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  1. #1

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    Some quick WDW observations

    Yes, I'm here at the resort formerly known as the Vacation Kingdom of the World at the resort formerly known as Dixie Landings in the congested town (in name only) of Lake Buena Vista fomerly known as swamp and scrubland.

    Some quick observations:

    The resort looks beautiful with all the greenery and flowers in their spring blooms. The room itself is in very good shape considering it was one of the first renovated back in 2004 and these rooms take quite a pounding. Only complaint -- the usual common one -- carpeting is way too dirty and needs a good team cleaning.

    Mousekeeping is up/down. Great to smell bleach on the phone and know it was cleaned from last guest. Not so good that one bed has a dirty blanket on it.

    Only big complaint, and I'm surprised it took me this many years to notice, but the jacuzzi here would have to quadruple in size just to be considered inadequete. For a resort with a few thousand rooms to have ONE jacuzzi with a capacity of SEVEN people is ridiculous. There's no enjoyment as it gets dirty quickly and usually has 20 people on top of each other. Disney needs to add one at EVERY quiet pool.

    Rode Everest again today with moderate crowds. Not only wasn;t there any snow or any scary red eyes in the tunnels, but MOST effects that worked in January weren't working just a week before its official unveiling to the press/media. The bird on a stick was stuck. The fog/mist wasn't working. And the cave where the yeti projection is didn't have the AC working and instead of feeling like a cave in the icy mountains instead felt like a warehouse in Orlando. Not good. People still seemed to love it. It is a very good ride with the potential for greatness. BTW, single rider line cut my wait from 60 minutes to just under 20.

    Sat for awhile across from the bird show on one of the former landings for the Discovery River Boats and realized what was lost when they were taken away ... much like the Main Street vehicles that almost never operate or the Rivers of America without watercraft ... the kinetic movement so necessary to the environment ... it's missing, gone. I don't know whether they should bring the boats back in their old form, but I do know they need to have some boats out there doing something.

    Saw an OC Sheriff's car prominently parked right at the entrance, just sitting there. Didn't make me feel any safer. Security seems to be higher for whatever reason.

    Overall, DAK looked great. Had a very good vibe going with all the spring-breakers. Sure beats the stroller brigade!

    Biggest bad show at DAK: the first sign people see when walking in from the parking lot for the Outpost and wheelchair rentals is in ABYSMAL shape and has been this way for months. I keep making a mental note to post about it, but it looks awful. Peeling paint, some hanging off, some just missing.Not what you want guests to see when they arrive. I am sure the media won't be arriving that way for the big EE opening shindig. They are already getting ready for the whorefest with stages being set up. The Theater in the Wild is all gone except for the stage.

    Best show: CMs across the board at DAK were wonderful, energetic and happy. I can't single on out because they were all good.

    Spent some time in the MK. What did Bambi's momma say about "if you don't say something nice ..." ... I can't. The MK was dirty. Main Street especially had refuse all over. Apparently, Disney doesn't clean anymore until the park is empty, so you should see all the trash on Main Street at night. Would someone please fire Phil Holmes. And, for God sakes, take Lee 'Mr. Quality' Cokerell on a quality control walk because the MK never used to be like that. DL sure isn't. Hell, Epcot isn't. One attraction that's borderline disgusting is Buzz Lightyear. Check out that queue at 9:30 at night like I did tonight. Just filthy ... empty Dasani and Sprite bottles on the ground, along with napkins, brochures, batteries and leaves that somehow blew in. Then the ride vehicles ... they need a paint job desperately.

    Someone also: PLEASE CLEAN THE MONORAILS!

    Food: Great -- dinner at Narcoosee's ... Not-so-great -- presentation of chicken at Boatwright's (disgusting and could turn someone into a veggie). Best soup on the planet -- Mara at DAK Lodge.

    Oh and I also think the refillable mug deal is over. Most people I see are buying bottles of soda or one-time cups ... they just aren't a deal to people at $12 a pop with the new policy of 'they're only good on the visit on which they were purchased.'

    Anyway, I don't want to sound negative (really), and I am having a terrific time, but as someone who has been a WDW regular since 1974 I notice every change (for better or worse).

    More later ...

  2. #2

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Thanks for the update WDW1974! Am desperately trying to avoid Everest spoilers, so skim read over that paragraph... Hopefully most of the effects will be up and running when we're there in September.

    Shame about the trash. Seems AK is blossoming though, with Everest and the upcoming Nemo show, and Cast Members who are friendly appreciative. Not to mention spring time!

    Enjoy!

  3. #3

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    The MK was dirty. Main Street especially had refuse all over.
    Something I noticed during my time there was that the gulls (which were rather startling to me at first because I haven't seen gulls since I left California) were all over MK, but not the other parks. I don't know what the difference is there, but there is one or else this would not be happening. Unless it maybe has something to do with MK's proximety to so much water.

    Oh and I also think the refillable mug deal is over. Most people I see are buying bottles of soda or one-time cups ... they just aren't a deal to people at $12 a pop with the new policy of 'they're only good on the visit on which they were purchased.'
    I just don't think they're a good deal compared to the 2-liters unless maybe you have your whole family with you simply because the amount you can take with you to your room is disappointing at that price.

  4. #4

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Best show: CMs across the board at DAK were wonderful, energetic and happy. I can't single on out because they were all good.

    Because it gets the LEAST attendance and therefore we r in a better mood.

    The MK was dirty. Main Street especially had refuse all over.

    This is NEWS??

    Apparently, Disney doesn't clean anymore until the park is empty, so you should see all the trash on Main Street at night.

    I will not lie. We do NOT clean the park during the day. If Greeters CARE and have TIME we will clean in front of our Area and perhaps the Q if its manageable. Other than that we wait to clean Qs at NIGHT as part of our closing proceudres. But i have been at MK at 630am and i HAVE seen them pressure washing/cleaning Frontier and Adv. Land.

    Someone also: PLEASE CLEAN THE MONORAILS!

    Wait until DL gets its NEW fleet. WDW Transportation will explode. I assume Mono CM morale will plummet to.

  5. #5

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    The problem with the Magic Kingdom isn't so much the fault of the CMs not cleaning. A lot of the fault is the guests don't care. I have observed on several occasions just drop their trash on the ground when there is a trash can 2 steps away. While waiting for SpectroMagic, there was one guy (in an ECV) sitting next to a trash can, when he finished his ice cream Sunday (Which given his size and need to be in ECV was something he should not have eaten) rather than reach up and push the items into the trash can opening, he laid the item next to the trash can. Give me a break already, you are sitting next to an almost empty trash can within an arms reach and you can't put the trash in it, you lay it next to the can, which required more exertion on his part, since they had to bend down and place it on the ground. I have also observed someone eating some food using the top of the trash can as a table. When they left, their garbage stayed on top of the trash can rather than in it. Don't blame the CastMembers for the parks dirtiness, they are doing what they can. Over the years guests, and society in general, have become slobs. It used to be that food and beverages weren't even allowed in queue line, now it's the norm, and therefore rather than wait til they get to a trash can (which are placed in queue areas ) people just drop it to the floor. It's hard to clean a queue area when it's full of people. Some of the blame does fall on Disney because they keep cutting custodial staff, but at the same time guests are becoming bigger and bigger slobs.

  6. #6

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Many guests behave badly, no question about it, but the CMs (and management) should be responsible for keeping the place clean no matter how much of a mess the guests make.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  7. #7

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    As far as Custodial at MK. Well let me tell u you, they dont really "clean". at least not the ones that come to JC and HM. They ONLY empty the trashcans. I havent seen a regular street sweeper in YEARS.

  8. #8

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    Only big complaint, and I'm surprised it took me this many years to notice, but the jacuzzi here would have to quadruple in size just to be considered inadequete. For a resort with a few thousand rooms to have ONE jacuzzi with a capacity of SEVEN people is ridiculous. There's no enjoyment as it gets dirty quickly and usually has 20 people on top of each other. Disney needs to add one at EVERY quiet pool.
    Same goes for CBR. Gimme a break, a tiny circle of hot water for thousands of guests. As it says in my 2003 trip report, I never did make it into that jacuzzi, something sorely needed after 10 days of WDW walking, and to think that any moderate or sub-moderate hotel off property has plentiful jacuzzis was just maddening.

  9. #9

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    new policy of 'they're only good on the visit on which they were purchased.'
    If by new you are talking "in the last 10 years" then yes new...they've been saying that for a long time. It's never stopped people before. I think the new empty fridges in every room are a bigger culprit.

  10. #10

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by ti2gr
    I have observed on several occasions just drop their trash on the ground when there is a trash can 2 steps away.
    I've seen that happen in Animal Kingdom only shortly after opening for the day, but then I saw a pair of sweepers walking along picking it up.

    And I think the monorail I rode a few nights ago was a LOT dirtier than the one WDW1974 rode. Do those Disney monorails have butt sweat stains in their seats, '74? The Vegas Monorails that you thought blow the automatically-opening doors off the WDW trains do in their older cars.

  11. #11

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Sat for awhile across from the bird show on one of the former landings for the Discovery River Boats and realized what was lost when they were taken away ... much like the Main Street vehicles that almost never operate or the Rivers of America without watercraft ... the kinetic movement so necessary to the environment ... it's missing, gone. I don't know whether they should bring the boats back in their old form, but I do know they need to have some boats out there doing something.
    I know that they play music at certain times of the day and they take the old boats and go around the pond..lake? with characters on it. I don't know how frequent that is but my daughter and I saw them twice when we went in January.

    As far as the Monorails, I don't think its a good thing that I can walk onto them and remember the same smell from when I was 8.

    Otherwise I agree with everything you said, even the Port Orleans French Quarter. My favorite resort and that has always been one of my complaints.

  12. #12

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkipr79
    Best show: CMs across the board at DAK were wonderful, energetic and happy. I can't single on out because they were all good.

    Because it gets the LEAST attendance and therefore we r in a better mood.
    I don't know. I just know I enjoy, by far, my experiences at Epcot and DAK the most. The Studios, which I haven't visited in four days here -- and won't, the least.

    But they are the cleanest and they have the best CMs. I know having the internationals in World Showcase helps. I spent 45 minutes Friday night with friends talking to a wonderful young lady who works in UK merchandise, as well as a security host who happened to be around, about my upcoming trip to Europe. It was great. They were so friendly ... they made you feel ... well, like a special guest ... a VIP ... you know, like every guest used to be treated.


    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkipr79
    The MK was dirty. Main Street especially had refuse all over.

    This is NEWS??

    Apparently, Disney doesn't clean anymore until the park is empty, so you should see all the trash on Main Street at night.

    I will not lie. We do NOT clean the park during the day. If Greeters CARE and have TIME we will clean in front of our Area and perhaps the Q if its manageable. Other than that we wait to clean Qs at NIGHT as part of our closing proceudres. But i have been at MK at 630am and i HAVE seen them pressure washing/cleaning Frontier and Adv. Land.
    Really? I wonder how often they do the pressure cleaning. I know it isn't nightly.

    I also did notice some walkways in World Showcase were looking bad the past few days with food stains and even tire tread marks in front of Japan.

    Also,something I found weird was I walked from China to France without seeing ONE custodial CM sweeping/cleaning. NOT ONE. Yet other than a napkin here or there, there was no trash anywhere -- unlike the MK.

    Now, one area I noticed in Epcot that needs immediate attention is the parking lot. I hadn't parked in the main lot in 4-5 years,but did the other night as I was late meeting friends for dinner. It is in bad shape. Even has potholes. In some places you can't tell where the spaces are ... and then the sidewalks in the lot that take you to the main etrance are awful. Years of gum everywhere. Didn't Disney used to employ people just to scrape this *&^% away?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkipr79
    Someone also: PLEASE CLEAN THE MONORAILS!

    Wait until DL gets its NEW fleet. WDW Transportation will explode. I assume Mono CM morale will plummet to.
    Maybe. But these trains need to be cleaned every day. Simple as that. And what's up with Monorail Coral? It reeks of what smells like urine.

  13. #13

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by ti2gr
    The problem with the Magic Kingdom isn't so much the fault of the CMs not cleaning. A lot of the fault is the guests don't care. I have observed on several occasions just drop their trash on the ground when there is a trash can 2 steps away. While waiting for SpectroMagic, there was one guy (in an ECV) sitting next to a trash can, when he finished his ice cream Sunday (Which given his size and need to be in ECV was something he should not have eaten) rather than reach up and push the items into the trash can opening, he laid the item next to the trash can. Give me a break already, you are sitting next to an almost empty trash can within an arms reach and you can't put the trash in it, you lay it next to the can, which required more exertion on his part, since they had to bend down and place it on the ground. I have also observed someone eating some food using the top of the trash can as a table. When they left, their garbage stayed on top of the trash can rather than in it. Don't blame the CastMembers for the parks dirtiness, they are doing what they can. Over the years guests, and society in general, have become slobs. It used to be that food and beverages weren't even allowed in queue line, now it's the norm, and therefore rather than wait til they get to a trash can (which are placed in queue areas ) people just drop it to the floor. It's hard to clean a queue area when it's full of people. Some of the blame does fall on Disney because they keep cutting custodial staff, but at the same time guests are becoming bigger and bigger slobs.

    I agree with all your observations about guests and people in general, but I absolutely disagree with your conclusion.

    Guests are pigs? Fine. Deal with it.

    That's what Disney management should be doing. But instead of adding custodial CMs, they have cut them. Having a handful of CMs working Main Street and the Hub after SpectroMagic and/or Wishes ain't gonna cut it when you need a few dozen.

    I just keep comparing the MK with DL, since I was just at DL a few weeks ago and it has become my second home park since I spend so much time in LA now. There's no comparison in cleanliness between the two parks. The MK squeaks by in the restroom category mainly because DL has much smaller facilities that weren't built to handle the crowds of the 21st century. But in every other aspect, DL wins. I can't remember the last time I saw someone in a MK queue sweeping around people.I see this all the time at DL. For the most part, I never see anything on the ground at DL, despite the crowds, yet it's regularly seen at WDW -- especially the MK.


    For the life of me, I just can't see how Lee Cockerell, who sounds like an Amway salesman in his weekly Main Street Diary, believes the MK is half as clean as it was 15 years ago.

    But, on a good note, I rode Splash Mountain tonight for the first time in over a year. Maybe it was because it was late, I had a log to myself and stayed in it for three rides, but the ride looked better than I had seen it in years. I did note 3-4 animatronics/effects notworking, but generally the show quality was good (although the audio was very loud). And, thankfully, they did indeed finally replace all the smelly, disgusting rubber handles and replaced them.

  14. #14

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    Many guests behave badly, no question about it, but the CMs (and management) should be responsible for keeping the place clean no matter how much of a mess the guests make.
    Thanks.

    You said in one sentence what I can rant on about for in paragraphs!

    It really is that simple.

  15. #15

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    Re: Some quick WDW observations

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan
    Same goes for CBR. Gimme a break, a tiny circle of hot water for thousands of guests. As it says in my 2003 trip report, I never did make it into that jacuzzi, something sorely needed after 10 days of WDW walking, and to think that any moderate or sub-moderate hotel off property has plentiful jacuzzis was just maddening.
    Yes. I should have mentioned that one too.

    Only Coronado truly has an adequete-sized jacuzzi. Although FQ's is generally OK except in the busiest times.

    But it's amazing that Disney trumps the jacuzzis as one thing that separates the mods from the values and yet the last two days I've had to walk the half a mile or mile down to FQ to use theirs because the one here is just too tiny, too frothy and too overrun by four-year-olds.

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