Just got back last night from our vacation. Safe & Sound in chilly Kansas City now. First of all, we had a great time. We were at Disneyland on May 8th (Sunday), May 9th (Monday), May 10th (Tuesday), and May 13th (Friday).
My wife, 6 year-old, 3 year-old, Mother, Father, and Sister were all in attendance. We also went to San Diego for a couple of days in the middle of our Disneyland trip.
You guys are all pros, so I wont bore you with details on things you already know, but here are some of the highlights and unfortunate lowlights.
1. The park looked beautiful. I tried hard to find a fault but could not, it appeared in top-notch condition.
2. Buzz was fun. I would give this attraction a "C" ticket, but my little ones liked it and I thought it was done well for what it was. I would not waste hours in line for this, but we never waited more than 10 minutes, even on Sunday when the park was packed.
3. Fireworks. Awesome, simply awesome. We were able to see these from 3 different points in the park. Next to the Rivers of America after Fantasmic. You can see the fireworks here, but you loose the show. The second night were were litterally on a bench in the hub pointed at the castle. Awesome. On Friday night, we were running around trying to get in as many rides as possible on our last night. We went over to IASM and the view as great from there as well and there were a suprisingly few guests on that side.
4. Parade of Dreams. Nice, but short. It is well done, and the performers are great. We noticed that the same performer that was at our character breakfast as "Belle" was on the float. I started calling her "Breakfast Belle"
5. Character Breakfast at Plaza Inn. First of all, I will acknowledge that this thing cost a fortune. It was $74.00 for my family of 4 to eat. Having said this, I would do it again in a hearbeat. The room was filled with characters, all but two of them princesses. My boys, especially the 3 year-old, were completely in love (so was dad, who found himself thinking naughty things about these hot Disney babes ) Do youself a big favor, buy an autograph book before you go and make this the start of your Disney trip.
LOWLIGHTS (Or, How Disney is SCREWING UP A GOOD THING !!!)
1. CM's. I am not here to bag on all CM's, they have a tough job and I bet it is hard to keep a smile in 90 degree weather while trying to make a bunch of rude guests happy...HOWEVER, this is the first time that I have ever wanted to actually go to Town Hall and fill out a formal complaint. I did stand in line to do this, but the line was too long, I will do it by letter. We had one CM who accused my small children of cheating in line, lying, and breaking the rules. This same CM told my 3 year-old he had to leave Goofy's bounce house for coming in through the exit. After first trying to politely explain that both of my kids came in the correct entrance he got argumentative with me. It was only when two sets of parents behind us came to our aid that the jerk stopped with his attacks. This same CM was working Roger Rabbit when we returned with our fast passes. There was nobody at the entrance and no chain up. We waited awhile and then walked in the fast pass line. As we got up to the CM loading us in, the same jerk came running up and accused us of removing the chain. This was a couple of hours after the bounce house incident, and he did not seem to remember us, but who knows. This time my wife and mother nearly killed this creep and told him that if he was this concerned about his precious line, he had better not desert his post in the future.
Other CM's were rude, unattentive, and in one case did not speak english. For the most part, the ride operators were good and so were the performers. But food service, ODV, and tram operators were terrible. Also, all of the eating spots were trashed most of the time yet cleaning CM's were just standing around.
Also, when did personal hygene and appearance not count at DL? They must be having a hard time filling jobs at the park these days. NOTE TO MANAGEMENT (I know you read these) PAY YOUR PEOPLE BETTER AND ATTRACT A HIGHER CLASS OF WORKER !!!!
2. Gift Shops. This is a mild complaint and I know it is a remnant of the Pressler/Harriss era. Get some unique stuff and a better variety in the different areas of the park. The 50th gear was nice, but I was dissapointed by the offereings. Mananagement destroyed the penny arcade to put plush in??? What brain surgeon did this
3. Prices. I am an MBA, but you do not to be one to understand why they charge the prices they do for things....it is because they can, plain and simple. But I also know that you can over-do this mentality. The character breakfast is a good example of an experience that you should charge an arm & leg for. It is a unique experience and it delivers a quality product. Charging $7.00 for a dried up chicken sandwich at The Hungry Bear that would not make the cut for a $0.99 value menu sandwich at McDonalds is not a smart idea. The moron bean-counters (which I am one of for another company) cant figure out that people would buy more of their food and drink if you did not have to pull out the American Express for a churro. If cash flow is a problem, jack up the prices of the AP's to $499.00, those people love to give Disney money
1. POOH, good for what it was. My little one loved it. They could have left the country bears and put this in as well.
2. Other than still being miffed about all the PC changes in POC, The ride has never looked better.
3. The Monte Cristo sandwhiches still are awesome. Our waiter was terrible. Is there any better place on earth to eat than on the water at The Blue Bayou?
4. Why are they running only one train most of the time?
5. The guests were better behaved than any trip to DL I have made in the last 15 years. I was shocked.
6. My wife just came down to the basement where I am typing this to tell me that the $50.00 sweatshirt she bought at the Star Trader had an unwanted bonus....It still has the security die-pack attached More of the quality CM work.
ALL & ALL, a great trip. I wish Space Mountain was running as it is my favorite ride, but Indy is a close second