Top Five Most Overrated Disney World Things

Poly

Okay, so it’s painfully obvious that I love Disney World, but even a diehard fan like me has the occasional head-scratching moment over some things that achieve cult status among Disney fans. Whether it’s food, a certain restaurant, or even a resort, I just don’t get it and I think I’m not the only one. Or at least I hope not.

Here are my top five overrated Disney things.

5. The Polynesian.
For years I’ve wondered why the Polynesian, which essentially looks like the hotel the Brady Bunch would have stayed in during their family trip to Hawaii if Mr. Brady wasn’t still paying alimony to his first wife, has such a cult following. Sure, it’s got a great pool and gorgeous landscaping. The way they light the grounds at night is breathtaking and, dare I say it, romantic. And you can’t beat the location on the Magic Kingdom monorail. Beyond that, however, it’s kind of underwhelming: Dark rooms, dated furniture, and a small lobby. And I’m pretty sure that 90% of the plugs in the rooms don’t even work.

One day though, I hit on it: It’s the nostalgia factor. Today’s guests stayed there as kids with mom and dad and everything was magical and they go back over and over again and recapture some of that. So maybe people like me who didn’t stay at the Poly as kids just don’t get it. We’re smashing their childhood icons and for that, I apologize. I still think it’s overrated.

disneynerdswithcitrusswirls
4. Dole Whips.
Tart with a chemical aftertaste, the appeal of this frozen theme park staple eludes me. I’d much rather have a citrus swirl, Mickey bar, or even (gasp) a turkey leg.

3. Toy Story Midway Mania.
I’ll be honest. I love this attraction, especially the part where you hit the plates. The noise, the movement, and the pleasing tactile experience (you’re blowing stuff up!) all contrast with the fact that it’s something that just about anyone can enjoy regardless of their age or physical limitations. It’s rare to get that in one attraction. But is it worth waiting 120 minutes to ride? No, not unless you’re a first-time visitor. It’s also not worth the mad dash over to the fastpass machine first thing in the morning. Who needs that?

There’s something ironic that the least stressful of parks, Hollywood Studios, should have the most stress-inducing morning rush. Even on those rare occasions when I do get a fast pass, the wait still averages about 30 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I spend most of that time redesigning the queue in my head.

2. Rope Drop.
The idea behind rope drop is that you get there early and visit all the popular attractions before the crowds roll in later that morning. It’s a sound idea, except for one thing: You’re on vacation. Who wants to get up at the crack of dawn just to make it to the park before it opens? And when you get there, you’re going to encounter several thousand other guests with the same idea. I think I’ll skip it.
lecellier
1. Le Cellier.
For years Le Cellier has been one of the most sought-after dining reservations on property, then Disney turned it into a signature restaurant, going from one table-service credit to two. If you’re not familiar with the Disney dining plan, that means it got twice as expensive. The drama that ensued was enough to fill a 19th century Russian novel, yet even with the price increase, it’s still a popular destination. The problem is, at one credit, Le Cellier was a good way to get your red meat fix. At two, you really start to notice how it pales in comparison to other signature restaurants on property.

Take your servers. Head over to Yachtsman Steakhouse and you’ll encounter waiters who are as good as you’ll find anywhere. At Le Cellier, you’re being served by Canadian college students. Now sure, Canadian college students, with their superior knowledge of hockey, are awesome. But are they good waiters? Personally, I prefer the seasoned pros elsewhere on property, where I often feel that even a 20% tip is too little. Even if mediocre service doesn’t bother you, keep in mind that the food at this location, which started out as a cafeteria and still retains a certain lunchroom flavor, may have you missing your local Outback Steakhouse, I don’t really think it’s worthy of signature status.

Now that I’ve alienated several of my good friends, what about you? Are there theme park favorites you just don’t get? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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About Christina Wood

For more travel planning articles by Chris, check out her Disney travel blog, Everything Walt Disney World. Chris is also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team and an authorized Disney travel planner with Pixie Vacations, and visits the parks about 55 days each year. To get free planning and assistance with your next Disney vacation, please call her at 919-889-5281 or email at ChrisW@PixieVacations.com. You may also fill out a quick Disney Vacation Quote form here.
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82 Responses to Top Five Most Overrated Disney World Things

  1. Diane says:

    I’m with you on Le Cellier. The food may be good, but I’ve never understood the wild popularity. The only theory I’ve ever come up with is that it’s a safe, familiar choice among all those “foreign food” restaurants in Epcot. So statistically, there are just more times when everyone in a family can agree on going out for a steak dinner, rather than trying to accommodate everyone’s tastes in one of the other global-style restaurants. After that, the default “popularity” just sort of fed on itself as the word spread about how difficult it was to get into the place.

    • chris says:

      It does have something for everyone, I just wish it was cheaper. I am totally biased toward Yachtsman–the service there is so good, although it’s a little quiet if you have younger kids in tow.

      • CAStruck says:

        We went there for lunch and spent over $120 for 4 of us with 4 entrees and water to drink. It was good, but nothing “over the top amazing” good. Should you go there? Yes, it was very good, but know what you’re getting into before you go.

    • Shari says:

      It was always my #1 ADR at one table service credit, but at two credits, no way. We have yet to get a server with any knowledge of hockey. My son and I are both huge hockey fans, Buffalo Sabres. (No playoffs this year)

  2. martin allmark says:

    Toy Story Midway Mania…when we got to HS we headed straight to this as we saw on a previous visit that its popular, we got there and the wait above the door read 50 mins the fastpass queues we’re already hitting 10 o clock. The park had only just opened and I called BS on the timing so I dragged my hesitant girlfriend inside, only to find it had taken 20 minutes to queue and by the time we had finished, the queues for fastpass were bulging for a 2 o clock time and the sign above the door reading 120 minutes to queue….just don’t believe the signs

    • Stephanie Corneliussen says:

      I worked for Disney World as a chef in the Crystal Palace in MK and in Epcot suring the food and wine festival, from last August to this past January and I learned one of the biggest tips from my friends that worked in attractions.

      If the wait is long, people would rather see a long wait time and get out faster rather than see a short wait time and be there forever.

    • Tony says:

      The long lines for Toy Story Mania have more to do with nothing for your kids to do in this park than it being such a great ride. If you had 2 or 3 more family friendly rides, the time on this one drops by, uh, well maybe 15 minutes. This park is in some serious need of an overhaul.

      • chris says:

        Agreed. Although I love that park for sitting and people watching. Although come to think of it, that’s not a very good recommendation.

    • Zoie says:

      The toy story wait display is put at 40 at park open. Its not 40 minutes til about half hour to an hour on a normal day.

  3. Matt says:

    This has to stop! For years I’ve been enjoying The Yachtsman Steakhouse with my family when we visit from the UK. Last year we managed to go three times in two weeks because it’s easy to get a table after 8.30pm without a reservation. The reason for this is that everyone is trying to get into Le Cellier.

    If people start catching on to the fact that The Yachtsman is the best steak on property then I’m going to have to start booking six months in advance and cross my fingers in order to get a table.

    • chris says:

      You know what? I think it’s still going to be a secret. People (and I make a lot of ADRs for clients) don’t tend to go to non-character meals at resorts, the exception being Ohana. I have a hard time talking people into 2 credit places anyway, much less ones where they have to deal with transportation issues to get there.

      I love the service there and the appetizers are always so unique, so it’s not just a good steak that brings you in. Wait. Scratch that. Let’s keep that our secret.

  4. J says:

    In response:

    The Polynesian – One word Tonga Toast! But that aside, I’ve never stayed here, not as a child or otherwise. I have always wanted to stay here. As DVC members we have been waiting for Disney to add a section so we can one day stay at the Polynesian Resort. The reasons are all that you mentioned already. I can’t comment on the conditions of the rooms, but I have yet to stay at the contemporary (bay lake tower) or grand floridian either. But I would choose Polynesian above those.

    Dole Whips – what chemical after taste? I love dole whips! Granted I love Mickey Mouse bars a bit more, I can’t go a trip without having a dole whip.

    Toy Story Mania – I agree with you. Not that it’s overrated. But I can’t understand the mad rush for it every morning. In California Adventure, the wait times never seem to go over 45 – 60 minutes. The tater being a heavier day. And yes that was before Cars Land opened too. I love the ride. Perhaps there just aren’t enough “family” attractions at Hollywood Studios..

    Rope Drop – I half agree. I am always wondering to myself, “if I am on vacation… Why am I waking up at 6AM?” But I still do it, and we always strove to make rope drop for the very reasons everyone else does. Beat the crowds. They were more worth it when you’d get a show in the morning prior to opening. As far as I can tell, Magic Kingdom is the only one that does this now.

    Le Cellier – first, I’m partial to this because I’m Canadian and they are the only place that offers poutine… Even if it pares in comparison to real poutine. That being said, I quite enjoy the food, and have always found the at isotherm and service top notch. Can’t compare to yachtsman as I’ve never been. As for the only Signature debacle, I understand most people’s point. But it hasn’t stopped me from enjoying my time there.

    What I find overrated:

    Space Mountain – not smooth at all, always hurts my back. I much prefer the west coast cousin.

    Soarin – I really enjoy this attraction. But it suffers a slightly less but still annoying fast pass run each morning. In reality it’s a fancy 4D movie.. And it needs to be updated. On both coasts.

    Interactive Queue’s – I just don’t get it.. They are sort of cool.. I have enjoyed them the first time, but never bother a second time. I’d rather the extra investment be out into the actual ride or attraction.

    Turkey Legs – Shared it once 3 or 4 years ago with my lady. Pretty sure I’m still digesting it.. Haven’t been able to have one again since.

    • J says:

      Ugh.. Autocorrect is so frustrating sometimes.

      • chris says:

        Thank you for your well-thought out comments. I love Poutine. What an underrated treat–I wish we could get the real thing down here. Too funny about the Turkey Leg. :-)

  5. Paul Thomson says:

    I’ve never stayed at the Polynesian so I can’t comment other than to say that a lot of people seem to love the idea of staying at a hotel with a monorail stop.
    I’ve also never had a Dole whip. I’m not even sure what they are.(I’m British though!)
    I love Toy Story mania but I suspect that as a (relatively) new attraction in the park the demand is somewhat exceeding the planned capacity of the ride. It’ll probably calm down in a few years. I remember when Splash Mountain opened and the queues were enormous (no FastPass option then). So give it twenty years and Toy Story Mania will be much better (probably).
    As for the early risers: many of them are probably people who don’t get to go to WDW very often and want to maximize their time in the parks. We only go once every two or three years so we do like to make the most of it. In the case of Brits and other Europeans the time differences tend to mean that you wake up really early in the morning anyway so an early start isn’t really a difficulty. Also, being pale skinned visitors from a misty faraway land (Scotland), my family and I don’t really enjoy the heat in the afternoon so we tend to do our parks early and pool lounging in the afternoon.
    Le Celier is probably our favourite restaurant but I do agree about the promotion to Signature status being a bit of a rip off. Having said that, I love the food and I only eat there every couple of years and I am on holiday so a few dollars extra doesn’t really bother me.
    I don’t really tend to think of anything as over-rated because if I don’t like something then I don’t do it and if I do like it and its very busy then I tend to assume that everyone else must have great taste- just like me! Besides, if a ride is busy all I have to do is get up early…

    • chris says:

      If you get a chance, try Yachtsman. The service and food is so much better. I was hoping when they went up to 2 credits that Le Cellier would change the menu a bit but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Still, I love eating anywhere in the WS–it always feels like a treat. I just want to pay less which is why I usually go to Via Napoli or Rose and Crown (love the patio).

      • Stephanie Corneliussen says:

        You can’t hate on a restaurant because the head chef doesn’t want to change their menu. The menu changes are up the the head chefs and if they like how it works, the prices of their products are still low enough that higher Disney Management doesn’t get mad, their cooks and chefs can cook it properly and to a certain level of satisfaction, they probably won’t. Many restaurants need a bit of a menu update to be honest, but what can you do.

  6. Wendy Crisp says:

    I couldn’t disagree more on this list. We will be at the Polynesian in three days for the fourth time. The location is the best and as for the dark rooms, that is why we like it! It’s nice after the overstimulation of the parks. I don’t see the benefit of posting negative things about Disney when the fact is, we all have different preferences and therefore opinions. What a ridiculous waste of time article.

    • Stephanie Corneliussen says:

      I disagree. This article gives people who have never been there and that have a limited time and limited budget the knowledge that not everything that is double or triple expensive is worth it.

      I worked as a chef in Crystal Palace in MK (the biggest and busiest restaurant on property with characters – might not have been the princesses,) but still, I will tell anyone that it wasn’t worth it. The food was mediocre at best (except our flank steak during lunch and the lime and garlic broccoli) and the seats were overpriced to go only for the characters.

      And when you give your opinions of places that you don’t care for, especially in this blog you hear why that person doesn’t like it. If people read, like the poly, that the rooms are dark. That person, like you, may say that that’s what you want and it sounds amazing. It gives people the ability to take your opinion and pick and choose if they think it is worth it.Though with food, like the Dole Whip, I would describe what the others you mentioned taste like so that people can choose.

      Food wise I have a list of favorites, and I will always recommend food wise for the food adventurers and just families (I even recommended it to a roommate and her family while I was in the Disney College program) that if they were in the Animal Kingdom, to get lunch or dinner in the yak and yeti, they have some of the best food overall.

  7. Pat Lewis says:

    Most overrated? Character autographs.What’s the point? If you want to prove that you met the character, get a photo taken. People get obsessed with collecting as many autographs as possible, which seems like a boring waste of time to me.

    PS: The Polynesian is awesome. I agree that nostalgia factors into it, but it’s more nostalgia for the days when WDW more closely represented Walt’s original vision instead of the money-hungry corporation it became in later years.

    • chris says:

      I never got the idea behind the autographs until my then 5-year old started chasing them ona trip to Disneyland. Personally though, I don’t see the appeal. Have to agree.

    • Aaron says:

      Character autographs are awesome because I love seeing the look on my kids face when he meets the characters. And we’ve been to Disney World and Disney land a combine 5 times in the last few years and everytime we get a new autograph book. I enjoyed it when i was young and so does my son, he still thinks the characters are real and I would never take that magic away from him. I do draw the line on waiting for a character for an hour.

  8. Dave says:

    I have to agree with the Poly’s place on this list. I think the nostalgia factor is definately in play here. The same is true with the Contemporary which is little different from a big city 70′s era business hotel.

  9. Gary Pearson says:

    Oh Canada! My complaint isn’t with the restaurant, it is with the gift shop. I’m Canadian. Martin Short shows how Canadians are kind of cool in the attraction and then the gift shop sends us back to being just hockey playing ice monkeys. Canadian music is all over the world right now from Lumineers to Justin Bieber (yeah, I know, you might not like all of them). Canadian authors are fantastic…too many to mention. There are many excellent Canadian films and TV shows…which not being made by Disney I guess keeps them out. I wish Canadian books, music, movies and TV shows were available there. Maybe people wouldn’t take a chance and buy stuff they don’t know well…but maybe if promoted properly they would. I think this deeper cultural approach was taken to all the countries in Epcot.

  10. Michael says:

    Wow. I disagree with everything here. This blog has been getting worse and worse lately. I guess I’m going to stop coming here.

  11. Steve says:

    Have to disagree on the Poly… a lot of the resorts are more appealing to some than others (for instance, I think Grand Floridian is sterile and boring as heck) but if we could afford it, we’d definately stay there again (first stay was 2000). And I’m not sure how long lines = Toy Story is overrated… I think the ride itself is awesome and love it, but won’t stand in line that long for it personally.

    Can’t comment on the other three… never personally been interested in trying any of them.

  12. Louise says:

    You’re stepping on some toes by dissin’ the Polynesian! I’ve stayed 6 times of which 3 visits were Club Level, and I love the resort more with each visit. This resort is everything I imagine Hawaii to be. In fact, I met a CM who is from Hawaii, and she said it’s as close as it gets. The CM’s at this resort are friendly, the resort is lush, and the location is ideal. Quick monorail to MK anyone? And Club Level with it’s lounge looking over the water and Cinderella Castle? Priceless. A CM in the Club Level building told me that the Polynesian has the highest repeat business in the world. The world world not WDW. Your supposition that the Polynesian’s customer base is moony-eyed adults who’ve stayed as children is short-sighted and wrong. The demand far exceeds customers repeating based on childhood visits. I wish I could have visited as a child! You’re in the minority on this one, Chris.

    • chris says:

      Oh I know! It’s just fun to tease other fans now and then. Still, it doesn’t remind you of the Brady Bunch a little bit with that theming?

      • Louise says:

        Nope, don’t see it.

      • Linda says:

        When I read about the Brady Bunch, I laughed out loud literally! Yes, it DOES totally remind me of the Brady Bunch. I stayed there once, liked it, but because we’re DVC now, we go there for the Kona Cafe or Ohana.

    • Jeoffrey Bristow says:

      I have stayed at the Contemporary and at the time it was a dream to stay there. But this was in ’92 before Disney started to refurbish it many times I want to stay there again on my 55th Bd. I’m 51 now. I went to Hawaii last yr and stayed at the 5 star Marriott right down the road from the Aulani. Me and My partner went for 8 days Stayed in a villa not a regular room or a suite a Villa that looked out over the Pacific Ocean, round trip air fare for 2, 8 days of rental car. Plus we had a 1 hr helicopter ride over the island for a total cost for all of it for $4000.00. The reason why so little he works for Marriott and I love staying at great places . I walked over to the Aulani and looked around and we had the money to stay there . But to get what we wanted just for a regular room at The Poly or Contemporay would have cost us just as much as the whole trip. I live in Florida evenen with the Florida residents rates it wasn’t worth it and would have been more than $4000.00. I love Disney and love Disney World and I will stay at the Contempory. Just because its the coolest hotel for me to remember when WDW open. If people tell you The Poly is the closetest thing to staying in Hawaii. They have never been or just trying to tell you something that comes close. Hawaii was great and were going back again in 2015 for another week . This time it’s Maui. One thing about the trip I noticed about where we stayed. All the teenagers and kids were having fun and were well mannered and the kids and teenager and the adults at Aulani were trying to do so much and seemed unhappy that they were not getting what they were paying for.

  13. Heather says:

    Great post! I haven’t actually tried the Dole Whip, but I can never seem to choose it over a Mickey ice cream sandwich, which I guess tells you something.

    Oh, and as far as the Poly goes, I’ve heard that they’ve already starting renovating the rooms and should be done by the end of this year. And that DVC will somehow be involved. Rumors, rumors…

    As for my own “overrated” list… it’s topped by the DVC. I’ve run the numbers a bazillion different ways and still can’t make it into a sound financial investment, no matter how hard I try (and believe me, I’ve tried!)

    • chris says:

      Thank you. We own DVC but DVC is a completely emotional purchase–there’s no way you can justify it financially (although I did–there may have been a spreadsheet involved).

  14. Jim says:

    I think your list is right on the money!

    The thing I love about lists like this is that it starts discussions!

    The thing that I would put on the list is the Grand Floridian. I don’t get it. Small rooms for a really high price.

    I also think that Soarin’ is highly over rated. Ok the first time, but after that not worth the trouble.

    I think Test Track is also HIGHLY over rated! I haven’t been on the updated version yet, but the old one just bored me! WOW! I get to go 60 mph in a “Car”. I do that everyday on the highway!

    Love the blog! Keep up the great work!

    • ljc says:

      I agree, Test Track is terribly overrated. It is like driving on any expressway at home. And the queue area is ridiculously boring and LOUD. I skip it every trip now.

    • chris says:

      Thank you. And you may mock me for my Grand Floridian obsession if you like. :-)

  15. Marc B says:

    For me it’s Journey into Imagination with Figment. What a huge waste of space and “ImaginEaring,” there is not imagination here. To me it looks like someone’s garage sale leftovers, painted purple, and a track run through it. DD9 like to ride so while her and mom go see Figment, I go get a FastPass for something else worthwhile or visit Club Cool and enjoy the AC if it’s hot out.

    I think the nostalgia with Figment is why people still go there but my 9 year old has no clue what Figment is or why he’s a part of Disney…

    • chris says:

      I’m right with you with Figment and I was going to write about it, but I decided that it would make too many people made. You know, unlike my comments about the Poly.

  16. Jay says:

    The updated Test Track is way over rated. I still like the ride, but I liked it more when it was more realistic. Now I feel like I’m trapped in the world of Tron. The interactive car building queue is really pointless if you use FastPass also, but I’m not really sure I would want to waste any more time “building” my car any ways.

    • chris says:

      I didn’t like it either. I was fortunate to attend the opening party in December and there was a ton of food and alcohol there. I suspect the alcohol was so that we would remember it fondly. Which, come to think of it, I sort of do, at leasst those mini sliders.

    • Marc B says:

      I too was disappointed in “new” Test Track, it actually feels like there is “less” there now.

  17. Gaylin says:

    I disagree on the Dole Whip, I like it way better than the Citrus Swirl.

    I do agree on Le Cellier. While I would love to be all rah rah Canada, since I am Canadian . . . but the last time I was there (November 2012), will be the last time I go there. $32.99 for a small steak and 3/4 cup of mashed potatoes! Really, it was a rip off. I suppose I should like poutine, again with the Canadian thing, but I don’t.

    To each his own.

    I do like going walk about at the Poly but have no great desire to stay there.

  18. Debbie Fritson says:

    Test Track – Going fast down the highway with your windows open is the same thing.

  19. Jay says:

    One more thing I find totally over rated at WDW: Advanced Dining Reservations. I liked them at first, but now I’ve come to resent them. I hate having to plan out my entire trip six months in advance like its some kind of precisely timed commando assault on Disney World. Next time I may just do Quick Dining only (and add one or two special meals) to help restore some of the sense of spontaneity I so sorely miss.

    • Gaylin says:

      Jay, I did that my last trip. Turns out Quick Service is a pretty good way to go. I really liked not losing a 2-3 hour chunk out of every day for table service.

    • John says:

      Jay, I haven’t been to WDW yet (going in early October) but you are on the money with ADR. I confess, I’m a detail person, so it matches my style to be making ADR now to many table service restaurants (10 by my count). Still, I definitely see your point. (For example, I have reservations for Kona Cafe for breakfast and lunch on MK day but may give up the one for lunch in order to eat a Captain Cook’s for lunch instead).

      I did the ADR for fear of NOT being able to get in and just have the ability to hold the reservation now. Then there’s the aspect of being absolutely sure I want to go no later than one day prior. Should I skip the restaurant, I incur a fee. Still, I may just release most of the reservations because I’m going to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival anyway and can probably eat and drink cheaper by grazing around World Showcase

  20. Lizzie says:

    I so agree with pretty much everything on this post! No…scratch that…I do agree with everything on this post.

    I’ve never stayed at the Poly, and while I think it’s a fair, enjoyable resort, I’d much prefer those that surround it. The sushi is great, as is the coffee, but you have to like one or the other to find interest in those. I think, honestly, my favorite part of the resort is the indoor waterfall…which is just a great place for me to stop on my annual tour around the monorail loop.

    Dole Whips…they’re good, but for a lactose intolerant person…not so good. I get one every once and a while, but I’d much rather spend my limited amount of dairy product on something else…like one of those ice cream bars or ice cream from the Parlor on main street. They’re nice…just not nice enough for me to have one every single time.

    Toy Story Mania, I love the theory, but I have the game at home for on my Wii…meaning I can almost play it any time I want. The attraction is entertaining, but I’d much rather head the opposite direction towards Star Tours…where you can ride at least three times in a row with very little wait…and get a fastpass. That side of the park is like a ghost town in the morning because everyone else is on the other side…in fact, I was able to get my own entire row on the tram for the backlot tour. One person…in a row for five people meant that I could get shots on my video from both sides of the tram…and avoid getting wet.

    Rope Drop…ugh. As a teenager, this is the one I agree with most. I have to mention that I like to hit rope drop, or get to the park early at least once or twice during the trip…because the buses are calmer if you go early (less young kids), and the shows are entertaining (if you don’t go early enough you miss the trolley show on main street…one of my personal favorites!), and then you can’t do Star Tours as I mentioned earlier. But I’d much rather stay out late when there’s even less people than get up at the crack of dawn. Three A.M. in a Disney park? Now that’s something to celebrate.

    And finally, Le Cellier. I haven’t been to this restaurant in ages…but I just want to say that I’d much rather go to Citricos. Or anywhere really. I think part of it is that I live in Wisconsin though…so I’m so close to Canada that it isn’t really anything super special. I’ll take Tokyo Dining over Le Cellier any day.

    As for comments on test track…I’m sad to hear that it’s overrated. It’s always been my brother’s favorite ride, and we missed the grand re-opening by a week. I guess we’ll make our decisions on whether or not we like it when we go down in Florida. The most underrated ride in my mind…Spaceship Earth. But that might just be me and my strange obsession with it.

  21. DeAnna Welch says:

    I’ve never stayed at the Poly (although I’d love to, just bc of the whole monorail thing), & I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve never made rope drop.

    As for the other 3, I’m one of the goofs who adores LeCellier. Love the filet, and love the maple creme brulee.
    I do prefer the citrus swirl to the Dole Whip, but turkey legs gag me. That’s on my overrated list, for sure!
    I hate Toy Story Mania. Hate.It. No kidding. I’m not a gamer, and find it a little “tea-cuppy” (from all of the swirling around) & boring.

    I love Soarin’, and yes, I even love Figment – in all of his “yard sale” glory. Figment is def a nostalgia thing for me.

    Great article, Chris. You never cease to make me laugh.

  22. Ashleigh says:

    Although I have never stayed at the Polynesian (or the Grand Floridian or the Contemporary) I have to agree – I think its a little overrated. I was at the WDW marathon a few years back for work, and we all had to wake up at 2 am to get our runners over to Epcot. Since we had hours of time to kill, we rode the monorail from Epcot to the Polynesian, curled up on the couches in the lobby, and took naps. I am very grateful for the two mornings the Polynesian staff allowed us to do this, but I couldn’t help but be curious as to the draw. The flora and fauna were beautiful, but it almost smelled like they were piping in a fake flower smell that was overpowering. It just felt dark and outdated.

    I have friends who, when they take their family trip every 4-5 years, insist on staying at the Grand Floridian and no where else because its the “nicest” and I don’t understand their draw to staying there, either. Of course its beautiful, but I suppose I’m of the mindset that I’d rather save the money on the hotel (that I spend very little time in) and use that towards food and souvenirs.

    During WDW Marathon weekend I stayed at Coronado Springs, and absolutely loved it. Walking the grounds at night was beautiful, it was very quiet, the pool area was great, and I enjoyed many a morning laying in one of the hammocks by the lake. I did enjoy the short lines for the bus system, but do agree that being on the monorail line for Epcot/MK is a plus.

  23. Ashley says:

    I don’t understand the Dole Whip!!! That’s definitely #1 on my list of most overrated things at WDW.

  24. Sheena says:

    Chris, this was awesome! You made me laugh out loud, and you nailed my thoughts on a Dole Whip exactly!! I was so excited to try my first one and then was like, “Wait. Did they give me the wrong thing? Cause this is gross…” And BAM! Into the trash it went :).

  25. Lori W says:

    I can not disagree strongly enough! We always stop by the Polynesian and we finally got to stay there last year for our anniversary. It was wonderful! It’s a long flight to Hawaii and this was as close as we’re going to get there soon. I felt like we were in Hawaii. It is a little 70′s I admit but cool. Getting to hang on the beach and watch the fireworks and the water parade. Yes, you can get Dole Whips in the restaurant there too! You get to put as much as you want too;) Ohana is awesome for breakfast too! I love Stitch too.
    LeCellier is awesome! Love the Cheddar Cheese Soup and pretzel bread. The filet is great too. Also got to dine there on our anniversary with an almost last minute reservation. Worth it in our book!
    Turkey legs I don’t get at all. Still haven’t made rope drop but we’ve come close. It’s cool to get right on rides but we tend to close the park and not open it. Test Track my fiancé loves but I can take or leave. It breaks down sometimes and I drive my Mustang faster than the top speed.
    Now I really wish I was there:(

  26. Kelly says:

    I like the Poly. And Dole Whips. And Rope Drop – but I’m more of a morning person anyway.

    Le Cellier and Toy Story Mania I agree with.

    Overrated for me? Fantasmic. Seriously? I didn’t even like it when it was new, but now the technology is so outdated. You compare it to something like World of Color, and well, you can’t compare it. I just don’t understand why people love it.

    And Test Track. Especially new Test Track. It’s so disappointing.

  27. Lisa M says:

    I think the Polynesian is awesome, we chose this resort for one reason…it felt like you were somewhere else….we wanted a resort on the monorail and honestly contemporary and floridian are fancy hotels…coming to FL in the middle of winter from Wisconsin, we wanted to feel like we were somewhere warm and tropical and Polynesian was the only resort on the monorail that felt that way :) and we LOVED it and and I want to stay there again when we return.

  28. Lisa says:

    Just a comment to the two readers who found this post disagreeable…
    It’s just one person’s opinion. I happen to find Chris to be a well-informed, well-spoken writer with a great mix of humor and snarky jabs. Don’t read into this as bashing; I think this is the list of “I don’t understand the hype” aspects of Disney.

    Now to my thoughts on the article. I think the Poly has many great things going for it: food, location, transportation, theming….I think the rooms are a little lack-luster when it comes to a Deluxe resort.

    Dole Whips: They look so much better than they are. Not to say they are bad, but I would rather eat one of the pineapple spears than the Dole Whip.

    Toy Story: I think this is a great attraction. It is so very well done and fun for all ages. Sometimes you have to realize that time is money at Disney. A two hour wait makes that ride pretty expensive. The Wii version is pretty close – and there is no line!

    Rope Drop: There are definite advantages to going early. You will actually get on some rides quickly, unlike trying to experience them later in the day. The weather is usually a lot cooler too. I like to do a stint in the morning followed by an afternoon break. Then it’s back to the park for night time activities and more rides and cooler weather again.

    Le Cellier: It’s good. I don’t think it’s two credits good. That’s all.

  29. LOL! I disagree with everything on your list, but this is the thing I love about WDW – there are so many things to enjoy, it doesn’t matter if we don’t like all the same things :D

  30. Sean says:

    I agree with the Polynesian. Would love to know your five underrated things. My wife votes for the living land ride thru the greenhouses at Epcot.

  31. Carol says:

    Could be showing my age, but wasn’t Mike Brady was a widower? :-)

  32. Daniella says:

    Totally agree on the dole whip.. Very dairy queenish to me. And toy story mania I just don’t understand either :-/

  33. Becky says:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with you on every count. We stayed at Polynesian only one time and found that there was really nothing about it to account for the deluxe price unless you’re really in to waking up and seeing some of the largest bugs I have ever seen running across your open suitcase. We always attend the Ohana character breakfast and visit the shops; but you can do that without staying there.
    And come on Mickey ice-cream bars are sooooo much better then dole whips.
    One of the best steaks I ever had at Disney was at the Garden Grill restaurant long ago before it became a character meal with a set generic menu. That steak was from Heaven.

  34. Christen says:

    I am a diehard Disney Fan also. I have to say I feel the same about all of them also! Great point of view!

  35. Tim says:

    I’m glad people like you don’t get rope drop. Means fewer people there when I do it.

    I don’t get not doing it.

    A Disney World vacation is probably the most expensive vacation I will take. I want to get my money’s worth, and to me, that means the most attractions with less time in lines. I saw some research (don’t remember where), and it was dramatic the amount of time saved in lines by getting there at park opening.

    Plus, I get up to go to work at 4 a.m., so I do get to go to rope drop and sleep late.

  36. Rob says:

    Enjoyed the article Chris. I haven’t been there in almost 20 years, my wife in 12. We keep talking about going and it’s good to see something in the article like Le Cellier.

    To me, it’s good to see someone who loves Disney who can give an honest opinion about their likes and dislikes of the stuff at WDW.

    For those who say that they are disappointed in this article and think you’re done with this blog, go start your own then. I have this blog saved in my favorites on my browser and on my Facebook Feed for a reason, because it’s informative in several different ways. I enjoy Chris’s articles, they are generally informative.

  37. Candy Mac Laverty says:

    Wow. Made me laugh. Never stayed at poly so can’t comment. Totally underwhelmed with Le Cellier as I’ve made better steaks even myself. The dole whip is what caught me. Thought I was the only one who thought that. Have tried it 3 times but still don’t get it. True bout after taste. And I would never queue for TSMM. It’s good but there are way better toy story rides in DIsneyland Paris. Bring them to WDW. Thanks for all the blogs. Candy in Ireland

  38. gabriellyn says:

    What a great article! I have to say I pretty much agree with this list, particularly the Dole Whips. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the one and only time I tried it I was disappointed and completely underwhelmed. But, as someone pointed out earlier, that’s why I absolutely LOVE WDW – there is something for everyone!

  39. Joshua says:

    Here are my top five most overrated things in WDW (in no particular order)

    1. Cinderella’s Royal Table (The food is less than mediocre and the setting is more boring than the decor in the Contemporary.)
    2. Pin Trading (I’d just rather spend my time on rides/seeing shows/exploring the areas and buy some pins as souvenirs.)
    3. Character Autographs (I find this personally boring, I would rather just have a picture with the characters. To me, it just seems like another way to pull money out of people’s pockets.)
    4. Mickey Premium Bars (They don’t really taste any different than the ones from the supermarket. I like them, I just don’t make it a priority to have 30 over a 4 day period.)
    5. Monorail Hotels (I like the monorail itself, but those hotels are awfully expensive and provide horrible transportation to anything not on the monorail.)

  40. Jack says:

    Great list but I have 5 things I find a bit over rated

    5. Fastpass- it’s a wonderful service and I use it to my advantage but I don’t think it’s worth planning your day around. I don’t understand how people can enjoy the park while sprinting through it to get a fastpass.
    4. Soarin’- The scenery is beautiful and the music is infectious but is it really worth the wait?
    3. Food and Wine Festival- The kiosks have gotten more expensive and the portions smaller. Also this is the only theme park event that everything associated with it comes with an extra fee. The culinary and wine seminars used to be free and now their ticket prices seem to be creeping up higher and higher each year.
    2. Be Our Guest Restaurant- The novelty has not worn off it yet and it’s still getting most of its first time business but for such a high capacity restaurant why is the line so long for it at lunch and why do they shut down a room for dinner? The food is mediocre at best and not worth the wait.
    1. Festival of the Lion King- the acrobatics are amazing and the singing is good but this show that celebrates the music of The Lion King is staged on recycled floats from Disneyland’s old parade using second rate performers “dancing” around talented performers that are underused. The success of the show baffles me as it has no real storyline and we all have the film ‘s soundtrack at home so we pretty much can listen to the music anytime we want.

  41. Alan Scrivener says:

    My top 5 overrated things at WDW (bear in mind that overrated is not the sameas lousy, just less wonderful than widely percieved):

    5. Monorail to EPCOT — Next one leaves in only 29 minutes!

    4. Space Mountain — I’ll take Rock-N-Roller Coaster any day, or any of the bigiron at Islands of Adventure.

    3. Contemporary Resort — Less to like than the Polynesian, IMHO.

    2. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant — Sorry, I don’t get it.

    1. Disney Vacation Club — do the math. You’re better off at a Motel 6
    with a rental car and a big meal budget.

  42. Steven Harris says:

    First off I will say pessimism and Disney just don’t go together. But I’m sure Walt Disney himself would have been Walt Disney World’s biggest critic. That being said here are the REAL overrated experiences at WDW:

    5.Grand Floridian-Staying here means walking though the lobby to a satellite building. You don’t feel like you are staying in a grand hotel but rather the motel around back.

    4. Innoventions – like a bad elementary school field trip. Nothing beautiful or interesting. Pointless and boring.

    3. The Great Movie Ride- the corny gangster scene, the dated animatronics and poor timing makes this ride lackluster.

    2. Mission Space: boring, lackluster and vomit inducing.

    1. Test Track. Long lines, constant breakdowns and a really boring ride. Even the speedy bit at the end isn’t exciting. I drive that fast everyday; what is the point? Funny story is the last time my wife rode this they were delayed due to heavy rain in the spot right before you go outside; an announcement told them they were delayed due to weather. Then out of nowhere and without warning the car was launched at 60 mph into pouring down rain. That was her best experience on the ride. I wish I had one that remarkable.

  43. chris says:

    Guys, thanks so much to those of you who got what I was saying in the article. Sometimes it’s nice to poke a little bit at Disney, but we all love it. Thanks also to those who read it and didn’t get it–I certainly appreciate your POV.

  44. Rich Freemantle says:

    I just read through the list, and then saw your final comment. If this is an attempt at humor, then…that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  45. Rhonda Lampitt says:

    Wow, I thought I was the only person on the planet who hates Dole Whips! I mean they just taste gross and leave a nasty aftertaste in my mouth. Each to his own, but I always pass. :)

  46. Erik Wagner says:

    This makes me sad. Pineapple Dole Whip is hands down my favorite treat on all of property. It just great. I always take friends there for the first time and have had 100% satisfaction. It’s great! Le Cellier is my top pick of a long line of great restaurants in Epcot. There are a lot of other restaurants on property that are more about character dining than good food or a unique adult atmosphere you could criticize and I wouldn’t question. Of all the things on property to pick on, these two are NOT among them.

  47. V No Privacy says:

    First stay at the Poly: 1.5 years old in 1983.

    30 years later I’ve stayed there for 26 out of 28 WDW visits. Nostalgia is a strong influence. :)

  48. Lisa B. says:

    Hi Chris,
    Love your list of overrated WDW Disney things. I agree with you about the Poly, I happen to love the other things. I’d like to add to your list:

    Tony’s Town Square restaurant is horrible. Would never eat there.

    Turkey Legs are quite disgusting. Watching people gnaw on them through the parks makes my stomach lurch.

    Wishes/Parades – How many times can you watch fireworks and the same Electrical Parade. I’d rather take a potty break during those events.

    Tangled Restrooms – I’ve been seeing bloggers go on and on about these bathrooms. Pretty soon we’ll have to get a fast pass just to do your business in there. Get a life people!

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