Took my 5 yr old son to Magic Kingdom yesterday for his birthday, since he's never been there before. While it was terribly humid, the lines weren't too long. We went on the Jungle Cruise and the cast member, let him steer the boat (totally by chance that he got to do this), but it made him feel so special. (I didn't let him wear his "Happy Birthday" pin since it had his name on it -safety issue).
We also went to Mickey's Toon Town where you can meet Mickey & Minnie. I like this since you don't have to be at a certain location at a certain time. They also have where you can meet Disney Princess' or Disney Fairies. I took him to both since my little man loves the pretty ladies. And at each one, the Princess/Fairy actually carried on a little conversation with him, calling him a Prince and giving him a kiss on the cheek (where her lipstick makes a kiss print). He was in Heaven. He felt very special.
At each of the meetings they have a Disney photographer that will also take pictures and then scans a "Disney Photopass". You keep the card with you so that at any time they take any photos they can scan the card and you can later view and order prints online. I think they stay there for only like 30 days, but I thought it was so cool that they have this service. Of course along with everything else Disney, the print prices are astronomical. But I can share them by e-mail link with other people for free.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- After watching my granddaughters eagerly await the month of March... We were finally headed to Disney World in Florida. Since the previous August they watched the commercials with anticipation and excitement when they see the children shake Mickey's hand or hug Cinderella. Every commercial..."I want to do that Nana!!" at ages 3 and 5 all they wanted to do was touch or see a princess. We saw a Donald Duck and a Goofy. Unfortunately we were too far along in the 75 minute line to get out to enjoy those 2 characters. Cinderella went by in her coach during the parade at 8:15 pm. Followed by the 7 dwarfs who were alone. No Snow White!!??
I was disappointed as I was herded like cattle between the hours of 7-8:15 when the parade begins. We were not allowed to stop and figure out where we were or where we were going. Just those blue sticks in my face with people hollering - "keep going, can't stop here, can't stop on the sidewalk, get in the ropes, keep going... blah, blah, blah." After $400 and 9 hours of walking, I would think I could stop, but there was someone lurking with that darn blue stick. No Disney characters around was the BIGGEST disappointment for my babies... Don't know what I'll do now, But I don't think I'll ever waste my money on a $2,000.00 dream vacation to Disney World. What a joke.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I stayed at the All Star Sport and had so many problems. The main thing was housekeeping, they would not clean my room right, not leaving towels, not taking the old ones, not cleaning. The room had so much dust on the tables in both rooms cause I had to get moved from rooms and both were the same way. The toilet would not flush, you had to flush 2-3 times.
Then the last day I was there my family and I went to eat at about 9 am, took most of our thing to the car, left camera and thing we took to the parks every day on the table, we were gone about 45 min. When we got back are stuff was gone, housekeeping had taken all are things out and said they thought we had left. Mind you check out times is 11am. Then they would not find my stuff. So I was not happy at all.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I am an African American working wife and mother. My daughter and I were looking for character themes to decorate her room. When she asked me- "mom how come none of the three princess are black?" She said "I want to be a princess." Keeping in mind my child grandmother is Caucasian and I never really knew my child notice because she has a mixed family. It has puzzled me ever since and now I would like to know when will my child have the pleasure to see a black princess or a movie about a black princess.
Last July, we visited Walt Disney World with our son for the first time. He had turned 4 only a few months before and we were as excited as can be. This was something I'd been waiting to do since he was born. Yes, it was hot.. almost unbearably so and incredibly sticky to boot because of a hurricane brewing off the coast. Yes it was crowded, but not unbearably so. The longest we waited in line for anything was the hour plus we spent waiting to be the first family of the day at Camp Minnie-Mickey in the Animal Kingdom.
The cast members that we encountered were, for the most part, extremely helpful. One, upon learning it was our first trip as a family, presented us with a "My First Trip" button for our son and "Honorary WDW Citizen" buttons for my husband and myself. Another selected our son to help lead Lightning and Tow Mater into the greeting area for a meet/greet. We saw the same CM later, working as a handler for Sorcerer Mickey and she remembered us. The Mayor of Hollywood (a streetmosphere character) took time out to talk to my husband about the state of affairs in "Hollywood". It could not have been more magical or special for us.
I know people have said, "Oh don't take your child to WDW before they are *insert age here* because they won't remember it!". That's not true. My son constantly reminds us of how we got to ride the monorail (his favorite ride), see Mickey Mouse and how Mommy got to ride a roller coaster but he has to wait till he's bigger.
Just spent 8 days at Disney World and as far as we are concerned it is still a great place to spend a holiday with the family. We have been there quite a few times since 1973 and it is a great place to spend a family vacation. Nobody does it better. The grounds, the parks, the resorts, everything is well kept and the staff is always polite and considerate.
Thanks Disney for a great holiday. My son was 4 years old in 1973 when we first came and this year my grandson was 4 when we went. I don't know who had the most fun my grandson, my granddaughter, my son, or my daughter in law. They all had a great time. In fact they stayed 3 days longer than my wife and I.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- The Disney Store charged me over $1900 for 3 days worth of base park tickets for 2 adults and 3 children. I was assured I was only being charged a one time fee of $980, but to my dismay, while I was enjoying a character breakfast at 1900 Park Fair for my daughter's birthday my card was denied. I spent half of my vacation trying to get my money returned. Guest services could not help, cast members on the hotel property could not help, even the store where I purchased the tickets could not help. I emailed Robert Iger CEO of Disney, no response. This extra money was supposed to be for spending while on vacation.
Now I'm just fighting to get back what was rightfully mine to begin with. I have a quote directly from the CEO of Disney. "At Disney, each one of us is responsible for upholding our excellence and integrity. This means acting responsibly in all professional relationships, in a matter consistent with the high standards we set for our business contact." I don't feel anyone has yet to act responsibly on this matter, I do not feel that excellence was upheld, and I do not feel they are consistent with their high standards.
Oh how Mr Walt himself would be turning in his grave! Unless Disney can prove me wrong I will fight till the end to be heard!
FLORIDA -- My family and I just returned home from our week long trip to Disney and I am sorry to say that it was one of the most miserable weeks of our lives. I used to be one of the biggest Disney fans ever-my house, yard, etc all decorated with Disney. However I am now so disenchanted it is all coming down. First of all Disney is so so money hungry that they over pack every resort, park, and dining area so that it is not possible to even breathe let alone enjoy yourself!
Most of the cast members try to help people but they are so over worked by too many guests that they are just miserable. After booking 6 months in advance we were told our room was not ready and we would just have to walk around with all of our carry on and children in 100 degree heat and when we tried to ask how long this would take we were told no one knew and the looks and tones told us no one cared. It was like we were rude to even ask.
We paid 7000.00 To stay in a Disney resort and for us that is a lot of money but once you get there you are treated like cattle and packed in so tight you cannot even take a breath. They tell you that if you stay in the resort you do not need a car because they provide all transportation. However, you often have to sit in the heat for an hour to wait for a bus that is so jam packed with people that you cannot get on and the drivers are so overwhelmed that all they say is “Oh well just wait for the next one.”
They say you can use fast pass to get on rides but they do not let you know that all fast pass booths are closed most of the time and even if u find one to use u have to wait for hours and you cannot use it on any other rides in the meantime. They tell you if you stay in a Disney resort that you get extra park hours but they do not tell you that the transportation system is so booked that you cannot get a bus to or from the park without being in misery for what seems like hours.
They have you pay extra to get tickets to the water parks but they do not let you know that the good water park (blizzard beach) is closed by 11:00 almost every day because it is filled to capacity. They show you pictures of the wonderful pools at the resorts but they do not tell you that the pools are so packed that you cannot move if you dare to get in. They tell you about all the extra services they offer like internet access but they do not tell you that you have to pay 10.00 every 24 hours if you want to use it. (Are you kidding me?)
Doesn't Disney have enough money, even the Ramada offers free internet. One night we actually got in mgm for extra magic hours and waited forever to get on a ride only to be told at the front that we could not get on cause we did not have a special wristband?? Everywhere you go at Disney you see families fighting because they are just miserable. How do you tell a 7 year old that he cannot get on the rides or do the things he has been dreaming about because everything is so packed you cannot even get close to it.
I am not stupid I knew that there would be lots of people and waits but this was so insane you cannot imagine. I think even chicken houses have more space than we had. It hurts me to say these things cause I have loved and dreamed about Disney forever and I know that they are in business to make money but I have never been any place in my life that shows as little concern about people and as much concern about making a buck as Disney.
If I ever hear of anyone planning a trip to Disney I will do everything I can to talk them out of it and save the money because my family would have been better off to take the 7000.00 and flush it down the toilet. I could go on and on giving more examples but you get the picture. My family has a new saying- Disney where misery comes true!
Disney Vacation Club is very uncooperative in helping existing members make a reservation. Six months out, there is often No Availability, yet non-members may call & pay cash for a reservation. It is how Disney looks to hook more members - at the cost of existing members.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I am listing a few tips so that you can enjoy yourself while at the happiest place on earth! 1. First of all please remember that Walt Disney World is a huge place with a lot of people from all around the world visiting it - so PLEASE know your limitations.
For example - children under the age of 4 will not only not remember ever being there but because there are so many things to do and see as well as the size of the park it is highly unlikely they will enjoy themselves. A stroller is a very good idea for children even as old as 6. You can reserve a stroller or wheel chair for your entire stay. Ask the person at the rental area for details.
Stay on the Disney site. I have stayed both on and off the site and will never stay off site again. I will not give advice as to where to stay as it really is a personal taste as to what is appealing to you. We have stayed all over the park and have enjoyed it all.
Use the dining plan and make your table service reservations BEFORE you leave home. It really is worth the price. One note here - The dining plan is connected to the number of nights you stay at the park and not the number of days you have the ticket. So if you are staying there 6 nights you will have the dining plan for 6 days. We always plan our trip so that we are staying there the same number of nights as days. This way we have the flexibility to rest the day we arrive or before we leave.
Go during their off season! Not only are the hotels cheaper but the park is less crowded, the staff is less stressed and there are little to no lines. My favorite times are late September and early May. 5. Carry as little as possible! 6. Disney stuff is so expensive. We tell our children exactly how much money they have to spend. Last time we went we gave each child an envelope with their money in it. It was truly amazing how much they do not want when they are spending their own money! LOL
Pace yourself - We have stayed there for 10 days and still did not get to do it all. It is far more important to have fun and not kill yourself than to see it all. Use the fast passes. 8. Unless you are planning to go somewhere else you do not need a car at Walt Disney World. Disney will pick you up and drop you off at the airport.
Have fun!!! Be a child again. Let your children dress in their costumes to eat with the Princesses, Pirates or the Toy story people. My little girl wore hers all day and had a party! Bring a bathing suit for your little ones during the really hot weather to the Magic Kingdom. There are water splash areas in Donald's boat, Arial's area and Pooh's play area. Once you get there remember to play! Your food, room, transportation, and admission are all taken care of. So just have fun!!!!!!