Day 1 — With Mickey Mouse

Disney Lilo and Stitch

The Departure:

Today we departed from the confused state of Michigan in order to arrive in Orlando, Florida at approximately 8am and after a sleepless night I must admit Northwest Airlines is probably the absolute worst airline company that you can fly without a doubt. Although, this time they managed to get my luggage passed to the correct terminal and airport, the service on the plane was by far the worst i have ever experienced. I fly alot, to Georgia, California, New York, ect.

The Northwest Airlines break down

The tickets were the cheapest tickets my wife could find so they worked for us. Well great... We were blocked from picking our seats at the time of buying the tickets. In fact, we tried online many times only to discover that the company's website labeled all of the seats as filled with a few select seats marked as 'Special World Perks," or "Upgrade seating" for a ridiculous price, forcing online customers to purchase an open seat on an aircraft that they already paid for. Yes, the look on my face is confused... So, knowingly, that my wife and i were traveling together the idiot receptionist placed my wife in another seat all the way in the back of the plane while placing me in the front (not First Class, which is the way to go... always!). Well, my wife called to talk to a decent customer service rep and was passed around to more idiots, and a manager idiot until she was forced to hang-up. So i called... and got an actual good customer service rep who helped out a lot and managed to fix what her colleagues screwed up. Well, needless to say, if you find yourself in a jam with any company CALL THEM for yourself and talk to someone that you feel comfortable with and believe can truly answer your question. Another thing about this black hole of a service is that everything on the plane must be purchased, even the snacks... wth? In fact, the drinks weren't even passed out to Coach passengers.

PEOPLE, i don't know about you, but I DO NOT PAY FOR SERVICES, I PAY FOR RESULTS... Is it too much to ask Northwest Airlines to get us to our distenation safely that they must become so anti-customer satisfaction?

THE ARRIVAL: OFFICIALLY DAY 1
So needless to say my wife and i arrived in Orlando safely and unharmed... the pilot even landed smoothely on the tarmat.

The luggage arrived just as we were approaching the baggage claim, not even Delta or AirTran can beat that, or maybe i just need to fly in the early morning to bypass the airline debunction of accuracy and customer satisfaction. Our luggage wasn't even treated as a rack of lamb freshly cut from an unexperienced butcher. In other words, the two check-in suit cases were still in tact.

The Disney shuttle picks us up and takes to the resort. Very nice, and very convienent for an am traveler. Registration was a breeze and to our surprise our room was even ready before the said time. So more time for us to hit the theme parks. Well, the Resort we check-in to was the Coronado Springs:

"Inspired by the explorers who searched for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort celebrates the character and traditions of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Here, palm-shaded courtyards and Spanish-style haciendas create the perfect climate for business and pleasure. Your guests can soak up the sun at a five-story Mayan pyramid that towers over an elaborate themed pool area, or indulge in the flavors of Mexico, the Caribbean and South America at Maya Grill. Conveniently located in Disney's Animal Kingdom® Resort area, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is a stone's throw from all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, golf and nightlife."

The rooms are decent, but really small and homely. Great if you're just traveling with two and not too concerned with the room. To be honest, i prefer bigger rooms with a view, but then again, we're at Disney and do not plan to spend a majority of our time in the room anyways, so why complain. My only gripe about the rooms in the Coronado Spring resports are that the TVs resembled the same Television set that i had in my room during my high school days, outdated for sure. Another gripe, is that Disney is so modest about their business and rights that the only stations you can get on the TVs are all "Disney channels," channels in which the Mouse owns and channels that just promote the Disney World, Disney Cruise, and Disney Land features and packages. At least Disney could offer Disney movies direct for free to each resort and each room. I mean they do gross a ridiculous amount a year and the updates and changes probably wouldn't cost the company much to implement.

PERFECT IDEA:
Why not create a Disney channel worthy of watching? A channel that can only be viewed at the Resorts in Disney Land and Disney World, Disney Cruises by paying guests, well, customers, and i stress the word "PAYING," the trip is not cheap... I digressed, This channel would only show original Disney cartoons (Goofey, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Daisey, ect. the whole sha bang!), classics, and movies. Maybe even take it a step further and offer the guests an "On Demand" type of channel for free. Hey, Something to think about Disney.

BACK ON TOPIC:
On this day my wife and i visited both pools, and the one thing i absolutly loved was that the kiddie pool was an actual kiddie pool and nothing like the kiddie pool at the resort we stayed at in Key Largo, Florida. Disney Resort PoolThey don't even diserve a mention. This kiddie pool actually kept the kids in the kiddie pool. With a design so satisfying to the human eye and fulfilling to the creative mind even adults wanted to take a fun dip in this pool. However, I had just seen the movie Apocalypto the night before and the site of the "Sun Pyramid" with the Moon god face I couldn't help but to think about the tribe captive's heads rolling down the stairs of the pyramid into the crowd. If you have seen the movie, you need to check it out for yourself, good stuff: BUY IT AT AMAZON IT's CHEAPER THEN WAL-MART (Amazon.com), DOWNLOAD IT HERE (iTunes), Or VIEW IT HERE FOR FREE (Netflix.com)... The adult pool, was great, and i say that with all excitement. The pool had a few kids in it but not enough to disturb the CHI of the idle adult baking in the 90 degree summer heat. You have to love Florida... Where else can you go where one side of the state is getting bombarded with heavy winds and debris and the other filled with sun shine... well maybe for a brief moment...

Another gripe about Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida, for the Disney challenged such as myself, the food is over priced. I mean over priced where you would think the cow was slaughtered while sporting a Coach hand bag, and wearing a Paris Hilton outfit lined in chanel. The food was not even that great and again, the customer service blows... With the exception of a few happy faces and great personalities. I saw a chef, cooking a burger, grab the garbage can to give to another chef, and then go back to plating the burger while adding a special touch of disease to the bun and fries with his contaminated hands. Yeah, because the guest paid $1600+ for a vacation only to get served like (s)he were standing in line at McDonalds. Makes no sense Disney, I'm sure this was not Walt's vision of service.

As a whole the first day was just ok, the weather was great, the shuttle was great, and Epcot was just beyond belief. More to come from "7 Days of Disney," stay tuned...

TOP 5 TIPS ON SAVING MONEY WHILE VISITING DISNEY WORLD

1. Use the shuttle service, save money and don't rent a vehicle
2. Get the Disney Meal/ Dining Plan - We tried but again were blocked by another idiotic customer service rep who gave my wife false information
3. Buy the Disney Theme Park Passes - You save a ton of money
4. Always get your food togo, if dining at your Resort, a 10% tip is automatically added to all sit-down and dine orders. Even if the server wasn't that great. I know 15% is normal, Well, guess what, I don't tip the norm I tip what i feel the service is worth. If i have a waiter who is phenominal then i will gladely tip them 30% or half of the bill. The problem is I've only had four waitresses that deserved more than 20%
5. Eat at the theme parks - Most meals within the theme parks are worth the money, talk to other guests, employees, look at the maps, and make reservations

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4 Responses to “Day 1 — With Mickey Mouse”

  1. Tour Marm 6 July 2007 at 1:32 pm Permalink

    Hi!

    There’s a lot more to do in the Orlando area than Disney.

    In the past, with some groups I have ‘escorted’ (one doesn’t ‘guide’ there) I have felt as if I was a prisoner in the happiest place on earth! Sometimes, one can get Disneyed-out! One gets locked into everything Disney with those packages.

    I personally prefer to stay in a cheaper hotel on International Drive or somewhere else, get the tickets to the Disney parks I really want to see and take the local shuttles or car. I like the flexibility to visit Universal City, Seaworld, Wet n’ Wild, Orlando Science Center, and other non-Disney sites and restaurants. Many of the non-Disney parks are better and you can get discounted tickets. Certainly you can find so many cheap/moderately-priced restaurants outside of Disney. And some of the local dinner/theme resutaurants are hokey, but good fun.

    But in defense (gulp) of Disney’s policy to have only Disney channels, there aren’t any other hotels that have all family-friendly television programs in the rooms. So it is probable to come across offensive content which is inappropriate if you have young children or teenagers. Of course, Nickleodeon, Animal Planet etc. might be nice additions.

  2. Jerky Beef 7 July 2007 at 9:27 am Permalink

    Yeah i agree, my wife and i were there for vacation/ a conference and minus transportation. We have family there in Sarasota and Tampa, FL but we opted to stay at Disney as this was our first trip to see the Mouse.

    I understand their policy of only Disney owned stations which means better regulations of what is aired but man there is only but so much one can take. Then again if you are at such ‘magical’ place you wouldn’t want to spend too much time in your room.

    The flexibility of going to other parks was something we didn’t consider as first timers. In fact i didn’t even think about it until our last two days there. I’m thinking we’ll have to do some more research next time.

    I assume you are very familiar with the Orlando area, is the Tour Marm your company?

  3. Tour Marm 7 July 2007 at 7:59 pm Permalink

    Hi again!

    For several years I ran tour throughout Florida and the South (Nashville & New Orleans) for an international company conducting and attending to mostly British visitors. I lived in St. Pete Beach.

    Tour Marm is my nom de plume and not my company. I am trying to keep some anonymity online so I can discuss what I want, without negative repercussion from the various vendors I deal with in my professional life. You’ll know the ones I really like.

    Disney is on the bottom of my list for a multitude of reasons.

    If you think having problems with the TV is bad at the hotels, try getting stuck on one of their ships!

    if you need advice, I’ll be glad to help you, gratis.

    Tour Marm


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