Anniversary Trip 2016, Final Thoughts

It’s hard to believe our trip has come and gone. It seems like yesterday that I was making travel plans, booking our villa, fast passes and dining reservations. Where did the time go.

Let’s look at the bright side of our trip.

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Our trip was exceptional in every way, shape and form! The weather was extremely nice. The high temps were consistently between 82 to 87 degrees and the lowest low we experienced was 64. It was bright and sunny almost 80% of the time and we only saw an hour or two of liquid pixie dust the whole trip.

Our villa was ready for us when we arrived at around 1:00pm the first day. Our room requests were granted in entirety!  I requested closest to the tennis courts and we could see them while sitting on our balcony eating our breakfast. We always knew when the courts were available or busy.

Our park days were enjoyable even though we made changes to our daily plans on the fly. We successfully made and or changed fast passes as we felt like doing and never had a problem. We rode every ride we wanted, seen every parade and show, done the whole shebang!

Crowd sizes were relatively small to moderate during our stay. We had one Magic Kingdom day that was a little crowded but was manageable. Also one Epcot day, Sunday the 17th was a little crowded but we didn’t care.

We got to see two different musical acts for the Garden Rocks concert series. Blood , Sweat and Tears with Bob Bice was performing the first weekend and the former lead singer for Bad Company, Brian Howe performed the next weekend. We haven’t seen two different concert acts during our trip since Disney cut down the concerts to just weekends.

We also got to enjoy our friends from the British Revolution perform several shows. My brothers know how to rock and they keep getting better and better every time I hear them!

Photo Pass Photographers were every where and they took some good pictures for us. We never bothered with them before Disney made that a perk of the Annual Pass.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t as bad as I thought it would be with all of the announced closures.  We spent a total of about 20 hours in DHS and we did everything we wanted to do. We even rode the Tower of Terror for the very first time.

With that said, there was something that bothered me. The changes to the Writers Stop really bothered me. Why take out the breakfast goodies?  We missed our mornings coffee and blueberry muffins from there. Oh well….. that’s progress!

My thoughts on Disney postponing the new Rivers of Light show and other night time attractions. They were all supposed to start on Earth Day, April 22nd but didn’t. I can understand technical difficulties, really I cam but…… the Night Time Safari ride didn’t look like it was ready anyways. And that wasn’t having technical difficulties. Maybe it was just a little bit of cost savings happening here.

Bus service was excellent! I love the new arrival board at the BWV bus stop that shows the expected arrival times of the buses for each park. The bus actually showed up EVERY time, on time, or earlier than posted! We never waited more than fifteen minutes for a bus to show up.

And now for the dark side.

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Disney food prices have skyrocketed! It is getting almost laughable. Two people eating at counter service can expect to pay about $34.00 for a sandwich, a side order and medium soft drink. Table service restaurants are becoming unreal with their pricing.

We had a dinner reservation for Via Napoli one night…. just my wife and I. We had never been there before and we were really looking forward to eating there….. until we were seated, that is.

They put us in the dining room on the right side as you walk in. It was extremely noisy in there, so much so, you couldn’t hear what the waitress was saying. Then we noticed a table for two outside along the building and asked if we could be moved to it and the manager said of course.

We ordered a build your own pizza with four toppings, a pitcher of BudLite and my wife had an appetizer and our bill was $94.00. I thought it would have been expensive if it were $50.00, but $94.00 if pure ridiculous! It would be cheaper for us to rent a car and eat the majority of our dinners off site. I think that is what we will probably do for our next trip.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival used to be about flowers and gardening but Disney is moving this to be a spring time Food and Wine Festival. And with drink prices also approaching ridiculously high prices, I’ve really cut down on my drinking anything on site. $7.00 for a glass of beer and at least $10.95 or more for cocktails?

And you still see people walking in Epcot, drunk and stumbling around Epcot. Maybe Disney is trying to see how many more morons they can get to climb the Mexican pavilion.

And the last dark side observation…….. we noticed many Cast Members just standing around carrying on personal conversations. It happened in every park. I watched one guest ask one of them a question and the CM didn’t appear to even care enough to answer them with concern. This is the first time observing this behavior.

But I still firmly believe that a Walt Disney World vacation is still the best possible family vacation even if it’s becoming more expensive. My wife and I do not have another trip booked or planned at this time which is highly unusual for us. Life is happening and we don’t know if we will return to Walt Disney World this year or even next year. We might just go on another Disney Cruise instead, we’ll see.

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