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Unread 26 Sep 18, 07:29 PM  
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#1
kevin_cambs_uk
Apprentice Imagineer
 
Join Date: Oct 12
The good, the garbage and a few surprises, just back from WL and CR.

The good, the garbage and a few surprises, just back from WL and CR.

So this time we were 2 days at Wilderness Lodge, room only, and then we would transfer to Contemporary Resort, for 7 nights, TPV, DDP and 14 day tickets. Last time we did the CR first then 3 days at POFQ.

I had added on 2 days at WL so that if there was a delay such as weather issue, the impact on the stay at the CR would be lessened I hoped, and I could cope with loosing time at WL.I had picked WL because I had always liked the theme there and thought we should try another resort as well.

Departure and Arrival

So the day to leave arrives, and I always get very anxious, leaving the house, should I turn the water off? Curtain open or closed, have I unplugged everything, is the gas cooker off, after checking everything so many times, we finally left. I wonder if it just me like that, the wife dont really bat an eyelid! We got to Gatwick and this time I decided on the Yotel, as the train goes to the south terminal, and then we dont have to move again. Last time we were at the Premier Inn.

Yotel was okay, the room was tired and in need of a refresh, the actual concept was very good, but the room needed new equipment! Would I stay there again? Probably not, I think next time I would try BLOC or go back to the Premier Inn. It was 125 for the 24 hours with no food, apart from free tea and coffee which you had to and get from reception. The staff were lovely but the room needed attention, not dirty but worn out. We ate at Giraffe, nothing special. Location in the terminal spot on. Did twilight check in too.

Flights were with BA. We left the gate 1 minute late! The flight out was magic. It was one of the refurbished Boeing 777 planes. The entertainment was top notch and I watched the Han Solo film twice going out. Food was lovely, we got an ice cream as well, and the staff were spot on. The plane was so good that apart from the windows I would be hard pushed to spot the difference between that cabin and the cabin of the Dream liner which we get to Japan. We landed at 15.30. We were right at the back and last off the plane.

Immigration was great, the self service kiosks had gone, they had ambassadors directing you to the border patrol and they were nice, courteous and polite. They took the wifes finger prints but not mine. Strange. The whole area is being refurbished and so carpets were missing all over. Despite being last off the plane our luggage was off almost first!

Now here is the strange thing, Customs were not there. So you collected the cases, walked to the end and got the escalator up to the tram and went to the terminal and out. No one was there at all, so I still have the customs form. Bizarre. Off to DME, again all straight forward. We landed at 15:30. and at 17:30 we were checking into Wilderness Lodge.

Accommodation

Wilderness Lodge is a stunningly beautiful resort, but my heart is always for the Contemporary, which the view of Magic Kingdom and the monorail cannot be beaten, but wow Wilderness Lodge is simply stunning. A bit of Disney Magic, we checked in and I booked a Court yard room as I didnt want to look at the car park, thats all I booked, as the web site room requests dont work anymore. Anyway, we got to the room opened the door and I realised we had been given a 1 bedroom villa, at Copper Creek. It was huge and immaculate; it was practically brand new, with a view of the new pool area. It was lovely, complete with cooker, quiet AC unit, whirlpool bath, American fridge, Microwave and washing machine and tumble dryer!

We got changed and went straight to Geyser Point Brill and Bar. Now this bar is open air with a roof. We got a seat at the bar, had a Bison burger, a beer and wine for the wife, a view out onto Bay Lake, and it was just stunning. I dont think there is a better location for a drink and something to eat. We loved Wilderness Lodge, I could go on and on, but after 2 days we moved to the CR. We sent the luggage via Bell Services, got the boat over and got to reception at 11, to get the magic bands at least so we could get onto the DDP. We checked in and the room was already ready! So we dropped off the hand luggage and admired the view from the 9th floor and then went straight to MK!

Got back about 4, went to get the cases, and they said they would be delighted to bring them to the room, so thank you very much! We were here for 7 nights and it was just as good as last time. I love the resort, the space the convenience, the pool table by the dock!, the ability to walk to MK, the monorail loop, the fireworks from your room, the view from the room of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Electric Water Pageant every night. Its just brilliant!

Parks

We visited each park twice and Disney Springs twice. Typhoon Lagoon once.

Animal Kingdom has matured into a really excellent park, the addition of Pandora and the rides there has cemented the park as a great all rounder. The evening in the park is particularly lovely. I really enjoyed Everest again, the theme is particularly excellent, especially the Asia and Africa sections. DHS is a great park, and I still love ToT, Indy and the extra Star Wars stuff will be great. When the gondola and Galaxys Edge are completed, this will be magnificent.

MK is MK and always brilliant. EPCOT needs some TLC, the World Showcase is great, but the Future World needs to be updated its more last Yesterworld.

Spending Money

I took $1000 in cash, plus we had the $200 gift card. I used the gift card to pay for the meal extras and tips at the Boat House, Sci Fi Dine, plus a little hand bag for the wife.

Of the $1000 in cash, I came back with $300. We only bought a luggage tag and a bonsai kit. I was trying not to go mad, and really wanted to go home with some money.

So it was broken down as

200 at WL for food
100 on clothing
100 Artist Point meal extras
300 on beer, wine and food extras like the Wave Bar

Food

While at WL, we were not on the DDP, and with a rate of 1.25, to us food was expensive. We spent $200 on food and drink while at WL for the 2 days, eating at Deluxe Burger which 2 burgers, one fries, one beer and one coke which came to over $46. The Geyser Grill and Bar was $72 for 2 beers, 2 wine and one burger.

The once your onto the DDP, you just go to food and drink overload! We ate at the Boat House, which was excellent, great service and a steak which was $49 alone! Love it here, one breakfast at the The Wave, Sci-Fi Dine In and Artist Point.

QS were all over the parks, and we used a lot of snack credits on the food at EPCOT Food and Wine festival. Plenty of ice cream snacks too! I used the DisneyFoodBlog on You tube for ideas, they have excellent vids on the food around the resorts and parks, and some snacks were as good as a QS.

Artist Point was the best meal of the holiday. A lovely restaurant, much more relaxed the California Grill in my opinion and a much slower pace as well. The server was excellent, very good knowledge and I had the Buffalo, the wife had scallops.

At the Territory bar before we went in, we had a beer and a wine. I asked for the check, and it was something like $36!. I left $50 as thats all I had to cover it really, and smiled and left. I mentioned it to the wife and we both thought it must have been wrong, but I am not one for asking such things, and just put it down to experience.

Anyway about 10 minutes into the starter, the lady who had served us, came to our table, she didnt know we were eating there, and apologise and said we had got the wrong bill and she had checked because the tip was so over the top!, so she gave us back the $50, and I gave her the proper price, which was $25. I really thought her honesty was wonderful; she could have just taken it and never checked anything.

Anyway at the end of the DDP we only had 2 snack credits left. When I went to WDW, I had been on a low carb diet for about 8 weeks and prior to that an almost vegetarian diet, to get back within my BMI. I was 12 stone 3 when we left. When I returned in just 10 days I was back to 13 stone 3! Anyway back on the low carb diet already! The DDP should come with a health warning.

I had the Tonga toast at the Poly, this food item alone should come with a warning, cause I think it could give you diabetes in just one go! Plus if artificial colours and food additives were ever banned, I think the Disney bakery would not be able to survive.

Transport

Monorail was 100%. Buses were pretty good, only one long wait, at MK to HS, about 20 mins but not a major problem.

Going home - Shambles

Plane back was not refurbished, which was a shame, but it got home very quick, and we slept most of the time, and it was pleasant again.

As for getting to the airport, getting there, we were going on the train. Huntingdon to Gatwick, South Terminal, no changes, 2 hours, perfect. Sat on the platform at the station, train due in 10 minutes.Cancelled. So we go back into the station, and they were getting Taxis but most people were only going to the next town. We said Gatwick, and they said okay, so they asked which taxi driver wants to go to Gatwick!

So they paid 185 quid to directly take us. Crazy.

On the way back, again we can get a direct train from Gatwick to HuntingdonAll of them cancelled. We had to get to London, cross London on the tube then another train to Huntingdon. Its a shambles, a complete mess, the stations are rubbish, I ended up lugging cases up and down stairs, no escalators, etc. Its a great ended to an overnight flight. Never again. I am going to be emailing Chris Grayling for an answer because someone has to take responsibility.

Observations

Just how good the Wi Fi is
How heavy the pastries are
No security bag check at Typhoon Lagoon
Free towels at TL for resort guests
I am going to email the manager at the CR with all the improvements they need to make at the CR!, they eave you a letter asking for feedback

Final words.

When we went back to WL for Artist Point, I was taken aback at just how much I loved WL. I think that next time; I may give the CR a miss and go here instead. Overall, the holiday was perfect and everything went right.

When we will go back? Well not in 2019, but hopefully in 2020. We are, to put it blunt, broke!



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1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge

Edited at 07:37 PM.
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Unread 26 Sep 18, 07:47 PM  
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lindylou46
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Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I never trust public transport in the UK, we always drive up the night before, staying at the Effingham hotel in Crawley cost us just 145 for the nights accommodation and (this is the selling point for us) 30 nights on site parking. Take a taxi or there is a shuttle bus to the airport for just a few 's and it is quite a nice hotel in it's own grounds.
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Unread 26 Sep 18, 07:59 PM  
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beegnjasmum
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Thank you for posting such a positive trip report. Both the hotels sound fabulous, a distant dream for us right now but maybe one day! 😂

How honest of the bar tender to sort out your bill correctly, there are many kind and honest people out there!

We're heading over next week and so looking forward to being back in the parks but especially animal kingdom to visit Pandora. It sounds amazing!
Thanks again for sharing. 😀
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Unread 26 Sep 18, 08:06 PM  
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kevin_cambs_uk
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Originally Posted by lindylou46 View Post
Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I never trust public transport in the UK, we always drive up the night before, staying at the Effingham hotel in Crawley cost us just 145 for the nights accommodation and (this is the selling point for us) 30 nights on site parking. Take a taxi or there is a shuttle bus to the airport for just a few 's and it is quite a nice hotel in it's own grounds.
My problem is I hate driving plus I need to leave the car at home in bed in the garage!

But certainly food for thought for next time as you say public transport is too unreliable
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1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge
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Unread 26 Sep 18, 08:07 PM  
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#5
kevin_cambs_uk
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Originally Posted by beegnjasmum View Post
Thank you for posting such a positive trip report. Both the hotels sound fabulous, a distant dream for us right now but maybe one day! 😂

How honest of the bar tender to sort out your bill correctly, there are many kind and honest people out there!

We're heading over next week and so looking forward to being back in the parks but especially animal kingdom to visit Pandora. It sounds amazing!
Thanks again for sharing. 😀
No problem!

Enjoy it always worth the wait!
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1997 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 1998 - Orange Lakes
2000 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2002 - Ho Jo Maingate West. 2003 - Caribbean Beach. 2004 - Forgot where we stayed. 2008 - Pop Century. 2012 - Disneyland Paris for the day. 2015 - Contemporary Resort - 7 days, POFQ - 3 days. 2016 Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. 2018 Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge
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Unread 26 Sep 18, 08:14 PM  
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Rac20
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Aww... sounds like you had the most amazing time!
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Unread 26 Sep 18, 09:05 PM  
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mick
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Sounds like you had a great trip lucky with the taxi going but hard work getting home not good

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Unread 26 Sep 18, 09:07 PM  
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alisonjones
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Great report and thanks for taking time to write and share it with us. Wilderness lodge is on my to do list too. Sounds like you had a fabulous holiday.
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