Even quick and dirty needs a trip report though, right?
Well according to the title it's GIRLS ONLY! So we have:
Me - At 40, I hardly qualify as a "girl" but hey, it's my trip report!
Baleigh - my daughter :) 15 going on 21, but (thankfully) still enjoys hanging out with her mom.
Kaela - Baleigh's best friend and oft times cohort. They balance each other well, even on vacation.
Short cast of characters, eh? But what we lack in numbers we more than make up for in personality!
I try very hard every summer to take a trip with Baleigh just before the start of school. Summer passes quickly, September arrives all too fast, and as of late I've noticed just how fast the years can speed by; so I make an effort to slow down, and spend some quality time with my girl while I can. It's always worth it.
So! We leave tomorrow! 8:30am flight out of LGA (nonstop!) and return on Thursday night. We'll be staying at Pop Century and, as it turns out, we've been selected to try out the MyMagic+ system and bands. It won't be a "commando" trip, but it will be a busy one as we try to fit in as much fun as we can in 4 short days.
What are we doing:
Monday - Arrival, Check-in, Head over to DHS where we have a late lunch scheduled at 50's Prime Time Cafe followed by MM+ Fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, Rock N Roller Coaster and, Tower of Terror (more about the MM+ FP's later in this report)
Tuesday - Blizzard Beach w/ Teresa and her lovely family! Can't wait to spend the day floating and frolicking. Following that we have reservations for Kona at 7:00pm and then perhaps Wishes from the Polynesian beach.
Wednesday - My girl has come full circle it seems. From loving and emulating the princesses when she was young, to turning up her nose a bit in her tweens thinking she was "too grown up" to pretend, and now requesting to dine with the princesses again. So, we'll start our day with the Princess Breakfast at Akershus (I can't believed I managed that reservation!) followed by MM+ FP's for: Soarin', Test Track and Mission: Space. We'll likely spend the remaining part of the day exploring the World Showcase (Miyuki has been requested) and wander over to Beaches & Cream for Dinner and end the night with Illuminations.
Thursday - Last day, but a FULL one! Up and out early for MM+ FP's for: Splash Mountain, Meet Ariel at Her Grotto, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, and finally Enchanted Tales with Belle. (Yep, Ariel's Grotto and Storytime w/ Belle TOTALLY trumped Space Mountain this year.) Depart for home at 6:10pm.
BUT WE'LL BE BACK IN A MONTH FOR ANDREW'S BIRTHDAY TRIP!!!
A few musings and ponderings:
MM+ has been quite good so far. A quick side story:
I called about a week after making the initial reservation to add Kaela to our party. By then, Baleigh and I had already received our customized Magic Bands but had not really "booked" anything to them. When I called to add Kaela to the reservation (which in and of itself was a hotmess as the CM really didn't seem to have a clue what he was doing) I asked the CM about a Magic Band for Kaela. To be fair, I didn't really expect him to have an answer. This is not my first "testing phase" with Disney, and I realized a long time ago that often they are not great about communicating "new things" to their CM's. But I thought perhaps he could ask and find an answer - maybe not the right one, but at least something. So I asked if she would be receiving a Magic Band in the mail like Baleigh and I did. After he tried to explain to me that they didn't exist yet, and I convinced them they did - at least in testing, he put me on hold for about 23 minutes and returned to say, I should "just ask someone when I get there." I explained to him that w/out her band, it would be difficult to plan anything before hand and was it possible to speak to someone else about the possibility of getting her one. At this point he said, "Look. I'm in shape. And that shape is round. And I'm done walking around for you." Long story short (not), I found that rude. So I remained on the line and took the survey, and then I logged onto the website and...further expressed my opinion. Sent it off to Disney and promptly pushed it out of my mind expecting not to hear a word in reply.
Yesterday, I received a phone call from Darnell at the WDW Resort expressing her "sincere apologies at the way your phone call was handled" and wondering if she could ask me a few questions about my call." Of course you can, Darnell. Lovely woman. Listened, validated, reassured. Asked if there was anything she could do to make our stay more enjoyable, and apologized that they couldn't get a customized Magic Band to Kaela in time, but that she would be able to get one as soon as we checked in. She went on to say that during the testing phase things are a bit unpredictable and they appreciated our patience and willingness to help. Quite nice of her to say. It was at this point that I interjected and told her that clearly this was true because, in fact, Kaela's lovely customized blue Magic Band had indeed arrived not two days after adding her to the reservation. I explained that I'd logged in to check-in online and there was a message saying, "Customize Kaela's armband soon before it ships!!!" So I took a chance and did, and voila. She started laughing and said, "See what I mean? Even *I* don't know what's going on!" We laughed and she said she'd like to deliver something to our room during our stay to apologize for all the confusion, she went on to ask what characters the girls liked, and wished us a very happy vacation. I believe it was Mari (or maybe Shelly) who recently remarked that things are bound to go wrong from to time, it's how that mistake is handled that really shows a company's true values. I couldn't agree more, and I was happy to see Disney come through well this time.
As for the MM+ system itself: I didn't think I'd enjoy the FP+ option - but I must say (CAVEAT: IF IT WORKS), it's pretty cool. For instance, I was able to log in, select DHS, choose up to 3 FP experiences and then allow the system to do all the math. After inputting my 3 choices, it gave me 4 options of FP "flow" and I was allowed to choose which option worked best. It even told me when one of the FP overlapped a meal I'd booked. Quite handy. So far (taking a lesson from Mari) I've made sure all my FP's are showing up on my "My Disney Experience" app and have even taken screen shots showing I have them in case they don't work when I arrive at an attraction. I'm hoping if they don't work properly with the Magic Band, perhaps I can show a CM that we DO actually have FP's and they can help.
Right then! I think writing this pre-trippie has taken longer than the actual trip, so I'll wind down now, and, you know, go pack :)