time off with is family. On our last day, we were sitting around the lobby. My daughter saw Birdie, walked up to him, and asked if he would sign her autograph book. I do not know how many or if anyone had ever asked him to do it, but he did get a little choked up when she asked him. He sat there with her for about 10 minutes, just the 2 of them, chatting about her trip, and how much fun he made her mornings.

The pool games, marshmellows, movies were all fun too. We only glanced at a movie for a short period, but it is a good way to unwind with kids.

The Not So Good...
People may disagree with this, but my experience was that the buses were horrible. I don't mind waiting 15 minutes for a bus, but in many cases it was much longer. Many times we had to jump on a French Quarter bus from MK and make the walk. We ran into people at the Lobby an hour later that were waiting in line for the POR bus. They were just getting there. We had gone to FQ, walked to our room, walked to the Lobby, got snacks/bite to eat, and then they got there. The frustration with buses got old. So, we learned our lesson to just jump on the FQ bus if it was separate. In most cases, we were back more than 30 minutes earlier even with the walk. Fishing was quite a waste. My daughter fished for an hour and not a single bite. I had to cover work for an hour, so she fished while I worked. This is a FL lake that are filled with bream, blue gill, catfish, etc. How you cannot get a single bite is beyond me. You'd think they would even stock this area.

We are not resort snobs. We mainly are at a resort for an afternoon break, sleep, and shower. This was a splurge for us because we love Pop Century. If money were not a concern, we would stay here again in a heartbeat. With that said, we prefer spending our money on other activities while there. We are only a family of 3, so Pop Century is more than enough for us. Enjoy everything the resort has to offer because it is very large and gorgeous.

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Re: Trip Report...long awaited

Unread post by MardiGroggy » September 23rd, 2013, 12:46 pm


Better late (or maybe delayed would be a better word) than never, as "they" say!!! :P

Interesting report. First of all, sorry to hear about your accident. Hope it is all just a distant memory at this point. Bad timing on that, though. Just like my kind of luck. It doesn't sound like it slowed you down too much.

Everything in the "plus" column sounds about like what we all expect, but the extra interaction with Birdie will be a cherished memory for sure. Even I, as a genuine geezer type, have had some special interactions with the CMs in the common areas. Always a nice touch.

Roaches, yep, that's FL alright, However, we have never had any bug issues in any of our stays, so we figured that WDW was on top of that situation. It must be a big job, considering not only the "local inhabitants," but also that a lot of bugs can be introduced from elsewhere by the guests and their luggage. There is always the potential for things getting ugly. I wouldn't want to deal with that either!

Buses, well....they can be a problem. We have had some pretty bad experiences in the past with the bus system, but for our last few visits they seemed to be running on schedule--most of the time. My take is that it seems to be a rather delicately balanced system which doesn't seem to need much pressure to tip it over into frustration mode. We have talked with various CMs in the past, including bus drivers, and it seems that they occasionally get short staffed. When that happens, things get ugly. Also, other influences, such as sudden weather changes, high visitor volume and overall park congestion can really throw things off the rails. As a result, we always try to make allowances for extended waits, as well as try to figure the work-arounds (like you did using the FQ buses) that will keep us moving. It seems to me that some folks don't take such things into consideration and can get really stressed if the system gets constipated and they have a reservation or somewhere they feel they need to be at a particular time. We've seen some unpleasant guest reactions as a result. In our case, we just content ourselves with the knowledge that we anticipated the issue and are not on so tight a schedule. Try telling that to the kids, though! I also wonder if this will get better or worse, now that so many more activities can be reserved/scheduled with the new RFID tech that is being implemented. I always suggest that guests don't try to cut things too thin. No need to invite stress along on the vacation!

We've also done the Value Resorts a couple of times, thinking also that we don't really spend that much time there during our visits. The atmosphere is a little chaotic for our taste, but for younger folks with kids it could work very well. In any case, there are lots of choices and I appreciate your feedback on how it all worked out for you. Such input helps when people ask us about how to plan their visits. Nowadays we can just refer them to this site for most of their answers.

Hope your family is looking forward to the next visit.
Aka: Steve

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

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Re: Trip Report...long awaited

Unread post by Admin » October 18th, 2013, 3:24 am

General bus discussion posts moved to viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1290.

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Re: Trip Report...long awaited

Unread post by garyrhodes » May 20th, 2014, 1:56 pm

I like to read this wonderful trip story and i had also too much trip experiences like that. Some experiences are memorable and best part of my life where others are worst part of my life. But i never mind that live life happily with my family and enjoy every moment.

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