Mar 22, 2012

Mouse Tales

Just got back from our trip to the Mouse.

In one word: overwhelming.

Beyond that, Disney has worked things out to damn near a science. We were staying at one of their hotels (for a conference MrsZ was attending) and that made it stupid-easy.

Arrived at the airport, grabbed our bag from the carousel, and checked in with Disney. Got on their bus which dropped us at our hotel - well, we thought our hotel, but they'd moved our reservation and somehow didn't notify MrsZ - and checked in (once we got to the correct hotel).

From that point, it would have been entirely possible for me to leave my room with nothing more than an ID and my room key; transport was all readily available and free, and everything else was linked to the room. Park admission? Room key. Dining? Room key. Souvenirs, tchotchkes, knick-knacks, and other junk? Room key. (It's worth mentioning that you don't have to use the key, they're more than happy to take cash or plastic in many flavors.)

We spent three days doing the parks: Animal Kingdom on day 1, Epcot on 2, and Magic Kingdom on 3.

Next time, stretch it out. A day between parks to rest the feet and recover from the crowds, and easily 2 days each for Epcot and Magic Kingdom. They're just that big.

Beyond that (and ignoring the nasty bug MrsZ caught Saturday) it was a pretty good trip. It's an interesting feeling to get to an airport and think, "Ooh! Reasonably-priced food!" - WDW food is DAMN expensive, but the portions are huge. MrsZ and I generally ordered one meal and shared it with no complaints. (Side note, the Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom serves fantastic food family-style "all-you-care-to-enjoy". It's pricey at $36/plate but excellent food. Salad, rolls, mashed taters, steamed veggies, roast beef/turkey/pork, stuffing, gravy, and dessert. Well worth it.)

The hotel staff was consistently cheerful and helpful, the park staff was still smiling after looooong days, and the only grouchy guy I dealt with was a bus driver. I walked around a family of four that was standing in front of the bus door and not going anywhere and he snapped at me for "budging" (onto an empty bus).

Travel-wise, we did OK. I remain highly cranky at security theater in general, but the folks we dealt with were polite and professional. We both opted out of the nudiescanner on the outbound leg, and the guy who screened me explained exactly what he was going to do first, then narrated as he went along. Front of hand for limbs, back of hand for bathing-suit areas. Fast and professional and no radiation. Coming back, they weren't running the pervomatics, and we both zipped through the standard magnetometer with no additional checks.

Overall: a decent trip, I'd certainly consider doing Disney again, but now I know what to look for and have a better idea of how to plan it. And damn, it feels good to be home with my dog (and cats, and chickens, and goats) again. With all my appropriate pocket stuff, including a carry piece.


agirlandhergun said...

I have never been to DisneyWorld, but love Disneyland. Glad you enjoyed yourself!

Laura said...

WDW is one of those parks I thoroughly enjoy visiting. It helps that everything there is handled with precision. The company prides itself on its parks, and it shows.

Out of the parks I've visited, Epcot is one of my favorites. I wanted to like the Animal Kingdom more, but the one time I went was a couple of months after they opened it, so it wasn't complete. They've added a lot to it. WDW itself is neat, but EXHAUSTING...and I've learned never to go back during the actual peak season. I think, next time, I'll go down in November. Crowds are reduced.

Glad you enjoyed, sorry to hear the Missus got sick.