‘where dreams come true’ was the fantastic strap line that the Disney Brothers used when they established their World. And, I must admit, there is quite a bit of magic there. This is a world that one really must experience. I went the first time with great trepidation, but came away enthused and enthralled. The rides were great fun, and I will return again.
The Safari ride and Everest in Animal Kingdom are awesome. Epcot’s great dome welcomes one to a ‘new world’ that is fascinating. Tomato plants that are growing in air and Soarin’ leave indelible memories. But, the best remains the Magic Kingdom. It is so impressive and simply fun.
Yet, there are some things that probably would have disappointed The founders as much as me. It seems that there is lack of attention to the detail that makes the suspension of belief so important…
The signage around the Disney World estate is subtle and in good taste. However, it really lacks in practicle detail; you have to know where you are going in order to be able to get there. It is kind of like, if you don’t know where you are headed, then you shouldn’t be going there. We couldn’t remember which resort we were staying in, but knew the name. we drove around and finally stopped at an entrance security gate to get directions to the other end of the park. he was very friendly. the security guard when we finally found Port Orleans couldn’t be bothered to even look at our papers. she was talking on her phone and just waved us thru. not a very magical moment.
The resort looked fabulous as we drove in. lots of green uniformed folks standing around chatting….mostly to themselves….guests waiting for buses and piles of luggage around. it was busy and fun. got to wait in the first line for about 15 minutes to check in. a very delightful lady was behind the bank teller like bars whom i could barely understand. now, i travel alot and have learned how to discern english under accents. yet, i simply coud only barely understand her. again, she was very friendly and delightful, but we understood nothing of what she explained [a day later we figured out that she was explaining the food plan and how to get around the park]. i inquired about internet access and she indicated that every room had cables but you needed to dial ’56′ to get to it and then i could use my chosen provider. i asked again if this was really only dial-in and her reply was lost in translation with a continual repetition of dial ’56′ and then you will be connected. I found it hard to imagine that Disney, one of the best entertainment groups would only have DIAL-IN in the rooms!, but…. i think it is fantastic that there are all nationalities and types of people there, but at the front desk they really really must speak discernible english.
We walked along an idyllic river scene reminiscent of old new orleans to our building. a simple wood bridge takes one from the services side over to the room side. the buildings are arranged in large Us. we found our room and it seemed fine. i looked for the internet access. it was not to be seen. i began to move furniture. i found the plug behind the bedside table between the two double beds….without any connector cord. and totally diagonally across the room from the only table. Surely this could not be. Was one expected to snake a cable dangerously all the way across the room so that they could connect to the internet?…..well it turns out YES. incomprehensible in 2008. the rooms are fine if you are 60 and/or have no interest in being connected to the internet. maybe Disney’s new business model is to keep teenagers and twenty-year olds out of the resort????
How can Disney not realize that the internet is THE media of choice for young folks? I simply needed to get my mail. We had a four day pass and wanted to go on-line to check schedules AND to take a look at the two water parks all together as a family to decide which to go to. We also needed to use the internet to check weather locally since the resort does not slip a little piece of paper telling us how hot it was going to be. So, i called guest services from the first room and asked about the access point. after a long pause, [again, she was very pleasant] the answer came back that ALL the rooms of the type i had reserved have the access point in the same place….between the beds. I asked if there was another property type we could take a look at. another wait. yes we could. ok. walk back to the central place. wait in the check-in line again. explain the situation again to the person behind the bars. wait while he goes to the back room to fid out what to do. wait some more. wait some more. he comes out with a card key and walks us to another place that is at the other end of this resort……ended up that we went back to the original buildings and strung the cable.
The other thing that kind of bugged me was the lack of attention to the grounds maintenance. cigarette butts in the sand next to the paths. we woke up at about 0600 one morning to a sprinkler head turned into a geyser. called maintenance. they came and turned it off. no one ever said thank you. NOR did they sweep up the mess it caused….even three days later when we left. these are ‘little’ things, but they are what make the difference between magic and mundane.