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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Good, The BAD, The Ugly--Theme Continues With The "Bad"




Chilly Pad Cooling Towels give relief from the heat.
The good, the bad, and the ugly theme continues. . . Yesterday, I wrote about the “ugly” part of our Disney vacation—click here to read more.

So now, let’s get the “bad” parts out of the way so that we can get on with the, as one Williams Family Blog reader puts it—the good, the great, and the magical!

The heat—yes, we were in Orlando in July and there were times during the afternoons when the temperatures were in the high 90’s and the heat index was over 100.  We had plenty of water, chilly pad cooling towels, and even used umbrellas for shade.  There were only a couple of times when the heat was most uncomfortable and one was while we were waiting for our table at Be Our Guest on the bridge outside of the castle.  No shade, no seats, no water being offered.  There was an umbrella that was tied up and not being used.  When I asked a Cast Member she said they didn’t have permission to use the umbrella as it was a potential safety hazard. 
The boy trying to find some shade on the bridge that leads into Be Our Guest.
 Be Our Guest—the newest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland inside The Beast’s castle, was a disappointment this time.  Our table was in the dark west wing (I guess it could have been a welcome relief after our wait outside), but we couldn’t see the menu or our food.  I used the candle on the table to illuminate the menu and the husband used it to check to see if his steak was cooked to his preference.  The service was lacking in timing—we had to wait long periods of time, and parts of our order were wrong which caused more delay.

Pizza at Via Napoli
Via Napoli—the table service pizza eatery in EPCOT’s Italy Pavilion was less than a highlight.  More info coming later.

Cast Members giving us wrong information.  There were four different occasions during our visit to Walt Disney World when we were given wrong information by Cast Members.  I get it, the place is huge and things change quickly.  And, unless a Cast Member is interested in keeping abreast of the latest info it is understandable how misinformation can get to guests.  Giving guests wrong information costs them time and effort. 

The loud boat ride with the singing Captain—the husband is going to laugh when he reads this.  I’ll begin with the fact that Walt Disney World is loud—there are sounds coming from everywhere and finding a time to converse with your travel party when they can hear you can be difficult.  So, when we sat on the boat to travel from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to EPCOT, I thought we had the perfect time to discuss our strategy upon arrival to EPCOT.  Not so much.  One of the two Captain’s of the boat grabbed the microphone and started asking the crowd to yell, cheer, clap, and eventually sing.  We were never so pleased to have the boat dock for its stops along the way as it removed him from the microphone.  The husband turned to me and said, “Quick, tell me the plan” during the quiet moments.   Really?  Why must we yell, cheer, and clap while on the boat?  This same idea happened during the Shrek 4D preshow at Universal.  Guests trapped, waiting for the doors to open to go into the theater while an employee is shouting over the microphone for everyone to scream. 
Photo taken with Waterproof camera after LCD screen was broken

Broken stuff—on previous trips we have killed shoes, bags, even a stroller.  This trip was no different and we said good-bye to a backpack, a pair of water shoes, a small rolling duffle bag, and a camera.  Our waterproof camera is still taking pictures, but the screen is dark so we cannot see what we are taking photos of OR view the menu to change settings or delete photos.

Missing photos—we are missing photos from both Shutters on the Disney Fantasy and Disney’s Photopass.  Emails have been sent and I am hopeful on both accounts that the photos will be recovered.  And as I type this, I’m not so happy with Disney Photopass and the download needed to retrieve photos.  We purchased Memory Maker, which is similar to Photopass +, which includes dining and attraction photos.  The only change is that guests have to download their photos rather than receive them on a CD—or pay an additional $169 for the photo CD.  Spent two hours trying to download the files last night and the Photopass window is open now as the download attempt continues and I have been kicked off the system twice.  I was skeptical about this after our experience last summer when Photopass+ did have the download option but when I inquired, I was told that our file was too large for downloading.  Now, our 512 photos have been divided into 8 sets, each with 118-150 MB download.  There is an option to download individual photos—yikes!  I’m curiously awaiting the reply to my help request.

And, not so much bad, as sad. . . the boy did not want to participate in Jedi Training Academy.  The age limit is 12, so this most likely, would have been his last time, which we explained, but he still chose not to.  We honored his request.  A sign of the times I guess—he is growing up and we have more stories about THAT!

It is not as if we expect everything to go smoothly during a vacation—we know some stuff isn’t going to work out and things will get broken.  It is just that there are times when we look at each other and say, “that didn’t go well” because we know that with an adjustment or different information it could have gone better, smoother, or been more comfortable. 

Now that the “bad” is out of the way, let the good, the great, and the magical commence!

3 comments:

  1. I have those chilly pads in my cart at amazon and have yet to check out (still on the fence as to whether to purchase). We are leaving on 08/20 for our 7th visit, but first one ever in the summer. I am not looking forward to the heat and humidity (as the girl gets older, we'll probably be limited to going in the summer). I think we'll go with the pads. We are doing lunch at Be Our Guest this time with a Fast Pass+ reservation (even selected our menu items online in advance upon receiving an email); I'm hopeful we'll avoid the wait on the bridge (been there, none that twice; with reservation). Via Napoli was very good in our (one and only) experience--very good food and excellent service. Photopass is going down hill fast in our experience. Memory Maker is 50% more expensive and they no longer provide the CD as you said (and downloads are slow), they no longer provide the additional stock photos and no longer provide the prints at the character meals. They missed a bunch of our photos and also forgot the magic in a few of our magic shots. The (your) boy is growing up! I will be sad when the (my) girl no longer wants to wear a princess dress to dine in a castle--I'm hopeful I have two more years. I am so glad you're back.

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    1. Congratulations on your upcoming trip! Yes, the Chilly Pads are a good idea. Glad to hear that Via Napoli was good for you. Guess it is hit or miss and ours was a miss. Am downloading the pictures as I type this response. Photopass said it could take up to 24 hours to process the download and they did find our missing photos. Still waiting to hear back from Shutters, but confident Disney will pull through. Yes, the boy is growing up and thankfully will dress like he enjoys Disney. Thanks for reading and have a magical trip!

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