Hit or Miss: Walt Disney World January 2014

It’s kind of odd to have two trips to so close to one another. I’ll all over the place with scheduling posts because I keep going back and forth, but I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things with another HIT OR MISS post detailing our recent trip from January. (Here’s the last hit or miss from November.)

View from the Water at Night at Pop Century Resort

Here are the details: James and I booked five days/four nights at Pop Century with regular park tickets (and one day of complimentary park hoppers). We had reservations at Flying Fish Cafe (first time), Biergarten (our second time since we were kids), and had the Quick Service dining plan as part of our vacation package.

Let’s do it!

Hit: The weather.

I had no idea how to pack for January in Florida. I’ve never been! I can honestly say there were a few times I forgot the date and didn’t realize it was January because it was so warm. We definitely could have swam if we had any time too. (Sigh. I’m sad about this.)

Miss: Early nights because it was off-season and everything closed early.

It was hard to balance the “wanting to take a break” with “let’s spend every minute in the parks” because the late night hours were just not what we were used to. If we went back to the hotel, we couldn’t even swim because it was too cool out by then or the pool was closed. (I’m not loving that they made this change.) So a few times, it was definitely a hindrance. (We did manage to get 8 hours of sleep each night though.)

Hit: 7 hours in Animal Kingdom.

James and Estelle in Animal Kingdom Dawa Bar January 2014

Can you say “total blast”? I’ve never been able to take a spin on Expedition Everest in the morning and at night in the same day. We took our time, stopped to check out all the sights, sat and had a drink at the new Dawa Bar and listened to live music. It was pretty spectacular and we cannot wait to spend a full day in Animal Kingdom again.

Miss: Hollywood Studios. (Here’s the post I wrote about it.)

Hit: Quick service dining plan

We never would have tried this if it didn’t come with our package, but I am so glad that we did. We tried a few new places and always made time to eat. Quick service is nice because Β it leaves a lot more time for you to hang out in the parks since you are eating according to your own watch. Nice and flexible!

Miss: My Disney Experience app.

I still have to dedicate a whole post to this, since it was my first time using MagicBands/FP+/MDE from every angle. But this app! this app! It never worked for me inside the park. It was pretty much useless and I would have been pretty screwed if the app didn’t decided to work for James. It’s unreliable and that’s just not good enough for me, when that’s the whole point of these next-gen upgrades.

Hit: The sunset over World Showcase.

Sunset over World Showcase Epcot January 2014

Miss: Goofy’s pants.

Goofy and Pluto in Animal Kingdom Dinoland USA

Hit: The Wave at the Contemporary.

Great breakfast buffet and awesome place for drinks.

Miss: Spice Road Table.

Too expensive. Nice ambiance, LOVE the view, and really great service but I’m not anxious to get back.

↔

That’s it for this trip’s Hit or Miss. Final thoughts? We would definitely consider another January trip (especially after our less than ideal spring break trip last year) but I think we also learned a lot about how we want to tour the parks (hint hint: Disney’s Hollywood Studios). But it was definitely another great trip surrounded by great friends, awesome experiences, and the getaway we desperately needed. (I did forget a certain “miss” like… how we missed our early flight. Sigh. I guess it was a “hit” when we got on the next flight with the 4 others who also missed the plane. Not a fun memory but I’m trying to just let it go. ha!)

Thanks for following along!

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

4 thoughts on “Hit or Miss: Walt Disney World January 2014

  1. We just returned from a trip the first week of Feb and it was my first experience with the magic bands and the app. We had zero issues with the bands. Outside of a few design issues with the app (its kind of annoying that things are all nested and then if you get an error it pops you all the way back to the main screen), I loved using it. Due to some changes in our itinerary, I was able to change our Soarin’ FP not once but TWICE in the same day, once after the FP was already supposed to have happened. All on the app, and really easily too. It also kept me accountable to any meals we had scheduled. I kind of loved it?

  2. Those Goofy pants are horrifying (in multiple ways)! That’s a great picture because of them, though. Love that sunset picture, and I’m jealous that you got to go in January (we’re going next year!). If you luck out with the weather, it’s perfect even with the shorter hours.

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