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    That's My Opinion: Musings and Observations for 2013

    Musings and Observations for 2013 by Steve Russo

    A few year-end thoughts from a dark, Disney mind.

    Read it here!


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    I agree with most of what you're saying - although with the age of the child I travel with, we are monorail people! We love the AK and feel that whole park is underrated. I hate going backwards on expedition Everest though.... Your thoughts on Finding Nemo, Festival of the Lion King and Mickey's philharmagic are spot on! I'm not "enchanted" by the Tiki Birds or the Country Bears either. But do ride the TTA every time. Occasionally we go through Space Mountain when it is lit!!!! Tutto Italia is our favorite Epcot Restaurant but nothing beats a fireworks reservation at the Cali Grill!
    As for the Magic Band/Fast Pass + experience -We love it! We were there Dec15-19th and used it to great advantage. Our record was nine experiences in 4 hours, including lunch, the mountains and Rapunzel! No, we did not linger at lunch but neither did we rush through anything! Admittedly our familiarity with MK helped. I'd sure like to see a system where one could get fast passes into more than one park a day!
    I'd like to comment on a phenomena we are running into more and more though - flash photography on "dark" rides- most especially Pirates!!! These rides are being ruined by people too busy taking pictures to enjoy the ride. Who do we message to complain? It was so bad last week that my daughter may never ride pirates again.
    Thanks for your comments! We too are anxious for our next trip! Maybe we will see you in February! But not on a dark ride!


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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryCGIbson View Post
    I agree with most of what you're saying - although with the age of the child I travel with, we are monorail people! We love the AK and feel that whole park is underrated. I hate going backwards on expedition Everest though.... Your thoughts on Finding Nemo, Festival of the Lion King and Mickey's philharmagic are spot on! I'm not "enchanted" by the Tiki Birds or the Country Bears either. But do ride the TTA every time. Occasionally we go through Space Mountain when it is lit!!!! Tutto Italia is our favorite Epcot Restaurant but nothing beats a fireworks reservation at the Cali Grill!
    As for the Magic Band/Fast Pass + experience -We love it! We were there Dec15-19th and used it to great advantage. Our record was nine experiences in 4 hours, including lunch, the mountains and Rapunzel! No, we did not linger at lunch but neither did we rush through anything! Admittedly our familiarity with MK helped. I'd sure like to see a system where one could get fast passes into more than one park a day!
    I'd like to comment on a phenomena we are running into more and more though - flash photography on "dark" rides- most especially Pirates!!! These rides are being ruined by people too busy taking pictures to enjoy the ride. Who do we message to complain? It was so bad last week that my daughter may never ride pirates again.
    Thanks for your comments! We too are anxious for our next trip! Maybe we will see you in February! But not on a dark ride!
    Thanks for the comments and I totally agree about the flash photography on dark rides... especially Pirates! I've railed about that previously and I'm sure I've included it in at least one Park Peeves column.
    Steve

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    I'm also aggravated by those folks who must photograph what seems to be every single moment of their trips now, especially the shows where they hold up their lighted devices in front of you while you're trying to enjoy the performance. I just don't get it...

    John

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    Laughed out loud when I read your Le Cellier comment. I think the only reason people don't like it is that it's no longer worth it. Used to, it was THE deal to get - 1 TS credit for the best steak. Now it's 2 TS credits, and you realize you can get that same steak for far less at the Outback.

    For Fastpass+, I get your reasoning, but the problem comes when everyone gets to pick a time and then you can't get a FP for Soarin'. Then you're all ticked before the your credit card runs your $200 deposit. I agree, there are merits to the new system, but I'll bet that 80% of visitors will find it a huge frustration.

    The Yeti: why would they need to shut down the whole ride to fix it? It's in a cave, in the dark. They can fix it when 5pm hits and work on it at night. No need to shut down the one reason most people visit AK.

    I'm opposite on the AK shows. I'll catch Nemo every single time, and FotLK every other time. The music of Nemo is just incredible. Plus my kids like it because it's not nearly as loud as Lion King.

    Finally, World Showcase is the best. It's the reason I fly my family 3000 miles to visit WDW instead of driving 350 miles to DL. Just an amazing place. I do wish I could afford to stay at one of the Epcot resorts for that reason. Being able to just walk in once I get to the resort, or even catching WS after a short day at AK, that would be awesome. But not awesome enough to justify an extra $150/night over a moderate for 9 or 10 nights. That's my kids college money. Still, I can dream.

    Working for Disney. No, no. Working (in a Modesto office) for (the money to take a trip to) Disney (World/Land)

    WDW Trips: June 2002, Feb 2004, Dec 2006, Dec 2008, Jan 2010, Feb 2011, Dec 2012
    Disneyland Trips: Feb 2006, Nov 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    Laughed out loud when I read your Le Cellier comment. I think the only reason people don't like it is that it's no longer worth it. Used to, it was THE deal to get - 1 TS credit for the best steak. Now it's 2 TS credits, and you realize you can get that same steak for far less at the Outback.

    For Fastpass+, I get your reasoning, but the problem comes when everyone gets to pick a time and then you can't get a FP for Soarin'. Then you're all ticked before the your credit card runs your $200 deposit. I agree, there are merits to the new system, but I'll bet that 80% of visitors will find it a huge frustration.

    The Yeti: why would they need to shut down the whole ride to fix it? It's in a cave, in the dark. They can fix it when 5pm hits and work on it at night. No need to shut down the one reason most people visit AK.

    I'm opposite on the AK shows. I'll catch Nemo every single time, and FotLK every other time. The music of Nemo is just incredible. Plus my kids like it because it's not nearly as loud as Lion King.

    Finally, World Showcase is the best. It's the reason I fly my family 3000 miles to visit WDW instead of driving 350 miles to DL. Just an amazing place. I do wish I could afford to stay at one of the Epcot resorts for that reason. Being able to just walk in once I get to the resort, or even catching WS after a short day at AK, that would be awesome. But not awesome enough to justify an extra $150/night over a moderate for 9 or 10 nights. That's my kids college money. Still, I can dream.
    Thanks for the comments.

    We'll agree to disagree on FP+. I believe that once it's tweaked and fine-tuned, it will be good for everyone.

    Regarding the Yeti... my understanding is the main problems relate to the Yeti's integration with the structure itself, complicated by his size and the speed of his movements. It's not a quick fix (or it probably would have been done already).
    Steve

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    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Another fine article - thanks Steve! I'm definitely in agreement on:

    • IllumiNations/Wishes: LOVE them both, and always want to catch them at least once (or more) during my trips!
    • IllumiNations pre-show music: I can just sit and listen to that over and over!
    • Baroque Hoedown (Electrical Parade): I'm also a HUGE fan of this music and the accompanying parade, even more so due to the fact that I first saw it at its original park: Disneyland!
    • FotLK/Finding Nemo: I also love the various stage shows at the World, but FotLK is my all-time favorite and I never tire of it or the vocal talent.
    • Le Cellier: I liked their burger, but it is a very expensive place to eat so I doubt I will go back now (I still need to try the burger at Big River Grille though!)
    • PeopleMover: also a HUGE fan of this ride and hope they never discontinue it; I also enjoy the Carousel of Progress even though it is very out-dated, but it IS a Walt Disney classic!
    • Magic Bands/FP+: I'm curious how this will play out for guests who don't stay on-property (like me); I like the "My Disney Experience" app for checking wait times and show times plus making dining reservations, but I'm worried how my trip will be affected the next time I go.
    Pam
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



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    I'm looking forward to my first trip to WDW this coming year (for our honeymoon in September) and you touched on two things I'm really excited about: Mickey's Philharmagic and seeing the Main Street Electrical Parade actually on Main Street. I'm closer to the West Coast, so I've seen it at DCA before, but not where it belongs.


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    We tried the burgers at Big River Grille and Brewing Works on our last trip. And we agree!

    August 2013 TreeHouse Villa Trip http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?197595
    November 2012 Saratoga Springs Food and Wine Festival
    http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?190841
    Our other Disney Trips (including our Disneymoon): http://www.hras.org/kelliandmike.htm

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    Steve

    Thank you for another fantastic article. I totally agree with you regarding Le Cellier, the new menu sucks. They took the prime rib off....are you kidding me, not to mention the prices are way out of line now. Second, the great movie ride most definitely needs to be completely overhauled ( except for the Wizard of Oz portion) Lastly as a regular visitor (monthly at worst) I have to say the Magicbands are the bomb, especially for the night owls like myself.

    Wish you and your family continued good health and a happy new year!!

    If you choose not to decide..you still have made a choice.

  12. #11

    le cellier mr russo does not taste as GOOD PERIOD . 18 years I have been going to " the world " been to le cellier many times some as a walk up . SERVICE , SERVICE , QUALITY , PRICE. you can get better steak at yachtsman steakhouse . one day I am going to walk into rose & crown & there will be she who must be obeyed & yourself & I will have the honor of buying you a " carls combo" or your black & tan & we can swap war stories . that is what I love about Disney !!! it allows you to be young again. welcome home , yes sir gets me everytime im a sucker for that . reflections of earth !! my wife has the opening minutes down to the moment the torches are BLOWN OUT . I would also like to thank you for all your hard work on your blogs all year long . it allows me a moment to once again stop, clear my mind , read your blog & just be a kid again .

    my best to you mr russo,
    dusty


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    Can anyone say when the le Cellier menu changed? I've only been once, so I have only one frame of reference (May 2013). (The details don't seem to be in the original story or follow up comments)

    I did like it, but I'm not sure if I experienced the "old" or the "new".

    So if it changed before May 2013 ,then you all know (or at least know of) someone who likes it since the menu changed!

    Last edited by Dave1313; 12-29-2013 at 03:57 PM.
    -Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by relaaxedwheniamthere View Post
    le cellier mr russo does not taste as GOOD PERIOD . 18 years I have been going to " the world " been to le cellier many times some as a walk up . SERVICE , SERVICE , QUALITY , PRICE. you can get better steak at yachtsman steakhouse . one day I am going to walk into rose & crown & there will be she who must be obeyed & yourself & I will have the honor of buying you a " carls combo" or your black & tan & we can swap war stories . that is what I love about Disney !!! it allows you to be young again. welcome home , yes sir gets me everytime im a sucker for that . reflections of earth !! my wife has the opening minutes down to the moment the torches are BLOWN OUT . I would also like to thank you for all your hard work on your blogs all year long . it allows me a moment to once again stop, clear my mind , read your blog & just be a kid again .

    my best to you mr russo,
    dusty
    Thanks, Dusty. Did you know "Carl's Combo" is on the menu as the "Golden"?
    Steve

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    Thanks, Dusty. Did you know "Carl's Combo" is on the menu as the "Golden"?
    yes sir I knew. carl schutt is the bartender everyone comes to see . he nicknamed it that. & for " FRIENDS OF THE ROSE & CROWN " that is our little facebook page . it kinda stuck . I invite you to join if you wish .

    happy new year, god bless America, dusty

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    Out of this world for Disney DwarfPlanet's Avatar
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    Holding out on the fastpass + thingie until they do get it tweaked.

    As I told my son one trip don't be so busy snapping photo's that you don't even remember what happened.

    Otherwise, yep to the rest.

    "Although we think it's DOPEY that Pluto has been downgraded to a dwarf planet, which has made some people GRUMPY and others just SLEEPY, we are not BASHFUL in saying we would be HAPPY if Disney's Pluto would join us as an 8th dwarf. We think this is just what the DOC ordered and is nothing to SNEEZE at."

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