Park Peeves 2012

by Steve Russo, staff writer
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, here we are again—another edition of what my family has (not so) kindly termed “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Walt Disney World."

This genre started innocently enough in 2008 when my wife and I were hurriedly power walking through Epcot trying desperately to make a dining reservation. It seemed that we were obstructed on our mission by every manner of guest doing their level best to delay us. I took notice of the varied walking styles and named them—humorously, I hoped. That column was title Park Peeves—for obvious reasons.

The reader response to that column was so strong I followed it up a year later with the aptly named Park Peeves 2009. Again, the response exceeded my expectations, and never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ve turned a simple idea into a franchise of sorts with Park Peeves 2010 and Park Peeves 2011.

Truth be told, I was shocked I was creative enough to turn out one of these articles...let alone four. I debated long and hard the sanity of going to the well for a fifth time. I debated with myself and I’m still not sure who won, but here we are with Park Peeves 2012. So what exactly is a Park Peeve?

First of all, keep in mind that I love Walt Disney World. There, I’ve said it. Anyone who knows me understands that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be on vacation. Heck, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be… period. However, my time at Walt Disney World is not all pixie dust and magical moments. Yeah, it’s the Happiest Place on Earth (or second happiest behind Disneyland) but eventually someone will do or say something that refries my beans. He or she will do something that brings out my inner curmudgeon and forces me into a rant. That “someone” is typically a Stupid Guest (I’m not sure if that’s trademarked yet but it should be) performing another Stupid Guest Trick (and yes, I wrote a column called Stupid Guest Tricks)—redundancy and I get along famously. I say “typically” because sometimes that “someone” is not a guest at all but the Disney company itself or a cast member that has inspired my ire.

Either way, here are a few more of the things that just tick me off—aka Park Peeves—at Walt Disney World.

The Technologist

I’m as guilty as the next guy. I’ve been in the parks with a digital camera, camcorder, cell phone, iPod touch, and a voice recorder. I won’t bore you with the “whys” but there have been times I’ve needed all those devices.

However, what’s becoming a problem are the countless new devices that allow people to take photographs or video. Previously, we only had the occasional Stupid Guest that would ruin a dark ride by repeatedly taking flash pictures (see the Flasher from Park Peeves 2009.  Ignoring the fact that the flash illuminates the scene in such a way as to destroy what the Imagineers intended—rendering the photo worthless—they also ruin the ride for the other guests nearby.

This issue has become worse with people now using smart phones, tablets, and iPads to record and photograph at the World. The larger the device’s screen, the greater its illumination and the more distracting it is to other guests.


Can you find five different recording devices in this photo? Photo provided by Keane Arase.

Disney’s (cough, cough) Coffee

I’m a coffee-lover. I need a cup or two each morning to get the motor started and I’m not opposed to a nice cup of coffee to top off a fine meal in the evening. Unfortunately, the best I can often find at Walt Disney World is the ubiquitous Nescafe—which, in my opinion, is to coffee as vegetable soup is to a bocce ball.

This is the twenty-first century. It seems I can’t swing a cat over my head without hitting three Starbucks, two Dunkin’ Donuts and a Seattle’s Best. So why can’t you and I get a decent cup of coffee at Walt Disney World?

The answer is we can but we have to be discriminate and/or prepared.  To help you on your next trip, here’s a partial list of places where I’ve found some “real” (non-Nescafe) coffee at the World:

  • Animal Kingdom – Tusker House.
  • Magic Kingdom – Crystal Palace.
  • Epcot – Kiosks at the American Adventure, Canada, Morocco and Italy. Rose and Crown. Les Chefs de France.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Writer’s Stop and Starring Rolls.
  • Resorts – The Java Bar at the Dolphin, Trail’s End, Narcoossee’s, the Kona Café, Artist Point, Cape May Café, and Wolfgang Puck’s.

I’m sure there are others so send them in and I’ll add them to the list.

As a side note, I know that Disney has entered into an agreement with Starbucks and the first shops have begun to appear in Disneyland. Starbucks has never been my favorite but it’s head, shoulders and most of a torso better than Nescafe. I’ve yet to see any evidence of it in Walt Disney World so this will remain a Park Peeve until I do.

The Price of Suds

One of the many things I enjoy while at Walt Disney World is returning to my room in the late evening, after a particularly tough day of touring theme parks, and kicking back on my patio or balcony with a cold beverage. More often than not, in this specific circumstance, my beverage of choice is a cold beer.

I get it. I’m staying at a vacation resort and I am part of what I’m sure Disney considers its captive audience. If I shop at my resort for a newspaper, toiletries or a box of Cap’n Crunch, I fully expect to be charged a premium for that convenience. I don’t, however, expect to be held up, mugged or robbed at gunpoint.

In the past, I’ve paid $1.50 for a can of beer, which was discounted to $6.00 for the six-pack (Boardwalk’s Screen Door in 2001). I’ve also paid $3.00 per can, discounted to $12.00 for the six-pack (Beach Club’s Marketplace in 2007).

My more recent experiences, however, indicate Disney’s gone from charging a “premium” to something closer to the aforementioned mugging. The price of a single can or bottle of domestic beer, at my last look, was $5.25. When I asked (at Saratoga Springs in 2009) the price to purchase the entire six-pack, the answer was “$31.50”—no discount. Mind you, this is not some exotic brew filtered through a feral cat from a faraway land—this is run-of-the-mill, domestic suds.

Sorry, but that’s outrageous and I won’t pay that kind of inflated price—even at Disney. If I’ve rented a car or used a car service, I’ll take advantage of a grocery stop. If I’ve left the driving to Disney, and I’m staying at my home DVC resort, the Boardwalk, I’ll walk across the street and purchase my beverages at the nearby Hess station. I would urge all of you staying on site to do the same until Disney comes to their senses.

I have an update from my most recent trip (June 2012) which shows, at least at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, they are once again discounting the six-pack. I’m not sure that’s resort-wide yet but I’m hopeful. Even if it is,  you’ll still do much better at Hess, Publix, or 7-Eleven.


Promising but not yet resort-wide. Photo by Steve Russo.

Early Closing Restaurants

I haven’t studied this closely and I can’t give the specifics of which restaurants in which parks are closed and when. I just know, from my experiences, that it seems more restaurants seem to be closing long before park closing times.

This issue seems to be more prevalent with counter service than table service establishments but given the impossible task of getting a last minute Dining Reservation these days, the problem is even more severe.

It’s common on days when the park is closing at 8:00 pm to have counter service establishments stop serving at 6:30 pm. On a trip in early 2011, we got in just under that deadline at Toy Story Pizza Planet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were trying to grab a bite before attending the 8:00 Fantasmic! show. My party was served, but as we ate, I watched a number of groups being turned away. Unfortunately, the only options at that hour would be table service and I’m guessing a table at the Hollywood Brown Derby or Mama Melrose’s might be difficult to get at that late time.

The problem is made worse by those eateries that never seem to be open, such as the Tomorrowland Terrace. I have yet to visit the Magic Kingdom and find this establishment open and serving guests.


Is it ever open? Photo by Steve Russo.

Parking Abusers

I recently had the opportunity to have dinner at Walt Disney World seated next to an Imagineer. Needless to say, I posed questions during most of the meal. Toward the end, the tables were reversed a bit and she asked me what kinds of questions I typically receive from my readers.

First, I was grateful that she surmised I even had readers. Secondly, the hamster wheels in my brain began to spin quickly as I recalled a number of questions about the Disney Dining Plan(s) and Park Passes—these two topics seem to represent the majority of my MousePlanet email. I thought a bit harder (the beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead) and realized that most recently I was receiving a large amount of mail asking for ways to “beat the parking fees” at the theme parks.

My response to those queries is always the same—I cannot condone it. People will ask if they can park at Downtown Disney and bus from there to a park. The answer is “no”; there are no direct buses from Downtown Disney to any of the four major theme parks. You can bus to a resort and transfer, but now you’re talking somewhere between 40 to 90 minutes of travel time. Is that really worth saving the parking fee?

It also creates a nuisance because you’re taking up a parking spot at Downtown Disney which cannot be used by a guest looking to shop there—and the same is true for those that attempt to park at a resort. I’ve also been on buses that have been delayed as one of these guests puts one foot on the bus’s step, then begins to question the driver on the various ways to get from here to Hollywood Studios. The drivers know what’s going on and show remarkable restraint in trying to be helpful while simultaneously discouraging this practice.

My advice? Either pony up the parking fee or beat it legitimately by staying at an on-site resort or purchasing an Annual Pass.

Pleasure Island / Hyperion Wharf


Remember when? Photo by Steve Russo.

“On June 27, 2008, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that it would be completely re-imagining the Downtown Disney area with new shopping, dining and other experiences, including a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island. On September 27, 2008, Pleasure Island will cease to exist as we know it today."

 I used that paragraph as my lead in an article called "Hyperion Wharf," which appeared on December 3, 2010.

Here we are, more than four years after that announcement and instead of this…


The Hyperion Wharf envisioned. Image © Disney.

We have this…


Can you remember the line of people waiting to enter the Comedy Warehouse? Photo by Steve Russo.


That's the Adventurers Club behind the foliage. Photo by Steve Russo.

Disney recently issued a statement that they were now reevaluating their plans but… c’mon, man.

Trip Reports

This isn’t really a Park Peeve, but it is Disney-related. I’m also certain this will offend some—but please hear me out.

I first began “getting serious” about Walt Disney World by reading trip reports. They were (and are) a great way to learn about different attractions, resorts, restaurants, modes of transportation, ticketing options, etc. They’re also a great way to take a vicarious trip to the World between trips of your own. I’ve been writing trip reports, published here on MousePlanet, since 2001.  It’s a way of documenting my own trips while sort of paying back (or forward) for all I’ve learned from other writers.

So what’s the problem? They’ve become too hard to find. I will still read a few report writers that I know will only publish a finished report—and you know who you are. I’ll scan others, and find the author has updated the report with a few paragraphs at various intervals as they find the time to write. These updates are interspersed with pages of the usual exchanges and the result is I can’t find a cohesive report that I can sit and read. I read three paragraphs about their travel and then have to page through 15 exchanges before I can find the second installment. This makes for a very difficult read, and I just don't have the time. 

I find similar problems with the pages and pages of exchanges on trips that haven’t even happened yet. I won’t single any out, but folks, “pre-trip reports” are planning reports and should be placed appropriately within the forums. If we need a separate forum for pre-trip reports, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Before someone strangles me, let me say “I get it.” There is nothing more exciting than planning a trip and/or counting down the days to an upcoming one. It’s our nature to want to talk about it with similar-thinking Disney fans. As I said, “I get it.” I only ask for three things:

  1. If you haven’t taken the trip yet, it’s not a trip report—it’s a planning thread. Place it within the appropriate forum under Walt Disney World Resort Discussions. Please leave the “Trip Reports from Florida” forum for the finished product.
  2. Before posting, take your time to finish (and proofread) the report. I’d rather wait a few weeks for a completed report than read two paragraphs every couple of days. Trust me… a well-written trip report is timeless.
  3. Lastly, I’ll add that everyone posting a trip report should take the time to read the sticky thread “Trip Report Guidelines” at the top of the forum. It really helps to have some uniformity in how reports are titled and written. If they’re titled correctly, it’s very easy to search for one that included a specific resort or time of year that you might be interested in.

For your compliance with the above, I offer great thanks from me and a number of other like-minded trip report readers.

So there you have it… the 2012 list of Park Peeves. I’ve found this list to be a bit different than past ones but with each passing year, the curmudgeon becomes just a bit more prevalent. Thanks for understanding that.

So what’s on your mind? Any new Peeves to share? Let me know ,and as always, thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. By Buckimion

    I so had to laugh at your last entry in regards to Trip Reports. Something I find even more nauseating than a pre-trip report written months before the event is a pre-trip dining report that details all of the writer's minute ADR changes 6 months or more beforehand. I also agree with the peeve in regards to those that make a 5 day trip take MONTHS to finish a report. I do think there should be some leeway for "live" reports though and I greatly appreciate those.

  2. By marclichon

    Man I am with you on Pre-Trip reports and unfinished reports. I've taken several approaches: I've written 50-page single-post reports, then when people complained about such a long read I've taken that same report and made one-post-per-day reports (but only after finishing the whole report, no more than a day or elapsed between posts), then I did one 'live' report (for a Disney Camping forum since it was our first camping trip). I think the per-day approach is best for, it puts the report into bite-size pieces because I'm long winded. Like you, I now only read reports by people who I know will finish them (not to sound like a fan-boy, but yours are my hands-down favorite). I haven't written one in several years but our last few trips weren't very magical, so I didn't want to rehash them. We're going in September this year so I hope to have good one in store!

  3. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    Man I am with you on Pre-Trip reports and unfinished reports. I've taken several approaches: I've written 50-page single-post reports, then when people complained about such a long read I've taken that same report and made one-post-per-day reports (but only after finishing the whole report, no more than a day or elapsed between posts), then I did one 'live' report (for a Disney Camping forum since it was our first camping trip). I think the per-day approach is best for, it puts the report into bite-size pieces because I'm long winded. Like you, I now only read reports by people who I know will finish them (not to sound like a fan-boy, but yours are my hands-down favorite). I haven't written one in several years but our last few trips weren't very magical, so I didn't want to rehash them. We're going in September this year so I hope to have good one in store!

    Thank you.

    I really don't understand why "people complained about such a long read"... it's fairly simple to leave a Web page and return later to continue reading. I've even copy/pasted reports to a Word document that I could "share" with other devices to read as I had time.

    My difficulty is trying to read a report broken into dozens or scores of small pieces separated by lengthy exchanges. I certainly don't read that way when reading a book, newspaper story, magazine article, etc. I'm not sure why some like it for a trip report... maybe someone here will explain it.

  4. By DisneyGator

    The Technologist: yes, it appears that everyone has their phone out to take pics above everyone's head. But the worst is that stinking iPad. When people take picture or video with that, they hold up this giant television if you will, and your attention is helplessly drawn to it.

    As for Pleasure Island, I never went over there, so it means nothing to me that it's closed. To be honest, Pleasure Island openned when I was just a kid. When I'd see the advertisements on the Disney Channel, I remember being scared to go there for fear I'd turn into a donkey like on Pinnochio. I guess that fear never left me as I never ventured past it's gates.

    I definitely am with you on the Tomorrowland Terrace. I went there in the summer of 2002 and had this great sliced meat sandwich. Every trip since then, which hasn't been in the summer, the TT has been closed. And don't even get me started on El Parrot Y Pirata or whatever it's called. I'd love an option in the park other than a burger joint. But it, too, is always closed when we go.

    As far as the high cost of brew, I'm fine with it. I don't drink and I don't really like to be around people even remotely lit up. So if they keep the price of beer out of reach for some people, it makes for a more magical resort experience. But that's just me.

  5. By arnoldvb

    Steve, thanks for another great list of pet peeves. I agree with all of them, although I don't drink alcohol unless it's a glass of wine on a special occasion, so the price of beer doesn't affect me. But the same peeve applies to other things at Disney that are way over-priced.

    DisneyGator (above post) is right on about the ipads in the parks. I had a pretty annoying experience during the parade at Animal Kingdom last December with a lady who was standing right next to us flashing this big screen in my face every time I tried to take a picture of my own. We also saw a guy down in front at the Beauty and the Beast show at the Studios who was holding an ipad up in the air to take video. Thankfully, we weren't directly behind him, so he didn't affect us, but I could just image what the people right behind him were thinking! I know the technology is out there and people are going to us it, but PLEASE be considerate of others who are also trying to enjoy the park experience!

  6. By MaryCGIbson

    Quote Originally Posted by MousePlanet AutoPoster View Post
    Park Peeves 2012 by Steve Russo

    It's time for another chapter of The Curmudgeon's Guide to Walt Disney World.

    Read it here!

    I have just read all of your Pet Peeves over the years and agree with most of them. Missing, however, is one of my pet peeves - people who think the que at Soaring is a single file line, despite exhortations by CMs to move forward and fill all available spaces!! When you move forward to do this, you are met with glares, grumbling or worse. This applies to part of Test Track, and Pirates as well. Second to this is people who play games in the Space Mountain line, don't quit when the line moves and then get angry when you go around them. i sometimes think that Disney should install a marked walkway through the parks with directional arrows painted on it (no scooters or strollers) so people trying to cross the park can do so. We avoid this by going at off peak times ( I won't tell you my favorite week!!!) and taking advantage of special events such as the Halloween party. My daughter and I are huge Disney fans - she still believes in the Disney Magic -and we are able to go several times a year. If you see Pocahantas and a Lady pirate at a Halloween party or two this year, say hello. It will be us!

  7. By Jimbo996

    My take on Pet Peeves.

    1. Cameras are getting better. The next generation of cameras should be able to take low light photos and videos so no flash is required. Thus, you can enjoy your rides and not know anyone is filming. My iPhone seldom uses flash. It just takes such wonderful photos in natural light. The flash isn't as powerful and doesn't ruin other people's experience.

    2. Getting a great cup of coffee is important, but not if I had to pay $5.00 for Latte, or $2.00 for drip coffee. Take advantage of in room coffee with automatic coffee maker. Bring some coffee and filters. Bring your own portable coffee mug. An alternative is coffee at McDonald's, which tastes terrific and very cheap. To take advantage, get a rental car.

    3. Get a six pack and some wine bottles at the local grocery store. A good reason to get a rental car. It'll almost pay for the alcohol.

    4. It is weird that they close the restaurants at 6:30pm, which is dinner hour for most people. It is time to write complaint letters.

    5. Downtown Disney parking can be discouraged if they stop allowing all day parking. Increase the price so all day parking is the same price as the park parking lots. Allow the first 3 hours as free. Each additional hour is $5.00 until maximum of $20.00. Store and restaurant validation extends the free parking to 5 hours. This is the system in Anaheim where I live. Usually, I go there for 3 hours to visit the store and watch the fireworks within the 3 hours limit.

    6. A good reason to skip Downtown Disney.

    7. I don't bother with trip reports much. I usually look for specific ride reports instead like the new Cars ride or Transformers or Harry Potter. The trip reports themselves are long winded. A private person myself, I find them rather exploitive with photos of themselves and kids and giving us every single detail of what they do, their spouse, and kids, how much they spent, what they ate, and their differing bad habits. Really weird and not self aware.

    I live by bullet points and highlights. In 2 to 3 paragraphs, give us the meat. Skip the side stories. No planning stories. Maybe a few tips here and there.

  8. By carolinakid

    We haven't been to Downtown Disney since they closed our favorite club 8 Traxx!

    We always buy our booze from the grocery store first. The prices in the hotel shops are ROBBERY!

    I never read trip reports unless they're by someone I "know" and I trust will be interesting. Dan Young's and Adrienne K's (among others) are a must for me.

    I'm not a big coffee drinker so I can put up with Disney coffee for the length of my stay.

    Trying to watch a parade or show and having someone holding their phone/ipad above their head and in your face is a more than simply annoying phenomenon in recent times. It's downright rude! People just using their phones to text, etc. during dark shows pisses me off as well.

    As we usually visit during the "off" season, we haven't seen the Tomorrowland Terrace or Tortuga Tavern (formerly El Pirata Y El Perico) open in years.

  9. By Drince88

    Jimbo - re 1 - that may be true of flashes, but NOT of view screens. Have you TRIED to find a camera with a view finder and a view screen that could be disabled? They just aren't available unless you move up to a digital SLR

    re 4 -- at least WDW posts that information on their Times Guides. You have to guess at Disneyland when things are going to open late/close early. And for those lamenting the Noodle Terrace never being open -- it was good when I first went there (when they had actual pad thai) but after they changed the menu, I did have one opportunity to try it. SOOOO not worth it. Go to Columbia Harbor House instead!

    re 5 - you do realize that DTD doesn't currently charge for parking, right? What about the people who go to enjoy the live entertainment, or aren't sure they'll find what they want in the stores -- they're going to stop coming if they have to pay for parking.

    re 6 - If Disney had actually DONE what they said they'd do, instead of closing everything and doing nothing, it would be fine. It'd be like closing all of Critter Country in DL with the promise of something fun and exciting to come - and then just leaving it shuttered. 'Just don't go' is such a waste.

  10. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by Drince88 View Post
    Jimbo - re 1 - that may be true of flashes, but NOT of view screens. Have you TRIED to find a camera with a view finder and a view screen that could be disabled? They just aren't available unless you move up to a digital SLR

    re 4 -- at least WDW posts that information on their Times Guides. You have to guess at Disneyland when things are going to open late/close early. And for those lamenting the Noodle Terrace never being open -- it was good when I first went there (when they had actual pad thai) but after they changed the menu, I did have one opportunity to try it. SOOOO not worth it. Go to Columbia Harbor House instead!

    re 5 - you do realize that DTD doesn't currently charge for parking, right? What about the people who go to enjoy the live entertainment, or aren't sure they'll find what they want in the stores -- they're going to stop coming if they have to pay for parking.

    re 6 - If Disney had actually DONE what they said they'd do, instead of closing everything and doing nothing, it would be fine. It'd be like closing all of Critter Country in DL with the promise of something fun and exciting to come - and then just leaving it shuttered. 'Just don't go' is such a waste.

    re1 - Yes, view screens are a problem and even more with iPads. I do find iPads and tablets to be distracting. I agree with you.

    re4 - What good does this do when there are no alternatives? You can leave ahead of time and park hop to a park that will remain open longer. Of course, this doesn't help if you have to stay in the park and catch the last show in the park. You'll have to deal with being hungry.

    re5 - Yes, I do realize. Live entertainment will not last the whole day, same with shopping. Forcing people to pay for parking will discourage abusing DTD parking for ALL DAY PARKING. There's nothing wrong with allowing for free 3 hour parking. Many places already do this.

    re6 - Just don't go is a choice. Normally, if something is closed down, it means there's nothing to see here. And you want to come back to see nothing?

  11. By schnebs

    Totally agree on the Technologists, Steve - especially the folks who have to video fireworks; it's probably my second biggest peeve after glow junk (please, don't get me started on glow junk). Seriously - Put. The camera. Down.

  12. By Teddi

    Thank you, thank you for the list of good coffee places.

    I also very feel you on the trip reports. The smaller community is why MP is my favorite forum but I do read elsewhere. It is very very frustrating to read those trip reports that end up 20+ pages long and unless the author takes the (extreme) amount of time to link in the original post. I wonder if it would be possible to write a trip report and then ask for the post to be locked until the author is done. Is there a way to alter permission in a certain folder/forum? It'd be too much work to have to ask mods to lock or unlock all the time but it would be nice if users could lock their own threads in the trip report folder.

  13. By oregontraveler

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    As far as the high cost of brew, I'm fine with it. I don't drink and I don't really like to be around people even remotely lit up. So if they keep the price of beer out of reach for some people, it makes for a more magical resort experience. But that's just me.

    The point of the article was the writer liked to relax with an Adult beverage after he has visited the parks for the day. The cost of alcohol in the parks is high enough, to a point where some will reconsider drinking for the sake of drinking. But thats a whole other debate. The price for a Domestic 6-pack is just obscene.

  14. By DwarfPlanet

    This is a pre-comment, if you actually want to see my comments come back later,,,,,, j/k

    I so agree with you on the trip reports. When I open a trip report and it's one of the pre-trip kind or the unfinished I never come back to them.

    One of my latest pet peeves is the "Screamers", young ladies who have to scream and scream constantly on a ride or the ones that you are always finding in the Haunted Mansion who have to not only scream but scream shrilly and loudly just to scream in the stretching room at the end.

  15. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    My take on Pet Peeves.

    1. Cameras are getting better. The next generation of cameras should be able to take low light photos and videos so no flash is required. Thus, you can enjoy your rides and not know anyone is filming. My iPhone seldom uses flash. It just takes such wonderful photos in natural light. The flash isn't as powerful and doesn't ruin other people's experience.

    The problem, as I see it, won't go away. I see hundreds of flashbulbs going off at Illuminations, Fantasmic, Wishes... will a flash that illuminates 15' in front of the camera do any good in those environments? Of course not but people still use them.

  16. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    The problem, as I see it, won't go away. I see hundreds of flashbulbs going off at Illuminations, Fantasmic, Wishes... will a flash that illuminates 15' in front of the camera do any good in those environments? Of course not but people still use them.

    Maybe technology will take care of this as well. There is a fireworks mode in most point and shoot cameras. It's just that many people, myself included, don't know how to access it, or forget to access it in time. Thus, the flash still works during a show. It is hoped that a camera in automatic mode can account for this and not flash objects beyond its range. Who knows when this will happen.

  17. By danyoung

    Thanks as always for the excellent list of peeves, Steve. I agree with most of them, but I'm going to disagree on the trip report one. I can understand how it can be a somewhat difficult read. But as someone who posts daily when visiting a Disney park, it's really fun to get back to my room and read a dozen responses to what I've posted the previous day. It's also much easier to post as the trip is happening than it is to remember it all once I arrive back home. Judging from the responses to my trip report entries, a lot of folks really do seem to enjoy the blow by blow as it's happening, kind of a living vicariously through my experiences, which is as fun for me as it is for the readers. And since I go back and re-read what I've posted during past trips, it's not really that hard to skip the comments if you want and just read the main posts from the trip report. Of course that's not as easy as reading it all at once, but it's quite a bit more fun to post over the length of a trip.

    But I do agree that if someone's going to post a report, they should complete it within just a few days. And I also agree that the pre-reports get to be pretty boring to me (and I suspect to most people). I'm not that interested in where you're leaving your cat or how much homework your kids are taking with you or what repairs are done on the car to get it ready for the trip. Keep in mind that what's fascinating to you really doesn't mean a whole bunch to most folks. Oh, and try to make reports a little more interesting than "and then we rode this and then we rode that and then we ate here and then we saw the parade . . .", etc.

  18. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    Thanks as always for the excellent list of peeves, Steve. I agree with most of them, but I'm going to disagree on the trip report one. I can understand how it can be a somewhat difficult read. But as someone who posts daily when visiting a Disney park, it's really fun to get back to my room and read a dozen responses to what I've posted the previous day. It's also much easier to post as the trip is happening than it is to remember it all once I arrive back home. Judging from the responses to my trip report entries, a lot of folks really do seem to enjoy the blow by blow as it's happening, kind of a living vicariously through my experiences, which is as fun for me as it is for the readers. And since I go back and re-read what I've posted during past trips, it's not really that hard to skip the comments if you want and just read the main posts from the trip report. Of course that's not as easy as reading it all at once, but it's quite a bit more fun to post over the length of a trip.

    But I do agree that if someone's going to post a report, they should complete it within just a few days. And I also agree that the pre-reports get to be pretty boring to me (and I suspect to most people). I'm not that interested in where you're leaving your cat or how much homework your kids are taking with you or what repairs are done on the car to get it ready for the trip. Keep in mind that what's fascinating to you really doesn't mean a whole bunch to most folks. Oh, and try to make reports a little more interesting than "and then we rode this and then we rode that and then we ate here and then we saw the parade . . .", etc.

    That's an excellent point, Dan, and you might be surprised to learn I agree. Posting a complete Day One, with several exchanges, followed by a complete Day Two, etc. is fine. My issue is with the two or three paragraphs followed by "will post more when I find time". Day One is now spread over 8 posts with a dozen exchanges between each entry. I just can't enjoy a report that way.

  19. By Ohthatjeff

    Amen on the flash! I left SeaWorld with a headache. I just wanted to look at and occasionally photograph something in the tanks but all I could see was flash reflection after flash reflection. I really wish I could have been there when some of these people got home and found that half their vacation photos were just shots of their own flash reflecting right back at them.

  20. By danyoung

    Even more than the flash these days, I'm having a real hard time with picture taking from an IPAD. It's just to danged big a screen, and people always need to hold it up over their heads, blocking off all view for 2 or 3 rows behind them. Very bad form!

  21. By codewoman

    If you have one of those professional cameras and a good shot, take it. Otherwise, don't bother. Do you really want to view your vacation/life through a lens? The pictures people will enjoy in years to come won't be of the fireworks anyway. They'll be their family members and friends.

  22. By FortWilderness IsHome

    Steve,

    Great article as usual!!

    We noticed a lot of the "Technologists" on our recent trip to Disneyland.....very annoying.

    I don't drink coffe or "suds" so those problems don't affect my WDW vacation, but I can surely sympathize. When I was a teenager I know that Disney did the same thing with six packs of soda at Fort Wilderness that they now do with six packs of beer. Needless to say (since we drove) my Mom always brought soda with us!

    I also can't figure out why Disney often closes their restaurants so early. I remember back in 2004, we were doing an E-night in the Magic Kingdom. We didnt leave the park until 2:00am. However, all the counter service places and all the food carts were closed before 9:00. It was terrible, we had eaten a late lunch and never got to have dinner. We were starving!!!!

    Pleasure Island is just, well........sad.........

    As one of the "like minded trip report readers" I agree with you 100%!!!! Just wait until you have it all typed up and ready to go!!!!

    Thanks for the article Steve! I realy enjoyed it!

    Heidi Commerford

  23. By srusso100

    Quote Originally Posted by FortWilderness IsHome View Post
    Steve,

    Great article as usual!!

    We noticed a lot of the "Technologists" on our recent trip to Disneyland.....very annoying.

    I don't drink coffe or "suds" so those problems don't affect my WDW vacation, but I can surely sympathize. When I was a teenager I know that Disney did the same thing with six packs of soda at Fort Wilderness that they now do with six packs of beer. Needless to say (since we drove) my Mom always brought soda with us!

    I also can't figure out why Disney often closes their restaurants so early. I remember back in 2004, we were doing an E-night in the Magic Kingdom. We didnt leave the park until 2:00am. However, all the counter service places and all the food carts were closed before 9:00. It was terrible, we had eaten a late lunch and never got to have dinner. We were starving!!!!

    Pleasure Island is just, well........sad.........

    As one of the "like minded trip report readers" I agree with you 100%!!!! Just wait until you have it all typed up and ready to go!!!!

    Thanks for the article Steve! I realy enjoyed it!

    Heidi Commerford

    Thanks, Heidi.

  24. By amwiddis

    DwarfPlanet I could not agree with you more! Those teenaged screamers have made my last few visits unbearble! I had a few girls behind me on Big Thunder Mountain that screamed the WHOLE ride. I turned around a couple times to give them the glare (ha) and once I even told them to shut up! So irritating. I also hate the flashes in the dark rides. C'mon people, seriously? How many times and in how many different languages do they need to say "Please no flash photography"??

  25. By Cory Gross

    On our last trip to Disneyland, my girlfriend and I were riding through the Haunted Mansion with a friend of ours from LA. The ride stopped us in the ballroom scene and my friend and I were explaining how trhe illusion worked to my girlfriend (it was her first time to Disneyland). Then someone in the Doombuggy next to us felt the need to check their iPhone, thus illuminating their face in the glass and providing an equally helpful and annoying demonstration of the effect.

  26. By relaaxedwheniamthere

    mr russo about the trip reports ; is the glass half full or half empty . one reason i refuse to go to the world in early dec. is the god cursed cheerleaders & their constant chanting & screaming from the time they arrive to the time they leave .having fun & competing is one thing being a pain in the rump & just plain annoying is another. and that goes for you coaches to

  27. By tinkaparis

    HI Steve,

    I have to say that I do enjoy both your trip reports and your columns and I usually do agree with everything.

    I think that in regards to screaming and pre trip reports and trip reports that there is an element of trying to hold on to a moment or feeling that is at play there.

    When on rides, it may be a way to express fun or even fear. I wouldn't want to pass judgement on someone just because they scream on rides. And what if they scream just to scream? IT is their trip and who knows how often they get to go. I hope they have fun.

    The pre trip reports are the same. Many of us live far away and don't get to go often due to money or other constraints. I know that for me personally when I was going through some tough times that Mouseplanet was an escape for me and I enjoy reading those reports. If you don't, you don't have to read them.

    As for trip reports. YOu never know what is going on in someone's life. Let's just take me as an example. In 3 weeks, my mom totalled her car and was told she couldn't drive anymore, I found out I was allergic to gluten, my boyfriend of 6 years and I decided to break up, and I went back to work. I purposefully post 1 full day report after returning because A. I am busy and B. I like to relive the magic for as long as possible.

    I hope this gives some insight into what others may be thinking although after reading this thread it seems a lot of people feel the same way as you

    Thanks for the article,

  28. By tinkaparis

    OH and I am happy to report that after 8 days, of full day posts my trip report is now done

  29. By danyoung

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkaparis View Post
    I wouldn't want to pass judgement on someone just because they scream on rides. And what if they scream just to scream? IT is their trip and who knows how often they get to go.

    I support the right for people to do whatever makes them happy. That is, right up to the point where it interferes with others in a negative way. If someone is screaming just to scream, they're having a great time while those around are completely distracted from the fun of the attraction. And that's not cool.

  30. By Drince88

    Quote Originally Posted by relaaxedwheniamthere View Post
    having fun & competing is one thing being a pain in the rump & just plain annoying is another. and that goes for you coaches to

    I had an interesting lesson in 'don't judge the book by the cover' one evening at the TTC waiting for a monorail to Epcot. There were people in each of the last two corrals waiting for the monorail as well. One group was some cheer coaches, and the other was a larger group appearing to be a family. I made a comment to the cheer coaches that I hoped they weren't going to start cheering, and they assured me they'd had enough of that to last them. And then the multi-generational family started to do this circle/chanting game that was quite annoying. So it wasn't the cheer coaches that were disruptive, it was the 'regular' family!

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