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    November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    All reservations made of course, airline tickets, park hoppers, the room at Port Orleans Riverside. The cast is 3 humans, myself and the parents who are going before dad retires at the end of the year - we are leaving on Tuesday the 12th and have a grand total of 8 days in the parks, plus two days travel days - one of the park days is set aside for going to Universal and Islands of Adventure. Here's hoping it will be a fairly relaxing time, the crowds supposed to be moderate to mild by most 'crowd calender' site standards, so hopefully that will be the case! There's a long flight unfortunately from California to Florida, but such things just must be tolerated as part of deal.

    There is a lot to see and much I wish to photograph and explore - haven't been to WDW since 2006, so a decently long time. Some of my top choices/desired things to see the most are idiosyncratic certainly (Tom Sawyer Island, the People Mover, etc) compared to what's popular mostly and have a small list of stuff no interest in seeing (because of repeats from California having huge lines reportedly like Soarin' and Midway Mania), and some stuff resigned I have to see just for glimpses of what once was there that I sorely miss (any signs of XS Tech and Alien Encounter in Stitch's Great Escape, ugh).

    We are eligible for the Magic Band testing and been informed will have ones available upon check in, but consensus is fully to ask for the Key to the Kingdom card instead and not bother with the new wristband deal for a variety of reasons.

    Four dining reservations made (the last one just went through today), and resigned myself to the fact we won't likely get into Sci-Fi Dine In which has my favorite ambiance and setting of any parks restaurant, if not very good food by most accounts. The four we have reservations for are Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch, Le Cellier for lunch, Yak and Yeti, and Rose & Crown for dinner. Looking forward to all, and many other quick-service type snacks or items keen to try.

    Will be updating here nightly likely over the trip as have energy since bringing laptop along, and trying stay current on transferring photos each day as I take them so can take endless shots and have plenty of room on the memory cards, so some choice photos be showing up as well more than likely, along with scattered impressions and random observations. Thanks for reading and shall update as warranted! Advice or recommendations quite welcome!

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    re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Even if you don't have a reservation, you can still just show up and get in. This was my experience.

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    re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    I have a little suggestion/request that may be fun to do and share. Take pics of DLR vs WDW counterparts. Like Bayou HM and post it with a photo of the Gothic HM. In any case whether you do this or not enjoy the contrast between the resorts. Revisiting what we lost, what is different is fun.

    Try Sci Fi off hours and maybe you will get in with little wait.

    I would choose the same and skip Magic Band.

    While skipping same attractions is time saving, you should have time. Use FP, enjoy those differences. I would not skip the variety of HM, but maybe TSM as the queue is different but the ride the same.

    Have fun!
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    re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedude76 View Post
    Even if you don't have a reservation, you can still just show up and get in. This was my experience.
    Definitely will give it a shot when actually in the park likely, but not getting my hopes up too much as some claim they don't hold any tables for folks without reservations - but we'll see! Thanks for the advice!

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    re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    I have a little suggestion/request that may be fun to do and share. Take pics of DLR vs WDW counterparts. Like Bayou HM and post it with a photo of the Gothic HM. In any case whether you do this or not enjoy the contrast between the resorts. Revisiting what we lost, what is different is fun.

    Try Sci Fi off hours and maybe you will get in with little wait.

    I would choose the same and skip Magic Band.

    While skipping same attractions is time saving, you should have time. Use FP, enjoy those differences. I would not skip the variety of HM, but maybe TSM as the queue is different but the ride the same.

    Have fun!
    The photo/comparison tip is a good one, thank you! And no way I'd skip HM heh, or Pirates, or such - but ones like mentioned, Soarin and Midway, that not best favorite in California aren't high on the list of priorities. Little Mermaid dark ride is another - the setting with exploring and photographing in Florida over CA, but the ride itself, nothing different or that great an attraction, etc.

    Thanks for the tips!

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Now finally settled in the room at Port Orleans Riverside, bags arrived from the Magical Express service, and good to sit and relax and use the Disney-supplied wifi. Magic Kingdom tomorrow!

    General observations:


    • So far, this resort very relaxing as a whole even with clear large number of folks around - peaceful and the rivers are nice.
    • The Cajun chicken sandwich at the quick-service food court actually pretty tasty, as was the make-your-own-salad option - but could be magnified after a day of airplane snacks heh.
    • On the way in on the Magic Express bus, one of the featured videos was 'behind the scenes' of the Haunted Mansion interactive queue, and featured prominently one of the designers talking about Yale Gracey's sea captain character and the ditched one-eyed black cat and other ridiculously obscure Mansion concepts from the design period dating back to the 50's. Thousands of tourists potentially seen these very minor hardcore fandom things being talked about explicitly while riding the bus from the airport, and I am not quite sure if that is awesome and hilarious or just pointlessly bizarre on Disney's part.


    Here comes some photos!


    Fancy fountain inside the Orlando airport.


    ....and bizarre official Disney Snow White photo up statue. No climbing!


    Creepy.


    Hooray, we're here!


    Magnolia Terrace, where the room is.






    Food time.




    The prior-mentioned cajun chicken sandwich.






    Rocking chairs on the rear porch of the lobby.

    And now, time to look around inside Fulton's Market.


    Very cool old-fashioned dollhouse that reminds me a bit of Phantom Manor.




    Christmas time already?




    This statue of Donald is fantastic.


    Some old friends. Probably going to have to buy the Orange Bird one.

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.



    Inside Fulton's was also this pleasantly retro styled animated display with Goofy - reminds me a lot (on a bigger scale though) of the classic Main Street display windows from Disneyland.

    Thanks for looking and more to come likely tomorrow!

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    What a lovely hotel! Looking forward to updates as you can fit them into your fun. Enjoy!

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    I am totally enjoying this and look forward to checking in and seeing your pics and impressions every day.
    Nice work so far!

    Scott

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Port Orleans Riverside is a lovely resort. We fall back on this one and I really prefer it over AKL, which often feels like a high-rise with a "courtyard view" of not much, in spite of the high-concept. Have fun!
    ~ Erik








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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    As others have said, definitely try the SciFi Drive In when you get to DHS - especially in the semi-off season like now, you should be able to get in with a wait - there were always no-shows before credit card guarantees were required, and I bet requiring them has opened things up considerably.

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Hopefully your FP experience will be ok... the park is very much in flux right now as they transition. Some people can get KTTW cards for FP use.. others can't, etc. You're hitting the parks during this phased cutover period.
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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    QUICK TIP!

    Breakfast can get pretty crowded at the quick serve. You are allowed to go down the hall with your breakfast and use the tables in the "Boat Wrights" area. We always found room and it was much quieter.

  14. #14

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Attic Haunt View Post
    What a lovely hotel! Looking forward to updates as you can fit them into your fun. Enjoy!
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
    I am totally enjoying this and look forward to checking in and seeing your pics and impressions every day.
    Nice work so far!

    Scott
    Thank you both very much!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Olson View Post
    Port Orleans Riverside is a lovely resort. We fall back on this one and I really prefer it over AKL, which often feels like a high-rise with a "courtyard view" of not much, in spite of the high-concept. Have fun!
    It is very nice indeed, the view is no great shakes, but it makes up for it in other ways. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by poohmeg View Post
    As others have said, definitely try the SciFi Drive In when you get to DHS - especially in the semi-off season like now, you should be able to get in with a wait - there were always no-shows before credit card guarantees were required, and I bet requiring them has opened things up considerably.
    Will definitely give it a try and hope for the best, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Hopefully your FP experience will be ok... the park is very much in flux right now as they transition. Some people can get KTTW cards for FP use.. others can't, etc. You're hitting the parks during this phased cutover period.
    Had no complaints so far about the cards, they gave us the KTTW ones without a fuss, which was good.

    Quote Originally Posted by maddogjoe View Post
    QUICK TIP!

    Breakfast can get pretty crowded at the quick serve. You are allowed to go down the hall with your breakfast and use the tables in the "Boat Wrights" area. We always found room and it was much quieter.
    Great tip, thank you!

    Some photos and thoughts coming shortly.

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    Re: November 2013 WDW trip report - planning and ongoing updates.

    Observations from today (Magic Kingdom):


    • Why are they playing Mr. Toad's Wild Ride from Disneyland on the bus to MK?? It's long extinct at that park.
    • Park overwhelmingly large compared to Disneyland.
    • Pirates is very disappointing against the original.
    • The orange slush drink at Cosmic Ray's is fantastic. I need to get another one.
    • Disneyland needs the People Mover back very badly, I wanted to ride it another six times after doing it once.
    • People who stand up and force the show to restart on Carousel of Progress are the worst.
    • The Haunted Mansion is fantastic and love the sound design overall. Superior show effects overall and tone once inside the Mansion, ignoring the new queue cemetery being forced on anyone without a fastpass which slows the line way way down in favor of playground-style junk.
    • Jingle Cruise decorations in queue are nice, as is the old-timey Christmas music, but the spiel additions are pretty much duds.

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