Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 147 “Disney Dissected”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-bye5w-12b6130

As previously promised on the podcast, this week we bring you our review of the current state of Disney parks in Florida.  Having spent a week down in somewhat sunny, often rainy and oppressively hot Florida we’ve had a chance to see if Disney has been able to bring the magic back. We’ll take a look at the resort, the amenities offered and the service. Then we’ll take a look at the technology Disney is trying to throw at it’s guests to justify some of the drawbacks and costs. Finally we’ll talk about our experience at three of the four parks and where they stand compared to previous visits.

Show Notes

[INTRO THEME]

[INTRODUCTIONS] (2-3 minutes)

  • Insights Into Entertainment: Episode 147 “Disney Dissected”
  • My patient and understanding co-host Michelle Whalen

[SHOW SUMMARY] (2-3 minutes)

  • As previously promised on the podcast, this week we bring you our review of the current state of Disney parks in Florida.  Having spent a week down in somewhat sunny, often rainy and oppressively hot Florida we’ve had a chance to see if Disney has been able to bring the magic back. We’ll take a look at the resort, the amenities offered and the service. Then we’ll take a look at the technology Disney is trying to throw at it’s guests to justify some of the drawbacks and costs. Finally we’ll talk about our experience at three of the four parks and where they stand compared to previous visits.

[Show Plugs] (2-3 minutes)

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Contact Info

[TRANSITION]

[SEGMENT 1:] (8-12 minutes)

Resort Review

  • All-Star Movies
    • Resort renovations
      • Hardwood floors
      • Sliding privacy doors
      • Convertible bed
    • Resort issues
      • Lock plate falling off the door
      • Room phone not functional
      • Multiple issues with plumbing
      • Poor drainage in multiple resort areas
      • Run down and tired
      • Elevator down for maintenance
      • Fumes from pressure washing stairwell for most of the day
    • Resort Amenities
      • Room service reduction
      • Paying for parking
      • Expensive reusable mugs with poorly made tops
      • Limited refills on drinks
      • Lack of table seating at pool side
      • Lack of shade around pool in general
      • Quickserve food services

[AD 1]

[SEGMENT 2:] (8-12 minutes)

Technology Overview

Disney World App

  • Pretty much required for most things you want to do in the park
  • Poorly designed app with a confusing interface
  • Bugs in the app prevented functions from working from simple things like calling the front desk to activating your $50 magicband plus on android phones
  • Difficult to find simple information like wait times or determine if reservations for services were available
  • Wait times (when you could find them) were not accurately reflected in real time all the time
  • Unlocking your room with your phone was convenient but bulky and awkward
  • Complete lack of charging locations for phones unless you wanted to pay to charge your phone
  • Lack of strategic use of the technology, such as for controlling bus dispatching, notifications for ideal wait times, or crowd control since they are tracking your movement in the park

Genie+

  • $14 a day and it got us on a maximum of three rides total was disappointing
  • Only one ride can be “booked” at a time, with rides getting booked up early in the day forcing you to burn your reservation in the afternoon and not be able to book another one until that was used or canceled
  • Even with “lightning” lane passes, some of the lanes had up to 20 minute waits
  • Some of the most popular rides were eligible and required additional purchases to get on
  • It provided significantly inferior services to the old Fast Pass system and requires you to pay to get anything worthwhile out of it
  • Was not available during the Halloween party

Magicband Plus

  • Too expensive at nearly $50
  • Needs to be charged and recharged, about 90 minutes
  • Could not activate it through the app on an android phone
  • Didn’t see the point, band would light up and vibrate randomly throughout the park but it wasn’t clear what the purpose or the attraction was to interact with
  • Bands are too sweaty to wear comfortably
  • Kept falling off and risked being lost
  • It was unclear to guests and to the staff what styles were available and wear to obtain them from
  • Uses a proprietary charger with an exceeding short cord, additional charges could be bought in the parks but you couldn’t use a standard Qi charger for them
  • No sound, if they chimed or played music it would enhance the experience. 

[AD 2]

[SEGMENT 3:] (8-12 minutes)

Park Experience

  • Epcot
    • Crowded despite having to deal with reservation system
    • Large sections of the park shutdown for construction, causing disruptions in traffic flow and even longer than usual walks
    • Emphasis on using order ahead through the app for food
    • Lack of shade and air conditioned areas to escape the heat
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Crowded despite having to deal with reservation system
    • Restricted access to quickserve locations making it difficult to find shelter in the rain or air conditioning in the heat
    • Lack of unique merchandise in key shops like Doc Ondars
      • There was a fifteen minute queue just to look at the Legacy Lightsabers for purchase at the shop
    • Not enough seating indoor or outdoor at the quick serve locations
    • Unable to book experiences like Savi’s, Droid Workshop or Oogas
    • General lack of character experiences in Galaxy’s Edge
    • Solo rider times for key rides not advertised and had to be inquired about (Smugglers Run being one of them)
    • Whole sections closed down like a ghost town like over by the Star Wars Launch Bay
    • Lack of ambiance characters on the street
    • Many stores closed down
  • Magic Kingdom
    • Entirely too crowded for a special event
    • Agonizingly slow process getting into the park for the halloween party
    • Very subdued decorations for the party
    • Key rides shutdown or affected by construction (railroad)
    • Several shops closed down
    • Lack of interactive areas for Magicband +
    • Unnecessarily long lines for trick or treating, having people line up an hour ahead of time and wait

[TRANSITION]

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Transcription

00:00:01:20 – 00:00:49:22
Michelle
Insightful podcasts by informative host insights into Things, a podcast network editor. Welcome to Insights Into Entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Your hosts Joseph and Michelle Whelan, a husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics, are exploring all things from music and movies to television and fandom.

00:00:51:04 – 00:01:05:20
Joseph
Welcome to Insights Into Entertainment. This is Episode 147 Disney Dissect the. I am your host Joseph Whelan and my patient and understanding co-host Michelle Rowland.

00:01:05:25 – 00:01:06:28
Michelle
Hi everyone.

00:01:07:11 – 00:01:11:29
Joseph
So what makes you patient and understanding for this episode, dear?

00:01:12:15 – 00:01:16:16
Michelle
I don’t know. I’m kind of confused.

00:01:16:24 – 00:01:21:26
Joseph
It’s because you were patient and understanding with me when I was down in Disney.

00:01:21:27 – 00:01:31:22
Michelle
Oh, okay. I thought that’s what it was, but I wasn’t completely sure I didn’t divorce you while we were away.

00:01:31:23 – 00:01:49:27
Joseph
So true. That is true. And welcome back to the show. By the way, you did take a couple of episodes off of same sort of step in topics you wanted to do. Yup. Yup. So this is your first time back in the studio recording for almost two months now, isn’t it?

00:01:49:28 – 00:02:13:11
Michelle
I can’t even remember because I did an Insights into Tomorrow episode. Right. So we kind of filmed and then we were trying to find other topics to talk about, to give Sam some more time doing the entertainment stuff. And me. And it just never. There wasn’t anything that, you know.

00:02:13:17 – 00:02:14:12
Joseph
Even jumping out.

00:02:14:15 – 00:02:16:03
Michelle
Yeah, nothing jumping out.

00:02:16:12 – 00:02:20:29
Joseph
But he kind of took to the entertainment side so he would come in and fill in for you more.

00:02:21:13 – 00:02:22:01
Michelle
So, you know.

00:02:23:02 – 00:02:29:12
Joseph
Today we are talking about dissecting Disney and this is really about our this trip.

00:02:29:19 – 00:02:30:27
Michelle
Right. Right.

00:02:31:10 – 00:02:56:22
Joseph
So as previously promised on this podcast this week, we bring you our review of the current state of Disney parks in Florida. Having spent a week down in somewhat sunny, often rainy and oppressively hot Florida, we’ve had a chance to see if Disney has been able to bring the magic back. We’ll take a look at the resort we stayed at, the amenities offered and the service at the resort.

00:02:57:12 – 00:03:20:16
Joseph
Then we’ll take a look at some of the technology that Disney is trying to throw at its guests to justify the drawbacks of a lack of service in some parts. But a cost as well as they pretend to give you more services. Right. And finally, we’ll talk about our experiences at three of the four parks, because you don’t really go to Animal Kingdom for the kind of socks.

00:03:22:05 – 00:03:23:20
Michelle
Other people enjoy that.

00:03:24:00 – 00:03:25:15
Joseph
Enjoy it. We don’t.

00:03:25:15 – 00:03:27:29
Michelle
We don’t. It’s not one of our favorites now.

00:03:28:02 – 00:03:56:29
Joseph
And it’s not a holiday park for us, even if we do go right. And we’ll talk about where those parks stand compared to our previous visits. Before we do that, though, I do want to invite our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio versions of this podcast listed as insights into entertainment. You can also find audio and video versions of all the network’s podcasts listed as insights in the Things.

00:03:57:10 – 00:04:27:07
Joseph
And we’re available any place you can get a podcast these days. And we’d also invite you to write in, give us your feedback, tell us how we’re doing. Give us your show suggestions, what you want us to talk about. You can email us at comments and insight. The things dot com. We’re on Twitter. Insights underscore things or you can visit us on our official website at WWE dot insights into things dot com for all of our social media links.

00:04:27:28 – 00:04:28:23
Joseph
Are we ready?

00:04:28:26 – 00:04:29:20
Michelle
Sure.

00:04:29:26 – 00:04:32:25
Joseph
Let’s go.

00:04:36:16 – 00:04:53:17
Joseph
So the resort. So this was our first time back since COVID hit. It’s been over two years since we’ve been back. I tried to take it kind of like we didn’t go overboard on this time. We actually did sell our DVC in the interim since our last time down.

00:04:53:17 – 00:04:53:28
Michelle
Correct.

00:04:54:26 – 00:04:58:06
Joseph
So we weren’t staying at the DVC resort. We stated all star movies.

00:04:58:13 – 00:04:58:25
Michelle
Correct.

00:04:59:09 – 00:05:03:23
Joseph
So what was your first impression of the resort itself?

00:05:05:14 – 00:05:51:09
Michelle
Overall, I really didn’t notice much of a difference. One of the things that they’ve been pushing even before COVID started was getting you to do online, check in in advance of your reservation so that you didn’t have to go to the front desk for for check in. And again, like I said, that’s been something that was going on before COVID even happened, because we would normally do that where we would check in a couple of weeks beforehand and then usually once we got down to the area, we would get a text message saying our room was ready and we could just go to our room because we already had Magic Band.

00:05:51:09 – 00:06:31:16
Michelle
So there was no need to go to get a key or anything like that. So that was still in place. So again, we didn’t go to the front desk. Basically, the only thing that we checked in with was security. Once we first got there, you know, show and guard, they basically yep, you’re here and you know, we kind of went on our merry little way and probably within, I don’t know, 20 minutes of us getting to the physical resort, we got a text message that our room was ready, but we had gone to the main building to go get lunch and kind of walk around a little bit before we actually made our way.

00:06:31:16 – 00:07:08:22
Michelle
So again, nothing really seemed that different from the last time. Of course, it’s been probably three or four years maybe since we’ve been at an All Stars or a value resort, because again, we were using our DVC for most of the trip. So again, I didn’t notice anything major, you know, different in in it obviously. And we’ll talk about it, you know, that the rooms have obviously been updated since the last time we had stayed at a value resort.

00:07:09:03 – 00:07:21:27
Joseph
Yeah, and that’s really the first the biggest thing I think that I noticed about the resort was they pulled out all the carpeting because it was always themed rooms. It was always some kind of, you know, print carpet on there that was.

00:07:21:27 – 00:07:22:07
Michelle
Right.

00:07:22:09 – 00:07:25:13
Joseph
Relevant to the and the building that you’re in or whatever.

00:07:25:14 – 00:07:26:02
Michelle
Right. Right.

00:07:26:12 – 00:07:40:10
Joseph
We happened to be staying in Dalmatians while we were there, but they put them out. You had all hardwood floors. You had all brand new furniture, correct? You had really what was an innovative approach to furniture where you had a convertible bed.

00:07:40:10 – 00:07:41:12
Michelle
Right. You had.

00:07:41:12 – 00:07:41:25
Joseph
Room for.

00:07:41:25 – 00:07:47:22
Michelle
Sort of a murphy bed that when the Murphy bed was up, it was actually a table.

00:07:47:22 – 00:07:48:04
Joseph
Right.

00:07:48:11 – 00:08:02:24
Michelle
So that and it was so funny because I think the first time we went to convert it, we were like, What do we do? Like there were no instructions when all you really had to do was just pull it down. So you just had to make sure that the table was was cleared off.

00:08:02:24 – 00:08:09:14
Joseph
What was nice about it was the the use of space was much better than than it had been with two beds in there.

00:08:09:14 – 00:08:09:27
Michelle
Yes.

00:08:10:03 – 00:08:29:18
Joseph
The problem was, is that when we come in me specifically, I come in with lots load of techno and what I’ll do is I’ll set up on the table and it’ll leave it there for the duration. And fortunately we didn’t have that option here because the table went away at night because we had the use of the bed.

00:08:29:18 – 00:08:53:00
Michelle
Right, right. So I can totally see if it was something where you were maybe only, you know, two people in a room and you didn’t need to have that right second bed all the time that you could, you know, easily leave everything. But I could see for anybody that had three or more people, you would always have to transform your room or just leave your bed down.

00:08:53:00 – 00:09:03:09
Michelle
But then you didn’t have you didn’t have the table space. So that would have been a nice thing if they had something where they had like a flip down table attached to the wall.

00:09:03:09 – 00:09:04:26
Joseph
You know, like an IKEA style table.

00:09:04:26 – 00:09:10:10
Michelle
Right? Where you could just flip it down. And this way put the chairs because you still had two chairs.

00:09:10:17 – 00:09:12:02
Joseph
And to do something with the chairs.

00:09:12:02 – 00:09:35:03
Michelle
Right. And that and that was what was so funny was like seeing other rooms, what people did with their chairs. Now, the other thing, too, that we had was you rented a scooter from an outside company, so we had it in our room. So that kind of ate up some of the room in some of the the surface room of the hotel room.

00:09:35:12 – 00:09:56:04
Michelle
So a lot of people would put their chairs against the window. There was actually one that actually just put them outside. Yeah, I guess they needed, you know, that much more room. So it was kind of you didn’t know what to do with the chairs once the bed was down, like there was no specific, you know, area, it was basically, okay, well we’ll put it over here for today.

00:09:56:04 – 00:10:09:09
Joseph
So the upgrade of the bathroom is well, so traditionally what you had was you have a small bathroom that has a shower and a toilet and then your sink is outside and sort of like a little prep area.

00:10:09:09 – 00:10:09:21
Michelle
Right.

00:10:09:23 – 00:10:13:09
Joseph
And that for privacy in that area, you typically have a curtain that go well.

00:10:13:09 – 00:10:17:27
Michelle
It was funny because I remember years ago they didn’t have the curtain right.

00:10:17:27 – 00:10:19:06
Joseph
You had nothing there. Right.

00:10:19:14 – 00:10:40:24
Michelle
So that this way, if somebody was brushing their teeth, it was out in the open. But where the sink, where the bathtub and shower and the toilet are, there was always a door. Right. And then at some point they added a curtain so that this way, if you wanted to get changed. Right. And you know how. So they, you know, so they evolved.

00:10:40:24 – 00:11:16:16
Joseph
So that’s been evolved into a barn door style sliding door, right. For additional privacy. But what really struck me was they replaced the door, the swing door on hinges, the bathroom area with a telescoping door. Right. It slid in behind the wall itself, which I thought was a brilliant use of space. The one thing that they really did was when they redid the rooms, they did things to maximize that space, like over where your cooler could get on the refrigerator more, where the cooler is, there’s a piece of furniture.

00:11:16:22 – 00:11:19:04
Joseph
It’s kind of like a little breakfast nook.

00:11:19:04 – 00:11:29:25
Michelle
Right? Right. So because they had a coffee maker, right? Like a single use coffee maker there, they had your ice bucket there. And then there was a drawer.

00:11:30:05 – 00:11:31:06
Joseph
For all drinks.

00:11:31:06 – 00:11:42:15
Michelle
Or had like the coffees and the teas and everything had to go with the coffee and that area you can kind of use as a bar, right? You know, your beverage keeping, you know, snack.

00:11:42:15 – 00:11:43:16
Joseph
Or beverage part basic.

00:11:43:16 – 00:11:44:08
Michelle
Yeah. Yeah.

00:11:44:22 – 00:11:57:09
Joseph
So the room was was okay. There were a few issues with it. The one thing we noticed when we got in there was the lock plate on the door was loose and eventually fell off really the room phone did not work.

00:11:57:11 – 00:12:02:26
Michelle
And that we only found out because we went to call the front desk one time and went.

00:12:03:29 – 00:12:15:04
Joseph
So we couldn’t call the front desk from the phone. We tried to use the app and we’ll get into the app a little bit later, but we tried to use the app and that didn’t work either. Right. So you having to find one of the main servers and they were in.

00:12:15:04 – 00:12:17:02
Michelle
Housekeeping and they got a hold.

00:12:17:06 – 00:12:27:15
Joseph
Of but we had multiple issues with plumbing right there where they had to come and sneak the door and it wasn’t just us there were three other instances where I saw them walking around with the snake.

00:12:27:15 – 00:12:29:02
Michelle
Oh, wow. So this other people.

00:12:29:03 – 00:12:31:29
Joseph
Okay, so it was an issue with the hotel itself.

00:12:32:00 – 00:12:32:29
Michelle
Okay, okay.

00:12:33:21 – 00:12:41:10
Joseph
What else do we have? Oh, drain it. Oh, my goodness. It rained. And you had literally swamp land, if you will.

00:12:41:11 – 00:12:41:19
Michelle
And.

00:12:41:23 – 00:12:42:11
Joseph
Around the.

00:12:42:12 – 00:12:53:03
Michelle
And that’s something just in general with Disney you can find on Tik-Tok and YouTube. Other people posting videos from the park. Sure.

00:12:53:03 – 00:12:54:00
Joseph
Where, but I’ve.

00:12:54:00 – 00:12:54:18
Michelle
Never had.

00:12:54:18 – 00:12:56:28
Joseph
That experience in all the resorts. Yeah.

00:12:57:00 – 00:12:58:06
Michelle
I don’t think we’ve ever do that.

00:12:58:06 – 00:13:03:26
Joseph
Ever because someone would be out there taking care of it. True. They may have had drainage issues.

00:13:04:02 – 00:13:04:29
Michelle
In the past, but we.

00:13:04:29 – 00:13:05:07
Joseph
Never.

00:13:05:07 – 00:13:08:03
Michelle
Apparently just never noticed. Yeah, that could be.

00:13:08:03 – 00:13:29:26
Joseph
Yeah. And the one area about the parking lot that had the big drainage issue, they had one of the grounds crew come through on one of their little John Deere’s and track mud all over the sidewalk in the process of doing that right. And no one came out of so and it started it’s starting to look a little rundown and tired.

00:13:29:27 – 00:13:52:00
Joseph
There were a couple of areas there. Some there were basically fire hydrant areas that that weren’t maintained. They were rusted, the paint was coming on. Okay. So it was very under Disney. Like, you know, Disney is always even at the the discount resorts like that, they’ve always kept up with it and it just seems like it’s kind of rundown.

00:13:52:15 – 00:13:58:26
Joseph
The first day we got there, the elevator, one of the two elevators was off line. It took them most of the day to get that one fixed.

00:13:58:27 – 00:14:24:16
Michelle
Well, what they were actually cleaning they were cleaning the I don’t know what you call it on the top where they had like plastic panels covering the lights. Because when we had gotten up to our room or down, I don’t remember, I ended up seeing the the maintenance and they were basically just cleaning. So there wasn’t anything wrong with the elevator.

00:14:24:16 – 00:14:25:27
Michelle
They were actually just cleaning it.

00:14:26:03 – 00:14:49:24
Joseph
So and then really the only other big complaint I had about the resort was you had someone out there for the better part of a day. It was pressure washing one of the staircases of the building. Right. And just the fumes, because it was a it was an internal combustion engine compressor. They were using you. You were gagging as soon as you walked out of your room.

00:14:50:05 – 00:14:53:24
Joseph
Now, granted, it was hot, it was humid, the air wasn’t good to begin.

00:14:53:24 – 00:14:56:07
Michelle
Right. Might not have been a good day to do.

00:14:56:07 – 00:15:04:24
Joseph
That, you know? Yeah. I mean, have have a little, you know, wait for people to at least leave and go to the parks because this was like, you know, first.

00:15:04:24 – 00:15:05:25
Michelle
First thing in the morning.

00:15:05:25 – 00:15:20:09
Joseph
Yeah, they’re doing this. Yeah. Just type stuff. So room service. So we’re, we normally don’t do room service. We’ll put our Do Not Disturb sign out there. They used to do daily room service.

00:15:20:11 – 00:15:20:26
Michelle
Correct.

00:15:21:04 – 00:15:26:06
Joseph
And now they’re down to every other day, every every three days, three days or something.

00:15:26:06 – 00:15:27:24
Michelle
And I think it’s every four days if you’re.

00:15:27:24 – 00:15:47:25
Joseph
DC Yeah. And to me that’s a significant drop in service because they didn’t reduce the cost of the room at all, right? In fact it went up and you’re getting less service there. So that was a ding I think in in my book Paying for Parking. Still one of my biggest pet peeves that I have there.

00:15:47:25 – 00:16:10:12
Michelle
Right. And and again, going back to that whole hey, we didn’t check in. There was nothing ever said in anything like that, by the way, because for the most part, we this was actually one of the first times that we didn’t charge things back to the room one because we had gotten we had done a whole gift card thing.

00:16:10:12 – 00:16:28:23
Michelle
So that was a good portion of our they are our charges and then we just charge it on to our various credit cards because in most cases, if you were using a Disney credit card and your bill was a certain amount, you would actually get 10% off. Whereas if you were charging it back to the room, you weren’t going to get that that discount.

00:16:29:19 – 00:16:57:00
Michelle
So it wasn’t until the end of our stay when we actually got our portfolio and I was like, Oh, what, we’re all these charges and opened it up and it was Parking Park that was literally all it was. And that’s where again, we’ve been there since they’ve been charging for parking. So it wasn’t a shock for us. But what if this was our first time and we didn’t know that something if you know if you know granted.

00:16:57:00 – 00:17:19:11
Michelle
Yes. It’s not the security officers job checking you in, but if you’re doing the mobile check in, if you’re checking in, you know, online beforehand, something should pop up saying, hey, by the way, just so you know, if you’re driving, you’re going to have this $15 a day or whatever. Because it depends.

00:17:19:15 – 00:17:21:17
Joseph
That we were driving is what I’d like to know.

00:17:21:17 – 00:17:25:20
Michelle
Well, because we checked in with security. That was what?

00:17:26:11 – 00:17:33:00
Joseph
So that could have been a rental car we had for one day and got rid of us or we going to be getting dropped off by someone. How do they know that you’re parking?

00:17:33:00 – 00:17:36:04
Michelle
Well, and then that’s the thing is that we would have had to.

00:17:36:05 – 00:17:41:04
Joseph
You know, I would dispute that charge because it was never detailed anywhere on the original bill.

00:17:41:04 – 00:17:52:02
Michelle
And that’s the other thing, too, because what used to happen is when you would go to the front desk and check in, they would ask you, oh, are you, you know, staying on property because they would give you a parking time.

00:17:52:02 – 00:17:52:15
Joseph
Right?

00:17:52:17 – 00:17:54:18
Michelle
Right. So now they don’t even print out.

00:17:54:25 – 00:17:56:05
Joseph
I’m going to get your license plate.

00:17:56:11 – 00:18:06:24
Michelle
Right. But that’s they got my license plate number when we checked in because security did have there was a camera in the towards the back that could see my my tag.

00:18:06:25 – 00:18:09:18
Joseph
So the nickel and diming you there, which was very annoying.

00:18:09:18 – 00:18:09:28
Michelle
Right.

00:18:10:06 – 00:18:31:10
Joseph
We bought the mugs which I didn’t want to do. But you thought it would be a good idea to buy the mugs, right? And the quality of mugs have gone down significantly. They’ve got the cheapest lids and lids kept falling off. I almost lost the lid twice. It’s just I was very disappointed at that. But that’s there to support the fact that you can’t get multiple refills.

00:18:31:10 – 00:18:40:18
Joseph
You know, you’re you buy a disposable cup from them, you pay, what, $4 for it, and you’re allowed free refills within an hour or two.

00:18:40:18 – 00:18:40:27
Michelle
Right?

00:18:41:01 – 00:18:43:01
Joseph
Right. Which is idiotic. It really is.

00:18:43:01 – 00:18:43:13
Michelle
Right.

00:18:44:00 – 00:18:47:16
Joseph
Because Disney is not losing money on me, getting a refill on my soda.

00:18:47:22 – 00:18:51:09
Michelle
And granted, you almost never got a refill on your soda.

00:18:51:09 – 00:18:51:21
Joseph
Right?

00:18:52:10 – 00:18:52:26
Michelle
Right. Yeah.

00:18:53:06 – 00:18:55:16
Joseph
So and the problem that I had, but the.

00:18:55:16 – 00:18:56:15
Michelle
Fact that they.

00:18:56:28 – 00:19:01:25
Joseph
You’re trying to do that for dollars for for a soda where 90% of the cost of that drink.

00:19:01:25 – 00:19:03:05
Michelle
Is that just the cup. Yeah.

00:19:03:05 – 00:19:22:26
Joseph
And you’re putting a chip in that cup now so I can’t get refills, which makes the cup more expensive. It’s just, it’s an idiotic business model that they have. Mm. I didn’t want to go on with any other complaints about the resorts. Did you have any highlights, any positives, anything nice to say to counter any of my complaints?

00:19:22:28 – 00:19:46:06
Michelle
Well, the one thing I did like, which was new, I think, since the last time we were there, is that they actually have when you go to the busses, if you’re taking the the resort transportation, because usually most of the time, if we didn’t have the scooter already, we would usually just drive to the park this way we wouldn’t have to worry about waiting for a bus or anything else.

00:19:46:12 – 00:20:06:00
Michelle
But because of the scooter we had to use the transportation. And one of the nice things was as soon as you got to the area, they had a little schedule showing you when the next bus, you know, estimated time when the next bus for the different locations was going to be coming. So that I thought was very helpful.

00:20:06:00 – 00:20:11:07
Joseph
And they had that at the monitor. And the higher end resort rise was new for us right.

00:20:11:21 – 00:20:17:13
Michelle
At the value. Right. So that that was a nice touch to to say so.

00:20:17:29 – 00:21:03:13
Joseph
All right. So we’ll give them a plus for that one, then. Let’s take a quick break and we’ll come back and we’ll talk about some of the technology that Disney is throwing at some of these issues. We’ll be right back. For over seven years, the second city empire has been the premier community guild. In the online game, star Wars, The Old Republic, with hundreds of friendly and helpful active members, a weekly schedule of nightly events, annual guild, meet and greets and an active community both on the Web and on Discord.

00:21:04:15 – 00:21:34:17
Joseph
The Second City Empire is more than your typical gaming group. We’re family. Join us on the Star Forge server for nightly events such as Operation Flash Flashpoints, World Boss Funds, Star Wars, Trivia Guild, Lottery and much more. Visit us on the Web today at W W W Dark the second civ an empire dot com.

00:21:39:24 – 00:22:14:14
Joseph
Welcome back to insights into entertainment today we are dissecting Disney. So one of the things that Disney has done to try to enhance the experience is go the technology route and that technology round is apps on your smartphone at this point in time and in bands and all that stuff. So right now, the Disney World app that they have with their nice little 50th anniversary logo on there is the central part of that technology push.

00:22:14:14 – 00:22:23:27
Joseph
You pretty much need it for anything you want to do booking rides, checking times, getting into your room, pretending to call the front office because it doesn’t work for that.

00:22:25:20 – 00:22:29:18
Michelle
Your photo pass? Yeah. Reservations.

00:22:30:02 – 00:23:02:21
Joseph
I have to say that I was very unimpressed with the app. I found it to be poorly designed. Someone looked like someone gave a five year old a box of crown, the handsome design interface. It was confusing. It was not obvious or intuitive to use, finding the information that I want to just to go in and look up times or to look up available slots for reservations for different extra services like building a lightsaber or droid.

00:23:02:21 – 00:23:22:09
Joseph
You couldn’t find that stuff and the whole thing was predicated upon this whole idea of build your experience. And in order to do that, you pick the things you want and that’s all that you saw you ever wanted to stop. Outside of that, you had to go back through the entire wizard and reset all your settings in there to see anything.

00:23:22:09 – 00:23:32:20
Joseph
And I thought it was a terrible experience right down to the point that you bought one of the new magic brand pluses. And what happened with that? Tell us what happened with that.

00:23:32:20 – 00:23:58:02
Michelle
So I wasn’t going to buy the new magic band, but the last day we were in a park happened to be the Magic Kingdom. And at Magic Kingdom they had a haunted mansion one. So of course, me being the Haunted Mansion person that I am all right, fine. I’ll get it, you know, just to have it, whatever. And we charge it.

00:23:58:02 – 00:24:22:26
Michelle
While we were in all presidents, I. You had already bought one and you had no issues getting it to sync up. Everything was fine. I go to sync it up and I get an error and I try and go through again. And then it tells me that the app has a bug and to uninstall and reinstall the app to try and fix it.

00:24:23:08 – 00:24:47:27
Michelle
I do. That doesn’t work. I try taking because there’s a QR code. So so first I try linking it by the wireless, by the wireless link. That didn’t work. Then I tried taking a picture of the QR code to do it that way. That doesn’t work. Then I even tried entering the code manually.

00:24:47:27 – 00:24:50:20
Joseph
Entering, considering how small those numbers are. Right.

00:24:51:03 – 00:25:19:23
Michelle
Entering the code? Nothing. As soon as I would do it, it would fail. And again, tell me that I had a bug. So by that point I was just fed up and after spending almost $50 on it, I went back to the store to return it. And of course the cast member there was like, Oh, well, if you do decide to, you know, purchase another one, we do have tech support people, you know, located throughout the park that would be, you know, willing to to help you.

00:25:19:23 – 00:25:30:15
Michelle
And by that point, it was already our last day. You know, maybe if it was our first day in the park and I had, you know, the whole rest of the week to worry about it, but this was literally our last day.

00:25:30:20 – 00:25:31:01
Joseph
Yeah.

00:25:31:14 – 00:25:32:09
Michelle
I was like, you know.

00:25:33:01 – 00:25:44:10
Joseph
It wasn’t. It wasn’t the band itself. It was the app, right? So that’s really where I think the biggest complaint was because there was a lot of things with that app, you know, calling the front office well, that.

00:25:44:10 – 00:25:45:25
Michelle
Were following the front desk.

00:25:45:25 – 00:25:51:25
Joseph
We tried to call the front desk. You can get to it through the app if you could find it, because it wasn’t easy to find.

00:25:51:25 – 00:26:07:24
Michelle
Right. And again, that was another thing. Another challenge of things weren’t where you thought they would be, right? If you did a search, you would eventually find it. But it was like, I shouldn’t have to be searching every time.

00:26:07:24 – 00:26:11:17
Joseph
It was almost like they did no user testing of this.

00:26:11:17 – 00:26:32:06
Michelle
And then that was the whole thing too, because when we were having the issues with the bathroom, I was like, All right, well, let me just call the front desk. And I’m like, and I couldn’t even like Google a phone number for the front desk either. And then the one day I actually just walked up to the front desk and they were like, Oh, well, you could have just done it on your app.

00:26:32:06 – 00:26:56:00
Michelle
I’m like, No, I couldn’t. And she didn’t believe me. And she walked me through it and was like, Oh, okay, that is a problem. Yeah, no shit. Like, they know it’s a problem. Like, I’m pretty tech savvy. I understand not everybody is tech savvy and you have to talk to, you know, every guest like were an idiot, right?

00:26:56:12 – 00:27:11:05
Michelle
It really wasn’t there and then. So you can’t even say, oh, well, it’s because you had an android, because you even had the same problem and you have an Apple phone. So it clearly wasn’t user error. It was something with your app specific. Right. Right.

00:27:11:20 – 00:27:23:25
Joseph
So some of the other things I found were an issue was you could look up wait times for rides. They weren’t accurate. I was when you guys were going around and doing things, I was riding around the scooter looking at wait times on the app.

00:27:23:26 – 00:27:24:12
Michelle
Okay.

00:27:24:13 – 00:27:27:00
Joseph
Oh, my God. They were 15 minutes off. 20 minutes.

00:27:27:00 – 00:27:28:05
Michelle
Or so. They weren’t updating.

00:27:28:05 – 00:27:34:00
Joseph
They were done in real time on the app itself, which makes the app useless. Right? Right. Comes to that.

00:27:34:06 – 00:27:46:00
Michelle
Right. Because especially if that’s what you’re determining. Oh, well, this way it’s only right. Know this way. 60 Minutes. But yet the wait might only be 15 minutes if you actually went there. But then you don’t want to go there because the.

00:27:46:00 – 00:28:04:26
Joseph
Higher purpose of the genie experience, right, is to you don’t need a fast pants because we can tell you when these times trend. Right and it’s completely wrong. I lost my my magic band at one point in time because it was on a little holding on my your.

00:28:04:26 – 00:28:05:18
Michelle
Original.

00:28:05:18 – 00:28:29:12
Joseph
My original one so we kind of panicked a little bit there. We were able to get the ticket to get into the park, but it didn’t have a way to get into the room. Right. So I was able to use the app for that and it worked, but it was awkward. It’s like four screens in, you know, you don’t know where on the phone it’s transmitting the so moving the phone all around the thing that’s running it thing to work right.

00:28:29:12 – 00:28:41:12
Joseph
It scans the first time and it goes green, but it won’t unlock. Well, there’s a prompt on the screen that you don’t get an audible prompt on where you have to accept the ability to unlock the door back.

00:28:41:14 – 00:28:44:03
Michelle
Yeah, see, I never tried doing it that way, so.

00:28:44:03 – 00:28:51:25
Joseph
Yeah, it was, it was not it was not good. And the other problem is they don’t have any free charging stations that you can use around the park.

00:28:51:25 – 00:28:52:18
Michelle
Right. And you want to.

00:28:52:18 – 00:28:53:06
Joseph
Pay for.

00:28:53:08 – 00:29:17:17
Michelle
That. Right. I was going to say there they have the charging rods that I know. And that was something that we knew going in from various other people who had been there and various other YouTube videos and things that said if you’re going, you’re going to be on your phone a whole lot more. Make sure you have some sort of battery back up so that you can charge your phone.

00:29:17:17 – 00:29:32:28
Michelle
And honestly, there was only for me. There was one day that I, I had to charge my phone, but I really didn’t even need to. But that was also because we really weren’t using the phone as as much. Well, I’ll.

00:29:32:28 – 00:29:33:20
Joseph
Talk about that.

00:29:34:07 – 00:29:35:03
Michelle
Yeah. Yeah.

00:29:35:23 – 00:29:53:03
Joseph
And the last big complaint that I have about the app is they have this device where they’re tracking the vast majority of people because you’re dependent on it to use the park and they’re not using the data. We wind up outside waiting for a bus. It took us almost an hour.

00:29:53:04 – 00:29:53:17
Michelle
Right.

00:29:53:21 – 00:30:14:28
Joseph
To get a bus when the entire line was full, waiting for busses. How are you not using this? This you’re tracking these people, right? And you’re tracking them for the purpose of taking a picture and tying it to their account. Mm hmm. How are you not using that information to dispatch busses? Right. Or crowd control for different like.

00:30:15:11 – 00:30:27:17
Joseph
I don’t understand why you would have all this information and then not use it for a constructive purpose. Mm hmm. They’re using it to try to sell you stuff. That’s all they’re using it for. And that’s a huge insult to me. To the guests.

00:30:27:18 – 00:30:54:09
Michelle
Yeah, no, I agree. But especially when it comes to the end of the night where, you know, everybody is tired. Everybody is cranky. Yeah. Why you would have all these empty busses now. Granted, maybe you didn’t have enough bus drivers, but maybe that’s what you need to to plan is that you always know at the end of the night you’re going to have a rush of people wanting to get out.

00:30:54:19 – 00:30:56:17
Michelle
Why not put that extra?

00:30:56:17 – 00:31:09:11
Joseph
Well, and in the past, they’ve had instances where you’ve had cast members at the bus stop and the cast members are calling in dispatch saying, I need a bus for this or I need a bus for this resume. They didn’t have that.

00:31:09:11 – 00:31:09:25
Michelle
Right.

00:31:09:27 – 00:31:14:21
Joseph
And they didn’t need it because they had the technology. They just chose not to use the technology.

00:31:14:21 – 00:31:16:15
Michelle
Yeah.

00:31:16:15 – 00:31:21:01
Joseph
So let’s talk about that massive scam that is Jeanie Plus.

00:31:22:08 – 00:31:23:17
Michelle
Oh, Jeanie Plus.

00:31:23:17 – 00:31:28:13
Joseph
So tell us how much we paid for that and how much we used it.

00:31:28:23 – 00:31:58:07
Michelle
So we paid $15 per person per day that we were in a park on a regular park ticket. So we only went to the park for three days. But the one day was the Halloween party and because of it being a special ticketed event, you don’t use Jeanie Plus on that day. So we only had to pay for Jeanie Plus for two of the days that we were in the park.

00:31:58:07 – 00:32:19:23
Michelle
So $45 or $90 total for the two days for the three of us because each individual person has to have it for however many days. And since we hadn’t used it before, we figured, you know what, let’s try it. Let let’s give it a try and see if it makes a difference or help solve one.

00:32:19:23 – 00:32:22:03
Joseph
For the team so we could review it for the park. Right.

00:32:22:11 – 00:32:39:18
Michelle
And granted, there are lots of pros and cons. You know, there were a couple of friends of mine who had had used it before and they said, Oh, it takes a couple of days to get used to it. I’m like, Well, I only have two days to get used to it, so I either need it to work or not work.

00:32:39:18 – 00:33:02:07
Michelle
And, and the big push before used to be, you know, buying it ahead of time and and making sure you had even though you couldn’t really do anything with it until the day of and now there’s some other changes that they’re making to it. And again, I’m not really 100% sure of what they all are because we’re not there anymore.

00:33:02:07 – 00:33:15:18
Michelle
So I’m not really paying attention as to what those changes are. But I know one of the major change was that you didn’t have to purchase it until that day. If you wanted to get it. So again, it doesn’t. Right.

00:33:15:18 – 00:33:20:16
Joseph
So how many rides did we get on using that system?

00:33:20:16 – 00:33:32:05
Michelle
Okay. So in Epcot, which was our first day, we did the Ramie ride with it. We did have.

00:33:32:05 – 00:33:34:27
Joseph
A we did it with that or that with the virtual car, you.

00:33:34:29 – 00:33:45:15
Michelle
Know, the, the virtual the only thing that the virtual. Q You could do with the virtual. Q was the Guardians of the Galaxy and that we didn’t get and that I woke up at.

00:33:45:18 – 00:33:46:04
Joseph
So we got.

00:33:46:05 – 00:33:58:17
Michelle
645 so because that they had a 7:00 and a 1:00 for the virtual Q and I got up at 645 to try and get a 7:00. And by 7:00.

00:33:58:18 – 00:34:00:14
Joseph
For well, we already knew the virtual queues were.

00:34:00:14 – 00:34:01:24
Michelle
Broken. Right. So that.

00:34:01:24 – 00:34:03:28
Joseph
Was cool. We got one ride in that front.

00:34:04:04 – 00:34:20:12
Michelle
Well we technically had to because we ended up getting Soran And then you didn’t want to go on Soran so we canceled it and we ended up doing the single rider, which we didn’t know was available when.

00:34:20:12 – 00:34:22:26
Joseph
That’s another thing I want to talk about. But when we get the sure.

00:34:23:04 – 00:34:44:18
Michelle
So, so we did have one. But then since you decided not to go on the ride and we, they had that available, we use that in place of it. So we had gotten rid of that. And then that was when we made the Remmy reservation. Because the other thing too is when you make the reservation on the genie, plus now you can only have one at a time, right?

00:34:44:21 – 00:34:58:19
Michelle
And then once the time frame starts for that reservation or that lightning lane, that’s when you can make an additional lightning lane through your genie plus.

00:34:58:24 – 00:35:02:07
Joseph
All right. So we paid $15 and paid $30.

00:35:02:13 – 00:35:03:13
Michelle
$45.

00:35:03:22 – 00:35:18:21
Joseph
$45 because I didn’t go on ramp. So I’m not counting myself for that. So for $30, you went on one ride in Epcot? Mm. For $30? Mm hmm. And how much are we paid for park tickets?

00:35:18:21 – 00:35:19:25
Michelle
More than $30.

00:35:20:03 – 00:35:21:02
Joseph
But 20 maybe.

00:35:21:17 – 00:35:24:22
Michelle
I think it was about that. I don’t remember.

00:35:24:22 – 00:35:32:05
Joseph
What, $30 for one ride. Then we did studios. How many rides did we get on with Genie? Plus, with that.

00:35:32:25 – 00:35:56:20
Michelle
We did. Maddie and I did Toy Story mania with it. We did Mickey and Minis Runaway Coaster with that. What else did we do and we didn’t need it for? No, we did use it for smuggler’s run.

00:35:56:20 – 00:35:57:27
Joseph
For the second run through.

00:35:58:00 – 00:36:00:27
Michelle
For the second run because again we did the.

00:36:03:05 – 00:36:03:18
Joseph
Solo.

00:36:03:18 – 00:36:10:03
Michelle
Ride, the sole solo rider. So we got three. Did we get a fourth one. I think we only got three.

00:36:10:05 – 00:36:10:20
Joseph
Okay.

00:36:10:24 – 00:36:11:27
Michelle
So you got three with that.

00:36:11:29 – 00:36:27:03
Joseph
So that’s now 60 bucks for four rides. Was it worth it?

00:36:27:03 – 00:36:29:23
Michelle
Probably not.

00:36:30:07 – 00:36:37:21
Joseph
This is $60 on top of $120 per person per ticket to get in to ride the rides anyway.

00:36:38:06 – 00:36:38:17
Michelle
Right.

00:36:39:09 – 00:37:08:03
Joseph
So we’re talking about $150 per person for Disney plus and a ticket and Genie Price got you four rides. That to me is a scam. The other thing that I found was interesting is we got into Magic Kingdom early on Friday because of the of the party. Right. And it was still regular admission in there. Mm hmm. We walked past Peter Pan.

00:37:08:03 – 00:37:08:16
Michelle
Right.

00:37:08:23 – 00:37:23:24
Joseph
And the Lightning Lane and the Lightning Lane was easily a 20 minute wait at Peter Pan. What’s the purpose of the Lightning Lane? If it’s a 20 minute wait right. This is the problem that I had.

00:37:24:04 – 00:37:34:29
Michelle
Well, when the regular ride is a 60 minute wait, a 20 minute wait is nothing. But again. So, yes, we know not lightning.

00:37:34:29 – 00:37:49:27
Joseph
I’m sorry. Right? I understand that lightning is. I walk in and should be able to get right on the ride. Right. Especially when I’m paying for right. What rides were not eligible for Jeanie Buss.

00:37:49:27 – 00:37:51:18
Michelle
I don’t know if there was anything.

00:37:51:18 – 00:37:53:00
Joseph
Besides Guardians of the Galaxy.

00:37:53:00 – 00:37:56:10
Michelle
Well, Guardians of the Galaxy because that was the virtual kid.

00:37:56:11 – 00:38:03:02
Joseph
Right. So you could only do virtual was rising. Resist in one you’re the pay to get on or was that eligible?

00:38:03:03 – 00:38:18:00
Michelle
I think it might have been because I think what they do with their certain big ticket rides, you know, kind of their e-ticket rides is they offer the additional pay for me.

00:38:18:15 – 00:38:19:00
Joseph
Right?

00:38:19:01 – 00:38:27:23
Michelle
Lightning LANE And there’s so many of those that they put out and then there’s so many late regular lightning lanes.

00:38:27:23 – 00:38:29:25
Joseph
And here’s where the rules came in.

00:38:29:26 – 00:38:30:15
Michelle
Oh, yeah.

00:38:30:18 – 00:38:39:05
Joseph
So pay $15 for for Genie plus unless you want to go in is on the right and then pay another $15. You get on that ride right.

00:38:39:05 – 00:38:43:16
Michelle
And it’s not always $15 because depending on because I’m.

00:38:43:27 – 00:38:44:09
Joseph
On.

00:38:44:14 – 00:39:13:01
Michelle
Right the time here, so it could be $20 to go but all the ones that we saw where they were an additional fee. So like the Guardians of the Galaxy, we didn’t get the virtual queue, but now they didn’t. So with with that it was only virtual queue or paid lightning lane. There was no standby meaning you couldn’t just go and wait for 2 hours on a line to get on the right.

00:39:13:02 – 00:39:13:14
Joseph
Board for.

00:39:13:14 – 00:39:24:05
Michelle
That. Right. So it was either you got in the virtual queue for free, free, or you paid $15 to get a tax hearing.

00:39:24:05 – 00:39:28:03
Joseph
Genie The Scam of Genie Plus two Fastpass.

00:39:28:03 – 00:39:31:20
Michelle
And oh my God, there’s, there’s no comparison between.

00:39:32:05 – 00:39:34:19
Joseph
That. I think that ends the argument on that.

00:39:34:19 – 00:39:47:06
Michelle
One right there was I personally didn’t. Now, if we had done a full Magic Kingdom Day, I could see Magic Kingdom.

00:39:47:06 – 00:39:47:27
Joseph
Well, the problem.

00:39:47:28 – 00:39:48:11
Michelle
Using.

00:39:48:11 – 00:39:50:19
Joseph
That is you can only reserve one at a time.

00:39:50:22 – 00:39:51:08
Michelle
Right?

00:39:51:09 – 00:39:57:28
Joseph
And you have a one hour cooldown after you’ve either canceled it or used it.

00:39:57:28 – 00:39:59:11
Michelle
I don’t think we did in the app.

00:39:59:11 – 00:39:59:23
Joseph
You do.

00:40:00:23 – 00:40:03:11
Michelle
Because I was actually able because the one.

00:40:03:24 – 00:40:05:21
Joseph
Might might not have been on canceling, but.

00:40:06:02 – 00:40:20:13
Michelle
I don’t know. Because There was one that I had one reservation and I actually had the next one and it was actually overlapping because the one was from like 1 to 2 and the next one was from like 130 to 230. And I was actually surprised that.

00:40:20:16 – 00:40:22:13
Joseph
Well, they may have changed that or.

00:40:22:13 – 00:40:22:29
Michelle
It could have been a.

00:40:23:07 – 00:40:26:24
Joseph
Colleague that was down there two months. I don’t know said that was one of the problems they ran it.

00:40:26:24 – 00:40:29:01
Michelle
So maybe that was something that.

00:40:29:07 – 00:40:37:15
Joseph
So let’s move on from genie plus because if I stay on that, my blood pressure is going to go up. Real quick. Before we go to break, Magic Band plus.

00:40:37:16 – 00:40:38:00
Michelle
Okay.

00:40:38:12 – 00:40:40:28
Joseph
Is it worth the price? It was about 50 bucks with tax.

00:40:42:00 – 00:40:44:08
Michelle
I wouldn’t have done it.

00:40:44:18 – 00:40:50:14
Joseph
Oh, how do you feel about the fact that you need to charge thing takes 90 minutes of charging first by you got to charge it.

00:40:50:18 – 00:40:57:25
Michelle
You know what? I already have my watch that needs to charge. So that was kind of. Oh, okay.

00:40:57:26 – 00:41:00:19
Joseph
Well and that’s the other thing. It’s a non it’s a proprietary.

00:41:00:19 – 00:41:09:19
Michelle
Right. And that was the thing that that you said was, oh, great. So now if I lose this charger, I’m never going to be able to charge my magic band again. But they sell.

00:41:09:19 – 00:41:10:09
Joseph
Extra charge.

00:41:10:09 – 00:41:12:23
Michelle
But they do sell extra chargers for you.

00:41:12:23 – 00:41:19:16
Joseph
But God forbid you give me a charge, a device that can charge on an apple charger or an Android charger or a standard charger.

00:41:19:17 – 00:41:33:00
Michelle
Right. And the other thing, too, was, yeah, it’s cute that you walk past, you know, so they have the different statues and stuff. And if you wave your band in front of it, sometimes.

00:41:33:11 – 00:41:37:12
Joseph
You passed it. Or if you look at it, you have no idea how to trigger these things.

00:41:37:12 – 00:41:58:16
Michelle
Right. Because there’s nothing there’s nothing that I found. I’m sure probably somebody has put together a YouTube video saying, oh, here are the different things that your magic band will do. And the thing is, they’ve been doing things like this for years back when they had the 100th anniversary, you know, the hundred year anniversary or the 100th birthday for Walt Disney.

00:41:58:16 – 00:42:10:28
Michelle
They had these special pins that you could get. And when you would go on certain rides, the pins would light up. Or if you were watching the fireworks, they’d light up, you know. So this is kind of the same thing.

00:42:10:28 – 00:42:26:02
Joseph
They’re vinyl. They don’t like the old ones. So they’re very they’re very hard to wear. Right. Mine fell off three times right. After having put it on. I had a I had to have you carry it right because I was afraid I was going to lose it right. What else that I have down here?

00:42:26:11 – 00:42:27:18
Michelle
It didn’t have any sound.

00:42:27:18 – 00:42:33:24
Joseph
No sound. So like the thing would vibrate and the thing would light up, but, like, you have no idea why, right?

00:42:33:27 – 00:42:46:20
Michelle
Because when we were walking out of Magic Kingdom, we didn’t walk past anything special that I knew. And all of a sudden, I’m like, Why is the band right? You know, I already have enough things on my watch to notify me of different things. I didn’t need.

00:42:46:20 – 00:43:00:04
Joseph
It. Almost like, Hey, this is a really cool technology, let’s sell it. And nobody was like, What are we going to do with it? What? What’s the purpose of it? It’s a seller. We’ll figure it out later. Whereas when the magic bands came out, they had a true purpose.

00:43:00:04 – 00:43:24:11
Michelle
Right? And I could see if we annual pass holders or we were still DVC and we’d be going down a couple of times a year. All right, sure. I’ll get the new band because that’s the other thing, too, is that no longer as a resort guest do you get a free magic band? Because that was what they kind of moved away from the room keys, right?

00:43:24:11 – 00:43:27:12
Joseph
The crack dealers at Disney gave you the first dose and then you got to pay.

00:43:27:12 – 00:43:35:01
Michelle
For the real. Fortunately, we have enough magic bands we don’t need. We don’t need to buy a $50 one.

00:43:35:01 – 00:43:43:05
Joseph
So all right. So the technology to me seems more like a scam than anything else. And it’s a money grab. I think we can kind of agree on it to a large extent.

00:43:43:05 – 00:43:44:04
Michelle
Sure. We’ll go with that.

00:43:44:17 – 00:43:58:06
Joseph
All right. Let’s take our last break and we’ll come back and we’ll chop up the park experience. We’ll be right back.

00:43:58:06 – 00:44:35:14
Michelle
Insights into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Talking to real teens about real teen problems. Explore issues from braces to puberty, social anxiety to financial responsibility. Each week we talk about the topics concerning today’s youth. We look at how the issues affect teens, how to cope with these issues, and how parents, friends and loved ones can help teens handle these challenges.

00:44:35:14 – 00:45:00:20
Michelle
Check out our video episodes on YouTube.com Backslash Insights into things. Catch our audio versions on podcast are insights into teens XCOM or on the web and insights into things XCOM.

00:45:00:20 – 00:45:05:21
Joseph
All right, we’re back bitching about Disney parks. Here we go.

00:45:05:21 – 00:45:07:16
Michelle
Show me such a great fight.

00:45:08:24 – 00:45:17:14
Joseph
So we’ve got we’ve got three to complain about. And I’ll start off with Epcot. So we’re still at the point where we have to make a reservation to get in the park.

00:45:17:17 – 00:45:18:03
Michelle
Correct.

00:45:18:09 – 00:45:23:24
Joseph
One would think the reason for that was to regulate how many people were in the park. You would think, right?

00:45:23:25 – 00:45:24:15
Michelle
You would think.

00:45:24:19 – 00:45:48:29
Joseph
Still parks and crowded as hell don’t understand that kind of make a reservation but I got people crawling all over me still so needs need to explain that one huge sections of the park are shut down because of the construction that’s happening, which isn’t unusual for Disney. The problem is, is it requires you to completely reroute how you get from point A to point B, correct.

00:45:49:01 – 00:46:11:28
Joseph
In a park that has lizard, literally the longest walk between rides already. So it’s forcing you to extend those rides where they probably could have been a little more strategic in how they set those barriers up. Oh, and the fact that you have to order ahead for food down because you can’t even stand in line to buy food almost at any of the restaurants.

00:46:11:28 – 00:46:12:29
Joseph
The Quick Service Restaurant.

00:46:12:29 – 00:46:18:23
Michelle
Well, we actually didn’t run into any problems with any of the quick serve. They were still.

00:46:18:23 – 00:46:19:03
Joseph
Good.

00:46:19:10 – 00:46:29:25
Michelle
We were still able to it wasn’t mandatory because I know when they first opened after COVID, that was the only way you could.

00:46:30:07 – 00:46:30:16
Joseph
Rent and.

00:46:30:17 – 00:46:31:22
Michelle
Also make reservations.

00:46:31:22 – 00:46:34:00
Joseph
30 years, because I have a very specific plan. Right.

00:46:34:09 – 00:47:13:09
Michelle
So so Epcot, we really didn’t do any because the food and wine was going on so that you had to go to the the little individual booths and they weren’t really that busy. And then after that, we, we kind of cut our day early because that was our one. That was our first day in the park. It was extremely hot and, you know, there was like, you know, so much lack of shaded areas for us to go and hide that we just kind of called it a day just because we were just overheated by that point.

00:47:13:09 – 00:47:18:09
Michelle
So we really didn’t have a big quick service meal. We just kind of snack.

00:47:18:09 – 00:47:18:21
Joseph
So we.

00:47:18:21 – 00:47:19:09
Michelle
Were waiting.

00:47:19:09 – 00:47:21:08
Joseph
Long enough for it to really be a problem.

00:47:21:08 – 00:47:22:09
Michelle
Right? Right.

00:47:22:25 – 00:47:50:24
Joseph
So then we go to Hollywood studios. Mm hmm. Again, crowded. Don’t know why the restriction to the quick serve. I had a problem with here because it was hot. Normally, when it’s hot, I’ll go into the ABC commissary just to cool off, sit in a corner somewhere, relax. Couldn’t get in if I didn’t have a food order. They literally had bouncers right sitting outside the entrance, not letting people in.

00:47:50:24 – 00:47:51:07
Michelle
Right.

00:47:52:10 – 00:47:56:00
Joseph
How do you how do you do that? It’s like getting a reservation at McDonald’s at City.

00:47:56:00 – 00:48:03:13
Michelle
I didn’t understand. But you did eventually get in because you said you were just going.

00:48:03:18 – 00:48:07:24
Joseph
To take me literally between two pillars to charge the scooter.

00:48:08:06 – 00:48:09:29
Michelle
I went to go find you. I’m like, we’re that.

00:48:09:29 – 00:48:24:04
Joseph
I guess now I’ll give I give total props to all the cast members that were over there because they weren’t they were making sure I was okay. They were offering me water. The one woman comes over and asks if I wanted to have a cupcake. So the staff was fantastic, right. But the policies, I think.

00:48:24:20 – 00:48:34:00
Michelle
That’s I think what it is, is it’s the policies that other people put into place. And now you have these cast members that are the ones enforcing it and are like, Oh.

00:48:34:21 – 00:48:59:03
Joseph
So the other thing that bugged me was I was very much looking forward to going to Galaxy’s Edge, going the darkened bars and shopping and buying some of the unique stuff. And they didn’t have Jack in there, right? Not only did they not have anything cool, new or interesting, they had a 20 minute wait in line to look at the light sabers that they had in the in the case.

00:48:59:03 – 00:49:05:07
Joseph
If you wanted to buy something. Mm hmm. A 20 minute wait to. But to spend 200 and some dollars.

00:49:06:03 – 00:49:07:11
Michelle
Yeah, that is crazy.

00:49:07:12 – 00:49:18:29
Joseph
That’s ridiculous. And they had a guy sitting there enforcing, like, almost he had a cattle prod, making sure people were bunched up on top of each other because the lines were so tight.

00:49:18:29 – 00:49:19:13
Michelle
Right.

00:49:19:24 – 00:49:35:00
Joseph
That was such a turn off for me. It really was. What else do we have finding a sue? The quick serve was was like, you know, almost impossible. You had people just circling around, waiting for someone to go.

00:49:35:00 – 00:49:50:05
Michelle
Right, right now. We did eat at the docking station. Right. And that, again, didn’t have a problem, you know, because they asked when you got there, did you do a mobile order or are you placing an order because they had two separate lines, right?

00:49:50:06 – 00:49:54:07
Joseph
They let you get an order or something which was which was nice because I could at least get in and cool off.

00:49:54:08 – 00:50:01:21
Michelle
Right. And then, you know, just like, you know, the quick serve. But we’ve had that before where there weren’t always tables available depending on what time.

00:50:01:21 – 00:50:08:20
Joseph
Well before a quick serve was always aware way that we went because right for the mobile ordering was how we went because that was our secret weapon.

00:50:08:21 – 00:50:18:09
Michelle
Right? Right. And now everybody does it. So of course, you need the app to do it. You know, it worked out. We you know, we still got a meal. We still had a table, you know.

00:50:18:13 – 00:50:23:01
Joseph
Couldn’t couldn’t book anything with surveys workshop to build a well.

00:50:23:01 – 00:50:29:06
Michelle
And, honestly, if we had tried to book it when we had made our reservations, we probably.

00:50:29:06 – 00:50:33:20
Joseph
Wouldn’t have to book spending $400.

00:50:33:20 – 00:50:35:00
Michelle
I understand that.

00:50:35:00 – 00:50:37:12
Joseph
Six months in advance. I shouldn’t have to do that.

00:50:37:12 – 00:50:45:22
Michelle
Right. But that’s the thing is when we went two years ago, we made those reservations as soon as we could make them. And we got the biggest.

00:50:45:22 – 00:50:49:19
Joseph
Concern here was I couldn’t even see that there weren’t reservations or how to make that.

00:50:50:01 – 00:50:50:13
Michelle
Library.

00:50:50:15 – 00:50:51:08
Joseph
Option. Right.

00:50:51:13 – 00:50:55:15
Michelle
I took a while off because I had to search. I did a search for surveys.

00:50:55:15 – 00:50:56:14
Joseph
And right.

00:50:56:21 – 00:51:09:28
Michelle
Again, it was a whole secret thing because if I didn’t know what to call it right, I wouldn’t been able to find that there was nothing obvious. Again, you had to search, but you had to know what you were searching for.

00:51:09:28 – 00:51:23:07
Joseph
So there were far fewer character interactions at Galaxy’s Edge this time than the last time. Everywhere you look, last time we were there, there was a character. You were bumping into him left and right, right there were two or three.

00:51:23:07 – 00:51:26:03
Michelle
Kylo Ren and some Stormtrooper, right? That was not.

00:51:26:03 – 00:51:29:10
Joseph
One point in time Chewbacca. And somebody else was up on the.

00:51:29:18 – 00:51:30:00
Michelle
Side of.

00:51:30:04 – 00:51:36:04
Joseph
Him where you couldn’t interact with them. They were basically up there just waving to people like it was a parade float. Right?

00:51:36:04 – 00:51:41:07
Michelle
Right. Well, that even happened when we were in Epcot. Puba was behind a fence. Oh, yeah.

00:51:41:09 – 00:51:42:17
Joseph
You know, they stuck a mountainous.

00:51:43:03 – 00:51:46:19
Michelle
On the board. Blueberry was melting, I’m sure. Yeah.

00:51:47:14 – 00:52:09:00
Joseph
The other issue I had was solo time. So a rider not single, right? It was solo rider at Smuggler’s Run, which I thought was funny. Right? They don’t publish them, right? You didn’t know. The only way we knew was a five minute single rider line was because we overheard someone say it and we’re like, Excuse me, how long as a single rider?

00:52:09:00 – 00:52:27:20
Joseph
And then, like, 5 minutes on. It’s all right, let’s go. Right. And like, one other person did the same thing. And it’s like, given how big your application works for booking these rides, how are you not? It’s not up on the signs, right? Nobody’s out there. They have one cast member come out and start saying, Hey, 5 minutes.

00:52:27:20 – 00:52:32:27
Joseph
Alright, single rider, right? If anybody wants to get on. Right, how do you not have a provision for that?

00:52:32:27 – 00:52:55:13
Michelle
Right. And that’s something. So going back to Epcot Test Track has been a single rider ride for as long as long as I can remember. So most people know about it. So they have, you know, three separate entrances for it. And then, of course, as soon as you get closed, they’re like, oh, don’t forget, you know, your party will be separated, blah, blah, blah.

00:52:55:16 – 00:53:19:04
Michelle
And you go on. I had only known about snoring, having it from watching somebody else’s video, so if I didn’t watch that other person’s video, I wouldn’t have known. And I think it saw in there still doing it as a test. It’s not official. And again, we had gotten it as the the one lightning lane. And when we went up, I was like, Oh, are you guys still doing oh, look.

00:53:19:04 – 00:53:37:06
Michelle
And they basically just have like a cast member holding a sign saying Single Rider, and then you go on Smuggler’s Run. I wasn’t sure if they were doing it until we got to the front of it and we’re like, Oh, okay, great. And we, you know, I think it took us longer to walk the whole entrance.

00:53:37:08 – 00:53:44:06
Joseph
That’s just poor planning and poor execution. Disney’s part, that’s a major selling point that you could be using.

00:53:44:12 – 00:53:45:02
Michelle
Available.

00:53:45:11 – 00:54:09:01
Joseph
Yeah, visits there, especially with the crappy that you put in place instead of right. The transparency. Right. So we at one point in time wanted to go over to Star Wars, launch Bay and cool off, look at the stuff they had there. So it was in the shop floor and it was literally a ghost town, right? They shut down the little thing that was there.

00:54:09:01 – 00:54:09:11
Joseph
They showed.

00:54:09:18 – 00:54:09:29
Michelle
The Little.

00:54:09:29 – 00:54:10:21
Joseph
Mermaid that was.

00:54:10:21 – 00:54:13:24
Michelle
There. Right. Little Mermaid has been shut down since everything.

00:54:13:24 – 00:54:18:20
Joseph
Was shut down. The only thing that was open was a couple the of the play Disney thing. Right.

00:54:18:20 – 00:54:24:04
Michelle
But they did have Star Wars characters that was still open.

00:54:24:04 – 00:54:24:13
Joseph
Yeah.

00:54:24:14 – 00:54:25:02
Michelle
If you in.

00:54:25:02 – 00:54:26:10
Joseph
That five miles back.

00:54:26:10 – 00:54:28:05
Michelle
Well that was the whole thing.

00:54:28:05 – 00:54:29:04
Joseph
Right. Advertising it.

00:54:29:06 – 00:54:44:26
Michelle
Right. Well no they had the sign when you got to the area so you had to know. But yeah that was the whole thing because the launch Bay Area there was the whole shop there and then you’d walk through the shop and then they’d have the characters and artifacts from the right.

00:54:45:08 – 00:54:48:19
Joseph
From the movies. It was like just a completely forgotten right.

00:54:48:20 – 00:55:09:19
Michelle
It was just kind of. And the other thing too was it closed at five. So then that whole section, even though there wasn’t a whole lot to the section begin with, became even more of a ghost town. Because, again, you already had The Little Mermaid that they haven’t reopened Little Mermaid yet. So the Little Princess door right next to it, that shut down.

00:55:09:19 – 00:55:18:22
Michelle
Then there’s a play Disney gift shop that hasn’t opened yet. So you had the couple of characters, but no gift shop, and then you had at that point in time.

00:55:18:22 – 00:55:19:19
Joseph
Just shut the whole.

00:55:19:19 – 00:55:22:03
Michelle
Area. Right? Exactly. Exactly.

00:55:22:04 – 00:55:31:11
Joseph
You’re just it’s ridiculous to even have a couple of things open, right? Like I want to get the scooter. I kind of swore I saw tumbleweed blow through. It was so deserted.

00:55:31:24 – 00:55:34:15
Michelle
Well, the squirrels were more entertaining over there.

00:55:34:16 – 00:55:35:23
Joseph
It was. It was embarrassing.

00:55:35:23 – 00:55:51:06
Michelle
Yeah, it was kind of sad. And the other thing, too, was like, Maddie and I did The Muppet Movie, and there’s a there’s a muppet gift shop as soon as you get out. And I was like, All right, as soon as we get out, we’ll go into the, you know, gift shop to cool off. And that wasn’t open, too.

00:55:51:06 – 00:56:14:24
Michelle
So that was really kind of the first, you know, seeing a lot the gift shops that weren’t open because in Epcot, Epcot doesn’t have as many little gift shops along the way because you have all of the different countries, you know. So all of those were open. So we really didn’t see the effect of things until we got, you know, to Epcot.

00:56:14:28 – 00:56:18:03
Joseph
All right. 5 minutes, Magic Kingdom, and then we’re going to summarize.

00:56:18:04 – 00:56:20:19
Michelle
Okay.

00:56:20:19 – 00:56:22:13
Joseph
There you go. You go.

00:56:23:00 – 00:56:44:03
Michelle
Okay. So for the Magic Kingdom, that was our our Halloween party, as you had mentioned before, with the Halloween party, they let you get into the park 3 hours before your park time. So, of course, there’s, you know, tons of lines, too, to try and get in, everybody to get in. And of course, because of the holiday party, you have a special band.

00:56:44:03 – 00:57:10:06
Michelle
So it takes longer to get in. And of course, the storms are coming. So you got people that are trying to leave the park, people trying to come in the park. So, of course, very crowded, you know, at the beginning of it. And it always seems to be kind of disorganized guys no matter what time you go. So I don’t know if it’s something where if we actually went closer to 7:00 or closer to 6:00, if we wouldn’t run into that or not.

00:57:10:06 – 00:57:24:22
Joseph
Well, and what would make sense if they did that is you do a rope drop type thing. And for all the people who are coming in for the party, you check their you get them checked, then you get their bands on in that time ahead of time, but they’re all queuing up. Yeah, because.

00:57:24:22 – 00:57:25:19
Michelle
That happened and.

00:57:25:19 – 00:57:27:21
Joseph
Then you have a rope drop when you let them in because that.

00:57:27:21 – 00:57:32:08
Michelle
Happened when we did. Was it when we did the Christmas party?

00:57:32:08 – 00:57:33:06
Joseph
It was a Christmas where.

00:57:33:06 – 00:57:57:19
Michelle
You actually checked in at the Polynesian, right? And you got your band and everything. So you were already checked in. So as soon as you got off the monorail, you went right in. So they need to kind of go back to that system of you know, checking in someplace else. I will say, though, that their security system has gotten better because they don’t do every bag being checked.

00:57:57:19 – 00:58:03:15
Michelle
Right. So you kind of go through a metal detector, some sort of scanning thing.

00:58:03:16 – 00:58:07:02
Joseph
I don’t know if that’s better or if it’s just more lax to get people through.

00:58:07:02 – 00:58:31:07
Michelle
I don’t know. But it seemed to go smoother so that that was at least a positive the that I saw. But obviously here was another instance. Now, again, don’t know how much of it was because it was the holiday party or not. But again, we saw a lot of different shops that were closed. But again, not every shop is always open for the holiday party.

00:58:31:11 – 00:58:35:03
Joseph
And some of it we know we’re closed because they turn them into other thing.

00:58:35:04 – 00:59:01:12
Michelle
Right, exactly. Then some rides or certain attractions they turn over to trick or treating, you know, areas. The one thing that was bizarre was, you know, because again, they have all these different trick or treating sections and they didn’t start handing out candy until 7:00 and one point we were in Tomorrowland and it was 6:00 and there was a line forming for roulette ball.

00:59:01:12 – 00:59:02:26
Joseph
Form a line which was.

00:59:02:28 – 00:59:06:06
Michelle
To wait for candy for free candy for a.

00:59:06:06 – 00:59:07:22
Joseph
Couple pieces of candy yet again.

00:59:07:27 – 00:59:29:03
Michelle
So we were just like, No, we’re going to go on some of the rides. So that was kind of crazy. But once the party kind of started and also once the rain kind of down, died down, we really didn’t have too many issues. It kind of spread out because then you have the people, because there are people that go to the party just to go and see the specialty characters that only come out for the holiday party.

00:59:29:03 – 00:59:50:08
Michelle
Right? Then you have people that are just doing the trick or treating, you know, and then you have some people that are there to see the special Halloween parade and to see the special Halloween fireworks. So it kind of helps to break it up because that’s when Matty was able to get on Splash Matt in 5 minutes, Big Thunder Mountain in 5 minutes.

00:59:50:08 – 01:00:00:19
Michelle
I think Space Mountain was 20 minutes. I think that was her her longest wait haunted mansion. I think it was about 20 minutes, maybe even less for us to to get on that.

01:00:00:19 – 01:00:18:09
Joseph
Let’s summarize before we leave here. Sure. Give me give me a score. One out of ten. Ten being the highest of your overall Disney experience. Give me that artificially high score. You’re going to give me seven. Really? Wow. I would not have thought I would have been that low.

01:00:18:17 – 01:00:21:05
Michelle
Really? Yeah. You would have thought I would have given it higher.

01:00:21:05 – 01:00:44:09
Joseph
I thought it would have been an eight or nine higher. I’d probably give it a better five. And really my problem was more with management and execution, you know, poor planning, poor. And you can blame Lehman on the fact that they haven’t brought all their staff back. You want to blame it on.

01:00:44:16 – 01:00:44:25
Michelle
Yeah.

01:00:45:13 – 01:00:50:12
Joseph
But there’s ways to compensate for that. And to me it was a disappointing experience.

01:00:51:07 – 01:00:55:24
Michelle
The one highlight of our trip and I think we can both agree on this.

01:00:55:24 – 01:00:56:17
Joseph
Steve from Brooklyn.

01:00:56:21 – 01:01:00:24
Michelle
Steve from Brooklyn, absolutely.

01:01:00:24 – 01:01:09:29
Joseph
Steve from Brooklyn. He was so close to restoring my faith in Disney. He was so optimistic. He was he was the best bus driver we ever had. Mm.

01:01:10:07 – 01:01:11:02
Michelle
Yep, yup.

01:01:11:06 – 01:01:18:16
Joseph
He was so good. I almost want to use Facebook again so I can follow almost. But Facebook’s true evil, right?

01:01:18:16 – 01:01:24:29
Michelle
Right. So fortunately, I’m already friends with him, so. And I had been friends with him already. And when he pulled up, I was like.

01:01:25:15 – 01:01:36:28
Joseph
That was a very good friend. Magical experience. And I don’t use that term very often for Disney, but that was a magical experience and I thank him for that.

01:01:36:28 – 01:01:39:12
Michelle
Yes.

01:01:39:12 – 01:02:19:27
Joseph
All right. That is all we had for today. And probably it’s more than enough. We kind of cut some of my complaint short because I do have an art condition with blood pressure and everything I said before we do go, though, I would like to once again invite our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio versions listed as insights in entertainment, audio and video versions of all of our network’s podcasts can be found under insights in the things we’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, etc. I would also ask you to writing.

01:02:19:27 – 01:02:24:02
Joseph
Give us your feedback. You can email us at comments and insights into things dot com.

01:02:24:04 – 01:02:29:04
Michelle
You can find us on Twitter at twitter.com backslash insights underscore things.

01:02:29:05 – 01:02:34:06
Joseph
We do stream five days a week on twitch at twitch dot TV slash insights and the things.

01:02:34:09 – 01:02:40:04
Michelle
You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com, backslash Insights into Things Podcast.

01:02:40:06 – 01:02:44:29
Joseph
We’re also on YouTube at YouTube.com, Slash in Science and the things.

01:02:44:29 – 01:02:49:25
Michelle
We’re also on Instagram at Instagram dot com backslash insights into things.

01:02:49:26 – 01:02:57:29
Joseph
Or you can find all that and much more on our official website and insights into things dot com that’s it and another one the books.

01:02:58:00 – 01:03:26:07
Michelle
Have a good week, everyone. Bye bye.

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