Friday, November 9, 2012

Thoughts on Vacation

Hello, all!
I write to you a week after getting back from Walt Disney World for the annual jaunt to my favorite place. The one thing that comes to mind when I think of the trip is that it was certainly an unusual vacation. It started with very mixed emotions about the service at Disney and also concerns about the Disney Brand itself. Thanks to some competent cast members, the concerns I had were taken care of, but not before I spouted off on how things over the years have slipped. I believe in customer service and feel that any business needs to put customer satisfaction at the forefront. If you make profits alone your goal, you're going to fail miserably, but by being customer-centric...those profits naturally follow and lo and behold...everyone is happy.
95% of the trip was enjoyable, so I won't focus overly much on the negative; just long enough to say that when Disney resorts give out the same room to two different parties and then 3 workers tell you that you have two days' admission on a ticket and then you are stopped at the gate and told  this information is not correct, I can't help but feel that the training needs to be better. Yes, I realize that with 60K plus workers there will be training errors, but not to the degree that I found after having only been on property for four hours. And that's my rant...we'll leave it at that.
The Food and Wine Festival pleased as always and I even caught Billy Ocean one night as he performed at the Eat to the Beat concert venue. I stopped at Gary's Column for the annual hello and frolicked my way around World Showcase.
Halloween at Magic Kingdom was fun and I did my traditional ride on The Haunted Mansion on that spooky day. I spent a couple of nights at Magic Kingdom and I continue to love it even more at night.
Some people may disagree with Animal Kingdom being a must-see, but it remains my favorite park. I enjoy ambling along and taking pictures so it is a natural fit for me. The details and decor are picture-worthy. Also, Animal Kingdom is surprisingly uncrowded on Extra Magic Hours mornings and I rode Everest 4 times in 25 minutes. The last day I was there was some of the best picture taking light I've ever seen. The sun had not come up and there was a slight mist all around the mountain. The pictures almost look like paintings!
The drive down and then back up was enjoyable, too. I love to drive and total drive time from home to the WDW gates was 20 hours (not all at once, I stopped in Savannah!) Of course, a stop at South of the Border was on the list in both directions and I ended up with an extra passenger in the car on the way back: a 40 inch alien that I named Pedro.
I am now going through the 1000 or so pictures I took (thanks goodness for digital cameras! Imagine getting all of those developed!) and of course....planning the next trip!So even with the slight problems that I dealt with, Disney still remains my favorite place.
Happy November, folks!