home News forums Reviews Trade links

Go Back   The DVC Boards at MouseOwners.com - the place to talk DVC and Walt Disney World > TRIP REPORTS > Trip Reports
 Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

Old 12-06-2017, 03:15 PM   #1
mustinjourney
Two Bedroom
 
mustinjourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 735
Default Random thoughts on my most recent trip

This is not so much of a trip report (at least not yet) -- but more just a few thoughts and takeaways based on my most recent trip to the World. Hopefully it is helpful to someone out there!

Background:
On this trip, the cast of characters included myself, DW, DD(4), DD(2) and my parents (GPs). We were doing a triple split stay from Friday November 24-December 2, with stays at 1 BR BWV (1 night), 2 BR BWV (3 nights) and 2 BR VGF (4 nights). We were fortunate that our triple split ended up only being a regular split, since our 1 BR was part of the 2 BR lockoff for the other three nights. Not sure how much it helped, but I did use touringplans.com room request form to fax in my requests. We also lucked out with the location in that it was fairly close to the elevators, which made for easy walks to the boardwalk, lobby, pool and buses.

DME:
We had no issues at all coming in on the Friday afternoon (arrived 1:27 pm MCO) after Thanksgiving. Wasn’t crowded at all and we got on a bus fairly quickly. We had originally planned for a 2:45 pm Beaches and Cream reservation – but I moved it back to 3:40 pm (thanks to touringplans reservation finder). I’m glad we did that, since it allowed us to not have to rush going from BWV to BCV. So if you are going to try and get some food right after landing – I would suggest a 2 hour window would be a good idea.

As many have noted, DME is 4 hours in advance. If you do not have TSA pre-check – this might actually be necessary. We have TSA pre-check, so it was overkill – but security has slowed down quite a bit just in the last month or so. During my solo trip in October, I got through security in 5 minutes. This trip took 30 minutes. I don’t know how long the regular line was taking – but the lines were really long.

Restaurants:
Since we were doing the DxDDP, we added a bunch of reservations to the itinerary that we wouldn’t normally do. Also, since my parents were going to be around for babysitting duties, my wife and I got to try Cali Grill brunch, Yachtsmen, and Citricos for the first time. We enjoyed all three…but I probably wouldn’t do Citricos again. Yachtsmen had the best food of the three and the views at Cali Grill were awesome.

I won’t bore anyone with a play by play of all the places we went to and what we ate – at least not at this time – gotta save somethings for a potential trip report down the line. What I will note is that we had no issues showing up outside of our actual reservation time. In fact, we showed up over 30 minutes early to our Cali Grill Brunch and they showed us to our table within 5 or 10 minutes. We were also 30 minutes late to our Tusker House breakfast, and didn’t have to wait long to be seated there either. So bottom line, don’t feel like you have to show up right on time. If you’re running ahead of schedule, just show up and they will probably seat you ahead of time. No need to kill time waiting for your reservation time.

One side note – the food at Skipper Canteen was not that good – I got a steak and it was by far the worst I had during the week. My parents ate at Trutto Italian place on Boardwalk and were not impressed with anything they had there.

Also – I had three PPO breakfasts originally scheduled and then Disney decided to open the magic kingdom at 8 am. That really screwed up my tour plans in the morning. So if you have a PPO breakfast that is no longer PPO – you might want to reconsider.

One thing that worked really well was that I went down to the Grand Floridian Café and sat down and ordered everything to-go while my wife made a quick dinner for the kids in our VGF kitchen. That was probably the easiest meal we had with the whole family.

Groceries:
I tried Instacart for the first time and it worked pretty well. I also had them deliver liquor and the prices were the same or cheaper than back home. So from now on I will probably just have the liquor delivered via instacart rather than pack it in the suitcase. I would highly recommend this option for anyone, particularly if you do not have a car.

Regarding liquor delivery – I did not have to be there for the delivery. I wasn’t sure, so I timed it to where I could be available, but the Instacart guy just dropped it off with Bell Services per my instructions. As such – I would recommend scheduling your deliveries to get there slightly before you do so that you can have everything ready by the time you arrive.

Split Stays:
Not much to say on this other than to say that this was the first time I had groceries transferred. This didn’t go so well for us. They didn’t refrigerate everything that was supposed to be refrigerated, and then they managed to lose track of our refrigerated items (they showed up randomly 2 days after the transfer). Needless to say, I just threw it all away because I wasn’t sure if they had been properly maintained. I’m sure I could have complained to someone, but I was too tired at that point to mess with it.

Minnie Vans:
We used them on three different occasions. I found them to be a very nice option, particularly if you are going from resort to resort. They can accommodate 6 passengers – but that would be a fairly tight fit. In order to use them, you have to get a code from the bellservices in your hotel. I didn’t realize that at first – so if you think you’re going to want to use them, make sure you go to the bell stand and get the code so that you can use them. All of our drivers were great and were all Disney CMs that had a lot of knowledge. If you are familiar with Uber/lyft, then it is pretty easy to use.

In our case, we were able to fit a double stroller, two kids in car seats and two adults without any issues. The CMs do have to install the car seats each time, so loading with kids does take a couple extra minutes than if you don’t have kids.

Also, if you try to get them in the morning or at park closing, there can be longer waits. I think we waited 13 minutes or so one morning. So you might want to build that into your planning (I would suggest booking the car from your room right before you leave to go down to the lobby).

TL;DR Summary
DME – MCO security has gotten worse; 4 hours is still probably overkill, especially if you have Pre-check.

Restaurants – you can show up outside of your reservation time and it usually isn’t a big deal. We were seated multiple times well in advance of our actual reservation time. Don’t eat at Skipper Canteen. If park hours change to eliminate your PPO breakfast, I’d suggest canceling your reservation or moving it back to later in the morning if possible.

Groceries – Instacart worked very well. They deliver liquor too. You do not have to be there when they deliver the alcohol. Suggest having it delivered just before your arrival.

Split stays – make sure that bell services know what groceries are to be refrigerated.

Minnie Vans – great for resort to resort. Wait times can be over 10 minutes in morning – so I would suggest ordering it prior to leaving your room. Make sure you talk to bell services to get the code/activation thing added to your lyft account. Can’t use it until you do that.

Last edited by mustinjourney; 12-06-2017 at 03:21 PM.
mustinjourney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:25 PM   #2
Simba's Mom
Grand Villa
 
Simba's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,290
Default

You ordered to go at a TS restaurant? There's been a lot of talk about whether or not people might be able to do that. What meal-did you say dinnertime? Was it a busy time at the GFC? Had you made an ADR, or did you just walk in?
Simba's Mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:34 PM   #3
lovindisney
Add-on Aficionado
 
lovindisney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: a trip away from Disney!
Posts: 8,804
Default

Thanks for the review. Nice to know the Minnie Vans are useful and thanks for the helpful tips.
lovindisney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:42 PM   #4
helenabear
Add-on Aficionado
 
helenabear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 6,215
Default

Thanks for the review. Sorry about Skipper Canteen to us that was some of the best tasting food we had (but no one got the steak there). Big boo on the refrigeration with Bell Services. That would have peeved me big time.
__________________
helenabear is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:53 PM   #5
mustinjourney
Two Bedroom
 
mustinjourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 735
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba's Mom View Post
You ordered to go at a TS restaurant? There's been a lot of talk about whether or not people might be able to do that. What meal-did you say dinnertime? Was it a busy time at the GFC? Had you made an ADR, or did you just walk in?
I had a reservation for 4 at the grand floridian cafe. I showed up for my reservation and just said it would be one person only. After I got seated, I told my server that I would like to order two meals and put them in to-go boxes immediately. He had no problems doing it.

I also tried going the last morning of our trip to the same place and attempt the same thing. However, I did not have a reservation and they were busy so I couldn't get seated.

I did convince them to let me order as a to-go option (had to talk to the manager), but they said it would take 40 minutes since the kitchen was backed up. I elected to just take the hit and go to the QS place and use deluxe credits (). Poor planning on my part on that one.
mustinjourney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 04:57 PM   #6
mustinjourney
Two Bedroom
 
mustinjourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 735
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by helenabear View Post
Thanks for the review. Sorry about Skipper Canteen to us that was some of the best tasting food we had (but no one got the steak there). Big boo on the refrigeration with Bell Services. That would have peeved me big time.
Yeah -- we had 20 bags (including groceries) delivered via bell services so I didn't catch that not everything was delivered. We lost a gallon of milk, pound of sausage, dozen eggs, sliced cheese, and 4 protein shakes. By the time it got delivered, we only had a day or so left and I just didn't feel like complaining at that point. Easier to just forget about it and move on.

Next trip I'm definitely skipping a meal plan and doing some more cooking in the room. Much easier with the young kids.

Last edited by mustinjourney; 12-06-2017 at 05:11 PM.
mustinjourney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 05:03 PM   #7
tomandrobin
DVC Board Guide
 
tomandrobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 27,981
Default

Very nice trip (report) summary!

I may have to give instacart a try for our February trip.
__________________
Love, Faith and Pixie dust!
tomandrobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 05:17 PM   #8
rowrbazzle
Two Bedroom
 
rowrbazzle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: TX
Posts: 738
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba's Mom View Post
You ordered to go at a TS restaurant? There's been a lot of talk about whether or not people might be able to do that. What meal-did you say dinnertime? Was it a busy time at the GFC? Had you made an ADR, or did you just walk in?
On my last trip I walked up to Kona Café and asked if I could order food to go. It was dinnertime; I didn't have a reservation. They gave me a menu, I told them what I wanted, and they brought it out to me a short time later. They didn't seem upset by the request. I hadn't realized it was or could be a problem until reading something about it later.
__________________
rowrbazzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 05:18 PM   #9
Maddismom
One Bedroom
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Delaware
Posts: 234
Default

I'm curious about your Instacart delivery and glad you had good luck with it!
We didn't have the same luck on our trip over Thanksgiving. The grocery and liquor delivery was scheduled to arrive at the Poly at the same as our arrival time and I put notes on the order about this as well.
We received calls/texts/emails that the Liquor was returned and wouldn't be delivered since we were not there to sign for it...?
I called immediately since we were in the towncar en route and one person told me they would bring it back within the hour, another said it was returned and we would receive credit. The communication wasn't good and my husband ended up waiting outside at Bell Svcs for an hour for nothing (he wasn't happy since he never got the beer/wine/liquor!).
We finally left and went over to TOTWL a little later than planned and never ended up doing another delivery...
I still need to write them about this as I'm hoping to provide some feedback to make this a better process next time.
Maddismom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 06:04 PM   #10
mustinjourney
Two Bedroom
 
mustinjourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 735
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddismom View Post
I'm curious about your Instacart delivery and glad you had good luck with it!
We didn't have the same luck on our trip over Thanksgiving. The grocery and liquor delivery was scheduled to arrive at the Poly at the same as our arrival time and I put notes on the order about this as well.
We received calls/texts/emails that the Liquor was returned and wouldn't be delivered since we were not there to sign for it...?
I called immediately since we were in the towncar en route and one person told me they would bring it back within the hour, another said it was returned and we would receive credit. The communication wasn't good and my husband ended up waiting outside at Bell Svcs for an hour for nothing (he wasn't happy since he never got the beer/wine/liquor!).
We finally left and went over to TOTWL a little later than planned and never ended up doing another delivery...
I still need to write them about this as I'm hoping to provide some feedback to make this a better process next time.
interesting that you did the same thing and had a completely different result. Not sure if it was because of a different driver? I was at BWV, but I doubt that would make a difference. I had also already checked-in at the lobby and was in the room when the delivery happened, but I didn't actually meet the instacart delivery person.
mustinjourney is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:42 PM.

© MouseOwners. "MouseOwners" is a registered servicemark. This is an unofficial fan site and is not affiliated in any way with The Walt Disney Company, the Disney Vacation Club, Disney Vacation Development, or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries. All Disney images © The Walt Disney Company.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.