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 ...