I have been less than positive about our Genie+ experience thus far. A lot of our failings and feelings have been due to us having the absolute nerve not to stay on site and prefer to have a seven bed villa with private pool rather than two double beds and a bathroom for 16 nights, at double the cost.
Well, today we were on-site special people as we were checking into Coronado Springs for a couple of days, so I was poised, pre 7am, to use that magical specialness to get us on Rise Of The Resistance, hanging the expense. Seldom have I resented the thought of spending $90 at WDW as much as I did at this moment.
As the clock ticked to 7am I clicked the relevant clicky thing on the app and there was a glorious spot available at 4pm which I gleefully selected and pressed “Next”. When that next page appeared it had changed my 4pm slot to 7.50pm, which we couldn’t do due to a clashing ADR. Thinking that was a bit odd, I went back a page to look for another slot.
They had all gone.
So you see dear reader, on site or off, this thing is absolute bobbins. Being pumped full of Disney magic in such a way by 7.01 is lovely isn’t it? It truly sets you up for the day with a smile on your face and skip in your step.
We had no plans to go to a park today unless we had got a slot for Rise so at least now we knew what we’d be doing.
I’ll make this point again. What chance does a first timer have of experiencing things at WDW now? Someone booking a trip for the first time and not even thinking they need to spend days researching and planning on the internet to ride stuff they think that have paid for. I’m sure many of you have heard of the people arriving at a park with a ticket assuming they are good to go, only to find the park at capacity and them with no pre-made reservation. I know it’s on them to find out what’s needed and it will be said that these are pandemic related measures, but if reservations ever get removed I’ll grow a fringe. The cost and complexity of how we found it in January 2022 was too much.
I lazed in bed until 8am, did the final bits of packing and tidied the villa a bit. Whilst everyone else got themselves packed, I had a chat with Louise and watched half an hour of football on the TV. We left bang on the 10am checkout time. We loved this villa and we shall return, on the off chance we should we ever return to Florida.
We had our hearts set on a large breakfast. Overnight and into the early hours there had been a huge rainstorm and that, in conjunction with a three day weekend. seemed to have pushed most of Florida into the restaurants in the area. We tried a Perkins and a Dennys, both having hour long waits for a table, so we decided just to head to the hotel and see what we could get there.
We parked up near the main tower and wandered in.
We had done all of our checking in on the app so did not need to go to reception to see that our rooms were not ready yet.
We made our way down there…
where we found the Barcelona Lounge which was to provide us with a breakfast, not quite of the volume or cheapness a Perkins or Dennys may have.
We ordered coffees, cookies, muffins and overnight Oats and found a seat to devour them.
The muffins were the recently declared “best on the planet” muffins that Emily and I had enjoyed at Riviera….
By the time we had eaten we got alerted via the app that our rooms were ready. We drove over to Casitas 3, a little disappointed not to be in the main tower but for a couple of nights, I hadn’t cared enough to request that.
The rooms were fine. A little dated, but absolutely fine for our short stay. Our view from the balcony outside of our door was….
and with some zoom….
We unpacked a little, leaving most of our cases packed for the journey home in a couple of days and settled in. Despite the less than glorious weather you can see in those photos, Tom and Freddie made it into the nearby pool. Rebecca and I sat and watched wearing fleeces! The plan for today pre-departure had been to either go to a park should we be allowed to ride the thing we wanted to or if not laze around the pool. The temperature made the latter impossible/unpleasant today so we needed another idea.
Emily messaged from the room saying she wanted to go to Disney Springs so we all got ready for that and drove there. Food happened in the shape of an Earl of Sandwich…
There was a fairly long queue, but after it….
Emily and I shared a Veggie thing….
Rebecca and Tom both had a Chicken and Avocado
Freddie had an un-photographed Grilled Cheese. All were delicious.
It will not surprise you to know, it was busy….
We went into the Co-Op to look at gifts for Louise. I wanted to get her a Dooney and Bourke handbag and maybe a purse too, as she always admires them on her trips to WDW, whilst I shake my head and say they are too expensive.
There was nothing suitable in there and we found none at all in World of Disney. We continued to stroll and browse…
We made our first visit to the new M&M shop.
Tom likes an M&M so he spent most of his annual income on sweets and merchandise in there.
We decided to go to the cinema next, as we were all shopped out and had some time to kill before our ADR at Sanaa later. There was not a great deal of choice that would suit a pan-generational group such as us, so for Freddie’s benefit, we settled on Sing 2. I had not seen Sing 1, but I was confident it would not be required viewing for me to benefit from the sequel.
With our upcoming ADR, we were denied the opportunity to eat the impressive range of snacks on offer. This was upsetting.
The film didn’t start until some time after its advertised time and we therefore didn’t leave until 8.05. The film itself? Freddie enjoyed it. Inexplicably, it contained Bono.
Our late departure meant we needed to do a speedy walk back to the car in Lime so we could make our ADR time at Kidani Village.
The crowds had gone up a level again and we were playing dodge the shopper all the way back to the garage. We were getting mild PTSD from the crowd levels at this point. We got to the car at 8.30 and courtesy of some awesome driving, arrived at Kidani at 8.50.
We checked in and were seated after just a few minutes.
We of course ordered the bread service. That is where the bread service used to be.
We briefly considered ordering a second lot but our entrees turned up.
Me and Emily – Biryani, hers without the chicken.
Butter Chicken for Rebecca and Tom
Pizza for Freddie
The service was good, but we did feel a little rushed as our ADR was a late one and the place was closing up. We were given the bill at the same time as being asked if we wanted dessert, which wasn’t ideal. We were too full anyway and we left.
We headed home feeling a little like we weren’t experiencing everything we normally would, especially after the last couple of crowd-filled frustrating days. Regardless, we were making the most of what we could do and we had one last full day tomorrow to squeeze the juice out of. Spoiler alert, it contains cake.
Till the next time……